SONY PSP Games
- Gran Turismo: One of two racing
demos on this set of trailers, this demo was pretty much rivaled
only by the other racing demo (and Dynasty Warriors, which looked
hot as can be.) Several racetracks struck us as smacking straight
out of GT4, with a gorgeous fly-by that has to be seen to be believed,
and car models were all quite nice. Quite nice.
- Hot Shots: The PSP version aped the PlayStation
2 edition down to the pixel in some cases. The high-res ball, the
expansive 3D courses and the superdeformed Japanese characters
(which we're sure to lose in the US release ... sob) all made for
good news to golfers.
- Twisted Metal: It's about time that we've
seen a new entry in the twisted Twisted franchise, and this
one, while early, promises to deliver. An apparent remake of
older games in the franchise, the game boasted sweet TM:B effects
and also showcased a few returning characters.
- Death Jr.: Super-sharp and even more impressive
than the GDC demo, the game looks to have progressed. In the quick
blip of motion, the realtime lighting really stood out as shadows
played across monster bodies and wals. The 'shooter-not-platformer'
concept also came across a little better in the quick-moving clip
- Hockey Demo: We'll assume that this is the
next (not this year's model, but two years from now from Blue42
) edition of 989's hockey game series. Unfortunately, in keeping
with the unfortunate history of 989 Sports, this was one of the
less impressive clips on the system -- we'll just say that it looked
super early (which we're sure it was) and didn't have much worth
talking about in the player detail.
- Soccer Demo: Also assumed to be part of the
989 franchise offerings, this game looked much more the part --
amazing player details and fan-filled stadiums popped right off
of the screen.
- There are enough developers,
both big and small, already sgned up to support the PSP
Portable (PSP) so that Sony appear to have one of the top requirements of
any successful console - games - met and catered for. As the split
between east and west across the 99 announced companies is fairly
even, we must hope that Sony bypasses any region encoding. If an
enforced separation between the world's two gaming hemispheres continues
with the PSP all parties will once again lose out.
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater Underground 2: Yes,
you read right -- if you have seen video of this game, you have
just seen the first (and possibly only, if word stays true from
Activision) video of THPSS:U2. This one was good news, but also
something of an anomaly -- the gameplay, in the blip-second clip,
looked a little oddly angled from what we're used to in the series.
It's full 3D, with character models and stages straight out of
the PS2 editions, but it could well be that Neversoft is playing
with angles in the game to make more impact and availability for
skate lines. Or, more likely, our tired state sent our eyesight
spinning for a second. It did feature some VERY strange vehicles
-- grinding on a a Segway motorscooter is going to be an experience.
- Ridge Racer: If anything can put the "Ridged
Racer" jests of the early PS2 days to rest, we'd like to hope that
this could be one of the games to shut people up. Between this
and Gran Turismo, the handheld has racers covered -- GT4 was far
superior and more obviously complete, but there was some sharp
detail in the car models plus a few nice effects. Oh, and Reiko
showed up. Sweet, sweet Reiko.
PSP USA Games & Import Jap Games
- Untitled RPG : It looked an awful lot like Capcom's Breath
of Fire , but new word has it that this game was actually
an original RPG with turn-based battle scenes that featured wyvern
enemies very similar to BOF .
- Darkstalkers: If anything could bring a smile
to the lips of hardcore gamers, images of at least three (if not
four ... it was tough to tell if the other RPG pic was not also
Breath of Fire) games in glorious 2D. We're not entirely sure where
this pulls out of the franchise (likely the Dreamcast combo edition),
but no Street Fighter characters were shown, so we'll guess that
this is all Darkstalkers. Not that we're complaining -- the PSP
looks to take 2D and spin it wild, so we're quite happy (and hopeful
... hear us, SCEA) for the prospects of 2D on the handheld.
- Bust A Move: Not Bust-A-Groove, unfortunately
(we're tired of dancing at home -- it's time to take our boogie
on the road!), this edition of the Taito puzzler was a bit strange
-- the game was never shown with just one 'screen' across, and
always upside down or in a spinning transition. Our guess: this
could be a two-player iteration of the game where players share
opposite sides of the handheld.
- Armored Core Another great demo of detail,
this edition of From Soft's mech battler was stunning and true
to the PS2 editions of late. Fast-action with a bliustering framerate
and with mechs detailed to the nuts and bolts, we're just now imagining
the networked possibilities of this game...
- Dynasty Warriors: One of the games to really
send home the detailing power of the PSP, Dynasty Warriors for
PSP boasted character models that, if our bloodshot eyes can be
trusted, may have bested the PS2 edition. If not, they certainly
were detailed enough to make an immense impression on the 4" screen.
We were not able to see if this powerful pocket system would be
able to deal better with the fog distance than its big brother,
but this series has always been a blast, and a handheld version
means all the more button-mashing goodness.
- Untitled Action Horror FPS: We have no idea
what this game was, but if there was a killer app in the PSP trailer
besides Gran Turismo and a new Metal Gear, this could be it. No
title was given, but the effects shot out when a ship landed and
the ragdoll physics of dying enemies tossed by explosions, this
handheld game easily rivaled Nintendo's Gamecube wonder, Metroid
Prime (actually, it even featured the ability to transform
into a ball ... we smell a conspiracy, but so far, we still like
the smell of things.)
- Second Third-Person Action Game: It looked
like his was the same game as the Metroid Prime clone,
but new word goes that
this is in fact its own title starring a
quite-nice golden female mech character. She slices, she dices
... and we don't know her name. Call us...
- Frogger: Konami dazzled with its MGS demo, so
we'll just gloss over this conversion of the console version of
Frogger. Not that Frogger is the type of game would have caught
our eye even if it had been dazzling.
- Pool Game/Demo We couldn't tell if this was
meant to be a realtime demo or an actual game, although it looked
to be that there was a playable goal to the demo, so we'll guess
game. Incredibly rendered 3D balls, shining and shadowing each
other, are batted around inside a small box.
- Ape Escape: When estimates put the power of
the PSP somewhere the PS2 and the PS one, all kinds of ideas as
far as how deep Sony would dip into its archives were raised. This
game demo falls into the PS one category -- although elements were
rendered in higher detail and with an apparent cel shading effect,
this looked to be an exact remake of the first PlayStation game.
- Medievil: Another remake, this edition of Studio
Cambridge's goofy horror platformer struck us as remake material,
like Ape Escape. That's not a bad thing, but Ghosthunter left us
longing for the classic series, and the PSP would have been a good
place for a third chapter.
- F1 DS ROMs: They always show an F1 game as part of a
visual demo, and we can never tell why -- they all look the same,
and they almost all look nice (that low-to-the-road view and short
car model have made for pretty pics since the PlayStation.) This
is assumed to be the next iteration from SCE Europe's franchise.
- ATV Off-Road Fury: After seeing ATV Off-Road
Fury on PS2, this was a welcome compliment. We're going to assume
that it's being developed by Climax (who had earlier announced
plans for PSP development), and though which edition of the series
this was to be was not displayed at the show, we'll guess that
ATV3 and thus one of the few dual-system games planned for PS2.
- Syphon Filter: Some thought Gabe and crew would
be retired with Syphon Filter: Omega Strain (releasing next week),
but not many really believe that the franchise would drop out as
well. It hasn't, and its next immediate stop is the PlayStation
Portable system. Headshots in dark environments were the highlight
of the clip.
- Spider-Man: It wasn't in the same league as
the upcoming console edition -- character models and environment
details were not as well rendered as the PS2 game (or the previous
PS2 edition, if we have to make a call from memory,) and the gameplay
didn't seem to indicate the go-anywhere GTA gameplay of Spider-Man
2 (it would have featured prominently in the clip if it had.) But
trust your Spidey Senses -- this game still boasted the incredible
fighting mechanics and web-slinging powers of the series, and the
short clip looked quite fun all the same.
- Wipeout: Another in-betweener, this edition
of the Wipeout franchise boasted a lot of boost in its liquid framerate
and sense of speed. In the blur of the games show, we kind of lost
track of this one, but upon further inspection, the stage modeling
looks to easily be on par with Wipeout Fusion.