>I bought 5 games for my PSP yesterday, which is probably a little too much to digest at once. I tried all of them for about 5 minutes – enough to reach a save point – and then decided to stick with God of War: Chains of Olympus.
Before I even get to GoW, though, let me talk about the PSP itself. This is really the first time I’ve ever actually held one in my hands, so I can’t make any comparisons between the Slim (which is what I bought) and the Original (which I didn’t). Generally speaking, it’s a pretty impressive little machine. The FMV in Crisis Core: FF7 is friggin’ gorgeous, so now I understand the appeal of the PSP as a movie-watching device (as much as David Lynch might disapprove.) That said, the clarity of the FMV only served to point out how not beautiful the actual gameplay graphics are – having played 360 games on an HDTV for so long, it’s hard to go back to PS2 graphics (as impressive as they may be for a handheld). The sound is also impressive; I fired up one of the GTA games – I think it was Vice City – and the Foreigner song that opened the game’s first scene was shockingly pristine.
The battery life leaves a lot to be desired – 5 hours won’t cross the Atlantic. I do appreciate, though, that the PSP tells you exactly how much time is left. I wonder if there’s an appreciable difference if the sound is off? I tend to play my DS games without sound, which isn’t really a problem since you don’t need sound for Crosswords, PuzzleQuest or WordJong. Sound, though, definitely enhances something like God of War.
Which brings me back to God of War. I should maybe feel a wee bit embarrassed that my first experience with the GoW franchise is this PSP edition; I never owned a PS2, what can I say? At least now I understand what all the fuss is about. It doesn’t necessarily feel that revolutionary or life-changing – in fact, it kinda feels very familiar. What it does do is provide tons of visceral, bloody, acrobatic combat, and it has a pretty remarkable sense of scale. I’ve of course heard about the titanic size of bosses in the PS2 games, and I must admit I actually laughed out loud when I was introduced to what I thought was the game’s first boss – the monster that I was about to fight was then promptly eaten by the game’s real first boss, whose head was twice as big as the entire monster he ate.
I’m about 3 save points in, which obviously isn’t very far at all. I think the biggest thing for me is that since I’m totally unfamiliar with Sony’s controllers, I am constantly screwing up the Quick-Time Events because I can’t remember which button is which. (Whereas on the 360, I’m a total whiz.) I get it, though – I get what the game is trying to do, I get what it’s about, and (obviously) whenever I get around to getting a PS3, I will absolutely be on board for GoW3.