For some reason Sony handhelds just don’t last very long. It isn’t that they’re bad consoles, but I think it is the fact that Sony gives up on them far too soon. Recently I fell in love with my underused PSP again and have been scouring used game stores for older titles that I had not gotten to play. I’ve also been playing titles that I had purchased but just never got around to. These five franchises were hung out to dry forever on the PSP and it saddens me because a few of them are from some of my favorite franchises.
5) Syphon Filter
The Syphon Filter series began on the original PlayStation on February 17, 1999. It died a lonely death on Sony’s PSP March 14, 2006. I enjoyed this series quite a bit; it was basically James Bond with much more action and a tighter focus. So yeah, it was perfect. The developers were quite amazing when they put the game onto the PSP. Since the PSP doesn’t have two joysticks they had to make do. What they did was use the face buttons to move the camera while you used the tiny joystick to move Gabriel Logan. If you enjoyed the early adventures of Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell you would really like Logan’s adventures as well, they were a little less sneaky and filled with more shooting but they were all about espionage. And with the political climate the way it is at present, who doesn’t want to play as an old fashioned spy right now?
4) Jak and Daxter
I was never big into platformers during the PlayStation 2 era. I was always looking for the next big survival horror franchise to drop, so I missed some great titles that I’m scrambling to play now. Thankfully Naughty Dog re-mastered the original trilogy for the PlayStation 3, I’m yet to get to them but I will one day. The PSP had two titles in this franchise on it, the first one was Daxter, the second was The Last Frontier. The final Jak and Daxter game was released on the PSP on November 3, 2009 and it was sad to see one of the higher quality platformers make its exit. The game was later ported to the PlayStation 2. High Impact studios took over the development for this title and it did have some critical success, journalists lauded the game as one of the better platformers on the PSP and the PS2. They say that old franchises don’t die, they simply fade away. And this couldn’t be more true for Jak and Daxter.
Manhunt has been one of my favorite Rockstar franchises since the very beginning. There was just something about that snuff film feel that truly creeped me out and not many games can do that. I know that the whole ratings board issue with Manhunt 2 didn’t help sell this game, even though I bought it for every system it was on just to upset all those uninformed on the game and its premise. The PSP version of Manhunt 2 is probably my favorite version of that game, the smaller screen makes the graphics look better and you can take your tale on the go. There was just something pretty interesting about escaping from a mental hospital and slowly finding your memories as you progress through the story. Kind of sounds like the new Zelda game, minus the graphics and the whole murdering of those who have done you wrong. But other than that, it’s not too different …
Now I got into MediEvil late in the game, I did not have a lot of funds during the PlayStation era because I was paying my way through college, so my money went solely to survival horror games. I was lucky enough to find the originals on eBay for a decent price and then the remake on the PSP. I enjoyed the PSP version, MediEvil Resurrection, much better than the original. The controls were tighter, graphics were better and I liked taking Sir Dan on the go. This series had that perfect sense of humor, where it made fun of itself, the player and everything it could at the time. The jokes are very dated now and I groaned to a few of them because they were so bad, but you just never see games that are funny anymore. Shadows of the Damned had a sense of humor, but games like that aren’t mainstream anymore. I wish we could get back to the great gameplay and great humor that MediEvil had. Maybe one day! (Sony, please resurrect Sir Dan … again!)
1) Parasite Eve
Square Enix’s foray into survival horror has to be one of my favorite games of the genre. The first installment is one of my favorite games on the PlayStation, and I’ve spent many hours as Aya Brea saving New York from crazy mitochondria. I remember my amazement and pure joy as I played through this game for the first time, and I still feel like that even after playing it countless times. Yes, the game is ugly. Yes it spans two discs, and yes the game is still a masterpiece. Parasite Eve 2 went more along the route of Resident Evil and lost it’s little glimmer of identity. The 3rd Birthday was just a hot mess that made no sense in the context of the rest of the series. I still enjoyed my time with these games, but the last two didn’t have the magic that the first one had. I would love for Square to revisit this series and bring us one final new generation hurrah for Aya, but I’m guessing there are no plans for that. However if we can get a Final Fantasy VII remake, I don’t see why we can’t get a new Parasite Eve.
Did I miss any? Were there other franchises that passed away on Sony’s first handheld console? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @SuperJerry13.