Wednesday, 28 September 2016

PSP Revival

Recently, I've had some thoughts about getting hold of a Playstation Vita. I've always said that I didn't want another handheld but through lurking about on various forums and reading the Vita threads, there are too many games (most of them Japanese in origin or imports...) on Sony's second attempt at a handheld that I want to play. The temptation is likely to lead to a purchase but while I was considering this, I remembered my PSP and the collection of unplayed games I have for it! I've probably played around 50% of my PSP collection but with a lot of my games being RPG's, it's unsurprising that I haven't had a look at them all yet. So I dug the collection out...

My pile of shame (one of them!) demonstrated by my lovely assistant...

The last game I played and completed was the fan-translated version of Valkyria Chronicles III which I really enjoyed. More importantly, I had to finally delve into the murky realms of Custom Firmware (CFW) to run VCIII and thankfully, things had improved a great deal since ye olde days of hacking the hardware itself, using third-party batteries and risking the dreaded act of "bricking" the system. So now I am using a form of CFW that lives on the memory card and can be enabled/disabled just like that. It was also a doddle to set-up and is so easy to use which greatly pleased somebody like me who is not good at modding consoles...

Now I don't use CFW to download and steal PSP software. Nor do I utilise it for emulation (though the concept is quite tempting). What I AM using it for however is creating ISO versions of UMD's that I physically own and dumping these on the memory card. It means I can play the games straight from the card and save the noisy disc drive from wearing out plus improve the battery life a little. So yes, I'm doing things that are probably frowned upon by purists but hey, at least I own the games that I'm making digital copies of.

As for the PSP as a gaming platform itself, I always considered it to be the ultimate handheld, even without CFW and emulators. There are a lot of people who see the PSP as just a device to be hacked and loaded with Mega Drive roms or PS1 and PSP games nicked from dodgy online site but looking at it as a handheld in its own right and the games that were released on it, the PSP is a fantastic bit of kit indeed.

Darkstalkers Chronicle was my first PSP game and a real joy.

Games such as Darkstalkers Chronicle, Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, Soul Calibur Broken Destiny and the Grand Theft Auto games were proper console experiences on a handheld and having games like these on the move blew my mind, especially GTA! RPG's flourished on the system and there were loads of ports, remakes, localisations and original titles to get stuck into including numerous Final Fantasy exploits, Tactics Ogre, Persona, Valkyrie Profile, Star Ocean, Breath of Fire etc. etc. And! Once the mass market audience had fell away after the first couple of years, the PSP came into its own as a place to play fantastic retro compilations and import curios. Indeed, the Japanese home market supported the PSP long after the West stopped caring and as such, there are countless great games to get shipped over from the land of the Rising Sun.

Let's also not forget that you can download PS1 titles from the PS Store and play those on the move as well! All of this is without taking the possibilities of CFW into consideration so you can fairly say that a stock PSP is a monster of a system. Okay, the types of games available might not have been what the market was interested in any more but fans of RPG's, fighting games, imports and retro were supremely spoilt...

Gaming nirvana in your pocket no less.

My current collection looks a little something like this:
  • Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX
  • Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower
  • Dead or Alive Paradise
  • Princess Crown
  • Persona 2 Limited Edition
  • Persona 3 Limited Edition
  • Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together Limited Edition
  • The Third Birthday Limited Edition
  • Metal Slug Anthology
  • Sega Mega Drive Collection
  • Valkyrie Profile Lenneth
  • Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
  • Outrun 2006 Coast 2 Coast
  • Soul Calibur Broken Destiny
  • Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection
  • Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories
  • Valkyria Chronicles II
  • Valkyria Chronicles III
  • Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded
  • Capcom Classics Collection Remixed
  • Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection
  • Gungnir
  • Jeanne D' Arc
...and still there are countless others that I'm after as well! First up on the agenda however is a clean-up of the machine itself and a search for a much bigger memory card as ISO's take up a lot more room than your standard save data files. It's good to have it back in action though and looking at my list above shows that I have some great times ahead. PSVita? Who needs it!

No comments:

Post a Comment