2008 PSP Summer Games Preview
PSP won't have as good a summer as DS, but there are still a few games worth picking up.
Sorry PSP fans, but Sony and its third parties don't plan on releasing tons of games this summer. While that most certainly blows, especially compared to the DS lineup, there are some games that deserve attention if you love sports, Batman and a certain metal head named Clank.
Secret Agent Clank (Sony- 6/17/08)
Ratchet's robotic robo buddy takes center stage in this action packed platform game, in which the little guy dons a tuxedo and battles enemies to bust his pal out of jail. You'll still blast enemies with all sorts of weapons, but Secret Agent Clank has a distinct James Bond flavor that challenges you to sneak past bad guys and beat them up with Clank's bare hands using his signature martial art, Clank-Fu.
Hellboy: Science of Evil (Konami- 6/24/08)
Comic book hero Hellboy arrives on the PSP in this attractive beat-em-up, which features a new story and enemies to destroy. In addition, the 3D game lets you play as Abe Sapein, Liz Sherman and Lobster Johnson via co-op multiplayer (offline only), the voice talents of Ron Perlman, Doug Jones and Selma Blair, as well as direction from Hellboy 2 director Guillermo del Toro.
Wall-E (THQ- 6/24/08)
Pixar's upcoming animated film, Wall-E, promises to be one of the summer's biggest movies. Not sure about the video game, though, which tasks you (as Wall-E and EVE) with picking up garbage and completing various challenges. We can't see it being an excellent game, but probably a solid purchase for the kiddies looking to expand their film experience.
Naruto Ultimate Ninja Heroes 2: The Phantom Fortress (Namco Bandai- 6/24/08)
Yet another Naruto game (there must be 238728358 of them) hit shelves, and like all the rest, it packs new characters with special moves and abilities. Ninja Heroes 2 features a new story that'll take you through the Phantom Fortress' 100 plus floors of mayhem. Its best addition, however, should be its Ad Hoc multiplayer mode, which includes single cartridge play for two combatants. So long as your friend has a PSP, you're good to go.
B-Boy (South Peak Interactive- 7/15/08)
PSP has cool games, but very few that set it apart from DS. B-Boy should change that, as it's the first break dancing game to hit U.S. shores. You'll battle against 40 different dancers spread out across 21 locations around the world, all the while enjoying (in theory) a hip-hop flavored soundtrack. We're not sure if it'll be good, but it's unique enough that we can't wait to bust a move.
NCAA Football 2009 (Electronic Arts- 7/15/08)
Electronic Arts' NCAA Football serves as the primer for Madden, and this year's edition is no different. Take the field with your favorite college team, pump up the crowd and go for a championship. We're curious to see whether EA implements the online dynasty mode into the PSP version. Cross your fingers.
N+ (Atari- 8/12/08)
In case you haven't heard, N+ is one of the best puzzle games to come along in a while. Already a hit on Xbox Live Arcade, it challenges you to maneuver a tiny ninja dude through various stages to the exits, paying close attention to enemies and bombs. With the possibility of a level editor, this game could have unlimited potential.
Madden NFL 09 (Electronic Arts- 8/12/08)
When it comes to portable football, PSP Madden is the best choice. Not only do you get new features such as Family Play (makes the game simpler for beginners) and player indicators (lets you know who's open), but you also get superior graphics to the pixilated and ancient looking DS version. We'll exchange stylus controls for eye candy, at least this time.
Tiger Woods 09 (Electronic Arts- 8/26/08)
We haven't gotten our mitts on the newest Tiger Woods, but it's safe to assume that it'll come with realistic courses, a bunch of golfers (Tiger included) and some snazzy new game mechanic. Would be sweet if EA includes online play so we can challenge portable golfers around the world...and beyond.
LEGO Batman (Warner Home Video Games- 9/1/08)
Another LEGO game hits PSP, this time starring the Caped Crusader. As Batman, you'll explore Gotham City and fight crime, battling the Joker, Ridler, Penguin, Catwoman and other enemies. Over time, you'll unlock and play as the villains, which expands the replay value. Of course, the gameplay remains the same, with you punching bad guys into LEGO bricks and collecting items. Indiana Jones and Star Wars play good on PSP, and Batman should be no exception.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (LucasArts- 9/16/08)
Become Darth Vader's secret apprentice in this Force driven adventure, which sees you hunting down Jedi Knights between Episodes III and IV. Excellent Force powers, such as lightning, enable you to torture and vanquish your enemies, and you'll get to explore all sorts of cool planets. That said, we haven't played the PSP version, and it remains to be seen whether LucasArts can deliver the ultimate Star Wars adventure.