Rengoku: Tower of Purgatory
Here's a game that fulfills your wishes... if that wish is to be a skeleton with a revolver fused to your head.
When I came across Hudson Soft's Rengoku: The Tower of Purgatory on an import site I thought it looked pretty cool - a niche Japanese title that someone should pick up and publish in the States. The call was answered by Konami, and the company debuted Rengoku at its Gamers Day in San Francisco. Unfortunately, while it looks nice, pretty visuals don't cover up its shoddy gameplay.
Rengoku is an action-heavy third person adventure where you play as an android that has access to all sorts of nasty weapons - in particular, a large revolver that's fused to your head. The object is to ascend a gigantic tower and obliterate other androids you encounter along the way. The game has fairly detailed graphics and its intro movie is fantastic, but beyond the glitz is a frustrating game that failed to hold my interest.
The first problem with the game is its controls. The version we played had the default controls revolve around the use of the d-pad for movement, a decision that just doesn't make any sense. The PSP has an analog nub for a reason - that reason being 360-degree control in a 3D environment because using a d-pad sucks, and Rengoku is a perfect example why.
Moving the main character is a pain in the butt, and it's even worse when engaged in combat. I must've lunged ten times at an enemy and came up with air, which of course left me wide open to attack. Several deaths later and I was finished.
I also have an issue with the game's visuals. Rengoku's graphics look great for a handheld game, but compared to other PSP titles they're not all that. The in-game characters that I saw weren't too impressive looking, and the game has a very sterile appearance to it that I'm almost sure is by design but just looks plain to me. However, I noticed that some areas look prettier than others, so there's hope that Rengoku's not a graphical dud.
I'm going to wait until the game's released before forming a solid opinion on it, but I wasn't impressed with Rengoku. It has a great design (because no one can hate a skeleton android with a gun attached to its head), but the gameplay as well as the controls didn't thrill me. However, on the positive side Konami's adding four-player wireless support, so that should add replay value. Look for Rengoku at the PSP launch March 24.