Portable Agenda: The PSP's got Rhythm
The PSP is challenging the DS for portable rhythm game supremacy! Only one console shall emerge victorious!
The DS established itself as a welcome platform for rhythm games from day 1 in Japan, with Daigasso! Band Brothers. This reputation was solidified with Inis' Ouendan last summer. Neither game has been released in Amerca (yet), and yet they have both achieved almost more notoriety on American shores, thanks to enthusiastic fans convincing their friends to spend the few extra dollars to import. Some have even speculated that the majority of Ouendan's Japanese sales have come from American imports, rather than from native Japanese DS owners.
What's interesting is that the PSP has turned into quite the budding home of its own for rhythm titles. Taiko Drum Master was released last fall and despite doing away with the game's trademark drum peripheral it made the PSP leap surprisingly well. Modojo will have a full import review later today.
The true PSP rhythm crown goes to DJ Max Portable, however. This Korean-developed game apes Beatmania, but in many ways it actually surpasses Konami's longtime franchise, as hard as that is to believe. It includes nearly 60 songs, with three difficulties (four, six, and eight key), and within each difficulty many songs have an easy and a hard version. That means there are over 200 different key arrangements. The icing on the cake is that every single arrangement has its own animated music video to accompany it.
Simply put, DJ Max Portable is a beast of a game and a must-import, much like Ouendan. A review is coming later this week, but the game is nearly impossible to put down- its star rating will come as no surprise to those that already own the game.
All of us at Modojo are just hoping these excellent titles aren't a fluke, and are instead a representation of what we can expect from portable gaming in the future. The GBA gets massive props from us, but it's very nice to have portable hardware powerful enough to support a wider range of genres.
All we need now is for a U.S. publisher to catch on to what hardcore portable gamers have known for almost two years now, and begin bringing these titles stateside.