So I bought another toy the other day. A Sony PSP. Yes, now I own two portable gaming systems. Why? So now I can review games from BOTH systems. Yay! (Truthfully, it was an impulse buy…and I had a gift card to my local used game store).
Like I inferred, I bought the PSP used. I got out to my car, popped a game in (Dungeon Seige, Throne of Agony), and started playing. As soon as the opening cinematic ended and I entered the playable game, my half-giant barbarian runs to the bottom of the screen of his own free will and keeps on running even after he gets stopped by a tree stump. I started pushing buttons and toggling the analog stick…and he still kept running straight into the bottom of the screen. Suddenly, he stopped his suicidal marathon and started doing what I was telling him to do. “Weird”, I thought. I played a little further into the game, and again my character started randomly running to the top of the screen of his own volition. I mashed buttons, twirled the analog stick around, and after about 20 seconds the controls started working again. I figured I was just unlucky, and kept on playing. Unfortunately, this pattern of random sprints to the top and bottom of the screen continued for the next hour that I played.
Finally I decided to go back to the store and see if I was just crazy, or if something was wrong with the PSP. The salesdude was very cooperative and after a minute of playing the game and watching Ed the Half-Giant merrily running off into the environment he apologized for my trouble and went and got me another PSP. This one was in better shape, and came complete with a Superman Returns adhesive skin. A handful of paper towels and some Goo-Gone cleaned the likeness of Brandon Routh off my PSP, and I was good to go.
After getting used to the blinding light that is the Nintendo DS screen, I had to bend over and squint to see the PSP’s screen in some of the darker environments of my game when I was playing in the daytime. That was really the only annoying part about the system. Well, that and the fact that you have to dish out more money to buy a memory card if you actually want to save your games. I didn’t realize that fact and inadvertently lost about three hours of playtime the day I bought it. I got a 2 gig memory card for thirty bucks used (new they go for around fifty dollars).
A neat feature that I don’t think I’ll hardly ever use is the built in WiFi and internet browser. Again, you need a memory card to use the internet (you can save images, music, and video to your card for later viewing), and it acts pretty much like a cellphone browser when it comes to viewing websites. After I bought my memory card I went over to a local restaurant and borrowed some wireless internet. I quickly realized that the previous owner of my card had been male, between 13 and 16, and emo. His internet history consisted of porn sites and “emo hair styles for guys”, while his musical tastes included Yellowcard and two other bands I hadn’t heard of. I won’t even get into the videos he had on there. Anyway, none of that’s relevant, it’s just further proof that we’re degenerating as a society.
The PSP game library is what attracted me in the first place. When I heard that a prequel to Final Fantasy VII (FF VII Crisis Core) was coming out for PSP, I got excited. When I found out I could play GTA, MGS, Burnout, and other more console-centric titles on this thing, I got even more excited. I’ll save my Nintendo DS/PSP comparison for another post, but the distinction between the two systems is never more evident then when you look at the game selections. MarioKart and Pokemon on the DS, Madden, Splinter Cell, and Burnout on the PSP.
While I’m still not sure it was the smartest purchase within the bounds of my budget (tsk tsk, I know), I’m having a ton of fun playing it and I’m looking forward to trying out some more games.