games / Columns

The 8 Ball: Top 8 PSP Games

March 7, 2017 | Posted by Marc Morrison

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball. This week I’m here to talk about the best PSP games, because why not? I always enjoyed the PSP, despite some of its problems, and it was a cool little device when it came out. So I wanted to highlight some of my personal favorite games for it. I only picked games that came out in America, despite the PSP having no real region lock, at least when it comes to games. Let’s begin:

#8: Dracula X: Chronicles

Dracula X is on here simply for having portable SOTN in it, and having a slightly updated version to boot. It had better voice work, and allowed you to play as Maria, who plays very different from both Alucard and Richter. It’s still not the definitive version, that is sadly the Saturn one, which is a technical mess, but it’s the best that Americans are ever going to get. I’m not a huge fan of Rondo of Blood, but the remake here is surprisingly good as well, even if it is a hard platformer to be good at.

#7: Pursuit Force

Pursuit Force is a game that really should have come to XBLA or PSN. You’re a member of the Pursuit Force, and you have to stop the criminals that are terrorizing the city. And how do you do that? By jumping from vehicle to vehicle and shooting them in the head. In other words, it’s just like the real world. There are some missions where you have to drive a car or boat certain speeds, or you have to protect various other cars, but it all boils down “jump from a car to a car, and shoot criminals”, and that is cool in my book.

#6: Dissidia Final Fantasy

Dissidia is a weird game, but one I find enjoyable. It’s not great when it tries to be a real game, like with the campaigns, or having to deal with equipment and such. It is great though when it is just dealing with the core fighting mechanics and trying to maneuver around and hit your opponent. Plus, it has a pretty solid roster, with over 20 characters to play as with the main characters from each different FF game making an appearance. I’ll be curious to see if the 2015 Dissidia game ever comes to consoles and see how it would compare to the PSP one.

#5: Patapon

“Pata Pata Pata Pon” is a phrase you will get to know very well in Patapon. While it appears to be a rhythm game (and it is), Patapon also has elements of a strategy game and knowing what sequences to hit in a given situation. It also had a cool art style, a cool soundtrack and was just a neat game to play on the system. The later games were also good but could become a bit too overly complicated later on.

#4: Mega Man Powered Up

Actually, both Mega Man remake games this and Mega Man Maverick Hunter X, are great games, but Powered Up edges out X by its breadth of options and art style. There is a plethora of content in the game, in addition to the original 6 robot masters, there are 2 more to contend with, Time Man and Oil Man. The real hook of the game though is that there are 8 other (actually a few more you could download) playable characters. Yes, you can replay the game as the robot masters themselves, and each has their own personality and unique gameplay hooks. Also, Mega Man becomes a bad guy along with the robot masters, which is cool. It also had a level editor, which is what you want in a Mega Man game finally, and had a very cute and unique art style.

#3: Persona 3 Portable

Persona 3 Portable was a great, technical achievement on the PSP. While the PSP had a ton of great RPG’s over the years, most of them were more bite-sized games to deal with the portable aspect. P3P eschews this and is the full console game experience, just scaled down greatly, in terms of navigation and some production values. However, the essence of Persona 3 is fully intact, and if anything, is the best experience of the game, since you can actually control your party member’s in battle, and letting you play as a girl, which alters the group dynamics in interesting ways.

#2: Lumines

Lumines was the best launch game of the PSP, hands down, and almost made my list of best launch games ever. The only real problem with it, for me, is that I’m not particularly great at it. Lumines features surface-level simplistic gameplay but it belies deeper gameplay, even if the mechanics don’t change. What changes is your skill level and the best way to set up the playfield. It’s a bit like Tetris in that regard. It also has a great look, and great music associated with it, at least on the PSP, that help make Lumines a really unique game, even by today’s standards.

#1: Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7

For all the BS surrounding Final Fantasy 7, the sequel games, the anime things, and even the whole franchise aspect from it, nothing beats Crisis Core, and I include the actual FF7 game in that comparison as well. Crisis Core works because it had a very cool battle system with the DMW (Digital Mind Wave) that was a slot machine that gave out bonuses and special actions in battle, among other things. Those other things being some great characters in Zack, Cissnei and Angeal, superb graphics for the system, and some really good pick-up and go gameplay, by the short combat missions which could be done in 10 minutes, if not less. I know everyone is waiting for the FF7 remake, but I’d happily just take Crisis Core ported over to home consoles and given a HD upgrade.

For comments, list which PSP games were your favorite.

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Top 8 Female Heroes

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The 8 Ball (Games), Marc Morrison