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Sunday, 18 September 2011

PS Polar Explorers

We are on a full time mission here, not just to the north Pole, but to a much more stranger place.  The destinaton, the uncharted regions of PSP Homebrew, oh and a fuller round up of PSP Games we now own.

PSP Games received.

Thanks to the major retailers clearing their decks of PSP games there is quite a lot of bargains to be had relating to PSP Stuff.  There is precious little shovelware to wade through too which is a boon as the games themselves (including Betamax films Sorry UMD Films) will only be limited to  a small shelf at best. 

So far our list of PSP Games are limited to these three beauties.

Half Minute Hero
Valkyria Chronicles 2

Powerstone Capcom
These Two Fokkers came up behind me. (C) S Boardman 1973

A port of the two Dreamcast arena fighters, and to be honest I'm lame at them both.  We played Powerstone 2
on DC back in the day and it was awesome, but for some reason the Powerstone series doesn't get a lot of lovin' by Capcom (A fate it shares with the Breath Of Fire series).   Any of the characters would be a welcome addition to the Marvel VS Capcom register (we personally want Fokker and his biplane in as well as either Fou Lu or Deis from Breath Of Fire), the game is a whole load of fun for the 20 or so minutes I've played of it, however there is a big but and its not game related.  The downside is this, my PSPs Dpad and sticks with some titles act like a man possessed moving around menus uncontrollably and controlling things I don't want controlled, its not game breaking here (Hello Valkyria) but its fucking annoying.

Oh before we forget, you can play the original VMU titles that came with the DC Memory stick as bonus games, you only get Fokkers Flying 'Shmup' at present but its a fun Game and Watch Style distraction.

No Score (what do you expect for 20min we aren't Official PSP Magazine)

Half Minute Hero Marvellous Entertainment/ Rising Star
The Princess Gawd Bless her.

This was Preowned and for what I payed (£6.98) is my PSPick of the three.

Its a top down RPG that plays like an old Megadrive RPG on steriods.  Your premise, to stop a wizard reciting a spell that destroys the world, the downside, you got 30 seconds to stop him.  In fact so crazy is this you'll probably see the end credit screen after 5 minutes.  Its not that its brief, its just that its played at warp speed and the credits roll after the first world is cleared.  You can still buy armour and items to equip or use like a regular RPG but everything is played at breakneck pace.  All the battles are automatic and feature your usual assortment of JRPG weirdos.  All the cutscenes are brief, unanimated, unvoiced and have blocky sprites, if it wasn't for the fact this is a PSP game and played at exteme speed it could easily be done on a Megadrive / PC Engine. 

Bonus modes include Dark Hero 30 (an RTS that we haven't played) and Princess 30 a shmup that we have.  Princess mode is quite odd, a shmup that sees you rescue an item in the 30 second limit and possibly fight a boss all at the same time.   Your face buttons fire in each direction and let you target any enemies from your squad of soldiers.  Oh yes you control your princess as she sits atop a squad of soldiers as they rush through the stage.  Like the others you have 30 seconds to grab the item / person and get back otherwise its game over.  Its manic and proves to be quite a lot of fun, especially the witty script.
We played this sufficiently to give it a 8/10

Valkyria Chronicles 2  Sega

This is the most expensive of the bunch (£15) and suffers the worst from the ghost in my machine, so much so its a lottery just what menu item you get or where on the battlefield you end up.

Its a turn based squad shooter that is a sequel to a PS3 game no one bought and shares a lot in common with Konamis Ring Of Red for the Playstation 2.  It seems to be a weird parallel of World War 2 but this time involving a neutral country caught between what would be the axis and allied forces or game equivalent of such.  We haven't played that much of it but to be honest its not that bad.
If I get my Weird DPad issues fixed I'll add a score here.

So we have a brand spanking Custom firmware and a few emulators for PSP, So far I've got no homebrew or ISOs working only Emulators, it won't even acknowledge it other than say Corrupted file. 

Stuff that I can play.

FCE Ultra port, works well with a few sound hiccups but hammers anything I can throw at it so far.  (No FDS games as yet.)

Final Burn Alpha Port.  At the moment it loads but all the roms I load in do not support it, which is a shame portable SF2 would be nice. 

Finally a glossary of terms. Seeing as these aren't explained either.

OFW= Official Firmware that you get from Sony or from UMD Games.  Won't let you run homebrew.
Latest version is at time of writing 6.60.
CFW= Customised Firmware downloadable from the Internet, will brick your PSP if you install wrongly, needs the correct firmware and a steady hand but can open it up as an emulation powerhouse if you do it right. 
XMB= What your PSP Homescreen is called by dicks mainly.
More when I get them

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