An update regarding the PSP, Sony's handheld version of the Sega Saturn (of course not, but that is how its ended up). We have a few new games to review and poke over we're not sure what we reviewed last time but a kick up the archives will tell us. We also have new Custom Firmware added so all the analogue stick problems have been abolished. We use Godman Firmware, and XMB Center which is pretty neat and though you may have your own favourite firmware to use.
Review wise we'll start off with:
Castlevania: The Dracula X chronicles.
A 2.5D remake of Chi No Rondo for the PC Engine CD and a few unlockables such as the original PC Engine game and Castlevania Symphony of the night. Rondo of Blood is something you'll be playing a lot of, its the default game and as such its probably the most unfamiliar of the lot. Its a fairly straightforward pre Metroidvania Platformer, think Super Castlevania with bells on and a few branching paths, taking the merman path on stage 2 will net you Maria if you grab the key as well, and somewhere in stage 3 will unlock Symphony of the night. Its also old school hard, you'll need your wits about you as your energy will be depleted in no time flat.
Symphony of the night is the least messed with, it has the intro changed, no longer will Dracula say "miserable little pile of secrets" or "HEWmans wish to pay me Tribute". From the cursory glance, its not bad, though we totally beat it back in the day.
Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth.
This is one of my favouite games of all time, I ended up spending £50 on this back around 2000, (we originally came across it as a pirate and when we found it for sale we just had to get it officially). The PSP version cost me £6, preowned, and is for all intents and purposes the same as the PS1 original, except the anime cut scenes are now fully rendered in 3D. I kinda miss the artwork and that, but they kept the voices intact, so you get Megan Hollingshead as the lovely lady Valkyrie, and Veronica Taylor as Freya and the Ash Ketchumish Fuyuki the Fisherboy ;0).
Its a non standardish RPG, you get a set amount of time to explore and collect the souls of the slain, there are a few dungeons to explore and bosses to encounter, but it plays more like a platformer with Lenneths ability to shoot ice crystals and jump. Combat is realised through turn based beat em up action, you can chain a few combos and block and counter. Its pretty good with for once a strong female lead and a nicely written script. If you find it for sale then please get it.