Most games tend to get badly mutilated when they get ported from consoles to handhelds, but Gun Showdown - the PSP version of last year's bloody Western revenge story - looks to be a rare exception. Instead of stripping out features to fit Gun onto the PSP, Showdown actually adds a ton of new features, play modes and even story missions. In fact, the only thing that seems to be missing is gunslinger Colton White's ability to scalp everyone he meets. So long, viscerally satisfying-but-useless feature; we'll miss you.
We recently got a chance to see the game in motion, and so far it looks pretty slick. Like too many PSP games, the camera is controlled with the face buttons, but Showdown gets around the handheld's camera problems by giving players an over-the-shoulder, Resident Evil 4 -style view of the action. It seems to work OK, although we won't know for sure until we try it ourselves.
On the upside, the big, sprawling wilderness of Gun is presented more or less seamlessly, with short pauses for loading at certain points (which may or may not disappear entirely in the final version of the game).
More interesting is what Showdown adds to the party, beginning with horses. Or more specifically, one horse. Real cowboys had friendships with their mounts, and while Colton will probably still be able to steal horses, his new ride Rogue will stick with him throughout the game. All he needs to do is whistle, and Rogue will come running.