Thursday 29 June 2006
Even above the whirr and click of the UMD drive, you can hear the gears turning. It's the sound of Sony Online Entertainment's machinations moving tirelessly to turn what at first was a relatively impassive dungeon hack into a franchise.
Where Brotherhood of the Blade limply draped a narrative over its satisfyingly proficient mechanics, The Warrior's Code wants to elaborate; it wants you to know its lore; it wants you to flip through its bestiary and know its creature's
Over a year after its release, the PSP is finally packed with enough good games that you should be able to painlessly fill most of your travel time. The lingering problem, though, is finding an engrossing fantasy adventure to pack in that nylon case. Just like last year's edition, The Legend of Heroes II just about gets the job done... with very little panache.
In fact, it gets off to an even slower start than the prior game. The story begins with Jurio and Christina, two spunky teens set on a
Even if you're the most die-hard fan of the Metal Gear Solid series, you're bound to think the plot gets pretty damn screwy at times. It says a lot that the first game - with its cybernetic ninja, mind-reading psychic and walking nuclear tank - may have the most concise and understandable tale of them all. And if you just can't get enough of playing the game, the Metal Gear Solid Digital Graphic Novel recreates every single detail of the plot in an animated comic book bursting with
Monday 12 June 2006
Let's face it, the last Syphon Filter on PS2 was pretty rubbish. From the off it felt like it was trying to ride on 24's popularity wave, what with picture-in-picture cut-scenes and overly-dramatic plot twists.
But now Dark Mirror is here, and it not only reflects the past greatness of this series but sets a benchmark for all action games on PSP. You'll be amazed at how good Gabe and his buddies feel on Sony's handheld. And how bloody violent it is as well.
Some people could watch NASCAR and its purgatorial oval endlessly, but the rest of us demand a little more variety. It may not be quite up to the visual or simulation standards of its console brethren, but Race Driver 2006 is certainly a damn fine portable surrogate.
Fifteen different racing disciplines can be tackled in three main formats. The first is a career mode, through which you're introduced to the world of racing, and your mentor's thick Scottish brogue. Whether you're drifting a
It's tough for nostalgia and great gameplay to co-exist in the same package. Astonishia Story, a very old-school Korean RPG, is the latest to make the attempt, and the latest game to fail utterly. Granted, the nostalgia is largely due to the fact that the game originally appeared on PCs in 1994. But this new translation passes on any updates, with the exception of a comically bad translation.
The hero is Lloyd, a knight who's on escort duty when the empire's super-special holy Cainan Staff is
If youve got an itch that a single, newspaper-bound Sudoku puzzle each day just cant satisfy, then Go! Sudoku is your cure. That or a good, sturdy back-scratcher.
Go! Sudoku is a collection of approximately 1000 different Sudoku puzzles across an array of different difficulty levels, as a competitive or cooperative multiplayer game, or as a single-player time challenge. As a bonus, there are even more puzzles available for download, though the interface to get to them is pretty
For many, the defining moment of Monster Hunter Freedom won't come when you first leave your tiny village to fight dinosaurs in a sweeping, hilly countryside. It won't come when you carve up your first kill for gruesome things you can later use to make other, more gruesome things. It won't even come when you go solo against your first giant, dragon-like wyvern.
More than likely, it'll come when - after dozens of unsuccessful attempts that end with your broken carcass being dragged back to camp
Today, "shooter" refers to a first-person game that puts you directly into the action, usually with some kind of elaborate set of firearms. But many years ago, the term was synonymous with side-scrolling shoot 'em ups that plopped your lonely space ship into an endless armada of hostile alien craft - Gradius Collection compiles five of this genre's toughest, hardiest games onto one disc, ready to remind us all how unforgiving these games can be.
Yes, there are five games in this compilation,
NBA Ballers: Rebound represents things we love and hate about the PSP catalogue. On one hand, it's a thin repackaging of the original PS2 NBA Ballers title, with little more than updated rosters to distinguish it. On the other hand, it's a super-playable port. These short 1-on-1 roundball competitions are almost more suited for a portable system. If the PSP hardware didn't lead to fewer control options, Rebound would be a slam