Sony requires any game ported to the PSP to have extra content not found in other versions of that same title, but that's not what this post is about. A strange thing has happened to game franchises on the PSP, sometimes their best showing is on the portable. Can a franchise that you loathe be loved on the PSP? Well it has happened to me ...twice already.
Syphon Filter is a gaming series that I just couldn't stand on the Playstation or Playstation 2. I disliked the graphics, animation and gameplay of every version I tried. Even fams of Syphon Filter seemed to hate the last one that came out on PS2. So when a Syphon Filter game was announced on PSP, I was as interested in it as I was about castration. When reviews started to pour out that stating the game was incredible I lost respect for every reviewer that enjoyed it. Then one day while adding games to my Gamefly Q I decided to put Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror on the list. I didn't do it because I expected to enjoy the game, but rather so I could validate my hatred for the franchise.
Continued after the jump...
When the game first arrived I put it into my PSP and tried my hardest to look past the sexy graphics. I was convinced that in just a few moments of play I would throw the UMD in disgust. Strangely, words started flowing out of my mouth like "cool" and "wow". Was it possible? Was I really enjoying a Syphon Filter game? Those questions were easily answered when no other game entered my PSP until I had beat Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror. I not only enjoyed this game from a franchise I hated prior to its PSP incarnation, I finished the entire game and hoped for a sequel. I surely thought this was a once in a lifetime occurrence.... until it happened again.
This time it was with Killzone:Liberation. Now I don't want to enrage Killzone fans, but the PS2 incarnation was billed as a Halo killer and it was far from it. I just couldn't seem to get past the Silent Hill like fog and the controls to even know if the game was fun. I chalked up the Killzone franchise as PR hot air and nothing more. When the demo for the PSP game arrived in my mailbox I gave it a shot in hopes that its 3rd person gameplay would succeed where its first person gameplay failed on the PS2.
Not only was the needless fog missing in Killzone: Liberation, but the controls were well thought out and worked well on the PSP. The game had great graphics, good voice acting and well designed levels. I liked the game so much that I went online to find out more of the story behind the Killzone universe and hoped the upcoming PS3 sequel was even half as good as the PSP outing.
When handheld games are so often treated as shovelware or just toys for children it is even more shocking when you play a portable experience that surpasses that of its console equivalent. It makes me wonder if there are other game franchises out there that I've shunned before that may be a great experience on Sony's handheld.
So what about it readers, any game franchises you disliked before but love the PSP edition?
Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)
1-08-2007 @ 10:34AM
Not that i didn't love the original but i think Armada ( originally for dreamcast) would work out great on the psp.
1-08-2007 @ 10:51AM
Pump it up!- Portable.
I never liked playing Dance Dance Revolution with a gamepad, not on the PS2 and not on the PC(Stepmania). I was just convinced there has to be the special controller to step on. But then I gave Pump it up! for the PSP a chance(I imported it, i'm pretty sure it's not out in my country). And it was like the first time you give someone lumines. The Music, the Videos, the flashing arrows. It's just beautiful.
I played nonstop till I mastered a Level 6 - Song, and it's now one of my favorite games for the psp.
1-08-2007 @ 11:34AM
Marco C Jr said...
Now that I think about it, it has happened to me with Tekken. I didn't
exactly hate the series I just couldn't get into it like I did with
Smash Bros or Street Fighter before Dark Resurrection of course.
I bought Tekken 5 (PS2) way before the PSP incarnation came out
because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Silly I know but
I just couldn't wait any longer. I didn't end up having as much fun I
though I would. Ended up trading it in.
Then came the PSP release of Tekken and reviews came in saying it was
awesome. Of course I bought it and then the game just grew on me with
every passing day I liked it more and more wanting to master my
character. The practice mode did help a lot, was just way better then
the PS2 version, the music was better, the modes, etc.
Now I'm a Tekken Fan because of Dark Resurrection. Could have I liked
the PS2 has much as DR? Maybe but I didn't, that's the difference.
1-08-2007 @ 11:43AM
i personally hope this is true in the reverse as well, like PSP to PS3. (*cough* coded arms....)
i find some games just more fun on the psp because they are portable. i couldn't keep with x-men legends very long on ps2, i expected more depth given the power of the ps2. but on the psp, where it's just about the exact same thing i spent hours on end playing it.
1-08-2007 @ 12:27PM
I actually really liked the original Syphon Filter but hated every other one until the PSP. The PSP version was beyond anything they had done before, well worth the purchase.
I never realized you had to have extra content on the PSP, I haven't sat down and compared my PSP and my PS2 versions of OutRun.
1-08-2007 @ 1:38PM
Lord Rinja said...
When I first played Killzone on the PS2, I didn't pay attention to the phraze "Halo Killer". I just took it for what it was, a fun but glitchy FPS set in a post-apocalyptic world. I liked Killzone game play despite what many thought to be a mediocre game. I really took to the game because the Helgast soldiers reminded me of an anime titled "Jin-Roh and the Wolf Brigade" which was excellent in its own right. So when I heard the news that Killzone: Liberation became a top down tactical shooter, I a little worried and yet curious at the same time. Thanks to you guys, since you posted the demo on your site, I downloaded it less than a week ago. The demo was too short but I was so hooked on the game play, that I had to go out and purchase Killzone: Liberation for myself. Currently, I am still playing Killzone: Liberation. I'm on the third part of chapter 3. The game has been a blast and it's also a real challenge as well. I also found it to be graphically impressive and the sound is second to none from what I have played on the PSP so far. And yes, I'll even admit that Killzone fits better as a top down tactical shooter then it does an FPS. I think Gureilla games should keep this formula for Killzone. Now when the hel are they going to get the infrastructure patch ready for it? I'm dying to play this game online :-)
1-08-2007 @ 3:17PM
I've been thoroughly impressed lately with the games Sony's close knit group of developers have provided us lucky folk. With the death of the third party exclusive looming ever closer, I feel this new sexy future of great first party titles might just be decent enough for me.
I unfortunately had to trade in my copy of Killzone:Liberation (ya gotta do what ya gotta do for a ps3 right...right..?) I beat the single player, but I had been holding off for that talked about update with online multiplayer. Syphon Filter was amazingly addicting online, and I had hoped the same would go for Killzone.
Looks like it might be the only game I've ever had to trade in and repurchase.
1-08-2007 @ 4:55PM
Monster Hunter Freedom comes to mind. I've never actually played the PS2 version(s), but from what I have read the PSP version has alot more. And trust me I loved every moment of the game (thats 150 hours worth of moments).
1-08-2007 @ 6:22PM
How could you not like Killzone!!!? Just messing. I loved the first one, cuz I was waiting for a new FPS series. Then, when Liberation came out on the PSP, I fell for Killzone even more. Now, we'll see if the PS3 game will be the bigges killer-app. for PS3
1-08-2007 @ 8:30PM
"Now I don't want to enrage Killzone fans, but the PS2 incarnation was billed as a Halo killer and it was far from it."
You do NOT need to apologize for this. Killzone is a joke. Everyone I've let play it next to Halo hated it. I bought it out of curiousity, and it was a waste of $12. If you want to fight the same three horribly animated enemies that constantly yell a small handful of phrases for what seems like an eternity, then you'll love PS2 Killzone.
I don't know about Liberation. I've not played it yet. I refuse to spend more than $15 on a PSP game.
1-08-2007 @ 9:15PM
I found the effect in the above article to be opposite for racing games. I play all my racers in manual. Midnight Club 3 Dub Edition took out the option to play in manual. It makes it feel so arcadey. NFS Most Wanted was alright (since it had manual) but the lack of free roam sucked (PC version had free roam. I never played it on consoles though I'm fairly sure they had it too). NFS Carbon: Own The City has free roam but it just doesn't compare to the PC version. The handheld features just didn't do it for me compared to the PC gameplay. Also, a lack of wheel support takes away from realism.
Just an opinion...
1-09-2007 @ 12:00AM
Scary Perry said...
I think Halo stunk. The story was goofy and still is in Halo 2. Video was poor. Audio was really good. Multiplayer made both games.
I'll buy 3 because they might get it right on 360.
Killzone was no HL2 but the story made more sense then Halo (even if it was predictable). The violence was more like GoW - gritty. Multiplayer setup was pretty lame though.
1-09-2007 @ 1:24AM
Excellent original article, Mr. Bailey. I wish I had more time to respond, but I'd like to throw Mega Man Powered Up and Sims 2 (less loading times) into the mix.
1-09-2007 @ 5:08AM
Kade Storm said...
This column validates my own sentiments. I mean, to be honest, I never doubted Killzone Liberation, because I knew that they were doing new things with the concept, rather than compressing a flawed formula onto the PSP.
However, I always had doubts about Syphon Filter. I didn't even enjoy the game on the PSone. However, Dark Mirror was a console-shaping experience for me, because it was the game to turn me from, Pixelator would put it, "Anti-PSP Troll", to a subtle fan of a console that can perform wonders if used right. So yeah: Excellent game, and certainly one that marks the PSP's niche.
1-09-2007 @ 4:24PM
That's because there is *nothing else* out there that is half as decent as syphon filter or killzone. If they were out for ps2 I wouldn't play either of them since ps2 offers so much more. But on PSP they are all we got. Sadly.
1-12-2007 @ 5:18AM
Killzone didn't have fog...
1-16-2007 @ 2:38PM
Okay, I'm new to the PSP but it has quickly become my new best friend in the three weeks I've had it, easily eclipsing my PS2 and even my computer games (except for SWAT 4).
I had played Killzone on the GBA and thought it was okay. I never finished it but planned to. I borrowed the Killzone for the PS2 but still haven't gotten around to popping it in.
But Killzone:Liberation has me hooked. I look forward to playing every day, even if it is just for a few minutes. No need to go back to the GBA one and still not all that inclined to play it on the PS2.
But, being a real Megaman fan, especially Zero on the GBA, I really enjoyed Maverick Hunter and the demo to Megaman Powered Up. As much as I love my Megaman Zero games (1 - 4), I just can't bring myself to playing them anymore.
So for me, Killzone on the PSP made me want to play it.
That's my two cents anyway.
7-01-2007 @ 9:57PM
There is no Killzone for GBA, Sony owns GG....lol