Gadling's resident pilot explains what life in the cockpit is like
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Hands-on: Buzz! Master Quiz

It's a rather difficult challenge to write hands-on impressions for a game like Buzz! Master Quiz. Sitting all lonesome on a table at Sony's E3 booth, it went by unnoticed by many that simply passed it by. Perhaps the lack of enthusiasm comes from this simple fact: Buzz! Master Quiz can be summed up rather succinctly -- a portable version of the popular quiz franchise, Buzz!

Progression through the game is rather simple. Simply partake in a variety of themed challenges. Perform well on one, and you'll earn a medal which can help unlock other challenges. Considering the quiz select screen fits on one menu, we're a bit concerned that the amount of content on the disc will be on the light side. With thousands of questions programmed in, we're certain these concerns are unwarranted.

Buzz! Master Quiz doesn't need to push the PSP hardware in any way, and that's exactly what we're getting with this simple, easy to look at game. At the very least, the presentation appears to have all the trimmings of its PS2 brethren.

Gallery: Buzz!

Continue reading Hands-on: Buzz! Master Quiz

Confirmed: Resistance Retribution is awesome

PSP may not have had an overwhelming amount of surprises at E3 this year, but one announcement can make up for an otherwise tame conference. Resistance Retribution is on its way to becoming one of the best games on PSP, bar none.

Simply listing all of Resistance's features doesn't convey the simple fact that Resistance Retribution is a lot of fun. Being able to switch to an auto-target and manual aiming mode on the fly is what really makes Resistance as playable as it is. It may seem strange at first, but pressing the Left button on the D-Pad to toggle between manual and auto aim comes rather easily. The proximity of the Left button in relation to the L shoulder button makes it an intuitive change. We were able to take cover, pop out and take out a few enemies, and then aim at a few snipers afar without struggling at all. Once again, Bend has crafted a control scheme that takes PSP's limitations into consideration.

Gallery: Resistance Retribution

Continue reading Confirmed: Resistance Retribution is awesome

Hands-on: Super Stardust Portable

What is Super Stardust Portable? Well, it's exactly what it sounds like. It's a PSP version of Super Stardust HD, ready to play anywhere you go. The PSN download-exclusive title is making the big jump from PS3 to PSP, and Housemarque (developers of the original SSHD) have succeeded in creating an authentic Stardust experience for the handheld.

There are obviously going to be two big questions on everyone's mind regarding SSHD. Firstly, the controls. PSP may not have a second analog stick, so how will this work? Well, you simply use the face buttons to shoot in the direction you'd like. It may take a little while to get accostmed to, but SSHD vets will be boosting, bombing and shooting in no time. (ProTip: To do a circular attack with the Gold Melter, press all the face buttons at once.) Secondly, the graphics. While the visuals are obviously toned down from the PS3, the PSP version is able to render a surprising amount of enemies on screen while maintaining a silky smooth framerate. It may not be PSP's best looking game, but for a quick pick-up-and-play title, SSP offers more than enough detail.

Gallery: Super Stardust Portable

Continue reading Hands-on: Super Stardust Portable

Valhalla Knights 2: more of the same

It's difficult to truly grasp the feel of an RPG in an environment like E3. There's just too much hustle and bustle, and there simply isn't enough time to get into the game. Perhaps we need more time with Valhalla Knights 2, but in our brief time with the title, it really felt like "more of the same." For RPG-starved PSP fans, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, the dated visuals and presentation certainly don't inspire.

There is some hope, though. The trailer shows that there is an experienced staff working on this sequel. The original story is written by the scenario writer of Final Fantasy XII, Miwa Shoda. There's also new classes, monsters and co-operative play over Ad-Hoc. There are a lot of features to highlight -- but will that be enough to stand out in a library of other PSP RPGs?

Gallery: Valhalla Knights 2

Gran Turismo PSP still 'actively in development'

Gran Turismo for PSP is one of the greatest jokes of the console's history. Ironically, a Duke Nukem game will actually release on our system before this much-touted title ever finds way. It's one of the few titles announced before the PSP's launch that still hasn't come out yet. Ouch.

In an interview with Joystiq, Polyphony Digital boss Kazunori Yamauchi explained that the PSP version of Gran Turismo is still "actively in development" and reiterated that the title would not be completed until Gran Turismo 5 (PS3). Of course, considering GT5 won't release until 2010, PSP owners can still make jokes about this vapourous title for at least two more years.

Shuhei Yoshida: PSN expansion to PSP is planned

Joystiq and PS Fanboy interviewed Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida about a number of hot topics earlier this week. However, one of the big talking points had to be the expansion of the PLAYSTATION Network beyond the PS3. Currently, home console owners can sign in using a single PSN ID, and can access a Friends list, send messages to friends, and play games together online.

During the E3 keynote, Sony briefly noted that they wanted to expand the PSN's "universal ID," and we asked Yoshida if that expansion could hit the PSP. We asked if using the same PSN ID from the PS3 can access a universal Friends list on the PSP. His response? "That's the plan."

Already, implementing the PLAYSTATION Store directly on the PSP is in the works. It won't be too long before we see even more features of the PS3 popping up on the PSP: Friends lists, messaging and who knows what else ... trophies, perhaps? Stay tuned in the coming days for the full itnerview.

PS Fanboy Caption Competition: E3 Edition

We'll have the full gallery from PlayStation Blog's meetup soon, but thought you might like to play a little game before then. In the picture above you can see the winner of the Hot Shots Golf Open Tee 2 competition at the event, which netted him a Metal Gear Solid 4 Gunmetal Grey PS3. You can also see Jeff Rubenstein, of the PlayStation Blog, but what's he saying?

You tell us! There's no prize for this "competition." Just post as many comments below with your hilarious captions for this image above for a chance to win our ultimate love and respect.

Star Ocean's first English screenshots depart

So we posted a trailer for Star Ocean: First Departure the other day, and today we have the very first screenshots of the English version of the game. It's not a huge gallery brimming to the top with screenies, but it's better than nothing. We've got four pics: two showing off that nice widescreen format in battle and the other two are from the fully-voiced anime cut scenes.

Gallery: Star Ocean: The First Departure

Sony CEO blames piracy for low software sales

Jack Tretton spoke with us at a blogger's roundtable earlier today. When questioned about why software sales are so sluggish in comparison to the stellar hardware sales, Tretton noted that there were three big reasons: 1 - The multimedia features of the PSP may encourage users to play less games, watch more movies and listen to music. 2 - Gamers don't want water-downed PS2 ports; they want original games. 3 - Piracy.

Tretton told us that "we have been able to track with releases like God of War that hundreds of thousands of units in potential sales are walking out the door through piracy on day one. We knew exactly that only a few months ago. Unforutnately, there isn't much to do for pirates that are already getting their way. Millions of systems are already out there .. but there are "remedies" coming down the line. Perhaps a growing library of DRM-enabled downloadable titles will help Sony's cause. But for now, the situation looks rather bleak.

Sony E3 press conference bingo results are in

It's a shame that we didn't get bingo. We were so close, too. If only the PSP had trophies, then we would've been set to win. Alas, it didn't happen. We guessed wrong on the new SKU; it turns out that there's a new 80GB SKU at $400. We were also looking forward to a new PS3 controller or maybe some new PSP colors, but those things didn't happen. Anyway, we did all right with nine out of 25. Really, that's not too bad. Check out the results for Microsoft and Nintendo. Who do you think did best?

This is Super Stardust Portable in video

Here's a pretty but very short video on Super Stardust Portable. We assume Sony wanted to keep it short and sweet. We'll follow the tradition and keep it short, too. If you're a fan of Super Stardust HD, then you'll want to check this out. Don't know the series and don't have a PS3? Then be sure to take this time to scout things out.

Resistance Retribution: the full details (and trailer)

Click for high-resolution image.

Yesterday, Sony surprised PSP fans by announcing a brand new PSP-exclusive expansion of the Resistance franchise. Very little was known about the game from its initial debut: all we knew was that it came to us via Sony Bend, the incredible studio that brought us last year's PSP Game of the Year, Syphon Filter. The engine that they developed for that third-person action title was stellar, but from the early looks of Resistance, the team at Bend has just begun flexing their PSP muscles.

Unlike Resistance on PS3, the upcoming PSP titles will play from a third person perspecitve, just like the Syphon Filter franchise on PSP. The story takes place in between Resistance and Resistance 2. Set in the weeks after Fall of Man, Retribution follows the story of former British Marine James Grayson. He is forced to kill his own brother inside a Chimeran conversion center, and thus inspires his bloodlust to destroy every conversion center he can find. Unfortunately, the Chimera have figured out a new way to convert humans ... and he must join the Mquis, the European resistance, in their fight against the deadly Chimera army.

Gallery: Resistance Retribution

Continue reading Resistance Retribution: the full details (and trailer)

We give PS Store's new video service a go: PC-to-PSP

It's an endearing feature to have, knowing you could have tons of movies and television shows at your finger tips. There's no need to go to the local video store (seriously, who does this anymore?) or even wait on those movies to arrive from mail-based rentals. However, we still have many questions regarding this new content for the PS Store.

We wonder if the PS Store is really ready to handle this kind of transaction and will it be easy to use? To help answer these questions, we gave the new video service a try and have presented a mini-walkthrough that'll hopefully give some insight into getting started with the new service.

So get started with the video service for PC Store to PSP right here!

Star Ocean trailer reminds us NA release in October

This trailer for Star Ocean: First Departure, a remake of the original PSOne SNES classic RPG, mostly shows off the all new anime cut scenes that have been added. The voiceovers are still in their original Japanese during this trailer, but the provision of subtitles makes sure you're not left scratching your head as to what's going on.

The game was launched back in December of last year in Japan, and has only recently been announced for North America. Specifically, the game will come out in North America on October 21 of this year.

New Patapon 2 screens are ready for war

Patapon 2 was the other game we called out before it was ever first revealed. E3 was kind enough to give us one more look at this highly desired game. View the new screens in our gallery below.

Gallery: Patapon 2

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