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PSP Fanboy interview: Secret Agent Clank's Lesley Mathieson

Way back at GDC weeks ago, we had a chance to chat with Lesley Mathieson from High Impact Games. They're currently working on their second PSP outing, Secret Agent Clank. Read on as we chat about this upcoming PSP exclusive action game.

This is the second PSP game. What has High Impact Games learned from Size Matters?
Well, we learned a lot of things. Obviously, the PSP is a very different platform than the PS2. We learned a lot of things about adapting the game to that platform, making sure the controls work, etc.

Is PSP a platform the team would like to continue with?
The PlayStation Portable is a great platform. We love working with it. At the same time, we're excited about the next generation of hardware as well. We'd be happy to work in any direction, so long as its an exciting and interesting project.

Gallery: Secret Agent Clank

Continue reading PSP Fanboy interview: Secret Agent Clank's Lesley Mathieson

PSP Fanboy interview: David Geudelekian, N+

Continuing our previous chat about N+, the upcoming PSP and DS platformer is David Geudelekian from Atari. As a producer, he helped bring the indie game over to the handheld scene. Find out more in our exclusive interview.

What caught your eye about N? What made it so appealing to bring to the console side?
David Geudelekian:
I had been playing N since 2005, and on top of simply being one of the greatest platform games of all time I had always thought that this would make an excellent portable game! The organization of the gameplay into 5-level episodes make for an excellent translation to portable gaming with each level usually lasting under a minute and each episode just over the two minute mark. The simple but stylish graphics would translate well too, and even the run-and-jump gameplay seems perfectly suited for the often interrupted attention-spans of the average portable gamer.

Gallery: N+

Continue reading PSP Fanboy interview: David Geudelekian, N+

PSP Fanboy interview: Metanet and N+

Metanet's latest game, N+, recently took Xbox Live Arcade by storm. With a pending PSP and DS release, we chatted with the development team about what handheld players can expect from this challenging, community-driven platformer.

The original N was a surprising success. What do you think made it appeal to such a wide audience?
Mare & Raigan: It's very addictive, in part because it's not easy -- the more you play, the more you learn and the better you get, the more you want to keep playing. Hundreds of levels provides a lot of options for players, so that if they get stuck on a specific level they just play a different level rather than giving up. Online replays allow them to show off their talents to the world and be competitive. The simple presentation focuses the player's attention on the gameplay and puts the spotlight on the movement of the ninja. N references old school games like Lode Runner and Jumpman, titles that inspire nostalgia in the older gamers, and the injection of modern physics and collision plus the hilarious ragdoll deaths makes it appeal to younger gamers. N has something for everyone!

Gallery: N+

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PSP Fanboy interview: Wild ARMs XF's Akifumi Kaneko

XSEED's upcoming PSP exclusive Wild Arms game takes the series to a bold new direction. Like the great PSP games of last year, the popular RPG series is getting a taste of strategy. We got a chance to talk to producer (and scenario writer) Akifumi Kaneko about this upcoming SPRG.

Where does the influence for the unique western music come from?
From all the western movies I used to enjoy as a child. I think the idea of something being "cool" is a worldwide concept. I thought combining the musical style from western movies with the style from anime (Japanese cartoons) would create an original Wild ARMs soundtrack that would be considered very "cool" by many people. That is what we strive to achieve with each new game's soundtrack.

Was this game originally created as a strategy-RPG?
It was planned as a strategy RPG from the initial stages. The past few Wild ARMs games had become more action-based but we wanted to add more depth to the battle tactics while creating a new concept in the Wild ARMs series. Another reason was that we wanted a faster paced story element, especially since the story in Wild ARMs XF is constantly changing with many plot twists. If we kept it the same style as previous Wild ARMs games, the pace of the story gets put on hold every time the player gets lost or can't find the next dungeon. We branched off to the strategy RPG genre so that the story can be enjoyed at the speedy pace that it was meant for.

Gallery: Wild Arms XF

Continue reading PSP Fanboy interview: Wild ARMs XF's Akifumi Kaneko

PSP Fanboy mini-interview: Ape Quest

Everyone was surprised by the release of Ape Quest on the PLAYSTATION Store last Thursday. The game received zero publicity before it was sprung upon the PSP community. If you haven't yet, feel free to download a free demo of the game from the Store. A full review will be coming in the next few days.

We chatted with Scott Goryl from SCEA quickly about the game's surprise release.

Why the surprise release? Shouldn't games like Beats and Ape Quest get a bit more attention before being sprung upon the PSP community?
SCEA is excited to bring titles like Beats and Ape Quest to consumers via the PC Store. Even with limited hype before release, consumers are downloading and enjoying these great games for PSP.

The game hasn't come in Japan yet. Will it also be downloadable there, or will it be on UMD?
The current plan is to release it as a download.

Gallery: Ape Quest

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PSP Fanboy interview: Atari Classics Evolved

We recently had a chance to chat with Atari Classics Evolved producer Matt Rush. Atari is bringing yet another compilation of retro games to the handheld, but this time there's a twist. The games are getting a graphical overhaul. But what else is featured in Atari's upcoming retro revival? Read on to find out more.

Atari is well-known for reviving its classic arcade games. Do you think that these icons are still relevant to today's gamers?
Oh absolutely, without a doubt. The games featured in Atari Classics are not just classics, but forerunners to some of the biggest games throughout history. I think that although these games may look simplistic on the surface to some of today's gamers, the core elements found in all of these games will seem instantly familiar because they've had so much influence on the games that followed them, even until now.

Why remake it for the PSP? How has the team taken advantage of what PSP has to offer?
The games featured in Atari Classics were originally designed with limited hardware capabilities way back when, so remaking them for the PSP provides more than enough resources to deliver an entirely new experience. For us, the PSP was the perfect platform for this title because it represents the best of both worlds in terms of what we were trying to do with this game. It has than enough power to provide the enhanced versions of these games with amazing graphics, rich sound and features like peer-to-peer multiplayer. It also provides players the portability to take these games with them wherever they go and play them whenever they want.

Gallery: Atari Classics Evolved

Continue reading PSP Fanboy interview: Atari Classics Evolved

PSP Fanboy interview: Aliens Versus Predator

The upcoming PSP-exclusive Aliens Versus Predator game is based on the upcoming movie, Requiem. We had a chance to chat with Rebellion's Tim Jones, Head of Design, on why they keep on developing for Sony's handheld and what fans of the original PC classics can look forward to in this surprising "sequel," of sorts.

The question on everyone's mind is: why make it a PSP exclusive?
It was ultimately a question of logistics. The opportunity came up to do a tie-in game for the movie which had a fixed release date of Christmas 2007 and it really wasn't possible to develop a game for another platform in the time available -- especially since the game has to be complete and ready to hit the shelves well in advance of the movie release.

Rebellion has been working on a lot of PSP-exclusive projects lately, most notably Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron. What's so appealing about the PSP?
The PSP has a beautifully sharp and colorful screen and an incredible amount of processing power squeezed into such a small piece of mobile hardware. We have had considerable success developing for it at Rebellion and have a great deal of affection for the platform.

Gallery: Alien Vs Predator

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PSP Fanboy mega-interview: Secret Agent Clank

Little is known about the upcoming PSP exclusive Secret Agent Clank, briefly seen at an invite-only pre-Tokyo Game Show cocktail party. With the incredible mystery surrounding this new title, we asked our readers to come up with questions for the High Impact Games team. We're proud to present this PSP Fanboy mega-interview, which reveals the game's story, connectivity with the previous Ratchet games, and plans for a demo. Read on.

How are you going to improve on Size Matters? Are there any improvements on your previous engine or are you building a new one?
Dave Goodrich, Lead Designer:
High Impact Games has taken advantage of the Size Matters engine to give us a strong base to work from for this exciting new adventure. Secret Agent Clank has a different style than Size Matters and has expanded into new game types such as timing and stealth. Along with new gameplay modes, there is an assortment of playable characters, each with their own unique levels.

What kind of multiplayer support will there be? Will it work through Infrastructure?
Dave Goodrich, Lead Designer: Secret Agent Clank is a very story intensive game with lots of unique gameplay elements. We have decided to focus our efforts on the single player game to make a really engrossing experience for the player. There is no multiplayer planned for this installment of the game.

Continue reading PSP Fanboy mega-interview: Secret Agent Clank

Jackass producer answers questions about his own game

In a self-made interview, Aaron Rigby, producer of the upcoming Jackass game, talked about some of the features in this licensed PS2/PSP game. Our initial hands-on impressions of the mini-game collection were surprisingly positive, thanks to the game's great sense of humor, and wonderful video editing feature. Read on for more.

How came the idea of a Jackass game?
The original series was the biggest inspiration. It was just crazy and creative. The way the jackass crew had the show set up gave us the opportunity to draw from a huge amount of stunts.

Is the game based in actual sketches or are they completely new?
Nearly every stunt is original. The risk-factor of the stunts has been pushed higher for the game so, as tough as the guys are, they probably wouldn't survive things like diving off a sky-scraper or rolling down a street in a trash can. We can get away with a lot more peril in the games that would be suicidal with real people.

Gallery: Jackass: The Game

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Joystiq interview confirms Home amibitions for PSP

At E3, we had a chance to talk to SCEA Senior Vice President Philip Rosenberg and John Koller, Senior Marketing Manager of the PSP. We talked to these two Sony executives to find out more about Home, possible PSP integration with Home, the redesign, and more.

When John was asked why PSP integration with Home wasn't on display at Sony's press conference, he noted that "It's absolutely roadmapped. It's certainly on the agenda. I think the point of the cell phone was just to show you can bring other products into play. But the PSP is certainly roadmapped at this point. Like Phil was saying, it's all about bringing together the PlayStation portfolio of products together and using them the right way with Home."

Thankfully, Philip Rosenberg was able to give us a few hints at things to come. "But being able to access leaderboards, or community, or find out which of your friends are in Home, or in-game via hotspot, I think is realistic. As far as timing? I think that there's more to come."

To read the complete interview, visit Joystiq.

PSP Fanboy Theatre: Volume 26

PSP Fanboy offers the latest and greatest movie and game trailers, formatted for the PSP in this new weekly feature. Check it out every Saturday. PSP owners can download files wirelessly via

Instructions: Save all movie and thumbnail files to the VIDEO folder. These high resolution 480x272 videos require firmware 3.30 or above. (Note: OE custom firmware will also play these videos.)

New for PSP: Get selected videos delivered automatically to your PSP via our new RSS feed.

Dynasty Warriors:Gundam [PS3, 360]
Download MP4 (11.5MB) | Download JPG

The following videos are featured after the break: Lair (PS3), Rise of the Argonauts (PS3, 360), Sicko, Interview

Continue reading PSP Fanboy Theatre: Volume 26

Loco Roco's Tsutomu Kouno wants a world united (in games)

You may have missed this one. At the time of writing, less than 20 people have seen this seen this excellent video interview with Loco Roco's Tsutomu Kouno. It's a fairly lengthy feature, clocking in at over 9 minutes. However, it provides some excellent insight into game design. One of the key points Kouno focused on was the international gaming community, and the reluctance of Japanese gamers to try Western games, and vice versa. (Of course, the recent success of Grand Theft Auto in Japan suggests a changing attitude.)

Be warned, though -- the interview can be a little too telling. I mean, did we really need to know his blood type? (Spoiler alert: it's A.)

Download Video for PSP
Access from your PSP internet browser to download.

WipEout Pulse interview reveals vehicle customisation tool

In an interview with, Tony Buckley - Director of WipEout Pulse - laid out some more details for the upcoming PSP game. Discussion includes PSP technical limitations, graphical improvements, the Photo mode and custom soundtracks. Have a read, it's good stuff.

Also mentioned during the interview is a vehicle customisation tool. This will allow players to produce their own skins for their ships, Forza 2 style. While it is unclear as to how exactly this will work, we assume that the actual designing process will take place on a PC, with the edited texture downloaded onto the memory stick for use in the game.

This has never been done before on the PSP and, with the right amount of 'Game 3.0' added, could make for an exciting new dimension in WipEout gaming. Buckley already mentioned his idea for a ship texture contest. Though he might have to come up with a better prize than a date with him, if he wants a decent amount of entries. The only danger with functionality like this is that people will be spending more time designing their vehicles than they will be driving them.

SOCOM developer explains Tactical Strike

Sure, SOCOM: Tactical Strike has some funny (lack of) voice acting. But everything else about the game looks stellar: the graphics, and the revamped gameplay. For SOCOM regulars, the new gameplay may seem a little unfamiliar, but this video interview from IGN will help the confused see how the game is played. With Infrastructure play confirmed, we're going to study this video to make sure we stay on top when the game releases later this year.

Check the video, after the break.

Continue reading SOCOM developer explains Tactical Strike

Station Launcher to bring downloadable movies to PSP


Sony Online Entertainment is responsible for the creation and maintenance of the PLAYSTATION Network and Store. At yesterday's Gamer's Day event, they revealed Station Launcher, a new service that will bring downloadable content to the masses. The plans are quite ambitious, as detailed by Gamasutra's interview with SOE creative director Nathan Pearce. According to the interview, plans for a PSP version of Station Launcher is already in the works. Through it, players will be able do download movies directly to their handhelds.

"We have a version of Launcher where it recognizes when you plug in your PSP into the PC. You can download a movie straight from the internet through the Launcher straight to your PSP without it ever having touched your PC. There is no version on the PC, if you don't want it to be. It can download straight to your destination device like your PSP."

Movies will be formatted for PSP, and will not incur an additional cost. The possibilities of Station Launcher are nearly endless: imagine if PS1 games were made available for download, sans PS3. Unfortunately, because of the huge scope of the project, it will be a very long time until we see it: "It is going to be a pretty big endeavor, so I don't have a release date for it, but it is going to be a good time after summer."

[Thanks, Colin!]

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