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Not the 1UP Show visits the Star Wars PSP launch

A terrific episode of the Not the 1UP Show chronicles the launch of the Star Wars Battlefront PSP. Obviously, tons of Star Wars nerds came geeked out in their favorite cosplay, trying to get their hands on this limited edition system. We really love the Star Wars-esque presentation of the video, and think it's a great way to end your work week. Enjoy!

Rumor: Kingdom Hearts prequel heading to PSP

We've just landed in Tokyo, getting ready for the Tokyo Game Show. Supposedly, Square Enix will have a few surprises regarding the Kingdom Hearts series tomorrow. The focus will be primarily on the handhelds, and according to 1UP, PSP owners can (hopefully) look forward to a prequel to the original PS2 fan favorite. The next iteration of the franchise, though, will most likely appear on a next-gen console, with PS3 very likely.

Stay tuned -- we're sure to find out the true details soon enough.

Metareview: Crush

It's obvious from our review of Crush, that we think it'll be a worthwhile experience. Does the game press agree with us, or do they think Crush is a bomb? Let's find out!
  • GameSpy (90/100) got certifiably addicted: "With levels that build on each other in terms of complexity (and, thusly, difficulty), the game inspires that kind of 'just one more level' feeling of addiction that may result in you freeing Dan from his insomnia but earning yourself a nasty case in return."
  • 1UP (95/100) loves the originality: "Most games can be described as an amalgam of others, as borrowed game mechanics and thematic elements bounce from game to game within a genre. Crush might have a recognizable aesthetic (think Psychonauts in a dark alley), but it's gameplay is wholly -- and compellingly it's own."
  • EuroGamer (80/100) appreciates the challenge: "There's a genuine sense of achievement and enjoyment when a seemingly impossible level suddenly clicks (or crushes into place, and the confident way the game uses its central conceit as more than just a gimmick is undeniably reassuring and appealing."

If only being correct on game quality was like unhatching an evil plan, we'd laugh maniacally right now. Heck, we'll do it anyway. We were right! MWA HA HA HA HA!

The 1UP Show: Final Fantasy Tactics

Our friends at 1UP have been playing a lot of the new Final Fantasy Tactics remake on PSP. It's fascinating to see what exactly is new about the game, and it's pretty surprising to see the vast number of improvements from the PS1 original. As expected, there are the new cinematics, but there's also a slew of new battles and characters to face. Hopefully, the new localization of the game when it comes to the US will be a marked improvement from the awkward PS1 original. The game will hit American and European markets this October.

God of War: Chains of Olympus fully revealed

God of War: Chains of Olympus. You know you want it, and 1UP has the exclusive.preview. There's six pages of beautiful info on quite possibly the most anticipated PSP game of all time.

"A lot of what we're telling with the later stories is Kratos when he's just really realized he's a puppet of the Gods, really realizing that he's getting screwed over, and [the PSP game will] flesh out when he did have maybe a little bit of faith and when that faith started to crumble a little bit -- when he started to see some cracks in the stories they were telling him," says Chains of Olympus creative director Cory Barlog.

We don't want to spoil the rest, so you're going to have to check out 1UP for the rest. Hopefully, we'll see even more of God of War: Chains of Olympus soon enough.

Metareview: Valhalla Knights

Valhalla Knights looked so promising when it was first previewed so many months ago. Looks like it'll join the ever-growing collection of RPG failures on our system. The critics, for the most part, have bashed XSEED's latest, telling you to stay far, far away from it:
  • 1UP (35/100) likens the experience to torture: "I can't remember the last time I felt so constricted as a gamer. Sure, running around the dungeons and slashing through enemies is enjoyable enough -- and, dare I say it, even fun at times. But as soon as you attempt to play through Valhalla Knights like its an actual game, it completely falls apart. The viselike grip Valhalla Knights holds."
  • G4 (40/100) thinks the game is too old-school for its own good: "This is not a game for the impatient, especially since there's no in-game help system. When it comes to combat tactics or building a party, you have to learn by doing (and probably dying)."
  • IGN (53/100) wanted to like the game, but couldn't: "Valhalla Knights succeeded at impressing me with fun, real-time combat, completely pissing me off with drawn-out quests and eventually driving me away due to the complete lack of anything resembling story progression."
Ouch! Those are some of the harshest reviews we've read in quite some time. Valhalla Knights is now available in stores ... if you dare pick it up!

Lack of second analog makes Monster Hunter better on PSP

People are enamored by Monster Hunter, even with its suspicious lack of online gameplay. Why, you ask? 1UP's Milkman describes his personal Monster Hunter obsession on his personal blog: "I love a game where you try and collect the coolest gear possible. It's why I loved Diablo II, and it's why I played the sh-t out of Phantasy Star Online and Final Fantasy XI."

Considering how Monster Hunter Portable 2 includes content from the never-released-in-America Monster Hunter Dos, Milkman seems overly eager to get his hands on the game. Interestingly, the series has improved on its transition from PS2 to PSP due to the lack of a second analog stick. On the console, attacks were relegated to the right analog, which felt unnatural: "I like the controls a lot better on PSP too, since it dispenses with the analog nonsense and just puts the attacks on the buttons." Do you share Milkman's enthusiasm for the title too?

See tons of new screenshots and artwork from VG Gen.

Tales of the World demands fame

Many Tales fans are excited about Tales of the World. Being able to play with fan-favorite characters from previous iterations of the series is certainly enticing--but, getting them to stay in your party is another challenge in and of itself. 1UP recently previewed the game, and found that the game is a little bit more forgiving than the typical hardcore dungeon-crawl RPG. For example, "you won't lose your loot if you're defeated -- though you may lose your clout within the city."

It appears your fame, and your overall battle quality, will determine your ability to have returning Tales characters join your team permanently. "Most of the time, these 'guest' characters will be available to you for their associated quest, but you can also try to get them to join you permanently. Whether they do or not depends on their overall opinion of you, which is determined by a variety of factors that are so far unclear. We imagine you may not need to do much besides playing skillfully and avoiding death when they're with you on a quest."

If you play like a second-class warrior, you'll end up with second-class partners: generic heroes that must be paid to follow you around. Like in real life, it appears you'll have to earn friendship through charisma ... or money. See a video of the game, after the cut.

Continue reading Tales of the World demands fame

Capcom offers weak excuse for Ad-hoc only play in Monster Hunter

We're all bummed by Monster Hunter Freedom 2's lack of Infrastructure. It's absolutely mind-boggling. Sure, we can use tunneling services to trick the game, but Capcom should have known better. 1UP's Milkman agrees, and constantly brings the issue up in his latest interview with Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto. Capcom's excuse is absolutely terrible: "The reason we went with Ad Hoc wireless play for the PSP version was because the reason for having a PSP is the ability to take it out on the town, or to play with groups of friends while sitting down. Like when you go to the arcade with friends, you go to play with people in the same vicinity -- you don't go to play with people across the country. So we really wanted to focus on having ad hoc multiplayer, so you could sit with a group of friends and talk about strategies. And that's what the real fun part is."

Excuse me? That simply doesn't make sense. Should World of Warcraft be limited to Ad-Hoc play because that's what "the real fun" is? Sorry Capcom, that doesn't cut the mustard. Tsujimoto does offer a concession: "But in the future, it's something we can think about if the fans want something like that and let us know." But we did let you know!

Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes comes to US this summer

Believe it! The popular anime franchise is finally getting a PSP game. Ultimate Ninja Heroes will allow Naruto fans to assemble a team of three characters (out of a roster of 20) to duke it out against another team of three. Pairings must be thought through carefully, as new abilities will be unearthed based on character combinations. An interesting idea, to say the least. According to 1UP, the fighter is supposedly exclusive to the US, with no Japanese release planned at the moment. But, Heroes looks suspiciously like the Japanese PSP Naruto game, so we're going to take that bit with a grain of salt.

Ultimate Ninja Heroes will hit PSP systems this summer. Check out 1UP for more details, and some breathtaking pictures of the game.

1UP explains why Puzzle Quest is so good

Many fans are calling Puzzle Quest one of the best puzzle games to come out in years. The game, which combines RPG and puzzle elements (seriously!), adds a much desired amount of depth to the typically simple Bejeweled gameplay. Watch the latest episode of Not the 1UP Show to see the Ziff Davis editors explain what makes the game so special.

You can also download a PSP-compatible version here. [102MB .zip]

Craaazy Crazy Taxi interview

1UP interviewed Kenji Kanno, the Chief Game Design Manager of the upcoming Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars. Amazingly, the interview doesn't really ask many questions about the PSP game. Instead, it focuses on general industry and Crazy Taxi series questions. When asked about the most important part about the evolution of the series, Kanno answered, "I wouldn't use the word 'evolution' for this series because basically the whole point of the game is to have a lot of fun in a short period of time."

Sounds like the perfect kind of game for a portable!

[Thanks Jonah]

Retailers tell Sony: change PSP, or else

According to 1UP, retailers have been telling Sony to change the PSP, or else they'll stop carrying the machine altogether. Shipments of the system plummeted about 72 percent from the year before, with a meager 10,000 machines shipped to retailers last Fall. (Of course, the system has gained much more momentum at the beginning of this year. Looking at hardware sales, one can see that the PSP is still doing well--just not as well as the DS.)

Retailers have supposedly asked that Sony reduce the price of the PSP, but apparently, there's no plans for a price cut. At the Destination PlayStation event for retailers, Sony announced something else that got retailers excited: what it is is unclear at this point.

The theories have ranged from new system colors, new bundles, to a new system redesign. Hopefully, we'll see more when the PSP's second anniversary comes up on March 24th.

[Thanks, Aaron!]

Sony finally confirms God of War PSP

It was a terribly held secret and after the scans of the back of the instruction manual appeared online, there was little doubt God of War was coming to the PSP. Some gamers still had in the back of their heads that the image was a hoax though. Fear not, now there is no doubt. Sony has confirmed God of War is coming to the PSP. At a God of War launch event last night God of War director Cory Barlog said "It is its own story that connects to the overall story. God of War, God of War 2, and then if all the stars align God of War 3 will be the telling of a trilogy. This PSP story will be a further fleshing out."

Glad it will fit into the overall story and though I had no doubt, it's good to have confirmation it will be an original game.

[ Via 1UP ]

The truth behind David Jaffe's HL

David Jaffe wanted to make gamers cry with his PSP game Heartland. Well when the game was cancelled he accomplished that goal as many gamers faced incredible disappointment at its loss. Just as that wound was starting to heal, 1UP re-opens the wound and pours salt in it by getting details on the game. Of course, no matter how much it hurts, the curiousity factor makes it so we can't ignore the info

David Jaffe cleared the air by saying "Heartland was the story of China invading America. It was a first-person-shooter where you played a soldier debating whether to stay and fight for America or go AWOL to meet up with your family. We were trying to put in a lot of gameplay that would evoke emotion. You had sequences where you'd go into homes and your commanding officer would tell you to shoot innocent Chinese-Americans. It was very dark and was meant to cause players to consider what it's like to live in America and be an American today."

Sounds like it could be a deeply meaningful game, so why did Jaffe step away from the project? "Hearing myself talk about it now makes me a bit sad (that we didn't finish it). But I wasn't incentivized to make it, in a way I could go to my family and say 'You're not going to see me for 90% of the time, but there's a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.' There isn't a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, at least the current way the industry is set up."

Maybe Cory Barlog can continue this project too?.

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