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PSP-3000 screen is berry colorful

Famitsu posted some comparison shots of the new PSP-3000 and the older PSP-2000 series, and this is easily the most interesting one to note. Here, you see how much better images off the new screen hold up in comparison to the old one. Looks like we're going to have to change our PSP nicknaming system:
  • PSP-1000: PSP Phat
  • PSP-2000: PSP Lite PSP Dim
  • PSP-3000: PSP Brite?
Help us brainstorm here, folks.

[Thanks, Zach M.!]

The best PSP game of 2007, according to Famitsu

Famitsu is the leading voice in Japanese gaming. So when they say something is good, we listen. According to their reviews, the best PSP game of last year is a title that hasn't made it outside of Japan ... yet. Minna no Golf Portable 2 (aka Hot Shots Golf) took the prize as the best PSP game of last year. Scoring 37/40, it beat out other contenders like Yuusha no Kuse ni Namaikida (36/40) and Ratchet & Clank (35/40).

We're pretty sure Minna no Golf will find its way stateside in due time. But, how long will it take? It look Sony about half a year to bring the PS3 Minna no Golf 5 over to the US. We're probably going to have to wait just as long for the localized PSP game. Now, will they bring Yuusha no Kuse ni Namaikida over? We're not going to hold our breath.

Dungeon Explorer Famitsu downloadable demo

Christmas is tomorrow. But why wait for a present? Download this Famitsu-flavored edition of this Dungeon Explorer demo.

1. Download the demo zip file.
2. Extract the contents of the zip file.
3. Connect your PSP to your computer using a USB cable.
4. Go to the PSP/GAME folder.
5. Copy NPJG90011 folder into the GAME directory. Make sure there are no sub-directories in this folder.

Check out our demos site:

Famitsu survey reveals: PSP momentum in doubt

Due to the overwhelming success of the PSP, Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu surveyed 68 of its retail partners for their thoughts on the state of the PSP. The survey revealed a number of interesting factoids. For example, Piano Black is the best selling system (17.4%) while Rose Pink is the worst (6.9%). Unsurprisingly, Crisis Core ended up being the top seller of the month, which caught 62.7% of retailers off guard -- they couldn't predict sales would be so strong.

Although Crisis Core sold so well, it was actually the 1seg, retailers report, that inspired the most PSP sales. However, in spite of the system's current success, 43.3% of retailers surveyed do not believe PSP momentum will continue.

The retailers are worried about the lack of big titles coming up for the system. More games like Monster Hunter are (obviously) needed. Some other suggestions included: games that support the 1seg (how would that work?), record functionality for the 1seg, and new colors that look different than DS's offerings. Supposedly, Japan's software lineup on PSP leaves something to be desired as well.

For the complete report, make sure you check out PSPHyper.

Famitsu reveals new Star Ocean details

Interested in some new Star Ocean information? Famitsu has heard your internal cries via its giant Japanese thought catcher and, in response, has released a double page spread of images and text about the game. While most of the info will be familiar to you if you're a fan of the series, there are also a few snippets regarding new additions to the game.

The game will feature a redone introduction, redesigned characters, fully voiced cutscenes as well as an enhanced battle system. Star Ocean seems to be having a complete makeover on the PSP - even moreso than Final Fantasy I and II. We're excited to see a series that has potentially been overlooked in its past incarnations be given such great treatment for its PSP conversion.

Famitsu offers direct-feed shots of Kingdom Hearts

No blurry scans of magazines here, folks. These are crystal-clear direct-feed shots of Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep. And considering the history of Square Enix games, this might be the only screenshots we'll see in quite some time. Enjoy the PS2-quality graphics. See the return of a very familiar HUD. And check out the moody angst, in the way only Square Enix can do it! Check out all the pictures at Famitsu.

[Via Gamespot]

Birth by Sleep adding new gameplay to Kingdom Hearts universe

Perhaps the biggest surprise of Tokyo Game Show was the debut of three new Kingdom Hearts games from Square Enix. Of the three, the PSP title Birth by Sleep looks to most closely resemble the original PS2 games. In a recent issue of Famitsu, character designer and game director Testuya Nomura explained that although Birth by Sleep will play similarly to the original console games, fans should expect new gameplay in this PSP exclusive prequel.

The game has been in development for a long time, but Re: Chain of Memories took much more time than originally anticipated (this is the PS2 remake of the Game Boy Kingdom Hearts game). However, because the story was completed so long ago, the team has had plenty of time to work on the various scenarios in the game. IGN translates: "The game has three scenarios, each told from the perspective of one of the main characters. Yasue joked with the magazine that players may think the game was made by three different teams, as the play style is different for each character due to their varying personalities and abilities."

The character growth system will apparantly "shock" players and will encourage players to link up with others. However, don't expect multiplayer: that's reserved for the DS 358/2 Days. The game will feature brand new Disney worlds as well, such as Sleeping Beauty's Forest. Finally, although the game has been in development longer than either the DS or Mobile Kingdom Hearts games, it'll most likely be the last one to see release: it seems to be easily the most ambitious of the three new games.

Famitsu scores Crisis Core: 35/40

Esteemed Japanese gaming magazine, Famitsu, has scored Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core. The four reviewers gave it a 9, 9, 8 and a 9. Certainly an impressive set of numbers! Final Fantasy fans can sleep easier at night, knowing that this spin-off game isn't as disastrous as Dirge of Cerberus (which scored a low 28/40 from Famitsu). It ain't Final Fantasy XII, but we're still glad the game got reviewed as well as it did.

[Via PSPHyper]

Ape Escape takes over the World Hobby Fair

There's a new Ape Escape game rolling into town (if you happen to live in Japan). In order to promote the new title, Sony sent its crazy simians to take over the World Hobby Fair, where attendees could try out the new game, and other PlayStation titles, like Boku no Natsuyasumi (My Summer Vacation).

To check out all the pictures, check out Famitsu's coverage.

R-Type Tactics revealed in Japanese magazine

R-Type Final wasn't so final afterall. The latest issue of Famitsu reveals a new iteration to the once-dead R-Type series, and like so many other PSP exclusives, this also features Tactics at the end of its title. Unfortunately, due to the abysmal quality of the image, it's hard to decipher much about the game. For example, how tactical is it? Is Irem involved in any way? We'll try to provide you the details as soon as we get them.

[Update: IGN has translated much of the information. "R-Type Tactics looks like a traditional shooting game, right down to the side-scrolling perspective, only instead of freely moving about and blasting enemy ships, you take turns with the enemy, making careful movements over a grid." Because Final was meant to be the last R-Type game, this strategic twist is meant to bring something "new" to the table. Do you approve?]

[Thanks, crithit5000!]

Dissidia's battle system explained

So ... is Final Fantasy Dissidia really like Smash Brothers? IGN wanted to find out. They've translated this week's issue of Famitsu and have come up with a few new details on the Dissidia battle system:
  • Character skills are displayed through a command list on the bottom-left corner. Available options will change based on a variety of factors, such as distance from an opponent.
  • The controls will be "simple enough that even players who aren't into action games will be okay."
  • Destroying the environment is not only fun, it's encouraged: a character's "Brave" meter will go up, which allows for special attacks.
  • Like a true RPG, winning can net players experience points, which can be used to level up.
It sounds more like a very fast-paced menu battle than a real Smash Brothers clone. However, with plans to include characters from as many Final Fantasy titles as possible, this cornucopia of RPG giants will undoubtedly be a blast to play. Stay tuned for more.

[Thanks, sean!]

More Crisis Core and Dissidia scans unearthed

Although the Square Enix Party is over, information about PSP's two exclusive Final Fantasy games, Crisis Core and Dissidia, continues to trickle out. Jeux-France, master of magazine scanning, has posted new images from Japan's leading gaming mag, Famitsu. We could rave about the technical accomplishments of these games -- but we're sure you've already heard enough. Simply click through to Jeux-France to see more on Crisis Core and Dissidia. Do it. Now.

Read - Crisis Core scans
Read - Dissidia scans

Metal Gear Solid wins Best Portable Game award from Famitsu

What? A PSP game that isn't called LocoRoco finally wins an award? Japan's most popular gaming magazine, Famitsu, recently unveiled their Famitsu Awards winners. PSP earned a valuable nod by stealing the "Best Portable Game" award with Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. Kojima's latest adventure certainly earns the award, with some spectacular graphics and a deep single and multiplayer gaming experience.

While PSP fans can celebrate this victory, it should be noted that Final Fantasy XII (PS2) and Pokemon Diamond & Pearl (DS) both won Game of the Year.

[Via Gamasutra]

Ape Escape returns to its platforming roots, sort of

Enough with the mini-game collections, and the kart racing games. The next Ape Escape game for PSP is finally taking the series back to its roots ... sort of. New screenshots from Famitsu reveal new platforming antics for the upcoming game. However, unlike the original, you're not trying to catch these monkeys--you're playing as them! We recommend that you look at the pictures and try to understand the game by yourself. As you can see, machine translations of Japanese websites never work well.

[Via Jeux-France]

Wild Arms XF revealed to be new SRPG

Finally! Concrete details about Wild Arms are slowly coming out of Japan. Gamers have been waiting for even the tiniest morsel of information since the game was first announced last September. New scans from Famitsu, available at Jeux-France, showcase a new look for the game, as it treads into strategy RPG territory. While fans are always welcome a new Wild Arms, some are disappointed the game is straying from its roots. With Jeanne d'Arc and Final Fantasy Tactics also coming on PSP, some are wondering if another high-profile SRPG is really all that necessary on our handheld.

Regardless, the game certainly looks pretty. It appears the title will also have connectivity with Wild Arms 5 on PS2, so true fans of the series will want to pick up both. We hope to unearth more details and screenshots in the coming weeks.

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