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Preview: NBA 09 The Inside


Glenn from the PS Nation podcast, the official podcast of PS Fanboy, took some time to play NBA 09: The Inside for PSP. Here's his impressions of the upcoming game.

I'll be the first to admit I really haven't paid attention to the NBA for a couple of years. I still root for my Milwaukee Bucks, and even still use them in video games, but I rarely watch them play any more. Lately, if I'm playing a basketball game, it sits firmly in the "arcadey" category. I even own a full-sized NBA Maximum Hangtime arcade cabinet.

When I opened the small package that I received from Sony, and realized that this was the first pre-release game that they sent to us here at the PS Nation Podcast, I was shocked and excited. I may not spend an insane amount of time on Basketball games like I do for other titles, but I do play them. There's a lot to cover here, but I'll tell you this--what I've seen and played so far is surprisingly good!

Gallery: NBA 09: The Inside (PSP)

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Ask PSP Fanboy: Volume 38

It's the end of the week, which calls for a new volume of Ask PSP Fanboy! Each week we'll collect your questions, and each weekend a new volume of Ask PSP Fanboy will appear on the front page. If you've got a question, send an email to justin.eaton @ weblogsinc .com with the subject "Ask PSP Fanboy."



Q. I work for a well-known store and everybody wants to know, what is the new PSP like? Does it play the same games? Does it have it's own memory card or a built-in one?
A. The PSP Brite (PSP-3000) will be very similar in physical appearance and size, with some notable differences including a brighter, glare-resistant LCD screen, and a built-in microphone. It will still play your UMD games, and depending on the pack you purchase, may come with a 1GB or 4GB memory stick.

Q. Will the PSP-3000 have support for Dualshock 3 controllers?
A. Sony has not released any information regarding Dualshock compatibility with the PSP-3000, however we did discover this patent a while back, so it's certainly a [future] possibility.

Q. Hey, I have a PSP-2000 and I don't have a HDTV. I was wondering if I could buy a Component AV cable and have it work for a normal TV until I get an HD one? I know it can't show games but does it still have the right plug-ins for a normal TV?
A. As long as your TV supports the proper inputs (in this case, component), you shouldn't have trouble with video output. Chances are, if you don't have a HDTV, you don't have component inputs.

Continue reading Ask PSP Fanboy: Volume 38

Ask PSP Fanboy: Volume 37

It's the end of the week, which calls for a new volume of Ask PSP Fanboy! Each week we'll collect your questions, and each weekend a new volume of Ask PSP Fanboy will appear on the front page. If you've got a question, send an email to justin.eaton @ weblogsinc .com with the subject "Ask PSP Fanboy."

Q: Do you know if, when connected to a standard definition TV (like an old Trinitron, to keep it in the family), will games still show up within a black letterbox frame? You know, on all four sides, not just top and bottom. I think standard def TV is 640x480, so that would mean the PSP's 480x272 resolution wouldn't fill it up, but a guy can dream can't he?
A: Unfortunately, you will see those letterbox bars when playing through a TV that does not support the local resolution. There are some video settings you can play around with on your PSP, but generally the black bars will be present. Sorry!

Q: Is there a way to download items from the PLAYSTATION Store over again?
A: Once you've logged into the PC PLAYSTATION Store, you should see a link in the top-right corner that will allow you to "View downloads." From there you'll have access to any content you've already downloaded, and can therefore re-download anything lost.

Q: How can I quickly turn off the PSPs screen, without shutting the whole thing off?
A: While you can simply flick the power button up to put your unit to sleep, I believe you're looking to keep the handheld running, which can best be done by holding down the video button. It's the same button you'd use to adjust your brightness, near the "start" and "select" buttons. Additionally, holding down the music button will mute your PSP.

Continue reading Ask PSP Fanboy: Volume 37

Sony, here are five things you can do to make PSP better


PSP news is sounding rather bleak lately -- but why should it stay this way? Hey Sony, here's five things we think you can do to make the system better for you and better for us. With these steps, we think you'll reduce piracy, increase the amount of games and features we want, and make PSP a better, more lovable place for developers. Best of all: none of these features require a hardware reboot. Imagine, a world where PSPs of all creeds, from 1000 to 3000 can access the same benefits. We believe it can happen.

PSP Fanboy review: N+


Beneath its simple exterior lies a cruel, sadistic gaming beast. N+ is known for its brutally simple, addictive, ninja-inspired platforming. The goal of the game is ridiculously simple: get to the exit. However, each level in this challenging title will test your nerve and will push you to that strange land where frustration and euphoria meet.

There are a number of obstacles that can get in your way -- all of them deadly. Whether it be explosive mines, homing missiles, or heat-seaking lasers, death lurks in almost every inch of N+. The combination of clever level designs and obstacle placements make each level like a puzzle: players must think of interesting ways to get to the goal. Players will be able to perform incredible feats of acrobatics, bouncing off walls, racing past rockets, and jumping past deadly lasers. Players must learn how momentum works, as many of the levels require pixel-perfect jumps.

Gallery: N+

Continue reading PSP Fanboy review: N+

PSP Fanboy hands-on: Pipemania

Laying down pipes is a tough job. It's not only for overweight guys with a problem keeping their butt cracks covered up, it's a job for puzzle lovers and thinkers, too. Don't agree? Well, if so, that's because you haven't played Pipemania yet. We've put in some time with the pipe-centric puzzler, playing up the DS version which, while having a different interface than the PSP, will have the exact same core gameplay and game modes.

The main objective of the game is to build pipes and keep fluid called "Flooze" from flooding the game grid. There are two designated squares which will represent 1) the beginning where the Flooze will flow from, and 2) the end where the Flooze needs to be brought to. To bridge these two points together, you'll have to make good use of a prearranged line of differently shaped pipe pieces. You'll only be able to use pipes in a fixed sequential order; however, you'll be able to view the next few pieces in line to plan ahead. This sort of preset arrangement maintains a consistent difficulty, providing balance to the progressive difficulty of the game as more gameplay elements and stricter time pressure appear.

Gallery: Pipemania

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Top 20 PSP games for under $20


Love your PSP but you are on a tight budget? Worry not, for we have compiled a selection of twenty PSP games that will satisfy your hunger for quality gaming without breaking the bank. Seven of them are under $10 and five of them are between $10 and $15. We've listed our recommendations along with its lowest price from a reputable retailer. ProTip: If you shop from GameStop, use coupon code CAG16 and SAVER to get 16% off the used game price and free shipping. [Via CAG]

Check it out here.

PSP Fanboy hands-on: Yggdra Union


Wow, Yggdra Union is tough. That's probably the first thing you'll say after getting through a few matches of Atlus' upcoming PSP SRPG. It'll take a few battles to wrap your head around the unique mechanics of the card game, and although the game does an excellent job of holding your hand, don't expect an easy romp, even in the second battle in the game.

Yggdra Union is a tactical card RPG that will test your tactical capabilities through and through -- there's no grinding here to be found. Battles are typically multi-tiered: just when you think you're done with a level, a new set of increasingly difficult reinforcements appear. However, because your character's morale (essentially, their HP) carries over from battle to battle, across every level, each battle is decisive. If you make too many mistakes with one character, you'll notice that they'll be at a serious disadvantage in upcoming battles. And don't think about grinding to level up your characters: you can't. The story moves at such a brisk pace that your success depends solely on your ability to choose the right cards, and decide exactly how to move your characters through the map.

The basics of battle are easy to explain, but the full ramifications won't truly make sense until you get the game in your hands. Before each conflict, players can choose a certain number of cards. Cards will grant players special abilities, but also have important stats like number of spaces players can move, card strength and weapon affinity. Quite possibly the most important thing to pay attention to is the weapon affinity: certain weapons are stronger than others, and these will be one of the primary factors of a battle's success. For example, swords are stronger than axes, but axes are stronger than spears. Spears, on the other hand, are stronger than swords. This circle gets more complicated with the introduction of magic users and archers.

Gallery: Yggdra Union

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Oh look, we're unboxing the new blue PSP

Hey, did you know? Those new blue slims are now out in the wild. We had previously said we were going to pick one up and that's exactly what we did. In fact, we've already opened up the box, scoped out all the goodies, and started playing with our new toy. Want to see what's inside the box with us? Then check out our unboxing gallery by clicking on the link below.

Click here to head over to our unboxing gallery!

PSP Fanboy review: Space Invaders Extreme



Ushering in the 30th anniversary of a true gaming classic, Space Invaders Extreme is set to rekindle respect for all things retro. With all new add-ons and the obligatory face lift expected of a modern day remake, Space Invaders Extreme takes good old-fashioned fun and transforms it in a refreshingly new spin of things without destroying the original formula. Is it the same game you've grown to love over the years? Yes, yes it is; however, it's so much more than that, too.

Gallery: Space Invaders Extreme



Continue reading PSP Fanboy review: Space Invaders Extreme

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

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!

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