Monday, December 20, 2010

PSP is Still Alive and Kicking

I still have the old fat PSP1000 laying around in my room somewhere, and although I haven't played it recently, I've put a huge number of hours into a handful of games: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, Final Fantasy: Dissidia, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night are probably my most played games for the handheld. I don't think I even purchased a PSP game this year, looks like things will change next year if Square-Enix has anything to say.

Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection

I believe that the Playstation Portable is the perfect system to recreate classic games. I really think it's a shame that the Nintendo DS get all the remastered games, but now that I see what Square-Enix is doing this coming 2011, I'm excited. Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection is a remake of my absolute favorite Final Fantasy of all time, Final Fantasy II on the old SNES. Even though I had a Nintendo before my SNES, and I did play other games, Final Fantasy II was where my love for a good RPG was truly born. I still love the old style of the SNES sprites and I feel that the 16-bitness never holds back those classics.

According to this IGN page, Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection will contain the entire original SNES quest, combined with the download only sequel, After Years. The graphics received a light overhaul, but still retain it's classic and familiar look. Very reminiscent of a couple previously released PSP games, Final Fantasy I and II. Japan will get their hands on the Complete Collection this coming Spring.

Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy

The original Dissidia ate up about 200 hours of my life, or so my save file tells me. Despite all the hours I sunk into this action-fighting-rpg hybrid, I never did get 100% of everything, which would be near impossible to do I think, unless you're insane. I think of myself as pretty hardcore when it comes to the good Square-Enix games, but Dissidia truly went overboard with content and unlockables.

Now with a 2nd Dissidia title on the way, I really have no idea what to expect. According to IGN, Dissidia 012 is a prequel story, filling in the details that lead up to the Cosmos versus Chaos war. The addition of 3D map screens is one of the features I'm most excited to try out. I really liked the board-game style of the first Dissidia, but I ache for an old school 3D map to traverse, even if it is still like a board-game.

Something a little bit strange, but should be familiar to anyone that fully explored the options and items of the original Dissidia, is the RPG mode added for the sequel. In this mode you choose your action from a turn-based menu system and let the AI fight the battles. Very strange indeed, but I am curious to check this out.

We see some interesting gameplay tweaks added, along with new characters Tifa, Kain, Laguna, Vaan, Lightning, and more that are probably not revealed, or that I've momentarily forgotten were already announced. One gameplay addition is the new tag-team option, known as Assist Characters. You can call a second character into battle to join in to create joint attacks.

I'm not entirely sure if we can call this a true sequel, it looks so much more like an expansion to me. Currently though, I would pay full price to get my hands on a new Dissidia game. I just don't want it to feel like the same old Dissidia. There are still a couple characters in the original game that I haven't maxed out yet, adding a handful of new ones in the sequel isn't a big deal to me really. That said, I would love to see Seifer from FFVIII get added to the roster. Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy is due for release in North America in mid-2011.

Monster Hunter Portable 3rd

According to Joystiq, this new Monster Hunter PSP entry has done well for itself. Capcom has announced that Monster Hunter Portable 3rd has become the fastest selling Capcom game, ever. So far it has sold 3 million copies in Japan, and Capcom isn't interested in settling on those impressive numbers. Capcom has said that they plan to keep going with a campaign to get this game into more households. Events such as "amusement installations located in metropolitan areas" and "large-scale promotions designed to maximize user participation" will help to further increase the popularity of the series.