The strip isn't exactly accurate - the one-button disarms also rank fairly high on the adjusted Itchy-Scratchy amusement scale - but now you know absolutely everything there is to know. Dead To Rights is a perfect port of a game that has gotten worse with each iteration. Is an excellent translation of a middling original... Good? This is going to keep me up all night.
For all practical purposes, "Middling Product" accurately defines the preponderance of titles released for the Playstation Portable since launch. "Just Okay" could constitute a separate genre if it were not so pervasive throughout the lineup. Not, you know, bad... And they're cool if you have like a friend over, and they have it, but Smartbomb? I don't know why you would let a person bring something like that to your platform. It would be one thing if there was another tier of pricing below the scandalous thirty-nine to forty-nine dollar shelf where these things could deliver an experience somewhat commensurate with their retail price.
The launch was so strong that I'm actually still enjoying those games anytime I take the device anywhere, my precious electronic umbilical when normal life intrudes. Metal Gear Acid is the portable game that refuses to behave like one, offering insane value for the small subset of gamers able to stomp to its beat. At the same time, the launch for the DS had nothing for me - but recent titles have encouraged me to haul its bulk from place to place, stashed in the wide hoodie pocket. I'm happy to see that the DS has finally materialized, but I'm trying to figure out what exactly is going on with the PSP.
Peering into the future, the pronounced summer doldrums for the system look more like an anomaly - but when the biggest thing going on for your hardware is that someone found a way to play games from twenty years ago, it can't be good for morale.
I don't expect that they'll do what I consider to be the "right thing" and get some authorization mechanism going for "homebrew," but I'll tell you what does sound plausible: I think the machine is more than up to the task of indie software development, and situated there in the nineteen dollar range I can see some amazing things happening. It's not hard to imagine a game like Moonbase Commander, electronically delivered and customized for the platform, becoming a genuine word of mouth hit. Popcap has a number of games I'd love to see hit the system in a pack I could take with. I downloaded a game yesterday called "Eets," a succulent combination of Lemmings and The Incredible Machine, whose crisp art and whimsical play could find an excellent home there. Bontago is another great indie game that would wear well the imprimatur. As would Gish. Or Alien Hominid.
I don't think it's weird to suggest that there be a midpoint between major studio development (not to mention major studio prices), and oblivion - particularly for a device that already speaks "Internet." It's also more in line with making the machine a lifestyle totem, like an iPod, rather than a congealed lozenge of brand identity that doesn't know what it wants to be when it grows up.
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