This is the Walkman of the 21st Century.
Hey, NPCs! Welcome to Day 20! The end is in sight!
Today it’s all about Sony. At the risk of sounding like a Nintendo fanboy (which I apparently sometimes do???), let me highlight the significance of the PlayStation Portable: Sony’s PSP was the first ever to put a measurable dent in the success Nintendo saw in the handheld gaming scene since the Game Boy. Not only was it the most powerful piece of teeny hardware at the time but it boasted a variety of capabilities that its competitor the Nintendo DS couldn’t even hope for, which served to render Nintendo as “old hat” once again next to the sleek, black design. Where many would-be rivals had failed, Sony gained some foothold in what was otherwise perceived as a locked market.
Speaking of fanboyism, today features one of my favorite people and an enduring friend. I inevitably hear love ballads play in my mind when I think about him (“Donwanna close my eyes… Donwanna fall asleep…”). It is of course none other than the Black Humor Mage, perennial adept of dark comedy, obscure films, memes, and pointed conversation. He and I go way back, further back than you imagine but not so far back as to be actually ridiculous.
Black Humor is a third of the perfecta trifecta that conjured TWRM into being, so as a founding member he’s been around since the very beginning, off and on. I even tried to prank him by getting people to send him memes for April Fool’s (which failed spectacularly). I guess that just about proves I’m his fan. Well today the Black Humor Mage strikes back. Here are his top 7 games for the PSP I managed to
coerce convince him to share!
-The Well-Red Mage
The PlayStation Portable, which was released in North America in 2005, was the first handheld from PlayStation. It packed a ton of power for a handheld, and at the time its only other real competitor was the Nintendo DS. The PSP’s fidelity outmatched the DS, yet it is important to distinguish that each of these systems had different experiences and games to offer.
The PSP had a myriad of games. In my experience, the PSP was my primary system for quite a while, so I had my fair share of UMD’s. UMD’s were the system-specific discs that were inserted into the back of the PSP. They never quite caught on, yet I can never forget the distinct sound these little discs made. I got my first PSP when I twelve, so this handheld system is nostalgic for me. Sure, I remember the Gameboy Advance and even the Gameboy Color, but the PSP accompanied me to the gates of my teen years, which have clearer memories.
I remember the times I spent traveling in the car with my mom. She drove a lot with me in the car, and many other times I had to go to work with her after school because no one could watch me. The PSP was there to keep me from being bored to tears, and I cannot thank Sony and my mother enough for the time I got to spend with it.
The games I will list as my top seven were hard to pick. Many of the games were spin-offs or counterparts to console games, so you will see a few familiar faces! However, I never got to play Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep or any of the Monster Hunter games on it, so those games will not appear on this list. This list is forged from my experiences with the system, leaning it more towards a personalized list. I do not think these games are the absolute best games on the system; these are games I personally loved the most from the ones I played. So, without further ado…
Not a game everyone remembers, I assume. I loved puzzle games a ton as a kid, and these were puzzles where your life depended on it!! The goal was to save yourself and others out of buildings and into safety. It was pretty difficult for me as a kid, yet I was able to beat it in a few months. It took me a while, as I was not a smart kid. The comic book style made the visuals memorable, even thought it could look a little wonky at times, yet it is still a good game overall.
#6. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Definitely not a game I should have been playing at fourteen years old! Yet, it is a great portable stand-in for the Grand Theft Auto series. Stealing cars, murdering people, just guys being dudes. What’s better than this?
#5. Little Big Planet
I actually did not get a PlayStation 3 until 2012, so I could not enjoy Little Big Planet for years. Yet, this PSP version was great. It felt like the Little Big Planet from the console, with whole new levels and worlds to discover. It was not just a port, it was like a new game. A fun one at that.
I loved the Jak & Daxter series as a kid. 3-D platformers were aplenty, yet the characters and world from these games really stood out to me. So, of course I was going to play Daxter. It is a legitimately good game; the combat made it feel like a hack-and-slash, and the platforming was reminiscent of the Jak games. The dream sequences that were each one big movie reference were a joy to play.
#3. Loco Roco
LOCO ROCO, LOCO ROCO, LOCO ROCO, LOCO ROCO! Yeah, this game is super happy.
#2. Wipeout Pure
This game was way too difficult for me as child. Okay, to be honest, it is still way too difficult for me as an adult. Wipeout Pure was so cool; the flying cars going at high-speeds and the music made it quite the experience. It is the F-Zero of PlayStation games!
#1. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
I may be biased, since Metal Gear Solid is my favorite series, but this game is way too good. It is an essential component to the series, as it bridges Metal Gear Solid 3 and Metal Gear Solid V. The story continues the saga of Big Boss and could go toe-to-toe with the rest of the series. I love the way it told most of its story like a graphic novel and how the gameplay learned a lot from Metal Gear Solid 4 while being refreshing. It introduced mechanics like the fulton system, which would be a major part of Metal Gear Solid V. This is a fully-fledged Metal Gear game, a top-of-line PlayStation game, even with all of its wackiness.
Well, that was my list. What I should have made was a list of all the PSP’s I owned, since I owned three of them. I was not good at taking care of systems, but I wanna give a special shoutout to my mom for replacing the ones I had broken. The PSP will always be special to me, and it showed that Sony was willing to try new things.
The Black Humor Mage collects a dossier on all other mages with contingency plans regarding how to take them down should the need (or whim) ever arise. Each of these plans involve spam-casting Flare. Find this elusive and mysterious founding member of TWRM on Twitter @BlackHumorMage.