Holy Toledo Batman: New PSP Games

It has been almost six months before we had a wave of PSP titles to talk about. It was barely a trickle between March and September. But the middle of September is finally here, and now starts the second wave of games for Sony's portable Playstation.

You can see that releases are starting to speed up for the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I can finally say that I am looking forward to a few PSP releases. These are the games I am watching.

Two of the 800 pound gorillas of the industry, EA and Rockstar, are set to release their flagship titles for the PSP - finally. Madden NFL 06 is coming at the end of September, with Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories at the end of October.

In between those two is Virtua Tennis World Tour at the beginning of October. I hope to see more from SEGA in the coming months for the PSP, specifically that blue fuzz ball Sonic.

Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play is set to ship in the middle of November. There are other titles coming out of course, but I will have to wait for full reviews on those. These four seem like sure fire hits just from reading the previews.

But I actually have new games that will tide me over until these games ship. Yea I know, "new" and "PSP game" in the same sentence is odd, I am still getting used to the idea.

Last night I picked up Namco Museum Battle Collection and Burnout Legends. Both titles are well worth the cash in my opinion. Reviews to come, but for now a couple words.

Namco Museum Battle Collection: Namco has published a Museum title on nearly every console, home and portable. Most of these releases are mediocre at best. You end up paying $50 for four games, one or two of them being fun. Not so in Battle Collection for the PSP. This might also be a case where the US release will be imported to Japan, as the US version of this game has 10 more games then the Japanese release.

So what do you get? Games included: Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Galaxian, Dig Dug, Dig Dug II, King & Balloon, Rally-X, New Rally-X, Bosconian, Xevious, Mappy, The Tower of Druaga, Dragon Buster, Grobda, Motos, Rolling Thunder, Pac-Man (arrangement), Dig Dug (arrangement), Galaga (arrangement), and last but not least, New Rally-X (arrangement). That is a heck of a lot of games for $39.99.

After a few hours of playing, I am happy with the selection of original titles, and all four of the arranged titles are very fun. I can't wait to get to play these games with a friend. This is the first game I have that uses the Game Sharing feature of the PSP. There is both co-op and vs. play.

Burnout Legends: This is a EA title, so it runs you $49.99. This game is immediately fun from the get go. It also supports Game Sharing. Legends has eight game modes, including Wi-Fi. It is like Ridge Racer in a way, as it incorporates parts of previous titles in the series. I like the selection for EA Trax, 21 songs in total.

So far I have spent the most time in World Tour. But the other modes such as Race, Time Attack, Road Rage, Pursuit and Crash are just as fun.

The graphics are more like Need for Speed Underground Rivals then Ridge Racer. But that's not a bad thing. The feeling of speed is easily apparent. And it is so much fun to crash into other cars and blow stuff up. What more could you want?

I think Sony had a strong set of games for the launch in March. It is a shame that we had to wait six months before more big name releases hit. But people (myself included) will complain about anything. If anything the 'PSP drought of 2005' forced people like me to explore the other capabilities of the PSP. Now that I have a 1 GB Memory Stick, I am using the wonderful screen of the PSP to watch movies on the go - one of my favorite non-gaming features.

These next few months look promising for the PSP. I can't wait.

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