Top 10 PSP Games in my Backlog
Having been playing a lot of Persona 3 Portable lately, Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP) has been on my mind a lot.
I never had a PSP, so I missed out on the system and its library entirely. Now I have several possible ways to experience the PSP titles I missed out on, whether that be on my PSTV by playing games from PlayStation Network, or emulating them on my phone or PC. Personally, I’ve really enjoyed playing Persona 3 Portable on my phone with a Bluetooth controller. The one I have expands and your phone sits in the middle with the buttons on either side, so I like to imagine that the experience is similar to a real PSP.
Enough rambling though, let’s get into the Top 10 PSP Games in my Backlog!
I really am a sucker for games with an isometric art style. PoPoLoCrois is described as having a combat system similar to Final Fantasy Tactics. That alone has me interested, and those are really the only things I know about PoPoLoCrois! Its review scores are pretty average, with a 66 on Metacritic. So it might not be a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but I’d still like to give it a shot.
9. Metal Gear Acid
Apparently, you’re supposed to type the title for this one as METAL GEAR AC!D. Metal Gear Acid is a turn-based collectible card tactical RPG according to its Wikipedia page, and that sounds really unique! Even though I haven’t played any other Metal Gear game, I find myself wanting to try Metal Gear Acid. I may need to do a little research, just to see if knowledge of prior Metal Gear titles is required to enjoy the game’s story.
It’s weird but, when I was writing up this list I thought Metal Gear Acid sounded like one of the most interesting PSP games in my backlog. I thought I was reading out it for the first time, but as I wrote this article I realized I had heard of Metal Gear Acid years ago, probably when it first came out. I remember reading about it in Game Informer, and I thought it sounded cool enough back then that I wished I owned a PSP! It’s interesting that I would become interested in this game, forget about it, and then find my way back to it now, so many years later.
Metal Gear Acid is definitely on my radar, I may give it a try even if I have no hope of understanding the plot!
8. Yggdra Union: We’ll Never Fight Alone
Yggdra Union: We’ll Never Fight Alone was released originally on the Game Boy Advance, and later on the PSP. I believe I read somewhere that the PSP version was better…for some reason? Maybe just for the higher resolution of the PSP screen compared to the GBA.
Anyway, it’s a tactical RPG, and it sounds pretty unique from the brief summaries I’ve read of the in-game systems. There’s a 2D map that you move and position units on, a card system controlling the movement and skills available to a unit, and the “Union” formation system which I know nothing about, but seems like it might be pretty important given that it’s part of the name of the game.
It sounds like there’s a lot going on in Yggdra Union, so I can’t help but be curious to try it all out.
7. Star Ocean: First Departure
I really enjoy the Tales Of series, but I’ve never gotten into Star Ocean, a series that shares roots with Tales Of. Developers who had worked on the first Tales Of game, Tales of Phantasia, left the team and created Star Ocean. As far as I know, both series have similar elements, most notably the real-time battle systems.
Star Ocean: First Departure is a remake of the original Star Ocean game. It includes a number of enhancements, and unlike the original game, it actually saw an official English release! If it feels anything like a Tales Of game, I’m sure I’ll feel right at home when I play this one.
6. Class of Heroes 2
This game is a dungeon-crawler RPG, and as such it has the player explore dungeons with their party members, fighting monsters in turn-based battles along the way. It seems like you have a lot of control in customizing your party, allowing you to pick from almost all of the character classes right from the beginning of the game.
Honestly, I’ve not been into the dungeon-crawler genre much before. It’s a genre I’d like to experience more of though, to figure out if I actually like it or if it’s just not for me. That said, I’m hoping that Class of Heroes 2 is the one to really get me into the genre! I think being able to play it casually on my phone and grind a bit here and there could help.
5. Persona 2: Innocent Sin
Persona 2: Innocent Sin was originally released in Japan on the PlayStation in 1999 . However, the PlayStation version of Innocent Sin never received an English release. It wasn’t until 2011 that the rest of the world got this game, when the PSP remake of Persona 2: Innocent Sin was released in English for the first time. I’m a big fan of Persona 3 onward, but I haven’t played through any of the earlier Persona games. The earlier games are pretty different in a lot of ways. Actually, I’ve played about 4 hours of Persona 2: Innocent Sin’s PSP port on my PlayStation TV, and just from that time alone I can see how huge of a departure from the prior games Persona 3 was.
Though Innocent Sin has since slipped back into my Backlog, in the 4 hours I played I definitely saw the charm in it. I was already becoming interested in the characters, mechanics, and story. The music was pretty good too, what I heard so far didn’t compare to the music of the newer games though. The gameplay just didn’t grab my attention quite like the newer games either, but it was still fun.
I really do want to finish Persona 2: Innocent Sin someday, and then I can play its sequel, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, which was also released on the PlayStation but confusingly did see an English localization right away. It gets weirder though because there’s also a PSP remake of Eternal Punishment, but that version only came out in Japan…!
4. Brave Story: New Traveler
Apparently, this game is loosely based on the world present in the novel “Brave Story,” which later spawned a related manga simply called “Brave Story” as well. I hadn’t heard of either before this, but it’s an interesting note.
Brave Story: New Traveler looks to be a complete JRPG experience on the PSP, which is pretty cool! There’s exploration, some (probably simple) puzzles, characters to meet, and a turn-based battle system. The exploration segments have a camera angle over the 3D world that makes it feel isometric, it reminds me a bit of what I’ve seen of some of the earlier games in the Tales Of series, except in 3D.
3. Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
I’ve heard nothing but praise for Final Fantasy Tactics. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is one of my favorite games, but I’ve never experienced the original that launched the brief series. I’ve heard the story is impressive, especially when compared to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions is a remake of the original PlayStation game for the PSP, with several added features. Adjustments were made for the aspect ratio of the PSP’s screen, and new cutscenes were added. This version also has a new localization compared to the original PlayStation release. I’ve read differing opinions on this, some prefer the original translations while others claim the original had too many issues and the PSP version is superior. Having never played the original, I won’t be able to judge the translation personally. I’m assuming I won’t have an issue with it though, I’m not a very critical person in general.
Honestly, I debated whether this game should be higher on my backlog, possibly in the number 1 spot, but seeing the next two games just left me feeling more excited to play them so I had to push Final Fantasy Tactics down to here.
2. Grand Knights History
A Vanillaware-developed game, Grand Knights History sports the recognizable art style and character designs that Vanillaware is known for. Though it never received an official English release, there’s a fan translation available! Huzzah!
It’s an RPG with turn-based battles, but also seems to employ a small grid during battles and allows you to adjust your character formation. I’m not sure how important positioning on the grid is, but from the brief gameplay I’ve watched, it seems like area-of-effect attacks can be used to attack units if they’re standing on the tiles the attack targets. This seems like it will add a nice little layer on top of what otherwise looks like a pretty standard turn-based system.
The fantasy theme, presentation, and turn-based battle system all look very appealing to me.
1. Jeanne d’Arc
Edit: Finished! You can read my review of it here.
The art of this game intrigues me. I’m also a sucker for isometric games, and Jeanne d’Arc delivers that while also giving me heavy Final Fantasy Tactics Advance vibes, based on what I’ve seen. The turn-based gameplay is also very enticing. Plus, it’s the story of Joan of Arc but with a bunch of fantasy elements, so it seems pretty original! It also seems that a number of characters portrayed in-game were real-world allies of Joan of Arc, so it even has some bits of historical accuracy. Also, it’s a true PSP exclusive. It isn’t a remake or enhanced port or anything like that.
Jeanne d’Arc was also the first PSP game I became interested in. A while back, I was researching PSP exclusive games and learned of Jeanne d’Arc’s existence. Immediately, it looked and sounded intriguing, and it’s been on my PSP backlog ever since!
Other than that, I don’t really know much about this game this game, but having seen a few screenshots of gameplay and read a brief description, it seems when I pick it up I will be treated to strategic grid-based battles with RPG elements, and that’s all I really need to know!