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The PSParadox

So, once I wanted a PSP. I was going to get one for sure, seeing as I sure as hell wasn't going to spring for a PS3 at the time (they were like $800). The games looked decent and it was essentially what I had been dreaming about in a handlheld ever since I held a gameboy in my mitts long ago. Huge screen, analog controls and massive storage capacity. Then upon it's release, horror stories about it's battery life and faulty screens gave me pause. $249 for a handheld wasn't anything to sneeze at either, not to mention Sony's dream of crafting a UMD movie empire seemed to the melting in the sun. It just seemed as if there were were all of these red flags, and I decided to hold off.

About this time there were really great games dropping for the DS, New Super Mairo Bros, Lunar Knights, Dawn of Sorrow and Dual Strike. I liked the games, but the system was an ugly brick. THEN the DS Lite arrived and there wasn't anything left for me to bitch about. I snatched one of those up on release day and have been a happy boy, minus some hinge issues that I solved with a summer's day and a magnifying glass. As time went on I kept hearing about the PSP's woes and terrible third party games and sat convinced that I had made the wise choice. Then the first PSP revision came along and people were pleased with the longer battery life and hardware quality. I found myself thinking, "Way to go old chum! You can do it!", cheering on the obvious second place holder in the handheld race. After all I had feelings for the PSP once, and I wasn't a jerk about it. Then something changed.

Monster Hunter Freedom was released in the states. Reports stated that the game was a phenomenon in Japan, the place were all good things seem to come from. Aside from that it was an action RPG that was legendary for it's difficulty and required balanced, thoughtful team-play with other human beings. To say I was intrigued wouldn't really cover it. I am a nut for hard RPGs, Etrian Odyssey, SMT: Nocturne (hard mode) and currently Demon's Souls are all favorites of mine. Reviews were luke warm as they are always for games that don't spit out endless achievements, so I wasn't expecting anything there. I just didn't have the cash to hand over for a new system. That didn't change the fact that I wanted it, and for me that is a most inconvenient state of affairs.

Now time went on and the PSP's star continued it's decline and some games I hadn't noticed fell in alongside MHF and new games I wanted continued to be relased. Breath of Fire 3, Tales of... something, Neverland Card Battles, Jeanne D'Arc, and now Class of Heroes, more Monster Hunter, the Persona Remake and Valkyria Chronicles 2 for the freaking love of god. When does it END? The list is much longer than this in reality, but how in the heck are they getting all these great games for the system? Of course "great" is relative I suppose. Probably... Anyway I am clearly a fan of games from Japan, I am just wired in that way, and US third parties have just about abandoned the PSP, those except the few SCEA commands expressly to slave away in the PSP mines. They have fled the field smelling the stench of smoke and fear generated from sluggish AAA title sellthrough and the total dominance of the DS. All the while dev houses in Japan are insulated from this state of affairs and have continued to pump out the titles people there like.

So now there is a vacuum in the US PSP release schedule. Jocular fellows and all around good guys of the sort that repackage Japanese games for the US market go to their contacts over the Pacific looking for something to fill the void. Not only that but they are getting these titles at cut rates because of all of the softness in the US market. Jack says, "I can't pay that licensing fee! Can you see that the PSP is on the way out over here?" And the Japanese Dev House says, "Oh well, but free money is free money! Right?", and hands over the property at massive discounts. Not that I am against bargains, by all means please. This is just good business. What I don't like is that I actually need a PSP to play these games. Why don't they ever think about us poor gamers???

Now I have still remained abstinent from PSP temptation, mainly because I don't want to get "Dreamcasted" again. Back when I simply HAD to play Last Blade 2 and Garou: Mark of the Wolves I went for the DC to only have Sega pull the rug out from under me 6 months later. Of course Sony is a stubborn old beast, and that probably won't happen. Right? Right?
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About James Andrewsone of us since 11:33 AM on 01.08.2010





I think about games all the damn time, and I hate getting screwed up and sold out by old rich white nerds.

PSN ID:galazero


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