Review by CyborgSage00x0
"PSP is finally Stateside! But is IT worth getting??"
The PSP.....Sony's first ever shot at the portapal world. From critical glee and dissapointment everywhere, it seems like this new portalble is making waves everywhere. From CNN reports, to Xzibit playing with Sony's new beast, even people who live in caves have heard of it. But, now that the US PSP is out, there is that quetion for people holding their well earned $250: Is it worth getting? Read this review for guidence, but ultimatly, it will be for you to decide.
GRAPHICS: THE PSP'S BREAD AND BUTTER: 10/10
Wow....this was the first impression I had when I first saw a PSP(I had a Japanese one before getting the US version...traded my Jap. version because of complications). The LCD screen is a simply beautiful wonder to behold, expessially on a handheld. The graphics are the PSP strongest asset, and has been a huge attraction for pattential buyers. I mean, there really are nice: crisp clean. Just playing Ridge Racer is a sight to behold. You can see light reflections off of your car when going through tunnels, excellent spark effects when you bang into things....and this is just Ridge Racer. The graphics aren't as good as PS2 graphics(visuals of the same game models side by side confirm this), but when they are this nice, who cares? If you really enjoy games with good visuals, you will be owned by the graphic power of the PSP.
SOUND: MUSIC TO YOUR EARS : 10/10.
The sterio sound of the PSP....amazing. I really, really enjoy the sound this baby pumps out. I mean, you will wonder why other portapals don't sound this good. Really, what more can be said? You have to listen to believe, and this combined with the PSP's graphics will wow you like no other.
The MP3 music sound nice also. It certainly is quality, and you WILL enjoy your listening expierence.
HARDWARE/GADGETS: A GOOD START, BUT NO FINISH : 6/10
Now, the PSP's main attraction apart from the graphics is it's multimedia purpose. The PSP can play music, play movies(UMD format), and oh, so much more. So why did it reciece a low score? Well, to use the saying that has been going around, the PSP is a jack of all trades, but sadly, a master of none.
First, music. If you where expecting a mind blowing MP3/iTunes/whatever expierence, you can have it...for a price. I believe the PSP come with ONLY 32MB of space. This can hold about 20 songs, maybe. I got 22. Now, if you are going to invest your money in the PSP, you are most likely going to want to use it for the music expience, right? Well, either be dissapointed or preparred to pay. You CAN upgrade you expense with memory cards, but the lowest 3rd party cost for a 128MB one is $59.99. And thats for games and music. So you see, your better of sticking with your Ipod or Cd player, because the cost you will pay to get your PSP just up to, lets say, an Ipod shuffle capacity will be astronomical. Sure, you say, I don't even need more than 40 songs. Then the PSP probally isen't for you.
The PSP also has a wonderful new ability: UMD movies. I've played SpiderMan2. The quallity picture and sound are very nice. And it looks like the PSP will have a nice selection of movies in the near future. I really, REALLY want to veiw Advent Children. It's coming to PSP before theaters, so thats a major plus.
But, for every pro., there is usually a con.
The selection right now for UMD movies are poor. Wait a while, and you will be rewarded with House of the Flying Daggers, XXX, etc. But for the impatiente, you will be frusterated. Also, the movies are kinda steep in price, anywhere from $20-40 per movie. I already have a portable DVD player, so I probally won't be buying any movies for the PSP, minus Advent Children. Plus, I really don't see this fad. of UMD movies on small screens taking off, but thats just me. For the most part, this is because movie viewing could be a problem with battery life, which I will get to next.
I also hate using memory cards for a portable, and is kinda annoying. But, you must do what you must.
BATTERY LIFE: BELOW NORM. : 7/10
I have heard the most outrages claims of the PSP batteries life: reports of people of saying they only got less than an hour of game play, to outragous claims of 10+ hours. None of these are true, but the batt. life for the PSP is really below par. I got mine up to 51/2 hours straight with RR. Sony officailly has annouced 2-4 hours of battery life on average, with more if the screen brightness and volume turned down. This really is a downer. NEVER has a portables battery life been below 8 hours before the PSP. You know the MP3 ability and UMD movie drive I mentioned a while ago, how it probally won't get a ton of use? This is the cause of the less than good batt. life for the PSP. Now, you will hear the common argument: "I don't play that long anyway/who honastly does that. Well, there just might be someone out there who wants to play their PSP for a while, if they are on a plane ride, in a boring school day, or are just plain bored. But those people will not get their chance. I travel ALOT, and usually portable gaming passes the time by. So to have my PSP die on me half way through a game/movie is something I really don't look forword too.
GAMES: SONY'S BEST...NOT ALWAYS A GOOD THING: 6/10
Now, there are a good number of coplaints I have about the game department. No matter how much you love watching movies on your PSP or whatever, it should really all be about gaming. But, this most important part of any portable is really lacking.
First off, the amount of ports of PS2 a,d PS1 games are inane. I don't know if it's because of the lackluster amount of development support or what, but there are just too many ported games out now, and more are coming. And alot of them really have not only had nothing new done to them, but there graphics, control, and sound will be much worse tahn if you were playing the same game on the PS2. Some people will welcome the ports, but I really find them a drag.
Second, someone really went wild with making sport and racing games for the PSP. If you were to go into a retail store, close your eyes, and randomly grab a game of the shelf, there is a very high chance it will either be a port or a sport title or both. If you are a big sport game player, this will be your paradise. But if not...well, you know that answer.
And finally, some of the big titles are really not what I personally expected. Wipeout XL is fun, but the resemblence of that game and the F-Zero games is astounding. MGA is a very bad MGS game. A good game itself, but turning MGS into a turn base stealth Yu-Gi-Oh is almost and insult into to the series. Untold Ledgends is nice, but basically another Diablo2/CoN knockoff. And Darkstalker chronicles, the most wnated game by many(and me) is not only 2D, but a port.
My point? The games currently for the PSP will leave you mostly unimpressed.
CONTROL: LIKE THE PS2 CONTROLLER? YOU WILL LOVE THIS: 8/10
this control layout is very close to that of the Dualshock2, which is a good thing for the most part. The analog NUB is nothing like a true analog stick, and dosen't handle nearly as well, but still good. What else can be said? The controls are pretty solid.
PRICE: TOO UCH FOR TOO LITTLE: 5/10
For what you get for the PSP, 250 is too much. You can get a poratable DVD player, ipod shuffle, and another portable system of your choice and you will still save more money and get better quality than if you were trying to beef up your PSP. 40-50 dollars for games, expensive memory cards and downloads, and rebuying all the movies you alrady own in UMD format REALLY add up. And don't expect a price drop anytime soon. To be honost, the PSP and be interchanged with the phrase" money trap."
OVERALL: GOOD< BUT COULD OF BEEN BETTER: 7/10(not an average)
I really didn't enjoy my PSP expierence as much as I would of liked to, but then again this is just me.It is just too expensive for too little, not a great amount of quality games, and the MP3 and UMD uses are weak. The duribilty and battery life also suffer. Sony fanboys and mulimedia fanatics will ove this, but everyone else shoul just say no.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 04/07/05
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