Review by FeaRrulez

"Extremely Impressive!"

For starters:
This review is a little late, but its now or never, and it could change some minds on what to pick up, in terms of handheld gaming of course. I don't usually give 10/10 for anything, including songs, games, movies, and even systems (with the exception of the new "Slim" Playstation 2). I really have nothing against Nintendo or their console-and handheld's. I own a Gameboy Advance, along with a Gameboy SP, but they really are living in the past. I've always been a fan of Nintendo, without them; there really would be no Playstation, Xbox, and heck, even Gamecube. So, without further blabbing, lets get on with the great review.

Presentation: 10/10
Presentation is a big factor in handheld gaming, who would want to be walking down the street, or sitting at a table with an ugly, clunky, big, crappy handheld? Not much. So when the PSP is brought to the table, it's like looking at a piece of jewelry! The PSP has it's classic Playstation 2 controller look for the PSP, but with a very large, very clear 4.3" 16:9 widescreen TFT LCD screen. The LCD screen, although, is very prone to dust, dirt, grime, and even those dreaded scratches, to which I have a few. But to add to the already nice layout for the PSP, there is an analog "Nub". While not your regular analog stick used with the Playstation 2, X-Box, or Gamecube, which would shift in the direction pressed. This adds that little bit of pizzazz to the look of the machine, giving a much need different feel and appeal. This analog "Nub" simple moves to the location you press it towards, it does not shift. So the feel is different at first, but it gets comfortable and pleasing later on with more use. The PSP also contains a 'Home' button. A simple to use, back to home screen button to do all your adjusting of setting and such, easy, I know. The buttons are simple to reach and easy to use, and do not impede on gameplay. Beside those to the right, is the beautiful PSP logo. Beside that again, are the backlighting button and the sound button. Along with those, you also have the classic "Select" and "Start" buttons respectively, which are also in a great place your fingers to reach over. The PSP is slick. It is black, like it has been permanently waxed. The PSP has a beautiful shine! The PSP has a slicker look than the DS; DS really looks like a block. PSP is just too delicate; I got afraid to put it in the soft case cause I didn't want to scratch it. Along with that, the colour selection for the PSP, as I like to think, targets the more ‘Older' demographic. The silver colour for the DS just doesn't cut I think. Although the PSP does get littered with fingerprints, so you will need to clean it every so often. The colour is really nice, but it just so prone to smudges. I can't stress that enough. If you were to watch me play it, I barely even touch the thing, haha. You'll get a few looks playing this beauty, trust me. It's happened to me, and it can happen to you. Plus you get a great feeling of power, and shall we say, “coolness” factor that comes with walking around and showing this baby off. And finally, to stop my babbling, the side is fitted with an aluminum-ish lining frame, giving a nice much, needed step from the pure, shiny, gorgeous black (this lining is on the outside, not on the edges of the PSP). It also has clear; see through should buttons on the top of the PSP. So as you have just read, all the buttons and such on the PSP, along with the beautiful colour is enough to get a 10, just see for yourself. You will be blown away! Its just so slick and one more thing, this things backlighting is good enough as is, but it makes an amazing flashlight! Next up.

Graphical capability: 10/10
Wow! Graphics for a handheld, I say are an important factor. Now, I'm not a guy who cares for the amazing graphics or anything. Sure they are important, but not as much as gameplay. As when I first saw pictures of the Playstation Portable, they didn't look all that special. Just looked like a slightly, and that's a big ‘slightly' revamped graphics from the N64. Sure they were good, especially when comparing them to the Gameboy Advance, but to be frank with you, I thought the graphics were on par with an average rating, but was I sure wrong! As when I first laid eyes on what this little, tiny, infant of a handheld could do, I was amazed, and I still am. But wow, the PSP has some special little chips and memory to make some powerful ass graphics. The PSP, has the graphical capability to match that of the Playstation 2, if not surpass the PS2! Remember when the PS2 had came out, games looked amazing, but look how far they have come now, with game like Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Gran Turismo 4, which look amazing. They all have surpassed the original expectations set for them. Games coming out now for the PSP are just launch titles, imagine what is in store when developers start to find ways to make things better. All this adds to what the PS2 can barely even touch. The graphics are that impressive. Best examples the PSP's graphical ability is Metal Gear Acid, Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade, and Ridge Racer, plus more, but those are some of the more impressive ones. The graphics are clear, which is important in a games look. The LCD screen help the graphics alot, by adding that much needed clearness to the game, giving it much more texture. Your eyes practically glitter when looking at these games and just how beautiful the graphics are. Ok, that was a little corny, but hey, it's a lot like that. People with a dislike for the annoying jaggies, you worries are over to a degree. A lot of the games have few, but many have none. Again, jaggies are low; from the games that I have had the pleasure of laying my hands on there are none, so no worries there. The models for anything that you can see, whether Ridge Racer to Metal Gear Acid, they all look fantastic, and very clear. Nothing is really ever blurred up. All in all, the graphics are extremely impressive, something to behold, very crisp. Next up.

Sound: 10/10
The sound on the thing is amazing! The sounds that come from the PSP sounds like were made with alot of effort to get it right. Each sound has a unique sound, something that still impresses me. The quality is very, very impressive. Coming from such small speakers, the sounds are clear and loud, not distorted and rough. The sound is crisp. Something that even my TV lacks. The sound also comes out very smooth. The sound won't skip, or stutter, adding to the sound. The sound is like a constant, smooth stream of sound, like a violin playing. When the headphones are plugged in, the sound can be altered slightly, to fit your tastes. If you like it heavy, with alot of bass, you can do that with a press of a button, or if you like it very clear with alot of mid-range, you can do that with a press of a button. All the sounds come out clear on the headphones too, not distorted or anything in that department either. The sounds, sound like they were made using top notch quality equipment, not sound effects from a synthesizer or anything. Again, another top-notch aspect of the Playstation Portable. Next up.

Games: 10/10
The launch of games for a system, whether console, or handheld, are extremely important, because they help to influence a decision of whether to purchase the console or handheld or not. And the PSP has done extremely well! With very strong support from third-party developers, the PSP has a wonderful launch line-up. If it weren't for Metal Gear Acid, and Untold Legends, I wouldn't be here writing this right now. With such titles as Metal Gear Acid, Ridge Racer, Wipeout Pure, Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade, Twisted Metal: Head-On, Lumines and even a full line-up from Electronic Arts, including Tiger Woods PGA Tour, NFL Street 2 Unleashed, and Need-For-Speed Underground, you really can't go wrong when picking up a game, or games. With much more out, or coming out in the very near future. So I still am having a hard time trying to pick a game, which is a good thing. They are all so…interesting or something new and nice to play. All the games reach out to all genres except a few, so I am sure no one will have a hard time choosing a game to pick-up when they buy a PSP. And although, not really a game, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is coming out on the PSP, to help work the PSP's movie capability's, and whats better than a true, Final Fantasy movie, based of FFVII! Answer, nothing. Strong indeed. There are also plenty of high-quality titles ready for release, or just waiting for the sales of other games to die down. Such titles including a Grand Theft Auto PSP, Devil May Cry, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Coded Arms, BloodRayne, Dead to Rights: Reckoning, Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition, and the ever popular Gran Turismo and the newly announced, Tomb Raider: Legend. So the game choices to pick out of in the near future are going to be that much harder. So an extremely solid line-up for the PSP at launch, and in the near future. Next up.

Value: 9/10
This is a tough category to give a rating. The PSP is one of those things that you pay a hefty price, for a damn good quality piece of equipment. But you just don't want to touch it! The PSP has everything. It is a music player, as it plays ATRAC3plus and MP3 formatted music, along with a DVD player per se, as that plays either UMD videos or MPEG-4 format videos. It also is a JPEG picture viewer. So, all you need a USB cable, and you have everything you need. The price...the price is...well...alot. In the Value Pack, you will get the following: AC-Adaptor, AC-Power Cord, Headphones w/ Remote Control, Wrist Strap, Soft Carrying Case, Cleaning Cloth, 32MB Memory Stick Duo Card and a UMD Preview Disc, and for the first million PSP Value Packs, a Spider-Man 2 UMD Movie. Alot, and alot which, at first, doesn't seem that important, but they are. The wrist strap helps alot, makes you feel more comfortable carrying the PSP, as I have accidentally thrown my PSP while taking my jacket off...strap saved it. And the AC accessories are very helpful. The PSP's battery life is somewhat of an issue with plenty of people. The battery life of the PSP is around the 5 1/2 to 6 hour range. Once depleted, you can charge it. So it's not that big of a deal, just keep it plugged in. While on the road, just keep the settings down to save battery life. Simple, I know. But for the price you pay for the PSP, is surely made up by the quality of the handheld, just that itself is enough to say, "Wow, it was worth it." Though, im still not sure about the durability of the PSP, it's just so delicate that I don't want to test it out, and drop it from any height to see if it lasts. But my good friend has one, and he dropped it while taking it out of his pocket, dropped a good 4-5 feet or so, and it works fine he says. So im sure it can last a drop or two. (Note- The PSP after the drop wasn't even scratched or dented, chopped or anything) All-in-all, very much worth the price, just the PSP alone is enough. You get a ton of joy out of one of these things. Next up.

Pros and Cons

Pros:
-Very Light - 8.36 oz or 0.5225 pound(s), pretty light huh?
-Comfortable - Feels right
-Nice Curves - Great curves for the curves in your hand.
-Amazing games - Metal Gear Acid, Untold Legends, Ridge Racer, Twisted-Metal: Head-On, your good...
-Very slick - Great colour, great shine, beauty!
-Wonderful graphics - Sharp, smooth, detailed.
-Wonderful sound - Crisp, clear, loud.
-Battery life - A pro for me cause it lasts for whatever I play or watch.
-Wireless - Wireless online play for games, uses WLAN, very good and steady
-Powerful - 1.8GB UMD (Universal Media Disc), makes a kick-ass flashlight with it's strong backlighting!
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Cons:
-Price - 295.99 Canadian-$199.99 American normally, without the value pack, and about $355.99 Canadian or so-$249 American as the value pack
-Unknown durability - To beautiful to drop
-Smudges easily - Lots of fingerprints and smudges
-Screen durability - Screen gets dirty real quick, scratch prone, dust magnet (figurative)

Final Comments:
The PSP is a crowning achievement in gaming. With it's size, weight, power, sound. It has everything you need for anything portable. Every major media text there is, in one, simple, slick, nice machine. With few problems, the PSP is a sure winner for the handheld gaming market. This is a must buy for any handheld gaming fan.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 04/19/05


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