Review by Lucius_Voren
"God's gift to gamers on the go."
Pardon the title, but alliteration is fun!
Well. I recently picked up a PSP (after several months of yearning for one, I finally couldn't stand it). Wow. My wallets empty! This thing is really expensive, I was only able to pick it up, and dynasty warriors (one of the cheaper games on the wrack) and a 128 Megabyte memory stick.
Now a few weeks later, I love the thing. It comes with me wherever I go. Anyway, onto the review!
Graphics 10/10 - I picked up the PSP. I turned it on. I was amazed. Considering the screen, a resolution of 480×272 is amazing. The colors are rich, the movements are smooth, the frame rate is excellent, and... The screen is 75% or the console! I must say, turning this puppy on and firing up a game is a treat when on a long (or short!) trip.
Audio 3/10 (9/10 with an external speaker) - let me warn you now, want to game? Get headphones. Want a stereo? Get speakers. The stock speakers on the PSP are it's greatest flaw, the sound is weak at best, and that's only if you're not grabbing the thing, if you are you're probably covering the speakers with your palms. Aside from that little mis-hap sound is the second best feature of the console. Not that hard to do nowadays, the sound on the PSP is not the "bleep bloop" you would expect with something so small, instead it is full and rich.
Controls 9/10 - I like this controls to this thing, simple, easy, and oddly familiar (gee I wonder why?). With only slight revision to the original controller design any Sony fan will find the PSP easy to adapt to. While It may take me several hours to adapt to an x-box or Game-Cube controller, I was able to play psp games flawlessly in 10 minutes. How hard is it for some other schmuck who doesn't play ps1 or ps2 often? Can't say, I wouldn't imagine it would be too terribly hard though. The only real problem with the controls is the locations of the select and start button, hard to find when playing in the dark (the best place to play, but we'll get to that)
Interface 7/10 - Turn on the PSP, meet the crossbar. A wonderful device way to navigate your PSP. Simple. Clean. Attractive. I believe that that's really the best way to put it. The system menu is a bit cluttered, but all the more ways to customize your PSP experience. The multimedia menus are easy to navigate, and pretty simple. The music player looks excellent, and is a nice touch. If you go to the game menu, and highlight UMD it games a short video and a preview of whatever UMD is sitting snugly inside your PSP. Clean and easy, the best way to describe it.
Internet Access 7/10 - Holy crap this thing has Internet. I didn't realize this when I first picked it up, but as I scrolled through the crossbar after a few battles in DW, I found that it had a web browser. After some consultation of the manual, I was browsing gameFAQs with ease. I find it amazing that I'm able to browse the Internet on this wonderful toy, but there's one problem.... The keyboard. This thing is so horrible, it took me 30 seconds to get to Google.com, and then another minute and a half to enter the search. Well, after browsing by just clicking on links I find that it's really good. The other problem is the lack of internal memory, the days of simple web design have passed, and some pages are just so full of useless data that the PSP takes 15 minutes to load it all.
Game Selection 6/10 - I'll admit, there are some very interesting titles out for the PSP, but they are few and far between. A lot of the titles for PSP are lame not to terribly interesting, the things I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. Before you drop the cash on your PSP, make sure that there are some games out for it that you would like.
Multimedia 8/10 - Wow, it's like everyone was coming out with movies on UMD format, then they stopped. I wonder why? I honestly can't figure it out. The idea of watching a movie while on the way to a neighboring state is excellent, but cest la vie. If that's what the movie developers want to do, fine. Aside from that, it's great, you can upload music, videos, and images to your PSP, and play them... Well, it's portable, so where ever you want! It's always nice to have tunes at work, and the PSP is great for it. Want to show off pictures of the kids to your poor second cousin? This thing is great. Want to bring some inane video all over the Internet with you, so that you may show it to a complete stranger? Go ahead. The PSP is great in this department. While it's not it's main feature, and could be better, it is a nice little bonus to have.
Battery Life 7/10 - What exactly is everyone whining about? It may just be the amount they use it, but I find that I almost always have enough battery life for my PSP (though I usually charge it for lengthy uses, like road trips, or boring lectures on taxonomy). If it really is that bad, then there are third party batteries which extend the life to almost twice as long. Not much of problem in my book, and I really can't see what other people are whining about.
Overall 9/10 - I've listed a lot of problems with the PSP, but trust me, when playing a game, or using it for just about anything you will find a large reserve of forgiveness hidden somewhere deep inside you. Though it has a few flaws ( I.E. The UMD try sticks out a bit, which kind bugs me whenever I run my finger over it, the square button is a wee bit sticky, the screen is easy to scratch, that excuse for a keyboard) The PSP really is a wonderful little toy to have if you can afford it.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/24/06
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