Review by jfclmga

"PSP must be Japanese for Freakin' Awesome."

Ahh yes, Sony's PSP. I remember when it came out clearly. Quite frankly, it sucked. I was extremely disappointed about the false hype, but at the same time extremely glad that I actually didn't buy one. Fast forward to almost summer, '07. One of my friends keeps ranting and raving about all these great games on the PSP and what an amazing piece of hardware it is. Skeptical, I ask if I can play it, and am completely blown away by Battlefront 2. I got a summer job, saved up, and bought my shiny new PSP along with several games. It's a decision that, to this day, I consider one of my best.

"I know all the hype, but what about the games?"

One of the main problems I had with the PSP at first was, quite simply, a lack of an impressive gaming library. Quite thankfully, this situation has been remedied. There's a little bit for everyone, from RPG fans to action gamers to even FPS fanatics. Quite a full library. I downgraded my PSP to version 1.5 and then upgraded to a 3.52 custom firmware, and now I have access to NES, SNES, GB, GBC, GBA, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Sega Master System, and PS1 games. All of them except the Sega systems and the SNES run from near to absolutely perfectly. That undoubtedly gives the best library ever on a handheld to date.

Library: 9/10

"What about the graphics? It's all about the graphics!"

Well, if you think that, I pity you greatly. But rejoice, for the PSP delivers there as well! The games look darn well near to PS2 quality, if not better in some instances. The screen is MASSIVE, and crystal clear to boot. And even playing PS1 games on it makes them look better than I remember them looking. The graphics definitely kick the CRAP out of any other handheld to date.

Graphics: 10/10

"What's with the analog nub? It feels like it's held in place by a rubber band..."

About my only complaint is the analog nub. While it's never really a nuisance, it certainly FEELS fragile. Actually, the whole system does...fortunately, it isn't, so long as you take good care of it. This is meant for older teens and adults, not little children, so caring for it shouldn't be too much of a problem. Other than the nub, the system feels almost identical to the normal PS controller. Got your triangle, X, O, Square, L, R, directional buttons, start, and select, and of course, the analog nub. On top of that, there's a home button used to quit playing games and return to the menu, volume up and down, a brightness button, and a little sound button that changes the tone when listening to music. Everything is fine, and responsive. My other only complaint is the start and select buttons feel a little out of the way, especially if you're playing in the dark...but it's not enough to really matter.

Controls: 8/10

"I know it looks good, but does it SOUND good?"

Yes. That's really all I can say. The sound seems to come out of the bottom of the console instead of the front, but there IS a headphone jack, so that's of little importance. It's crystal clear and high quality, and one could easily forgo headphones and opt to use the system's speakers with little headache. If you're listening to music, there are different equalizer settings you can set that make a dramatic influence on the sound of whatever it is you're listening to. I only ever use headphones myself so I don't disturb my family members with the obnoxious sound and voice acting while enjoying a gaming experience. Absolutely superb.

Sound: 10/10

"What about the things OTHER than games and music? Are they worth a crap?"

Hmm. That's a tough one to answer. UMD movies are rather expensive, and the internet browser isn't exactly the best I've ever used. Actually, it's horrible. Websites frequently can't be visited because they're too big for your little unit to properly store and display. But, chances are the only time you'll ever use the browser is if you get stuck in a game and you want to look something up without having to walk across the house or locate a computer. So for those purposes, it works fine.

UMDs and Internet Broswer: 6/10

"The battery life sucks!!"

Yeah, it does. Mine lasts on average about 7 hours per charge. But I keep my backlight on the brightest display, which probably has a lot to do with it. And nowadays for a mere 10-20 bucks you can pick up a new, longer-lasting battery for it, which increases the life for several hours. But I 'm usually not away from my home long enough for this to be an issue. It might be for you, however, so maybe investing in a better battery would be advisable.

Battery life: 7/10

"So is it worth it?"

In my honest opinion, yes. I would whole-heartedly recommend the PSP to anyone who enjoys gaming. It's a wonderful piece of hardware that's capable of so many things, and it really delivers time after time in just about every aspect. I almost don't play my consoles anymore because all my favorite games are on my PSP! And for those of you who consider the cost an issue, well, I really don't think it's too far out of the ballpark with an outrageous price anymore. When I bought mine it was under $200, and I consider it worth every penny. But if you're still skeptical, borrow it from a friend first to make sure you think it's worth it. Happy gaming!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/17/07

Game Release: PSP Hardware (US, 03/24/05)

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