VIDEO GAME REVIEW
Secret agents and spoofs on PSP
By Michael Felberbaum
By Michael Felberbaum
The addition of high-quality graphics to the portable gaming scene with Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Portable makes for new game play and, sometimes, more complex controls.
Here's a look at a few titles worth checking out for the PSP:
"SYPHON FILTER: DARK MIRROR"
Rated M, $39.99, Sony Computer Entertainment
Sony Computer Entertainment brings Gabe Logan and his fellow agents from the long-running "Syphon Filter" series to the portable screen in this exclusive PSP title, along with detail-oriented graphics, high-tech toys and enhanced game play. Infiltrate an Alaskan oil refinery that has been taken over by a paramilitary operation, while keeping yourself and your fellow agents alive. While overall this title is one of the best for the PSP, one downside is the complex, hard-to-get-used-to controls that, in some cases, can get you blown to pieces while you try to figure out how to fight back. "Dark Mirror" makes great use of the PSP's wireless multiplayer features that let players cooperate on missions with gamers across the globe, as well as play in every-man-for-himself death matches. I give it 3 1/2 out of four stars.
Rated E-10, $39.99, Sony Computer Entertainment
Another PSP-exclusive is a spinoff of the Jak and Daxter franchise, featuring the goofy yet lovable orange ottsel — a combination weasel and otter — named Daxter. This time, Daxter is on his own in Haven City, working as a pest exterminator to rid the city of an infestation of metalbugs. Using his bug swatter, flamethrower and other weapons, Daxter finds clues that eventually lead him to Jak. He also collects orbs that unlock dream sequences that put Daxter in spoofs of films like "The Matrix" and "The Lord Of The Rings." Overall, it's a good pick for younger PSP owners. Three stars.
"FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE"
Rated T, $39.99, Electronic Arts
James Bond always grabs the attention of gamers looking to be a secret agent. In "From Russia With Love," players can relive the 1963 film featuring the young and dapper Sean Connery — who lent his voice and likeness to the game. Spliced with computer-animated movie sequences, Bond is on a mission to save the British prime minister's daughter and track down a secret decoding device — all while flirting with blonde bombshells, dispatching the enemy and blowing up helicopters. "From Russia With Love" takes full advantage of every button available on the PSP for camera control, weapons selection and character movements. And while the game is a little on the short side, it provides intense action. It also has multiplayer options and mini-games. So 3 1/2 stars.
"MEGA MAN POWERED UP"
Rated E, $29.99, Capcom
You can never go wrong with Mega Man — even with this title's basic controls and classic game play. The Blue Bomber takes on the mission to conquer Dr. Wily's robots in an all-new version with enhanced 3D graphics. Players can choose a "powered up" version of the game originally created for the Nintendo Entertainment System, along with two new bosses — Oil Man and Time Man. Or play the original game (glorified in 3D, of course). Or create your own levels and take on numerous mini-games. It gets 2 1/2 stars.