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PSP Review – No Gravity: The Plague of Mind

March 19, 2009 Written by Adam Wolfe

nogravity

No Gravity started life as a homebrew game, and managed to do quite well. Since those humble beginnings, it has been developed in to a full-fledged PSP game. Does this homebrew game deserve its transformation, or is it just another shovelware title in PSP’s ever-increasing library?

The basis of the story is that it’s the year 8002 and the Krosso Empire, the oldest and most powerful empire ever to exist, has seen a few cases of an unknown sickness. Word is getting out that it is a mind disease, and there are signs pointing to outer space as the source. Krosso decides to send some of its best pilots into outer space to research the disease and find out everything they can about it.

From the outset, you can choose one of three aircraft, and by performing special tasks, you will unlock a few more. The general gameplay is presented in both first and third-person views, as the player can switch between whichever one they prefer.

The controls are implemented very nicely. The analog nub controls your movement, Circle activates the lock-on, Triangle is boost, X is primary fire, Square fires missiles, and the shoulder buttons cause your aircraft to roll in either direction.

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The story is broken up into 6 episodes, with each episode broken up into a set of missions, for a total of 31 missions plus some additional secret missions. Before each mission, you will be briefed on the situation and what your initial goal is. Upon completion of each goal, you will move to the navigation point and start your next goal. Once all goals are finished, you will make your way to the waypoint, completing the mission.

Most of the missions require the same task, which is destroying enemy aircraft. Now, the developers did do a good job of trying to add little twists to these missions. At one point, you may need to defend ships from the enemy, while later on you may be asked to blow up a mine field or asteroids. However, despite this attempt for variety, even those missions will involve encounters with the exact same enemies as before. Don’t get me wrong, it is pretty fun, but doing this can get repetitive after the 15th time.

You will also have to deal with a couple bosses along the way. These battles are pretty fun, and though not very original, they do require you to use a few more skills to avoid the larger gun fire.

The visuals for this game are fairly decent. Though not on the same level as some of the top tier games, they generally get the job done. The sound on the other hand is mediocre at best. There really isn’t a whole lot going on other than the swoosh of a missile flying by. It would have been really nice to add the occasional squadmate’s voice or something, just so it didn’t feel like you were alone out there. Where the sound design managed to pull through is in the music department. The soundtrack choice for this game, though repetitive, is excellent. They use a lot of techno/trance music, and it really does capture the feeling of being in outer space. A few more songs would of been nice, but in general it’s a solid soundtrack.

There is definitely some replay value to this game. They use in entitlement system that rewards you for different things you do. Such as destroying so many asteroids, completing each episodes or even simply watching each movie. These entitlements will unlock new ship, skins and artwork. This is a nice addition and it may not extend the gameplay a ton, but it is a very nice addition.

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No Gravity is tailor made for the PSP. It is the perfect game to pick up and play for 20 or 30 minutes. Very few of the missions take more than 10 minutes to complete, which will give you the feeling that you actually accomplished a lot during those 30 minutes of playtime. No Gravity does have some issues, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives here. For $10, this is a pretty good buy.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score


Perfect pacing, split into small sections.

Mediocre sound effects and voice work.

Pretty good replay value, despite some repetitiveness.

6 out of 10