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8 for 8: The Best PSP Games Pt. 3: Ports and Remakes

April 7, 2013 Written by Heath Hindman

 

The last of these PSP 8th birthday posts will salute the system’s best ports and remakes.

This one is very heavy on the RPGs for a few reasons.  For one, the PSP’s huge success in Japan led to a disproportionately high number of Japanese RPGs getting some kind of PSP version.  Then add in the fact that in general, these games don’t require quite the same minimum hardware specs that other genres need in order to run smoothly.  For example, you didn’t hear anyone saying “Yeah, Tomb Raider Legend is good on the consoles, but dude, you gotta try in on the PSP!” or “I’m not gonna buy Madden ’07 for PS3 cause I’m getting it for PSP.”  That out of the way, here we go with the great 8.

Persona 3 Portable


It took one of the best RPGs ever made and made it arguably bester.  Yeah, “bester” wasn’t a word until Persona 3 Portable happened.

Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection


Final Fantasy IV is one of the most treasured RPGs of all time, and its been taken to so many platforms in so many ways, it’s astounding to think about.  Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection takes yet another ground-up remake of the game and adds in the sequel Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, which was originally on cellphones and Wii.  It also adds a short Interlude chapter that links the two games, and bundles all of this together in one neat little package.

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions


PSP’s take on Final Fantasy Tactics adds some unfortunate lag to the battles, but that can’t kill a phenomenally good game like FFT truly is.  Other tactical RPGs may have done certain things first, but damn if there isn’t some certain magic about Final Fantasy Tactics.  The PSP version adds two new job classes, some unique new characters, and beautifully animated cutscenes which feature full voice acting in the English version.  The script was also completely rewritten making the story easier to follow and much more dramatic.

Lunar: Silver Star Harmony


The news of that the Saturn/PlayStation RPG Lunar: Silver Star Story would be remade on PSP was met with mixed reactions (partially due to the disappointing GBA version), but ultimately Game Arts and XSeed knocked this project out of the park.  If you like Japanese RPGs but have never played the story of Alex and Luna, check this game out in either of its two finest forms: the PlayStation or the PSP.  It depends mostly on your screen preference.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky


Originally for PC, Nihon Falcom did the gaming world a favor when they brought TiTS to the PSP and increased the series’ exposure level.  In the West, gamers were treated to this quality RPG thanks to a masterfully done localization by XSeed.  The only sad part is, since the LoH games are such massive projects, and these games don’t sell gangbusters in North America like they do in Japan, English speakers might never see the sequel.

Intelligent Qube Final


Intelligent Qube was a unique action puzzler for the PlayStation.  Players were tasked with systematically eliminating blocks, gaining extra points if they could do it with genius-level efficiency.  That was part of the game’s beauty, that one could clear most puzzle sets in a variety of ways, but there was an obvious distinction between being able to play and really being able to rock those blocks.  And in the end, it would tell you just how smart you are (or aren’t). This game was Japan only, but the gameplay requires no language of any kind, and the menus are all in English, making it very import-friendly.

Power Stone Collection


The Power Stone games were standouts among the Dreamcast’s stellar lineup, and for my money, part 2 is one of the best fighting games ever made, in no small part thanks to the riotous multiplayer.  The PSP version makes 4-player participation a little more expensive (since it obviously requires four systems instead of one), but still that zany brand of Power Stone fighting fun.

Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together


Only things strategy fans were clinging to were their PSPs and chargers.  The PSP version of Tactics Ogre is an updated version of the game widely considered the blue print of Final Fantasy Tactics.  If you liked one, consider trying the other, though Ogre is a little bit tougher.

In case you missed them: Part 1: Best Original IPs, and Part 2: Best Sequels and Spinoffs.

Thanks for reading the feature!  Shout about your own favorite PSP games in the comments below.