RPGs Springing to PSP, PS3

Both the PSP and PS3 are seeing a tons of new releases this month, and an unusually high number of them are RPGs. Western or Japanese, handheld or big screen, realtime action or turn-based, it seems there’s something for just about everyone coming to PSP and/or PS3 in March.

Sony’s handheld will see releases of several RPGs this month, the first coming on the 8th in the form of Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle. This is the third release for Nippon Ichi and NISA’s grid-free tactical RPG, the first having been for PS2 with a Wii port that followed.

March 15 sees two more PSP RPGs drop with God Eater Burst and Jikandia: The Timeless Land. GEB is Namco Bandai’s answer to Monster Hunter, with a little more RPG flair to it. Hopefully it treats gamers better than the other Monster Hunter-esque PSP RPG to drop recently, Lord of Arcana, which hasn’t been earning much praise in reviews. Anyway, Jikandia was called Jikan de Phantasia in Japan, and is a spiritual sequel to Half-Minute Hero. It allows players to choose their own playtime, then generates a play zone, dungeon, and boss battle for them, which can be cleared within the limit they set for themselves (related note: “jikan” means “time” in Japanese).

The 22nd then sees Square Enix’s newest fighter with a dash of RPGness (and populated by RPG characters), Dissidia Duodecim [0120]: Final Fantasy.

A week after that, two more RPGs land on PSP in the forms of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky and The 3rd Birthday. The PSP saw three other Legend of Heroes games arrive a few years back, which were ports of older games. Developed by Falcom and brought stateside by XSeed Games, Trails in the Sky begins a new trilogy that has been extremely well-received in Japan. Square Enix’s The 3rd Birthday has long-absent heroin Aya Brea back in New York City, battling new monsters and uncovering new mysteries. Whether or not this signals a long term comeback for the Parasite Eve series or not can’t yet be said for sure, but the original PSOne games will soon see PlayStation Network release in North America.

Not to be outdone, the larger, more TV-bound Sony system sees the highly anticipated Dragon Age II ship today. The original Dragon Age won all kinds of awards in 2009 and was widely praised for its storytelling and immersion.

Next Tuesday will give PS3 Ar Tonelico: Qoga and Yakuza 4. The former is Gust’s third entry in the series and first of the current generation, as the first two games appeared on PS2. Series fans can expect yet another hilarious translation by NIS America and the interesting twists on character growth and combat that made the series popular last generation. Arriving in stores the same day will be Yakuza 4. No more putting on the front of a do-gooder, Kazuma’s back and rolling with some of the toughest dudes in Tokyo. Players once again enter the open-ended, sidequest-packed gameplay in which the series specializes, treated to perhaps the most fun take on level grinding to date.

All this comes hot off the PSN being recently blessed with classic PSOne RPGs Saiyuki: Journey West, Xenogears, and Vagrant Story.

It’s a good time to be an RPG fan.