With the release of the Vita Sony has made it a point to release every game digitally along side the retail release. Getting to this point was not an easy road though. There was a time, during the PSP, that games would release several months after their retail release. In fact some of those game just never made it to the Playstation Store at all. While you may not be remiss about a few annual sports title being left off the store there are a few titles that I feel are total missteps. As such I have compiled a list of Ten PSP games that really should be on the PSN but sadly are not.
Gitaroo Man Lives
This game was originally released on the Playstation 2 and then later ported to the PSP with a few added features. Gitaroo Man is a being from a space bloodline of… artists that… want to collect…more Gitaroos? Well the story is not important. What is important is that it was a very fun rhythm game with pretty stellar music. While you swiveled the analog stick around and mashed the face buttons to defend, crazy scenes would play out in the background. These scenes were something akin to Dragonball with guitars. Ultimately this game had a charm that stuck with you and since there is none other like it it really should be available for download.
Brave Story: New Traveler
I stumbled upon this game many years ago and fell in love with it. It is a very old school turn based RPG. You are some kid warped into a video game and must save your friend who is in real life coma. Along the way you make friends with all sorts of odd creatures and eventually save the world. This game would never win any Game of the Year awards but it was solid nonetheless. The graphics and gameplay were all very competent and offered some occasional variety. Fans of older RPGs will find themselves greatly enjoying this game and since many XSEED games are already available on the PSN it only make sense for this one to be as well. Also this game was on PSN at one point, but no longer.
Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep
If you can ignore the ludicrous name you might actually enjoy yourself. Since this game was release late in the PSP’s lifecycle there was quite an outcry for it to be released digitally. It was not and still is not as of writing. You follow three separate characters in this action RPG as they gallivant around destroying the Unversed. This game occasionally pushed the PSP to is breaking point with it’s visuals and frantic combat. This game could have easily been released on the Vita and no one would have batted an eye. Not having a PSP system selling game on the PSN, there is a word for that, dumb.
This title was really a missed gem. You are a bounty hunter in space killing space robots, what’s not to love? An earlier release for the PSP it shows it’s age graphically from time to time but it is still a solid game. Every time you blaze through the legions of enemies there is a field of awesome loot to sort through. All of this loot can be sold off to pay for upgrade and specs for your character. Add to all this the comic book style story that is surprisingly long and well done. Just when you think this game is done you might find that you are not even half way there. I really enjoyed this game and it could really use a resurgence on the PSN, it deserves it.
Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core
How could this happen?! While not exclusive to the Playstation platform Final Fantasy is more well known on the Playstation. FFVII in particular is on of the games that helped Sony to reach the heights it has now. So how is it that a fantastic spin off of FFVII game is not available on Sony branded toasters, much less the PSN? For those that never played this game it is an action RPG with certain random combat elements thrown in. It also is one of the most visually stunning games on the PSP. The main story is pretty long and once you beat that there are 300 unique missions to complete. This game is an absolute must for any Final Fantasy fan. It is a shame, no, a crime that you can not buy this game digitally.
I hesitate to even ask for Exit to be downloadable because I feel like it could really benefit from an actual re-release. You played the game as a yellow man with a kickass hat. The goal of the game was to save people from buildings that were semi destroyed. It was all set on a 2D field and each level was a puzzle as to how to properly save each person. There were loads of levels and I seem to remember you eventually even going into space at some time. This game was released somewhere alongside the PSP itself and was pretty well received then and also decently well received with the XBLA release. The easy pickup and play style of the puzzles made the game enjoyable in small or large chunks. I would love to see an enhanced version released for the Vita or even, heavens willing, an Exit 2. I would be willing to settle for a downloadable PSP version though.
Valkyrie profile: Lenneth
This game was a port of an extremely hard to come by PS1 title just named Valkyrie Profile. It stars a Norse Battle mMiden named Lenneth who is collecting warriors for a battle in the heavens. The really interesting thing was how you collected these warriors. Every new character had to first die to join you, so you would watch the last few days of their life and then recruit them. You were then able to either keep them or send them off to Odin to help out the spiritual war. This game had an amazing battle system, hand drawn sprites, and a story that was utterly phenomenal. It is a humongous shame that the only way to play this astounding game is with a UMD.
Megaman: Powered Up
While Megaman Powered Up may seem like a children’s game it is actually super great. Once you beat any one of the bosses, using only the buster, you would actually be able to play as them. Each one had their own unique quirks and abilities that could be, or had to be, exploited in every level. Pile on top of this the ability to create any level that you want. I spent countless hours making tons of levels that almost nobody played. While the servers are no longer around to support new levels while they were up they released countless level packs and new characters. While Powered Up is not the full experience without the online features it is still a pretty great Megaman game. With the whole “Play, Create, Share” mentality that Sony has tried to adopt it surprises me that this is not available on the PSN.
Lumines 1 & 2
OK so maybe I cheated a little bit to make this list 10 full games. Regardless Lumines 1 and 2 were fantastic games. I am aware that Lumines: Electronic Symphony is available on the Vita, I am also aware that Lumines is great. The basic gameplay is combining blocks into solid squares of 4 while great music plays in the background. The games are both addictive and super crazy at the higher levels. Staring at the screen for too long has been known to cause a Zen like effect in most players. Lumines 1 and 2 should be on the PSN at a reduced price to offer people a taste before biting off the huge chomp that is 40$ for the current Lumines game.
Well that is it folks. The PSN may be full of great PSP titles but as you can see it is missing some great gems. Now that the Vita is out I doubt we will see anyone pushing for any more PSP titles to be released on the store. A man can dream though.
Do you agree with me on any of these titles? Is there one really great game that I missed? Let us know in the comments.