VGBlogger 2011 Holiday Review Guide: PS3 & PSP

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Before your embark on your Black Friday holiday shopping spree (or do the smart, safe thing, and sit on your ass and shop at home from your PC), browse back through our full slate of 2011 game reviews to help guide you towards the games you should be buying and the games you should be staying away from, in this case those for Sony’s PS3 and PSP platforms. If you don’t do all your shopping in one day, don’t worry. We’ll be updating these guides as reviews continue to post throughout the remainder of the year, so keep checking back here and we’ll continue to do our best to steer you in the right direction. If you have any questions about a particular game you’re considering, whether we’ve reviewed it yet or not, drop ’em in the comments and we’ll be happy to get you the info you need to make your decision.

LittleBigPlanet 2 (PS3): “Two years ago, the possibilities in LittleBigPlanet seemed infinite. But it’s funny how things can change in such a short period of time. LittleBigPlanet 2 truly is an endless experience, outclassing its predecessor in imagination, creativity, artistry and user-friendliness, which is a mighty feat to have achieved. The result is a game that isn’t just a game; it’s a platform for games of all genres, a virtual arcade with new games to play every day and a never-ending supply of quarters. Every single time you turn the game on, it shows you something different and makes you smile in a different way, and that is an accomplishment the guys and gals at Media Molecule should be extremely proud of.” Read the full review here.

LittleBigPlanet 2 PlayStation Move Pack (PS3 / PS Move): “When LittleBigPlanet 2 first came out, the PlayStation Move compatibility label on the box cover was kind of misleading. Scratch that — it was borderline false advertising. Technically, Sony got away with it because the Prehistoric Moves tech demo level pack was included on the disc. But aside from that, Move was not supported in the actual game. Now, over half a year later, Media Molecule makes the label legit with a free PS Move compatibility update and a full-on DLC expansion with loads of fun new motion control toys for Sackboys and Sackgirs the world over to play with.” Read the full review here.

Killzone 3 (PS3): “Between the campaign and the online multiplayer, Killzone 3 doesn’t make a quantum leap forward in FPS game design, but rather refines and reinforces the sturdy foundation laid out by Killzone 2. But even though Killzone 3 lacks the astonishing first impression of its predecessor, the simple fact remains that there isn’t another modern first-person shooter that comes close to matching the graphical wonder and unbridled intensity presented in this game. Killzone 3 truly is in a league of its own.” Read the full review here.

MotorStorm: Apocalypse (PS3): “I’m happy to say, though, that MotorStorm: Apocalypse charges through the storm like a champ, delivering heart-pounding thrills and mass environmental chaos above and beyond any other racing game before it. It has certainly become my favorite MotorStorm to date in the month or so I’ve had the game (Sony sent over an early build before release, but I didn’t want to publish a review without first testing the online content), and it’s right up there with any other elite PS3 racing game.” Read the full review here.

Resistance 3 (PS3): “For fans of first-person shooters that tell a story, Resistance 3 is a title that cannot be missed. For fans of a great co-op experience as well as fun competitive multiplayer, this game also has plenty to offer. Resistance 3 continues the tale of the Chimeran invasion of Earth while also showing that humanity has plenty to fight for. If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and go buy Resistance 3. The resistance needs you!” Read the full review here.

God of War: Origins Collection (PS3): “But save for these extremely minor port warts, God of War: Origins Collection is a spectacular compilation of two spectacular games. You get both PSP games with enhanced graphics, all original bonus features (videos, concept art, alternate costumes, challenge modes, etc.), plus the additional replay incentive of trophies and the complete Game Directors Live video, an 80-minute roundtable discussion between the series’ five directors. All told, there’s loads of content and bang-for-your-buck value stuffed into this mighty collection of action adventure awesomeness, and even if you already own them on PSP you’ll want to make the upgrade.” Read the full review here.

Rage (PS3): “All that being said, there can be no denying that Rage, taken as a whole, is a finely polished and well crafted game, featuring greater depth and longevity than what games like Call of Duty and Halo have established as the FPS norm. The final moments are disappointing, and it’s not without some serious flaws, but in the end Rage rises above its blemishes and delivers a scintillating journey through the apocalypse.” Read the full review here.

Batman: Arkham City (PS3): “As the sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum, a game lauded by many as the best title of 2009, there were concerns that Arkham City would just be a quick slop job designed to cash in on the success of the first game. It is probably the case that to a degree the quick development cycle had something to do with Warner Bros. repeatedly sending emails to team leaders entitled “FW: Strike While The Iron Is Hot” with some of the subject reading “Make us money now or you’ll all be making the next Green Lantern iPhone game.” But, rushed from management or not, Batman: Arkham City shows no lack of quality or content. Rocksteady has done the nigh-unthinkable: They took a great game and made it better. Anyone who likes Batman, open world action adventure games, or fun, within a video game context, should pick this up.” Read the full review here.

Dead Rising 2: Off The Record (PS3): “With sandbox play, more combo weapons, and the return of Frank and his trusty camera, Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is Dead Rising 2 the way it should have been in the first place. Like the two previous installments, this game is chock full of mindless zombie slashing, disturbing imagery, dark humor, bad jokes, cheesy dialogue, annoying control inadequacies and frustrating time restraints — and did I mention it is also really damn fun? Well it is! Dead Rising doesn’t take itself too seriously, and neither should you. Just play it and enjoy it. Now with more Frank.” Read the full review here.

Bulletstorm (PS3): “Bulletstorm really has left me feeling torn. On one hand, the skillshot gameplay is fresh and exciting, and the balls-to-the-wall arcade slant to the game is something the industry desperately needs to break up the monotony and predictability of sequels and ‘me too!’ cash-ins. But on the other hand, the dialogue and humor are completely lost on me, and the invigorating “kill with skill” concept does become old hat quicker than I would have liked.” Read the full review here.

Portal 2 (PS3): “With all that said, there isn’t much of anything to not like about this game. Portal 2 is longer, larger, livelier, and somehow even wittier than the original. Since the game is driven by story and doesn’t offer multiple solutions to its puzzles, it isn’t replayable in the immediate sense (by that I mean there is nothing to immediately return for beyond trophies/achievements). But trust me, this is the type of game you’ll want to hang onto and revisit yearly; that you’ll cherish forever (or at least until the next Portal comes along…if it ever does!).” Read the full review here.

Crysis 2 (PS3): “To me, Crysis 2 offers the most complete FPS campaign this side of Half-Life 2 and the BioShock games, in terms of balancing superb gameplay and level design with spectacular graphics, a lengthy runtime, and a strong enough story to hold your attention the whole way through. In fact, Crysis 2 just got better and better the further I progressed — a complete reverse from my experience with the first game which started out strong but gradually degraded – and by the end I, opposed to you, was psyched to start the game all over again.” Read the full review here.

Driver: San Francisco (PS3): “But for now we should all take the time to appreciate what Ubisoft has accomplished here. Other than sports, I can’t think of a genre that’s tougher to innovate than racing, but somehow Driver: San Francisco has pulled it off. The story may be vapid, but other than that the game plays like a dream and has more than enough content under its hood to keep players gleefully burning rubber until the next game motors along.” Read the full review here.

The Tomb Raider Trilogy (PS3): “As a whole, The Tomb Raider Trilogy does far more than just get the job done; it assembles three standout action-adventure titles into a single $40 package, properly updates the two older games for an audience that probably wasn’t able to play them before, and piles plenty of bonus materials on top of the 20-30 hours of total play time (for me, each game clocked in at roughly 7-10 hours) to keep you in a tomb raiding frame of mind until Crystal Dynamics’ next Tomb Raider reboot arrives.” Read the full review here.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PS3): “Small annoyances aside, this is a great game. Most of the times that the game frustrated me came as a direct result of how I chose to play. Some of the missions are very difficult to clear without setting off alarms or killing anyone, and at times like these it would have been very easy to put down the tranquilizer rifle, stop knocking guys out, pull out the assault rifle, and murder everything in sight. But I was frustrated that I was having a hard time meeting the goal I had set, not what Human Revolution set. The game rarely gives requirements on how a task is to be done, and that is its greatest strength. Very few games put this many tools in your chest. It is a fantastic feeling to do something in a game and think that that was what you wanted to do, not what the game developer wanted you to do. Granted, the developer here probably thought of and thoroughly tested four or five basic solutions, but it is a rare game that grants so many options without pointing them out.” Read the full review here.

Flex-Fire Rifle Attachment (PS Move Accessory): “The articulated barrel is an ingenious invention on its own, and for many players the accuracy enhancements it brings to Move shooting games will more than make up for some of the configuration miscues. Either way, if you’re serious about Move controls in your PS3 shooters, the Flex-Fire is a worthwhile but flawed option to consider versus the pricier Sharp Shooter. Just be prepared for a demanding learning curve and a fair amount of practice time on the Move shooting range.” Read the full review here.

PlayStation Move Ape Escape (PS3 / PS Move): “PlayStation Move Ape Escape has its quirks for sure, but if you approach the game with an open mind and don’t let expectations of what could have been cloud your judgment, you can expect to have more fun than a barrel of monkeys. (Sorry for the cheap pun, I just couldn’t resist!) That being said, PlayStation Move Ape Escape is the type of game that you’ll either burn out on quickly or become hooked on like a monkey fiending for bananas, and since a demo version is available I strongly suggest that you download it first to see how it suits your taste. If you’re hungry for more monkey mayhem afterwards, you will get your $20s worth from the full game.” Read the full review here.

PlayStation Move Heroes (PS3 / PS Move): “Through all of its flaws, of which there are many, PlayStation Move Heroes does show flashes of potential and fun. But unfortunately that potential and that fun is buried under shallow, forgettable gameplay and messy motion controls that make launch-day Move games look like fully optimized second and third year releases. Ironically, this is exactly the type of gimmicky ‘waggle’ game Sony constantly mocks in its PlayStation Move promotions, and that’s just sad.” Read the full review here.

Child of Eden (PS3 / PS Move): “It has taken some time, but over the course of the year the PlayStation Move has shaken off its slow, gimmicky start to establish a lead position as gaming’s top motion controller. A high quantity of great and diverse games is the main reason why, and Child of Eden is one more Move-enabled standout to add to the growing list.” Read the full review here.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (PS3): “Marvel vs. Capcom 3 does disappoint in the outlined areas, but fortunately it excels in other areas that matter most: it’s outrageously fun to play, performs well online and off, controls like a dream, looks and sounds spectacular, and is properly balanced to reward dedicated players without scaring off ‘newbies.’ Simply put, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a treat of a fighting game for all challengers, and a flattering love letter to comic geeks and admirers of Capcom’s trademark retro camp.” Read the full review here.

Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension (PS3): “No one part of Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension is special in any way, and the overall level of difficulty is very easy (perhaps too much so for some adults, but appropriately so for youngsters). But the game is extremely well conceptualized and competently designed, and it plays accessibly and provides hours of cartoony action that will simultaneously mesmerize the kiddies and appeal to easygoing, grown-up gamers. You will be thoroughly entertained, and that’s all that ultimately matters for a game like this.” Read the full review here.

Virtua Tennis 4 (PS3): “At the same time, the improvements it does make are incremental and largely cosmetic, certain positive aspects from the previous game have been needlessly altered rather than carried over and expanded upon, and the major selling point of motion control support is lazily executed. The result is an enjoyable but altogether underwhelming effort from a series that is now officially well past its prime.” Read the full review here.

Duke Nukem Forever (PS3): “I don’t mean to trample on any fond feelings you may have when I say this, but Duke Nukem has never been a great or classic gaming franchise in terms of high-end game design. Duke unexpectedly rose to icon status for his raunchy one-liners and in-your-face attitude, and his games have always been more like vulgar, B-movie parodies of other, better FPS titles – nothing more, nothing less. That’s exactly what Duke Nukem Forever is, too. Continuing that tradition, Duke Nukem Forever is not a great or memorable game, but it is a great guilty pleasure experience that is far more enjoyable than it probably should be. It’s not a game to be taken so seriously, and if you can avoid doing so you will enjoy Duke’s ball-busting, beer-chugging, alien-ass-kicking return to gaming infamy.” Read the full review here.

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon (PS3): “Ultimately, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is like a trick pilot who only knows how to perform one trick. The one trick is spectacular, but before long it loses some of its pizzazz. Similarly, Assault Horizon blazes across the virtual skies with a sense of close-quarters aerial action unmatched by any other game in the genre. However, the uninspired mission objectives and heavy-handed zoom lock-on usage result in an extremely straightforward, one-note action experience that doesn’t quite reach the sky-high potential it appears to be destined for after the first few adrenaline-pumping hours. It’s a tremendously fun ride that’s well worth taking, but once it’s over I’m not sure if there’s enough here to make you want to ride it again.” Read the full review here.

Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon (PS3): “Ultimately, your long term enjoyment of the game will also weigh heavily on how much you intend to play cooperatively with others. Insect Armageddon certainly holds up as a single-player affair, offering 15 missions, multiple difficulty settings, remixed campaign stages, and a wave survival mode. But as a single human amongst a sea of bugs, the game can get kind of lonely.” Read the full review here.

Spider-Man: Edge of Time (PS3): “Sadly, Edge of Time is a game that I find difficult to recommend. There are some fun moments, when you play as the real Spider-Man and watch as his powers level up. But half of the game is spent with 2099, and that guy just isn’t what Spider-Man means to me. Additionally, the game doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and the web swinging moments in large environments are few and far between. If you have no other game to play over a weekend, this isn’t a bad way to spend it, but don’t expect a fantastic, mind blowing experience. Hopefully the already announced Amazing Spider-Man can break the mold from the last two titles and finally be a game worthy of being called Spectacular and Amazing.” Read the full review here.

Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi (PS3): “Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi is a snazzy title. But I have a couple other titles that more aptly describe the actual content of the game. Ultimate Dragon Ball Z For Dummies is a good one. Or how about Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Rock, Paper, Scissors Showdown? Yeah, I like that one better!” Read the full review here.

Supremacy MMA (PS3): “Supremacy MMA does effectively capture the skull-thudding, body-bruising brutality of the sport, there is no doubt about that. But as a game it neither satisfies as a pure simulation nor entertains as an arcade brawler. If you’re a hardcore MMA fan, you’ll hate its simplified approach, and if you’re merely looking for a quick-and-brutal fighting game, you’ll find plenty of violence but little actual enjoyment. That coupled with a dearth of content and shallow, unbalanced play mechanics sends this game to the mat a bloodied, battered mess.” Read the full review here.

Rango – The Videogame (PS3): “Rango, the new Nickelodeon animated flick from the director of the Pirates of the Caribbean series and starring the voice of Johnny Depp, is in theaters. Have you seen it yet? I haven’t, and I doubt I ever will – though the reception has been surprisingly positive so far. But I have played EA’s tie-in game, and, for a change, it’s actually pretty darn good. And not just ‘good for a movie game’ good, but good on its own merits as a mascot-style action platformer.” Read the full review here.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (PS3): “By now I think I’ve established a crystal clear case that Transformers: Dark of the Moon fails to escape the ‘just another movie game’ label, in that it has an unfinished ‘let’s crank this out as quickly and with as little effort as possible’ quality about it that simply can’t be ignored. However, as discouraging as that may sound, Dark of the Moon is surprisingly a very good game that can stand proudly on its own merits as a wholly enjoyable run-and-gun action romp. A rental should certainly suffice, but if you are a Transformer nut and/or an action junkie in need of your next adrenaline fix, I actually wouldn’t be against picking up a copy when it inevitably winds up in the bargain bin.” Read the full review here.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Classic Trilogy HD (PS3 / PSN): “Even if you’ve never tried any of these Splinter Cell titles, I can’t really recommend playing them. The controls work but feel very dated when compared to modern stealth action games. Visually, the three titles are decent, but it is obvious that all are just upgraded skins to older games. The core game mechanics still work just fine, but trial and error rules the day for all three titles and more time is likely to be spent on the save and load screens as the finicky AI and deadly accurate enemies regularly have you dying and retrying.” Read the full review here.

PixelJunk SideScroller (PSN): “PixelJunk SideScroller is a game that should be experienced. Many subtle touches bring out a true arcade experience from the comfort of your own couch, and the tight controls meshed with the bright wire frame graphics bring bullet hell gaming to the masses. Difficulties slowly ramp up to bring players unfamiliar to the genre into a world that pulsates with fantastic music performed by High Frequency Bandwidth, with an abundance of replay value and leaderboard challenges to keep the diehard shmup fans coming back for more.” Read the full review here.

Rochard (PSN): “With all of the games that are being released this holiday season, downloadable titles are likely to be overlooked. Priced at $10, Rochard is a title that is perfect for gamers who don’t want to commit to long gaming sessions or an extended campaign and still feel like they are getting their money’s worth. Puzzles are interesting. Combat can be tricky at times, but there are enough ways to dispatch an enemy that it never feels dull. The story is entertaining and well performed by the lead voice actors. Plus the game has a fantastic rockabilly original song to open the game with. Seriously though, Rochard is a great game that is obviously well loved by the development team. A high level of care and polish went into making Rochard a real PSN gem.” Read the full review here.

Elevator Action Deluxe (PSN): “Elevator Action Deluxe can be challenging at times in the single player missions, as later buildings ramp up with all of the tricks and enemies from previous levels and at times are unflinching in their ability to chew you up and spit you out. What makes this game great, though, is the quick three to five minutes each level takes, the satisfying local mutliplayer and the retro original which comes included. For ten bucks, this game has a little of of everything for a gamer who likes a challenge and enjoys sitting on the couch and razzing their friends while launching an RPG at them.” Read the full review here.

BloodRayne: Betrayal (PSN): “There isn’t an overwhelming amount of content here, and a demo is available if the finicky controls and taxing difficulty are a concern. But what you do get for your $15 is an exciting throwback experience faithfully emulating 2D action games of old, and the sense of accomplishment to be gained by surviving the old school onslaught will more than justify the purchase. If you have a lust for pain and blood, BloodRayne: Betrayal is sure to please.” Read the full review here.

PayDay: The Heist (PSN): “So the question I asked earlier still hasn’t really been answered. Did delaying the release hurt the game? In some ways, I’m sure Overkill would’ve loved to have had the title released three weeks before Battlefield 3, and if the game had been released earlier, my guess is even more folks would be playing it. But there is definitely a community of PayDay players that are active online. Squad-based play is a blast with the right group of players and it is obvious that PayDay is meant to be played that way. Each heist has its own unique style and story that makes for a rewarding challenge when completed successfully, and there are plenty of perks to unlock and levels to earn to keep you going back for more. For $20, PayDay: The Heist is a crime spree worth going on.” Read the full review here.

Sideway: New York (PSN): “Sideway: New York is a fantastic downloadable game and is worthy of the price. With an ending that ensures more areas are planned, I can’t wait to see what graffiti art style will be highlighted in future installments. The controls are perfect for quickly moving through the richly detailed levels, but you may find some moments of frustration as enemies at times feel a bit unbalanced against you. Music really brings the world to life, and couch co-op adds one more element of fun to an already rich, replayable game. Fans of platforming should not overlook this new title.” Read the full review here.

Crysis Console (PSN): “Even with a good back-end, Crysis is more of a historical reference at this point in time. It may seem bizarre having the first game launch on consoles after its sequel, but this is certainly a game worth playing if you want to see everything that there is in the Crysis-verse. In terms of value, it does cost a third of a regular retail, boxed title. When stacked up against similarly priced downloadable titles, this game looks fantastic, like you’re getting a full retail game for a third of the price (minus the multiplayer). Which can happen when a game is old, like this one is. However, the core shooting gameplay doesn’t feel right because of the stronger than one would expect opposition. At twenty bucks, it’s an affordable venture to see if you like it, and the end is certainly worth it. But if you’re stretched for time or money and already have a favorite shooter, don’t feel bad if you decide to give this one a pass.” Read the full review here.

Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 (PSN): “Fair or unfair, Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 switches things around in such a way that it has become an easy target for nitpicking and constant comparison to its predecessor, as I have displayed in this very review. But for all of its changes and downgrades, Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 is a damn good game in its own right; one that is enjoyable to play and has a lot to offer in terms of collectibles and levels designed for speed run / leaderboard replays. It doesn’t have the ‘instant classic’ magic of its predecessor, but don’t let that blind you into thinking it’s not worth playing, because it most certainly is!” Read the full review here.

Max & the Magic Marker: Gold Edition (PSN): “As I mentioned above, Press Play has slowly released Max & the Magic Marker out to multiple platforms, and now it’s on the PS3. The levels in the previous versions of the game are the same as what is found on the PS3, so if you have played the game before be aware that you are paying for the same game over again, a few minor additions aside. The game can be fun in short doses and is certainly worth playing, but at the same time doesn’t have any real draw to keep you coming back for more once it’s over.” Read the full review here.

The Baconing (PSN): “The Baconing is a fun game, as long as it is eaten in small portions. The question, though, is once you’ve had one small taste, do you want to come back for seconds? There is nothing game breaking bad about The Baconing. Like I tell my 8 year old daughter: bacon is okay to eat, just as long as you don’t eat it for breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, lunch and then for dinner. As a third title in the series, fans will certainly enjoy this game. All other gamers may want to demo it first.” Read the full review here.

Kung-Fu Live (PSN): “Under immaculate conditions, Kung-Fu Live can be great fun, and even when it’s not quite working, you are at least sneaking in an intense workout. But with the unpredictability of the game’s technology, it’s impossible for me to outright recommend this game. Luckily, there is a demo, so my suggestion is to give that a download and see how it works in your surroundings. If you can get it functioning with reasonable reliability, go ahead and nab the full game.” Read the full review here.

Hamilton’s Great Adventure (PSN): “About the best thing I can say about Hamilton’s Great Adventure is that it is a competent game. It is not creative, fun or memorable, but it is a finished game that you can download. Except to those who insist on seeing and loving everything in the high adventure genre, and people who rewatch at least one Indiana Jones and Mummy movie every night before snuggling in with a life-sized Lara Croft action figure, I cannot recommend this game.” Read the full review here.

Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone (PSN): “Never Die Alone is almost bite-sized in its brevity. Assuming you don’t need to re-grind the early levels in order to upgrade enough to keep moving forward—and you may–you’ll blast and blaze through these mean streets in less than five hours. Slightly more than your average trick-or-treat session—and significantly bloodier.” Read the full review here.

Resident Evil 4 HD (PSN): “If you’ve somehow managed to miss playing Resident Evil 4, this is the best-looking opportunity to rectify your oversight and discover what the fuss was all about. Those who’ve braved the darkened woods and churches with Leon before will discover that without the scares and surprises, the game’s shortcomings are harder to overlook than a chainsaw-wielding Los Ganados all up in your grill.” Read the full review here.

Resident Evil: Code Veronica X HD (PSN): “Maybe you’re a Resident Evil completest. If so, by all means feel free to bash your head against Code Veronica X’s antiquated control scheme—maybe the plot-twisting payoff will be worth it. The rest of us can go back to blasting black tentacles and zombies with the buff-and-gruff version of Chris Redfield in Resident Evil 5.” Read the full review here.

Renegade Ops (PSN): “The end of the first mission affords your operatives the chance to jump in helicopters, there to do some Apocalypse Now-style damage on Inferno’s giant missile-toting boat. A nice touch, but it’s the only time you’ll do anything other than drive your car around the landscape, shooting and blowing things up. Fortunately, thanks to detailed level design and forgiving driving physics, the thrill never really gets stale. Bring your patience–and more important, bring your friends–and you’ll manage to have a blast at Inferno’s expense.” Read the full review here.

Enslaved – Pigsy’s Perfect 10 DLC (PSN): “All ribbing aside, Pigsy’s Perfect 10 is a slam-dunk buy for each and every gamer who still has a copy of Enslaved by their side (which I hope is a lot of you out there, because the game deserves to be owned, played and cherished). $9.99 / 800 MS Points gets you three hours of captivating storytelling, challenging new gameplay, gorgeous scenery further enhanced by the addition of stereoscopic 3D (if you have the TV set to display it), and even some extra collectibles like pin-up posters, food items and new Achievements/Trophies for added value.” Read the full review here.

Costume Quest: Grubbins on Ice (PSN): “Grubbins on Ice is basically everything I expected and wanted in a Costume Quest DLC extension, so you’d think I’d gobble it up like candy and ask for more. But strangely, now that I’ve completed it, I’ve almost immediately forgotten about it, and except for the closing teaser hinting at further possibilities for expansion, I can’t point to a single meaningful thing that I’d feel bad about missing out on. And now the more I think about it, maybe Costume Quest is a one-hit wonder; a game that deserves to be savored on its own like a tasty piece of candy but isn’t complex or substantial enough to satisfy for multiple tastings.” Read the full review here.

Battle: Los Angeles (PSN): “Battle: Los Angeles basically plays like the opening chapter of what was supposed to be a full game, but due to quality concerns continued development was scrapped to save money, leftover concept artwork was cobbled together into a cheap comic book story presentation, and the game was tossed out as a digital download just to recoup as much wasted development cost as possible. Please, whatever you do, do not contribute to such a product!” Read the full review here.

Hoard (PSP): “As a single player affair, Hoard is exactly what I want from a portable game. It is straightforward, yet deceptively challenging and complex, and its ‘in 10 minutes or less’ design approach is perfectly suited for handheld gaming. I love the PS3 version, and I’m sure the new PC Steam version is great, too. But for me, Hoard is at its fire-breathing, loot-hoarding best on the PSP!” Read the full review here.

Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy (PSP): “There truly is an endless supply of things to do in Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy, and this time around the gameplay has been improved and expanded upon to the point where you’ll want to experience all that the game has to offer, even if the first game didn’t knock your socks off (I was underwhelmed by the first game, yet I have been completely enthralled by Duodecim). And obviously it goes without saying, that if you already played and loved the first Dissidia, you’ll fall for Duodecim even harder, and with the provided data import option and full original campaign, there’s no reason not to sell off your old UMD and make the upgrade.” Read the full review here.

Ys I & II Chronicles (PSP): “It would be easy to pick apart all of the flaws with the game, but as I played I fell in love with it all over again. The game feels very old in some ways, yet the light whimsical feel as I played made me forgive everything. These are two classics of the JRPG franchise, and this is my favorite version.” Read the full review here.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (PSP): “Overall I appreciated everything Falcom has done with The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky – it has a great story, wonderful characters, engaging combat, and just loads and loads of quests! For a game this long I would have appreciated a bit less backtracking, but that is a minor issue. Some folks will have a problem with the dated graphics, but again – not a big deal for me. In my eyes the positives of story, character, side-quests and combat outweigh those minor nitpicks. If you enjoyed the earlier trio this is an easy recommendation, but even if you missed those I would suggest this to any fan of the JRPG genre in specific or story and character focused RPGs in general.” Read the full review here.

ClaDun x2 (PSP): “Fans of dungeon crawlers will definitely enjoy this game. For anyone else, this title has a slow build up, teaching all of the components that make the game so good. Quick levels make for a game that easily eats away many hours of fun. ClaDun x2 is worth buying.” Read the full review here.

Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood! (PSP): “Oh no, dood! Some perverted klepto has stolen Master Etna’s panties! What’s a Prinny to do? Well, go on another rousing platform adventure, of course, and reclaim Etna’s prized undergarment before the thief sniffs them and thrusts the Netherworld into cataclysmic chaos. Yes, that really is the plot of this game – and in typical Disgaea form, it is quirky (and quite juvenile) anime fun packed with crisp, spritey graphics and humorous dialogue aplenty.” Read the full review here.

Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle (PSP): “So while Phantom Brave is a solid SRPG with a couple of unique elements, it is weighed down by being a nearly seven year old game that has done little to make itself more modern. I actually got the PS2 game for my son after starting this, and played some – same game. It makes it feel more like a lazy port, which is a real shame. If you have never played the game on other platforms, and are really itching for a SRPG on the PSP, give this a try … but otherwise there are enough excellent SRPG games for the PSP that you can skip this without worry.” Read the full review here.

Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection (PSP): “Final Fantasy IV is one of the true classics of the role-playing genre, and it’s also my favorite of the series (much better than the over-hyped FF VII). It has been remade and re-released many times through the years, and there is a basic reason why it is still appealing: it features a great story with interesting characters and loads of fun content, including introducing the ‘Active Time’ combat system to the Final Fantasy universe.” Read the full review here.

Lord of Arcana (PSP): “So as I said at the start, Lord of Arcana is NOT Monster Hunter. But OH how badly Lord of Arcana wishes it was Monster Hunter! The problem is that the cloning process is superficial and incomplete, and while I am not the biggest fan of the Monster Hunter games either, this sad knock-off makes me appreciate just how much that franchise has to offer. Do yourself a favor – buy one of those instead!” Read the full review here.

MLB 11: The Show (PSP): “If you have played a PSP version of MLB The Show in the last couple of years, you can easily skip this one and not miss a whole lot. So little has changed, and some things have been removed, and ultimately you will be disappointed. But if you have never played or it has been a few years, go ahead and buy – it is quite a solid game!” Read the full review here.

Split/Second (PSP): “But ultimately the technical issues in terms of graphics, performance, and erratic handling bog this game down way too much for any amount of maniacal explosiveness to rescue. This is one of those games that would be a good deal for ~$5-10, where you could forgive the issues I described here. If you see it for more than $10, pass it by for now.” Read the full review here.

Where is My Heart? (PlayStation Minis): “Where is my Heart? is one of those experiences that shouldn’t be missed. Following the free PlayStation Plus release from a couple weeks ago, today sees the release to the rest of the PSN store at a price of $6.99. Fans of puzzle games and quirky art should definitely pick this up, as the minimalism goes a long way to create a rich experience. Rarely are minis this good.” Read the full review here.

Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder (PlayStation Minis): “Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder is by no means a great game, but it is a great time waster, and that’s all it needs to be. It’s an ideal game for quick doses of fun when you have time to kill or just want to let off a little steam, and with over 80 missions, three difficulty options, survival play and built-in achievements, there is more than enough content to make the $5 buy-in worthwhile (and the iOS versions are even cheaper, as usual).” Read the full review here.

N.O.V.A. – Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance (PlayStation Minis): “No matter how you slice it, N.O.V.A. is a barebones, by-the-numbers FPS, with no sense of personality or distinguishing characteristics to individuate itself from other games in the genre. I really don’t fault the developer’s efforts, it’s just that the FPS genre simply does not lend itself to the type of scaling back that’s inherent in developing for the Minis platform, and this game is proof of that.” Read the full review here.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!