Sony's PlayStation Portable really came into its own in 2007. Not only did the PSP get slimmer, but it also gained much ground in terms of quality games. Coming from only a small handful of RPGs over the past couple years, this year saw around twenty. While it still might not have the sheer sales numbers that the DS has, it has finally proven to be a solid RPG handheld.
Criticized for some of its poorer attempts, Square Enix has finally learned what the word 'remake' means and demonstrated so by releasing Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions for the PSP. Tactics impresses as both an original game as well as a remake. The videos are nice storyline touches that both show the prowess of the PSP as well as offer something different from the original.
The most important change of the game is, of course, the retranslation. Gone is the gibberish monster names and the awkward speeches, replaced by an enchanting story that, most of all, makes actual sense this time around. Due to all of these combined factors, the game plays like a new title. However it still manages to maintain the drug-euphoria-enducing battle system which addicts will find is unchanged. That is, except the addition of updated job titles and the aforementioned new classes. It's no surprise this game was one of the top desirables for the PSP this year.
Brave Story: New Traveler came out of nowhere to provide a solid, original RPG for the PSP in a year that ports and remakes were dominating. Featuring classic turn-based combat with many creative innovations, Brave Story may not have broken a lot of new ground, but it took many tested RPG concepts and improved on them. It cut loading between battles to next to nothing, allowed for leveling up during combat, and offered powerful Bravura and Unity skills. The story may not have been extremely deep, but when combined with a loveable group of characters and a solid battle system, Brave Story couldn't help but stand out.
For years, Castlevania fans have claimed that Rondo of Blood was the best in the series, but since few had a chance to play it, that was a claim that went largely untested. Now, Konami has delivered the game in the form of Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles with enhanced graphics and they've even thrown in some bonuses. The original versions of Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night are unlockable on the disc, so not only do you get the best side-scrolling Castlevania, but it also includes the best exploration-based game as well. Throw in a a slightly discounted price, and it's a steal.
by Jordan Jackson, Anna Marie Neufeld, Michael Cunningham