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Holiday Videogame Guide 2010: PSP

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Sony's struggles with its handheld PlayStation Portable came to a head in 2010. Instead of sparking a rally, the launch of the PSP Go model late last year--which relies on users buying and downloading their games from the PlayStation online store--failed to spark renewed interest in the system. In fact, over the course of this year games came late to the digital distribution system, and in a few cases not at all, leaving owners of the new Go out in the cold.

Couple these struggles with the all-but-confirmed rumor of a new PlayStation Portable 2 coming in the New Year and we can't give the PSP system much of a recommendation as a gift this season. If, however, you do find one on your list we advise sticking to the standard model. Its UMD drive ensures you'll be able to play all the games in the library and you should be able to get it for the best deal.

Like the system, PSP game releases faded over 2010. Though fewer in number, the silver lining is that of those that came out, many were quite good. We highlight a few top picks in our gift list:

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
For: The super secret spy or eyepatch aficionado
Xav Says: It doesn't matter what era it's set in or what war he's entering, Snake is always a welcome addition to my collection. Set in Costa Rica in the early 1970s, Snake must learn the true nature of group armed with a mysterious weapon known as "Peace Sentinels." But don't worry, "peace" is only the intended outcome of the game as it still features plenty of enemies to stealthily take out of the equation. One of my favorite franchises of all time, Metal Gear Solid has never been this good on a handheld system ever before. If you or someone you love need to know every piece of history associated with the "Serpiente de la Familia" then this is a game that should be purchased immediately.

Dissidia Final Fantasy
For: The commuter with a long enough route to put on the headphones and get engrossed in a cinematic experience.
Brian says: Well, since someone already took Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, I'll go ahead and recommend last year's Dissidia Final Fantasy for the PSP owners out there. The story is completely ridiculous and full of fan-service, but the gameplay itself is a lot of fun. Character building is easy to get lost in and you could find yourself grinding out a few levels every once and a while. Wrapping it all up is the Duel Colosseum feature, which let's the player gamble for experience and loot as the difficulty of enemies increases.

Valkyria Chronicles 2
For: The person who plays a serious game of toy soldiers, and it doesn't hurt if they like anime too.
Garnett says: The sequel to one of the best PS3 games to date, Valkyria Chronicles 2 brings its unique brand of strategy game to the PSP. Don't be fooled by the cartoon animation, a serious tactical combat game lies at the heart of the game. Its mix of thoughtful positioning with gunfire that takes place in real time makes for an exciting game. The story in this sequel swerves off course a little with its gossipy interactions of students at a military academy but that can almost be written off as part of the game's character... almost.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    November 26, 2010 9:01 PM

    I know you guys said not to buy a PSP this black friday, but damnit i did it anyway, and these 3 games are sure fire goodness. i also pocked up the persona 3 portable game, final fantasy tactics, jeanne d'arc, crissis core. as you can tall i love me some RPG's and Tactics games. In fact the reason i went ahead and picked up the 129.99 holiday bundle was so i can play tactics ogre when that comeso ut early next year. what else do you think are good games to get for the PSP? perhaps some stuff i could download from the PSN as i haven't looked ot much into that (my PS3 gets turned on about once a month).

    thanks for the holiday guides and the great site with podcast, your work is apreciated.
    -cory

    • reply
      November 26, 2010 9:42 PM

      I picked one up from amazon, the $129.99 black friday lpb bundle with $15 credit was too good to pass up, I must have more valkyria chronicles!!

      and more metal gear.

      • reply
        November 27, 2010 10:35 AM

        yeah, the PSN had metal gear on sale for 19.99 a friggin great price for a great game!