Snackbar Games Holiday Gift Guide 2011: PSP

December 10, 2011

Looking for a good game for yourself or someone else this holiday season? We’ve got you covered. If you’re a fan of games with a Japanese bent, you had a good year on the PSP.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky: Trails in the Sky takes place in the Kingdom of Liberl, a world where orbments, magically-powered devices power all aspects of daily life: from the common streetlights to airships to more complicated combat orbments that allow people to use magic-like arts. Estelle Bright, the game’s main protagonist, and his adopted brother Joshua Bright are accepted as into the Bracer’s Guild, which is a local mercenary-type group that does jobs on request for all the local citizens, with branches all over Liberl. On their journey to become full-fledged bracers, they become involved in events that affect the history of the entire kingdom. (Full review)

Final Fantasy IV: The Complete CollectionYou’re really getting the most bang for your buck with this package. Upgraded sprite graphics, cutscenes from the DS version, content previously only available via WiiWare, and a chapter that can’t be had on any other platform make The Complete Collection the definitive version of Final Fantasy IV. Now maybe SE can move on to giving Final Fantasy VI a similar treatment on the PSP. (Full review)

Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together: At the time of Tactics Ogre‘s original release, the strategy RPG genre wasn’t exactly a powerhouse. The Fire Emblem games hadn’t left Japan, Final Fantasy Tacticswasn’t around yet and Shining Force didn’t exactly fly off the shelves. Now, though, these games are everywhere, and the PSP is the metropolis in which they all seem to gather. Somehow, though, the game stands the test of time and the modern competition. (Full review)

Persona 2: Innocent Sin: When Persona 2 originally made it stateside in 2000, most fans were unaware that they had only received half of a complete story. The game’s first half, Innocent Sin, would only be released in Japan, leaving a gap that wouldn’t be filled until 11 years later. Atlus has heard the call, and with the US release of Innocent Sin’s PSP remake, fans can finally visit the missing half of Persona 2’s narrative, along with a redone soundtrack by Shoji Meguro and a new, stylized interface. (Full review)

Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle: Phantom Brave eschews the traditional grid for a more free-form movement and attack system. Characters can be moved around the battlefield in three dimensions confined by a radius. This means you can jam fighters right up next to each other and need to pay attention to how close you are to your enemy as attacks are less effective the further away you are. Just because you connect doesn’t mean you’ll knock the enemy on his backside. (Full review)

Ys I & II ChroniclesMuch like The Oath in FelghanaI & II Chronicles is a remake of the first two titles in the series. Playing as the series’ hero Adol Christin you set out to discover the Books of Ys, which in turn help unravel the mysteries behind the titular land. Unlike the other games of the series, I & II Chronicles actually takes place in and around the Land of Ys (pronounced as Geese minus the G) and is the starting point of Adol’s adventures. (Full review)

Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final FantasyThe original Dissidia: Final Fantasy is arguably the closest thing to the perfect fanservice game, given that not many series boast such a large amount of entries with different casts of characters. While the service was great though, the actual gameplay mechanics were far from refined, and what could have also been a top-notch game didn’t quite reach its full potential. Enter Dissidia Duodecim, a sequel of sorts which expands upon the game’s core elements and fixes some of the issues most prevalent with its precursor, though it also introduces some new issues that might put people off. (Full review)