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A PSP Update

After some more time with the PSP I’ve got a couple more things to share about games I’m playing and tricks I’ve learned.

PS1 Emulation

This is something I had been completely overlooking until a couple days ago. The PSP officially had a good collection of classic PS1 titles that it was capable of emulating, and thanks to community tools it’s possible to convert any other PS1 title that wasn’t officially supported and play it on the PSP.

I never had a PS1 growing up, but I did play a couple PS1 games thanks to the PS2’s backwards compatibility and a lot of my favorite PC games were also available on PS1. Lately I’ve been playing a lot of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 which was a childhood favorite. I’ve also been playing a bit of Re-Volt, an RC car racing game that’s harder than I remember, and Spider-Man, whose PC demo I would play over and over.

The built-in emulator is, to my untrained eyes, quite good. The PS1 controls don’t match up exactly to the PSP – the PSP only has two trigger buttons instead of four, and it has a thumbstick that the PS1 controller doesn’t. To make up for this there are several included control presets you can switch between, or you can create a completely custom control scheme per-game. Most of the games I’ve tested have played really well, but I did see slow downs in one or two.

Game Categories

This is a system plugin that gets pretty necessary as you install more and more games. Instead of browsing every single game in one big list, you can browse by category by creating directories in your filesystem and putting the games in there. I’ve got mine organized by type, like PSP, PS1, Homebrew, etc. and it just makes the game library much nicer to go through. This is the guide I used for installing the plugin.

More PSP Games

One of the games I’ve been recommended is Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. It seems like a slow burn (which I find isn’t a bad thing!). I’ve only just gotten through the training quests, but there’s a lot that I’m liking about it. The combat is fun and has a lot of different ways you can approach it with varied weapon types and other helpful items like bombs and traps. You’re encouraged to prepare for monster hunts by collecting supplies and materials which is a mechanic I tend to like when it’s done well. I’m excited to see how the rest of the game plays out now that I’m done with the training.

Another that I’ve started very recently is Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters. I don’t tend to be a huge fan of platformers but so far this one seems different. I think part of that is owed to all the unique tools and weapons you have even in the early game. Switching between them as you adapt to different enemies and situations is something I’ll always find satisfying. The controls take some time to get used to but aren’t bad once you do.

A Lot To Keep Me Busy for a While

This will probably be my last update on the PSP, at least for some time while I play through the backlog I’ve quickly built up for myself. I’m really amazed at how much there is to enjoy on this system. When I first started with it I imagined I’d just put an emulator or two on it and occasionally play a handful of games, but there’s a lot more to enjoy with it than I would have guessed!

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