25 excellent PSP games at a bargain price (part 2 of 5)

Thumb - Image 1Last week’s list offered a handful of gaming gems that are now being offered for mere change but definitely don’t deserve to be thrown into the bargain bin. This time around, we’re going to see similar games, most of them calling forth fond memories of old school arcade gaming. Here’s a clue: Ultimate Ghosts n’ Goblins. Capcom arcade games. Mega Man. Reminiscing now? Hit the full article for the list.

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We kicked off the list of awesome PSP games under 25 bucks last week, and we’re continuing the list with this second batch of titles you should grab if you ever come across them.

This time, older gamers will take a liking to this edition as three of the games included in this list are created to evoke the memories of the good old days, where plunking tokens is the norm, as well as impossibly hard gameplay. If you want to re-experience the gaming gems from your childhood, get ready to shell out twenty-five bucks… you certainly will after reading through this article.

Mega Man Powered Up (available at US$ 12.79)

Capcom‘s Mega Man Powered Up is actually a shoo-in for this list. In fact, you should consider this a must-have to your collection if you haven’t got it already. Why? Because Mega Man Powered Up is essentially a cutie-fied remake of the epic first Mega Man game for the NES, and more.

Powered Up is more than just a mere graphical update to the original NES game. Aside from re-introducing the game in sweet, cutesy dollops of goodness, Mega Man Powered Up also adds a lot of welcome twists by giving players a chance to get into the shoes of the villains. Play as Cut Man! Hey, even Guts Man! Yes, it’s a dream come true for all fans of the original game.

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But that’s not the only bonus available in Mega Man Powered Up. Aside from the addition of two new characters, Oil Man and Time Man (guess what they can do), this revamp of a classic game also boasts a redesigned and extended stages.

Some of the remade stages have hidden areas that only certain boss characters, when unlocked, can access, adding tons of replay value – you’ll never know what you’re missing unless you play through the game as all the bosses.

Once you’re over and done with the remake of the original game, there’s still something that will make you go on: the insane minigames, which pose more than a bit of a challenge to those who think that they’ve got using Mega Man (and the bosses) down pat. Don’t be fooled by the cute, simplistic appearance of the game: some, if not most, of the minigames will perplex you.

If you consider yourself a fan of the blue bomber, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t grab this game. Aside from letting you re-experience a game pivotal to gaming history with modernized and impossibly cute visuals, Mega Man Powered Up also offers a lot of extras, and you’ll definitely get your money’s worth, at this price it’s a steal.

Buy: [Mega Man Powered Up]

Capcom Classics Collection Remixed (available at US$ 14.99)

Fans of arcade games hailing from the 80’s won’t want to miss out on Capcom Classics Collection Remixed, one of the two classic Capcom game compilations released for the PSP. If you’ve come across the games included in this anthology (see list below), there’s really no need to prod you further into getting this gem from the bargain bin. Just go get it, stat.

Here’s the list of the games included in this classic arcade gaming collection:

  • 1941: Counter Attack
  • Avengers
  • Bionic Commando
  • Black Tiger
  • Block Block
  • Captain Commando
  • Final Fight
  • Forgotten Worlds
  • Last Duel
  • Legendary Wings
  • Magic Sword
  • Mega Twins
  • Quiz & Dragons
  • Section Z
  • Side Arms: Hyper Dyne
  • The Speed Rumbler
  • Street Fighter
  • Strider
  • Three Wonders
  • Varth

Final Fight? Bionic Commando? Strider? Yes, this collection does pack a wallop. The original Street Fighter is also included in the package, but for those who haven’t encountered it yet, this is not the Street Fighter that you’re familiar with. Playing it is an experience worth checking out, however.

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Remixed manages to deliver the above games in pristine, arcade-perfect condition. The emulation of these games is flawless, there’s no slowdown whatsoever, and loading between games is minimal.

For vertical shooters, the option to rotate the screen orientation 90 degrees is available, to make full use of the PSP’s screen. Definitely useful for gamers who want to play vertical shooters, such as 1941.

What makes playing these games on the PSP even more appealing is its seamless multiplayer: anyone with the same game running on their PSPs within your range can just jump into your game, and if they want to quit, they can leave without interrupting your play. It’s just a shame that Remixed doesn’t have a game sharing feature.

Lots of extra content, such as unlockable concept art, music tracks, and hidden gaming tips also lend a sliver of replayability to this title, but that’s just the icing on the cake of course. If you want to get a piece of this sentimental cake, go ahead, it’s only going to cost you US$ 15. Not a bad price for a chance to relive those memories again.

Buy: [Capcom Classics Collection Remixed]

Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins (available at US$ 19.79)

If you liked the premise of Mega Man Powered Up‘s existence, then you might as well pick up Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins, another souped-up 3D update to yet another retrogaming Capcom franchise (yes, you might say that this is Capcom’s week, indeed). Haven’t come across any games in this series yet? Good grief!

Here’s the gist of it, then: as Arthur, it’s your job to mow down demons and rescue the princess from their evil clutches. The end. Those who are looking for depth of plot or character development should steer clear of this game; Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins is only about getting rid of the bad guys, even if you’re stripped down to your underwear.

If did get to play the original Arcade game, or its NES port, you probably remember how bloody hard the other games in the series are. Liked the difficulty of the older games? Rejoice, since Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins manages to emulate the harrowing, nail-biting gameplay down to a tee.

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Those who want the Ye Olde Ghosts ‘n Goblins experience will be satisfied with the Ultimate Mode, which does a pretty good job of mimicking how hard the original arcade game was. Once your character gets killed, you will be sent back to a particular point in the stage and have to pass the same area all over again to clear the stage (remember not to get killed!).

However, the Standard and Novice Modes are immediately available for those who would rather just enjoy the game sans the frustration. In both modes, the player starts with more lives and Arthur is resurrected on the spot when killed. In Novice Mode, some of the obstacles in the game are removed to prevent the player from experiencing game-triggered hypertension.

All in all, Ultimate Ghosts n’ Goblins provides real hardcore gaming for a fraction of the price. But if you’re a casual gamer who wants to climb the ranks and work his way up into becoming the ultimate gaming god, then you shouldn’t pass up the chance to train your reflexes with this title.

Buy: [Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins]

Exit (available at US$ 14.79)

Taito‘s stylish puzzle platformer has all the reasons to make you march/click to your nearest store and buy the game, especially if you’re really into puzzles. For one thing, Exit is not your usual handheld puzzle game. For once, this puzzler doesn’t have a ton of disappearing blocks or gems, but features a well-made, intelligent platformer at its core instead.

As Mr. ESC, a professional ‘escapologist’, the player’s main goal is to escape buildings and guide survivors to the exit, if there are any. There’s no overarching storyline here, the game and its myriad of stages mostly revolves around Mr. ESC, the obstacles, the survivors, and the exit, nothing else. But what makes this game a worthy bargain purchase?

One thing is that Exit offers a fresh type of experience that’s unique compared to most other games already out in the market: no, it may not have exceptional graphics, nor does it feature witty dialogue to pique player interest, but Exit‘s core gameplay – which should be the only thing that matters in the first place – is going to grab you by the scruff, hook, line, and sinker.

The premise may be simple – just save the survivors and guide them to safety – but the game offers depth enough to make playing Exit quite a satisfying experience. Mr. ESC will encounter many obstacles between any given stage’s starting point and the exit, and most of the time you’ll need to properly map out your course before your proceed, lest you carelessly throw yourself to a needless death.

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The obstacles vary from fire, high ledges, to even Mr. ESC’s own limitations, and much more.The main challenge in Exit however, is escorting the survivors to safety, and that element alone is governed by several mechanics. There are many types of survivors, and each has their own different needs and their own limitations, which will greatly affect your escape plan.

However, what makes Exit such a great deal is the sheer number of levels that you can plow through. Exit features an initial 100 individual levels, which aren’t exactly a breeze to solve.

But here’s the big one: once a player does manage to finish all 100, 11 extra stages (with 10 levels each) become available for download…yes, that’s 110 new levels all in all, and each of them is tougher than the original 100 included in the UMD.

So go ahead, pick up this game if you want a fresh twist to your usual puzzle games for a reasonable price, with a ton of extra content.

Buy: [Exit]

WipEout Pure (available at US$ 14.99)

Hailed as one of the best PSP launch titles, WipEout Pure from Sony Studio Liverpool sure did its job in showcasing the handheld’s graphical capabilities.

Here’s a rough sketch as to what WipEout Pure is: it’s a futuristic hovercraft racing title, one that is indelibly marked with beautiful visuals unmarred by fast and furious gameplay that lets gamers nuke their opponents with various weapons that can be picked up along the way. The game also features an exceptional soundtrack that sets the mood to go racing, and fast.

Pure offers several gameplay modes for the solo player: the Single Mode, Tournament, Time Trial, and Free Play are all thrown in as the game modes mandatory for all racing games. One that is unique to WipEout Pure, however, is the Zone mode. Zone is basically an endurance test of sorts, with the vehicle gradually increases speed as you go. The game ends when the hovercraft’s shields are completely worn down and the player explodes in a fiery ball.

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Those who are interested in racing with their friends can use WipEout Pure‘s Wi-Fi multiplayer support, which can accommodate up to eight players at a time. Setting up a game with other players may prove to be a bit cumbersome, with the awkward process of assigning a host for the game. It’s not really a bad thing, except that the process has to be repeated for every single race.

Like many other PSP titles, WipEout Pure offers optional replay value by offering expansion packs that include new racing teams, tracks, music, as well as various extras such as PSP themes. Several expansion packs are currently available, which pretty much ensures that you’re going to stick with this game for a long time.

WipEout Pure easily still ranks as one of the best-looking games that ever graced Sony’s handheld; if you bought your PSP at launch yet haven’t picked this up already, congratulations, you’ve just shortchanged yourself. Go save this one from the bargain bin if you haven’t yet.

Buy: [WipEout Pure]

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