Hello again! It’s been a while, but sure enough, I’m back with recommendations for PSP titles: Minis and Retail games alike! Since the series started due to the closure of the PSN store, I wasn’t sure what to do after I recommended some PS2 games, since I didn’t even really know if the topic had much interest anymore without the dire desperation of having to buy PSN games before they got pulled: yet, I figured I might as well finish what I started, and still go over some fun games you can buy on the NA PSN store, that I recommend!
Brandish: This remake of Falcom’s Dungeon crawling RPG is a really well-made one, localized by XSEED near the end of the PSP’s life. Of all the Falcom games on the PSP, this is to my knowledge the only one unavailable on steam or other platforms, meaning you should pick this up whenever possible! It really has a lot of fun mechanics to it, and while I’ve sadly neglected to get far in it despite buying on launch day, I do aim to beat this gem one day, as it brings to mind a lot of PMD-esque elements that I love to pieces.
Lunar Silver Star Harmony: This RPG adventure is yet another remake of Lunar 1, and the best yet! With a script that takes the few parts of Working Designs’ version that actually worked, and adds a lot more authenticity and charm to it, and a bunch of quality of life improvements, this is easily the most accessible and best version of the game by far, save for the original Japanese versions. (or the modded Un-Worked Designs versions, if you wanna keep those weird scripts but remove the awful difficulty adjustments) It’s a big shame Eternal Blue didn’t get the same treatment and the series has gone dormant since then, but in lieu of a return like Grandia got, this is an easy RPG recommendation!
Final Fantasy IV Complete Collection: I’m just gonna say it and point out how this is without a doubt, the best version of FFIV. The difficulty has been rebalanced to be a comfortable, yet not brain-dead experience, the 2D sprites look better than ever, and it even includes a new interlude portion that links to the rocky After-Years, which is also here. (available here in 2D format, rather than the weird 3D remake that’s on Steam, which wasn’t done nearly as well as the FFIV 3D remake) It just works so perfectly as a portable RPG that it’s arguably even the best of the FFs available on the Vita! Definitely worth picking up if you’re not a fan of the 3D version, or want to play a 2D FFIV for the heck of it.
Blazblue Calamity Trigger Portable: A pretty impressive PSP port for the time, this takes the story of the console fighter to the handheld, allowing you to mostly complete the series on Vita. (since Central Fiction is absent, though everything else is available as a native vita title) Not much else to say, outside of how this isn’t really ideal for online play, due to completely lacking it.
Gradius Collection: This one is a royal pain to get on a Vita, since you need a PS3 to get it on the system. But once you do, you have a collection of five excellent Gradius games, with the legendary Gaiden being included here as a bonus! The first two are based off PS1 versions, and III-IV are based off the PS2 ports, but Gaiden is a brand new port for this collection, and all run outstandingly on the system. Twinbee, Salamander, and Parodius compilations would soon follow in Japan, but Gradius is the only one the US ever got, and it’s arguably the best of them all, with each game running perfectly with lots of options (though Gradius III is still as evil as ever and has been replaced by the ACA version as the definitive arcade port)
Mighty Flip Champs! DX: The only PS Mini on the list, and easily one of the best of them all, this is Wayforward’s sister game to Mighty Milky Way, a DSiWare exclusive that launched over a decade ago. This DX version of the DSi classic adds some extra bonuses, while also formatting the game to play on a single screen, much preferable to the DS’s two-screen mayhem. Offering plenty of tricky world-bending puzzles, this is a fun gem that’ll keep you pretty busy for a PS Mini!
Breath of Fire III: This one was nearly ten years off from the rest of the world, but when the US finally got this PSP port of BOF3, it was glorious! A fun RPG adventure adapted to the PSP system, (and mildly edited out a copyright infringing enemy that blocked a traditional PSOne Classics port) this is easily the best of the four BOFs in my opinion, and is again a game I really need to beat to the end despite owning it at launch. It just plays so good on the PSP and Vita, and it’s a shame it took ten years for the US to get it, and it was only a digital game here! (PAL/Japan got it at retail in 2005) Definitely the Capcom game I’d recommend buying over everything else.
So once again, those were some PSN gems worth your time! It was a lot tougher picking these out considering how many good PSP games are available for cheap at retail, and how some of the best PSP games aren’t even on PSN at all, but I do hope this continues to inspire some good game recommendations for you all. Next time, we’ll reach the penultimate part of the PSN recommendations with PS3 download titles, which will easily be the hardest of the series for me: so much so, that imports will be included from the getgo! Stay tuned for that.