E3 2006: Even More Love From Our Friends at Konami
Death Jr. 2: Root of Evil
Though one of the first titles revealed for the PSP, the eventual release of Death Jr. didn't light the world on fire. Nonetheless, Konami has seen fit to produce a sequel. This time around you can play as both the diminutive reaper and his gal-pal Pandora. Plenty of new enemies await in open environments that provide the player with multiple ways to complete each level. DJ2 is currently set for Fall release.
We've known about it for awhile, but it bears repeating: Gradius Collections is coming to the PSP very, very soon! This sultry amalgamation of all things good about side-scrolling shooters features five classic Gradius titles.
Versions of Hellboy will be making their way to both the PSP and PS3, but at this point, you're going to have to settle for details about the latter. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. The big red sonnuvademon returns in an all new story featuring a familiar cast of characters straight from the comics. The aim is to provide the player with context-sensitive actions and the ability to manipulate the environment in order to communicate Hellboy's massive strength. The devs are also planning a cooperative mulltiplayer mode featuring lovable, erudite fishman Abe Sapien and Liz Sherman amongst others.
Metal Gear Solid Digital Graphic Novel
Konami seems quite infatuated with these new-fangled digital comics, don't they? Hot on the heels of The Silent Hill Experience comes the MGSDGN (it was just begging to become an acronym). Though that's unlikely to be its final name, the package features a story based on comics penned by Kris Oprisko and drawn by artist Ashley Wood. It seems to be a bit more interactive than the Silent Hill comic, with a "Memory Building" mode - you can highlight items in each scene and click on them to construct an interconnected file of Metal Gear lore. No new screens as yet.
Online Chess Kingdoms
The first chess game for the PSP comes complete with 5 different chess sets, a challenging single-player campaign, Speed Chess, and Infrastructure multiplayer so you can play distant friends over wireless (beats a day in the park with all the hustlers and old people, right?). You can't really knock chess as a game, and fun battle animations make it more entertaining, but would it have hurt Konami to include a special set of pieces based on their wealth of franchise characters?
Rengoku 2...is it much different from Rengoku 1? Is the sky blue? Does Metal Gear rock? Did we really need a sequel? OK, the answer to the last one is probably a big, fat NO, yet we find ourselves with a sequel to the PSP launch title Tower of Purgatory. This one does feature Game Sharing so you can play with your friends.
Across 20 missions, you'll take command (both real-time and turn-based) of a fleet of warships bent on destroying the evil Axis powers of WWII. The PSP is lacking in war sims/strategy games so this should fit the bill nicely.
Winx 2: Join the Culb
Somehow I don't think "pre-pubescent female" fits into the PSP demographic, but what do I know? Winx 2 combines the whiz-bang magic, fast-paced action, and impeccable sense of fashion you've come to expect from these teenage faeries. In true runway fashion, you'll compete in various mini-games and explore environments as you unlock new customizable clothing and unveil mysteries from the show's second season.
Based of the Saturday morning 'toon of the same name, Xiaolin Showdown puts you in the shoes of the young monk Omi (and 5 other characters) as they seek out powerful artifacts known as the Shen Gong Wu. Tracking them down won't be easy as you'll have to perform some platforming and puzzle-solving along the way, not to mention "Showdowns" which pit your character against various challenges and arena combat. Xiaolin Showdown is coming to both the PS2 and PSP
5/10/2006 Cavin Smith