The PlayStation Portable, the PSP, slowly starts to fade away, even in Japan. As this console approaches its end, let’s take a look at the games that got cancelled, the PS2 to PSP ports that never happened, the games that could have happened and even Nintendo Wii to PSP ports.
Before anyone can go all “not possible” or “the PSP can’t handle that”, it is perfectly capable of handling any of those things, it has proved it time and again, often though, these games remained in Japan so I won’t blame you for not believing me initially. I can get the “Wii to PSP ports” being a bit selfish, that’s why I left them for the end, so that the actual content can be presented first and foremost, with the wishes remaining at the end. The order of the games presented in those categories are not representive of anything, they are just from the top of my head, the order the games listed here means nothing.
Cancelled PSP Games
01.)Devil May Cry
In 2005, as soon as both the PSP and Devil May Cry 3 hit the worldwide market, Capcom announced a Devil May Cry for the PSP. Seeing how awesome the new DMC was, fans started wanting this new game, whatever it was, be it a DMC3 port against all odds at that period due to the “backporting” technology being in its infacy when the PSP came out or even a completely new game featuring Dante or Sparda or even the first DMC. Whatever the case, everyone was excited, especially when they saw how Viewtiful Joe could be done on the PSP(I still haven’t gotten around to buying that VJ game but back then it was one of the hype factors for this DMC in some forums).
Compared to other games in this list, this one weighs heavy on me, as when the news for a possible Shining game on the PSP started showing in the japanese magazines Dengeki and Famitsu after the awesomeness that is Shining Force Cross started showing itself…there was a small announcement, right in the games corner of the magazines, with no highlight, no explanation, just a silent “Cancelled”. It was back in November of 2009, 4 years after the original announcement and despite the fact that no other news had come out, fans refused to believe it wouldn’t happen. Whether it was a decision by Kobayashi Hiroyuki, a decision by the DMC development team or by Capcom’s top hats, we will never know.
02.)King of Fighters : Maximum Impact
This is a strange one. Back in the day, as PSP was starting to get strong, SNK Playmore announced a new game in the King of Fighters : Maximum Impact series that would be exclusive for the PSP, apparently to build a fighting base there as well…it was never heard from again. Contrary to Capcom though, SNK has had a really rocky road these past few years, partly due to unpopularity and the top hats / CEO circle of the company for making really cocky and stupid decisions, resulting in great loss of money and capital over the years, so…it’s not that strange that this was silently cancelled.
03.)Godzilla : Unleashed
Another strange cancellation but that may be due to the fact that the game was being ported in the first place. Western studios never really embraced the PSP and its true capabilities, often settling or even worse, opting for far lower games that the PSP was capable of.
04.)The Last Ninja
Back in the day, System 3 and the then partners they had, presented a set of images and a short development trailer for selected people only(game developers and journalists) to show that The Last Ninja was returning from the ashes of Commodore 64 and was finally ready to claim his place as Ryu Hayabusa’s rival in a break neck action game that retained the puzzles of the originals, while being able to take Ninja Gaiden’s sophisticated battle system and let it go portable and on the PS2…it was left alone and perhaps silently cancelled…nobody knows what has happened to The Last Ninja since then. Other sources say that the developers came out and constantly made remarks about how “The Last Ninja 4 could never be the game they wanted to be” and how “They should remake the Trilogy for the DS and the Wii”, plans that never took on. A really strange decision and too bad…because I wanted a Ninja Gaiden for the PSP but the original NG could never be played on a portable console without suffering massive hardware problems.
05.)Gekido : The Dark Angel
Gekido for the PSP was suppossed to be a more japanese game compared to its prequels, even going as far as to be a DMC clone…and a good one at that, better than what God of War tried to do and failed. Despite never really being gripped by that(I didn’t even remember it until it was mentioned recently) since back in the day, I thought an actual PSP DMC was comming out, it is a shame that this never got past this trailer it had.
06.)Resident Evil Portable
Another game Capcom cancelled for an unknown reason…though theories have flown around, suspecting that the footage of this RE might have been a tech demo for the PSP to show its capabilities. Still, a very strange decision, not to put a RE game up to the PSP when Sillent Hill was pumping out games for that.
PS2 to PSP ports that never happened
All of these ports could be done, even if it meant splitting the game into two UMDS but it would be and still is possible. And this will probably be true for the rest of the ports that could be done. Not to mention, most of these games can be ported to the PSP without having to mutilate the controls due to having useless buttons on the controller much too often(like the R2 and L2) but those that do fill all of the important buttons this can be circumvented by using the D-Pad / Analog Nub of the PSP to full use instead of having it do nothing. Senritsu no Stratus and many other PSP games are great examples on how each direction of the D-Pad can be used for different things other than open pretty menus. With that in mind, let’s go!
01.)Devil May Cry
Devil May Cry again, for the same reasons. Anything could be possible, not just a new game. While, technically, Devil May Cry could be ported, at a latter date, Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition could have gone portable, as evidenced by the display of the hardware’s capabilities by japanese games from 2008 and further down the road, with Gundam Vs Gundam, Dissidia, Warriors Orochi and many more that came down the road, like Final Fantasy Type-0, the Monster Hunters and the God Eaters.
02.)Shinobi & Kunoichi
This is one of the easiest ports of action games that SEGA could have done and could help the action platformer scene on the PSP grow. The best use would be a new line featuring this type of gameplay(more on that later) but the first two games could be used to build hype and re-establish the franchise on the PSP, since the games would have come later.
03.)Gungrave & Gungrave Overdose
Another SEGA action game, this time one co-developed with RED Entertainment for maximum style. It is one of those games that would help the Stylish Action community grow, especially on the portable consoles where the genre severly lacks. With these games and Devil May Cry one, the Stylish Action scene would at least start to bloom over at the portables and perhaps we would see original games of this genre.
04.)OZ : Over Zenith
Compared to the other ports, OZ could profit for being an “enhanced” port of sorts…with the largest air quotes I could find. Basically they could fix the slowdon of the PS2 game, especially since the graphics would be downgraded a bit, so that the game can be kept at a steady framerate…if only KONAMI could make it run into the 60s…I guess it’s too much to ask from that game engine.
05.)Shinsengumi Gunrou-den / Code of the Samurai
This is one of those dream projects that some companies make to please more that the fans but themselves as well. This labour of love was a combined effort from Red Entertainment, Watsuki Nobuhiro doing the designs for the game and SEGA providing publication and support. The game basically being the Shinsengumi part of Rurouni Kenshin(by Watsuki Nobuhiro 🙂 ), the game employed great style with a pretty decent storyline that captured the essence of that universe despite never admitting it outright. This one would benefit greatly from being an actual “enhanced port” by porting the game to the PSP but to make up for the slightly lessened graphics they could put more than one playable character(Okita Souji) and his clone(Hijikata Toshizo) and put…at least two more of the 12 Shinsengumi members that played differently from these two. It could be excellent.
The game in question is a very stylish action game, meant to emulate the Wuxia films and swordfighting / sword dancing techniques that this genre of filmography and theatre visualy excel at. Developed by RED Entertainment and published by TAITO, the game was a very unique take on action, made in 2003, trying to bring in swords to top their gun-related stylish action product with SEGA, Gungrave. The game stars Gackt-I mean a random non-Gackt guy named Lau Wong and focuses on his story of revenge and the quest for martial arts etc…the story was…kinda forgettable compared to Gungrave’s wild-west-influenced revenge plot. It still is a really excellent game and this, along with Gungrave, help shape the 3D action industry and help it grow before Devil May Cry 3 came and combined both aspects of stylish swordplay, extreme acrobatics and stylish gunplay the games introduced. It would have been one of the most exellent games to ever be ported on the PSP. If only…even a portable sequel would be awesome, as everyone involved with Bujingai, aside from TAITO as a publisher, wanted to have a sequel and perhaps a movie, with Gackt hoping to be in both, no matter how many years pass down the line.
07.)Casletvania : Lament of Innocence
While the newest Castlevania on the PS2, Curse of Darkness would be ideal for a port, being more recent for a PSP port, Lament of Innocence makes use of its hard action assets and gives us a pretty solid action Castlevania title that, with a little platforming, could be seen as a 3D old school Castlevania. Also, having Dracula X Chronicles on the PSP and Curse of Darkness being a 3D Expy of Sypnhony of the Night with expy characters(Hector is practiaclly Alucard as a human), a more fresh and removed from SotN ‘Vania, would be more than welcome.
It’s a 3D Beat’em Up game by Dream Factory and Spike, with some really interesting dungeon crawler elements, especially its mechanism of generating on-the-fly rooms using templates…ok, I just like the game and wanted it portable. 😀
09.)Tsukiyo ni Saraba / 10000 Bullets
PSP never had good shooting games though that can be said for almost all non-sixth generation home consoles. What made Tsukiyo ni Saraba such a fun and unique shooter was the style it approached both the 3rd Person Shooter but the Run’n’Gun genre, by adding John Woo styled gun-choreography and Matrix’s “Bullet Time” to craft an amazingly deep and engaging battle system for a game of the genre, with unique sense and style. While this is arguably the most difficult port to happen of them all, due to the game’s button layout and more importantly, the strain the game engine would have that would lead to framerate drops and other screen related issues, it would be a great experiment to port this title.
The Bouncer had a really interesting and intriguing system of fighting, developed by Dream Factory, to make the most out of the face buttons by using a system that gauges the pressure of the push of a button to activate a different attack. The PSP lacked good Beat’em Ups and this could certainly fill a much needed spot.
11.)Argus no Senshi / Rygar the Legendary Adventure
This, is a really good game with chain mechanics and a really awesome presentation of Greek mythology and warriors of myth…much better that its immitator God of War. And it takes place in Argos, nice! Come on, we have two really horrible, scrapped God of War games(they are scrapped plots for the home console God of Wars, why else would they be so underwhelming compared to their main series) but this was too much? Even if it plays at 60FPS, it doesn’t strain the consoles that much.
12.)Battle Stadium D.O.N.
Basically this was a wasted opportunity for a revival of that idea. Battle Stadium D.O.N. was a crossover between Dragon Ball and the then top mangas of Jump that were inspired by Toriyama Akira’s manga, Naruto and One Piece. The gameplay was conceived by Eighting as a far more competitive brawler than the Super Smash Bros series with more nodes to an actual fighter than these but ultimately stayed away from the tournament fighter formula to get both adults and kids to enjoy the game. This could easilly be not only ported but made into a series for the PSP to compete with the JUMP Super / Ultimate Stars games. It is bad enough that not many crossovers outside of Banpresto’s own series or games, this one could be one of the best. Who knows, it could end up being the J-Stars Victory Vs. of that time. 😀
Berserk is simply one of those extremely rare yet amazing licensed games that trancend the staple of simple and easy gameplay for all to enjoy their favourite series on a game console and actually places difficulty, challenge and a solid gameplay engine to make the best use of Berserk’s bloodstained universe and let the players experience Guts’ wrath as they would mow down and slash away at horrific monsters and dangerous bosses to extract their revenge.
Busou Renkin is another pretty great licensed game that only picks a really good series to make a game out of but gives it an original story and treats it with respect. Marvelous’ attempt at a hack’n’slash with Musou-like stages certainly paid off but I always feeled a bit miffed that it would never touch the PSP, especially when Ikkitousen failed two times first before crossing over to the PSP to earn its rightful place as a fun arcade-y Beat’em Up.
15.)Seven Samurai 20XX
Like with Shinsengumi Gunrou-den, Seven Samurai 20XX could be more than a simple port but an enhanced port to make up for the slightly downgraded graphics and genuinly fix the main problem the game has : just one playable character. Dimps should be able to fix that really easilly to offer variety in gameplay and to honour the name of Seven Samurai by actually having all of the Seven Samurai playable.
16.)Crimson Sea 2
While Crimson Sea isn’t one of KOEI’s most well known franchises and nor are the games themselves well known among gamers, the second itteration of Crimson Sea has always been a marvel to look at and especially, play. Fast paced, hard-pumping, Hack’n’Slash & Run’n’Gun action at its finest placed in one of the best and tighest packages of the generation…and those to come as well. Truly a waste that this was not ported…but judging by how many years it took for KOEI to learn how to port properly it would have ended up as botched Crimson Sea 1 game, like the two Dynasty Warriors games before it on the PSP.
17.)Kikou Heidan J-Phoenix games
Truly a waste. While Takara Tommy hasn’t released a well known game on the PSP, I doubt they would treat the ports of their games any worse that From Software treated their games on the portable out of disdain for the console itself. Judging from Nano Diver…these would be not only decent ports, but a decent line of follow up games could have been made for people to enjoy and perhaps rival Armoured Core on the portable, where AC clearly doesn’t want to be, thus having Mecha simulations on both home and portable consoles.
18.)Another Century’s Episode games
Yes, despite having A.C.E. P on the PSP, it was not good enough…it was never good enough. Why? Because unlike Banpresto, From Software hates the little consoles guts as evidenced by their number of either crappy ports to downright abominations for the portable, showing either incopetence or disdain…I’ll go with disdain since they did a really good job in porting Tenchu 3 to the PSP, a game not made by them. But every other game they made or co-developed…botched at best. So, if Banpresto wasn’t going out of bussiness at the time(it was slightly before Bandai Namco absorbed the studio) perhaps they could port one title to the PSP to garner some more money…or support. But since Banpresto didn’t disappear they opted to make a completely new game. Too bad. If A.C.E. P was actually good, this wouldn’t even dare be on the list.
19.)Super Dragon Ball Z
While the PSP has two of the best 2D fighting Dragon Ball games and the best Budokai games, the Shin Budokai 1 & 2 games, Super Dragon Ball shys away from the gameplay these games have and instead opts for a strict, Street Fighter II-like gameplay, developed by Crafts&Meister, the people that made Street Fighter II when they were in Capcom. Aside from it being a really interesting take in the fighting style for the series, it also offered a ton of fun unlockables that would be awesome for a portable game as well to keep fans fighting longer than they thought they would.
20.)Sengoku BASARA 2 / Heroes
While the PSP does have two Sengoku BASARA games, Battle Heroes and Chronicle Heroes, neither of them had any involvement from the actual BASARA team, resulting in games that were very different from what BASARA was about…though Battle Heroes had some of the most exellent stories of the series…go figure. The reason I chose these two is because they are really interesting and easy to port to the PSP, especially to compete with the Warriors Orochi port. They could even opt for the same kind of story telling to be able to keep the graphics and framerate conistent…even if Warrors Orochi Maou Sairin fixed that quite easilly. XD And because the PSP could always use more arcade-y Stylish Action games, especially those DMC3-levels of crazy games. 😀
21.)Rurouni Kenshin Enjou Kyoto Rinne
This game, like te Berserk one, are among those rare licensed games I mentioned. Birthed by a miraculous co-developed effort between Eighting and Banpresto, the best Rurouni Kenshin game so far(and probably ever) was born, crafting not only a great action game system but a pretty unique one at that, that used the title’s style and elegance to make the players feel as if they were really in the world of Rurouni Kenshin. Too bad these two companies don’t collaborate that often, it would be amazing to see another effort between them…not counting Kamen Rider Seigi no Keifu due to Eighting just being there to help Cavia with progamming and game design details…:)
22.)Ougon Kishi Garo
I…uh…um…er…I just like the game. 😀 Nothing really to add, just a selfish addition but dammit we need more good tokusatsu-related games, especially on the PSP, home of the best of them…so far(what ca I say, Battride War for the PS3 is so awesome it has the potential to outshine all of the PSP toku games). 🙂
This is pretty much it for these games. We still have games to go through.