As 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.
This post is basically the second part of this post.
PSP games that could have happened
01.)The “original” Shining Blade / Gensou no Lorelei Project
Shining Blade is a pretty nice game from the Shining series that came out on the PSP in 2012, a Strategy RPG with the tweaked system of Valkyria Chronicles 2. It was a neat success in japan, leaving fans wanting more. But the game we are going to talk about is the original Shining Blade, the “Gensou no Lorelei” project.
Back in May 2011, SEGA leaked a fraction of a design document, detailing several pieces of info about a new project called “Gensou no Lorelei”, almost fully detailing the characters and dropping hints at the gameplay system. At first it seemed like the prototype “Whirlwind Stories” project(which later became Shining Hearts for the PSP) was coming back with the cut characters Maxima and Phantom but with a gameplay system that was named aptly “Concerto”. Concerto featured a mix of elements from the Skaura Taisen series and from Valkyria Chronicles series engines, ARMS and BLiTZ. The game was said to feature some of the action elements from Shining Wind, mainly the fact that the main character, Reiji / Rage, was a Soul Blader and his partner, Yukihime, could change into different Soul Blades depending on how she felt to affect the moveset and combos but also that in battle, to make up for the lack of Soul Blade girls from Shining Wind. A.I. partners from the party could be controlled more strategically than other RPG or Action-RPG games, giving this game a lot to be hyped about not to mention a song system by the Loreleis, songstresses, that could affect strategically the flow of battle.
What we got was…this :
It’s not bad by any stretch of imagination but one has to wonder…where did that other game go? Why was such an awesome idea abandoned? Why did SEGA have such a huge change of heart and opted for this changes and pandering to the Valkyria Chronicles crowd instead of the Shining one? I honestly don’t get why but it could have been that they need some B-list Shining game to meet a quota due to their finances being in the red during the period it was coming out and decided to scrap the most ambitious parts of the game. It is a pretty logical explanation at this point. Either way, it’s a real shame…I hope that one day, we’ll get to see that game come true and have the Gensou no Lorelei be a part of Shining history.
*Update FROM THE FUTURE : So…the new Shining Ressonance game for the PS3, circa 2014-2015, does have some of the elements I mentioned here…wow, never thought I’d see them that fast. 🙂 *
*Update FROM THE FUTURE II : So…the new Valkyria Chronicles is more like what the original design document had in it, a mix of BLiTZ and action elements. *
02.)Shinobi portable games
While the Shinobi games weren’t that well received in the west and in Japan they were a bit overshadowed by Ninja Gaiden, they had and have a following for how technical they are and what they’ve done with the series. If anything, due to the structure and gameplay of the new Shinobi series it would have been great to go portable. Granted that Hotsuma’s and Hibana’s journeys are over, Joe Musashi’s and his own kin’s adventures aren’t over due to the way they are made. Not saying that Hotsuma and Hibana shouldn’t be on any other game ever, just that they wouldn’t be the center of the story or gameplay, like how Joe was in the Shinobi PS2 and later Hotsuma himself in Kunoichi, offering different gameplay style with the same gameplay mechanisms that the games have. An idea that was discussed between me and a friend was the differences in gameplay between the three main characters of Shinobi could have, like Hotsuma being the power-type character that uses the Tate to great efficiency with the Akujiki mechanism on play, Hibana being the speed type character and Joe being a master of long range attacks with the kunais and shurikens that lie all around the stages with different attacks than the others, like having a Gunslinger style but for ninja tools. And so on, like Hayate Musashi being the balance between long and short range attacks with a ninja dog partner for additional attacks.
03.)”Trigun : The Planet Gunsmoke” Project / Gungrave Project
This game has the most mysterious development cycle out of all the SEGA games and a lot of secrets behind it, a lot of which never became public due to the extremely tight lips of SEGA, RED Entertainment and Yasuhiro Nightow, the creator of Trigun himself. No one ever knows what exactly happened to the game itself, with much speculation and rumours coming from…2ch and 4ch…I think…I guess…but Gungrave might have been the final stage of Trigun : The Planet Gunsmoke, especially with all the references that were in both games and the anime who went into painstaking detail of the main characters story before the games and even these had many tidbits that were pretty suspicious to not be Trigun. Even the gameplay looked like it would fit Vash’s crazy gunslinging style combining both gun-fu and gun-kata.
If SEGA ever wanted to get back to it, assuming RED and Nightow agree as well, it would be pretty awesome to get that to the PSP, even if the Gungraves did make it to the PSP as well, for one reason : one of the main draws of Gunsmoke was that the game would have an online mode as well…which would be pretty difficult for the PS2 of 2003…the PS2 had to wait untill 2005 and even then almost everyone played it offline due to horrible internet connections the PS2 had, not to mention special accessories to even get online with the console. If the mode was to be added, being on the PSP or PS3 would make much more…but back then only the PSP was out.
And ok, it is a licensed game…but PSP has had its sum of pretty good licensed games from Japan, a stark example for this generation’s home console licensed games. It could work.
While Castlevania has had a good amount of success on the portable consoles of Nintendo ever since the Game Boy Advance era, the PSP only ever got Dracula X Chronicles…it’s really good, considering it packs the remake of Rondo of Blood, Rondo of Blood and the reworked Symphony of the Night. Pretty sweet but underwhelming compared to what Ninty always got. The PSP could do great good for the series, if only in japan by having 3D Castlevanias, making a proper 3D Symphony of the Night(what do you think Curse of Darkness was intended to be) and the whole other slew of things I mentioned a topic back.With portables being very popular in japan and with the DS catering more to the children and the PSP grabbing the hearts of teens and young adults, it would be an excellent win-win situation for everyone + more Castlevania. 🙂
This is the most mind boggling decision of KONAMI so far, not making a port of the PS2 Contra games to the PSP or a collection like the Metal Slug one for the PSP.
To tell the truth, a series like Contra Shattered Soldier / Shin Contra could continue on the PSP as well as the PS2, while the more traditional Contra and Super C games could be handled on the Nintendo DS, like the Contra 4 game. Contra always selled, even now it sells…why this never happened…really strange.
06.)Mega Man X Maveric Hunter & Mega Man Powered Up series
This one is known pretty well, I almost have nothing to say about it. Keiji Inafune, infatuated with the portable power of the PSP wanted to remake the Mega Man and Mega Man X series on the system but this time with the story he always wanted to tell, without Capcom screwing him over*coughMegaManX6,7,8coughcough*. Shame, I really liked how Mega Man X Maveric Hunter was shaping up, especially the super cute Mega Man Powered Up that captured a really forgotten feeling in games at that time.
I have said it before, whether it was just a polished port of all three as a collection, a proper updated version of them or just a new game, this series is pure money anyway. What’s worse is that we got the Ghosts’n’Goblins get revived and updated on the PSP yet Firebrand got shoved away while Arthur hogged all the glory…it’s not a bad thing but why not have Firebrand on the spotlight again? The PSP games sold, right?
08.)Battle Stadium D.O.N. series
While it may have been a one-off thing…Battle Stadium D.O.N. had potential for when it came out, it was the PS2 version of Jump Superstars but it came out before that game and unlike JSS, it didn’t have a sequel…why? Because it had no story? Because Bamdai Namco wasn’t willing to give out money for the shows they make huge profits due to being bum buddies with TOEI? Seriously, what was the reason behind not more games, at least in consideration? Bamco wasn’t willing to give Japan’s three greatest series at the time(to which are still struggling for which of the two will be the proper Number #1) wasn’t worth it but crappy Kamen Rider games before the Climax Heroes series were more worth the trouble? And don’t forget folks, Ganbaride came with Climax Heroes and Decade, Bamco had really no excuse. What’s worse? It could become the J-Stars Victory Vs of its age. And we saw how awesomely Eighting transitioned from Super Climax Heroes to Battride Wars, imagine Battle Stadium D.O.N. as a prototype of J-Stars.
Imagine that as a 3D fighter…
09.)Sengoku BASARA 2 Heroes-like series
While the PSP may have had Sengoku BASARA games :
none of them were like the actual games, instead being some kind of washed out Gundam Vs Gundam clone…the first could be excused due to its fantastic storylines and pure fun imbued in it for some reason but the second was atrocious. And the reason for that is Sengoku BASARA 2 Heroes being able to not only be ported but can be turned into a mini series. The way the expansion of the second installation was built, it had potential for so much portable awesomeness. The structure, the simplicity of the storylines and the way they were presented while keeping the gameplay intact while slowing updating and upgrading was pretty awesome for a spin-off series. The problem may have been that the BASARA team was busy with Sengoku BASARA 3 and some part of Devil May Cry 4 and Kobayashi Hiroyuki being sandwiched between Capcom shoving Resident Evil down his throat and him wanting to make the games he wnated via Devil May Cry 4 and the BASARAs. It’s…just a shame…perhaps if the team just made the first game of the series or just ported Heroes and have aother team in Capcom to just make games based on that model for as long as they needed and wanted and have Koba-P just be part of the development whenever he had free time between games to give that special crazyness the series brings.
*Update : So…this :
We could have BASARA by just doing these “Gaidens” with fewer players but other gameplay systems to hold our interests, perhaps even introducing one or two new characters at the same time. Oh well, 8 years later…*
10.)Kikou Heidan J-Phoenix
I can’t stress this enough, like previously, the series could completely outdo and tramp the Armoured Core series due to From Software desire to only make their games on the home consoles only, Takara Tommy could have conquered the customizable mecha simulator on the portable market. Especially with its shapr contrast to Armoured Core, the portabillity of the series would make it come full circle and actually have it be the perfect antithesis to From Software’s mecha simulator.
Goddammit…this always gets me…such a grand opportunity missed. I can always hope…even just a small revival. 🙂 If they could actually get JAM Project to do the main themes as well…it would be a dream project as far as the genre goes. 🙂
Wii 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. These games that are listed here fall into these categories : a.)PS2 to Wii enhanced port, b.)Wii game made with a controller or a fighter stick in mind and c.)Wii budget games that can be played on any console, virtually. After all, all the Kamen Rider Climax Heroes games from OOO to Super got “ported” and the system handled it pretty well. With that in mind, let’s go!
01.)Tatsunoko Vs Capcom : Ultimate All-Stars
This is the most difficult of the following games, I admit but still could be done…perhaps. Since this is the game with an actual budget, arcade cabinet and tremendous effort behind it, even I am skeptical if a port could be done but there could be a way, especially if they did away with the tag mechanism so that players can solely focus on one-on-one fights, add a proper versus since it is a portable game(the actual game ommited this feature due to stupid Capcom practices…) and…another fighter perhaps? After all, Eighting made the game, they did the Kamen Rider Climax Heroes series as well…it could work.
02.)Castlevania : Judgement
This one, I don’t get why KONAMI didn’t follow Bandai Namco’s example and never told Eighting “make this for both the Wii and the PSP” to attract both audiences, even if it meant that the PSP port ultimately remained Japan-exclusive. Castlevania Judgement is easily one of those 3D fighters that relly on gimmicky gameplay more than actual skill but like the other 3D fighter series Eighting has developed, they have quite the “hidden depth” to be proud of. It would surely be a great addition to the 3D fighting game library of the PSP and a fun port.
03.)Toshinden : War Budokai
This is stupid easy but I understand why it never happened. Despite having plastered the name “Toshinden” on the game, Takara Tommy wanted to move away from the originals to expand the license in their own way. Dream Factory helped make that vision come true and created a really awesome fighter with a darn ingenius gimmick for a budget game, especially when one considers it is a fighter. The game never sold as much as neither hoped and nothing more was done with it…shame…I would have really liked to see more of the series in both the portable and the home consoles.
While Oneechanbara Special for the PSP was decent, swifting from the DMC-like action of stages to a more mission-based gameplay to reflect upon Tamsoft’s earlier Hunting game, Exorsister : The Akuma Hunters, a proper game from the series would be really nice for the PSP especially since they aren’t that much of a hassle to port over, what with them being C-tier developed games or budget games if you will. It is one of the times that being a budget game could have helped immensely.
Kishin Hishou Demonbane
What, it’s my favourite PC game and favourite…Visual Novel…of a kind, so to say. :p This goes into the special mention since it’s just the one Visual Novel I never understood why it never got ported yet I always saw and still see an aflua of VNs get ported to the PSP…perhaps it’s because of the fighting system…perhaps? Anyway, it’s just something I always dreamed about, I mean, HOW COOL WOULD IT BE IF THIS WAS PORTABLE?
I KNOW, RIGHT!!! 😀 😀 😀 😀