This week I’ve decided to focus on games for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) – the handheld video game console from Sony that really pushed the envelope in terms of graphical capabilities. It first came out in 2004 in Japan and 2005 everywhere else.
The PSP played host to a number of amazing games over its lifetime and it still has many fans to this day. The games are still readily available, even if they’re not really being made commercially any more, and better emulators are becoming more prevalent so the PSP is being rediscovered by a whole new generation of gamers.
So here’s our tribute to the PlayStation Portable and the games that can be played on it. Long may they be appreciated!
This week I’m going to be featuring all the early Sonic the Hedgehog games on the blog.
They’re all Megadrive/Genesis games, except for one on the Sega CD. And they’re all classics, and deserve a set of grabs, showing just show beautiful and colourful they are. And, of course, a few words about what makes them good.
Oh, and these are not the only Sonic games – there are many more, and I’ll be featuring more of them over the coming weeks. Sonic fans be like: “at long last!” 🙂
The CD32 is a CD-ROM-based console that is basically a high-end Amiga contained within a small, grey box. It can do pretty much everything an Amiga can do, but with a few built-in extras, such as Red Book Audio (CD quality sound, streamed from the disc), CDTV compatibility, and backwards compatibility with older, 9-pin D-Sub (Atari-style) controllers of the ’80s and ’90s (including Sega Megadrive pads and existing Amiga mice and paddles).
The Commodore 16 is a somewhat underrated home computer that had a relatively short lifespan and was intended as a low-cost replacement for the Commodore VIC-20.
It had 16K of RAM (thus the name) and a 6502 compatible CPU that ran twice as fast as the CPU in its older and more expensive cousin, the Commodore 64. It had a video and sound chipset called “TED” that offered a colour palette of 121 colours, and more efficient use of video memory than the C64, but it had no hardware sprites (it did however have a built-in software sprite routine with fewer restrictions than on hardware sprites).
A British programmer/developer who made a name for himself with his very first game, Pud Pud, which was published by Ocean Software for the ZX Spectrum in 1984. Smith was just 17 at the time Pud Pud was released, but was fortuitous in that his pitch to Ocean, and them signing him up as ‘talent’, was all filmed and later broadcast on television in an episode of BBC TV’s Commercial Breaks, which gave him an instant profile to an appreciative audience. Bob Wakelin‘s ace cover art also did Smith‘s early games a lot of good.
Unfortunately Jonathan Smith isn’t with us any longer; he sadly passed away in 2010, but I do know – from having read a few interviews with Smith – that he was very embarrassed about his appearance on Commercial Breaks. Which is a pity because he was great in it. And he really put himself on the map by agreeing to do it. Smith liked to work hard and “keep out of the limelight” as much as possible, and seemed to be a humble man. His work on a series of classic ZX Spectrum games will never be forgotten.
Between 1984 and 1988 Smith programmed 13 games for the Spectrum. At least five of which could be considered ‘all-time classics’.
LISTS: as created by The King of Grabs, in chronological order:
The Infinity Engine by BioWare is synonymous with great RPGs. You think Infinity Engine, you think Planescape: Torment, or Baldur’s Gate. Or Icewind Dale. All great level-grinding adventures and all published by Interplay in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
LISTS: as decided by The King of Grabs, in order of greatness:
These are just an opinion, but please do feel free to comment with your opinions. Unless you’re a comment spammer. In which case: do feel free to f*ck off…
Bally Midway‘s classic Spy Hunter is a brilliant overhead race game with guns and bumping cars and speed boats and chasing helicopters, and general high-speed excitement. It is such a good game that it has been converted to pretty much every gaming system known to man.
Here’s our rundown of the top 10 Spy Hunter conversions…