For a few years, my PSP sat unloved and dusty near my computer, I would only charge it now and then to make sure the battery didn’t fail. Other than that a sad Darth Vader would just stare at me, waiting to be held; in case you don’t understand that I have the Star Wars edition PSP. I don’t know what prompted me to dust it off and start searching for great games on the system, but I’m glad I did. I uncovered a huge amount of JRPG’s, some platforming goodness and even some of Sony’s biggest franchises. That’s what I’m looking at this week, Resistance: Retribution; one of the biggest PS3 franchises that took the battle to the PSP thanks to Bend Studio. Unfortunately, the big franchise games couldn’t propel the PSP to the greatness that was Nintendo’s DS and soon production ceased on games and the PSP was dead in the water. I did bring mine back to life and I am still finding great games to enjoy on this mostly forgotten console.
Resistance: Retribution takes place on the other side of the pond, no longer are we fighting in familiar American locales, now we are battling in France to rid the Chimera from the Eiffel Tower. You play as Lieutenant James Grayson, a man with a troubled past after he had to kill his brother once he found him in a Chimera Conversion Center. This sent Grayson over the edge and without orders, he decided to find as many Conversion Centers as he could and destroy them. Once the army catches him they try him and send him to prison for desertion and he is due to hang for that crime when The French Resistance steps in. His sentence gets commuted for helping The Maquis (French Resistance) plan and take part in their own version of D-Day into France. Seeing as there would be no game to play, something has to go wrong, and it goes horribly wrong. Your entire squadron gets shot out of the sky and you find yourself in enemy territory with very little help incoming. It is up to you and those few who survived to carry on the mission in occupied France, good luck soldier.
Seeing as the PSP wasn’t built with a second analog stick the controls to the game can get somewhat confusing when starting out, or when you’ve put the game down for a week or so. The one analog stick moves Grayson around the war zone, Left Trigger is secondary ammo for the gun you have, Right Trigger is normal ammo. The Face Buttons move the camera around so that you can aim and not bump into walls and such. When prompted, X interacts with certain things in the level, whether that be people, weapons, doors or obstacles. The D-pad does a lot in the game, pressing left reloads your weapon and pressing right changes your weapon. The game automatically aims your weapon to the closet Chimera, which can get extremely irritating. Instead of killing the one you may want to kill or the most dangerous one you may be shooting at the one in the back that really poses no threat. You can press up on the D-Pad for control of your aiming but that takes some getting used to due to the face buttons being your direction. You’re better off hoping for the best with auto aim and finding as much heath as you can to stay alive.
The game looks alright on the PSP which is surprising seeing as some of the titles on the PSP were breathtaking. Perhaps Bend Studio didn’t quite understand the hardware at the time, but it isn’t the prettiest of games. Thankfully Bend Studio knew how to use the Vita a few years later down the road with Uncharted: Golden Abyss. The sound and voice acting are very well done though, those little speakers really pumped out the sounds of war and I had to make sure to keep my volume down to not disturb people. The one mechanic that I did not like at all was the fact that the game would only save after a mission was completed. That can be frustrating if real life gets in the way of your gaming, sure you can just let it sit there idle but that drains the battery and you may leave it on and forget about it. I found out that when the game tells you “Checkpoint,” that doesn’t save it, but at least if you die you’ll go back to the point. Don’t be fooled like I was and have to replay half the first mission.
I think that I would have been disappointed had I bought this game at full price, the graphics aren’t that great and the controls and other mechanics can be somewhat of a nightmare. I’ve been babied and am use to saving whenever I want, and I love that feature in games now. However, I bought this game for a mere five dollars and I did get my money’s worth. The campaign is longer than I expected, and there was more variety than just the shoot and cover and rinse and repeat. I didn’t grow bored of the game as I played, but I didn’t come home at night dreaming about playing it like some other games do. If you’re looking for a fun shooter to kill some time with on your underused PSP this one would be a great choice. And if you can get it for cheaper than I did then bully for you!
- Interesting sidestory to the main entries
- Lots of weapons to murder Chimera with
- Even though the graphics aren't amazing, the level designs are very creative
- Controls are very difficult to master, especially if you take some time off from the game
- Graphics are not as good as other PSP titles which suprised me
- The game only saves after a mission is completed, you cannot stop a mission or you will lose your progress