From Russia with Love

First person shooters can have a tough transition to the PSP because of one major issue. There's only one analog stick. We've all been trained now on the two analog stick system for moving and anything else can feel cumbersome. Some have found decent workarounds but whatever the new control system is, it takes time to get accustomed to. Porting from one console to another isn't near a challenging as porting to a handheld however with obvious differences in gameplay properties. From Russia with Love does manage the porting challenges acceptably, and arrives almost completely intact with only a few changes.

From Russia with Love isn't going to push the limits of game design or create any new type of experience. It does however make its mark by assembling a solid FPS experience with effective gameplay. The control is probably the biggest change as that missing second analog stick does create for an awkward first couple of minutes. But notice that within a few minutes I was getting comfortable with the setup and after awhile I didn't even notice. Basically the X and square buttons pan the camera and the analog stick handles movement and turning. The camera angle keeps up for the most part and only occasionally did I even use the supporting buttons. Otherwise, you have a decent run and shoot action game with a semi-automated aiming system to keep things moving.

The graphics and audio follow suit with a decent performance but nothing to write home about. Again, it looks and sounds almost identical to the original.

From Russia with Love is one of those games that doesn't set out to have any huge impact on game design or execution. It does however make sure that what it puts forth is solid and entertaining. From Russia with Love is definitely worth considering and if the genre is turning you off on a handheld, give it a try, you may be surprised.

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