Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower
With a name like Darkstalkers, it has to be good! A great update to an old series, you'll get to fight as a series of movie monsters become warriors in this fiercely competitive title. Various game modes give you plenty to think about for a single player game, and in addition to being able to play through a fairly beefy, good looking title, you've also got the wireless multiplayer that the PSP is so famous for, allowing you to play with a friend.
A rehash of older Darkstalker titles, Chaos Tower's primary arcade mode gives you three different Darkstalkers games to choose from, each of which offering a slight variant on the gameplay. It's fast and furious, and it has a bevy of fighters, but the game still feels somewhat limited in terms of its scope, as if it could've been a much bigger and better title. Additionally, while I've never played around with a handheld better for fighting games, it'll take some significant getting-used-to if you want to dish out the punishment with the PSP's controls. Fortunately, you can play through the mode the game is named for, Tower mode, where you can compete in essentially a sometimes handicapped survival mode that gives you unlockables the further you get. Any game that gives you a bunch of stuff to unlock gets at least a little bit of a thumbs up in my book.
Graphically, this game doesn't seem at first to be anything worth writing home about. That is, until you consider that it's reproducing essentially the same game we've played for years in the arcades on a handheld using that can literally fit in your pocket. And it performs well too, without any graphical slowdown that I could notice. Your ears will starve on the audio provided in this title, and while that's unfortunate, at least being a handheld it's easy to substitute your own soundtrack, even if it gets played on your cd player. All in all, not a shabby title, and definately a decent fighting game for the PSP premiere.