Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
The tagline for this game should be, 'Not the same as the PC version, honest!'? Not jaw-droppingly bad like The Legend of Jack Sparrow, Dead Man's Chest sticks to delivering an action gameplay experience on a handheld console system. Following the narrative of the film loosely, the story chases after Jack Sparrow, letting you play this dastardly rogue on his trip to freedom and plunder. Most games want to be good, and a few really do get there. For the rest there are but two fates, that of mediocrity, and those that are truly, blunderingly bad.
Fortunately, this game is far from horrible; it just isn't what I'd call particularly good. Prime among its problems is the combat system. It is simplistic enough to be easy to use, but responds poorly enough to make all but the simplest combats frustrating. You've got a light attack, a heavy attack, and a taunt option. Taunting never seems to work well, as it should stun your opponent, but never seems to hit. Your choice of attack has little to do with your gameplay strategy relying instead on the armaments carried by your opponent. As you play through the combat scenes, you'll need to pull off a combo or a set of lucky strikes to beat through an opponent's defenses. Enough damage and your opponent will die. The problem comes when you face off against more than one person at a time, as it is exceedingly difficult to do this and survive, mostly because it is so hard to taunt someone.
In terms of quality of presentation, PSP games are usually pretty well done for handhelds. I can't say that this game stood out to me as anything better than the norm, but it didn't look bad either. Unlike The Legend of Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp doesn't lend his vocal talents to this game, but I don't think you'll miss him.
Good game? Maybe, on a stretch. In my opinion though, the combat needed to be tons better to be really enjoyable. If you really develop a hankerin' for piratical action titles, this might be for you, but I don't think it's worth it.