Sony ain't Nintendo, that is a fact. But it does not mean that the latter has the monopoly for platformers. The PlayStation Portable is also the home of great platformers that rival the big N. Below are seven of the best platforming action games developed and released for the PSP.
Best PSP Platformers
7. Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?
Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? is a delightful platformer spinoff featuring the beloved Prinnies from the Disgaea series. This is a unique twist of the franchise as Disgaea is a turn-based tactical RPG in the vein of Final Fantasy Tactics but the numbers game is amped out to ludicrous levels. In this platformer, the difficulty level is widely praised as well as its humor in the narrative and charm in the art direction.
The visual appeal is the most extravagant part of the game. That is not to say that the gameplay is not commensurate with its graphical prowess, it is. But sometimes, looking good is enough to get away with it.
Dying in this game is a constant event, as there is no mid-air adjustment for the fiery penguin, but it does not feel like being cheated. This 2D side-scrolling platformer is brimming with explosion and charm and is a worthy addition to every collector's cache.
6. Ape Escape: On the Loose
This PSP mascot platformer is a stellar remake of the original Ape Escape for the PlayStation One. There is a substantial upgrade in terms of visuals, leaving behind the blocky character models and simplistic textures of the original title. Aside from art direction, the animation is also much better in this remake. Still, the game faithfully recreates the original landscapes, down to the inch and preserves the original's gameplay integrity.
The game's narrative follows the misadventures of the Professor's monkeys, who, under the influence of the mind-amplifying hat-wearing Specter, travel back in time to reshape history in favor of their simian kind. As Spike, players are thrust into this temporal turmoil, tasked with thwarting their plans.
The controls are precise and functional, allowing you to wield three different gadgets simultaneously. While camera control may require minor adjustments due to the singular analog stick, it remains flexible enough for smooth gameplay. New controls for the stun baton and net may take some getting used to, but they prove effective with practice. The game offers a variety of mini-games, ensuring replayability and cementing its status as a fantastic platformer for platformer fans on the go.
5. Ultimate Ghost ‘n Goblins
This is not a remake of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System title but instead of the original game. This is another entry to what is known as the Dark Souls of platformers. This version of the original Ghost 'n Goblins features pseudo-3D effects and intricate backgrounds that interact with gameplay.
The gameplay remains true to the series' roots while introducing some changes. Each stage is meticulously designed, featuring hidden items, magic spells, and diverse environments. There are three difficulty settings, which at its easiest is still hard.
Ultimate Ghost 'n Goblins can introduce finer and more modern elements to the platforming genre while retaining what makes it popular among fans of the original game or the earlier games. Again, this game, or any game from this series is not for the faint of heart.
4. Mega Man Maverick Hunter X
This game is essentially a remake of the classic original Mega Man X title from the SNES. This faithfully preserves the iconic boss battle weakness system and responsive controls of the original.
The game introduces a captivating story, centered around Mega Man X's unique emotional capabilities and his battle against the rogue commander, Sigma. An unlockable animated movie to further humanize Mega Man. It also helps that the 3D graphics are appealing, although hardcore fans might still find things to complain about.
This game is short but is offset by multiple difficulty levels and a Vile mode that lets players experience the game from a different perspective. Mega Man Maverick Hunter X is not merely a facelift of a classic but a modern classic as well by its own merits.
N+ is a minimalist platformer that challenges players to guide a nimble ninja through hundreds of levels filled with traps, enemies, and gold. It is a port of the popular Flash game 'N', which was also released on Xbox 360 and PC.
In an effort to spruce up the game for its console release, several visual enhancements were introduced compared to the computer version. Notably, shadows were added to some ledges, and the appearance of in-game items received a facelift. Thankfully, the developers included a "pure" mode in the options, preserving the original PC version's visual identity.
The core gameplay remains intact amidst the adjustments made for the smaller screen, as there are still wall-jumping, acrobatics, and satisfying maneuvers. Some levels even highlight advanced techniques like slope-jumping and wall-stopping. This is a simple game with deep core gameplay that even today stands the test of time.
2. LocoRoco 2
LocoRoco 2, the sequel to the unassuming 2006 title, retains the charm and addictive gameplay of its predecessor. The game revolves around the LocoRoco, amorphous blobs with a passion for singing, who embark on a journey to save their planet from the returning evil Moja army.
The game's controls are extremely innovative, relying on tilting the PSP using shoulder buttons for navigation and employing intuitive mechanics for jumping and solving puzzles. Despite its accessible gameplay, LocoRoco 2 offers substantial replay value, particularly for completionists aiming to conquer challenging bonus levels
With over twenty single-player levels, each featuring unique themes and challenges, LocoRoco 2 offers a diverse and cozy platforming experience. Collecting fruits will never be this challenging. Vibrant environments and adorable character design are also the highlights of this charming little platformer.
This portable iteration of PlayStation's mascot platformer carries forward the same principles of gameplay and customization that endeared it to players on the home console. The player assumes the role of Sackboy, a customizable character without a voice, offering a vast array of costumes and accessories for personalization.
The gameplay remains consistent with its platforming roots. Levels are filled with obstacles, and death leads to minor point deductions. While the plot is minimal, focusing more on gameplay, it revolves around gathering creators from various lands for a celebration. Over twenty levels span different landscapes and cultures, starting in Australia and progressing globally. Renowned narrator Stephen Fry returns with his soothing voice to guide players through the game.
LittleBigPlanet for the PSP delivers a portable version of the beloved franchise, maintaining the core gameplay and customization. Its simple, cute, and fun nature makes it a worthy addition to any PSP library, especially for those who appreciate on-the-go gaming.