Top games for the new slim Sony PSP

Sony's new slimmer PSP is the company's latest attempt to lure games away from the Nintendo DS, and there's actually a decent range of software to play on it these days...

With the sleeker and slimmer PSP set for a UK release on 10 September, Sony hopes to prove there's plenty of life left in its speedy little handheld. It might not have lived up to its initial promise -- there's no arguing the PSP has been eclipsed by Nintendo's DS in the software stakes -- but there's still plenty going on.

Here we pick out the PlayStation Portable's current top games, in no particular order, and offer some tips on what to look out for in the future. Click on the titles for more info from our sister site, GameSpot UK. -Sam Bathe

Guilty Gear: Judgment
First up, the popular Japanese beat-em-up series Guilty Gear returns with Judgment. The crisp and colourful anime graphics combine with the fast-paced action for a thrilling experience. The much-loved rock soundtrack is of course back with a bang. Just watch out for the ultra-powerful combo attacks or you could be hitting the floor faster than you'd hoped.

Burnout: Dominator
Dominator is the latest title in Renderware's all-action, frenzied driving series. The Crash mode of old is gone, but for faster racing than ever before, burnouts return. Upon boosting into the traffic or in dangerous surroundings, you can recharge a simultaneous boost bar, allowing for a Burnout Chain to take you around an entire course. While the main objective is to win races at huge speeds, avoiding public traffic and the odd barrier, Road Rage, Eliminator and Drift modes add substance to this impressive title.

Lumines II
Lumines II is the sequel to the crazily addictive Tetris-esque puzzle game. You must line-up coloured blocks before a timeline marker sweeps across the screen and clears away grouped chunks. The twist is that a soundtrack beats in time with your play, pumping out tunes from The Go! Team, Gwen Stefani, New Order, Beck, Fatboy Slim and The Chemical Brothers.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas
Very few people get their names on a hugely successful series of games and Tom Clancy has done even less than John Madden to contribute to his, which happen to be the greatest line-up of team-based shooters ever to grace the gaming community. Luckily for PSP owners, the best title yet has arrived on their system. Vegas offers incredibly impressive 3D visuals for a handheld title, and online multiplayer makes up for a rather short single-player story.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
The glorious Grand Theft Auto series is just as outstanding on PSP as any home console, bringing the full gaming environment, and a fair share of violence, to the portable market. The familiar mission system sees you take control of a wannabe mobster, working your way up the hierarchy and eventually controlling your own gang. The mammoth lifespan and exciting gameplay make this a must-buy for PSP.

PaRappa the Rapper
PaRappa the Rapper is about as quirky as you can get on the PSP, which. Following a rapping dog, you'll travel through the world rapping your way to the top in this synchronised button pressing game. It's a little short, and it's basically the same game that was on PSone all those years ago, but its a fun slice of randomness on a console that can be a little too straight-laced. 

Keep an eye out for...
Coming soon is Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars, screeching to a halt on 7 September. Expect non-stop, fast-paced arcade driving. The fantastic Crazy Box set of mini-games that stormed the Dreamcast so many years back is also due to make a return. 

Monster Hunter: Freedom 2 (pictured) is an excellent-looking freeform adventure game, tasking you with roaming the lands to kill dangerous beasts for bounty. Already the best-selling PSP game ever in Japan, with its predecessor at number two, Freedom 2 also hits the UK on 7 September.

If you love Japanese-style RPGs, head to your nearest online importer and check out Brave Story: New Traveler and Final Fantasy II. Both offer classic anime-style graphics and lengthy, absorbing storylines -- perfect for long train journeys.

The PSP's wide screen and memory card slot make it a versatile portable media device and several downloadable fanzines have sprung up to take advantage. One such is Load, which offers games, music and film reviews and interviews, as well as competitions, all for the princely sum of nothing at all. Just download the images to your PC, put them on a Memory Stick and browse through them with the PSP's photo viewer.

 

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