Recently, Sony released a list of PlayStation Portable titles that are compatible with the incoming PlayStation Vita. There were some notable omissions (Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories) and the promise of further additions down the line. While some of my favorites didn't make the cut, here are five PSP games that will help Vita early adopters stave off the post-launch blues.
1) Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny
Soul Calibur IV in the palm of your hand — well, sans the questionably included Star Wars characters and the ability to fight online. Broken Destiny might not have been heavy on content, but its gorgeous, fluid visuals and novice-friendly approach are the perfect place to start the tale of souls and swords. The Gauntlet mode introduces all of the mechanics of the storied fighting series and tells an interesting, though nonsensical story all the while. A full-bodied character creation suite and the Trials mode will be sure to soak up as many hours as you're willing to give while Quick Battle mode is perfect for a few fast fights on the go. That varied cast — which includes Sony mascot and God of War anti-hero Kratos and humorous Dampierre — is probably the best the series has seen and this game simply demands a spot on your memory card.
Note: You can currently purchase Broken Destiny and Tekken 6 together in a bundle on the Australian (and presumably European) PlayStation Store. Tekken 6 is well worth the extra 20 bucks ,and it's just as good, if not better than its home-console counterparts.
2) Half-Minute Hero
On a system with several hardware generations worth of Final Fantasy installments, Half-Minute Hero stands apart, and at times above, Square Enix's hallowed franchise with charm, humor, and a no-nonsense approach to questing. There are six legitimately different experiences on offer in this title. While some are more worthwhile than others, I guarantee you'll find something to love here. Hero 300 might just be the greatest test of time management and budgeting skills ever seen in a video game while other modes will present twists on real-time strategy, dual-stick shooting, and tower defense. The speed-metal soundtrack and suitably pixelated visuals are further reason for Half-Minute Hero to score a place your Vita's proprietary storage device.
3) God of War: Chains of Olympus
Ready at Dawn showed its mastery of Sony's handheld and its limitations when it released God of War: Chains of Olympus. Distilling all of the sex, beauty, and gargantuan-scale violence into the PSP's smaller screen and limited control set up, Chains of Olympus is still my favorite release in the popular action-adventure series. While some might argue that it was too easy and too short, I found it to be infinitely replayable, and it still impresses me to this day.
4) Monster Hunter Freedom Unite
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite will keep giving until you're satisfied that you got your money's worth. Featuring what are arguably the most technically impressive visuals seen on the PSP and enough depth to drown in, you will never conquer this game — even with the help of three friends or your cat-like companions. Creatures great and small await death by your blade, axe, or ridiculously large bow. It might not be the smoothest experience, but it offers more questing than you could possibly hope for.
5) Dissidia Final Fantasy
The final scenes of Final Fantasy VII Advent Children present an airborne battle between protagonist Cloud Strife and the reincarnation of much-loved villain, Sephiroth. It's a spectacular confrontation that nearly makes up for a couple of hours of indecipherable narrative. Dissidia makes such gravity-defying melees commonplace. Even with cherished Final Fantasy characters careening through columns and other structures, the framerate never skips a beat. The cast is composed of one good and one evil character from the first 10 editions of the storied franchise with move sets that include each of these personalities' most memorable attacks, spells, and Limit Breaks. It's not the deepest fighter (or RPG for that matter), but it offers hours worth of melodramatic pugilism in wonderfully rendered and destructible environments. There's also a persistent reward system that encourages sustained and repeated play, so free up some space for this addictive gem.
Are there games you feel that are more deserving of a download? Is your favorite PSP game currently supported by the Vita?