PSP: The Leftovers

As may have been apparent, I’ve been quite enjoying having a dedicated portable system around on those occasions where I’m out and about but have some time to kill. I’m not by any means denying that there are some excellent gaming experiences on iOS, but it doesn’t attract quite the same sort of long-form story-driven games.

Also, real buttons OMG.

I did realize, however, that as much as I’m digging the Vita, I do still have a handful of UMDs that I’ve never slotted into a PSP, and I figured that I should at least load them up and give them each a few minutes while I hum a sad requiem for physical media.

The ones I tried out tonight were “Ghostbusters: The Video Game” and “WTF: Work Time Fun”.

I played the PC version of Ghostbusters a few years back and was quite fond of it. It really did feel like a “Ghostbusters 3” where the framing device did a good job of putting you-as-the-player into the plot while still leaving the actors as the real “stars”.  I’d heard that the low-def versions (Wii, PS2, PSP) used cartoony graphics (rather than the fairly photorealistic graphics of the PC and HD console versions), and that the story was likewise different between the versions.

It took me about 15 minutes to realize that the thing about the story being new was wrong, and that I was basically playing a far uglier version of something that I’d already played, and that this was obviously a waste of time and I should put it down in favor of something else really…

…and then It still took me 2 hours before I finally managed to stop playing. It really IS a fun story, even when told with terrible visuals, but I think it’s probably best if I play through the PC version again someday.

Even though it’s a surprisingly strong attempt at translating a AAA game to the small screen, I can’t really recommend the PSP version if you have any other console available, unless you are a big Ghostbusters fan desperate for a portable game. I think it’s available on the PSN, which might help with the atrocious load times anyway.

While Ghostbusters is an attempt to port a full-on console game, WTF is decidedly a portable game, and, well, I think the only way to describe it is that it’s unique and incredibly Japanese in the best way. It’s a bizarre collection of lo-fi minigames in which you take on weird jobs to earn money to unlock new jobs to earn money to unlock new jobs, which usually involve playing an 8-bit looking affair where you, for example, count pedestrians on a street or put pen caps onto pens while listening to idle and inane chatter from coworkers.

When it came out, in the days before smart phones, it would have been a fantastic go-to for “I have five minutes until my bus arrives”. Now, it’s less compelling but still worth playing solely for the, and I apologize for this in advance, the WTF factor.


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