There is no doubt that a lot of work went into make a near perfect port from the PS2 version when bringing it to the PSP. I actually played this when it originally came out last year on PS2 and was amazed at how well the story carried over, not like a game but like a novel or a movie series that Michael Bay had nothing to do with. Hydravision does a great job of combining a good story with lots of action and fright without leaning one way or the other.
Gameplay is a little tricky in the beginning to figure out. Trying to switch weapons was a pain in the but at first. As was using the weapon, until I remembered that it was much like Resident Evil. The R button readies the weapon, then press X for action. I nearly died right off the bat trying to defend myself against a large misshaped monkey-thing in the beginning because I didn’t have sense enough to get a feel for the button uses first.
The killer party is only the beginning of the carnage. What follows afterward is a story that had me wondering if the writer was more than a little crazy. Between the people turning into giant evil trees, mutants raping students and impregnating them, and disfigured guys impaling students with chainsaws (an obvious Texas Chainsaw Massacre rip) it’s enough to give you a good mind-f***ing and have you wanting more. The final scene suggests that there will be another installment in the series, but you’ll have to play the game if you want the details.
Another thing to look forward to is the soundtrack from acclaimed master Olivier Deriviere, who I had the pleasure of interviewing last year after the release of Alone In The Dark 5. He crafted a masterful collection of tracks for this one that is sure to please. And if you go into the Bonus section at the Menu screen and select the radio you can listen to the tracks MP3-style.
Concluding, I had a blast playing the game for the second time on PSP. While I already knew what was going to happen most of the time, I was still amazed at how great the port was. I don’t think Hydravision could have done a better job if they had tried. All the original frights are there, every splatter of blood, twisted limb, mangled corpse is in pristine condition compared to the original cut. I didn’t see the point in reviewing a game that essentially came out a year and a half ago. Instead, I focused on how well the developers were able to bring that game over to a portable format. And they succeeded in ways I didn’t think they could. The graphics were beautiful, the gameplay was outstanding, and the horror was exactly what I remembered it to be. I think that more horror survival titles should be ported to the PSP, but don’t skimp out the way you usually do when you port a game. If we have another Gears of War incident I’m going to pop a blood vessel.