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Monday July 25, 2005 11:49 am

Dead to Rights Reckoning PSP Review

Dead To Rights PSP

I love my PSP, but you know what boys and girls? There are just not enough good games for it if you ask me. That is why I had a smile on my face when I saw that Dead to Rights Reckoning was out for my game hungry PSP. Namco has put together a pretty good action game for the PlayStation Portable that involves shooting wave after wave of henchmen over and over again with hot lead. This is sort of a PSP side story port of the PS2 game Dead to Rights.

Dead To Rights Reckoning is an over the shoulder gunfight driven action game where you play a hard nose bad ass cop who has a killer dog for a friend. Some evil druglord bad guy kidnaps some girl that we never actually see, and a killing spree and blood bath ensues that is not over until there is an off screen virtual pile of dead henchmen the size of Dallas. The game play is very similar to Max Payne and you can even jump into a “Bullet Time” dive and shoot a lot of bad guys in super cool slow motion. In addition to co-opting Max Payne’s biggest gameplay gimmick, you also can sic your off screen dog after the bad guy you have targeted and the dog will magically jump in and run over and rip out their through while the bad guys just stand there. Think of it as a summon evil hound spell that this guy chants when your killer canine meter is full.

The graphics look really good for a PSP game and I am encouraged by this game and cautiously optimistic to see what Rockstar Games can bring of a GTA game to the PSP. The levels are dark and grim but the end up feeling a bit sterile and like the were automatically pumped out of a level editor. The environments are almost totally linear and you walk through the game in a semi straight line killing all the flunkies that you meet in waves of three to five. There is almost no distinguishable music but the audio is mostly bullets, gun shots and bodies hitting the floor.
Don’t get me wrong - I loved playing this game, and when I had to get my brakes fixed last weekend I sat at the mechanic and played this game from beginning to end. That is also one of the games problems - you can beat it in under five hours when you first play it. Once you get a hang of the gameplay you can breeze through the game. There is a wireless multi-player death match that should be fun but I did not get a chance to try it out.

Considering that there is a massive vacuum for PSP games, and there is a common technical architecture with the PS2, I am surprised that there is not more semi-ports like this game. This game is fun and looks great but it is pretty much the same thing over and over again. It is much like a Hollywood action movie from the late 80s that is the same action over and over again. It is fun but way too easy and is pretty much the same experience through out. This is Max Payne Lite on PSP without the mood swings.

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