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Can we all appreciate PSP era Square Enix?


(And perhaps, the entire PSP library for that matter?)

I have dusted off my old PSP 1000 to play DJ Max Clazziquai (damn, that muscle memory is still going strong) but along with it I remembered I have never finished KH: Birth by Sleep despite having quite a bit of fun with it back in the day.

And despite having massive problem with Terra's final boss this game is GLORIOUS. I really dislike Kingdom Hearts series (despite loving the premise), but BbS has some of the best action jRPG systems around - The finish commands, command styles, melding the commands, keeping abilities from them - I lost 5 hours just grinding and maxing out the D-links and commands.

Besides the game looks great and just feels like a big console release squished into old UMD.

Dissidia series is another great and an innovative title - the system was unique and captured a lot of the Advent Children acrobatics and just plain outlandish style. How many games have SE released with the amount of content rivalling Duodecim? How many games like it were released on any handheld at all? That game had a massive cast of playable characters, NPC characters with semi interactive areas AND it had a fairly robust overworld exploration AND it had ton of modes AND original Dissidia storyline AND completely replaceable RPG mode AND crazy amount of customisation and editing options AND massive amount of lore and fun fan service AND copious amount of DLC should you find the original content was not enough. Duodecim is absolutely MASSIVE and it felt like a game that was - would you believe it - made with love for the franchise.

Another favourite of mine is Tactics Ogre: Let Us Sing Together, which automatically became (to me at least) one of the finest tRPGs ever released. While it was a remake, it brought refinements that made the game feel really fresh with fantastic menus, wheel of fortune system (enabling you to backtrack up to 50 moves within the game) and extra content. The game has one of the best writing and story in the video games, and choices you make are some of the best I have ever encountered. Law and Chaos routes are so different they pretty much mean two entirely different story lines. And that beautiful music!

Crisis Core was to many a system seller and while I wasn't loving it as much as most of the GAFfers here, it had some really good gameplay there. It was a great portable title and a blueprint for Type-0 and Birth by Sleep. It's easily the best title out of the FF7 compilation.

3rd Birthday was one of the best looking shooters on the platform and I personally had a lot of fun with it. It was silly, but it worked better on PSP than most of the other shooters that tried to fit two stick gameplay onto a single-stick console. I haven't actually beaten it yet but I played it a good bit back in the day. A lot of people hated it because it wasn;t Parasite Eve, instead of embracing it for what it is - a really competent portable shooter.

And there was the infamous Type-0 which I wasn't particularly blown away buy but it was an another big project that Square Enix could have easily decided to sell Vitas with - it's one of the very few 2 UMD released games. The game looks absolutely beautiful on PSP still and was good enough to be remade for PS4. It had an overworld with a simplistic RTS, towns, a cast of 14 characters, online play, 4 kingdoms and a very bloody, cinematics unlike most of the FF games. Yes, a lot of its premises were disappointing (towns were often the same simple room, repeated, the RTS was REALLY simplistic, crystarium was a joke and the overworld in Dissidia Duodecim felt IMO livelier than in Type-0) but hey, SE hasn't released anything remotely as big or ambitious on Vita. And the cast was perhaps more interesting than the entirety of FFXIII.

Besides these SE released around the same time the World Ends With You, FFXII Revenant Wings and Final Fantasy Tactics A2 - which all were fantastic, especially TWEWY which had more gameplay and interesting systems in it than the entire Final Fantasy XIII sub franchise.

As much as I love Vita, sometimes I wish there was more unique and big releases like that on that system. Square Enix haven't given much attention to either N3DS or Vita this time around, which is a shame because it seems like they try to make money on shitty mobile games that rip off the legacy of their franchises, instead of actively building that legacy like the PSP games did (here's to hoping that the companies realise this and just try to recognise the dedicated handheld gaming is a niche worth catering towards to). Looking back, it was like a renaissance for them of sorts: the titles had high production values, they were full of content and just fuun. Right now I am hoping that all the Vita Dragon Quest games make it in Europe.

What do you think of their output on PSP? How does it hold up against other PSP titles? What would you like to see them do on PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS?


I really enjoyed VP:Lenneth.

The port was shoddy, but it's not on PSN and buying the original is not viable for most.

Also, holy heck at the best ending requirements.

Talk about esoteric.

BBS was also the only KH I liked due to the lack of garbage allies.
Shame it's gone this generation. I was expecting one of the two portable platforms to inherit SE's PSP-level support but they really havent'. KH3D didn't feel like it had nearly enough effort put into it as BBS.
Crisis Core is pretty great, so is BBS and Dissidia. Type 0 might of been, but it's an awful console game.
Yeah, Crisis Core was my system seller but I didn't really enjoyed it. I'm glad I finished it though, FF VII won't be completed without it.
I've spent hundreds of hours in Tactics Ogre and FF Tactics on my PSP (RIP).

All that and no mention of Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth.

Because it's just a port?
He didn't mention FF Tactics as well.


Too much of the psp library is not available for download on vita. It's a shame, since some really good games are umd only.
The company that thought it wasn't worth it to localize a high profile FF title? Only to sell it at full price a generation later?

FFT:WotL for PSP is also pretty garbage with the slowdown and stretched screen. How is it that fans can fix issues that weren't even present in the original game?

That era of SE was probably the worst of SE, glad they seem to have gotten their shit together.


Everyone says SE fell off last gen, but between PSP and DS, I thought it was their best next to PS.

Yeah while everyone was complaining about SE last gen I was just playing some of the best games I'd ever played from them on PSP/DS. I just always saw their output last gen as a changing of the times, PSP/DS dominated the sales charts so it would make sense most of their games would be for those 2 systems.
Between their updated ports and their new games, their output really felt a little like their PS1/PS2 era greatness. Great timing too, since Gen VII wasn't really their best showing at all.

Crisis Core was great, Dissidia 012 was fantastic and has a truckload of content, Birth by Sleep is definitely a top tier KH entry (I know people that can't stand the series as a whole but love BBS), and Type-0 is pretty decent (I'm of the opinion that it made for a far better handheld game than a console game), and 3rd Birthday is a pretty competent TPS (Despite its stupid narrative & characters).

Not to mention the games themselves looked fantastic. (Wasn't every 3D title they developed done on customized variations of the Crisis Core engine?)
Their PSP output made their console output look like junk. Crisis Core and both Dissidias in kept me coming back to the system. BBS was the best portable KH game by miles. If anything, their handheld output in general was fantastic, with games like Twewy on the DS.

Danny Dudekisser

I paid good money for this Dynex!
PSP-era Square-Enix was depressing. It was like a constant reminder of the company they used to be during the PS1 era, but then you got slapped in the face with the reality that they kinda weren't that great then.

But then, maybe I'm still just kinda mad about that shitty port of Valkyrie Profile and the bad performance in FFT's PSP port.

Crisis Core was good. Dissidia was cool, too, I guess. Those are really the only Squeenix games I liked from the PSP. And I do have that Tactics Ogre game, but haven't opened it yet.

Still, they could've done so much more.

Edit: Oh God, I forgot The 3rd Birthday. Yeah, fuck PSP-era Square.


I think it was truly awesome, but Square-Enix is on the track of repeating the golden era once again with the PS4.


I enjoyed most of their PSP output for sure. I feel the Vita had a huge Square Enix void in it's library that certainly didn't help things.


I sometimes like to imagine that SE actually gave the Vita PSP-levels of support. It would have been wonderful.

Alas, it was never meant to be. Such a shame, too. Their PSP output was easily some of the best on the system.


Yeah, Crisis Core was my system seller but I didn't really enjoyed it. I'm glad I finished it though, FF VII won't be completed without it.
I've spent hundreds of hours in Tactics Ogre and FF Tactics on my PSP (RIP).

Because it's just a port?
He didn't mention FF Tactics as well.

Yep, I omitted Lenneth, FFT, FF4 and Star Ocean games because I felt they were either pretty much just ports or a very light remake. Tactics Ogre was almost an entirely new game with additional top-down view, extra abilities and classes, revamped levelling and life system, wheel of fortune system, new music and redrawn art works.

And yeah, the ports were shoddy at best. Understandable in case of Lenneth because it was almost a launch title, but FFT was just plain lazy. If you never played the game before it's alright though.

I have forgotten about mentioning about the Covenant of the Plume for the DS, though.
Main reason why I disagree with everyone that goes "but Square of today can't do xxxxx!!" is that I didn't have a PS3 last gen, I had only a PSP.

I didn't visit forums as often back then, but it would have been very fun (and salty for me) to always be super hyped whenever SE announced a new PSP title, and see everyone else going "oh no, it will be shit" =P

They were the most ambitious company on the PSP, but sadly we might never see what they can do with the Vita D=
BBS2.0 when Nomura?
Definitely a lot of great SE games on the psp. Shame that playing it for more than half an hour always left me with painful claw hands. Just not an ergonomic system.


Does star ocean 1 and 2 count? Since they only published the games. I loved those games on the psp they were amazing.
I'm playing FFT WotL atm and think it's great, sure it has a bit of slowdown when you use magic but it's hardly gamebreaking as the magic I've seen are rather simple and over in 5 seconds


The PSP had excellent third party support in general, and first party. I mean, it got two GTA games made for it, 5 Metal Gear games, Assassins creed, Battlefront, COD, and just about everything else. The platform was dealt with really well by everyone including SE.

Now we have the Vita...


It gave me high hopes for what they could do with the Vita. SE really pushed the PSP to its limits (Birth by Sleep even let you change how much memory it used).


Crisis Core was really solid and BBS was pretty great. I think Type-0 is pretty darn bad though (I played the HD version, but I can't see a version of this game ever being good), and I never played Dissidia (don't care for those kinds of fighting games). Their Star Ocean remakes were really great too. Though the crowning jewel of Square Enix's last-gen handheld efforts were the Dragon Quest games, which were on the DS. IV-VI all had awesome remakes, IX was great, and stuff like Rocket Slime was solid as well.


Neo Member
SE's lineup for PSP/DS is great for any period since the ps1 era, and is alot better compared to their output for 7th gen for home consoles, as well as 8th gen so far.


While I hated Crisis Core, I loved SE on that system, on the DS, they were even better.

I can say proudly that I owned every SE game on both system and I enjoyed most of them


yup been replayin some psp for about a month now. all 5 games I have for it are Sqaure...

Star Ocean Second Evolution <3
replaying Chrono Cross now with my 15 year old save.. <3
Crisis Core was my Shit. Love that Game.Love Zack Fair. I will cry if we ever get a HD remaster of Crisis Core.

Dissidia is a great Final Fantasy Fighting Game I hope we see it again this generation.

KH:Birth by Sleep is a Soild Prequel to the first Kingdom Hearts. I'm Replaying this in the 2.5 remaster, still a fun game with some of the best boss battles in Kingdom Hearts


I can't agree. Too many ports and the only new IP they published was Lord of Arcana.
Sting has by favorite PSP output to be honest.

Some of Square's games were the most ambitious on the PSP but that isn't really a marker of quality to me.



FF1 Anniversary
FF2 Anniversary
FF4 Complete Collection
FF7 Crisis Core
FFDissidia 012 Duodecim
Kingdom Hearts BBS
Valkyrie Profile Lenneth
Star Ocean First Departure
Star Ocean Second Evolution

Along with the PS1 classics on PSP? +1


I meant keep your fingers crossed it's actually good.

Team Ninja ain't what it used to be.

They spent all of their talent into jiggly boob physics and extra costumes, sadly.

I'd say they just got hired just for the sake of balancing the game for the arcades.


Yes, great production values (often really felt like new console experiences) and generally fun to play. Also, the music in their psp games was often god tier. Ports of FF I/II/IV/Tactics were very well done too (especially the latter two).


They certainly put out a lot of interesting titles and revived some franchises we thought were long gone (Parasite Eve... which they rekilled). I'm surprised they haven't ported a lot of these titles or even put them on PSN.


S-E's last gen handheld output was fantastic to say the least.

It's just a shame they haven't supported the 3DS in the same way. I know KH3D didn't exactly set the charts on fire, but you would think that Bravely Defaults incredible Western sales, along with Fire Emblem: Awakening showing the sales potential of an SRPG, would convince them to give it further support. Instead they refuse to localise even Bravely Second, where there is no doubt that it will have a positive return on investment.

EDIT: I always wanted a PSP/3DS/PSV enhanced port of Legend of Mana too. To me, it always seemed like the 'missing game' in S-E's 5th gen library when it comes to ports and rereleases. The game still looks beautiful and would require little work to justify a retail release (just like how Chrono Trigger's timeless sprites didn't seem out of place on the more-powerful DS).


Yup, I think most of the highlights for PSP for me were SE games. KH: Birth by sleep, FF7: Crisis Core, Dissidia/012, 3rd Birthday (though not as much).

It was pretty much the SE games that made me want a PSP, specifically for BBS and it was absolutely worth it.

Its why I'm pretty sad they've done barely anything for the Vita except FFX HD (which I still need to try beating), and only other things I know about is Agito+ (basically a mobile port), Chaos rings trilogy (again another mobile port) and Final Fantasy World (which looks perhaps promising).

Despite them barely making anything for Vita (where type 0 would make more sense and perhaps be more enjoyed as it would inherit it's portable roots), I can't say the moves they're making are bad either. PS4 games are great choices and espicially the ones they're announcing. Can't say I blame them for choosing PS4 over vita. I would love to think they'll make at least one vita exclusive game however. If theres one company that could make system sellers to me, it's probably SE. I would kill for KH collection on Vita and/or a KH exclusive (though I think KH3 are a priority is right).
3rd Birthday was one of the best looking shooters on the platform and I personally had a lot of fun with it. It was silly, but it worked better on PSP than most of the other shooters that tried to fit two stick gameplay onto a single-stick console. I haven't actually beaten it yet but I played it a good bit back in the day. A lot of people hated it because it wasn;t Parasite Eve, instead of embracing it for what it is - a really competent portable shooter.

I'm still bitter as fuck we got 3rd Birthday as a Parasite Eve sequel. Square could've taken the original battle system and updated it, but instead we get a TPS that's tied to a stupid plot twist.
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