Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
24 August 2006
Steel Horizon: PSP and DS go head-to-head
Steel Horizon by Konami is a mixed turn-based and real-time strategy game set at sea with naval units. What's interesting to me is that it is the only third-party game developed for both the PSP and the Nintendo DS which is trying to be the same on both platforms. That is: we can finally compare apples-to-apples with the PSP and DS.

(There may be licensed games which try this, like some movie tie-ins, but I haven't seen anything like Steel Horizon trying the same 2D and 3D on both systems. I'm going to dismiss the licensed games out of hand. Leave corrections in the comments, as usual...)

So, let's do the apples-to-apples comparison with screenshots. These are all taken from GameSpot, with useless space edited out of DS images: DS here, PSP here.

Here's the first comparison:The DS has what appears to be a more informative radar interface, but get a load of those graphics. The comparison with the PSP reminds me of comparing 3D games on the Saturn with 3D games on the PSOne. While the PSP version looks more modern (ooooh, textures!), the interface uses smaller fonts and icons to cram more on the screen. That second screen comes in handy on the DS, no?

This next comparison is more of the same:That's just embarassing. In the PSP screenshot you can even see the little airplanes on the deck of that aircraft carrier! Sure, that's probably not a carrier in the DS screenshot, but do you think the DS version has tiny planes given the detail spent on that explosion? Awful.

Finally, it appears that both versions are using a sort of radial menu:
At least when it comes to 2D the systems look pretty comparable.

My experience with radial menus is limited to Castlevania: Lament of Innocence. They were clumsy and I hated them, so I hope Konami makes a better show of it this time.

I'm interested to see how the two versions are reviewed when Steel Horizon is released later this year. Should be interested to see what reviewers pick to complain about in each version.


--Matt Matthews at 22:13
Comment [ 7 ]

Comments on this post:

Yeah I'll totally have to change my pre-order for steel horizontal or whatever....

By Blogger Zachary, at 25 August, 2006 00:34  

I would be interested to know the difference in how they play. I think it has long been established that the DS is not nearly as powerful as the PSP. Further beating on that point seems quite odd to me.

I don't plan on getting the game, and nothing written will change that, but I would still read about the differences in game play. Strikes me as an interesting article opportunity.

By Anonymous Russell Carroll, at 25 August, 2006 15:08  

I'm really excited about this game. Silent Service for the NES was one of my favorites, there's just something about blowing up ships with a submarine. In regards to the PSP vs DS comparison, of course the graphics are going to look better on the PSP, but the unique gameplay and interactivity that the DS provides more than makes up for it. Sure, you can compare graphics apples to apples for this game, but you can't compare playability or how much fun it is to play. That's what I'm interested in.

By Blogger Bigelow, at 25 August, 2006 15:11  

As Russ said, gfx comparison is pointless. What we want to know is whether the radial menu is radically easier to use on the DS vs. the PSP.


By Blogger Michael, at 25 August, 2006 16:02  

The touch screen can buy the DS quite a lot in the playability department, even if it can't compare graphically to what the PSP can do. I can see it being terribly useful in a more strategic game like this. Whether or not any given developer ~properly~ utilizes the touchscreen, however, is not necessarily a given thing.

By Blogger BruceC, at 25 August, 2006 16:57  

As long as the interface doesn't try to force you to use buttons, screen and d-pad simultaneously, like so many other DS games do, it might play okay. I'd still rather play the PSP version, as I find the whole "Keep track of two screens to know WTF you are doing " thing to be a real pain.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 August, 2006 12:09  

And there's Star Trek: Tactical Assault, also for both the DS and PSP. -shrug-

By Blogger Derf Shaya, at 11 July, 2007 02:18  

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