Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
23 October 2006
Total number of PSP games with online multiplayer? (or: Why is the PSP online such a mess, even in reviews?)
Turns out the answer, as of today, is 28 34 [update from jmro in comments]. There will be a few more by the end of the year, but it's disappointing that it still isn't a standard feature. I guess they're confused by the whole networking thing, except the iTunes Music Store PlayStation Store built into the PlayStation 3.

Anyway, here's the list I compiled:
  1. ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails
  2. Field Commander
  3. FIFA 06
  4. FIFA 07
  5. FIFA World Cup 2006
  6. Fight Night Round 3
  7. Gretzky NHL
  8. Gretzky NHL 06
  9. Infected
  10. Madden NFL 06
  11. Madden NFL 07
  12. Major League Baseball 2K6
  13. Metal Gear Acid
  14. MLB
  15. MLB 06: The Show
  16. NBA 06
  17. NBA 07
  18. NBA Live 06
  19. NBA Live 07
  20. NCAA Football 07
  21. Need for Speed Most Wanted 5-1-0
  22. Need for Speed Underground Rivals
  23. Rengoku: Tower of Purgatory
  24. SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Fireteam Bravo
  25. Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror
  26. Tiger Woods PGA 06
  27. Tiger Woods PGA 07
  28. Twisted Metal: Head-On
  29. Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code
  30. World Championship Poker 2: Featuring Howard Lederer
  31. World Series of Poker
  32. World Series of Poker 2: Tournament of Champions
  33. World Tour Soccer 06
  34. X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse
Some of these are suspect, I'm afraid. Does Metal Gear Acid really have infrastructure online play? I can't figure it out from what I've read online, and the two owners I spoke with couldn't figure out where the mode was hidden if it indeed exists. What about Need for Speed Underground Rivals and Rengoku: The Tower of Purgatory? Apparently they have something, but I can't figure out just what it is they have from reading bits online.

Sony's PSP site says that others have infrastructure mode, but I believe this just means they have the ability to trade data outside of a live game. For example, Exit can download a bunch of new levels, but it is listed as an infrastructure mode game on Sony's PSP site. Similarly, you can't play against others online in Tekken Dark Resurrection, but you can download data from another player's matches. I'm going to assume that games like Lemmings and Darkstalkers Chronicle and Mercury are in the same class of online-but-not-multiplayer games.

Which brings me to the text that launched me on this little project (emphasis added):
Deception also includes a thoroughly groovy multiplayer mode. With flight mechanics as tight as those in Ace Combat, specifically in Deception, it'd be a crime not to have competitive dogfighting. Using the PSP's wireless functionality, would-be pilots can battle for air supremacy through a number of maps. Better still, the game offers a number of team-based and cooperative modes in addition to basic dogfighting. There's Base Attack, where players split into teams to defend (or attack, depending) a base. There's also Air Superiority, which has pilots patrol a stretch of sky under strict weapons limitations; the longer a pilot stays alive the more points he scores. Every mode included in multiplayer is a worthy addition to the package. They all make great use of the PSP hardware and they grow increasingly addictive the longer one plays.
This is from IGN's review of Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception. From what I can tell, this is not an infrastructure game (see GameBrink's review which says "multiplayer while well created and a lot of fun to play sadly has no infrastructure or internet capabilities"), so none of this is available unless you've got another sucker PSP owner nearby who also happens to buy this game. So, in the sense that it makes "great use of the PSP hardware", you can't actually use it to play a multiplayer game in the 2006 internets-enabled sense of the word, but rather in the 1993 DooM IPX LAN sense.

In compiling the list above, I was shocked at how poorly reviews (on GameSpot in particular) document the networking capabilities of PSP games. Apparently the online mode of Madden NFL 07 was too difficult for GameSpot to comment upon in their review. I haven't found it mentioned in the IGN review either. This isn't something lesser known like Mercury here, folks, this is frickin' Madden. Even worse, I didn't know about the PS2-to-PSP features of Madden until I read about them in EA's press releases -- one of the last places a consumer is going to look for information about a game.

Ok, I'll stop ranting.
--Matt Matthews at 21:37
Comment [ 8 ]

Comments on this post:

Here's a few missed EA titles for the online list

NCAA Football 07 (Ahem)
FIFA World Cup 06 (enough fifa?)
Tiger Woods PGA 06
Tiger Woods PGA 07
Fight Night Round 3

By Anonymous JMro, at 24 October, 2006 01:16  

Sorry, jmro. Didn't mean to get personal with the omission like that. :^D

I'll add these when I get back later today, and thanks for the corrections (and the help with the original list).

By Blogger jvm, at 24 October, 2006 07:20  

Reviews neglecting accurate reporting of online support is hardly a surprise to me. It might have been last year that I posted a comment here complaining about reviews neglecting adequate details of multi-player in general.

Sites like IGN often wouldn't even bother to mention whether split-screen was 2 or 4 player, wouldn't mention things absent from multiplayer that were present in single player, vaguely described major issues, often "reviewed" multiplayer in only a paragraph at most, and the like. Hardly a surprise that they are lax on the issue of online as well.

By Anonymous Baines, at 24 October, 2006 18:35  

Baines: Couldn't find that comment. Do you recall if it was in reference to a specific game?

By Blogger jvm, at 26 October, 2006 00:07  

By the way... it seems that only EA is betting for the online.

For a guy like me, that don't like sports game, the list is even smaller.

In Japan, almost all games works with some kind of infrastructure, but out there, we have only a few games, even when a lot of PSP games, like Monster Hunter, only have the real fun in multiplayer modes.

By Anonymous DonDepre, at 28 November, 2006 16:49  

Being of an age where cynicsm smoulders quicker than Blackbeard's tapers, a thought crossed my mind while reading these comments.

It appears that most PSP games readily have a mode whereby *suckers* can play in the ad hoc sharing mode with a nearby buddy. Doesn't this encourage other *suckers* to buy a PSP, and a game, thereby doubling the tune on the Sony cash register?

True infrastucture games via a wireless LAN only require people who have already got the game and the hardware. Mmm... no cash there then.

By Anonymous John Hooton, at 10 December, 2006 17:35  

John Hooton: Nothing wrong with a little cynicism. Sounds like a good enough explanation to me. Then why is EA so solidly behind it? Just laying the groundwork for charging for it later?

By Blogger jvm, at 10 December, 2006 18:22  



1st : An ONLINE game is playable over the web, and that's what I call an ONLINE game.

2nd : Infrastructure or Ad'Hoc modes are both private or public NETWORK linked games only !



By Anonymous Anonymous, at 29 April, 2007 17:19  

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