Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice Review


It’s time to look at the sequel to the first Pursuit Force! I definitely enjoyed the first game and I’m happy to report that the sequel even improves upon it in pretty much every way. This time we have more of an actual story and the car gameplay is really smooth. The only area where the first game wins is in the gameplay when you’re on the ground. For some reason this one is a lot clunkier but beyond that this is a sequel that improves in every way which is always important.

The game starts with the commander about to get married to the heroine of the first game. Unfortunately their wedding is crashed by a few gangs. Pursuit Force fights them off, but the heroine ends up getting murdered in the crossfire. The Commander decides to avenge her so Pursuit Force goes a little harder on crime than usual. Let’s just say that they aren’t taking any prisoners in this game. There are a lot of gangs on the loose right now including a Russian organization. The heroes have some backup in a new group called Viper but these guys are pretty arrogant and don’t seem to like the Force. Can we really stop all of the villains and is something else happening behind the scenes?

As with the first game there are exactly 30 levels in this game. Each level is around 10 minutes long so they’re definitely longer than the first game. This one should take you around 6-7 hours if you factor in the cutscenes. The difficulty level is considerably lower than the first title but that doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park. You are still going to need to apply yourself if you’re going to get out of these levels in one piece. There’s a good amount of replay value outside of the main campaign though. There are challenges and unlockables to try and earn. There looked to be quite a lot of them to go through so I think that’ll end up buying you quite a lot of time for sure.

For the gameplay, there are 3 main styles here. First is the combat racing. Your goal in these is to either eliminate all of the enemy cars or make it to a destination in time. You have your main handgun at all times but you can take over enemy cars to steal their weapons. It’s a pretty nice gameplay mechanic and definitely one that you don’t see very often. I found it to be pretty fun at least. This is definitely the best gameplay style and most of the levels use this so I imagine that a good amount of work was put into it. It’s really what the series is known for. Next are the first person shooter levels. In these you are typically manning the gun on a car or helicopter. Your goal is to protect your allies or blast away at a bunch of enemies who are trying to get somewhere. These levels are pretty solid as well but I’ve always preferred the third person view which is why the other two styles win.

Finally you have the levels where you are on the ground and ready to roll. These have you running around and blasting people or handcuffing them if you get close. The first game treated these levels more like the arcade so it was simple and precise. This one puts more emphasis on having proper aim so you usually have to stop moving in order to fire. I feel like it breaks up the rhythm which is why I prefer how it was handled in the first game. If you ask me the first game had the ideal setup with regard to how it was operated. Still, I wouldn’t say that the gameplay was bad either.

One thing to note is that you have a justice system. It gets a boost every time you defeat an enemy or bump into them. When it’s filled all of your attacks do more damage. You can also spend your meter to heal yourself and your car. Finally in the first person levels you can use up the meter to fire a volley of rockets which is pretty handy as well. Knowing when to use your meter will often be the difference between victory and defeat so keep that in mind when playing. It’s very likely going to be the most important thing to remember in the game.

The graphics are definitely solid and there is a noticeable improvement from the first game. We’ve got fully rendered cutscenes in this one which gives the game more of a cinematic feel. The stakes are higher and everything feels more advanced. Then you’ve got the soundtrack which is pretty reasonable. It’s also going for a thriller kind of feel but with mostly public domain type music. None of the themes are all that unique but they’re not bad. I don’t think you’ll be very focused on that aspect anyway while running through the levels.

The story itself is also pretty good with a lot of twists and turns. You may see most of them coming but I do appreciate that this wasn’t super basic. The game can be quite tragic though from start to finish. It’s not the best of days for the squad, that’s for sure. I think there’s definitely enough material here to make a third game someday. With nostalgia being all the rage I feel like a PS5 title would sell quite well. As I mentioned, the gameplay here is pretty unique and I believe a lot of people would enjoy it. I certainly did.

Overall, Extreme Justice lives up to its name. The whole premise of the game is that the heroes are being quite extreme here. While some of the bosses’ deaths may be accidental, some seem quite intentional. Even the ending was pretty surprising in that regard. The main characters maybe can’t even be called heroes by the end as they become more like vigilantes (aka the Punisher) with their emotions running high. Still, the perspective of being on the law at least officially is a nice change of pace since a lot of racing games have you playing as the bad guy. If you’ve got a PSP then this is definitely a solid game to get. You don’t even really need to worry about the first game since it didn’t really have much of a story. Everything really starts with this one.

Overall 7/10

Pursuit Force Review


It’s time to look at a pretty exciting PSP game. This is definitely not a title that I had known about until I received the second game as a gift. Naturally this meant I needed to hunt down the first title. It’s sort of like Need For Speed only this time you’re actually on the side of the law. We also have quite a few different gameplay styles which is interesting. It’s a fun game, but one that is relentlessly difficult. Completing the final levels will likely prove to be some of the toughest racing you’ll have to do and should give you F-Zero GX flashbacks. It’s definitely a game I’d recommend checking out.

There isn’t much of a story here. There are 5 different chapters with each chapter having 6 levels. Completing them all lets you see a quick cutscene as you put the boss away. The main character never talks or anything so you have to sort of think about what the guy’s character is really like. His boss does all of the talking as he takes constant shots at you and always threatens to fire you when you lose. The gangs range from the Mafia to Ninjas, to Jewel Thieves so there is a good amount of variety here. With 30 levels there’s a decent amount of content to get around here but the game shouldn’t take you a super long time. You’ll have it done in under 10 hours for sure and then I suppose you can work on getting higher scores. Unfortunately there isn’t really anything in the way of replay value so the main campaign needs to be what hooks you.

Let’s take a look at the gameplay. The main style is the car sections of course which makes sense. Usually these missions are about blowing up all of the enemy cars or recovering an artifact. The idea is you drive after the cars and start blasting at them with your gun. There is a strategy aspect to this as well though. You can choose to finish them off from your car or jump over and take control of it by taking out the drivers. Usually it’s better to take over the cars but near the end of the game you have to be careful about it. You have two different health bars, one for the car and one for the pilot. If you just finished blasting the enemy car to near death and then jump over, you’re about to take over a car that is severely weakened. Additionally, their guns pack a punch and when you leave your car you are pretty defenseless.

Sometimes it’s better to avoid a confrontation a bit so you can get some health back since it regenerates over time. You also want to build up justice meter as fast as possible since it recovers all of your health and is really good to have when you’re in a jam. Trust me, this will help you out of a whole lot of sticky situations. The time limit will be your biggest enemy in the boss fights though. In those levels you have to beat the boss before he/she escapes so you’ll have to adopt more of a risky style here. I haven’t played combat racing games quite like this one so it was a lot of fun. I could see Need For Speed borrowing some ideas from this someday.

Then you have the first person shooter levels where you are riding in a helicopter and have to blast away at the boats and cars that the villains are using. These levels don’t show up often so they were a fun change of pace. I would say that the car levels were still better of course, but I’ll give the game some props for deciding to switch it up like this. Finally you also have the levels on the ground where you have to strike your enemies down. These are pretty fun even if it feels like not a lot of time went into them. The controls are not quite as smooth as in the other two areas but it does give this more of an arcade kind of feel. You basically run around blasting everyone. If you get close to someone you can also activate a quick cutscene where you knock them out and put on the handcuffs. That’s always pretty satisfying and I actually had the most fun in this mode. I just love a good third person shooter gameplay and you just don’t see a whole lot of those anymore.

As for the graphics, those are pretty good. The PSP always was pretty ahead of its time in terms of the graphics it had. I’d make the case it can hold its own with the 3DS despite that console being a lot newer. As a result you definitely won’t be disappointed at the visuals here. They’re all on point for sure. The soundtrack is a bit more limited since each world seems to only have one main theme but they’re still solid. My favorite theme is probably the one that plays all throughout the Vixens chapter. It’s very fast paced and really gets you ready for the high speed race that’s about to start. For any game it’s important to have a good soundtrack, but especially for a racing/battle title because you need quick tunes to stay in rhythm.

Overall, Pursuit Force is a pretty solid action game. It’s a little on the short side but the difficulty level helps to ensure you won’t beat it so easily. You really have to master each level so some may take you quite a few tries. No worries though, you’ll get the hang of it the more you play. The gameplay is pretty tight and the music themes are also good. There’s not a whole lot more to ask for here. I’m looking forward to playing the sequel shortly and we’ll see if it’s able to match up to the first. I like to think that a sequel should always be better than the original so I’m expecting some big things here.

Overall 7/10

Pursuit Force Stats and Records

Stats time!

Stage Stats (Rank)

Capelli Family

Stage 1 B
Stage 2 C
Stage 3 C
Stage 4 A
Stage 5 A
Stage 6 C

Warlords

Stage 1C
Stage 2 B
Stage 3 A
Stage 4 A
Stage 5 A
Stage 6 A

Convicts

Stage 1 A
Stage 2 B
Stage 3 B
Stage 4 C
Stage 5 B
Stage 6 A

Vixens

Stage 1 A
Stage 2 A
Stage 3 A
Stage 4 C
Stage 5 B
Stage 6 C

Killer66

Stage 1 C
Stage 2 B
Stage 3 B
Stage 4 A
Stage 5 C
Stage 6 C

Neopets Petpet Adventures: The Wand of Wishing Review


It’s time to look at a Neopets game that I’ve had on the back burner for quite a while. It’s been pretty fun diving into these old games and I’m steadily closing out all of the PSP titles I own. This one definitely has its share of issues, but is ultimately a pretty decent game. It does get that RPG feeling across.

The game stars with a girl and her dog being cornered by a group of goblins. They want the legendary Wand of Wishing and unfortunately the heroine grabs it from the secret location and then lets it get taken into a portal. Her dog heads inside to grab it. The mission will be difficult though as the wand is now in a fantasy land filled with dragons and fairies as multiple factions wrestle for control. This pup is going to have to play hard ball.

I do like that the opening and ending cutscenes both have actual voice acting. I feel like the whole game should have had that instead of gibberish being used as the monster language though. The main heroine definitely isn’t ready for this action adventure though as she actually has a wand that can grant any wish and still lets the villains get the upper hand. There are hundreds of wishes she could have quickly made to make the villains stand down. That would have been a good way to play things. I would have actually been curious to see more of the human world since goblins apparently exist here. Is the world under siege and a sequel would look at that or is she simply in the wrong neighborhood? So many questions and so little time.

As for the actual gameplay, this is an overhead open world RPG action title. You walk from area to area fulfilling various quests and saving the king/queen of each realm. Your weapon can be a close quarters one like a sword or you can use a crossbow. I highly recommend the latter as their range is far greater and their power is better. Whoever designed this game must have had a very high opinion of this weapon because to have one that has better range and power is pretty unheard of. You will definitely want to have a high level of power because a lot of the bosses have Cheese abilities that will destroy you very quickly otherwise. One can freeze you as he lands multiple hits and others fire so fast that you can barely see the attack.

I spent around an hour just trying to cross one room at one point because even the minions were taking me down in a single hit. Just equipping weapon and armor simply isn’t enough. You will quickly be taken down. Your only hope is to go to the gym and level up your core strength, speed, and other stats. Make no mistake, these skills are what’s really going to get you through the door. Using the gym costs a lot of money and you only get an upgrade once you beat the boss but it’s worth it. Soon the minions who were beating you in one hit will barely be able to hurt you. At that point you will have a much better chance at winning.

You can also wield magic but I never quite got the hang of that one. My magical abilities weren’t quite high enough to use most of them so I bought a healing spell and left it at that. I highly recommend the health regeneration spell by the way as you can keep it activated almost 24/7 and it doubles your health recovery speed. It’s incredibly handy in all situations.

One issue about all of this is the money. As I mentioned it is all quite expensive and the problem is that the resources are finite. Once you clear a world you cannot go back and enemies surprisingly do not respawn. This means that if you go too fast you may end up burying yourself in an unwinnable situation. Fortunately that didn’t happen to me but if you like speed-running a game just keep this in mind. You don’t want to skip too many enemies. Honestly they should have just left the worlds open. It also means that you can’t clear the side quests either which is no good.

In general the game suffers from menus that aren’t very intuitive and long loading screens. Going into any area triggers a long loading screen and the menus are slow. You have to scroll screen by screen to get anywhere instead of a quick click. It can be tough to figure out most of the game’s more advanced features on your own as well.

As far as the graphics are concerned, I’d give the game a thumbs up. It is certainly one of the weaker PSP games in that area without a doubt but it is good enough. You can always tell what is happening and at worst the game just can’t load up much beyond what you see so you’ll notice that your attacks don’t do any damage if they hide just out of view. The soundtrack is decent but has no noteworthy tunes. You’ll likely forget all about them by the time you have wrapped things up here.

The story was fun enough as I mentioned but there is one moment that doesn’t make much sense. There is a twist about who one of the villains is and it is ambitious since it is a character that we will need to stop the end of the world. She’s evil but when another villain shows up this quickly goes 180 as she asks for our help. So much for pride among villains. At the end she makes a half hearted attempt to get in our way again but you don’t feel as though it is a serious attempt. Hopefully the other guardians will give her a stern talking to after her antics.

Overall, The Wand of Wishing is a pretty good game. It may not have the depth or length of a standard RPG, but you can still tell that some effort was put behind this one. There are several areas where it could have improved for sure like the loading times I mentioned earlier. Clearer instructions would be good as well but once you figure everything out then you are sure to have fun. Just be sure to go to the gym and buy the best armor/long ranged weapon and you shall be fine.

Overall 6/10

FIFA World Cup: Germany 2006 Review


It’s been a while, but now it’s time to go up against a team in soccer. This is also the first time in a very long while that I got to play a small console sport game. Typically I just play the home console versions so it’s a nice change of pace to see how it goes on the handheld. It’s pretty smooth and the PSP has always been particularly great at emulating the home console experience. That being said, aside from Madden I can’t picture myself playing any sport game on the go for very long.

Since this FIFA is specifically about the World Cup all of the modes focus on this as well. The main mode has you jump right into the World Cup and aim for success. Naturally I was repping the USA as I jumped in to take names. To my credit I actually scored a goal and then held the lead for most of the game. Then as always seems to be the case for these titles the computer’s difficulty level suddenly spiked without warning and they scored with only about 10 seconds left in the game. I can tell you now that this felt really crazy. Just like that I had lost my win and had to settle for a tie. Since it was only round one of the World Cup they didn’t have us play extra time and just ended the game there. I felt a little cheated to be honest, but I was glad that I at least scored a goal. The next game was more of a standard 0-0. I ended up losing the World Cup since my record wasn’t enough but it was a good run while it lasted. The computer evidently didn’t think I was good enough to keep tying though as I had it simulate some games in another World Cup and I lost almost every one.

I do like the World Cup format although it’s not like it makes a huge amount of difference to me as whether I do a quick game or a world cup match it’s basically the same outcome. As expected the graphics here are definitely pretty solid. The soundtrack stands out more than some of the others as a song pops up whenever you pause the game. The tunes seem reasonable enough, but you likely won’t be hearing them enough to ultimately form much of an opinion. You’ll be too busy gearing up for the second half or starting the next game.

There’s a solid amount of replay value here. The games are a little too long to easily play on the go, but since the PSP can just go into standby mode you don’t necessarily have to actually finish a game. You can just do most of it and then just dip out of there. That’s always been a pretty nice plus for the PSP in general. I think how much you play the game will depend on if you already play FIFA on the home console games and are just using this as a change of pace or if this is your main FIFA experience. If it’s the latter then I can easily see you spending a bunch of time here.

Really the only difference between this one and a home console title in terms of gameplay is that it’s not quite as clear since you’re on a smaller screen. You’ll feel a little more constricted, but that’s more mental than anything. It’s really still the same game through and through and feels like a direct port. It’s definitely still fun even if you may have a hard time scoring.

I really feel like FIFA and NHL have more in common with each other than any other sport title. If you ignore the terrain (Ice vs Grass) there really aren’t any substantial differences with the two. The way you shoot and pass is the same and you’ve got around the same amount of players. Even the distance of the field is the same. I wouldn’t be surprised if EA is able to copy a lot of the code to use in between the two games. As a result I feel like my NHL training as of late transferred over into FIFA even if I wasn’t quite able to secure a solid win. I came close at least.

Overall, World Cup 2006 feels like a true soccer title and it’s a fun concept for a spinoff. It slightly scales the title down which is quite convenient for the PSP in general. This was the only sport game I had left on my portable backlog so you likely won’t be seeing another one again for a very long time. For the first time I’ve actually gotten my sport backlog down to 20 games so it’ll be quite the milestone to have that one empty at last. Finally I will have more time for trophy hunting, general video game lounging, and getting unstuck in some of the trickier games on the backlog. Lets not get ahead of ourselves though.

Overall 6/10