Commenter Shinta, never one to shy away from an obscure Japanese title, recently got a hold of Atlus' Kenka Bancho Badass Rumble. In today's Speak Up on Kotaku, Shinta will tell you why it might be one of the best PSP games ever.
I'm late to the party, really late, but the party is so fucking awesome that I had to tell everyone anyway.
Kenka Bancho Badass Rumble is amazing. I got it yesterday for $15 and am currently playing through it on my Vita. It's definitely worth the money if you're a fan of beat-em-ups, RPGs, Shenmue, River City Ransom, or even GTA III.
Basically, you wander all around Japan and beat the hell out of bullies so you can be the king bully. The combat is kind of slow and looks uneventful on YouTube but after you get used to the pace it's awesome. The thing that really makes this game shine is the depth. You constantly gain XP and level up various stats like STR, SPD, END, HP, etc. You constantly gain new moves that you can equip to make your own custom combos, throws, and ground throws. You have a vast catalog of clothes, accessories and hair styles to purchase to customize your character. I played for 4 hours yesterday and it says I'm 6% through the game's content, so I don't know how accurate that is, but this game sounds huge. Right off the bat they tell you to take down 47 rival banchos, and I've taken down like, 5. They each have unique special moves also, and you can equip all of them after you beat them. There are also humorous QTE events where you have to string together the perfect insult so you can get the advantage in battle ("your momma so fat" was one)!
Furthermore, the game has tons of dialogue and interaction with other characters. Most of it is total comedy, stressing how manly you have to be at all times and discussing the virtues of a pimp slap over a punch to the face (a slap humiliates more, of course). You also have a cell phone and can call tons of characters, you receive text messages giving you hints all the time also. I think there are some romance sub-plots, but I don't know for sure. Also, every rival bancho that you beat becomes your peon, and you can call them to come fight by your side!
Finally, the environments are kind of huge for a PSP game. There's a whole huge city with a bus system to shuttle you around, with shops and side streets all over.
I literally had no idea how much I was missing with this game. So far, it feels like one of the best PSP games on the system, and a must buy. For $15, it's a steal. I almost wish I could go back in time and buy this full-price to support them bringing more over.
Also, I was able to map the d-pad camera controls to the right stick and it works great.