Resistance: Retribution pleasantly surprised me at Tokyo Game Show when I finally had a chance to go hands on with the game. It may look like a shooter at first glance, but really Retribution plays more like a third-person action title, which is a good idea. The problem with creating a straight-up shooter for the Playstation Portable is that the controls just aren't right for that genre so whatever a developer does is going to feel like a making the best of a bad situation.In this case the aiming reticule floats in a pretty sizable rectangle and essentially auto aims anything that's in there. This means that while you have to point your screen in the general direction of enemies, you don't have to try to finesse out small movements with the thumbstick and four face buttons. And that's a really good call. Despite how it sounds, that doesn't make the game too easy. You still have to worry about weapon selection, about cover, you do even have to do a bit of fine-tune aiming with certain weapons. The end result is an experience that feels like a shooter lite, but in a good way. I'm never going to want to have this title replace my console and big television experience, but why would I want to. It's nice to see that the developers understand that they shouldn't be trying to compete with the home console Resistance experience and instead try to augment it with something a bit different.
As an aside.. ironically, one of my favorite shooters ever (on the PS2 no less, though originally a Dreamcast game), uses 4 face buttons, two shoulder buttons, and one analog stick, and with a D-pad. It controls wonderfully.
The PSP would control fine if the developers would use the KISS philosophy. A philosophy which is unfortunately, growing more and more ignored in game development, resulting in worse games for all.