This GameCore column was written by CBSNews.com's Chad Chamberlain.
In 1993, I played my very first action Role Playing Game (RPG) called Secret of Mana (or Seiken Densetsu 2 in Japan). At the time, I felt it was unquestionably the best action RPG game ever made for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). It was my first time playing a RPG that was action-based and not turn-based similar to many of its predecessors like Phantasy Star for Sega Genesis. I loved every minute of it.
Since those early days, I've played several other turn-based, action RPGs on several different platforms -- GameCube, PlayStation, DreamCast, with the exception of Sony's PlayStation Portable gaming device.
Since its launch back in March of this year, Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP) library has been less than inspiring, with only a handful of titles available for launch and a few more on the horizon.
Of those titles, only a few like Untold Legends and X-Men II: Rise of Apocalypse can place themselves in that action RPG category. Yet still there hasn't really been a title that can comfortably sit in that slot.
PSP meet Kingdom of Paradise (K.o.P), published by Sony Computer Entertainment America. This action-packed, epic RPG adventure developed by Climax Entertainment is sure to wet many a palate. This, in my opinion, is the first real, official action RPG to hit PSP -- and hopefully not the last.
Aside from the corny box art, it's a pretty decent game with a few minor setbacks that I'll get into later. But I believe the setbacks are minor compared to Climax Entertainment's brilliant use of the PSP's 3D engine, which churns out really cool backgrounds and sweet music that just put this reviewer in some sort of mental calm.
We really need more RPG's out there for PSP like this one and better. Personally I'd love to see Final Fantasy VII or Secret of Mana redone for the PSP but that may be wishful thinking.
K.o.P is an epic adventure set in the palm of your hands. More than 20 hours of game play are unfolded in five worlds in an epic tale with beautiful, interactive environments and characters.
The story begins 300 years ago, when five martial arts clans peacefully ruled Ouka, the center of the known world. In an attempt to gain total supremacy, the Kirin clan brutally attacked the four other clans to secure the Divine Swords, the symbols of absolute power.
As a result, a young warrior named Shinbu, along with a girl named Suirin, are the only survivors of their clan. Although once considered an outcast, Shinbu embarks on a journey to defend his clan and return the balance of powers to Ouka.
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