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Have you ever wanted to work in video games? Well that's what the guys at GameBizCo Inc. do. Literally.

Join the cast of Another Videogame Webcomic as we peek behind the curtain to see what exactly goes into bringing your favorite video games to the small screen. It may be a job in video games, but it's still a job.

Resistance: Retribution

Platform:Playstation Portable
Price: $39.99

One of the biggest failings of the PSP, besides the fact that there are so few games worth playing, is tries too hard to be like its big brother consoles, the Playstation 2 & 3. It's an admirable goal, yet there's an inherent flaw in the design of the PSP itself that makes this a fools errand. The lack of a second analog stick. But Resistance: Retribution tries it's hardest to overcome this void in a couple of different ways. Is it successful in doing so? For the most part...

Resistance: Retribution is the handheld entry in the Playstation's Resistance franchise, with Resistance: Fall of Man and (the less flowery titled) Resistance 2 both appearing on the Playstation 3. It differs from the console versions in that Retribution pulls you out of first player shooter mode and puts you into a third person shooter game. You take the role of James Grayson, a former British marine imprisoned for going AWOL and waging a one man war against the alien Chimera. Rather than rot in prison (because, honestly, how much fun would that game be?) you are asked to join the French resistance, the Marquis, as they attempt to free Europe from the Chimera.

Typically, a console shooter employs both analog sticks, one to move and one to aim. Because of the lack of a second analog stick, Resistance: Retribution adds a feature called "aim assist" to help compensate for the lack of a second analog stick. Basically, there's a rectangular box that is present on the screen at all times. When an enemy appears within that rectangle, you automatically target them. Sounds like a good solution, right? And for the most part, it works. However, there are a few shortcomings. When there are a lot of enemies on the screen (and believe me, there are a lot of instances where that is the case) targeting can become a little frustrating when you want to target a different enemy than the aim assist wants to target.

Some of the other controls are a little awkward also. Even after playing the game for 10 to 12 hours, I was still fumbling with reloading my weapon or attempting to change weapons. Resistance: Retribution also adds a cover mechanic, where you can hide behind walls and other obstacles and peek out for a quick shot at your enemies. Taking cover is as simple as pushing the analog stick towards the wall or obstacle you want to take cover behind. But like the aim assist, this feature works correctly about 80% of the time. There were times when I wanted to take cover but instead James Grayson decided that running in place in front of the wall would be a better idea.

That's not to say the game is unplayable. With all of Retribution's modifications to the usual shooter control scheme, they work the majority of the time. But if you're looking to improve the control experience and you happen to have a PS3 and a copy of Resistance 2 lying around, you can play in "Resistance: Retribution Plus" mode which allows you to control the game with a DualShock 3 controller. It's a pretty cool idea, except for the fact on the first generation PSP I was playing on, I couldn't output the video to my tv and I was kind of tethered four feet away from my PS3 with my PSP awkwardly laying on my sofa armrest while I gripped the DualShock 3 controller. But I figure with newer PSPs this would work even better because you could output the video to your TV and have more freedom to sit as unawkwardly as possible.

Connecting the game to a PS3 also allows you to unlock "Infected mode" which slightly modifies the game. It adds a regenerating health bar as well as an additional weapon for you to use through out the game. Its definitely a nice feature which may prompt you to play through the game twice, once normally and once while infected.

Retribution also features a few multiplayer modes to extend your gaming experience that range from the usual (deathmatch, team deathmatch and capture the flag) to the unusual (assimilation and containment). Admittedly, I haven't played a lot of multiplayer to give a full impression of it, there seemed to be a lot of players online to play with in spite of the PSP's low numbers.

Rating

After rereading this review, I think you may get the impression I didn't like the game. That's not the case. Not really. Overall, I thought it was an enjoyable experience with a few control issues. Do those control issues break the game? No. Do they make the game frustrating at times? Yes. Ff you can get over a little frustration, underneath there's a pretty good game. This one is a "rent".

One of the things I really enjoyed about the game was the PS3 connectivity. This is the first time I've seen it and I would like to see Sony try to implement it more in some of their future games.

Recommendations

God of War Chains of Olympus - The reason I'm recommending Chains of Olympus is this game really does translate the console experience to the PSP well. The lack of a second analog stick didn't hurt this game at all and is well worth playing even though it's a pretty short game. Plus it'll give you something to play while you're waiting for God of War 3.

Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops - This is the kind of game I wish would come out more often for the PSP. It takes a console franchise (in this case Metal Gear) and reimagines it so that it is unique to a handheld while still being true to the original games.

Player Two

After the resurgence of multiplayer co-op, GameBizCo Inc. hired Player Two to be the Goose to someone else's Maverick. His workload isn't quite as heavy as most of the other people working at GameBizCo Inc. and as a result, he spends a lot of time in the break room or playing computer solitaire.
First Appearance: Another Videogame Webcomic?!? An Introduction

Player One

Player One is top dog at GameBizCo Inc. Nearly every game, from Pong to Mario Bros to Grand Theft Auto, requires Player One's expertise. His cocksure and sometimes inappropriate attitude is an annoyance to his coworkers but seeing as every game needs a first player, they make due.
First Appearance: Bonus Stage! Here comes Player One!

Damsel I. Distress

Whether it be a castle, a dungeon or mystical island, Damsel always needs to be saved... and she hates it. Damsel longs for the day when she's given the role of a strong female lead character who doesn't have huge breasts with hyper accurate physics.
First Appearance: LittleBIGPlanet

Final Boss

Underneath the huge brute that is Final Boss lies a timid creature who wouldn't hurt a fly. He puts on his "angry face" when throwing barrels down ramps or breathing fire but deep down he feels sorry for doing so. He's been known to throw a game or two in the player's favor.
First Appearance: World Record

John Minion

John Minion, or Min for short, is the hardest working employee at GameBizCo Inc. Playing everything from Goombas to no name thugs, Min gets beat up on a daily basis but loves every minute of it. He always wanted to work in the gaming industry and was originally hired as an intern. After years of getting coffee, his big break came when someone called in sick... and the rest is history.
First Appearance: Watchmen: The End is Nigh

Middle Manager

Middle Manager works in the Human Resources department. He runs staff meetings and interviews prospective employees. The other 90% of his time is spent playing Freecell on his computer.
First Appearance: Another Videogame Webcomic?!? An Introduction

pimptour
@pimptour
Our last con of 2020 is our last con of 2021! Come see us at booth 154! #c2e2 https://t.co/5YkGlQmjs2
10 Dec 2021
Joe Dunn
@joedunn721
@beefyness @Lin_Manuel Felix is the best. Positive, encouraging, supportive. Rock solid dude.
16 Jan 2022
Irv Fabor
@irvfabor
Not only is this guy maskless he's also smoking in the subway car! 6 train local @NYCTSubway https://t.co/tvOFkiaeDn
07 Jan 2022