Can Knights In The Nightmare Really Work On PSP?

By Shawn Collier on January 13, 2010, 8:07PM EDT

In the latest issue of Famitsu, it was revealed that Sting would be releasing a PlayStation Portable port of Knights in the Nightmare, which was released in North America by Atlus last June on the Nintendo DS.

The game garnered less than impressive sales in Japan, which explains why the developer would be porting the game over to cover their losses. Sting has been known to do ports such as this in the past, most recently with Riviera: The Promised Land and Yggdra Union. But unlike those games, it is hard to see how Knights in the Nightmare can make a proper transition to the PSP.

Part of the uniqueness of Knights in the Nightmare was the touch-screen interface, which was felt in almost every aspect of the game. Instead of controlling units individually, players controlled a Wisp, which moved in sync with the stylus on the touch screen. The player would hover over the units to charge them up so they could attack, while evading enemy attacks. Evading enemy attacks required quick reflexes, likening the game to the bullet-hell genre which is popular for putting tons of attacks on the screen for the player to evade.

Unlike the Nintendo DS, the PlayStation Portable does not have a touch screen. Thus, Sting is mapping the movement of the Wisp to the analog stick. In a game which requires quick reflexes, it is hard to see how an analog stick can achieve the same level of movement as a stylus. Sting has yet to comment on this, but it's very likely they will have to slow down or modify these attacks for the PSP. Considering the controls in the Nintendo DS version were already notoriously awkward compared to almost every other title on the handheld due to its unique controls, forcing players to use an analog stick only compounds this issue.

Porting a Nintendo DS game to the PlayStation Portable isn't new: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars has the same treatment, since the original game sold less than the publisher expected. However, when the PSP version was released, it only sold a fraction of the already low amount the Nintendo DS version had sold up to that point. While PSP game in Japan have been selling like hotcakes, such as Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep most recently, this is because they are made for the platform --- Knights in the Nightmare for the PSP is a shoehorned port that fails to remake the game for the platform.

While the game is receiving some bonuses, such as the ability to re-read conversations between characters and an animated movie, this pales in comparison to the drastic changes that will have to be made to the game. Sting's time would have been more well-spent creating a PlayStation Portable title in the franchise instead of a port which is lesser than its original.

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