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Ghost in the Shell: Stand
Reviewed November 2005 by Sean Kasheri
Developer: G Artists / SCEI
Release Date: October, 2005
ESRB Rating: "T" for Teen
Genre: FPS (First Person Shooter)
Since the US launch back in March 2005, the PSP has endured
a season of mediocre games with a few greats such as Metal
Gear Acid, Burnout Legends, Coded Arms, and a handful of others.
But that dry season is ending this holiday season, and a steady
line of good-looking games is headed for the PSP. And the game
to start off the line of great games is Ghost in the Shell.
Ghost in the Shell, Stand Alone Complex, takes after the hit
anime series, Stand Alone Complex. Her Section 9 operatives
Batou, Saito, and Togusa, all of who are playable characters,
join main character Major Motoko Kusanagi. And to lead them
is Aramaki, their boss. Their assistance on the field, the
loyal Tachikoma (which are AI-controlled tanks you can customize),
is also included. The game starts off with your mission to
recover a top-secret file known as File H-88. But from there,
the story takes off into an elaborate plot, which holds you
until the end. The game's plot is steady and strong, with twists
and plenty of cut scenes in-between.
Ghost in the Shell is the first FPS (first-person-shooter)
on the PSP that gives a great run for your money. The game
is solid, with good action and lots of options. There are over
50 weapons to choose from including grenades, dual handguns,
machine guns and more. You can chose between 4 different characters,
all a little different. Major Kusanagi is the balanced character,
carrying medium weaponry, quick and strong. Batou is the heavy
weapons, a little stronger, but slower. Saito's specialty is
with sniper weapons, and Togusa is a balanced human with stealth
on his side. By the way, so you know, Major Kusanagi and Batou
are both cyborgs, while Saito and Togusa are humans. There
are some pretty good levels in the game and some are pretty
long, with plenty of objectives to accomplish throughout the
At the beginning of every mission, you get the chance to customize
your weaponry and take what you want, as well as the ability
to pick up weapons your opponents drop. You can also customize
your tachikoma, who packs a very serious punch. Sadly, his
ammo cannot be replenished during missions, but there are ways
to get around this. There are 4 tachikomas, all with a little
different personality. The good thing about your tachikoma
is that you can control it, by giving firing orders, movement
orders, and point movement orders, but the last order isn't
so important. And one other fun play, you can mount your tachikoma.
That's right, during most missions, you can pilot your tachikoma
and rain lead onto your enemies. And the weaponry for your
tachikoma ranges from laser, to shields, to sprinklers, yes
a sprinkler. With all the customization available, 4 different
characters to play as, as well as 4 tachikomas to use, you've
got a lot of options in this great first person shooter campaign.
The game's wireless multiplayer mode
is a brilliant idea, allowing up to 6 players and their tachikomas
to go head to head in a free-for-all, or other modes as well.
The multiplayer mode supports Ad-Hoc connections and can
be initiated by the one player and others can join in after
the "host player" finishes
the game settings. There is no infrastructure mode where you
can hop online and play with more players or keep a scoreboard.
The only drag in this game is the load times.
There are a lot of them during mission parts and between missions,
but they are thankfully short; about 10-15 seconds. One way
to pass the load time is to watch the tachikoma pass the screen.
After the 3rd time the tachikoma passes, the game almost always
Here is one spot where Ghost in the Shell shines. The controls
are very thought out. There different control schemes, but
they are all similar. Basic controls are as follows: use the
analog stick to move around, the square-circle-triangle-x buttons
to move around, L to jump and R to shoot. Up lets you pick
up weapons, right lets you scroll between weapons, and left
lets you reload. All works out really well, right? But what
about when your enemy is moving, or you're having a hard time
keeping a steady bead on an enemy? Well, our friends at Bandai
came up with a clever idea that makes those problems go away.
Press down when in your weapon's range of fire and you'll lock
on to your enemy. You can keep on him and if he moves too far,
stop shooting and your targeting will refocus on the enemy.
The control schematics make the gameplay a smooth sail in this
Ghost in the Shell boasts some pretty impressive graphics
for the PSP. The weapons look sharp, the enemies look nasty,
and the backgrounds quite detailed as well. The characters
are very well done, each has a well-detailed looks and has
a few emotional features even, which is impressive. The graphics
could be said to be a little better than Counter Strike, but
certainly good enough to turn a few heads. Everything from
explosions to the smoke coming out of your gun after overheating
just looks good. The tachikomas look beautiful in 3-D and their
weapons look even cooler. These are graphics that PSP fans
can definitely enjoy.
The music in Ghost in the Shell isn't that incredible. It's
just a couple of beats and rhythms here and there to keep you
going in battle. That's the sound part that could have used
work. Now this is something special in a PSP game: full voice
acting in all cinematics. And the voice acting is good. Characters
talking normally and it's not choppy, lip-synching is good
and acting includes some emotional parts. It's incredible to
watch the scene with voice acting that can draw you into the
Ghost in the Shell is a game that PSP gamers will love. It
gives some great first person shooting action with an elaborate
story line. The enemy AI as well as tachikoma AI works well
and the cinematics are superbly done. The game controls make
it easy for anyone to pick up and play. This is one game in
2005 that PSP owners should check out, even if you are not
big on FPS games.
Playing Hints and Tips
- Make sure you take weapons you need to each mission. Don't
take in 3 heavy machine guns cause they're strong. Take a little
- Customize your tachikoma how you want to. There are lots
- If you need to, pull out of a firefight, it may save your
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
These graphics are great. Definitely
make an FPS look good on the PSP. It might not have groundbreaking
visuals, but you will not regret after seeing the cinematics
and in-game visuals.
The music doesn't match the visuals or
the top-notch controls. The beats are repetitive after a while.
But the cinematic voice acting is something you don't want
A good number of weapons and tank parts,
as well as using your tank help keep the game fun. Multiplayer
only has ad-hoc mode which is fun with some limitations. It
would be nice to see an infrastructure mode.
It’s an enticing run for the first
time. Not too many incentives to keep you coming back for more.
Multiplayer mode adds some replay value.