As many older gamers know, Myst is one of the most influencial adventure games on Mac and PC and even on paper. And next to versions on CD-rom and in books, this adventure can now also be admired (if this is the right word) in UMD format and has the honor to be the first adventure on the PSP
Remakes and ports hardly ever turn out ok. Look at the new Star Wars and Hayden Christensen as Lord Vader or the abominable achievements of Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez in Shall We Dance. And Myst, a classic in the genre, prooves that its strong status can be crushed in a few minutes thanks to a bad development team, little motivation and hopes on quick profit. Which developer in his right mind would ever think of making a straight port of a 10(!) year old game??? The PSP has shown that it’s capable of doing great stuff no thanks to its little admireable catalogue and it literally hurts to see so much potential get sent to the trashbin.
Although the graphics have been remastered (as you probably could read about everywhere until you got sick of hearing it), the gameplay was supposed to be optimalised for the PSP, and the sound would be top notch, you find nothing back from all those hours of hard work. The graphics are grainy, the color reach is ridiculously low and results in quite abrupt color transitions that could have been avoided, and scenes – or should I say “pictures” – that look like they’ve come from a course “Fun 3D on the PC”, published by a company in 1991. That can maybe still be ignored (but not forgiven) as long as the point&click gameplay of Myst would be adapted to the PSP’s analog stick.
People who have ever surfed the net with the PSP and had to click lots of links that were spread over the pages thanks to the smart-fit classification of the browser will have no problems with the dragging of the cursor, but those that use the analog stick as steering wheel in Ridge Racer or something similar will curse on the gameplay. Although… I really don’t see Ridge Racer fans switching to Myst for any reason. Next to that, the cursor icon doesn’t even change when you go over useable items so you’ll have to click on almost every pixel in each screen to find items. This does increase the amount of “gameplay” hours but not really the fun.
There are also a lot of other irritating things that ruin the gaming experience of this puzzle game. Next to a fantastic memory you’ll also need perfect hearing as the sound – although not of the best quality – is essential to solve certain riddles and progress in Myst. Also the promised PSP exclusives are not really to write home about and will look REALLY familiar to true Myst fans.
It’s outrageous how lazy some developers can be and how they hope to be able to lean on a reputation. You can say EA often just updates their annual games, but these updates give better graphics and a (sometimes only slight) adjusted gameplay that makes it in many cases (like Tiger Woods 07) worth buying. This is hardly the case with Myst PSP that not only is an insult to the consumer but also to the series itself.