+ see more

Related Videos

Top 10 Handheld Spinoff Games

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Kurt Hvorup There comes a time in every gaming franchise's lifespan when they expand into the realm of handheld systems, experimenting with new ideas on less powerful hardware. Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks to the Top 10 Handheld Spinoff Games. For this list we'll be glancing at the finest examples of franchise-linked games released for handhelds, from all corners of the medium's history. Whatever their size, focus or degree of innovation, these titles prove the power of both established series and handhelds... with more than a little room for shaking up convention. Special Thanks to our user "DaveVsTheWorld" for suggesting this topic with our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Share
WatchMojo Share on Google+

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Transcript
Script written by Kurt Hvorup

Top 10 Handheld Spinoff Games


There comes a time in every gaming franchise's lifespan when they expand into the realm of handheld systems, experimenting with new ideas on less powerful hardware. Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks to the Top 10 Handheld Spinoff Games.

For this list we'll be glancing at the finest examples of franchise-linked games released for handhelds, from all corners of the medium's history. Whatever their size, focus or degree of innovation, these titles prove the power of both established series and handhelds... with more than a little room for shaking up convention.

#10: “Daxter” (2006)

To anyone who ever wanted to be a otter-weasel cross-breed creature, the wait is now over. Set before the events of “Jak 2”, “Daxter” deals with its titular ottsel hero getting caught up in the search for his friend – and also extermination work. To that end, players gain access to a healthy inventory of weapons such as a bug-swatter, a jet pack and a flamethrower to deal with foes. Combined with Daxter's own climbing and traversal abilities, you're granted plenty of ways to progress from area to area. It's a fun mix of fighting and platforming, even before the film-inspired Dream Sequences come into play.

#9: “Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII” (2007)

Between this, Tactics Advance, and “Dissidia Final Fantasy”, there certainly was no lack of quality “Final Fantasy” spinoffs. Players are put into the role of Zack Fair, a young recruit of SOLDIER caught up in the hunt for a traitor... which soon gives way to much darker proceedings. “Crisis Core” manages to effortlessly set up the events of its successor “Final Fantasy VII” while also delivering on powerful character and story moments of its own. And its deviation from the traditional turn-based combat of “Final Fantasy” proper, in favour of real-time combat with a slot machine-like modifier, ensures there's never a dull battle.

#8: “Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories” (2005)

Though we enjoy “Chinatown Wars”, the though of having a fully 3D grand theft auto just like ion the PS2 in the palm of your hands seemed too good to be true in 2005, hence why wer’e going with “Liberty City Stories”. Acting as something of an expansion on the setting of “Grand Theft Auto III”, this PSP title follows Toni Cipriani, a hitman returning to work for the Salvatore crime family. “Liberty City Stories” takes the time to make nods to character relationships from “GTA III” and still manages to tell its own tale of conflict in the criminal underworld. Plus, the incorporation of elements from later games – such as motorcycles and changing of clothes – helps this instalment feel up-to-date.

#7: “Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins” (1992)

Something old, something new, something borrowed... and not a hint of blue. “Super Mario Land 2” pits the beloved plumber Mario in a battle against debuting villain Wario, whose henchman have taken control of Mario's castle. Thus, Mario's quest takes him through a number of zones, which are organized by way of an overworld map inspired by “Super Mario Bros. 3”. The entire game nicely translates the console games' fantasy-based side-scrolling onto the Game Boy, with additions like the Magic Carrot power-up keeping play entertaining. After all, who isn't amused by the sight of Mario in a bunny costume?

#6: “Hitman GO” (2014)

Talk about a change from the norm. This turn-based puzzle game maintains the same core objective as other “Hitman” games – assassinate targets in a stealthy manner – but is controlled by way of touchscreen commands on a grid-like board. However, with its increasingly complex level design, rising comptency of enemies and added concerns like keys and trapdoors, “Hitman GO” proves itself very committed to the series' legacy. Given the creation of its spiritual successor “Lara Croft GO”, we feel this worked out well.

#5: “Metroid Fusion” (2002)

Released for the Game Boy Advance, this entry into the “Metroid” franchise walks a fine line between honouring a legacy and charting new territory. “Fusion” is a direct sequel to Super Metroid, with bounty hunter Samus Aran’s latest mission to investigate a laboratory besieged by mysterious parasites. The game deviates somewhat from the open-ended nature of past instalments in favour of a more linear design, but this makes room for intriguing character moments and the theme of experimentation gone awry. “Fusion” also keeps its action-platformer roots in mind, matching intense atmosphere with hidden weapons and an embrace of explorative thinking.

#4: “God of War: Chains of Olympus” (2008)

Once more, the Ghost of Sparta sets forth in the name of vengeance. “Chains of Olympus” reunites players with the haunted Spartan warrior Kratos, having been sent to deal with the dream god Morpheus. The patented blend of hack-and-slash action, careful platforming and challenging puzzles expected of the “God of War” games thrives here, married to a story dealing with loss and sacrifice. If that's not enough to make this spin-off interesting, there's always the five-trial Challenge of Hades and unlockable rewards for play.

#3: “Castlevana: Aria of Sorrow” (2003)

Following the success of Symphony of the Night, Konami went all out to produce a string of Metroidvania titles for Nintendo’s handheld systems, with their finest work being the adventure of Soma Cruz. Aria of Sorrow’s main draw is the ability to absorb the souls of enemies at random to unlock new abilities and weapon, meaning that no 2 playthroughs could end up unfolding the same way. Aria of Sorrow isn’t just a great Castlevania title, it’s among the best in its series, and it took the top spot in our Top 10 Gameboy Advance Games list.

#2: “The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds” (2013)

While the Game Boy title “Link's Awakening” is justified in its legacy, it's this 3DS gamethat feels like more of an embodiment of the franchise. “A Link Between Worlds” was built to honour its predecessor “A Link to the Past”, from being set in that game's version of Hyrule to expanding on the concept of parallel worlds. Yet its new wall-merging mechanic makes for some intriguing environmental puzzles, and features such as rented items add unique quirks to the “Zelda” formula. It keeps the series' tropes in mind while subverting or toying with them in fun ways.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“Sonic Advance” (2001)
“Resident Evil: Revelations” (2012)
“Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep” (2010)
“Resistance: Retribution” (2009)
“Uncharted: Golden Abyss” (2012)

#1: “Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker” (2010)

Peace unifies all things... and makes for a great game. “Peace Walker” picks up 10 years after the events of “Snake Eater”, with famed soldier Naked Snake investigating suspicious CIA operations in Cuba. This leads into an emotionally-wrought tale of betrayal and the struggle for peace, driven primarily by Snake's desire for answers. However, the greatest strength of “Peace Walker” may be its breadth of content; it packs in Main and Side Ops missions, base expansion, recruit management, and even mech construction. Factor in refinement of the series' stealth and combat mechanics, and you have a PSP title for the ages. When you realize that almost all of the stuff that made MGS5 amazing, like Fulton Extraction and Base management all debued in Peace Walker, then you’ll probably understand how revolutionary it is.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favourite handheld spinoff game? For more spinoff-centric Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
Comments

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs