There’s not a lot to say about Ghost Rider on the PSP that I didn’t cover in my back issue for the PS2 release back in February. In short, it’s a decent God of War clone, broken up with motorcycle levels with a healthy amount of unlockables and a short play length.
NOTE: This is not the music from the game, would’ve liked it a lot more if this was the case.
Though it shares the same DNA as its older PS2 sibling, the PSP port was handled in a very smart and different way. The non motorcycle portions are broken down into small arena challenges, which are easier to digest in a portable game than levels you have to traverse. You clear out a group of enemies, run to an arbitrary point, then repeat two more times.
Within each level is a set number of challenges you have to complete, such as beating a level in a set amount of time, collecting a certain amount of orbs or by dispatching enemies in a particular way or without blocking. Beating each of the challenges within a level grants you a skull which you can then use to upgrade between levels. You still collect the currency you would use to level up in the PS2 version, but it’s used as one of the score challenges and can’t be spent. This makes leveling up a lot more difficult than the main console title, and the game assumes you will want to replay each of the levels over and over which you really won’t want to.
The game still has the enemies which you have to build up your combo meter to kill, and there seems to be a lot more of those circumstances in this port. It wasn’t fun in the main game, and it’s not fun here either. Very late in the game I had to drop the game down to an easier difficulty for the levels you weren’t on the hell cycle, and you get no upgrade skulls for beating the levels on easy.
If you want to play Ghost Rider, I would highly recommend playing it on the PS2. This version doesn’t suffer control wise as a lot of PSP ports did, and it was smart for the developers at Climax to edit the game for handheld play. However, it gets monotonous beating certain stages once and it wants you to replay levels multiple times which only the most dedicated will want to.