Death Jr. gets life in retail

Konami's macabre PSP game combines first- and third-person elements; stars the Grim Reaper's spawn as he sends enemies to meet their maker.

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One highlight of the 2004 Game Developers Conference was an in-house demo of Death Jr., the first officially announced game for Sony's PlayStation Portable. Though it was the first game revealed for the handheld, it wasn't the first to emerge from the developmental netherworld. Long after the wave of PSP launch titles have come and gone, Death Jr. has finally made its way to stores.

Konami, which signed on to the project in January, is publishing the game. Death Jr. was developed by Backbone Entertainment, one half of Foundation 9, the largest conglomerate of independent game developers in North America.

In Death Jr., gamers play as the scythe-wielding, soul-sucking son of the Grim Reaper. Nepotism would seem to leave "DJ" to a careless lifestyle, but when he and a group of friends open a mysterious box (which actually doesn't belong to DJ's friend Pandora), they unwittingly unleash an ancient demon in the process. DJ must right his wrongs, save the world, and make sure he covers his tracks--all before Dad gets home.

To help him accomplish this gargantuan task, Death Jr. will have his trusty scythe, pistols, flamethrowers, and exploding hamsters at his disposal. DJ can also team up with his misfit friends to unleash deadly combos on enemies.

Death Jr. is rated T for Teen and retails for $39.99. Check back later today for GameSpot's full review of the game.

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