Don't let another idiotic Gamespot review deter you from this brilliant game.

User Rating: 9 | Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow PSP
Probably no gaming title in 2006 was more shockingly brilliant than Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror for the PSP. On its own terms it was a remarkable achievement in narrative, gameplay, and style, but the achievement was made all the more impressive by the fact that the Syphon Filter series had been such a crippled mess since its first outing on the ol' PSOne many moons ago.

It comes as less of a surprise that the follow-up, subtitled Logan's Shadow, is such a winning piece of handheld entertainment. Given the deft use of the PSP's often awkward controls in Dark Mirror, we can't be surprised that the new game is, naturally, a breeze to pick up and play within minutes of popping in the UMD. And given the phenomenally well-done animations, cutscenes, and environments from Dark Mirror, we obviously can't be shocked that Logan's Shadow bears all those same earmarks yet again.

But what can surprise us, even still, is the tremendous depth and quality of a title like this on a very small screen. There are XBox 360 and PS3 games that don't have this much replayability or this much technical proficiency. Logan's Shadow tells a new and intriguing story, sure, but it does it in a way that belies your expectations of the PSP, which has been blasted by critics for 2 1/2 years as being physically bulky and generally unfriendly to both players and programmers alike. The gripes about ugly pop-in? Can't make 'em here. What about those terrible load times? Not so bad in this game. The much-maligned analog nub? Gets integrated as perfectly as it can be here. Lack of variety of missions, weapons, and game modes? Sorry, but those quibbles just don't apply here.

This is, as I expected, a terrific game. And it's hopefully going to rekindle interest in the PSP platform, which desperately needs a boost from this game and from God of War: Chains of Olympus to stay relevant in the current generation.

EDIT (10/8/07): Now that another terrible Gamespot review has been posted, one that seriously undercuts the strengths of this game and overstates what few, minor problems it has, I can safely assure you that the story here is by no means weak or nonsensical. It's convoluted at times and maybe a little silly, but these games are purposely over-the-top and require a suspension of disbelief. The latest Gamespot critic seems awfully hellbent on critiquing the story, even though it was written by a proven storyteller (Greg Rucka) and is of an infinitely greater quality than the review itself.