Passport to ... Paris PSP
Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by SCEE London Studio
Release Date: Out Now
If you thought your PSP was just for games then think again. With the Passport to … range Sony have given you the potential to turn your PSP into a tour guide. There are six titles in the Passport to … range. There’s Passport to Rome, Passport to London, Passport to Amsterdam, Passport to Barcelona, Passport to Prague and Passport to Paris, which is what we are about to look at.
Passport to Paris offers eight sections. There’s a Guide section, a My Paris section, a Maps section, an Images section, a Videos section, an Audio Tours section, a Phrase Book section and a Web section. My Paris allows you to look at any information you’ve bookmarked in the other sections. You can also plan an itinerary if you wish. The Images section allows you to look at any of the images. Web allows you to look at a variety of web links in your PSP’s browser. The Videos section allows you to view video clips from the six Passport to … guides. These video clips are speeded up scenes of a seemingly choreographed day in city life. There’s no dialogue in these movie clips and in truth they don’t really have much value. Let’s look at the more important sections in a little more detail.
The Guide section contains six categories, See, Shop, Eat, Entertainment, Sleep and Essential Information. Each of these sections is also split into more specialised categories. For instance let’s say you choose Eat. Once in the Eat category you can choose to view all of the places listed or you can select African, Americas, Asian, Bistro, Brasserie, Café, European, French, International, Seafood, Snack Food and Vegetarian. All of the information in the Guide section is shown in text and pictures.
The Maps section includes 12 maps. You’ll find a map of the Paris Underground, a map of Bercy, Paris North, Paris South, two maps on Paris Central, two maps on North East Central Paris, two maps on South East Central Paris and finally two maps on Greater Paris. You have three levels of zoom on the maps, selected by the L and R buttons. You can view details on locations that are marked with a star enclosed in a square and you can also bookmark these locations.
The Audio Tour section contains three audio tours. There’s Postcard Paris, Couture and Kebabs and Lazy Left Bank Stroll. The audio tours are actually quite good and give rather useful information on each of the locations that are mentioned. The tours are split into stages that can be cycled between by using the L & R buttons. The only problem is that these audio tours are not subtitled rendering them useless for deaf people.
The Phrase Book section contains a collection of rather useful phrases (for French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch and Czech) shown in text and also read out verbally. The phrases are split into the following sections:
- Talking to the Doctor/Chemist
- Emergency Situations
- By Car
- Bank/Post Office
- Days of the Week/Months
- Question Words
- Expressions of Time
Again we have a section that isn’t really of much value for a deaf person, although a hearing person would no doubt appreciate the range of phrases on offer here and they do appear to cover all kinds of eventualities.
Passport to Paris is a solid travel companion that makes good use of the PSP. For hearing people it’s certainly worth the money as long as you don’t mind carrying your PSP with you on your travels. For deaf people the value of the product is rather more questionable. The Audio Tours section is essentially a complete waste of time as there are no subtitles. The Phrase Book is also of questionable value for deaf people. Still it’s good to see a non-gaming use made of the PSP and it would be good to see further travel guides, which are hopefully subtitled on the handheld.
Overall Game Rating: 5.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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Passport to Paris is actually a solid travel companion and for hearing people it's rather appealing if you happen to carry your PSP around with you when travelling abroad. For deaf people though it's rather more problematic. The audio tours could have at least been subtitled.