All right, all you hack-and-slash lovers, sheathe those weapons and cuddle up with your PlayStation Portable. While it's no “Baldur's Gate,” the “Untold Legends” series for PSP has become the platform's leader in light role-playing action, and “The Warrior's Code” is a solid next step in the series.

You'll play through a series of fairly linear missions from a familiar top-down angled view. Your character can be customized simply (class, skin tone, hairstyle) and refined during the game (with things like gems to plug into the weapons you wield and armor you wear).

The attack system in “Code” feels unusually deep for a handheld action RPG: You've got a few basic attacks, a few special attacks, a variety of powered-up moves and an “attack of opportunity” that provides an extra-powered slam when your opponent gets himself into trouble.

The controls are still a little troublesome – it's extremely easy to execute the attacks you want, they just don't always seem to work out the way you want them to – but for a handheld title, this is pretty deep stuff.

Toss in online play (both cooperative, through the various missions, and a number of entertaining versus modes) and you've got a solid title that is worth the cash. It's no groundbreaker in the genre, but it'll keep you entertained a few minutes at a time, as all good portable titles should.

© 2006, Detroit Free Press.

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