A new and very annoying problem that is specific to this version is camera control. The camera controls are mapped to the square and circle buttons, and camera rotation is painfully slow, so slow that it's sometimes quicker to just let the camera naturally move itself back into a proper position rather than stand still and hold down one of the buttons to spin it around. Normally, this would be merely cumbersome, but the idiotic method of auto-targeting makes it a real problem. You see, you can't lock onto a target via the target-lock button unless you're facing that enemy. If the camera's out of position, and fire starts coming from a random direction that you can't quite pinpoint, it means you either need to stop to spin the camera around to where the enemy might be, or just keep turning Bond around in every direction while randomly clicking the target-lock button until something sticks. As you'd imagine, this will lead to some unfortunate and frustrating deaths.
With the slightly increased difficulty, it will probably take you as long to complete this version of the game as it would the console versions, which is roughly six hours or so. There are only eight single-player missions in this version, but each one comes with a couple of side challenges you can take on once you've completed the story mission, and there are unlockables to be found, like more challenges and hidden characters for multiplayer (although few of them are very compelling). The challenges add some length, but not much depth. They're just the sorts of things where you'll find yourself sniping a certain number of enemies within a set time limit, racing a Q-copter around a level (again with a time limit), and so on and so forth. Some of these challenges can be amusing, but mostly they're just dull.
The ad-hoc multiplayer features in the PSP version of From Russia With Love are somewhat different from those on consoles, although they're not any better. There are really only two game types: deathmatch and domination (which is actually just a version of last man standing) for up to four players. These modes can be played in standard third-person mode, or with the jetpack, making for four multiplayer types. Unfortunately, all the different modes are the same: bad. The maps are cramped and difficult to move around in; the auto-targeting makes it easy to blow someone away quickly (especially with the jetpacks--in those modes, the entire competitive experience boils down to who sees whom first); and the silly little power-ups you can pick up--like ones that speed you up, make you invisible to enemy radar (yes, there's a radar that shows enemy positions at practically all times), or increase the amount of damage you can do--add little, if anything, to the experience. Fundamentally, this is just not a fun multiplayer game.
Graphically, From Russia With Love earns style points for re-creating the '60s era of Bond with flair. James Bond looks like Sean Connery circa 1963, and all his mannerisms are in place, including that classic method of holding his gun down by his waist. The models are quite realistic, although the animation seems to have taken a hit in translation from console to PSP. Character movements are more jarring and less realistic. The environments emulate those of the film well, although there's rarely much detail in the set pieces and buildings. Those environments do destruct quite nicely, though, so the lack of detail is forgivable. Fantastic explosion effects are offset somewhat by a fairly unstable frame rate, one that's far worse on the PSP than it ever was on any console platform. Other than that, it looks like a decent translation of the console game in handheld form.
It's great that Sean Connery was able to take time out from his busy schedule of rolling around in gigantic piles of money to reprise the Bond character, but he could have put a little more effort into his performance.
The audio category is perhaps the most interesting one of the bunch. Sean Connery returns to play Bond once again, but that fact is something of a mixed blessing. For sure, it's of great nostalgic value to have the original Bond back in the tux, delivering those classic lines. But the truth is that Connery is not a young man anymore, nor does he sound like one. His thick Scottish accent permeates every line far more than it ever did during his days as Bond on film, and at times it actually feels like he hasn't fully committed to the role. He delivers the most renowned lines with plenty of flair, but the basic dialogue comes across a bit rushed and halfhearted. We don't want to say he was just doing this for a paycheck, but sometimes it definitely feels that way. Fortunately, the rest of the voice cast does an excellent job with what dialogue its members are given, and the soundtrack is still great. However, the sound effects sound decidedly worse on the PSP than they did in other versions, and they compare poorly to most other shooters on the PSP. The guns just sound tinny and weird, and explosions and other ancillary battle sounds are equally tin-can-sounding in nature.
While there's something to be said for carrying James Bond's latest video game adventure in the palm of your hand, From Russia With Love on the PSP suffers from too many drawbacks to make it worth your while. The breezy gameplay is only made more challenging by technical gaffes and frustrating issues, and the multiplayer component is the opposite of a good time. There are definitely satisfying moments to be had in From Russia With Love, but those moments are much more satisfying when played on any of the other versions that are available.