Reviewed: June 17, 2005
Type: Accessory Kit
Mad Catz has always been recognized as one of the leading third party video game accessory providers. They’ve made some excellent products including a series of first-rate cases for both the Nintendo DS and the Playstation Portable. As most of you know, the new Batman movie (Batman Begins) is a major blockbuster and to coincide with the movie release Mad Catz has brought out a series of collectable video game accessories including the Batman Begins PSP Pak.
This very cool looking pak includes many great things that fans of the Batman series and video game enthusiasts will like a lot. For one, it includes a Batman carrying case or console case to be more precise. This case that features a Batman emblem on top of the front Velcro strap is more of a gimmick than a realistic PSP case. True, it looks and acts like a case, but it in no way is designed to be a practical one.
The case is designed in such a way that you will need to fasten the two screws (attached to the case) into the top of your PSP. Doing so is very easy and I had absolutely no trouble with the threading on the screws. The main problem is the interior of the case which is half of what you’d expect it to be. Most of us would assume the inside of a foldable case like this would be a smooth, soft fabric that would protect the delicate screen of the PSP. This is true for half of the case, but the other half has a strip in the middle which I figure serves no real purpose other than to possibly hold a few coins.
Putting change in this case is ok just as long as you aren’t putting it against the screen when you close the case. You can potentially screw in the case so that the screen is facing the nice soft protective fabric. Unfortunately there are downsides to doing so. First, you must open the case in reverse of how you’d normally open it. Second, the case is attached to the PSP which makes it impossible to play in this position because the case keeps folding back over your PSP as you try to play. In short, it doesn’t work and no one would want to use the case.
I’m sure Mad Catz’s purpose was for you to play the PSP with your case attached. It wouldn’t make sense to take off the installed case just to play your PSP and then install it again when you’re done. So the only logical way to use this case is to install it with the soft part of the case on the back of the PSP and the dangerous coin belt facing your screen. The only bonus to installing it this way is that the case folds open nicely and allows you to use your PSP easily while the case is attached. The case doesn’t weigh very much, so it’s not much more stress on the wrists.
The Batman Begins PSP Pak also includes a set of screen protectors which are always a welcome commodity. I personally don’t like them because getting one on without air bubbles is like lighting a fire in the wind. But for some of us, just having one of these screen protectors on is enough to make you feel more at ease when letting others handle your system.
The coolest accessory of this pak has to be the UMD case. This special, one of a kind case is designed to carry one extra UMD and is small enough to carry in your pocket. The exterior and foldable lid are made out of stamped aluminum while the interior (which is host to the UMD) is injected molded plastic. The Batman symbol is stamped into the case, which gives it a very cool look.
Like most people, I like taking my PSP with me, but I generally only take a game inside the system and one extra. So having a very cool, small protective case for one is just what I was looking for. In fact, I like this single UMD case so much that I’d almost recommend buying the entire pack just for this, if you can find it cheap enough. Hopefully Mad Catz releases a variety of single cases like this for individual sale.
The PSP Pak also includes a special bonus item which is a removable console skin. The skin is blue and features Batman on the right and the words “Fight Injustice” on the left under the D-pad. It’s a very thin sticker that is rolled up in the case, which makes it difficult to put on. I’d recommend unrolling it and placing it in a thick book for a few days before installing (makes it much easier). I thought it looked cool, but I wouldn’t want it on my PSP forever. Good thing it comes off easily, but it leaves some residue to clean off. It’s not much and will require minimal cleaning.
Overall, the Batman Begins PSP Pak is a flawed kit, but one with bonuses like an awesome UMD case, screen protectors, and a cool removable skin that potentially makes up for the unusual and unusable case design. I would recommend this pak only to hardcore Batman fans or people that want to get their hands on the amazingly cool UMD case.