I know most people only read reviews to find out if they should buy, try or avoid a particular game. With that in mind, here's that info on Chili Con Carnage for those who don't want to read a full review.
Buy: If you love Max Payne, Total Overdose or action games in general and don't mind humor mixed in.
Try: If you haven't ever tried Total Overdose or Max Payne and are picky about humor and/or action in games.
Avoid: If you dislike action games, humor in games or Total Overdose.
This is a fairly easy review for me to write because I really like Chili Con Carnage and it's fairly easy to sum up why gamers should care about this title. But first I want go over the little that's wrong with the game. Mostly it has to do with the fact that Total Overdose (the game that Chili Con Carnage is part sequel, part remake of) used two analog sticks and had you flying in one direction while being able to shoot 360 degrees while still in the air. The developers solve this problem by automatically putting you into slow motion once you leap in any direction and then at that point moving the analog stick allows you to aim.
This is a good solution for this particular part of combat, but you'll find that normal movement makes it more difficult to utilize the auto-aim. This forces you to almost always be jumping through the air constantly while shooting to make the most of the combat system. For this fact alone, I almost rated this game lower, but once you get used to the quirks of the aiming system and allow yourself to just play the game, that's when the real reward begins.
The reason to love Chili Con Carnage is because it will have you doing insane action stunts like swinging off meat hooks while shooting enemies, taking out helicopters with rocket launchers and jumping off vehicles before plowing into a group of explosives. Not only that, but the game is genuinely funny and you'll face a midget with a giant head and bull horns, explosive chickens, bikini clad women with automatic weapons and that's just to name a few encounters. These experiences scream fun and it doesn't take long at all to get lost in the game and find yourself playing "just one more level."
Just to let fans of Total Overdose know, Chili Con Carnage is not an open-ended title like that game was. It's very linear with smaller areas, but they tend to be more interesting overall and it actually makes for a better and more unique game. Just don't go in expecting a Grand Theft Auto type experience.
In the end any problems the game has with iffy targeting are more than made up for by a long campaign with loads of hilarious, cool and memorable experiences. With any luck this is the sort of game that could easily develop a cult following and I hope it's not the last time we see Chili Con Carnage as a franchise.
PSP Fanboy Score: 7.5