I had my disappointments with Gungnir - one of my lesser favorite SRPGs. However, there are a lot of RPGs for the PSP - From dungeon crawlers to strategy to tactics based to old school turn play, etc., (I realized the sheer massivity of RPG titles best when I started using the Playstation network to do my game shopping for this system) and I'd say the worthwhile ones hover around 50%. There are many that are downright horrible. Gungnir falls somewhere between. It is by far not a bad SRPG, but also far from the likes of, say, the new Fire Emblem, or for instance Je'eanne de Arc (PSP).
First off, it takes a while getting in. The cut scenes - "event" scenes as they are labeled in this game, are not impressive at all graphically - no visual or audio candy here, just text boxes for dialogue and the same graphics you have during battle play.
The story has its good and bad points: it is rather hackneyed/cliche at its core - like so many other RPG's the game is based around a "chosen one," by the 'Gods' (of course he is unaware of why he is the chosen one, which of course remains cryptic until the story unravels), whose job is to protect and avenge his people - leading a revolution from the slums against an imperialistic oppressive regime, avenging his father's death who was the leader of, you guessed it, the previous failed revolution (at least his job is not to save the world from the once peacemaker gone madman!, but I digress). The characters range from fairly typical to slightly more interesting than average - there are a couple of other characters with "mysterious" backgrounds that unravel. To be fair, the story does improve, and to its credit some of the dialogue is decent - it really does have its moments that are literary, and there are some complexities thrown in when it comes to backgrounds and ethnicities and where loyalties lie, but it still relies heavily on formula and the Aristotelian curve.
Again, it takes a while getting in, and while it technically has a world map, there is no interaction with it - making the game too linear (SRPGs are genearlly more linear and not exploratory, but when you have an ineractive world map like in Fire Emblem and many other SRPGs for instance it makes it that much more dynamic, allowing for side quests, etc.)
The menus interface and its cosmetics and functionality also takes some getting used to - again, not bad, but not great. Alchemy is included which is always fun, and you can recruit as well as hire new members to your party. The in-game tutorials are welcomed but not always clear enough, and some of the more advanced mechanics of battle game play are somewhat convoluted, as are some of the advanced character elements.
Your occassional "choices" when given an option aren't really choices - the story and game proceed in the same manner regardless, just with slightly different dialogue for a moment or two.
You only get item based bounty during battle if you waste a turn to step on it after an enemy is defeated, and in this game, each turn in battle is fairly precious (at the end of a successful battle you will usually be awarded one item however). The battlefield designs could be dynamic - they have different levels (altitude), water, and other terrain that effect battle, and temporal based turn play. Unfortunately, some of the gameplay spoils the benefits... Often you cannot see some of the characters even if you rotate the cam. Another tough luck element of the game is that the same thing that applies to defeated enemies applies to your defeated characters - they drop one of their items when they retreat (enemy characters die or retreat, your characters only retreat when beaten, unless it is your "Ace" unit - explained below), which could be a level 9 weapon you've been improving through alchemy throughout the game. One of your remaining characters can grab it up if your lucky before an opposing character comes and swoops it up.
There is no quick save option during battle, but save points are not sparse once you are to the point between battles and story when you have the option to shop, equip, hire mercenaries (new characters), use alchemy to improve weapons, etc.
Battle gets pretty darn challenging - almost to the point of being too difficult, about halfway through, and there are no way to level grind your characters in between, only upgrade weaponry and armor, which itself is difficult when so much of what is made available to you isn't equipable on your best fighters.
Again - the difficulty level excels to a point of frustration halfway through. Like I said before, each turn in battle is precious, and unlike Je'anne de Arc or Fire Emblem, where every enemy gets a turn for each character and then you have a turn for all of your units, it goes back and forth from team to team based on a battle clock. For certain battles, this gets very awkward and strategy becomes incredibly difficult, especially if your goal is to wipe out the other team (sometimes your goal is to simply take out the leader). In these cases you can choose to grind on one character after another, and protecting your "Ace" unit can be a real pain (for every battle you have an "Ace" unit - a character of your choosing based on a subset of your main characters, and this character cannot be killed or, game over, and you continue redoing that battle until you win). Again, it makes it difficult to strategize because you obviously choose your best characters for battle, but while your grinding on one opposing character your other characters are just standing there like sitting ducks between turns.
Another one of the most obvious follies is that of status elements - e.g. poison, paralysis, etc. - this game has more than I have ever seen in any RPG game in my life, and there is a potion or herb to cure each one. Problem is, each of your team members only has five slots to carry weapon, armor, accessory armor like boots/gloves/etc. and items like HP potions or herbs/elixirs/etc. that cure the status ailments (sometimes you can't even use all five slots based on each item's "capacity size" in which case you can only hold three or four, which must be a weapon, armor, and accessory armor like shield/gauntletts/etc.). The issue is obvious - it is absolutely impossible to prepare your battle units for status ailments with the 20+ different items sold to cure 30+ different status ailments. Plain stupid. You can make it through the game without using them, however, but it compromises the game's integrity even further. (The only exception here is when you take a flag point on the battlefield, you have the option of "changing equipment" which includes items, so you can conceivably grab what you need at these points, but you're lucky if you're actually close enough to the ally with the status effect, and it also requires having every single cure in your stock, which is about 20+. You can also go through a battle, lose, and learn from it, and bring the cure or cures that you think you need - but again, every slot is precious and must be shared with your weapon, armor, etc.).
Your main character has the power of "Gungnir" which summons an awesome devastating spell that can turn a battle around, but over half of the time he often doesn't have enough skill points to even use it!
The game is still engaging if you like SRPGs, regardless of being far too linear, too hard at points, and having sub-par graphics - and so far I have not experienced any elements of actual choice or side quests.
Je'anne de Arc was the best SRPG for PSP so far in my experience, Gungnir's developers could have taken a lesson from it. If you like SRPGs, Gungnir is worth playing, but far from stellar.