Playstation Network Classics
Time to wrap up this series of reviews with the last, but most definitely not least, of the console game networks: The Playstation Network’s classic games. The offerings from the Playstation Network aren’t as extensive as other consoles, being limited to Playstation One games, but in my opinion the PsOne was one of the best consoles out there, and many of its games stand up very well even today. So let’s take a look.
I think it’s impossible to talk about the Playstation era of gaming without mentioning Crash Bandicoot somewhere. Crash was an absolute icon in terms of platform gaming and the Playstation in general. So let’s take a look at the very first game to see where it all began.
There’s not really much to it. You play as Crash, who has escaped from the evil Dr. Cortex, and now you have to make your way through three islands to give the good doctor a taste of his own medicine.
Along the way you encounter some of the most innovative level designs of their time, which are still a lot of fun even today - even if they are very linear, they're still nice to look at.
The gameplay is also very simple. It’s really a run and jump affair: platforming at its simplest and most elegant. No power ups, no special moves, just Crash running, jumping and spinning his way through the levels.
Of course, this isn’t a bad thing at all. The challenge comes from mastering the level design, finding all the secrets (of which there are many) and figuring out the best strategies for beating the bosses.
It’s all about your skill, and you have nothing but your own knowledge of the game to help you out. Everyone needs to play Crash Bandicoot at least once.
5 out of 5.
Final Fantasy VII
When you hear people talk about Japanese games, you’ll definitely hear this one come up. A lot of people say it revolutionised the Japanese RPG genre. A lot more call it a masterpiece, though that isn’t quite true. It’s definitely a good game, but once you sit down to play it yourself you might find it’s a little bit overrated.
You play as Cloud Strife, a mercenary for hire. On one of his missions he meets a flower girl by the name of Aerith, discovers a conspiracy involving one of the most powerful companies in the country, and everything links back to the mysterious Sephiroth.
The game has a long story, but always manages to stay interesting, if a bit clichéd by today’s standards. The combat is also a fairly standard turn-based affair, with the key mechanic being the "materia" system. You equip materia to learn new abilities and to strengthen those abilities. The game is also full of side quests and minigames for when you find yourself tired of following the plot.
While it’s aged well and is still a fun game to play, you might find FFVII not exactly the masterpiece you’ve heard about from everyone else. It's definitely worth a look, though, if you’re a fan of the genre or just looking for a good story.
4 out of 5.
With a new game and movie coming out, it’s a good idea to take a look at where this horror franchise began. Though you might find yourself frustrated by the controls when you start playing (they operate somewhat awkwardly), and though the fixed camera angles can get a little frustrating when you can’t see what’s coming, it's all part of what adds to this game's unsettling and at times pretty spooky atmosphere.
You can choose to play as Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, each with their own strengths, weaknesses and story to follow as you uncover the origin of the zombies and the plot of the evil Umbrella Organization. The dialogue is all pretty cheesy and the story is full of plot holes, but that’s what makes it all so much fun. It’s like playing out one of those B grade horror movies.
At other times, though, you might find yourself really creeped out, especially when you’re low of ammo and you know a zombie is going to jump out at any second.
Unlike today’s fast-paced action games, Resident Evil knows how to take it slow and create suspense and atmosphere that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Either that, or laughing at the cheesy dialogue.
Regardless of which you choose, It’s a great way to spend an afternoon.
3 out of 5.
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