Hey there, Sony! What? Oh, don’t give me that face. Yes, I bashed you in my kinda sorta console wars article, but you’ve still got a great system! Hell, I’ve already invested over $150 in primarily PS1 classics! That’s something, innit? Ah, but of course, I have a problem with these that I feel a need to amend onto my previous statements AND a few suggestions to help you in the future.
So for the uninitiated, well…go back and read the other article. Okay, got it? Good. Basically there’s an equivalent to the Wii’s Virtual Console on the PSN, and that is in the form of PS1 and PS2 “classics.” Why for the quotes? Well see, a lot of these games AREN’T classics. In fact, this could be very easily resolved by Sony FIRST going through their entire greatest hits library for both consoles (which would be EPIC), then having various polls and such to figure out what else to add.
Instead, well…there are some good games (even some great ones) sure, but there are a lot that are suspiciously absent. Originally I thought this was in an attempt to get people to buy certain games. For example, why put the Sly Cooper, Jak & Daxter, or Ratchet & Clank serieseseseessees up there if, well…they already have HD updates or whatever?
Already played, still kinda want.
And hey, that totally makes sense, but even just looking on my PS2 shelf, I can immediately see the ever so wonderful game of Dark Cloud, one of the earliest PS2 RPGs…and it’s suspiciously absent from the PS2 classics lineup. So it’s also possible that maybe this game is already backwards compatible and realistically, I really don’t know as I have yet to try ANY physical PS2 copies on my PS3 yet.
But again, the same thing applies to the PS1 classics. I mean, you include something like Breath of Fire 4, an admittedly good BoF game, but not Breath of Fire 3? Seriously now, BoF3 is a cult favorite and there was even an adaptation of it for the PAL PSP, but not the North American PSP…which led to a lot of anger and frustration.
You have various titles on there like Final Fantasy Tactics and Xenogears, but not Valkyrie Profile or Star Ocean – Second Story. And don’t tell me that that’s because Squaresoft actually gives a damn because they don’t and even if they did, they’re Square Enix now…wouldn’t the Enix side chime in and want to add in their hits as well?
Don’t tell me Enix has given up as much more than Square soft has…please, please don’t.
But that’s not even the worst part. I can literally emulate all the titles I’ve downloaded BETTER on emulators. What?! Yeah, that’s right. The emulator or whatever that’s being used for the PS3’s classics series is somehow WORSE than any indie emulator currently available right now. My justification for this? Well, let’s take the original Grandia for example.
The original Grandia featured fully rotatable, mostly 3D towns and dungeons. I say mostly 3D because it’s always a top down view and often it’s done in this way so the game doesn’t have slowdown by trying to show everything at once, even though as early as the first town it’s obvious it’s trying to do too much at the same time.
Backgrounds in battle, enemies, and ALL characters are animated 2D sprites. They’re not even super high quality sprites, just standard stuff. Oh, I’m not complaining, I’m just saying. The point is on the PS3’s emu thingy it has to CONSTANTLY load between stuff as though you have a scratched to hell disc. This means that transitions in and out of battle, from one area to another, spoken segments, FMVs, and much more have to load, load, load.
14 years and 2 consoles later, we can experience Grandia as we’ve never experienced it before: with additional load times.
And I’m not saying they DON’T have to load on the PS1 or PS1 emulators. What I’m saying is the load times themselves are virtually nonexistent on those, yet on a system that costs $300, it takes forever just to grind in battles. And there’s only one emulation option and it really doesn’t work that well: smoothing.
For PS2 classics, I’ve noticed only one issue, but it’s enough to cause irritation to the eyes. Honestly, I can’t even explain exactly what the issue is. It’s as though the screen is bouncing, but only slightly. It happens just enough that it messes with your eyes. I haven’t noticed any weird loading issues as of yet, but yes, it’s annoying all the same.
Now there’s a good chance Sony really doesn’t give two shits about this, especially given that the PS4 is right around the corner and really, why would they care about games from the yesteryear? I’LL TELL YOU WHY. Nintendo makes a LIVING off of repackaging the same games over and over and fucking over again. Why can’t Sony?
“But Gun Sage, that’s a step in the right direction because we really want to see NEW games.” Sure, we all do, but I was DELIGHTED to see games like Grandia, Arc the Lad, ALL the previous PS1 FFs, and all kinds of crazy stuff on there. Sony has the right idea, but it’s been implemented poorly, so I’m here to help!
Sony, first and foremost, you need to start offering backwards compatibility. And I get it; maybe your console simply cannot emulate back as far as most people would want it, but that’s where you swoop in with the PS1 classics. Besides, having a PS2 classics library ensures that people who have been selling their first-born just to get a hold of cult classics will pay YOU and not some asshole on Amazon or wherever a fuck ton of money to get something that IS cool, but really shouldn’t be over $20.
And while that might be me shooting myself in the foot (I’ve made thousands on Amazon alone by selling a fraction of my collection), I’m willing to bite the bullet because people will always swear by the real thing rather than an emulated copy. But Sony, your emulator also has to be GOOD. If an independent, non-profit developer can make a kickass PS1 emulator and constantly update it, why can’t you?
I’m just sayin’.
Also again, adding in just the collection of “greatest hits” (as dubbed by you) would immediately invite all kinds of interest from a wide variety of gamers. Adding in a forum to assist with this would be wonderful also, which may or may not exist (I’m still a new PS3 user), but if it does exist, then clearly there are still some games missing anyway (come on, TELL me the PS2 classics list isn’t seriously lacking).
But again, I’m in the business of helping people, so here are a few ideas just to get started…
PS1 Classics – Battle Arena Toshinden, Brave Fencer Musashi, Breath of Fire 3, Bushido Blade, Clock Tower, Dragon Warrior 7, Driver, Einhander, Fear Effect, Heart of Darkness, Hoshigami, Incredible Crisis, Jade Cocoon, Legend of Legaia, Lunar, Mega Man Legends, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Ogre Battle, PaRappa the Rapper, Rival Schools, Rogue Trip, Star Ocean – Second Story, Strider 2, Suikoden 2, Tales of Destiny, Tenchu, Thousand Arms, Valkyrie Profile, Vandal Hearts, Wild 9.
PS2 Classics – Atelier Iris, Contra – Shattered Soldier, Dark Cloud, Dragon Quest 8, Fatal Frame 3, Final Fantasy 10, Growlanser Generations, Indigo Prophecy, Kingdom Hearts, Metal Gear Solid 2, Onimusha 3, Radiata Stories, Rogue Galaxy, Shadow Hearts, Shin Megami Tensei – Nocturne, Suikoden 3, TimeSplitters, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, Wild Arms 3, Wizardry – Tale of the Forsaken Land, Xenosaga – Episode 1, Yakuza 2.
You can have about 20 Dora the Explorer, Diego, and Harvest Moon games, but not THIS? Really? Really really??
Finally, have a little class! There are some games on there that clearly are only on there because the developer gave you more blowjobs than you can possibly handle. Sure, I’m willing let stuff like Final Fantasy 8 slip, because as much as I despise it, the game does have some definitive traits that helped improve and shape…I don’t know, something, probably.
I still think it sucks, but it does have its decent qualities and I know it got a “greatest hits” label slapped on it, even if simply because everyone was Final Fantasy bonkers after FF7 and immediately purchased it without thinking. All the same, THAT’S understandable, but how do you explain stuff like BloodRayne, Bug’s Life, Chulip, Dora the Explorer games, Pong, Reel Fishing, Toy Story 2, Vanguard Bandits, and Winback?
I mean, it’s not as though you just randomly threw a bunch of stuff in there, but why so many Harvest Moon games and no love for something like Onimusha? When you do stuff like this, we think you don’t give a shit about us. But the biggest insult of all has still got to be the piss poor emulator. Seriously Sony, get it together and you could squash Nintendo at this game.