What’s Worth Keeping…on the Sony PlayStation? (PSX/PSOne)
We know it by many names. Older gamers refer to it as the PSX while younger gamers know it as the PSOne or PS1 because in 2003 Sony actually released a system called the PSX that tanked like the 32X. Whatever you call it, the Sony PlayStation really changed the industry forever and it and the Sega Saturn are the two systems I think pound for pound have the best overall lineups out of any console ever. As with previous “What’s Worth Keeping?” columns like our Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox ones, the premise of this column is to help whittle my collection down to twenty games per system. When I first started this series of columns I thought the PSX would be one of the harder systems to do, but in fact, thanks to PSN, it’s actually one of the easiest. Let’s take a look.
I currently have more than my allotted twenty games for the PSX, although digital copies via PSN that I can play on my PS3, Vita and PSP have made things so much easier. In fact I have thirty-seven “PSX Classics,” but only fourteen are ones I’ve actually picked up for myself. The other twenty-three are PSX titles I’ve gotten for free as a PlayStation Plus member. None of them are games I’d actually pay for or consider as part of my permanent twenty physical copies, but it’s nice to have SOME of them just the same. Here’s a list of the PS+ games that will go bye-bye once PlayStation+ ends or I stop renewing my membership.
2. Crash Bandicoot
3. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
4. Crash Bandicoot: Warped
5. CTR: Crash Team Racing
6. Destruction Derby
7. Final Fantasy V
8. International Track and Field
9. Jet Moto
11. Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
12. Rally Cross
13. Resident Evil
14. Resident Evil 2
15. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
16. Silent Hill
17. Spyro the Dragon
18. Spyro 2 (Ripto’s Rage)
19. Spyro: Year of the Dragon
20. Syphon Filter
21. Syphon Filter 3
22. Unjammer Lammy
Again, nothing I’d spend money on personally, but things that are nice to fiddle with as freebies. Then we have the fourteen I’ve actually purchased, which are not only playable on multiple systems, but games I also don’t have to have physical copies of. Of course, with three of the fourteen, I have them both digitally and physically.
1. Alundra. Action RPG, Matrix Software/Working Designs
2. Castlevania Chronicles. Platformer, Konami/Konami
3. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Action RPG, Konami/Konami
4. Final Fantasy Tactics. SRPG, Quest/Squaresoft
5. Grandia. SRPG, Game Arts/Sony
6. Legend of Dragoon. Turn Based RPG, SCEI/Sony
7. Persona 2: Eternal Punishment. Turn Based RPG, ATLUS/ATLUS USA
8. R-Types. Shoot ’em Up, IREM/ASCII Entertainment
9. Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV: Wall of Fire, Turn Based Strategy, Koei/Koei
10. Saiykui: Journey West, Turn Based RPG, Koei/Koei
11. Suikoden. Turn Based RPG, Konami/Konami
12. Threads of Fate. Action RPG, Squaresoft/Squaresoft
13. Vagrant Story. Action RPG, Quest/Squaresoft
14. Wild Arms. Turn Based RPG, Media Vision/Sony
So out of my fourteen digital PSX games we have nothing but RPGs, Castlevania Chronicles and R-TYPES. Tells you what my preferences are, eh? I should point out I got Wild Arms for free as one of the freebies for owning a Vita on its one year anniversary. I haven’t played it yet, but since I own it, it’s on the list. The nice thing is that this ends up being fourteen games I don’t have to worry about physical copies of. I love digital as it frees up so much physical space, but I also loathe digital because what happens when PSN goes down permanently? How will I access my games? Sony has already said we’ll have to repurchase digital titles for the PS4, which is as uncool as it gets, but what happens when I’m fifty and want to play Persona 2 and physical copies of the game don’t read properly anymore and PSN is gone and I can’t re-download my purchase? Is it something to actually worry about? Only time will tell.
Then there are the Import PSOne Classics I own. None of them are still available on PSN if you wanted to buy them now. You can still view and download them if you previous purchased them, but for everyone else, the purchase/download button is gone. There are some more recent import titles you can still purchase, but this is a good warning that these things can come and go from PSN quite quickly.
1. Cho Aniki: KyÅ«kyoku Muteki Ginga SaikyÅ Otoko. Shoot ’em Up, Pre-Stage/Monkeypaw Games
2. Gaiaseed. Shoot ’em Up, Techno Soleli/Monkeypaw Games
3. Shienryu. Shoot ’em Up, Warashi/Monkeypaw Games
4. Sonic Wings Special. Shoot ’em Up, Video System/Monkeypaw Games
Hey, I like shooters. However, due to the nebulous existence the import PSX games on PSN seem to have, I’ve held off on getting any others.
So that’s eighteen digital titles I own I don’t have to worry about physically keeping and twenty-three PlayStation Plus “loaners” for a grand total of forty-one PSX games. Good thing I don’t have to whittle those down, eh? Now, however, it’s time for the main event. I currently have twenty-four physical copies, which means I have to dump four of them. The good news is that a few titles are doubled up with digital copies, several others can be replaced with digital copies and some just might not be worth keeping. Let’s see what we’ve got.
1. Arc the Lad Collection. SRPG, ARC Entertainment/Working Designs
2. Azure Dreams. Roguelike, Konami/Konami
3. Battle Hunter. SRPG, Success/Agetec
4. Brigandine. SRPG, Hearty Robin/ATLUS USA
5. Board Game Top Shop. Board Game, KID/Agetec
6. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Action RPG, Konami/Konami
7. Clock Tower. Adventure/Survival Horror Hybrid, Human/ASCII Entertainment
8. Dragon Warrrior 7. Turn Based RPG, Enix/Enix
9. Echo Night. Adventure, From Software/Agetec
10. Grandia. SRPG, Game Arts/Sony
11. HELLNIGHT. Survival Horror, Konami/ATLUS
12. Guardian’s Crusade. Turn Based RPG, Tamsoft/Activsion
13. Koudelka. SRPG, Sacnoth/SNK
14. Legend of Mana. Action RPG, Squaresoft/Squaresoft
15. Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete. Turn Based RPG, Game Arts/Working Designs
16. Lunar: Eternal Blue Complete. Turn Based RPG, Game Arts/Working Designs
17. Metal Slug X. Shoot ’em Up, SNK/Agetec
18. Revelations: Persona. Turn Based RPG, ATLUS/ATLUS USA
19. Persona 2: Eternal Punishment. Turn Based RPG, ATLUS/ATLUS USA
20. Puzzle Star Sweep. Puzzle, Axela/Agetec
21. Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure. SRPG, Nippon Ichi/ATLUS USA
22. Thousand Arms. Turn Based RPG, RED Company/ATLUS USA
23. Vanguard Bandits. Turn Based RPG. Human/Working Designs
24. Valkyrie Profile. Turn Based RPG. Tri-Ace/Enix
So yeah, that’s a lot of RPGs, but it’s more of a mix than my digital copies, right? I’ve gotten rid of all my PSX imports like Mizzurna Falls and Echo Night 2 simply because as much as I enjoyed them, I want to remove clutter and they’re probably not games I’ll ever play again. Plus my wife likes to watch me play games but she can’t read/speak Japanese like I can so Mizzurna Falls would just be an older, uglier Deadly Premonition she doesn’t understand and Echo Night 2 would just be a weirdly blocky haunted house game. There are times I get a hankering for them, but I know it’s for the best I got rid of them.
The question now becomes what are the four games to excise. I already have SOTN, Eternal Punishment and Grandia digitally, but I’ve held on to the physical copies for various reasons. SOTN is signed by most of the dev team and also represents the first game I was a “part of” rather than just a fan. Eternal Punishment and Grandia are simply because I love them so much. Hell, I used to still have my Saturn version of Grandia until I realized that was something I’d never play again. I mean, I didn’t really need it. Still, those are three games that if I decide to jettison the physical copies, leaves spaces for non-duplicates.
Then there are the games I could get on PSN. Arc the Lad Collection and Vanguard Bandits are two, but I’d rather have the physical copies for all the neat extras Workings Designs packed into them. I could go digital for Legend of Mana and not lose any sleep though. I could also dump Metal Slug X since I own Metal Slug Anthology for my PS2, and I really enjoy Dragon Warrior VII for the first ten hours, but the realization that there are ninety more to go sets in and I don’t want to play it any more. So that’s two that are first in line for the chopping block, but the other twenty-two games are all ones I really enjoy and have had a lot of fun with. It’s extremely hard choices all around and I have no idea what four to get rid of. A case could be made for any of them to stay. I realize a good portion of the collection are obscure titles released by smaller companies, so you, the reader, might not have played most of these releases, which makes this interactive decision on what to get rid of harder than the previous two columns. Still, let’s have at it. Which of these have you played and enjoyed? Which do you think are stinkers? What do you think should go and why? Oh, if only Agetec made their PSX releases available on PSN!