Games

My Thoughts On The Playstation Classic

The reviews have been pretty lackluster to say the least since the Playstation Classic launched on December 3rd.  I’m gonna be honest though.  After a week of messing around with the Playstation Classic I can truly say that I’m really enjoying it for what it is.  Currently my go to game is Tekken 3, but I’m dabbling in Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy 7, Wild Arms and Ridge Racer Type 4 when the mood strikes.  The problem that I have in the back of my head isn’t with the system itself, because it gets the job done.  It looks great.  The games are all entertaining (except for Cool Boarders 2, fuck Cool Boarders 2), it’s just that said selection of games that Sony chose to represent the console flabbergast me (and everyone else).  They don’t showcase what made the Playstation great.  Fear not though, the hacker community is already making huge strides in that regard to adding games to the mini console, which gets me giddy like a kid on Christmas morning.  The future looks promising for the Playstation Classic.

Immediately what will make or break purchasing the Playstation Classic for you is the twenty games that comes installed already on the system.  Obviously Sony had some serious licensing issues because there are some odd choices in regards to what Sony would consider “system defining” games for their beloved console.  The list of games includes:

  • Battle Arena Toshinden
  • Cool Boarders 2
  • Destruction Derby
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Intelligent Qube
  • Jumping Flash
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Mr Driller
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
  • Rayman
  • Resident Evil Director’s Cut
  • Revelations: Persona
  • Ridge Racer Type 4
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
  • Syphon Filter
  • Tekken 3
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
  • Twisted Metal
  • Wild Arms

Jumping FlashRevelations: PersonaIntelligent Cube?  While these games are entertaining, sure, at no point leading up to the launch of the Playstation Classic were any of us hoping for these to come packaged with it (if you were hoping for Revelations: Persona you’re a monster.  Walking the streets to access different areas is more terrifying than the creatures because it looks and plays like shit).  I guess this is wherein the problem lies.  With a library as vast as the Playstation’s, it would have been impossible to please everyone.  What is a shame though is the system was data-mined shortly after release and there were quite a few great games that could have been on the system but were ultimately scrapped from release (they could still be on the system just waiting to be unlocked… wishful thinking).  Here’s the full list that was found:

  • Armored Core: Master of Arena
  • Chocobo’s Mysterious Dungeon
  • Colin McRae Rally
  • Crash Bandicoot
  • Crash Bandicoot 2
  • Devil Dice
  • Driver
  • Ehrgeiz
  • Fighting Force
  • Gran Turismo
  • Grand Theft Auto 2
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  • Kagero
  • Klonoa: Door to Phantomile
  • Kula World
  • Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
  • Medal of Honor
  • MediEvil
  • Mega Man Legends
  • Mr. Driller G
  • Paca Paca Passion
  • Parappa the Rapper
  • Parasite Eve
  • RayStorm
  • Ridge Racer
  • Silent Hill
  • Spec Ops: Stealth Patrol
  • Street Fighter Alpha 3
  • Street Fighter Ex Plus Alpha
  • Suikoden
  • Tomb Raider
  • Tomb Raider 2
  • Tomba
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
  • Toy Story 2
  • Vagrant Story
  • Wild Arms 2
  • Xevious 3D/G+

Now the Japanese version does include Parasite Eve and Devil Dice from that list.  Even with this list of fantastic games though, there are still others I would love to have on the system like Tobal No. 1, AlundraGrandia, Bushido BladeFinal Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy VIII and IX, Symphony of the NightCrash Bandicoot 3, The Granstream Saga, Star Ocean 2nd Story, Brave Fencer Musashi…. you get the idea.  The list seriously could go on and on.  The system is limited to what games could be included though since it doesn’t come with Dual Shock controllers so games like Ape Escape couldn’t even be considered a possibility (which sucks).

playstationmini

The console comes with two Playstation controllers, a power cord (but no power block, you’re going to have to use one from your cell phone charger which I ended up having to use), an HDMI cord and the console itself.  Overall, it looks and feels like an original Playstation.  The box it comes in even mimics the original.  Sony nailed the design and I love having it on my TV stand.  Features on the system are bare bones but what do you expect from something that is mimicking a system from 24 years ago?  You’re getting the whole retro experience with this one my friend.  Once the machine has been turned on, you can select from each of the games from the main menu. You’re able to save each of the games onto a Memory Card (complete with the little save file icon that you could see on the original) and you can save via instant replay after exiting a game, so you can immediately pick up from where you left off.

The games all look and play how they did back in the day (complete with that opening Playstation logo and sound at the beginning of each which is nostalgia overload).  Contacting Meryl on the codec in Metal Gear Solid is still the same.  If you don’t remember her frequency it’s on the back of the Playstation Classic box (nice touch).  The controller feels great in your hand.  My only gripe like I mentioned before is that there isn’t a Dual Shock option.  Some games like Syphon Filter are hard to navigate with the D-Pad.  Cool Boarders 2 is pretty much unplayable, but not even a Dual Shock could save that garbage.   I know there are complaints that Tekken 3 is the European version and it apparently runs slower on North American TVs than it should but I honestly can’t tell the difference.  It’s a game that came out back in 1997, I’m not expecting Tekken 7 levels of action and fluidity here.  If this does upset you, you can plug in a keyboard into one of the ports on the front (Logitech and Corsair apparently work but I’ve had no luck with my Logitech).  If the keyboard is recognized you can enter a game of your choice and push the Esc key.  This takes you to an emulator menu where you have access to all sorts of different features, including changing the FPS from Europe to NTSC – 60 FPS.

Youtuber TootyUk just released a video (which you can watch above) showing off the original Crash Bandicoot running on the system.  It is running from a USB stick though, so as he says “it’s a bit crude” but here’s hoping we’re able to load more games straight onto the console in the near future.  It already feels great playing the tiny console, it just needs a little more of what actually made it great.  It’s a shame we have to rely on the hacker community to make it great, but I’m all for it if it means I can add a whole library of good stuff to it and relive the glory days properly.

Right now though, I’m enjoying my time with the system.  Like the NES and SNES Classics, there are duds on the system, but most are enjoyable to play.  I think what will really justify the purchase long term though is when the system is fully hacked.  I know it sounds awful but I’m gleefully excited about the prospects of adding my own games to the Playstation Classic and playing them on my TV with the same controller I used in my youth.  Not only will it prolong the life of the Playstation Classic, it will be nostalgia overload for me.  I can’t wait. – NVJ

The Playstation Classic is now available

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