Sony announces the PlayStation Classic

It was in the cards, Nintendo has been releasing their classic mini consoles, Sega has been licensing their properties to make mini consoles… Now Sony has joined the pack, following the popular formula of shrinking an iconic console to fit in the palm of your hand and stuffing them full of classic games that meant something exclusively to that particular console.  The PlayStation Classic is here.

The PS Classic will come with an HDMI cable, two of the non-DualShock type controllers and a USB cable to serve as the power source. It’s going to release on December 3rd for $100 in a lot of territories, packed with 20 games, five confirmed right now.

  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Jumping Flash
  • Ridge Racer Type 4
  • Tekken 3
  • Wild Arms

I’d say this is great news. This is a great move for Sony as it caters to PS fans and retro gamers alike. There are a fantastic amount of PS games that could be placed into the system, sadly only 15 more can make the cut. So, you would think that only the most popular games for the system would be considered like the integral Metal Gear Solid, genre defining Resident Evil 2 and Silent Hill, at least one Crash Bandicoot game or Spyro title, another racing game like game like Gran Turismo 2 and maybe even Ape Escape.

So… what’s the bad news?

There is a lingering problem with a few of those games I mentioned. A lot of those classics utilize the DualShock controller. Not just for the rumble feature or the analog sticks individually, but in some cases in unison! I can say that I prefer the use of the analog sticks in Crash Bandicoot: Warped and Gran Turismo. Hell, Ape Escape won’t even work without a DualShock because it was designed around it. Metal Gear Solid has some easter eggs concerned with the use of the DualShock controller. Not including a DualShock controller or offering one as a separate purchase would be doing a disservice to any PlayStation fan, or any consumer in general.

Is $100 dollars a fair price?

Simply put, yes. But further analysis would say that a consumer is getting their money worth in hardware and software alone. If we take the price points of the PlayStation One Classics that are available for the PS3 and PS Vita on the PSN store, they range from $5.99 to $9.99. Do the math and 20 games at six bucks a piece plus the hardware included is a steal. Also, I would say that Sony is going to cherry pick from the work that they have already done emulating those for the PS3/Vita.

Are people going to hack it?

Yes as well. Assuming that when you plug it into a computer, it will be recognized as a writable device.

What else is there to know?

At the moment, not much else. Just the five confirmed games and initial specs. Who knows… maybe you can hook your console up to a computer and download extra game packs. Maybe Sony is holding back and will release a DualShock controller compatible with the mini console, because honestly, it’d be a damn shame not to. There might be other built-in features like save states, rewind capability etc. that have yet to be announced. And judging from the instruction manual schematic included with the promotional images, the memory card slots aren’t going to do anything.

 

As excited as I am for this, there are still some hardcore fans that have yet to be pleased.

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I wish this Chrono Break trailer was for the real thing

It’s almost as awesome as it is painful to see: knowing that it isn’t happening is the worst part, but also seeing what a possible sequel to the beloved Chrono Trigger could look like is quite frankly awe inspiring.

For reference, Chrono Break was trademarked by Square, but nothing has ever come of it. Thankfully, the artist behind the beautiful looking Owlboy, Simon Andersen, has given us a glimpse of a game that never was.

Grandia I and II are getting a Switch release late this year

No word on an actual release date, this particular announcement is going to release some time this winter. But, this is seriously a surprise! Grandia II has been re-released a number of times on the PlayStation 2 and PC. However, Grandia I has not seen as much love. Other than a downloadable version for the PS3, the original game in the Grandia franchise has not seen as much attention. From the buzzwords in the news, it also appears to be a HD remaster, whatever that means these days. So, I wouldn’t expect all that much except for some higher resolution textures and a wide screen aspect ratio.

What I am more curious about is the localization options. Are we going to get the Sega Saturn release graphics? Will we receive the English voice acting seen in the PlayStation One release? Many questions remain… Nevertheless, this news excites me that TWO of the best JRPG’s of all time are coming to a great console.

 

Metal Gear changed everything

Today, July 13th, Metal Gear was released for the MSX2 computer in Japan and Europe all the way back in 1987. Since then, the franchise has received numerous sequels and spin-offs. In the process, it has influenced generations of video games along the way.

 

You’ve given gamers and game developers so much. Thank you Hideo Kojima.

The “half-step” console that nobody wanted

The Sega 32X.

Before the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One X, there was an infamous add-on to the Sega Genesis. My friends and I would always joke about what a waste of money it was and the fact that it was likely a piece of junk. In an age where producing an upgraded version of a current console to sell to hungry consumers exists, Sega of the 1990s tried something bold and almost succeeded.

I was never on team blue, but in retrospect, it was either pretty cool or probably pretty disappointing arguing for blast processing. This time around, trying to be ahead of the curve proved to be disastrous for Sega.

Also, do check out more of the Gaming Historian, it’s a great channel filled with well produced mini-documentaries.

Slipstream is pretty awesome

Steam has plenty of games on it and it’s pretty easy to miss a new release in the shuffle. Especially ones sporting pixel art. So, when a cool game like Slipstream gets released, something needs to be said.

The obvious comparison is Sega’s Out Run and rightfully so. The sense of speed and drifting functions are nailed pretty well. The game comes with a handful of modes and tracks, all of which bring back a classic arcade racing style.

Presentation wise, the graphics highlight the 16-bit era and the controls are fluid and responsive with a gamepad. By far the best thing about Slipstream is its music. There are a ton of burning hot tracks that feel super awesome when you’re cruising, almost as if ansdor knew people would be listening to the soundtrack on a cool evening driving with top down in Miami Beach.

Don’t be shy, pick this up on Steam.

Chrono Trigger surprisingly releases on Steam! But…

I would be saying hooray! …But, this may not be the exact release you want. So, how could you release Chrono Trigger and mess it up? Well, maybe it has some annoying load times like the US PlayStation release?

Let’s not start with the negatives out right, but the good things the Steam version does.

  • It’s out on the PC, for everybody!
  • Extra dungeons from the DS port (arguably the best version right now)
  • Gamepad support
  • Autosaves
  • Other Steam goodies like trading cards, if you’re into that

So no, the load times aren’t an issue. But probably the main gripe everyone is going to have is this:

20180228105155_120180228105214_120180228105413_1

I mean, look at it! This is not the Chrono Trigger I remember. Sure, the interface is not my favorite, in fact I could probably deal with the new menus and be fine. However, two other things stand out. The font is ugly. It straight up does not fit the feel of the game. It’s huge, plain and out of place. Like the font itself is too modern looking for its own good.

Second is the graphics filter. You can tell the graphics are smoothed out in the Steam release, which initially isn’t a turn off, but the more I played it, the more it felt like I was looking at a blurry painting. The Steam release has some different colors, objects and a few other noticeable changes. For comparison, here’s a screenshot of what it should look like on the Super Nintendo.

Chrono_Trigger_Gato_Fight_Intro[1]

At the very least, we got Chrono Trigger, again. Not exactly in the best form, but at least we got it. And I can’t not recommend this game to someone who hasn’t played it or doesn’t have another medium to play it on.