Thursday, December 28, 2006

PSX: The Games You Missed

There are always those releases that slip by unnoticed. Here are some of the more obscure and overlooked PSX games that still deserve your attention. This is not in any particular order…

Motor Toon Grand Prix
(release: 1996)

Years before Sony brought us the ambitious racing simulation known as Gran Turismo they released a humble, enjoyable cartoon-influenced racer in the vein of Mario Kart. Titled Motor Toon Grand Prix, this is one of the most obscure PSX releases but for those who own it, one of the most cherished as well. A nice sense of speed, creative weapons, kooky characters, and well-designed stages round out this underappreciated racer. Although it’s extremely difficult to track down a copy of this supreme PSX racing title, it’s definitely worth it. Maybe Sony can release a sequel on the PSP, as the PSP’s library is pretty lackluster….

Street Fighter Collection

(release: 1997)

When Street Fighter Collection was released on the PSX back in 1997 fighting fans were too busy admiring graphically superior releases such as Tekken 2 to enjoy such a well-constructed fighting title such as this one. A collection of several Street Fighter II releases and the previously arcade-only Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold, this collection offers the rock solid fighting thrills that Street Fighter is known for. This stellar collection also saw release on the Sega Saturn with superior loading times.

Spin Jam

(release: 2000)

Usually when a game is released as a budget title it is an atrocious, unplayable mess (roughly 98% of the budget PSX games were trash, well-observed statistics prove). That was not the case with Spin Jam, however, a solid, clever puzzle game that offered a good amount of replay value. Hopefully it’ll resurrect as an Xbox Live Arcade release one day.

In Cold Blood

(release: 2001)

This game was a massive hit in Europe but bombed in sales stateside. Blame that on a lack of advertising and bad marketing. Anyhow, this is a fine adventure game, a genre that, despite the PSX’s massive library, mostly lacked. With over 60 hours of game play you’ll definitely get your moneys worth with In Cold Blood.

Bomberman Party Edition
(release: 2000)

When people bring up Bomberman this one always goes by unmentioned. That’s a shame, because this is one of the better releases in the Bomberman series. Although the single player, as usual, is nothing to cheer about (the developers just used the original Bomberman as the single player game), the multiplayer is some of the best that this series has to offer. The options and stages will keep you and a buddy (or buddies, if you own a multitap) up well into the wee hours of the morning bombing away. Chalk that up as a great release.

Animaniac's Ten Pin Alley
(release: 1998)

Sure, it had low replay value, there weren’t many modes, and the Animaniacs characters didn’t really add much to the game, but if offered something that most bowling games don’t: great gameplay.

Strider 2
(release: 2000)

When Strider 2 was released on PSX back in 2000 it went by almost completely unnoticed. That’s a shame, really, because its one of the finest 2D games on any system. Not only did it contain the incredible sequel, but as a nice bonus Capcom added the original Strider in as well for nostalgia and enjoyment.

Dragon Warrior VII
(release: 2001)

Hey, gotta have a role-playing game on here somewhere, right? Dragon Warrior VII didn’t make much of a splash on U.S. shores, but on the other side of the pond in Japan, it went on to be the best selling game for the system. Is it warranted? Well, it is a damn fine, old-school style RPG. If you missed it the first time – and I know you did – then check it out now. I still haven’t completed it…

Grid Runner
(release: 1996)

This little-known, but still incredibly fun arcade-style action game was great in single player, but like Bomberman, truly shines in multiplayer. Grab a friend and enjoy this obscure gem.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

When's the last time a film based on a game looked this entertaining?

Sure, Dead or Alive: the Movie might be mindless, dense, and cheesy, but with scenes like this appearing in the movie hardcore fans of the game probably won’t care. This film was originally slated for a December 8th U.S. release, but has since been pushed back to an unconfirmed date in mid-2007

This scene stars the sultry Holly Valance, who plays the character of Christie from the Dead or Alive games.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Chrismas!

While it’s still roughly one more day ‘till Christmas, I probably wont be updating tomorrow so I’ll wish all my readers a good ol’ joy filled Merry Christmas right now. Merry Christmas!

The Crown-Jewel of 3D Fighters Makes Its Way to the Xbox 360

The incredible Virtua Fighter series, which is the crown-jewel in 3D fighting and one of the most legendary game series of all time, will be making its way onto the Xbox 360 this upcoming summer.

Virtua Fighter 5, which was originally announced as a Playstation 3 exclusive, will invade Microsoft’s shiny, spotless white box, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m not willing to spend the absurd asking price of Sony’s new platform, so I would have been forced out to miss the newest entry in Sega’s remarkable fighting series if not for Sega porting it to the Xbox 360. Unfortunately, Sega is still going on record to say that this game will not feature any time of online play, and with arcades in decline in this country, where will the hardcore fighting crowd go for some competition, considering many of our friends are not into fighters? Maybe Sega will figure something out. Nonetheless, summer 2007 cant come soon enough…

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Black Sheep of the DDR Family Receives a Re-Release

Dance Dance Revolution Disney Mix, known as the black sheep of the DDR family due to it’s scarce, lackluster song list, and ahem, overly cutesy Disney characters, has, like numerous other previously difficult to find games before it, been reprinted. It intially received an extremely limited print way back in Fall 2001 with absolutely no advertising and, to make matters worse, during the time period when PSX was on it’s way out. Despite its abysmal quality Disney Mix has been selling for an obscene amount of money on auction sites such as eBay and Amazon, often exceeding the $100 mark.

However, you might want to chalk this up as more of a port than a reprint, as it’s not being reprinted for the original console it appeared on. Instead of reprinting this old game on an ancient system, Konami has decided to re-release Dance Dance Revolution Disney Mix as a TV game where you plug it in and play it through your television. Shamefully, though, this already hideous entry in the DDR series has gone from bad to worse as this version is supposedly missing many of the features found in the original version, such as a chunk of the original play list.

Even though this may be a decent release for younger Dance Dance Revolution fans, long-experienced DDR junkies most likely wont want anything to do with it and collector’s will probably keep bidding on copies of the original PSX version. However, it will still be interesting to see if the PSX version maintains its value even with this plug and play edition released.

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