It was only a matter of time.
Sony saw how much money Nintendo was raking in with their Classic/Mini console lines and they’re following suit with the announcement of the PlayStation Classic. Just like the other miniaturized retro consoles that have been released before it, Sony’s PlayStation Classic will be a much smaller system that will come bundled with several of their big name games. While I am disappointed that Sony isn’t going the route that I suggested, I’m still excited for it, especially since it’ll come with some heavy hitters like Final Fantasy VII, Ridge Racer Type 4 and Tekken 3, as well as some of their more obscure titles like the first Wild Arms and Jumping Flash.
Sony hasn’t revealed the entire lineup of games that’ll be pre-loaded in the PlayStation Classic. I’m guessing they’ll release the names incrementally slowly as we creep towards its December release date to build anticipation (and for scalpers to swoop in and jack up the prices for it). But you can bet that gamers all over the world are currently compiling their lists of what other games will be in the PlayStation Classic.
Honestly, that’s too easy. It was even my kneejerk reaction to compile a list comprised of games like Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Resident Evil 2; games that have a good chance of being included to make it seem like you’re getting your $100 worth when you get the PlayStation Classic.
I like to go a different route and predict the games that aren’t going to be in the PlayStation Classic. I’m talking about the fantastic games were released for Sony’s first gaming console but will not be included for one reason or another. There are actually a lot of them and, in fact, this is a list I take no joy in putting together. However, if I’m wrong and all of them do make it to the magical 20 games, then I will be so happy that I’m wrong.
Let’s go talk about one of the other SquareSoft JRPGs out there… but with giant robots!
Xenogears was, and still is, probably one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played ever. Sure, I was initially drawn to it because, in my mind, it was going to be Final Fantasy with mechs. But it was so much more! It used the tried and true Active Time Battle system but modified so that you can use specific button combinations to unleash combo attacks. It used a great rotating camera to make navigating the map easy. It had a fascinating, but sometimes overly-convoluted, story and well developed characters that are likable. And the graphics, especially for its time, looked breath-taking, mixing both pixel art (which could be rotated because of the camera) and anime cutscenes to make it look like a grand experience to behold.
As much as I think it’s one of the jewels of the original PlayStation’s game library, I have no delusions in thinking that Sony will bundle it in the PlayStation Classic as they already have other JRPGs like Wild Arms and, of course, Final Fantasy VII, probably the single biggest JRPG already announced for it. Sony would like to diversify their 20 game lineup a little more.
2. Lunar: Eternal Blue Complete
Am I the only one who has fond memories of this game?
Lunar: Eternal Blue Complete is the sequel to the already incredible Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete. Now, while Silver Star Story Complete has been re-released on various platforms already, Eternal Blue hasn’t been granted that luxury and has fallen into obscurity somewhat. It’s a shame because the game is really good as well. It retains a lot of the charm of the first game but with the stakes feeling a little bit higher. The overall adventure feels much more epic and more adult. Eternal Blue is just a great game that doesn’t get the accolades it deserves.
While there is a small chance that Silver Star Story will make it into the PlayStation Classic (since it was re-released several times before), there’s a snowball’s chance in hell Eternal Blue will. Not because Sony would like to limit the number of RPG the system has but because of possible licensing issues. They had to re-dub all of the voice acting in the new releases of Silver Star Story and I’ll bet they’ll have to do that if they package Eternal Blue with the PlayStation Classic. Sony won’t cough up the bucks to do that, though.
3. Rival Schools
Probably one of the best fighting games you’ve forgotten that exists! Heck, I bet Capcom themselves don’t remember this game exists!
Rival Schools is a 3D fighting game that actually borrows a lot from Capcom’s very own Marvel/Vs. series. Although you pick two fighters, you can’t tag them in and out during the round but you can switch them out in between them. You can do a lot of things like launch them into the air for an air combo and chain together normals. However, what made the game unique was the double-team mechanic. Depending on who your “benched” character is, you can do a double-team move for varying effects. Teaming up with Kyosuke will perform a double-team attack but, if you have Hinata as your back-up, you can refill your Super meter instantly. It’s a crazy fighter but very strategic at the same time.
While Rival Schools may be a perfect fit for the PlayStation Classic, I don’t see Capcom actually licensing it out because, if they were going to put a fighting game out on Sony’s upcoming retro console, they’ll probably pick Street Fighter Alpha 3. It’s a more recognizable name, after all.
4. Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins
What’s better than ninjas?
Tenchu 2 may be the sequel to the first game but it serves as a prequel to how Rikimaru and Ayane became the badass ninjas they were. The story is actually very deep and with some decent voice acting. The stealth action was really good, which was important as getting spotted can make you overwhelmed by enemies. Probably the best thing about Tenchu 2 was the in-game level editor, where you can try creating your own stages. It’s fun to create a level and get your friends over to see if they can finish it!
As much as I love the game, Tenchu 2 hasn’t aged all that well. The camera actually feels rather slow and clunky, especially when compared to Metal Gear Solid. It’s still a fantastic game but I do see a lot of newer gamers having issues with it.
5. Any game from the Megaman Legend series
Yes, I’m including all of the Megaman Legend games in one entry!
It’s a damn shame that the Megaman Legends series doesn’t get any respect. These were very likable games, filled to the brim with childlike charm and whimsy. I understand that the controls felt stiff and all that but, man! These games were always a blast to play! Great voice acting and a really terrific art direction made this game stand out among all of the other action-RPGs out there.
I do want to give a special shoutout to the Misadventures of Tron Bonne as, while it’s not an official Megaman Legends game, it does feature the series anti-hero Tron Bonne. It’s not an action-RPG but more of a series of puzzle games that, well, feels compelling because of how likable the character is… in a evil sort of way.
Of course, as the Megaman Legends games aren’t all that popular, I don’t see Sony clamoring to put any of them in the PlayStation Classic. If they were going to select a Megaman game, they’ll probably pick Megaman X4. While it’s a good game, I just like the Megaman Legends games a whole lot more than it.
Eat your heart out, Spider-Man! Here comes, say it with me now… PEPSIMAN!
Probably the best game ever to hit the PlayStation during its original run, Pepsiman is an unheralded gem that many people haven’t played. It was never officially released in the United States, which was a shame as most people never got to play the great fast-paced gameplay of Pepsiman nor experience the fantastic soundtrack of a man yelling “Pepsiman!” over and over again in the middle of some jazz soundtrack that loops repeatedly.
Despite being one of the best games, there’s no way Sony will pay the probable hefty licensing and royalty fees to Pepsi to bring the game to the PlayStation Classic.
What are your favorite PlayStation games that you think will not make it to the PlayStation Classic? Let me know in the comments section below!