Review by matt91486

"Sony's first at bat warrants a grand slam"

OPENING STATEMENT
The Sony PlayStation was released in 1995, and it continues to amaze today with its spectacular library of games. It is the nearly undisputed champion of the current system wars. Everything in this review is current as of August 11, 2000.

GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The PlayStation has probably the greatest sound capabilities of any current, or past, console. Since the system is CD based, you get some spectacular sounds. You can get popular bands with songs already on CDs (such as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater), and specific ones for the games, that are put on different CDs (nearly every RPG.) The PlayStation sound capabilities allow there to be a code in Twisted Metal 4 to play your own CD during the game. Is that not great? Sound effects can be done spectacularly, if they are worked at a little. Look at Medal of Honor for proof. Some spectacular voice acting can also be done, such as in Lunar: Silver Star Story. The Audio for the PlayStation is it’s greatest asset.

CONTROLLERS, MEMORY CARDS AND OTHER PERIPHERALS
The PlayStation Controller has an awkward shape to it. It really does not fit your hands like some other controllers do. The first party controllers are better than the other controllers, unless you need an arcade stick. The Guncon is a good light gun for gun games.

Saving is done on a Memory Card. The first party memory cards have few slots, are overpriced, but they are very reliable. The third party memory cards can have many slots, are overpriced, and they are not at all reliable. You can risk your precious save files with third party manufacturers, but I always use first party cards, because I know my save file will not be corrupted.

GAME LIBRARY
I’m going to divide the game library in to sub-sections by genre. Some games that are combined genres I am going to just pick one for. Game titles will be bold, and companies Italic.

TOURNAMENT FIGHTERS
First of all, we have the greatest PlayStation fighting games, the Tekken series from Namco. There are also the great two dimensional fighters, like Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom, both by Capcom. And for those who import Tobal 2 is a great game.

And of course there is the bad along with the good. One of the worst tournament fighters ever resides on the PlayStation. Star Wars: Masters of the Teras Kasi. It has a cool name, but do not let that fool you. And of course the Mortal Kombat games are bad, although the first one that I would even give a 5 was on the PlayStation--Mortal Kombat Trilogy.

The future tournament fighters on the PlayStation look bleak. There are few, if any, in development. One of the few choices to look forward to is a boxing game, which could be in Sports, Mike Tyson Boxing which will be released in September.

ROLE PLAYING GAMES (RPGS)
This could be the PlayStation’s strongest genre. It has grade AAA titles such as the Suikoden series. Some other great RPGs for the PlayStation are Final Fantasy VII, VIII, Anthology, and Tactics, Star Ocean 2, Tactics Ogre, and many others. Including that plotless masterpiece Legend of Mana.

There really are not that many bad PlayStation RPGs. Among the worst are Beyond the Beyond and Ogre Battle. But, these few roughs in the diamond, do nothing to destroy the PlayStation RPG heritage.

Strategy/RPGs on the PlayStation have become one of the most popular and well-thought out genres. Some of my favorites are Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre (Tactics Ogre has one of the greatest story lines ever.), Brigandine: Legend of Forsena, and Vandal Hearts.

The outlook for RPGs is much better. Final Fantasy IX is on the way, along with Parasite Eve II, Chrono Cross, and Dragon Warrior VII.

STRATEGY AND PUZZLE GAMES
Strategy games have not much to do on the PlayStation. Basically all there are are numerous Command and Conquer games and PC ports of Civilization II and other games. As for puzzles, the choices are a bit better. Many of the games are licensed with a popular brand names (Hello Kitty’s Cube Frenzy), but there are some decent puzzlers out there. One of my favorites is Devil Dice.

As for the Strategy games, as I said before, most are PC ports. There are the three Command and Conquer games, of which Command and Conquer: Red Alert is the best. The original is an exact PC port with nothing added, and the third, Command and Conquer Red Alert: Retaliation consists of little add ons that improve very little. Warcraft II seems to be a big downgrade from the PC version, but Civilization II manages to be fun on both. The biggest problem with most of the strategy games, is that they desperately need a mouse.

There is not much more coming out in the strategy or puzzle genres. So, you will probably have to stick with what is already released.

SPORTS AND RACING GAMES
The PlayStation has no shortage of racing games. Most of them are not very good though. Pretty much the only ones worth playing are Gran Turismo and Gran Turismo 2. Street Racer is the PlayStation’s best Mario Kart 64 clone, since there are not good battle racing PlayStation games. Jet Moto and WipeOut EXL are great for those who like futuristic games. And Driver, one of the greatest genre crossing games around.

Most of the best sports games on the PlayStation are made by EA Sports. These include the Madden series, the NHL series, the Knockout Kings series, the FIFA series, the NBA Live series, the March Madness series, and the NCAA Football series. NBA Showtime and NFL Blitz are fun arcade sports games. As for baseball, I think all of the PlayStation games are average at best. But, if I had to pick a favorite, it would be the MLB series. I also have always enjoyed the Cool Boarders series immensely.

Wrestling games are as popular on the PlayStation as any other console and rightfully so. Acclaim’s WWF games are my favorites, followed by any THQ wrestling game. My overall favorite PlayStation wrestling game though, would be WWF Attitude.

The future holds not much in these genres for the PlayStation. Among the only things coming out are ECW: Anarchy Rulz on the wrestling front, and Driver 2 in the racing game category. And Cool Boarders 2001

ACTION AND ADVENTURE GAMES
Most of the action and adventure games on the PlayStation are horrible. There are a few notable exceptions. The Resident Evil and Dino Crisis games are the greatest in the Survival Horror sub-genre. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is my favorite in the Crash Bandicoot series. The Spyro games are fun. Blood Omen and Soul Reaver are some of the most atmospheric games to ever hit the market. And plus, there is Metal Gear Solid, Konami’s adventure masterpiece. The Gex games are fun in doses. Trying to play them on end will do you in. Syphon Filter and Medal of Honor are great for those looking to go beyond Metal Gear Solid. And for the vehicular combat in us, Twisted Metal 2, Rogue Trip: Vacation 2012, and Twisted Metal 4 are worth checking out.

Among the bad in this broad genre is the Tomb Raider series. Lara’s games do not warrant her widespread fame. I also did not like Silent Hill. And Twisted Metal 1 and Twisted Metal 3 were horrible games. Twisted Metal 3 being among the worst ever.

In the future in this genre are Dino Crisis 2, Alone in the Dark, and X-Men: Mutant Wars. All of these ttles look promising.

SHOOTER GAMES
This is probably the chink in the PlayStation’s armor. The PlayStation has Tomorrow Never Dies, Time Crisis and its sequels, and not much more.

The outlook looks bleak here, just as the current does.

MISCELLANEOUS GAMES
The PlayStation has plenty of these. There is PaRappa the Rappa, Un Lammer Jammy, Bust-a-Groove, RPGMaker, and many other good ones. As for the bad games Spice World and Fighter Maker about sum it up.

There are not many more games coming to North America that do not fit into another genre, but there are some I did not mention worth trying, too.

CLOSING STATEMENT
The outlook does not look good for the PlayStation now that the PlayStation 2 is on the way. The PlayStation will go into it’s grave as one of the all time greatest consoles. Unfortunately, many will get rid of their PlayStations because PlayStation 2 can play the game, and the gray console may become a thing of the past.

OVERALL--10


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/11/00, Updated 07/18/01


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