Review by Sour DieseL
"PlayStation, the start of a new Era in gaming!"
The story of this console's creation is actually pretty wild. Originally, Sony had signed a contract with Nintendo to develop a console for them and start making games for it, on a disc-based format. Work for it started in the late 1980's but towards the project's reveal, Nintendo dropped the partnership, realizing that the contract gave Sony too much power over the new console. Sony then decided that the project would still go ahead as planned, but they waited a little bit longer for the technology to improve. In 1995, the Sony PlayStation was finally released to the public, competing with Nintendo's newest console, the Nintendo 64 and Sega's Sega Saturn. This is when the console wars really began to heat up, and popular RPG developer Squaresoft jumped from being Nintendo-exclusive to Sony exclusive. The PlayStation became so popular that it's legacy continued through the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3. The Sony PlayStation allowed players to insert an audio CD if they so desired as well, and the front of the console holds two controller ports, as well as two memory card ports to save game data on.
Game Library: 10/10: The Sony PlayStation became popular quickly and brought about several new series of games, such as the highly popular Metal Gear Solid. Sony even began making their own RPGs, such as The Legend of Dragoon, which garnered almost as much attention as the famed Final Fantasy series. That being said, as I mentioned earlier, Squaresoft jumped ship on Nintendo and began making it's RPGs for the Sony PlayStation, due to the hardware limitations that the Nintendo 64 presented, which wouldn't be able to handle the newest Final Fantasy game at the time, Final Fantasy VII. The PlayStation saw the release of four Final Fantasy titles, VII, VIII, IX, and Tactics, as well as popular SNES RPG re-releases, which included Chrono Trigger, and Final Fantasy IV and VI. Square didn't stop there, either, releasing enhanced ports of Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II, the latter of which was finally seen outside of America for the first time. They also released Final Fantasy V with Final Fantasy VI, the former also making it's way to America for the first time. This series no doubt had a profound effect on PlayStation sales. Konami and Capcom decided to keep things civil and develop games for both consoles. On the PlayStation's side of things, Konami released Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which became a commercial success overnight. They followed this up with Castlevania: Chronicles, another remake of the first Castlevania game. Capcom started releasing the Resident Evil games on both consoles, but the PlayStation version of Resident Evil 2 needed two discs, one for each character to play as. Sony also created their two major gaming mascots, Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot, which can be compared to Nintendo's Mario or Sega's Sonic. The Mega Man franchise would see most of it's newer major titles released on this system, such as Mega Man X4, 5, and 6, as well as Mega Man 8. The PlayStation version of Mega Man 8, however, is sometimes considered to be slightly inferior to it's Sega Saturn counterpart, because Sony made Capcom rush on their version, and thus some Easter Eggs were left out. The Sony PlayStation also saw the first five Twisted Metal games, four of which are numbered 1-4, and the fifth being Twisted Metal: Small Brawl. Midway, much like Konami and Capcom, also developed it's popular series (in this case, Mortal Kombat) on both consoles, resulting in the PlayStation getting the popular releases of Mortal Kombat 4 and Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero. Eidos and Crystal Dynamics also began the Tomb Raider series and Legacy of Kain series on this console. The game list for the PlayStation is rather expansive, and some less-known but still great games include Fighting Force, Bushido Blade, and Syphon Filter.
Controls: 10/10: The Sony PlayStation's controller resembles a SNES controller, though it may not seem like it. The buttons on the right appear to be in a cross-formation, and when compared closely to a SNES controller, you'll see that the placement is exactly the same. Instead of being labeled with letters, however, the buttons are labeled with shapes: X (sometimes referred to as "Cross", but can also be said like "ecks"), O (typically said as "circle"), Square, and Triangle. In the middle you have Start and Select like every other controller out there. On the left you have the directional-pad for moving whatever character or vehicle you might be playing as. The shoulder buttons are unique. Instead of having just one shoulder button on each side, you now have two on each side, making for a total of four. These buttons are R1, R2, L1, and L2. This allows for a greater degree of control and in some games, lets you switch weapons or gears on the fly. As an answer to the joystick on the Nintendo 64 controller and the rumble pak add-on, Sony soon released a new controller. This new controller was called the "Dualshock". This controller features two joysticks below the Start and Select buttons, and a built-in rumble feature. This controller would become the norm for future Sony consoles, the original type abandoned all-together, and probably for the better since it was inferior. The controller for the Sony PlayStation is just as easy to pick up and play as a SNES controller and there shouldn't be much of a hassle. It's easy, simple enough, and feels good in your hands, especially compared to the Nintendo 64's controller.
Game Difficulty: 7/10: As the casual gaming market began to increase, the difficulty of games began to decrease. Games started to become littered with checkpoints, infinite number of lives or continues, and even combinations of both. This was suffered amongst all major consoles at the time and was arguably just a part of gaming evolution. For the most part there are no more bottomless pits or one-hit kills such as spikes or lava (the Mega Man games released for the console being an obvious exception), and if you get to a difficult part of a game, you will just find yourself re-spawning at a nearby checkpoint over and over again until you make it through the next obstacle. This era was the beginning of a slippery slope in terms of difficulty and it hasn't been brought back yet, it just keeps getting worse and worse. That isn't to say there aren't some difficult games for the PS1, such as Resident Evil, but the overall ease of most games was becoming more and more common here, and it just kept going that route.
Graphics: 10/10: The Sony PlayStation made a huge impact on graphics in the gaming industry. They used 3D polygons, which looks better and smoother than the Nintendo 64 because of the disc technology, which allowed for more data to be in one game. Same games, however, had to be spread over multiple discs if they were too long because of this, but they still ran the same price as any other PlayStation game. Nowadays some of the games may look dated but there are still a fair share that hold up. At the time, the graphics were revolutionary and were quite simply eye candy. For these graphics though, again, they had to be put on a disc which meant that there were loading times suffered by the games, but more often than not, the loading times weren't too bad at all. All in all, the graphics were pretty strong.
Audio: 10/10: The music in the games sounded fantastic, and because of the massive amount of data the discs could hold, a lot of games began incorporating voice acting, helping us identify with the characters that much more. Some games, notably Twisted Metal 4, could be placed into a standard CD player and it would play the soundtrack. Earlier games mostly used a midi format but in the later years they were able to play MP3-quality music. The sound effects were also pretty good.
Overall: 8/10: The Sony PlayStation made a huge impact on the industry and the company has survived for 15 years in the console market. It was one of the top-selling consoles of all time. It's legacy is still remembered through the PlayStation store where you can buy a bunch of quality PS1 games for a cheap price, but they don't have everything. You need to get this console to get some of the greats. There are a ton of great games and those should not be missed out on, so what are you waiting for? They run pretty cheap these days at used gaming stores so go ahead and buy yourself one!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/07/10
Game Release: PlayStation Hardware (US, 09/09/95)
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