games / Columns

The 8 Ball: Top 8 Wanted PlayStation Classic Games – Street Fighter Alpha 3, Vagrant Story, More

September 25, 2018 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Street Fighter Alpha 3

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball. Last week, I said my column topic was going to be about SNES Music but with the surprise announcement of the PlayStation Classic, I decided to tackle that instead. This is a list of my personal wanted games on the PlayStation Classic. I’ve already pre-ordered one myself, but this is just a list of games I would really enjoy to see on it. I’m purposefully omitting some stuff like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater or Gran Turismo due to licenses for those games would be a hassle. Let’s begin:

#8: Street Fighter Alpha 3

If you’re going to include one fighting game with the PS1 Classic, might as well make it a pretty good arcade recreation. Some of the dramatic fight stuff is simplified but Alpha 3 retains much of the original arcade version’s gameplay and superb animation. Personally, I would probably go with Rival Schools if I had ultimate authority but that game is probably too out there for most people, so Alpha 3 is a happy compromise. Also, Tekken 3, while announced already for the Classic, should be eliminated from it.

#7: Einhander

I suppose Omega Boost was a more praised game, coming from Polyphony Digital sure helped, but I didn’t like it at all. If you want an old-style side-scrolling shooter with some new ideas, you come to Einhander. While much of Einhander was locked to a 2D perspective, there were sequences in the game where the camera shifts into a 2.5D perspective, which looked pretty cool on the PS1 hardware. Also, gun pods drop from enemy ships and you can collect them taking their weapons as your own. There were a few different ships you could pilot, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Square might have forgotten about this game, but I haven’t.

#6: Legend of Dragoon

Legend of Dragoon was Sony’s attempt at a Final Fantasy 7-esque RPG game. And you know what? It’s not half bad. It has a better story (it’s actually coherent), some interesting battle mechanics and an alright soundtrack. The battle system was a bit like a fighting game in a sense, you could combo attacks together to deal more damage. Unfortunately, the timing for these attacks was pretty narrow so it might take you a while to get good at it, if you could ever nail it at all. Still, the game was fairly impressive for its time and more people should give it a shot.

#5: Parasite Eve

I’ll always have a fondness for Parasite Eve, despite what the series eventually turned into. The first Parasite Eve was one of the first examples I can think of, of a RPG taking place in the real world (New York City) with a mostly “realistic” story/gameplay system. Sure, there are science fiction stuff going on, Eve and Aya being able to throw out fireballs with her hands, but the story at least attempted to play it straight. Also, the music in this game was phenomenal, especially the track “Kyrie” by Yoko Shimomura.

#4: Vagrant Story

To me, this was Square at the top of their game. It’s odd that this list has three Square games on it, since their output has dropped so much with new console generations. Vagrant Story has you play as Ashley Riot, a member of the Riskbreakers, as he infiltrates a cavernous catacomb underneath a largely abandoned town. Combat is generally played in real time, the game only pauses when you select an enemy to attack, and what limb you wish to target. If you want to slow an enemy down, attacking their legs is a good idea, or if their tail is causing you trouble, you can attack it to get rid of it. You could, and would have to, chain your attacks together, some of them causing poison, or blindness, or dealing more damage. This would increase your Risk meter, and when it was full, you would be defenseless for a time. Visually, this game might not have aged very well, but the overall complexity of the game, particularly in the weapon crafting system, make it an instant classic.

#3: Tomba!

I’ll always love Tomba and since Sony were the ones that published it, it has an outside shot of actually being included on the system. Tomba! Is a 2.5D Metroidvania-style game. While it doesn’t have the traditional grid-based map that a lot of them do, it does have progression that is gated by unlocking new abilities and gear. To even be able to swim, you need to learn basic swimming, then you find a water jewel that lets you actually dive into water. Also, there are doors and chests that require certain year keys, like 100 year key, 1,000 year key, and so on. Unlike with other Metroidvania games, there are a ton of side quests for you to do, which usually net you more useful gear to help you get around the world or acquire even more stuff. I think there is 13 pages or so in the quest log, which does fill up the more you play. On top of that, it’s just a nice and colorful platformer with a unique sense of style.

#2: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Symphony of the Night is the big reason why “Metroidvania” exists as a genre today. While the core of the Metroidvania genre started with Metroid (and Super Metroid), Nintendo largely abandoned the genre after 1994, only coming back to it in 2002 with Metroid Fusion. In the intervening years, Konami kept the genre somewhat relevant with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Eschewing past games, linear, level-based progress, SOTN gave you a big castle to explore with no breaks in the action. The only gates were in your own abilities and equipment, to get through blue doors you needed to buy the “Jewel of Open”, or to get through iron gates you need to find the Mist ability. If you couple all the inherently great gameplay of SOTN with one of the best soundtracks in gaming, you can see why people still revere this game so much.

#1: Suikoden 2

This will be the first game I throw on my PS1 Classic, assuming it’s not on there already. Let’s face it, the thing is going to be on day 1 and people will be able to put (mostly) any game they want onto it. Suikoden 2 is one of the best PS1 RPGs ever made, and one of the best ever made. It has a fantastic story, great characters, superb music, a tried and true battle system, and just enough charm to win anyone over. I actually own two copies of this game already, one Japanese and one American (which cost a pretty penny) and having it on the PS1 Classic would be a very good boon to the system.

For comments, list which PlayStation 1 games you want on the Classic and why.

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Top 8 Super Nintendo Soundtracks

article topics :

The 8 Ball (Games), Marc Morrison