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Memory Lane: 10 PlayStation Series We Want Brought Back as PS4 Games
With the 20th anniversary of the Japanese debut of the first PlayStation console fast approaching this December, it’s astounding to think that most Sony players now found themselves firing up their PlayStation 4 consoles with as much fervor and glee. The first 6 months on the market since launch have been a marked success from a sales and review perspective, but that has also left players yearning for more PS4 games.
As we reminisce on the old days of firing up our original silverback PlayStation, we also more importantly remember the mountainous backlog that was left behind once the later generations hit shelves and stole what attention we had to offer. Looking at the old joys of the PS & PS2, there were an absolute bevy of titles left in the dust that we believe could find some measure of success if they were possibly given a PS4 entry.
10. Legend of Dragoon
This Japan Studio classic was released in North America in June 2000 after 3+ years of development and touted game content so dense that, due to CD limitations at the time, required four discs to run. While not considered a critical success during its prime launch period, Dragoon earned high praise for a visually stunning attention to detail and a combo system that required hours of practice in order to reach proficiency with.
The Legend of Dragoon was given a fresh set of legs after being re-released as a PlayStation Network title back in 2012. News of a sequel has sprouted before in the past, but have all fallen victim to undefined cancellations. As the industry has matured and hardware has improved, a challenging gameplay design coupled with cinematic firepower to boot may be a winning recipe to restart for a new generation.
Discounting the last appearance of the property as a Nintendo DS game back in 2009, Suikoden appears to have followed the same path as so many other roleplaying entities not named Final Fantasy. Even as a Konami title, Suikoden’s downfall may have very well resided in its genre and the never-ending saturation of RPG titles present in the market. However, that also didn’t stop the franchise from launching an impressive library of PS, PS2 & PSP entries to the series.
The modern day hardware that the PlayStation 4 houses under its hood could offer an opportunity for the Suikoden developers to finally exercise the loading time demons that plagued more recent releases. The company also prides itself with every volume of the game occupying the same space geographically, but sharing the events of different eras. It makes for all the more reason to believe that the Suikoden story is never done being told.
8. Shadow Hearts
This particular series hits close to home as Shadow Hearts: From the New World was one of the first times that this writer has ever been fully enthralled by a game with a turn-based dynamic. The series broke through the roleplaying convention of ignoring fight animations between selecting character movements by implementing a device known as the Judgement Ring.
Players would have to give full attention to the quick-time-event based wheel that dictated the full effects of their actions. The added usage of sanity points alongside the typical hit and magic counters blended together with some truly incredible character design has Shadow Hearts primed with potential to wow PS4 audiences.
7. PaRappa the Rapper & Um Jammer Lammy
In the past decade or so, we’ve been exposed to a bevy of music-based games to the point of sheer phenomenon. While rhythm gaming may have crescendoed during the days of Rock Band and Guitar Hero, we can’t forget the forefathers that were PaRappa & Lammy. Their simplistic player interfaces between kooky 2-dimensional world designs littered with a menagerie of color often left players with a smile, even in the face of abject failure at the end of each song.
Despite apparent next-gen rumors on the float from over a year ago and involvement in All Stars Battle Royale, these lovable bards have left us desperate to see them take the stage and soak in some PlayStation limelight.If anything, a rebirth would remind us all to remember those few magical words . . .
“Kick! Punch! It’s all in the mind.”
The samurai sword-wielding action of this Capcom franchise technically had a PS3 entry that had recently released with little to no fanfare at the beginning of this year. While commercial success has waned with each passing sequel, the Onimusha group developed a strong quality foothold with the 4 complete demon slashing adventures they built for the PlayStation 2.
The only handicap that may befall the idea of new and original Onimusha PS4 games is the absence of Keiji Inafune from Capcom’s roster. The Mega Man mastermind was a driving force behind their production and subsequent victory as the PS2’s first million-copy-selling title. Inafune departed from the company back in 2010 in an effort to reboot his life and time in video games, leaving ownership and his right to further develop for his existing franchises in Capcom’s hands.
5. Chrono Trigger / Chrono Cross
Evidence of a suggested continuance in the Chrono lineage have existed as far back as 2001 when developer Square had registered a trademark for the title Chrono Break worldwide. Ultimately, these plans proved fruitless as the trademark ceased effective November 2003. Even despite these defeating events, failing to return to the property for a PS4 game is just criminal.
The Chrono series has been a mainstay member of lists such as these where major gaming publications have done their best to wave a banner of support. Sadly, SCEI pushed a critical success story out to pasture in a disappointing way. Chrono Cross remains one of the highest scoring video games of all time from a review angle and only strengthens our case to beg for more.
4. Spyro / The Legend of Spyro
Before anyone asks . . .
Yes, we have heard of Skylanders. Yes, we are aware that the Skylanders and their universe is ostensibly a Spyro spiritual successor that has already been released on the PS4. For argument’s sake, the inclusion of Spyro here is in relation to the purple dragon’s quests of old. The flying, gliding, fireballing good old days that featured a who’s who of Hollywood voice-over talent.
Prior to Skylanders, the series stumbled when it attempted to enter the PS3 ranks with one of the weakest received entries in Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon. Playstation 4 godfather Mark Cerny was part of the original Spyro gang and owes it to his past endeavors that they be allowed a chapter in the story of his future.
3. Ape Escape
This DualShock innovator was yet another franchise that was at least afforded an honorable mention as a Battle Royale participant. Given the advances in technology and the patented abilities of the DualShock 4, there’s plenty of fertile ground to cultivate on a system that hasn’t done much in the way of catering to a younger audience yet.
We would kill to see Ape Escape get back to its platforming roots after only appearing on the PS3 as an on-the-rails shooter geared towards PlayStation Move users. Other than that, Spike and his time net have been left to wade through all of history hunting all those rogue monkeys down without a high definition iteration to show for it.
Disregarding a few cameo appearances, a character slot on All Stars and a PSP relaunch of the original MediEvil, the brave Sir Daniel Fortesque has been laying in his console grave since the turn of the millennium. The one-eyed knight left players cheering with his postmortem heroism and courage in the face of wacky necromancy mayhem.
Undead motifs in gaming do come heavy handed nowadays and that bodes discouragement. Behind the legions of horrific characters we’ve seen on Sony consoles, may we never forget the man who first took up the sword and shield in defense of it. MediEvil could have a chance at turning PS4 heads if it weren’t for its parent designer’s recent restructure and new found role as a support team for the Killzone series.
1. Crash Bandicoot
Of course, all PlayStation roads eventually lead us back to the granddaddy of the Naughty Dog studio. As the old commercials showed us, Crash was the first PlayStation character to stand outside the doors of a rival company and dare the competition to come outside. While even we would have a struggle defending the argument of Mario vs the Bandicoot, many virgin Sony gamers got their first taste of action spin-slapping wooden crates, chomping down apples and falling down pits like they were going out of style.
Naughty Dog has grown by leaps and bounds as a company, most notably with the Uncharted saga & The Last of Us, since their time developing this long-lost jungle adventurer and has mountains of acclaim to show for it. The pedigree may have changed from a subject matter standpoint but we still find a vaguely romantic soft-spot of hope for bringing the old fuzz ball back to our Sony machines.