Originally released in 1996, Revelations: Persona was a game firmly rooted in two schools of JRPG game design. First, it was a RPG from Japan that was released before the huge sea change that was Final Fantasy VII. It was never a glamorous game, it wasn’t a multi-disc affair held up with overly long cut-scenes. It was poorly translated, with every Japanese element of the game being Americanized, in an effort to apparently make it palatable to Western audiences. It was also rooted in the Atlus RPG philosophy of making grind-filled, long, fairly difficult games. Atlus also likes to make games with many systems layered on top with one another. Their best known series of the time, Shin Megami Tensei was a series that was known for a layered, punishing turn-based combat system, that also involved talking to and recruiting the help of your demon enemies.
Running with many of the mechanical premises of SMT, the new spin-off series, Persona dropped the SMT prefix that was present in the Japanese edition and came to American shores, and seemingly sold kind of okay. The Persona series has since floated itself through the PS1 and PS2 eras of RPG’s, changing and reforming itself the entire way. It all came to a head with the late PS2 title, Persona 4. After riding high on the large popularity bump Persona 4 gave to Atlus, they decided to go ahead and give the people an enhanced remake of the first Persona game, this time on the PSP. This happened in 2009. I finally finished my first step down Persona memory lane the other day, on the Vita. Let’s talk about it for a bit. Continue Reading
Holy crap Sony. Stop giving me stuff I want, please. Suikoden 2? Fine, finally, it needed its time in the sun. Suikoden 3? Now we’re getting a little nuts Sony. That Tron Bonne game? That was pretty insane, and cute. But Mega Man Legends Sony? That one I had completely written off because of the various rumors concerning the voice acting issues, and apparent issues with Japanese energy drinks and art schools. I had gotten used to the idea I wasn’t gonna play this game ever again, and while not okay with it, I had come to accept it.
So why Sony? Why somehow find a way to resolve these issues and give people what they want? Why charge the dirt cheap price of $9.99 for a game that goes for so much second-hand? Why allow it to play on the Vita, which will give us a crisp, fun handheld experience to add to a game that was already fun as hell to play at home? Why make it come out so soon? September 29 is not far away at all, it is only 7 days away even. Why Sony? Why?
Thank you Sony, thank you Capcom.
Source: Capcom Unity
One of the greatest games ever made has finally made its way to the Playstation Network. Suikoden II, made by Konami, and release in North America in 1999 for the PS1, took just about every aspect of the very good, but not stellar Suikoden and improved on it. A long tale, sprawling across about 60-80 hours of gameplay, and using a cast of 108 characters, Suikoden II is probably the best counter-example to what RPG’s could be in the face of Final Fantasy VII‘s ascendance. Where FF7 went for long and detailed cut-scenes and overly elaborate, often confusing stories, Suikoden provided simple, 2D sprites that still look beautiful. Suikoden II, like the other games in the series provide a storyline that is intricate, but not too much so. Painting the sides of war as not good vs evil, but two shades of gray fighting over different viewpoints, Suikoden is easily followed by anyone who has even a basic grasp of the Game of Thrones story.
This series was long my favorite of all time, topping even Final Fantasy in terms of overall quality, with the second game, finally coming to PSN being long-held as my favorite game of all time. That throne would only be taken by another somewhat recently, when I got a PS Vita, and played through Persona 4 Golden. But from 1999-2012, Suikoden II held that lofty place in my esteem, and I honestly didn’t think it would be beaten. I still have my PS1 disc for the game, which until Suikoden II came out on PSN, I am sure I could have sold for at least 100 dollars. However, I know I will never sell that disc, as that disc makes up so much of what I hold dear in video games. But now I don’t ever have to think about selling it to let someone experience the pure joy I felt, and still feel at seeing that game. Now all one has to do is shell out $9.99 for the game, and they can see what one of the most underrated games of all time is, and why it is so great. If you’re a fan of RPG’s, or just a fan of games, please pick this game up. Konami needs to see that they have games besides Symphony of the Night and MGS that are special to people, and that even though the series was largely forgotten by them, it was clearly not to so many of their fans.
The Playstation Network is home to a lot of old games. If you look at the PS1 Classics section of the Network store, you can find a plethora of Dora the Explorer titles. But past these timeless classics, you can find other passable titles like Final Fantasy VII and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. However, it is often like Sony forgets this section of their digital store even exists. This is very upsetting as there are legitimately great titles sitting in the store, for great prices. Adding even more value to this store is that a ton of these games work on the PS Vita, which make even the most base-level, fine in 1996, but busted-ass in 2014 3D graphics look good with the ultra-sharp screen.
Occasionally, someone at Sony will drunkenly stumble into the PS1 section of their store, and decide they should do something with it. This weekend is such a time it seems. PSN is having what is frankly a great Flash Sale, with many PS1 games, and a few smaller PS3 titles being discounted to 99 cents, whether you have PS Plus or not. I can personally see myself picking up Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, Tekken 2, and Virtua Fighter 2. The RPG’s on this list I actually already own, and I was never into Dino Crisis. However, the list is great all around, but this sale is short lived (ends on Monday, July 14, 3PM Eastern), so hop on your PS3 and/or Vita and get some great games for next to nothing.
Source: Playstation Blog
People often ask me how I like my Vita. More people don’t ask me what I think of my Vita. I find however, that whether or not someone asks me for my opinion on the Playstation Vita, I am giving my opinion of it. I love my Vita. I think it is a fantastic system with a library that is small on its own, but is actually really large if you take into account the extras. It plays PSP games, it plays PS1 games, and it has a lot of great games on its own. What I think gets you the most value in this system though, is the types of games you see in the available library. My PSP got a lot of play not because of the short, quirky games; which were fun, don’t get me wrong. The Japanese-style RPG’s are where the real value is on Sony handhelds. My PSP was a JRPG machine, and my Vita has quickly turned into that as well. Between the PS1 Classics, which include Final Fantasy V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, as well as other venerable series such as Breath of Fire, and the PSP library, which has things like Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions and Persona 3 Portable, the Vita has thousands of gaming hours available in the back catalog alone, often times for cheap.
Despite the massive amount of gaming choices available for the intrepid RPG gamer on the Vita, there are some glaring holes in what is otherwise a stellar library, especially from the PS2 era. While a few of these games are old titles that really have no reason to not be available on the Vita, some are more modern titles that while great on their native systems, would feel a lot better on Sony’s powerful portable. I know at times there would be a great deal of work needed to even think of getting the game on the Vita, but I don’t care. This is a wish-list. Continue Reading
Final Fantasy X/Final Fantasy X-2 comes out next Tuesday in the United States. I cannot wait to get my hands on the Vita version of this game. I know I have not posted anything in a few days, expect that to change tomorrow, but I just wanted to remind everyone of this for now.
Final Fantasy Tactics- Antipyretic:
Star Fox- Corneria:
Ratchet and Clank- Jowai Resort: