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Category Archives: PlayStation

Bubsy 3D Pull Quotes

Those “Faked” Bubsy 3D Pull Quotes Were Actually Real

Bubsy 3D is famous for being a trainwreck of a game. It was one of the very first 3D platformers, but it was in the unlucky position of coming out after games like Super Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot (though just by a few months — Mario 64 launched June 23, 2006; Crash launched September 9; and Bubsy launched October 31). One version of the game’s cover art features a mystery that’s been puzzling Bubsy haters for several years: There are pull quotes on the cover, supposedly from reviews of the game, that present the contents of this jewel case as something of a masterpiece. One quote comes from the esteemed EGM, while the other mentions the game winning the “Gold X Award” from PSExtreme.…
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

The 3D Platformer: How 1996 Witnessed the Birth of a Genre

In 1996, the 3D platformer was born. That’s not technically true, of course, as the first 3D platformer was almost certainly a French game called Alpha Waves that came out in 1990. But Alpha Waves failed to kickstart the 3D platformer genre, and very few people would be comfortable citing its influence on the genre. I’d even argue that it’s been largely forgotten by mainstream gaming culture. It simply came out too early and for the Atari ST, a system that few people owned. Jumping Flash! is another 3D platformer that pre-dates that 1996 mark as well. It launched for the original PlayStation in November of 1995. It too failed to make a significant mark on the genre, though it had the luxury of launching for the PlayStation so it’s better known than Alpha Waves.…
Wild Arms

Just a Friendly Reminder That Wild Arms Had One of the Best Video Game Soundtracks of All Time

One thing that often goes unnoticed in conversations about classic video games — with the exception of horror games, I suppose — is atmosphere. And Wild Arms for the PlayStation was a game drenched in it. With such a rich atmosphere, Wild Arms could jump between steampunk Western, high fantasy, and even science fiction while never compromising its identity. Part of this, of course, is its incredible soundtrack. When you fire up the game for the first time, you’re greeted with one of the most memorable RPG opening sequences of the PSOne era. From the moment your hear that whistle over the acoustic guitar riff, you know you’re in for something you won’t soon forget. And then there’s “Lone Bird in the Shire (Rudy’s Theme),” which brings the memories flooding back.…
Bubsy 3D

Bubsy 3D for PlayStation Was Reviewed by Ultra Game Players Magazine in 1996

Bubsy 3D has an unfortunate reputation for being one of the worst video games of all time. While many people like to pretend the game was considered a colossal stinker right out of the gate, these people tend to forget the world was a very different place back in 1996. In 1996, Bill Clinton was elected to a second term as US President. The Chicago Bulls were unstoppable in the NBA, winning a record-smashing 72 games in the ’95-’96 season and following that up with 69 wins the ’96-’97 season. Billboard called “The Macerena (Bayside Boys Mix)” the most popular song of the year. Clearly, it was a good year for things that start with B. And sure, Bubsy wasn’t living it up like Bill or the Bulls or the mixes of the Bayside Boys, but he certainly wasn’t having the terrible year you might expect.…
Hiroyuki Kobayashi

Capcom Releases Hiroyuki Kobayashi Interview to Celebrate Resident Evil’s 20th Anniversary

March 22, 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the Resident Evil franchise. In honor of two decades of RE games (and movies), Capcom released an interview with producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi, who’s been a part of the series since the beginning. He later served a producer role on the GameCube remake, as well as Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 6, and — this may surprise you — he was also involved in the movies starting with the second installment. If you’re interested in the history of the franchise at all, you should absolutely check out the full video below. If you don’t speak Japanese, you’ll have to turn CC on to see the subtitles.…
Legacy of Kain

Legacy of Kain: Crime and Punishment

Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen was the first game in a series about a nobleman-turned-vampire seeking revenge. It was set apart from other games at the time by its strong anti-hero qualities and cinematic, complex story line. I fell in love with it for its voice acting and dark tone, despite its seriously annoying load times and lag. It was also the first RPG I bought for the original PlayStation, so I treasured every moment as I patiently waited for Final Fantasy VII to be released. Back in 2012, a NeoGaf forum member culled published information and created a fascinating account of the series’ development woes. This includes a full account of the legal problems between the original developer and Crystal Dynamics, who was credited with publishing — and even helping finish — the game.…
final fantasy vii aeris date

Final Fantasy VII Contains a Secret Dating Sim

Final Fantasy VII has never had to struggle to get attention. From the moment it was announced, it received a steady stream of coverage in gaming magazines. Within days of its release,  it had sold more than 2 million copies. Its star, Cloud, has appeared in all kinds of games, from Ehrgeiz to Final Fantasy Tactics to Super Smash Bros. It’s had spin-offs, a movie, and even a remake. When it comes to Final Fantasy, VII dominates the conversation. But curiously, one aspect of the game has largely gone unnoticed. Although it was never advertised on the box, Final Fantasy VII actually contains some light dating sim mechanics. Cloud has the option to earn affinity points with four of the game’s characters: Aeris, Tifa, Yuffie, and Barret.…
Star Ocean: The Second Story

Star Ocean: The Second Story’s Private Action System Was Fantastic

I’m a sucker for deep character work in video games — things like side quests where you learn things about a person’s back story, dialogue that reveals a party member’s quirks, or game mechanics that simply let you get to know characters a little bit better in your down time. This is why I absolutely adore the Private Action system from Star Ocean: The Second Story. The Private Action system was an optional feature that allowed your party to split up whenever you got to a town, causing individual party characters to appear as NPCs that you could converse with. Each might have a line or two about the local shopping, or about wanting to find some food, or about the weather.…
yuuyami doori takentai harpy

Yuuyami Doori Takentai Takes a Strange Approach to Realism

Even within the boundaries of legend, people expect certain rules to be upheld. Dragons have to have six limbs, while wyverns should have four. Vampires must avoid sunlight, werewolves have to avoid silver, and zombies need to be separated from their head. Some claim that these rules help to make fictional concepts more believable. Without them, it’d be impossible to suspend disbelief. But when you examine the stories behind most legends, concrete rules are hard to come by. In their earliest depictions, harpies were described as personified storm winds. Later on, Greek poets romanticized them, describing harpies as beautiful maidens with majestic wings. Other writers moved away from this portrayal, making the harpies more and more monstrous. By the time Jason and his Argonauts encountered these creatures, they were disgusting, razor-clawed beings who could easily ruin any man’s appetite.…
Crash Bandicoot Seattle Ad

Crash Bandicoot Gets Kicked out of Nintendo HQ in This 2-Page Ad

In the original PlayStation era, Crash Bandicoot was practically a mascot character for Sony’s new gaming machine. He was essentially to Sony what Mario was to Nintendo or Sonic the Hedgehog was to Sega (though this was sort of off-the-record; Sony and Crash never made official, and SCE’s exclusive rights to the franchise would eventually expire). If you wanted a zany mascot platformer and your console of choice was a PSOne, Crash was your man. He also starred in a series of really bizarre ads, most of which included some unremarkable-looking dude in a Crash Bandicoot costume. Sometimes he was hanging out with musclebound bodybuilders, and other times he was helping promote Pizza Hut to the lucrative gaming demographic. In the following two-page spread, he’s getting himself escorted from Nintendo of America’s Seattle headquarters.…
Bad Box Art Mega Man

An Illustrated History of Mega Man Box Art

In March of 2012, Capcom launched Street Fighter X Tekken, a fighting game that pitted Capcom’s own Street Fighter characters against Namco Bandai’s Tekken characters. To top it off, Pac-Man joined the battle to represent Namco’s greater universe, and Mega Man showed up to support Capcom. But it wasn’t the classic Mega Man we all knew and loved; it was this guy: This character was officially dubbed “Bad Box Art Mega Man” and was a reference to the cover art for the original Mega Man game. Yes, on the original box art, Mega Man dressed in yellow and carried a pistol instead of having a blaster built into his arm. One must wonder, had the person who created this ever actually played Mega Man?…
Devil Dice

Whatever Happened to Devil Dice for PlayStation?

In the original PlayStation era, the Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine used to include a demo disc with every single issue of their magazine (allegedly, they were the first ever magazine to do so.) The 13th iteration of this grand tradition was a feast to behold; not only did it include playable demo versions of Metal Gear Solid and Cool Boarders 3 (both of which I sank dozens of hours into), it also included a demo for a quaint little puzzle game called Devil Dice. In Devil Dice, you played as a little devil character (who kind of resembled a kid in footie pajamas or, God forbid, one of the Teletubbies) who gleefully rode atop a series of dice. As the devil skipped along a grid that sort of resembled a checker board, he (or she, I suppose; the gender seemed rather ambiguous) would flip whichever die he/she was standing on.…
Syphon Filter

A Chat with Bubsy’s Michael Berlyn – Part 2: Rejection and Reinvention

In the first part of this interview, Micheal Berlyn and I talk about the history of Bubsy, which Berlyn created. He mentioned how the stress of big-budget development with growing team sizes was overwhelming and exhausting, so he took a break. Now, we talk about his return the the industry and his new-found love of the casual gaming scene. Michael Berlyn: When casual gaming came along, I had renewed interest in developing games again. At the time we shipped Bubsy 3D… my partner and I had a staff of about 24 people, and we were working on a PlayStation game for Sony called Syphon Filter, and another one for Accolade, and Bubsy 3D… And we had a kind of first-person, robotic shooter that was in development with another guy… designing it, who was very talented but couldn’t make a deadline.…
final fantasy vii remake

The Final Fantasy VII Remake: Seven Changes We’re Looking Forward To

We here at Retrovolve have no shortage of affection for Final Fantasy VII. In fact, some of our staffers count it among their favorite games of all time. With that said, we’re totally jazzed about the upcoming remake. VII is an amazing as is, but it definitely has room for improvement. Here are a few of the things we hope we’ll see when Square Enix makes the dreams of millions of fans come true.…
Resident Evil You Are Dead

The First Thing I Did in Resident Evil HD Was Die

Since I first learned that the Resident Evil HD remake was going be a thing, I was pretty enthusiastic about it. I preloaded it onto my PS4 and watched the hours and minutes tick down to that glorious launch so I could replay one of my favorite games of the PSOne era, reminiscing about my love for the series while I waited. Then I stepped into the game and died, right off the bat. Remember that scene where Jill goes off on her own and that gross-looking zombie head turns and looks at her? Yeah, that thing. This is literally the first enemy you encounter in the game, and it killed me. I popped my first Trophy, which was called “Get Used to It,” awarded for my first ever death in the HD remake.…
Resident Evil HD Jill

CQC FTW Trophy/Achievement – How to Beat Resident Evil HD Remaster with Just the Knife

When I first saw that the new Resident Evil HD remake had a Trophy for getting through the entire game while only using the knife (it’s called “CQC FTW”), I thought it sounded damn near impossible. Between the awkward controls (I always play using the original control scheme) and the ineffectiveness of the knife, this seemed like a challenge for crazy people. Lo and behold, I stumbled upon an annotated walkthrough on YouTube by user Carcinogen, which makes the thing look pretty easy. He made the video using the GameCube version of the game, which the HD remaster is based on. That means that — while I haven’t tested this yet myself — if you follow these instructions, you should hypothetically pop the Trophy (as well as a few others while you’re at it.) Go for it!…
Metal Gear Solid

Visually, Metal Gear Solid Has Aged Really Well

During the PlayStation/N64 era, technology was evolving rapidly, constantly pushing video games into exciting new territory. This was the rise of polygons, of three-dimensional, explorable landscapes. This was when Resident Evil was born and when Link first rode Epona across the wide open fields of Hyrule. This, however, was not an era known for its beautiful visual quality. Time has been absolutely brutal to the graphics of games of PSOne games. In fact, of all the generations of gaming, it’s the PSOne/N64’s that has aged the absolute worst aesthetically. The 8-bit and 16-bit eras circumvented this problem by crafting highly stylized, colorful, cartoony visuals built from pixels, whereas far too many PSOne games aimed for a “hyper-realistic” look — a look that simply couldn’t be pulled off with limited technology.…
Resident Evil

What Weezer and Resident Evil Have in Common

Back in the 1990s, I was convinced that Weezer was the greatest band on the planet. They were such an unassuming group of guys, a collection of misfits you might bring home to take care of your pets or cook dinner for Mom, not some panty-dropping, hotel-room-trashing rock band. Just look at the cover of their breakout self-titled record and you’ll see a Rivers Cuomo who looks maybe 15, a Matt Sharp who looks like he’d gladly help you with your homework, a Brian Bell who looks like he’d silently play with TI calculators all day long, and a Patrick Wilson who looks strangely like a teenage version of Damon Lindelof. Weezer was not the self-confident sort of band you’d expect to climb the charts; they were a bunch of nerds who wrote music about hiding in their garage with their Kiss posters and their D&D paraphernalia.…
Resident Evil

Resident Evil Could Have Been a Doom-Like FPS

The original Resident Evil for PlayStation was a groundbreaking horror game when it launched back in 1996. While it arguably didn’t invent the survival horror genre, it at least introduced us to the term. “Welcome back to the world of survival horror,” it told us whenever we loaded up a save. Of course, the original concept of the game was radically different than the game we ended up getting, and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the design changes were almost certainly for the best. In an interview with GamePro published way back in 1996 (Issue #91), Capcom’s Shinji Mikami made this statement: In the beginning of the game’s creation, we considered using a Doom-like 3D environment, but we reconsidered.…
Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII – Nanaki and Seto’s Story Is Kind of Haunting

Final Fantasy VII was filled with emotional moments, but there’s one scene in particular that I’ve always found especially dark and moving. It might not get brought up in FF7 conversations as often as Aeris’ death scene does, but the image of Seto’s petrified remains has always haunted me. Red XIII, or Nanaki (A.K.A. the orange tiger/wolf thing), joins your party in the Shinra labs and agrees to stick with you until you reach his village, Cosmo Canyon. At the end of your stay there, there’s a poignant scene involving Nanaki and his father Seto. Nanaki had been ashamed of his father for years, believing Seto had abandoned Cosmo Canyon in its time of need. It turns out, Seto had secretly defended the village from the attacking Gi, but he had been turned to stone by poisonous arrows during the fray.…

The PlayStation’s Virtual Reality Headset That Nearly Was

It would seem that the development of Project Morpheus doesn’t actually mark the first time that a virtual reality headset technology flirted with a PlayStation console. It was reported in the May, 1996, issue of GamePro magazine that Virtual I/O’s i-Glasses, which was previously released as an expensive PC peripheral, was being re-designed for use with the original Sony PlayStation. With a retail price of $800 for the PC headset (over 2.5 times the cost of a PlayStation at the time), it was financially impractical for the console’s user base and therefore was likely never more than a prototype. I couldn’t find any further mention of the PlayStation-compatible version anywhere, but there is a good amount of information on the original unit that was available for personal computers, including this video press kit: The exuberant price tag seems like a little much to spend in order to stare at simple geometric shapes and watch True Lies on VHS on a dorky headset, but the head-tracking feature in Flight Unlimited does seem pretty awesome.…

Tim and Andy Play Cho Aniki for the PlayStation

Tim and Andy sit down and play what is assuredly the weirdest game ever made: Cho Aniki for the Sony PlayStation. It’s like Gradius with banana hammocks and codpieces. Viewers should be advised that this video contains copious amounts of vulgar language and dick jokes. So many dick jokes.…
Metal Gear Solid 2

One of the Highest Rated Video Games of 2013 Was a Re-release of a Remake

To satisfy a particular curiosity of mine, I decided to look into the top rated games of 2013 on Metacritic. The ones you’d expect were accounted for: Grand Theft Auto V, The Last of Us, and BioShock Infinite. But there are some surprises on that list. For example, DEVICE 6, Skulls of the Shogun, and Papa Sangre II, all iOS games, made the top ten (that’s the top ten if you don’t count any titles twice, as Metacritic separates games by platform and will count GTA V for PS3 separately from GTA V for Xbox 360). I haven’t played any of those games, so I can’t comment on their quality, but it’s strange to see them so highly praised when they didn’t receive the sort of fanfare of the other titles I’ve mentioned.…
Crash Bandicoot

Remember When Crash Bandicoot Was a Shill for Pizza Hut?

On the original PlayStation, Crash Bandicoot was a gloriously goofy 3D platformer that wasn’t quite aware that the era of “mascot games” was coming to an end. What you may not remember, however, was that Crash was also used as a shill for selling stuffed crust pizza to the already obese kids of America. Keep in mind that this was an era in which Little Caesars’ Caesar dude and Dominoes’ Noid were both running amok and causing chaos on late-afternoon television commercials. Pizza Hut took the less creative route and decided that they’d rather steal someone else’s mascot than create their own. Lo and behold, the following ad survives as a testament to a cheesier time in advertising history (both literally and figuratively).…
Final Fantasy VIII

Rinoa and Squall’s Space Scene in Final Fantasy VIII Broke My Heart

It’s been many years since I played Final Fantasy VIII. I have some trouble recalling the exact details of the game, besides one scene that I remember vividly. Squall is desperately searching for Rinoa, who is drifting endlessly in space. With the help of Ellone, he’s able to speak to her with his heart. Rinoa’s life support is counting down and, as she thinks she’s going to die, she says goodbye to Squall. She takes what appears to be her final breath, yet, somehow, she hears his voice. Perhaps it’s the power of love and the connection they share to allow them to communicate with the heart, or maybe there’s some other power at work. In any case, when she opens her eyes she is surprised she is still alive.…
Final Fantasy VII

Aerith’s Death in Final Fantasy VII Still Moves Me to Tears

Whenever I hear “Aerith’s Theme” from Final Fantasy VII, I recall how much I cried when she died by the hands of Sephiroth. I didn’t expect this when I first played the game in the 90s, but who did back then? I had to take a break after she died; I was so emotionally overwhelmed that playing on didn’t seem possible. It was a few days later when I finally came back to the game. That scene unleashed a flood of emotions, and Aerith’s story moved me deeply. I was angry and wanted revenge; I was sad as well as distraught. Aerith was the light in an otherwise dark world, the hope amidst despair; she held everything together. When she first met Cloud while selling flowers in Midgar, I felt like she had known it was her destiny to join him, even if she was afraid at first.…
The Granstream Saga

The Granstream Saga Lived a Short Life, but a Good One

Around the middle of the original PlayStation’s lifetime came a game that was spoken of for a short time for being one of the first truly 3D role-playing games, though it was tragically forgotten soon after. This is The Granstream Saga, a title with the pedigree behind it to warrant a huge fanbase, but whose time came and went in the blink of an eye. The game was developed by Shade, who employed a team of Quintet designers. (If that name doesn’t make bells ring, think Illusion of Gaia.) Granstream tells of the story of a post-apocalyptic world where continents float in the air to avoid being swallowed by the flooded world. The narrative is shown through the eyes of Eon, who, along with with his surrogate father, is tasked with blowing bits off of their continent. …
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