Just recently, Breath of Fire IV hit the PlayStation Network, giving the store another classic RPG from the genre’s golden days. But being the human I am, my reaction to getting something cool was to immediately think about what I wanted next. That brings us to this list of top PSOne Classics not available on the PlayStation Store.
This one is probably right in the front of the minds of countless console RPG fans. The original Suikoden has been on the PSN for a long time now, so why wait around to release this one too? Perhaps Konami likes the game having the legacy that it has acquired. One can’t be sure of the reason this has seen no attempt at revival. It’s constantly brought up in discussions of the best RPGs, especially those of the PSOne generation. That’s pretty amazing, considering it packs none of the flash and frills that make up so many of the biggest RPGs today. It’s incredibly rare yet hugely beloved and sought after, and therefore, sells for a pretty penny online. True story: I had trouble paying my rent while in college some years ago, so with my back against the wall, I had to sell it. Even used, I got US $125 for it. Konami, do some lower-income gamers a favor and release this on PSN some time this year, will ya?
Radical Car Combat Games
As great as the Twisted Metal series is, the PSN lacks the similar yet equally awesome Tiny Tank: Up Your Arsenal. Heck, even the current generation is completely lacking this genre which was huge back in the late 90s. There were several releases that became staples of local multiplayer…
Such as… Vigilante 8
Remember the first commercial for this one? Growing up, I’d seen some cool game commercials, but that was the first one that burned itself into my mind as if to say “Hello, Heath. Something awesome just happened.”
Perhaps it was the fact that I was in my first year of high school and I was now bearing witness to something previously so sacred as a school bus being destroyed right before my virgin eyes. That wasn’t the only virgin thing getting dirty though, as the commercial also included a uniformed school girl cussing. If they could swear so boldly and without even thinking about it, what…what other forbidden things would they do? I devoted the rest of my high school years to answering this question and came up with: nothing, the swearing was pretty much it.
Breath of Fire III
This 1998 release is still one of the best PSOne RPGs. Of course, there are a few quirks, mostly within the menus, which haven’t aged well, but overall, BoF3‘s systems and gameplay are something JRPG fans may be missing in this generation. The third part of a loosely connected trilogy that began on the Super Nintendo, it tells the story of blue-haired dragon boy Ryu, who gets mixed up in a quest to confront a goddess and ask her “Hey, goddess, why did you order that holocaust thing on my people?” Each character falls into a general RPG archetype, but there is still a lot of stat and skill customization available through the Master System, in which characters study under certain NPCs who have an impact on that character’s level-up stat changes and teach special battle skills. For whatever reason, Sony (according to Capcom) isn’t down with letting the European PSP port onto the Network, but that shouldn’t stop the original PSX version from making the move. With Breath of Fire IV now on there, III is due.
Evil Zone‘s claim to fame was being a fighting game with only one attack button. Depending on the number of presses and directional button you pressed with it, you’d do different moves, but the fact remained: square was the only real attack button. Sounds kooky because it is, but it’s actually kinda cool. Good characters and a really neat fighting system made this one memorable.
The Unholy War
Oh hell yes. You’re probably asking “What’s The Unholy War?”, which is yet another sign that Eidos and Sony need to get into gear and put this on the PSN. Oh wait, Eidos is now owned by Square Enix. Crap. Largely ignored by people who don’t like great games, it put two combatants in a big 3D arena. Every arena was truly unique; some had teleporters, some had treadmills, some had dangerous obstacles, one was basically a giant roulette wheel, and so on. For example, the Desert area was flat sand, with one corner of quicksand, a whirlwind that would toss characters upward, four teleporters that all led back to a central area, a small elevated platform, a similar but slanted platform, and a structure resembling a scaled down temple or altar from some culture my American schooling doesn’t care to teach me about. The 16 stages (when you count unlockables) had almost as much variety as the crazy characters. The biggest problem with the game, in my experience, is that everyone sucks at it. I got smokin’ good and would dominate everyone I played, eventually finding that I had no competition anymore. This needs a PSN release with online mode. Local PSP friends should be able to go at it in a gimped version and people ought to be able to search for online opponents. With two players of similar skill level, this game gets insanely fun.
I watched some YouTube videos and man, the guys playing it do a horrible job of selling the game because they really blow. Not only that, most seem to be picking the inferior Strategy Mode instead of the pure fighting frenzy of Mayhem Mode. I’d love to play against them online and then lower my male parts onto their heads because that’s what you do when you win a game online.
So there are the PSOne games I think would serve the PSN well. Priced right, I think they’d be some great additions to the already solid lineup of games from the PSX’s legendary library. There are plenty more, though.
Now that you’ve seen my list, what’s yours? Share your PSOne keepers in the comments below.
Legend of Dragoon