Today Sony revealed that Polygon Man would reprise the role of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale’s big final boss. So what does the Daily Reaction crew of Seb and Dan make of the news, and who would we want instead?
Seb: During EVO earlier this year, PSASBR’s Omar Kendall said that “if you are big PlayStation fans, then you can probably figure out the last boss.” Tons of people guessed it would be Polygon Man, and they were right. Woo.
See Polygon Man was the mascot for the PS1 back in the early days of the console’s launch in North America. North America. So all those people watching Sony’s PSASBR’s weird advert in Europe will have no idea who they’re fighting at the climax to the game. Nor will anyone who entered gaming during the PS2 or PS3 era – and All-Stars will probably appeal to a lot of younger gamers.
That’s not even the worst thing about Polygon Man. The final boss is meant to personify everything that is to do with PlayStation, meant to be a summation of the last 18 years of gaming history. The problem is, the father of PlayStation didn’t even like Polygon Man.
Phil Harrison explained in an interview with Edge how Ken Kutaragi, the visionary who was instrumental in creating the PlayStation, reacted to the mascot:
I remember walking onto the E3 booth in 1995 with Ken and seeing the Polygon Man design on the side of the booth. Ken just went absolutely insane.
He didn’t like that each region had a different mascot, but most of all he hated the design:
But the thing that really upset Ken was that the Polygon Man design wasn’t Gouraud shaded, it was flat shaded! So Polygon Man was taken out into the car park and quietly shot.
The whole point of the PS1 was that it was great enough to do high polygon Gouraud shaded graphics, a huge step forward in visuals for games. Polygon Man didn’t represent this, and he shouldn’t represent PSASBR.
Dan: Well I do agree that Polygon Man is an odd choice for PSASBR, but as I was around during the original PS launch, I do remember him. So I do see where Sony is trying to go, as an attempt to round out the lineage that exists in their “All-Stared” cast. While it may not resonate with other countries, the fact of the matter is very simple – the US has the strongest presence in the world in terms of the media. The real issue is that even as an icon, Polygon man was a dud from the beginning, and that even a great deal of us old-school PS fanboys will still have to look him up.
The biggest issue that I have about Polygon Man being the final boss for PSASBR, is not that he is relatively unknown, but simply he just reminds me of Master Hand. For those of you who do not know who Master Hand is, he was the main boss in Super Smash Bros – a game that PSASBR has been doing everything to differentiate itself from. The similarities of both characters being floating objects seem just too similar of a choice for me, and that could just be my own perception. Yet, the fact that Sony has been trying to find a new audience by developing a completely different concept of a brawler, it strikes me as odd that the end boss is a giant floating 3D head, instead of designing something more interesting.
Seb: The problem Sony has is that they have a bunch of iconic heroes, but not enough great villains or powerful figures that would make sense as a boss. Any specific boss they’d choose would remind people too much of that one series or game. Sony is renowned for having a huge number of IPs, no single one being the console’s ‘Mario’ or ‘Halo’.
Dr Nefarious from Ratchet & Clank would probably be the best single character – he’s from a long running series that targets the same demographic as PSASBR seems after and his enemies are already in the game. But what would perhaps be best, and what I was hoping for, was an amalgamation of different bosses into a super mash up – just like all the stages in PSASBR are mash ups of various different games.
Imagine Nefarious mixed with Zeus, mixed with Lazarvic, mixed with the Origami Killer mixed with a Colossus from SOTC. Awesome.
Dan: While it is true that Sony does not have many leading villains from their past, they do have enough iconic games under their belt that could fit the bill, and still include a character iconic enough to draw audiences of all ages. My first thought of the prime candidate for a final boss for PSASBR was Big Boss from the Metal Gear series, obviously based off of his name alone, he was meant to take this role. This is not to mention the fact that he would be a suitable replacement for Snake, one of the most requested characters to Sony’s newest brawler, while also not overlapping Nintendo’s famed cast. The only issue of course is that the original Metal Gear games were on a Nintendo console, but we can just ignore that fact for the sake of a good pun.
Another option for who could take on the role as the main baddy for PSASBR is Ruby Weapon and/or Emerald Weapon from Final Fantasy 7. While FF7 was not a SCE title, it was one of the most iconic games from the original PS era, and had a set of bosses that are more than memorable than Polygon Man ever will be. Having invested over a hundred hours back in the day to combat these behemoths, I would vehemently love to see them as the bookend to the campaign. Their size and strength alone would easily establish why they are still unrivaled as far as bosses go, and would be a harken to one of the games that made Sony the giant it is today.
Are you happy with Sony’s choice of Polygon Man? Or do you have someone better in mind? Share your utterly pointless thoughts in the comments below, get ignored on our email, and blocked on Twitter by Seb and Dan.
Be sure to email DR ideas, podcast comments and general stupid stuff to [email protected] to win plastic surgery to look like Polygon man.