This is a special feature that I’m going to build during next days. Twenty years ago Sony launched PlayStation in Japan and right now, I can’t think of gaming world without its legacy. I was thinking of making a video showing some of the key moments but I found it a bit typical and I don’t think the final result will be good with the time I can spend capturing and editing it.
I think it was around 1993 when I started reading about the new generation of consoles on gaming magazines and I remember that I followed all the news regarding them with high interest. At that time, I mostly play on Amiga (Sensible Soccer, Monkey Island 2, Pinball Fantasies, SWIV, Pang, Kick Off 2, Lotus 2, Cannon Fodder… amazing gaming memories there) and sometimes on consoles at my friends’ houses (mostly Super Nintendo/Super Famicom).
There were a lot of new machine announcements, the 3DO, Atari Jaguar, NEC FX… but all the attention was focused on Sega and Nintendo. Sony was also a big player, but there were some doubts (more after the lackluster performance of 3DO). It was hard to measure the potential of those systems and all my hype was focused on Nintendo and their promises for Ultra 64/Nintendo 64.
When Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation were finally released in Japan at the end of 1994, we were able to finally see what that generation of consoles could deliver. It was a clear difference and both were above all the previews machines. When I saw on TV (remember, Internet wasn’t so accessible and Google was still to be created) Virtua Fighter or Ridge Racer running on a home consoles, was incredible. And knowing that games like Daytona USA (seeing that game on arcades was like watching the future of the games), Sega Rally, Tomb Raider, WipEout, Resident Evil and more were coming, made those machines more attractive when there were finally released in 1995.
WipEout (1995) – Intro
But I still was waiting for Nintendo 64, Super Mario 64 looked so good (and Waverace 64 was promising) that I could wait. But the wait went long and when it finally was released (1997 in Europe), I had other priorities and was still studying, so I never jumped into that generation of consoles. Occasionally I played some PlayStation games, like Resident Evil, ISS Pro (best football game, hands down), Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo and others, but my little gaming time was mostly PC (I used mostly for studies, but I also enjoyed games like Command & Conquer: Red Alert, Blade Runner, FIFA Road to the World Cup 98, Outcast, Tomb Raider, Duke Nukem 3D, MDK, even the Virtua Fighter Remix and Daytona USA PC versions…). So, I missed some great games but I also enjoyed other ones.
Thanks to backwards compatibility at first and more with PSN PlayStation classics (combined with Vita is just perfection, I’m playing all the PlayStation and PlayStation Portable classics I missed), I’ve been able to enjoy some of the best games of those times (well, and in the case of N64, with some emulation). Even with the obvious technical flaws and sometimes frustrating gameplay (they were the first properly 3D gaming consoles), I still can enjoy a lot of them and some of them already are classics.
Final Fantasy VII (1997) – Intro
Who can’t forget the three main Final Fantasy titles released (along collections of older titles, like Final Fantasy VI). Final Fantasy VII was the first Final Fantasy released in Europe and we even could play it in Spanish (with some hilarious mistakes). With things like this, it’s easy to understand why Spain is known as Sonyland.
Sony delivered their own mascot platform with Crash Bandicoot (along with Spyro), setting Naughty Dog on the great developers maps (and right now, one of the best game developers in the world) with three great, and still good looking, platform games along with one of the best kart games ever, Crash Team Racing. I still have to finish a proper feature, but here you have some gameplay videos.
Metal Gear Solid (1998) – Opening
Another classic which gained relevance thanks to PlayStation was Metal Gear Solid. Hideo Kojima directed a game that took gaming narrative. And this time Konami (don’t know if Sony Spain had any influence on this decision) didn’t only deliver translated texts to the game, they even made a great doubling work (something that never made again with the saga).
I could write more about the great games and sagas that were delivered during those years, some unfortunately a bit forgotten. G-Police, Colony Wars, Legend of Dragoon, Vagrant Story, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Dino Crisis, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Syphon Filter… I fortunately (or not) still have to play properly some of those games and certainly will appear here, with their own blog entries.
I would like to mention a last one, Gran Turismo. Last entries have probably damage a bit the saga (great games, with some faults and omissions) but the arrival of the first Gran Turismo in 1998 changed the way driving games were seen in consoles (on Amiga or PC, we already enjoyed more simulation like titles). I played the first one a bit, thanks to some friends, but as I already wrote in another post, I started loving the saga on PS2.
Fortunately, in 2001 and along the release of Grand Theft Auto III I could get a PS2 and from that moment, my gaming time began to be closely related to PlayStation brand. As I wrote in another blog post, even if I liked what Nintendo GameCube was showing (and I still missed not being able to play some great Nintendo games), games like GTA III, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (E3 2000 tanker video is one of the highlights of gaming history) or Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec made my decision clear.
[To be continued]