So this week I was getting ready to be all, ooh, Dark Souls. Oooooh, Rage, etc., etc. And then Sony went and announced their new “Only on PSN” initiative yesterday, through which they’ll launch one or two exclusive games every week in October, including recently announced, Pub-Fund-backed games, Eufloria and Okabu.
But wait, there’s more! Not content with releasing seven PSN exclusives over the next four weeks, they also casually mentioned that they’re kicking off the month by pulling a handful of classics out of the PlayStation 2’s back catalog and putting them up for sale on the PSN. That’s right–PlayStation 2 games on the PS3! Cue the floodgates of gamers begging for re-releases of their favorite discs, or the cynics saying that this was Sony’s plan all along when they phased out backwards compatibility. Personally, I’m happy to see Sony making this surprisingly tasteful lineup of obscure games available to a new generation of gamers.
So what PlayStation 2 games will you be playing in October of 2011?
First, my personal favorite: God Hand, the outrageous 3D brawler from now-shuttered Clover Studio that’s famous for its litany of martial arts moves, an insane sense of humor as only Japan can deliver (absolutely don’t miss the trailer), and for having no illusions that it’s “ball-bustingly hard.” Here’s what I had to say about it back in 2006:
God Hand is the greatest baseball batting, face stomping, button mashing, uppercutting, crotch kicking, drunken boxing, rocket launching, kick-me signing, arm chopping, gay bashing, barrel rolling, demon spawning, haymaking, clown crushing, wall clipping, poker playing, repeatedly continuing, mach speed pummeling, woman spanking, mighty morphing, Devo singing, massive damaging, chihuahua racing, Clover closing, double-or-nothing, surf rocking, gorilla suplexing game I’ve played this year. STRONGLY ENDORSE.
Five years later, I still strongly recommend you show your support for God Hand. Maybe Capcom will listen up and put Gene into Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Arcade Edition.
Maximo: Ghosts to Glory – Capcom’s spiritual successor to their Ghosts and Goblins series of platformers. Maximo made the leap into 3D while still preserving the series’s action, macabre-yet-whimsical atmosphere, and–of course–its boxer shorts.
Odin Sphere – This one’s a strange choice, since I seem to remember an HD port being in the works at one point. But, if you can’t wait: Odin Sphere is a 2D action RPG by Vanillaware, featuring gorgeous, painted graphics and a soundtrack by the prolific Hitoshi Sakimoto.
GrimGrimoire – Another Vanillaware title, this is a real-time strategy game with sort of a Groundhog-Day-meets-Harry-Potter storyline. Once again, Mr. Sakimoto provides the score.
Ring of Red – Maybe the most surprising sight on the list. Ring of Red was one of the earliest PS2 games and is a tactical strategy game set during an alternate history version of the Cold War. Also, there are giant robots. Obviously. I missed this the first time around, so I’ll definitely be getting at at some point.
What do you think of this surprise PS2-on-PS3 announcement? Are you going to try out any of these bizarre
new old games? Let us know in the comments!
OH WAIT, there’s still way more games out this week!
Eufloria (PSN) – Part of the “Only on PSN” releases. In a nutshell, Eufloria is a visually distinctive strategy game where you grow plants in order to conquer planets. It’s pretty difficult to get a sense of how the game actually plays from watching trailers, so do yourself a favor and try the demo on the PlayStation Store. (This has also been available on Steam for a while, if you prefer to go the PC route.)
Rage (360, PS3, PC) – This is the new, vehicle-heavy FPS from id Software. I’ve heard a lot of good things about its online multiplayer mode that’s a mix of an offroad rally and a demolition derby, but if I’m going to play one post-apocalyptic FPS in the next year or so, it’s going to be Borderlands 2.
Dark Souls (PS3, 360) – From Software’s sequel to its critically acclaimed action RPG, Demon’s Souls. It looks like they’re not changing up the Demon’s Souls formula too much, besides addressing a few complaints players had about the difficulty–and yet it’s still said to be extremely hard. Also, Star Ocean composer Motoi Sakuraba did the soundtrack. Weird!
NBA 2K12 (PS3, 360, PC, PSP, PS2, Wii) – This year’s edition of 2K Sports’ basketball game lets you step into the shoes of classic players like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. But what about Gene from God Hand??
Tetris: Axis (3DS) – The 3DS finally gets its obligatory Tetris game, and Axis looks to have most of the variety modes from last year’s Tetris Party Deluxe–in addition to classic, online Tetris action, of course. I would be all over this if it didn’t feel like I just bought two other Tetris games. I’ll probably hold out for next year’s Tetris: Triple Entente.
Space Channel 5, Part 2 (PSN, XBLA) – Yet another surprise announcement–at least for me–is that Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s swingin’ Dreamcast music game is getting a downloadable console port. If you’re into campy dance games and shooting aliens, or if you want to see what the Miz was up to before he became the Rez Guy, try out Space Channel 5. (Also available on Steam.)
Crysis (PSN, XBLA) – Your computer may not be able to run Crysis, but the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 finally can. Whereas Crysis 2 featured a lot of tighter, urban environments, the original game took place on a sprawling, tropical island and gave you plenty of space to run wild with your state-of-the-art nanosuit abilities. Maybe it had just been a while since I played a FPS that gave you the amount of freedom and tactical flexibility that Crysis did, but I had a fantastic time with it. There are few sensations like dropping in and out of invisibility mode so you can take out a single, unsuspecting soldier and watch all his comrades panic.
Finally, Chrono Trigger is out on the PSN this week. It’s the PS1 port so don’t get too excited, but definitely pick it up if you haven’t played the SNES, Virtual Console, or DS versions and you want to play one of the most legendary RPGs ever.
OK, that’s just about everything out this week. Have you got your eyes on anything new-new, or will you be playing some old-new PS2 classics? Tell us!
For a full list of this week’s releases, visit Tech-Gaming or Amazon.com.
I like how the traditional glut of games at this time of year seems to be completely out of hand in 2011.
The first half of 2013 will be awesome since we’ll still be playing catch-up from 2011!
I bought Crysis. It looks good and seems to run fine on PS3. …It only took 4 years to hit consoles. Is there a precedent for this? Releasing a sequel on consoles and then going back and releasing the original afterward?
It’s not quite the same situation, but I thought it was sort of funny that they gave away the original American McGee’s Alice with Alice: Madness Returns. I wonder how much development time they devoted to a port that’s essentially a pack-in extra. (I don’t think you can play it without owning Madness Returns.)
Also, this was for a completely different reason, but Dragon Quest VI had three of its sequels come out in the US before it did. Final Fantasy III had nine! (And if you count all the spinoffs, it’s probably more like 369430.)
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