Originally I wanted to write about Muramasa The Demon’s Blade/Rebirth, a beautiful looking Vanillaware game. Then I started to realize how little there was to say about Muramasa. So I’ve shifted my focus to the first Vanillaware game I’ve played and my personal favorite: Odin Sphere for the Playstation 2 and available as a PS2 Classic on PSN.
Disney is reaching deep into its vault for this one. It’ s not a movie but a video game. Not just any video game but arguably the best Disney game of the 16-bit era. Released in 1990 on the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive), Castle of Illusion was a simple but challenging platformer. It had innovative level design and platforming mechanics and the some of the most memorable music on the Genesis. 23 years later Mickey revisits the castle once more. Will his adventure be just as enjoyable as his first?
There seems to be a bit of retro reviving happening in gaming. Sega has been re-releasing old Dreamcast games on PSN and XBLA while WayForward has been re-imagining old classics for the new generation.
The efforts of Operation Rainfall has successfully gotten Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower localized in North America. The first of the three to be released is Xenoblade Chronicles, a sci-fi JRPG. The Wii has always been lacking in the RPG department but now it’s receiving heavy hitters. Is Xenoblade Chronicles good enough to scrape of the dust off your Wii or should it stayed at home.
Sonic has been the target of a lot of criticism over the last decade or so with lack luster games, pathetic story and bad gameplay decisions. Not to say that all Sonic games since the Dreamcast have been terrible but there hasn’t been a stand out. Sonic Generations is Sega’s love letter to the fans by bringing old and new Sonic together. Is this the game we’ve been waiting for? A little bit.
Sony has just released their first batch of games under their “PS2 Classics” line for the Playstation Network. Notable and obscure games be available for sale at the price of $9.99. The PS2 Classics line is different from the HD releases. These games are not remastered for HD and do not support trophies. The PS2 Classics are more inline with the PS1 Classics as it provides smoothing and aspect ratio options. Sony has announced some games do not emulate properly and have no intention of fixing and releasing those game.
The first batch of games released are:
Maximo: Ghosts of Glory
Ring of Red
The lack of HD and trophy support has upset some gamers but I don’t think that’s an issue. If publishers or developers are not interested in doing HD releases for what ever reason then I am okay with that. The PS2 Classics are similar to the PS1 Classics as neither of them are in HD nor do they support trophies and as long as I can play games that I did not get the chance to play then I don’t really care. What my main issue is that the PS2 Classics suggest that PS2 emulation is possible on all model of the PS3.
Why can I play Odin Sphere on the PS3 if I were to buy it but I can’t if I put in my actual copy of Odin Sphere. This wouldn’t bother me as much if backwards compatibility for the PS1 was not possible either. What I assume is a large proportion of PS3 owners are not aware of is that all models of the PS3 can play PS1 games perfectly fine. The downloadable and disc copies are able to use the same save game with no problems. None of this is possible with the PS2 games.
The PS3 is able to create virtual memory cards for PS1 and PS2 games. I assumed that the PS2 Classics would use this feature but they don’t. I bought GrimGrimore and saw a new saved data directory was created on the XMB. The save file was 17 MB which is twice the size of a PS2 memory card and significantly larger than PS3 save game files. I don’t know where that comes from. When I took the first opportunity to save and had not reached any sort of gameplay yet. The funny thing is that while saving the game still says to not remove the 8 MB memory card, thanks Sony. The PS3 has a system in place for PS2 memory cards but are not using it and is completely useless to so many people now.
As of writing this the PS3 has not received a firmware update and the way they have handled the save file is stupid and suggest that Sony has no intention of allowing disc copies to be played on non-backwards compatible models of the PS3. I don’t understand what is so difficult to allow PS2 games to be played off the disc in the same way the PS1 games are played. Hopefully in the future Sony will enable disc support but I’m not holding my breath.