Rhythm games are all the rage lately, and in that spirit, we'd like to see Vib-Ribbon hit PSN. Not acquainted with this ditty of a game? Vib-Ribbon was unique for its time in that there was basically no end to the potential gameplay. The game itself could be loaded to the PlayStation's RAM and then, by inserting a music CD, it would construct unique, side-scrolling levels based on the music. The difficulty of the game would differ depending on the style and speed of the music; thrash-metal addicts, beware! The gameplay was relatively simple stuff, but who ever said simplicity was a bad thing? Back in 2007, the game's creators discussed perhaps doing a PSN remake, but little has been mentioned since, and honestly, we'd be happy with just a port.
Playing much like Power Stone (except with 2D characters in its 3D arenas), Rakaguki Showtime was a game endowed with the sort of visuals that never get old. Remember how people hailed Valkyria Chronicles for its colored-pencils-come-to-life-style visuals? Well, Rakaguki Showtime was the equivalent of a coloring book in motion. Simple but attractive graphics make it a game that has aged splendidly. Never ugly to look at, it would be a fine, quirky addition to PSN.
Although the first game in the series was released internationally, Tobal 2 was sadly a Japan-only exclusive. Why is this so sad? Because in the grand scheme of the fighting genre, Tobal 2 is one of the most unique there is. Amid a field of blocky 3D fighting games that have aged horribly, Tobal 2’s smooth edges and Akira Toriyama character designs don’t look half bad today. Better yet, in addition to its standard fighter-versus-fighter game, Tobal 2 featured an RPG-like quest mode, through which some 200-plus playable characters could be unlocked. We’re not sure why other franchises haven't picked up this idea, but Tobal 2 did it and did it well.
Though many considered Rogue Trip: Vacation 2012 to be little more than a knockoff of Twisted Metal 2, it was a fun and outlandish trip through the vehicle-combat genre. The game put you in the shoes of an “automercenary” tasked with escorting tourists to futuristic vacation spots. Granted, there’s a definite lack of logic to the whole idea of fighting to the death over tourist trips, but we're pretty sure logic stopped being a factor when they started strapping heat-seeking missiles to cars. Featuring crazy characters and quirky vehicles, Rogue Trip: Vacation 2012 is the very definition of an unsung classic. It has loving fans, but was simply lost in the shadow of bigger games.
You know what we could use more of? Hardcore action side-scrollers! Besides the DS Castlevania and Contra games, we’ve gotten almost none of these in recent years, and that just sucks. Some of the most exciting moments in gaming were found in titles like this, and as much as some gamers are trying hard to move past the limits of 2D worlds, many of us actually miss them. Strider 2 was one of the last great side-scrollers, and for all intents and purposes, it rocked. A PlayStation revamp of the old Strider games, Strider 2 featured fast, frenetic action with a platforming foundation that’s still strong today. Why this series was allowed to die out a second time is beyond us.
Dragon Quest IX just hit Japan with the force of a giant radioactive lizard, and while many others around the world might wonder what the big fuss is about, the traditional nature of the Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior games certainly has its charms. Just look at Dragon Warrior VII. Back in 2001, when everyone was all about gorgeous graphics and high-end production values, Dragon Warrior VII came along with old-style aesthetics that some thought were downright ugly. Did that stop it from being a long, fun and satisfying RPG? Hell no! And the funny thing is that, by modern standards, Dragon Warrior VII has aged much better than a lot of the best-looking games of its time. 3D back in the PSOne’s day was not always a good thing, but 2D? 2D is timeless.
Side-scrolling shooters are just plain fun, and during the PlayStation era, Einhänder was a good one. With great 3D graphics and awesome action, it perfectly reproduced the fun of a genre then considered on the decline. If you're itching for some simple, hard-as-balls-but-oh-so-good entertainment, Einhänder would be a great game to check out, or better yet, to download onto your PS3 and PSP. The Japanese – those lucky bastards – already get to, and we can only hope the rest of us will be so fortunate in the future.
The Persona games made quite the splash in the past few years, with Persona 3 and 4 earning praise from critics and gamers alike. The first Persona game has already been remade for the PSP, but what about Persona 2? The second game was critically hailed in its own right – more so than the first, actually – and one has to wonder why there have been no plans to release this capable beast back into the wild. Endowed with a dynamic battle system and all the dark quirks that many gamers have come to love, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment is a great entry in one of the emerging star franchises of the role-playing genre.
Ever play Spy vs Spy? No? Well, don't you just suck! Anyway, the premise of the game was that you were a spy up against another spy – go figure – and your goal was to set traps with to kill them while avoiding traps set to kill you. Trap Gunner took this idea and expanded on it, putting the player in control of a secret agent equipped with a slew of gadgets and devices useful in the creation and disarming of traps. While the game had a story, it's not at all worth mentioning. The focus of the game was multiplayer, espionage-flavored fun, and in that department, it was a solid success.
The PlayStation port of Diablo didn't do much more than the original PC version. But considering how good the game was to begin with, we can't really hold that against it, can we? We know all sights are set on Diablo 3 right now, but we'd love to get some more time in with this classic. The idea of this game being available on the PSP gives us all sorts of goosebumps, so please, email Blizzard. Petition them, beg them, bribe them if you have to! We could all use a little more time in hell.
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