Here you will find my brief reviews of Sony PlayStation games, along with a rating from 1 to 10. A rating of 9-10 indicates a great game; 7-8 is a good game; 5-6 is a mediocre game; 3-4 is a poor game; and 1-2 is a horrible game. At the bottom of the page can be found my Top 10 list.
This is a good collection of six arcade hits from the 1980s and '90s. It includes Rampage, Toobin', Super Sprint, 720º, the puzzle game Klax, and Smash TV. I like five of the six games; only 720º doesn't appeal to me much. Smash TV, which utilizes both analog joysticks on the Dual Shock controller, is probably my favorite of the bunch. The disc also includes bonus video interviews with the creators of each game.
In this puzzle game, you aim and shoot bubbles so that three bubbles of the same color are connected. When this happens, these bubbles disappear. It's a simple concept and a simple game... Perhaps too simple for my tastes. It's still a fun game to play, especially in the two-player mode, but there isn't enough depth here to keep you interested for a long time.
This is an excellent adventure game from Konami. The game is set up is much like Super Metroid; lots of exploration and backtracking will be required. You'll gain new abilities throughout the game, including the power to change into a bat, a wolf, or mist. Those forms can allow you to reach new areas that were previously inaccessible. The game also has many role-playing elements such as weapons and armor that can be bought and equipped. The control is near-perfect and the music is outstanding. Symphony of the Night is one of the best PlayStation games ever made, and it's also one of the best Castlevania games ever.
This racing game features a destruction derby mode where you try to outlast 19 other cars in a frantic frenzy of collisions and crashes. Unfortunately, it's not nearly as fun as it sounds. All the other cars gang up on you specifically, resulting in matches that are over very quickly. The racing modes aren't any better. Your car can (and will) flip, roll, and spin around on contact. Once you've been spun around once, it's basically impossible to catch up again. This is one of the most difficult racing games I've ever played. It feels like an unfinished game that hasn't gone through testing. Even the menu screen is confusing and poorly arranged. And it doesn't even have a two-player mode. The graphics aren't bad, but that doesn't mean much when the game isn't fun to play.
This is the PlayStation version of the classic first-person shooter Doom. In most respects, it is better than the excellent Jaguar version. In addition to the standard Doom levels, this version also has levels from Doom II. The control is pretty good, and the ability to use the L and R buttons for strafing works quite well. You can configure the controls any way you want, but you can't save the changes you've made. Unfortunately, this game doesn't use the memory card for saving games. To play a certain level, you must first input its ten-letter password; you can't just continue where you left off like you could in the Jaguar version. But minor flaws aside, Doom is a masterpiece.
Help E.T. collect exotic plants from around the galaxy in this movie-based game. E.T. can use various powers including telekinesis to move small objects, a heart stun attack to stun or defeat enemies, and healing power to bring plants back to life. He will also need to find certain objects and activate switches to gain access to new areas. Some of the larger enemies in the game (especially those which cannot be defeated) can be quite irritating when E.T. is subjected to a bunch of cheap hits; but overall, the game is not very challenging. Unfortunately, it's not especially enjoyable either. It's just another average game for the famous extra-terrestrial.
This anthology consists of two 16-bit Final Fantasy games, along with some bonus pictures and videos of characters from the games. The first game is Final Fantasy V, which was previously not released in the U.S. It is a good, but not great, role-playing game. My favorite aspect of the game is the unique "job" system. The other game included is Final Fantasy VI, which is also known as Final Fantasy III in the U.S. It is one of the best RPGs ever and it has great music. Even though I like the Super Nintendo version better (due to the lack of loading times), this is a game no RPG fan should miss.
This was Square's first Final Fantasy game on PlayStation. It was also the first game of the series to incorporate full-motion video to tell parts of the story. It has a long quest with many memorable moments. One thing that I disliked though, is how you could only have three characters in your party, as opposed to four or five in the SNES games. It's a very good role-playing game overall, and the music is fairly good as well. But aside from the graphics and game length, it's inferior to the outstanding Final Fantasy games on Super Nintendo.
This is a lengthy role-playing game from Square. It revolves around six teenagers that are destined to defeat an evil sorceress. One major difference from other games in the series is that here, there are no magic points (MP). Instead, you "draw" magic spells from enemies and save them for later use. Personally, I liked the MP system better. There is also a unique "junction" feature that lets you junction magic to customize your strength, speed, and other attributes. The system is complex, but there is a very helpful tutorial that explains it all. Overall, Final Fantasy VIII is a very good RPG that's marginally better than Final Fantasy VII.
Square's last Final Fantasy game for the PlayStation is also the best. The story follows a thief named Zidane and seven other adventurers that join his cause. While the character models are definitely a step backwards compared to Final Fantasy VIII, the graphics overall are impressive. The soundtrack is also high quality, with more enjoyable tunes than the previous two PlayStation games. Many elements of earlier SNES Final Fantasy games have been included, giving a nice bit of nostalgia to long-time fans of the series. For example, the character Freya has a "jump" command that works exactly like Kain's move in Final Fantasy II. And the game allows four characters in a party, just as Final Fantasy III did. Final Fantasy IX does a lot of things right, and is an excellent addition to the series.
In this game, you work for gangsters, performing missions that involve stealing cars, killing rival gang members, delivering weapons, and so on, all while avoiding the cops. The game is 2D and played from an overhead perspective. You answer designated phones to receive your mission. A hovering arrow will point you in the direction of your target location, but getting there is almost never a straight shot, as the city layouts are complicated. Carjacking provides your transportation, but the vehicles can be tricky to control, especially in tight spaces. Even worse, your character controls like a tank even when you're on foot! And even though lives are limited and there are many missions, you are penalized for saving your game. On top of that, the save spot in each huge level can be very difficult to find, especially considering the game has no map. The game is definitely not for young children, with lots of bloodshed and profanity. Many of the missions are drawn-out, tedious, and challenging. The only really fun part of the game is when you find the tank in each level and you can destroy everything on the roads. The rest of the game is a chore and a bore.
This very unique game consists of 24 mini-games held together by a bizarre (and humorous) story line. Many of the levels are parodies of movies such as Titanic and Independence Day. Unfortunately, the gameplay leaves a lot to be desired. Many levels require only quick button-mashing or consistent timing, but some involve memory, trivia, or even simple math skills. Even though a few of the trickier levels will take some practice before they can be cleared, the game is very short. The music is pretty good, but the characters' voices can be very annoying at times. While the humor gives Incredible Crisis a certain charm, it still is not a game that I would recommend.
This is an action/adventure game that practically plays like a movie. There's an elaborate plot, many cinema scenes, and loads of dialogue. As for the gameplay, much of it is stealth-based and involves hiding and sneaking past guards. This style of gameplay actually makes the game more stressful than a straight shoot-'em-up would be. There are also many items that you can find and use along the way. Metal Gear Solid is a good game overall, but it falls short of greatness.
This is an above-average Contra style shooting game. You've got to make your way through six missions, shooting enemies and rescuing hostages. There are a few minor control problems, most notably the fact that you can't shoot diagonally. It feels awkward to only be able to shoot straight ahead or straight up. Also, Metal Slug X is short and has unlimited continues. This makes it a game that can be beaten quickly and without much trouble. Fortunately, some new mini-games are unlocked once you finish the game.
This is a poor excuse for a racing game. The controls are stiff, the sound is subpar, and the races are just plain dull. It also has slow loading times and an excessively difficult tournament mode. The best part of this game is the full-motion video of the real cars. But it's not enough to keep Need For Speed from being a total dud.
This is Hasbro's update to one of the first video games ever. It really is a collection of mini-games, although most still involve hitting a ball with a paddle. Unfortunately, this game has a number of problems. The control, for example, is not as good as it could be. The joystick is too sensitive, and the joypad only moves the paddle at one, constant speed. The loading times are horrendous, even when you're just going from one menu screen to another. And occasionally, the game will briefly stutter as the game is loading--even during gameplay, which can throw off your timing. Also worth pointing out is the poor game manual, which doesn't describe how to play many game modes or what the various power-ups do. But despite its flaws, this is still a fun game to play, especially when playing against a friend.
This action-strategy game is a port of one of the best games ever released for the 3DO system. The object is to capture the flag of your opponent and bring it to your home base. You can use helicopters, tanks, armored support vehicles (ASVs), and Humvees--each with varying levels of armor and firepower. Of course your opponent's bases are heavily guarded as well. The single-player mode has over 100 levels, some of which are fiendishly difficult. It's a lot of fun, but the two-player mode is even better. You compete against a friend, each trying to steal the other's flag. The perfect mix of action and strategy keeps the game exciting and very enjoyable. The classical soundtrack fits the action surprisingly well, rounding out an excellent game.
Namco's arcade-style racing game was one of the first games released for the PlayStation. The biggest problem with the game is that it essentially has only one course. There are four different variations of it that you can play, but it still could have used more tracks. The control is good overall, but drifting is tricky to master and I could never get the hang of it. However, it's not absolutely necessary if you choose a car with excellent handling. Unfortunately, the game lacks a two-player option. But Ridge Racer is still a quality game: It's fast, fun, and has some very good music.
This is an excellent port of the 3DO motorcycle racing game. Fighting the other racers is part of the game, so you'll be kicking, punching, and bashing your opponents with weapons. Avoid the cops and reach the finish line in the top three to clear the course. The fighting adds some excitement and humor to the races, as the sound effects of you clunking your opponent's head is quite satisfying. The game features 14 songs from alternative rock bands such as Soundgarden, Paw, and Hammerbox. Unfortunately, you only hear them while in menus, not during gameplay. One small complaint I have is that there is no designated nitro button; instead, you hit the gas (X) button twice quickly. That may have been necessary on the 3DO, but the PlayStation has a triangle button sitting there unused. So you may use a nitro when you didn't mean to. The game still lacks a two-player mode and navigating menus is a bit slow. But Road Rash for the PlayStation, like the 3DO version before it, is a blast.
Race on a so-called superbike in this budget priced game. Your "superbike" wipes out pretty easily, so you'll need to slow to a crawl to make it around corners. As a result, you'll be using your brake button nearly as much as your gas button. This might make things more realistic, but it doesn't help the fun factor. Occasionally, the bike won't respond to turning while you're braking. Other times, my bike would inexplicably veer left or right--even after changing controllers. Skill tests must be completed before playing later races and qualifying laps will determine your starting position. The entire game is tedious, and the later "License B" races are extremely frustrating. And there's not even any background music during gameplay. Even at a budget price, this game is not worth it.
This Capcom fighting game has over 30 playable characters. Each character has several special attacks that are performed by pressing certain button/joypad combinations. But the PlayStation controller starts to make your left thumb hurt after a while because you'll be rotating and pressing the control pad so much for special moves. The game is fun and has a nice variety of game modes, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the old Street Fighter games on Super Nintendo.
This is a solid role-playing game from Konami. Its most unique aspect is the recruitment of new characters. There are over 100 of them that can be convinced to join your cause. Some may only join if you help them out or if you prove yourself to them first. You also have your own castle that grows as your army grows. With an entertaining plot and good music, Suikoden is a very enjoyable game.
This compilation disc includes versions of eight classic board and table games. Play Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, Mahjong, Dominoes, Sink the Ships (Battleship), 4-in-a-Row (Connect Four), and Reversi (Othello). To supplement the games, there are a number of interesting and helpful features. You can create a face that represents you, choose from a number of in-game tunes, view the rules of each game, and even save a game in-progress so that you can continue at a later time. All of the games can be played against the computer or against another human opponent. The graphics are very simplistic (as you'd expect from a collection of board games), but the music is pleasant and enjoyable. Overall, Ultimate Brain Games is a high quality collection that's sure to please fans of board and table games.
Play as a guy named Ashley in this challenging adventure. This game has a unique battle system which can be used to target certain body parts of enemies. By timing your hits correctly, you can keep hitting your opponent repeatedly without giving them a chance to counter. But attacking raises your "risk" level, which in turn makes your attacks less effective and makes you more vulnerable. The whole "risk" aspect is just one of many intricacies that make Vagrant Story a complex game to play and master. Another example is the weapon system. Weapons may be strong against one type of enemy but ineffective against another, so changing weapons frequently is important. There are also workshops where you can disassemble weapons and create new ones. Not many console games have this much complexity, for better or worse. I did not enjoy this game for the first 5-10 hours, but it did eventually grow on me. It's a decent game; just don't expect a typical RPG.
This is an excellent role-playing game from Squaresoft. The plot is very complex and confusing, yet very entertaining. Most everything you don't understand will be explained late in the game. And that will take a while, as Xenogears is an extremely long game. Admittedly, it does have a few dull parts when you're wandering through caves and such, but the overall greatness of the game more than makes up for it. It has a unique and fun battle system that makes battles more enjoyable than in most role-playing games. And the music is incredible and fits key moments of the game perfectly. Xenogears is one of my favorite role-playing games of all-time.