Thursday, December 3, 2020

The Games We Bought PlayStation For

On December 3rd, 1994, 26 years ago, the original PlayStation was born, ushering a new console and competitor in the market. Today, on this 26th birthday of the PS1 and the PlayStation brand in general, let's celebrate on SuperPhillip Central with a personal journey of sorts from yours truly, going through the games that pushed me and my family (hence, the "we", since when I was a kid I couldn't buy a PlayStation myself) into the PlayStation ecosystem again and again. Whether on consoles or handhelds, I've owned almost every major PlayStation platform (save for a recent, quite obvious one!). So, join me on my journey as a reminisce and briefly touch upon those killer apps that enticed so nice that they pushed me towards these PlayStation platforms.

[PlayStation One]

Final Fantasy VII 

Let's begin with a big one. Nintendo lost a lot of immediate ground to its new competitor, Sony, in the console race due to sticking with expensive cartridges on its Nintendo 64 over the PlayStation's CDs. What was seen as a massive betrayal was then-Squaresoft moving its complete focus to the PlayStation. The biggest game that Nintendo fans were going to miss out on (until 20+ years later, of course) was Final Fantasy VII. My older brother and I definitely didn't want to be one of those fans, so we begrudgingly begged our mom for another console, the PlayStation. It's fortunate that we did, as we have been happy PlayStation customers ever since. Maybe not so much big-time Final Fantasy fans, though, due to the series' quality over the years... 

Mega Man 8: Anniversary Edition

Like Squaresoft, Capcom, too, opted to jump ship from Nintendo to PlayStation after the rising costs of cartridges on the Nintendo 64, and they took one of our favorite franchises with them: Mega Man. Perhaps Mega Man 8 and its anniversary edition was more of a killer app for us than Final Fantasy VII was! Not only was the game gorgeous with its colorful, vivid, and vibrant sprite-based visuals, but the game featured so many new things, such as fully (and badly) voiced anime cutscenes, collectible bolts to use to purchase permanent upgrades at Dr. Light's, and a Mega Ball item, for kicks, of course. We would have missed out on so many Mega Man games--particularly one of my favorites, Mega Man X4--had we not leaped into Sony's ecosystem.

[PlayStation 2]

Final Fantasy X

With the PlayStation 2, the initial launch wasn't too exciting, so it was rather easy to pass on the PS2's offerings in the beginning. Of course, we all know how that story played out--the system has one of the best, all-encompassing game libraries of all time now. But, there were two games that truly tested my brother's and my will to ask for a PlayStation 2. One of these was Final Fantasy X. After adoring the PlayStation Final Fantasy games and much of Squaresoft's catalog on Sony's first system, it only made sense for us to have extreme hype for the first Final Fantasy on a bold new platform. Final Fantasy was already impressive and exceptionally large on the PS1, so we couldn't even imagine how big the newest game would be on the PlayStation 2. While the end result wasn't the best game in the series to us--far from it--Final Fantasy X will always have a special place in at least my heart for being the bait that lured us to the PlayStation 2's sunny shores.

[PlayStation 3]

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

I should take the time to note that my family has never actually gotten a PlayStation platform at launch. But, if there was a case of purchasing one the closest to launch, that would be the case with the PlayStation 3. That's funny because we would both argue that the PS3 was Sony's weakest home console in terms of library. Regardless, my love for the Ratchet & Clank series' PlayStation 2 outings, especially Going Commando--my first game in the series--saw me absolutely drooling at the thought of playing the newest entry. Not only would be a bigger and bolder adventure, but it'd be in glorious high definition for the first time. That game was of course Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, and thank the lovely lombax for that, or else I would have never gotten to play his other PS3 adventures or this next game on this list.


"Play, Create, Share." I love making video games. Sure, I've only published one real game, but the act of creating levels, designing characters, and implementing all of it to work into one cohesive project is both exciting and fascinating to me. LittleBigPlanet came with the promise of being able to create massively complex level creations and share them with the world. You can bet I enjoyed doing just that! LittleBigPlanet quickly jumped to the top, right by Ratchet & Clank, as my favorite PlayStation franchises, and basically I'll now go anywhere Sackboy as well as Media Molecule does!

[PlayStation Portable]

Mega Man: Powered Up

Let's take a detour from PlayStation consoles to Sony's handheld efforts starting with the PlayStation Portable, or PSP. Another case of getting the system almost a year after launch like several other PlayStation systems, we did the same with the PSP. However, this time around I did something I never did before--I bought a game before even owning the system. Yes, my love for the Blue Bomber was so much that I NEEDED to own a copy of Mega Man: Powered Up, a remake of the original Mega Man with new content. The main selling point and killer app-potential for me with Powered Up was, like LittleBigPlanet, the ability to create and share my own levels. The fact that it was dolled up in Mega Man clothing, one of my favorite franchises, only made that decision stronger. 

[PlayStation Vita]

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

With the PlayStation Vita, despite all three of the games that attracted me to the system were launch titles, I didn't purchase a Vita until six months or so after the fact. Nevertheless, one of the top titles that enticed me to buy a Vita was Nathan Drake's then-latest adventure, and his first handheld epic, too: Uncharted: Golden Abyss. While I could have done without several of the hardware-themed gameplay gimmicks, there was something mightily impressive about taking a PlayStation 3-sized, graphically gorgeous adventure and having it in the palms of my hands. This was an amazing future for portables. Little did I know that the PlayStation Vita wouldn't have as bright of a future as many owners like myself would have hoped from Sony's first-party studios.

Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational

If there was ONE game that I had to pick that single-handedly thrusted me into the PlayStation Vita ecosystem, it would have to be none other than Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational. I adore the Hot Shots Golf series, now known as Everybody's Golf here in North America to match the PAL naming scheme. The game's phenomenal visuals certainly wowed me as an introduction, but what really got me was the tried and true excellent golfing gameplay. Developer Clap Hanz definitely knows how to make a great golf game, and while it's not the best in the series, it certainly shines as a bright title in the Vita's impressive library.

ModNation Racers: Road Trip

If you haven't picked up on the theme yet (and no worries if you haven't), something that gets me running to a game, or in this case putting the pedal to the metal on a game faster than 200cc Mario Kart is a game that allows me to create my own content. ModNation Racers: Road Trip was one of these games, and it was in one of my favorite genres, the kart racer. Not only was the allure of designing my own custom tracks appealing, but so was building my own karts and characters! I spent so many hours designing content for Road Trip, yes, but the single player campaign was also a blast all by itself to its own credit. A double dose of kart racer awesomeness, indeed--whether creating or actually racing!

[PlayStation 4]

Ratchet & Clank

With the PlayStation 4, I did something I never did before with a console: I bought it used and online, and I did it just for Ratchet & Clank, the re-imagining of the very first game in the series and tie-in to the movie of the same name. The latter was a bust, but the game itself was my favorite upon the year of its release. Both Ratchet and Clank never looked better, and the various planets and environments seen throughout the game absolutely stunned. The risk of buying a used console online ultimately paid off. I got the system for a price I could realistically afford, and I got to enjoy one of Sony's best lineups of games on offer for one of their platforms.

[PlayStation 5 ...eventually!]

Astro's Playroom

While the jury's still out on when a PlayStation 5 will grace the SuperPhillip household--due to the console's incredible and insane popularity that sees sellouts on the words "we now have stock"--I know that one game that I just can't wait to try out is Astro's Playroom. Plus, it comes free with the system, so that's a plus already! Add in the fact that it's a 3D platformer (another plus) and that it looks adorable, charming, and masterfully made as all get out, and I have more than enough reasons to be jealous of gamers who can put Astro's Playroom on their "best of 2020" lists!

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Hopefully the stock situation with the PlayStation 5 clears up by the time this last game on my personal journey through PlayStation releases. It's my favorite PlayStation franchise's latest game, and I don't know if I'll have the self control and patience to wait for stock to come in after Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart releases. I might just pay people to rent their PS5s! Okay, okay. I wouldn't be THAT desperate, but my desire to play Rift Apart at launch is darn near excruciating. Between the visuals that make my jaw fall down to and through the floor, to the awesome gameplay showcase that Sony showed several months back, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will most likely be the game that puts Sony's shiny new white toy in my entertainment system... that is, if that large goliath fits in there!


What games on PlayStation systems were YOUR killer apps that made you want to get those systems? Let the SPC community know in the comments below!

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