We’ve already went over the Top Ten Modern 2D Games, looking over the best looking and playable games that are in 2D. But what about the half dimension? The games where the character models are in 3D but on a 2D plane, or on a sidescrolling view. The ones that look retro but aren’t? Of course we are talking about 2.5D game. Not really 2D not really 3D but half way there. This style of gaming really modernized a lot of retro games and people seem to like it after all, it looks pretty and usually plays very well. Here are the Top Ten 2.5D Games.
This Week the Paranerds are late due to technical difficulties but are back with a vengeance. This week the Paranerds speak about new releases along with News (See Below). They also speak about the Top Ten Essential PlayStation Games and hump Scott Pilgrim, the movie, the comics and the game.
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Top Ten Essential PlayStation Games
Recently I’ve purchased a PSP, and after years of not wanting one, I’ve
recently discovered that you can play PlayStation “classics” on it (yes 2004 called and they want their news back…I get it). I
soon purchased a PSP for this reason alone (mind you the PSP games I
can now play are pretty great too), so I started thinking what games
were amazing PlayStation games? We already saluted the PlayStation but
only scratched the surface of the games. There are thousands of
PlayStation games and making it down to ten might be a little
controversial, but before you get your panties in a bunch remember,
only 10 games, one franchise each and yes I’m sure your list will be
different than mine. These are games that were exclusive to Sony
PlayStation and helped the PlayStation become what it is today. With
out these games the PlayStation might have been another Sega Saturn.These are the great games but these are the games that you MUST at least TRY.
These are the Top Ten Essential PlayStation Games
10. Crash Bandicoot
Nintendo had Mario, Sega had Sonic and Sony had Crash. Crash Bandicoot
is a hell of a character. It’s very hard to make a character hip after
Sonic sucked all the cool out of being cool. Crash Bandicoot was cool
more laid back and it didn’t help that his games were surprisingly
fun. With a fixed camera (usually behind) or going into a 2d
perspective (long before New Super Mario Bros.) Before Crash decided
to multiplatform and get tattoos and lose about 50 IQ points he
spawned 2 sequels and of course Crash Team Racing which was a great
Mario Kart Rip off. Crash Bandicoot 3 is by far the best one in the
series but Crash Bandicoot is the one that started it off.
Hell the commercials were actually funny as well.
9. Spyro the Dragon
This purple little dragon was fun. One of the first Games I owned on
the PlayStation (the other being the Demo 8 that came with the
system). I remember head butting the wall and feeling the rumble in my
hand, it blew my mind. The graphics were fantastic at the time, very
bright and very vibrant. The music was fantastic and the game was all
around great. Being angry that I did not own a Nintendo 64, it after
all had Super Mario 64 us PlayStation owners had Spyro the Dragon. He
could fly, blow fire, head butt and it was controlled smoothly. Spyro
also spawned 2 more sequels: Spyro: Ripto’s Rage and Spyro: Year of
the Dragon. Of course Spyro did NOT spawn Spyro Team Racing because it
was smarter then that. The goal of Spyro was to collect eggs and save
dragons in order to advance, and there was so much to do. A lot of
secret areas and bonus levels. Spyro the Dragon was our Mario 64.
8. Ape Escape
Here’s a bizarre little title, Ape Escape. The point of the game was
to capture the now famous, helmet wearing monkeys with a net and any
other weapons. What separated this game from the last two games? It utilized the analog sticks very well, with mini games such as boxing
(which I personally spent the majority of my time on) and capturing
monkeys with the net (again using the analog sticks). It became a very popular game and to this day still continues. Even better is when you have to capture the monkeys as Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid 3. Ape Escape was basically a puzzle, lemmings sort of game where you had to figure out how to get Monkey A and Monkey B by using Weapon C. Try it out.
7. Bust a Groove
Before Guitar Hero, before Rock Band hell before Dance Dance Revolution became big, there was a simple game with buttons to press.
Not only were the characters loveable, Gas-O and Shorty but the music was surprisingly catchy…. In a j pop translated to english kind of way. Secret moves were included if you were lucky to own a Tips and Tricks magazine at the time (which I did). For some reason this game has become rare and very expensive to find. If you do manage to find it for cheap grab it because you will not regret it. It spawned one sequel titled, Bust A Groove 2 and that was it. Bust A Groove graphics and music were very high quality, this could have not been done on any other system besides maybe Saturn since it used realy music instead of midi, and it sounded great. So much happenin on the screen at one time and attacks that you were able to do while playing multplayer, great game.
6. Twisted Metal
Yes here is a game that included good stories, cars, explosions and great graphics (at the time). Twisted Metal was a unique title, instead playing as people you played as cars, each with their own twisted story line and own special weapon. It was not a racing game it was a blow each other up game. It spawned 3 sequels the fantastic Twisted Metal 2 and the 989 studio games Twisted Metal 3 and 4. Unfortunately by many fans 3 and specifically 4 are considered the worst games of the series and are often seen as non canon. Personally I enjoyed all of them but I do admit that Twisted Metal 4 was a little odd, since they took away most of the characters. The gameplay remained the same through out. Twisted Metal also created one of the most Iconic logos and that is ofcourse Sweet Tooth and his constantly burning head. Vicious little guy. I mean a clown who drives an ice cream truck from hell! Good stuff.
5. Grand Theft Auto
A strangely forgotten game the original Grand Theft Auto. I remember playing this top view 2d animated game and thinking how much fun it was to blow things and do what you want; never did I imagine this game in 3d. Grand Theft Auto was shunned by many because this was around the time when 3D games were becoming the norm and 2D games were slowly becoming obsolete. There was a neat little trick in which during game play if you took out the disc and replaced it with a regular cd, you were able to play the game with your own custom soundtrack, in my case playing GTA with RUN DMC in the background – is heaven. Sure I understand the commotion about this game, I mean your character was a blur and the environment was alright, but it was still a big open world. You can do anything you wanted, the story was no where as interesting as they were today but it was alright. This spwaned 2 seuqels on the PlayStation, one being GTA 2 and the game that I consider the best Grand Theft Auto: London 1969.
4. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Resident evil 3: Nemesis was exclusive to the PlayStation and it really helped as well. Being the third game in the series it had a lot to put on, the graphics were sharper and the jump scares were still there and proud as ever, except this time we had a new nemesis in Resident Evil Nemesis and the Nemesis is well….Nemesis. This bastard made this game different then the rest, it’s one thing to have a normal group of zombies coming after you, it’s another for this giant, tank boot, indestructible, rocket launching jerk who keeps breaking through windows and keeps making you have choices to come in and be all like “STARS!!!” With out Nemesis this would have been like the other Resident Evil games, he added a lot of character and it was fun watching them experiment with specific Zombies. Although he was not a playable character I felt that he was playable. He was like Jason in the original Friday the 13 game for the NES. Neverk new when he was coming and when he did show up he was purple.
3. Final Fantasy VII
I really hate putting this game on a list because it’s become sort of cliché, but damn you have to give credit where credit is due. Personally I favor Final Fantasy VIII over Final Fantasy VII but this was one of the major reasons as to why the PlayStation stood out amongst the crowd. I really don’t have to explain much about the game since I’m sure there are plenty of Aries loving- cosplay dressing- FFVII praying people out there. Let’s just say that square really hurt Nintendo when they jumped to the PlayStation instead of sticking with them.
2. Silent Hill
I originally couldn’t handle Silent Hill as a kid because of the disturbing images. I didn’t even see anything yet and I couldn’t play it, all of a sudden I’m walking through a gate and there is blood on the wall and the floor, “fair enough” I thought, and continued my voyage. Then the camera angle was awkward and in result made me awkward (I blame my high school years on this game). Then there’s a guy hanging on the wall, ribs exposed and I get stabbed by little demon kids. That was the last time I Played Silent Hill (until recently on the PSP). While Resident Evil was a great game Silent Hill was exclusive to the PlayStation and all them Nintendo 64 people wanted it and couldn’t have it! The atmosphere, the story, the graphics all great. You actually feel for Harry Mason in search for his daughter, you wanted to learn the mystery behind Silent Hill, and you wanted to laugh at the Nintendo Fan Boys. Playing this game today with the lights off and surround sound is still as creepy as it was many years ago.
1. Metal Gear Solid
This is the define …
…moment in PlayStation history. When the game by Hideo Kojima, landed in my fat grubby hands I knew I was in for something new. This game was of course Metal Gear Solid. Metal Gear Solid was everything that made the PlayStation great. A great story, all told through cinematic cut scenes, long codec conversations, interesting and recurring characters (if you play Metal Gear on the MSX you would be happy to see some characters like Gray Fox, if not then you were as confused as I was the first play through). The game play was new, instead of running and gunning, you had to have a strategy and try NOT to kill people (unless required by a game). There was so much to do in the game with hidden Easter eggs, Insane and unique bosses (everyone’s favorite Psycho Mantis) and alternate endings.
Metal Gear Solid treated the players like mature movie goers, we actually were interested in the story of Solid Snake going against Liquid Snake, and couldn’t wait to see if Gas Snake was in there some where too (he wasn’t). This is the first time in a game where I felt bad for a character (Ninja) and actually loved the introduction of a side kick (Ocelot peeing in the locker). Metal Gear Solid is still a blast to play through today, still challenging but yet fun. It may look like crud now but back in the day we didn’t even notice that no ones lips moved when they spoke. What we did notice was the Metal Gear Solid is one of the best games ever made and only got better with time, if you haven’t played it you definitely should play Metal Gear Solid.
This week the Paranerds speak about new releases and news. Along with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 vs Battlefield: Bad Company 2, A Salute to the Sony Playstation and review of all the Rocky movies (For some reason).
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According to the Playstation 3 Playstation Network, the Playstation games are categorized under Playstation Classics. That means that the Sony Playstation is now old enough to be qualified as a classic. Which, if you are the kind of kid that grew up in the late 80’s, is kind of a strange thought. The Sony Playstation actually came out in 1995. That is really bizarre because to me, personally, it feels like yesterday. Sega has already come out with the Sega Saturn by this point and the Nintendo 64 would not be released till 1996. This strange new console comes out, neither by Nintendo nor Sega, both respected video game companies, but rather Sony. The same guys who make my TV and my Walkman. This is insane, they will fail. Sure the yellow Walkman is wicked cool and sure my TV is a Panasonic, but Sony making a video game console. No way.
Well I was wrong. The Sony Playstation was released, CD based and everything. Although the Sega Saturn was already using this new format, and the Sega CD was already experiencing it, Sony used it well. The strange thing isn’t that Sony joined the competition but rather how it became developed. Let me give you a short history on the Sony Playstation.
Nintendo has been working on a CD based system to counter SEGA’s Sega CD. This was to be dubbed the SNES-CD. Nintendo has been working on this for a while since the SNES has been out, but because of piracy Nintendo had its fears. Nintendo contacted Sony and signed a contract with Sony. Sony was to have its own system come out that was SNES compatible, but also meant that Nintendo would lose their control over their own titles such as Mario and Zelda. Nintendo quickly backed out of the agreement and thus created their own nemesis. Nintendo would eventually let Philips use Nintendo titles for their console and of course we got some of the worse games ever made, Hotel Mario, and The Legend of Zelda (THREE!!!) on the Philips CDI.Not to get into the whole legal feud that happened between Sony and Nintendo, to keep it short Nintendo saved their own butt but also created their own rival. It was a double edge sword. This is actually very poetic, the trainee became the master kind of deal, I can also be looking too deeply into this, which I am, and will stop….now.
So thus the Sony Playstation was announced and unlike Sega or Nintendo, this little bugger system didn’t have a mascot we grew up and loved. I mean Nintendo had Mario; Sega had Sonic the Hedgehog, what was Sony’s plan. Some kind of Bandicoot? Who had attitude? Who we all want to be rather than relate to? With a kick ass name like Crash? Good move.
Sure the Playstation had its fair share of good games, but a lot of them didn’t take off till later on. Sony just kept punching Nintendo in the gut. Nintendo released the Rumble pack, and Sony would release the Dual Shock. Nintendo had Final Fantasy VII planned, but then SquareSoft jumped to Sony releasing one of the most successful RPGs of all time, Final Fantasy VII. Although Final Fantasy VII was originally supposed to be released on the SNES, and then the Nintendo 64, it was the lack of Storage space that the Nintendo 64 cartridges offered that stopped them from continuing the project on the system. This really helped put the Sony Playstation on the map.
Thus a lot more games were made exclusively for the Playstation rather than the Sega Saturn who was really suffering and Nintendo who, if it wasn’t for their strong first party line up of games, would probably have suffered worse. The Playstation offered exclusives like Crash Bandicoot. Legend of Spyro, Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX, Chrono Cross, Syphon Filter(Franchise), 2Xtreme, Bust A Groove, Cool Boarders, Grand Theft Auto ( 2 and London), Jet Moto, Twisted Metal, MediEvil, Oddoworld, Resident Evil, Silent Hill and of course Metal Gear Solid.
Now I’m just barely scraping what the Playstation had to offer, a lot of franchises would even continue to this day with Metal Gear Solid 4, Resident Evil 5, Grand Theft Auto IV and even Final Fantasy XIII and a new Twisted Metal, all successful and all seen changes and developments that help keep the Sony Playstation 3 alive, where as other games such as Syphon Filter, Jet Moto and even Silent Hill slowly failing.The graphics on the Playstation was something incredible; Metal Gear Solid is probably the best game to use in terms of what the Playstation was capable of. Final Fantasy VII experienced with the system and Metal Gear Solid perfected it. The graphics, the music, the voices all fluent and perfect. The game was fun, the added breaking of the third wall and of course Memory Cards.
This era of gaming brought on a new console war, Sony Playstation vs. Nintendo 64 vs. Sega Saturn. Unfortunately the Sega Saturn was not doing too well, with a few great exclusive games be offered. Without a doubt Sony Playstation won the console war, but basically won with a landslide. Nintendo 64 wasn’t far behind, I personally knew an equal amount of people who either owned a Playstation, Or a Nintendo 64, but few people owned a Sega Saturn. Sony Playstation really paved the way for Microsoft to join the competition because like Sony, Microsoft was not a game developer.
The Playstation control scheme remained the same to this day, the Dual shock is a very comfortable controller, it did not use the usual A, B, C buttons, but instead used shapes. The Dual shock is very weak in comparison to the Nintendo 64 controller (I’ve dropped many controllers and have had them shatter into a thousand pieces) but it still remains the same basic design, with a few tweaks which are found in the Dual Shock 3.Sony Playstation was a great system and due to its technology created some of the best franchises; it was always a favourite system of mine and acted as a CD player as well. So all in all, the Sony Playstation was a great system that introduced new ideas and new formulas to games, and for this Paranerds.com Salutes the Sony Playstation.
Listen to our podcast (We dive more into the Playstations history)