Re(?)Considered: 5 PS Classics for your PS Classic
A Very Special Re(?)Considered. With PS1 games
So you've followed my handy guide and installed Bleemsync on your PlayStation Classic. Congratulations! One of the richest libraries in console history is available to you. I'll help you along by highlighting five somewhat lesser-known games I'd recommend to anyone, perfect for ripping your original discs to the freshly-hacked PS Classic.
This side-scrolling follow-up to the classic claymation adventure game The Neverhood offers an enormous number of challenging levels and a truly old-school feel. Controls are simple and your character, Klaymen, feels good to whip around the secret-packed environments. There's an off-kilter sense of humour throughout, with terrific cutscenes, a superb Terry Scott Taylor soundtrack and an entire 1970s-themed secret world to discover. Just try to forget that arch-bigot Doug Tennapel was heavily involved in its creation.
The Unholy War
A severely unbalanced and completely bonkers genre mash-up, Toys for Bob's confused triumph The Unholy War offers both turn-based tactical gaming in Strategy, as well as full-on versus combat in Mayhem. As the warring Teknos or Arcane races, players navigate hex-based maps in order to capture resources and recruit characters into their army, before pitching them against the enemy in real-time one-on-one battles. The characters are memorable, but some of them are flat-out better than others. This makes some sense in the Strategy mode where the risk of disadvantage is part and parcel with the genre, but in Mayhem you'll encounter match-ups that simply aren't feasible with your current roster of fighters. It's a bit of a frustrating chore alone, but a rough diamond in multiplayer. Just don't let your opponent pick Firewitch.
Future Cop L.A.P.D
Taking control of a lawkeeping mecha that transforms into a gunship, lay waste to crime (and everything else) in this quasi-isometric slice of grungy excellence. Another multiplayer marvel, the two distinct modes on offer provide enormous value. Crime War is a level-by-level campaign offering a fairly traditional Desert Strike-style experience (Future Cop was originally developed as part of EA's Strike series), while Precinct Assault is an extremely progressive versus mode that's broadly considered one of the very first MOBAs. It's Crime War I'm here for, though, and it's an atmospheric adventure that still manages to prompt an adrenaline rush. Blood-pumping brilliance.
Yep, the PlayStation Classic can do imports! This Japan-only arcade conversion is an arrangement of shoot-em-up masterpiece Raiden II, a vertical-scrolling standout of the genre. Precision is the keyword here, with a beguilingly intricate visual style that shuns spectacle in favour of consistency and detail. On top of this, Raiden DX is very carefully designed, rewarding a methodical and considered approach to evading its devastating bullet patterns, rejecting the panicked madness of its contemporary, Batsugun, and nowadays offers a welcome break from the general prevalence of the bullet hell subgenre. A shmup that manages to feel cerebral.
Maddening, near-impossible and utterly brilliant, Hasbro's 1997 reimagining of Konami's arcade classic Frogger is a triumph. The original baby-saving premise has been engineered into something truly fiendish. You seek out the infants as in the coin-op, but the levels are much larger and extend in all directions. It's not a million miles from something like Chip's Challenge, but relies far more on reflexes and exploration than puzzle-solving. Thanks to the extremely strict time limits frustration can set in very, very quickly, but with that comes a compulsion to succeed. As you explore and memorise the stages, it becomes ever more rewarding when you finally manage to rescue all five kids in each stage. Definitely not for everyone, but Frogger is definitely a triumphant success in my eyes.