Where are our PlayStation classics?
Japanese PSN hosts a cave of retro wonders, while we're stuck with next to nothing
What the hey, people? Nobody told me that the PlayStation 3 had an enormous selection of excellent PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games available on its store. No, I'm not talking about the miserly offerings available on the Western PSN. I'm talking about the Japanese store, which is loaded to capacity with incredible rarities that you can just buy like it's not even a big deal.
I remember reading a while back that Treasure's Rakugaki Showtime is one of the rarest and most expensive PlayStation games to buy. Well, it's on there. It's 600-odd yen. You can just buy it normally, like it's just a normal thing. I'm absolutely staggered. Nobody appreciates the age we live in. I can walk into Sainsbury's and pick up a collection of Mega Drive games that has Alien Soldier on it. Last time I saw that it was ninety quid. Ridiculous. It's a fantasy world. Remember when Castlevania: Rondo of Blood was a sought-after and elusive collectable? You can get it on PS4 right now, along with Symphony of the Night. When have we ever had it this good?
Seriously, get a Japanese PlayStation account, and plug in your PS3. Have a butcher's. My eyes nearly popped out of my sodding head. It makes our PSN look like a joke. Ridiculous. I just went on there again to check, and there are 911 (nine hundred and eleven!) PS1 and PS2 games available to buy and play on your PS3, PSP or PS Vita (whatever that is). You know how many we got? Maybe 200 if you're lucky. Absolute scenes.So, obviously, I withdrew every last penny from my bank account, exchanged it all for yens, and bought them all. Well, not all of them, obviously - nobody has that many yens. But I did pick up, like, twenty things.
Games I used to have on my own PS2 back in the day, games I thought I'd never be able to play again. Mad Maestro, in its original Bravo Music form - a wonderful rhythm game, here repurposed for the Dualshock 3. Shmups like Thunder Force V: Perfect System, Harmful Park and the Sega Ages Fantasy Zone Complete Collection. Speaking of Sega Ages, the brilliant PS2 port of Dynamite Deka (Die Hard Arcade) is on there, too. All the King of Fighters games I could ever want; Maximum Impact, XI, Neowave. Stuff that I simply can't get anywhere else without original hardware, original copies. Some stuff that was even released in the West, but inexplicably didn't find its way onto our PlayStation Network - yes, readers, they have Shadow the Hedgehog.
If this reads like the diatribe of a spendthrift madman, well, it is. A bit. I'm just taken aback by how miserly the equivalent offerings in Europe and the USA actually were. Don't even get me started on the PS4's pathetic attempt at a classics library. Even when you take into account localised releases, ignoring imports, the selection is meagre to the point of being laughable. I'm never unplugging my PS3 again, and I'm angry with all of you for not telling me about this stuff sooner. If anyone wants me, I'll be playing Kid Klown in Crazy Chase 2: Love Love Hani Soudatsusen. BECAUSE IT'S ON THERE.