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Final Fantasy IX Review Rewind

The greatest JRPG of all time?

In today's daily ephemera of new releases and dazzling technologies and breakthroughs, it's easy to forget about the Golden Age of the PSONE -- or, as we knew it at the time, the PlayStation. This is especially true of the JRPG's of the system, which today still have no parallel. While many consider the SNES as the glory days of the JRPG, to me, that has always been just a prologue to what we saw on the PlayStation. It is true that many of us cut our teeth on Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger, but the explosion of the genre catalyzed by Final Fantasy VII is a whole different matter. Not only were we treated to Square's trilogy of FF VII, VIII, and IX, but we also had Xenogears, Grandia, Wild Arms, Chrono Cross, Suikoden, among others. This was when the JRPG truly matured into an art form, and while we have had great games since, the depth and variety of them has never eclipsed what we saw on the PSONE. 

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Jumping Flash! Review Rewind

Better hop to it.

Ever since the Atari 2600 debuted in 1977, it's been fairly customary for at least one game developer to bring something new to the table just in time for the launch of a new gaming system, or soon after. In 1995, developers Exact and Ultra gave us a little ditty called Jumping Flash-- a game with roots that can be traced back to Exact’s previous 3D platformer Geograph Seal on the Sharp X68000. I remember playing a demo of Jumping Flash back in 1996. After a few minutes of leaping and smashing enemies on impact, I knew I was in love.

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Ridge Racer Review Rewind

Kicking the 32-bit generation into high gear.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again-- a new video game console is only as strong as its launch titles. Such was the case of the PlayStation when it was released stateside on September 9, 1995. As Sony’s first video game system to go toe-to-toe with Nintendo and Sega, the PlayStation came out swinging with Ridge Racer. Developed by Namco and ported from their arcade machine, the game was early proof that the PlayStation was capable of providing a convincing arcade-like experience at home in a way that simply couldn’t be done on the Super NES, Sega Genesis, or any other 16-bit console. Ridge Racer sent a clear message-- the 32-bit generation was going to be awesome and the PlayStation would lead the way.

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Wolf Fang Review

One of the less mediocre games to come from Data East.

A few months back, Monkey Paws Games began a 6-week campaign to bring several import games to the US.  Among them was Wolf Fang, released this past February on PSN.  Originally released by Data East in 1991 as the arcade sequel to Vapor Trail (Kugah in Japan), Wolf Fang is a game that heavily borrows from the many shoot ‘em ups that came before it.  If you’ve ever played a shooter that involved Vulcan spread shots, miniature helper drones, and anime-inspired character designs, then this game will be very familiar territory for you. On their own, the gameplay elements could be written off as merely generic. But together they form a surprisingly respectable game.

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The Firemen 2: Pete and Danny Review

Only YOU can prevent mediocrity.

The only thing worse than knowing about an import game you’ll never get to play is receiving an inferior sequel that you do get to play. Such is the case with The Firemen 2: Pete & Danny. Originally released in Japan in 1995 on the PlayStation, the game was recently re-released as an import download on PSN, courtesy of MonkeyPaw Games. In a nutshell, the game is more or less an overhead shoot ‘em up that focuses on fighting fires instead blowing up aliens. It’s a novel idea to be sure, but one that wasn’t executed nearly as well as it was in the previous game on the Super Famicom (aka: Super Nintendo).

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Vita Update v1.80 Brings Support For PSone Classics

The upgraded support is accompanied by a few other relevant tweaks.

In addition to introducing Cross Buy, Sony dropped some other relevant Vita information. Version 1.80 of the system firmware will bring with it support for PSone Classics. Though the feature was planned and announced before the release of the system, it wasn't ready for the release or in the months following. On August 28 that will change as the company begins incrementally rolling out full support for the hefty catalog.

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The Legend of Dragoon Soars onto PSN This May

We learn a sequel was also once in the works for the cult classic.

Sony Computer Entertainment hasn’t exactly been a hotbed of RPGs from a development standpoint, but there was a time back in the late 90’s that the genre had the studio’s full attention.  The genre was a behemoth then, with titles regularly gracing the covers of video game publications and garnering respectable development and marketing budgets.  SCEI wished to put forth their offering and the result was the cult classic Legend of Dragoon.

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PSone Classics Won't Work With Vita at Launch

PS2 games won't work either at first.

It was unclear if the PlayStation Vita would be compatible with PSone Classics purchases on your PlayStation account, though it was assumed it would be possible given the fact that it would share the same account.Today, the truth is still shrouded, but it was announced that they won't be compatible at least at launch

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Oddworld Coming to PSN This Week

A PlayStation Blog post by Lorne Lanning reveals that the announced titles will be available this week.

Oddworld is the creation of Lorne Lanning, co-founder and creative director of Oddworld Inhabitants. His first two PSone titles, Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee and Oddworld: Abe's Exodus will be available this week on PSN, according to a recent post of his on the PlayStation Blog.

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