10 Hidden Gems for the PS1

10.03.2023 0 By admin

10 Hidden Gems for the PS1

To say that the PlayStation crashed the console party in 1994 is like saying a meteor crashed   the prehistoric party 65 million years ago.

This particular piece of high-tech space rock   sent out shock-waves that would define the industry for years to come.

Sega soon went   extinct from the console market, and Nintendo had to adapt to survive.

The PS1 was an instant icon,   and found its way into millions of homes around the world.

Legions of fans were won   over by a remarkable library of top-quality titles, and the era of PlayStation had begun.

However, thanks to the PS1’s wealth of stellar games, a lot of top-quality experiences got cast   aside, and probably slipped right under your radar.

After all, money is finite and time   is precious, so you can’t be expected to buy and play everything.

Don’t worry, dear viewer,   we’re here to help because we’re swooping in with 10 PS1 games that you might have missed;   and if you did play them, great! I hope you enjoy seeing them getting their time to shine.

So, lock away your Resident Evils, give your Gran Turismos a pit stop,   and say farewell to your Final Fantasy VIIs for a moment, as it’s time to look a little deeper,   and cast our eye over some PS1 classics that few people really talk about any more.

I’m Peter from TripleJump, and here are 10 Hidden Gems for the PS1.

10.

Trap Gunner Taking on your friends in a local multiplayer, competitive, arena-based   experience is something that has, unfortunately, mostly faded into video gaming history.

Still,   while playing the likes of Bomberman or Power Stone, many a gamer has enjoyed blasting or   pummelling their pals while indulging in some light-hearted sofa banter, and Atlus-published   PS1 title Trap Gunner is another example of a game that offers competitive, couch-based delights.

Known as Trap Gunner: Countdown to Oblivion in North America and Trap Runner in Europe,   Trap Gunner doesn’t quite share the renown of the aforementioned   Hudson Soft and Capcom-developed efforts, but brings a specific,   unique gameplay mechanic to the table that really should have made it stand out.

The clue is in the name, but I’ll spell it out anyway.

As well as blasting enemies with your chosen character’s weapon loadout,   players can lay devious traps throughout the grid-based arenas which are invisible to their   opponent.

As a result, Trap Gunner offers an experience that rather successfully mixes   gunplay with almost puzzle game-esque forward thinking and tactical, positional gameplay.

Just don’t be constantly watching your opponent’s screen,   okay! You wouldn’t want to ruin the spirit of the game, would you? 9.

NanoTek Warrior The next entry on our list is in a sub-section of the rail shooter genre known as “tube shooters”.

Think of them as a rail-shooter where the player’s vessel is limited to a single,   abstract tube.

The most famous example is probably the Tempest series, but NanoTek   Warrior for the PS1 is a nicely updated take on the concept that has been mostly forgotten.

Developed by Tetragon Inc.

and published by Virgin Interactive in 1997,   NanoTek Warrior takes the action to microscopic levels, Innerspace-style,   as you pilot a tiny ship on a mission to take out rebellious nano-machines.

The result of all this   microscopic madness is an action-packed blast through psychedelic environments   as you shoot and dodge your way to nano-glory, accompanied by a thumping soundtrack throughout.

One thing we don’t like about NanoTek Warrior, though, is the printed advert   that unlucky PS1 fans might have seen in their magazines in the late 90s.

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A   representative of Virgin Interactive’s marketing was reported to have said it   was meant to be a “comedic play on the video game cliché of “blink and you’ll miss it””.

If you’re in any way squeamish, you’ll probably want to blink now so that you miss this.

8.

Harmful Park The first of only two Japan-exclusives on this particular hidden gem list,   Harmful Park’s premise is almost as bonkers as its Japan-only stable-mate, and when you see the   other one later in the video, you’ll realise that this is quite the achievement.

Harmful Park, or Harmful Park: High-brow Gag and Pure Shooting, to give it it’s full title,   is a good old side-scrolling shooter set in a particularly dangerous theme park.

Why is   this theme park so dangerous? Well, because a mad scientist named Dr.

Tequila has caused the   rides and machinesto go berserk.

Why did he do this? Well, maybe he imbibed a little too   much of his namesake.

Regardless, it’s down to the player, playing as one of an opposing   scientist’s ace-pilot daughters, to take a flying machine into the park and set things right.

What follows is a well-presented adventure with   gameplay and visuals that match up admirably with the likes of Parodius,   which is a clear influence.

Harmful Park is a top-quality shooter with a unique setting,   and honestly, if the idea of shooting jelly beans and ice cream guns at enemies riding   Ferris wheels and roller-coasters doesn’t appeal to you, well, I’m not sure if we can be friends.

7.

Intelligent Qube Right, calm down everyone, it’s time to be all dignified and intellectual for a minute.

Intelligent Qube, known as I.

Q.

Intelligent Qube in Japan and, weirdly, Kurushi, in Europe,   is a 1997 PS1 puzzle game that was designed by a professor at the Tokyo University of the Arts,   no less.

Players who considered themselves clever enough to boot this one up found themselves on   a stage made of cubes, floating in a void.

The aim of the game is to clear certain cubes while   avoiding having your little avatar fall to his doom, but it’s a lot trickier than it seems.

This is mainly due to the different types of cube you’ll be faced with.

Standard cubes   must be cleared, advantage cubes allow you to clear many cubes at once, and forbidden   cubes must be left to roll into the void, as clearing them will see a line of cubes lost,   giving our little cube-runner less room to manoeuvre.

The cube-based, puzzler gameplay   was praised for its well-balanced trickiness, and the game was also commended for its atmospheric,   orchestral score, eschewing the usual cheery, peppy fare that you’d find in   less intelligent puzzle games.

Very clever and dignified, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Hold on a minute.

That’s not how you spell cube! 6.

Threads of Fate The PS1 has one or two RPGs whose legacies will live on throughout gaming history.

The likes of Final Fantasy and Suikoden had some stellar outings on Sony’s debut machine,   and lesser-known adventures like Alundra and Xenogears also stood out to genre aficionados.

Let’s focus on that last one for a moment, though, as the next game on our list represents   Xenogears director, Koji Sugimoto, wanting to try his hand at something a little lighter.

Threads of Fate tells the story of co-protagonists Rue and Mint.

Rue   is an amnesiac on a quest to revive a murdered friend, and Mint is a princess on a mission to   reclaim her throne.

They’re both in search of a legendary relic that is said to grant   the wishes of anyone who finds it.

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The gameplay mechanics mostly take the form of an action-RPG,   with some light platforming sections here and there, and the campaign plays out   differently depending on which character is selected at the start of the game.

While some reviewers did criticise the gameplay’s lack of depth, those on the lookout for a relaxing   RPG with an enjoyable story and a faster pace might find what they’re looking for.

You won’t rue the day you picked up Threads of Fate – it’s absolutely mint.

5.

Team Buddies Team Buddies is such a wholesome title.

It makes me think of the   gang here at TripleJump.

Not only are we all buddies, but we’re an unbreakable team, too.

Wait a minute, it says here that the titular “buddies” in Team Buddies found crates filled with   weapons one day, and their society immediately devolved into segregation and constant skirmishes   for supremacy.

That wouldn’t happen here … would it? James, what are you doing with that gun? Anyway, Team Buddies for the PS1 is an action video game with a strategy twist,   in which players take control of a team of pill-shaped buddies as they dash around an   arena attempting to blast buddies of different colours into buddy paste.

The game has a unique crate-stacking mechanic, in which the buddies move and arrange crates   that are mysteriously dropped from on high,.

and depending on how these crates are stacked   they’ll open up to reveal different boons.

Bashing open a single crate will reveal a basic weapon,   but stack multiple crates together and your buddy might find a lovely tank-shaped surprise within.

Team Buddies is a fast-paced,   funny and competitive game that will test your wits as well as your trigger finger,   and the multiplayer mode is a sure-fire way of finding out who your real buddies are.

4.

Slap Happy Rhythm Busters Looking and sounding like Jet Set Radio met up with PaRappa the Rapper and then went to   a party at Street Fighter’s house, Slap Happy Rhythm Busters is the second Japan-only PS1   title to make our list.

Remarkable for its cel-shaded style when such things   were still unusual, and its one-on-one fighter gameplay with a musical flavour,   this Polygon Magic-developed oddity is a must for fans of quirky fighting games.

As you might expect, there are some truly bizarre characters available,   including these twins that fight on each other’s shoulders, and this guy who just stands around and   lets his pet wolf do all the work.

Our favourite is probably this giant, chainsaw-wielding body   that appears to have a caged, slime-monster for a head, though.

What’s his name? Holeman, of course.

Still, if the prospect of playing as the mighty Holeman isn’t enough to get you interested in Slap   Happy Rhythm Busters, then the fact that it’s a well-balanced fighter with satisfying controls,   rhythm game-esque interludes for super moves, and a visual style all of its own might do the   trick.

Go on, slap that disc into your PS1 and bust some sick fighting moves.

3.

Incredible Crisis We’re keeping the weirdness going for another entry, as we look at 1999’s Incredible Crisis,   again published by our wacky friends over at Polygon Magic.

Incredible Crisis is kind of a   mini-game collection, but said mini-games play out as part of an overarching story in which a   working-class Japanese family must get home in time to celebrate their grandmother’s birthday.

That’s right, we’re all used to video game stories where the fate of the world,   or indeed the universe, is hanging in the balance, but rarely have the stakes   been higher than whether grandmother, Hatsu, is able to enjoy her special day with her family.

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While attempting to get home in time for the family matriarch’s celebrations,   the various family members find themselves beset by a number of unlikely obstacles.

Giant spider webs, sinking boats and more get in the way of our heroes,   and such circumstances play out in the form of imaginative, madcap mini-games.

You might be forgiven for assuming that this is another Japan-only release,   but Incredible Crisis actually found its way to Europe and America, and reviewers   praised the game’s crazy story, energetic presentation and quick-fire gameplay.

Sure,   we have WarioWare nowadays to take up the nonsensical mini-game mantle,   but Incredible Crisis and its Grandma-sating premise got there first.

2.

Jersey Devil For Sony and Nintendo especially, the fifth console generation was a time of 3D platformers   featuring colourful, timeless, kid-friendly mascots.

Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Banjo   and Kazooie, and of course Mr.

Platformer himself, were all leaping to success.

With so many all-time   classics crowding the 3D platformer landscape, it was difficult for anyone else to get a look in.

Jersey Devil on the PS1 is one such platformer that was left by the wayside by   its more famous and accomplished contemporaries.

Developed by Megatoon Studios, this 3D platforming   collect-’em-up has a definite Halloweeny feel, and sees players taking on the role of a bat-like   Jersey Devil as he punches, jumps and glides his way to victory against the nefarious Dr.

Gnarf,   an unhinged physician who has unleashed mutant vegetable monsters upon the world.

While Jersey Devil doesn’t bring much new to the table, it’s an accomplished platformer   with a cool theme that might be a good bet for PS1 platforming fans that have   explored every nook and cranny of the Dragon Realms and the Wumpa Islands.

Also, where else do you get to play as a depiction of the screeching, bat-winged cryptid that is said   to terrorise the countryside of South Jersey and Philadelphia? Nowhere, that’s where.

1.

The Unholy War Developed by Toys for Bob and published by Eidos, The Unholy War was released in 1998   and combines hex-based strategy with frantic arena battles.

Players can play as one of two   factions locked in a planet-spanning struggle; the mystical Arcanes or the advanced Teknos.

The   titular confrontation started when the Teknos landed on the Arcanes’ home planet, after   being nearly destroyed themselves by a mysterious alien force known only as “the Hunters”.

This intriguing setup serves as the stage for countless battles,   as players take turns to move their units around the hex-based maps, using skills   and bolstering their forces, before plunging into one-on-one combat as units encounter each other.

It’s a concept that combines frantic, heat-of-the-moment arena-based battles with   thoughtful planning, almost as if something like King’s Bounty had combat that took its   cues from Power Stone, and all this is without even mentioning the atmosphere and world-building.

The Unholy War is a unique and fascinating game with the power to suck players into its world for   hours on end, yet it lies all but forgotten on top of a pile of unappreciated PS1 games.

In the name of all that is unholy, we demand you seek out a copy and right this injustice!