I’m at work right now and Izak left this strip way too late for me to write anything. So watch this space for some thoughtful musings on where classic vampires fit in to the dialogue of 2019.
In the meantime Nile has brought us his thoughts on the PS Classic:
PS Classic – So nearly perfect
Words by Nile Bijoux
The good folk at Sony recently sent out a PS Classic for me to have a nosey at in all its tiny glory. It really is tiny too – weighing about 170 grams and measuring 149 mm × 33 mm × 105 mm in size. That’s approximately 80% smaller in volume than the original PlayStation and 45% smaller in width and length. It’s a babby of a thing and yet packs 20 of the better games to grace the Playstation 1.
The Classic is basically an emulator you don’t need to install yourself. It runs the ReARMed branch of the free and open source emulator PCSX and is powered by the internals of a mid-range smartphone, giveaway being the microUSB power cable. I used my PS4 as a power source which I thought was pretty clever. My wife politely disagreed, mentioning something about Human Centipede, but I wasn’t listening. You also get two OG PS1 controllers (sans analogue sticks) with cables that are too short.
Open the box and gawp at the teensy little Classic. Damn, that design has aged better than fine wine. Every single port and button from the original design is there with some modern tweaks, like the reset button taking you back to the main game list and the open disc button switching between ‘discs’ for multi-disc titles. The power button is obviously still the power. There’s even the detailing on the flap for the original Parallel I/O input – it’s every bit the original boxy Playstation from your ‘90s kid’ youth. And just wait for that epic startup tune.
Actually don’t wait, listen here.
How GOOD is that?! How does a tune consisting of two chords and some chimes give me shivers and send me straight back to childhood in 0.3 seconds?
The Classic’s emulation is pretty good, I didn’t notice any hiccups or artifacting during gameplay. Some have complained about the lack of enhancements in the games, something I have a slight issue with. This is a PS Classic, not a PS1 HD/4K Ready Remaster. The games should be – and are – exactly how we all remember them. That includes the admittedly annoying black bars around the screen, which is the last thing we want to remember from the CRT days. Give me prickly static any day. Given there’s an HDMI cable bundled with the console, you’d expect there to be at least widescreen support but at the end of the day it’s not a big deal.
What are the games, you ask? Well, to be fair and unbiased, you’ll likely only play a few. The big ones for me were Tekken 3, Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid. I’ll put the full list at the bottom of the review. There are a few other decent games like Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, Grand Theft Auto, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six and Rayman but I only had a week with the console and I needed to unlock True Ogre and Gun Jack. And here we come to my only real gripe with the Classic.
You should be able to play your old games. I get not including games like Spyro or Crash Bandicoot since they have remastered editions on shelves now, but what if I want to play Ripto’s Rage in all of its 1999 low-poly glory? I can’t, because the Classic is a smartphone running an emulator. What if I want to crash a Nissan 180SX into the wall on High Speed Loop in Gran Turismo 1? No disk tray, no dice.
I read about people hacking the classic to install more games and how easy it reportedly is but I don’t want to do that. I juST WANT TO PLAY MY DUSTY OLD DISCS SONY WHY WON’T YOU LET ME.
But seriously, it’s the only real flaw I can find with the console. It looks exactly how the PS1 did, even down to the packaging, and it feels like a PS1 but with a snappier menu system and a bunch of games. If you liked even a few of the loaded games way back when, you’ll likely still enjoy them now. That plus how intensely nostalgic the Classic is for Playstation fanboys means it’s either an easy birthday present or an easy yourself present.
Battle Arena Toshinden
Final Fantasy VII
Metal Gear Solid
R4: Ridge Racer Type 4
Resident Evil: Director’s Cut
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
Cool Boarders 2
Grand Theft Auto
Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
Caption: Once upon a time, no one questioned my lifestyle.
The same hand drops something into the girl’s drink.
Caption: These days though it’s “not acceptable”.
The girl attempts to stand, utterly fucked. A man has his arm around her shoulders, gesturing toward the exit with one long nailed hand. His broad grin reveals sharp vampiric fangs.
Caption: Everyone has to move with the times.