Five reasons I’m not too keen on the PS1?
I remember getting my PS1 like it was yesterday…I had to trade in my Mega Drive and all my games, plus £50 from my Mum. There were two problems with this. Firstly, it was £50 of my Christmas present from my Mum and secondly, I bought the PS1 in August.
The original intention was for the PS1 to be put away until Christmas, but there was no chance that I could go without a console for four months. After seeing me looking at the box for the 1,387th time, my Mum gave in and let me have the Playstation in August. It had been the longest week of my life….
In hindsight however, I don’t remember the Playstation era that fondly…in fact, despite owning every Sony console bar the PS Vita at some point, I’ve never been the biggest Playstation fan (the PS4 is my favourite of Sony’s consoles). So I decided to look back and see why I didn’t enjoy the original Playstation console, an era many fondly remember….
#5 – Games seemed more expensive
Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me, but the Master System and Mega Drive games didn’t seem that expensive. I remember shops being affordable (anyone else remember What Everyone Wants and their £12 games?) and car boots being great for picking up older games.
The PS1 era on the other hand, felt like a huge jump. Games were now £40, with even second hand dross being around £15 at least. I remember the painful experience of looking through Game’s second hand section trying to work out what I could scrape together with my limited funds and crappy trade ins….
#4 – I don’t think most PS1 games have aged well
The 3D era was a big thing in the mid to late nineties – the pressure was on all games to be 3D and a lot of franchises struggled to make that jump. However, over twenty years later, how well have those initial 3D games aged?
It’s a different case for each game. Some like Resident Evil and Tomb Raider have been rebooted or remade, so I don’t think there is any real need to go back and play them on PS1. Some games, like Destruction Derby and Tekken 1, looked dated by the time their sequels came along. Some like Bubsy 3D and Descent looked awful from day one and have been forgotten about.
When I look at classic 16-Bit games like Sonic The Hedgehog or A Link To The Past, they have a timeless art style that never gets dated and still looks good to this day. The only PS1 game I can think of in that category is Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night and that’s a game that is more appreciated now than it was in 1996. Simply put, I reckon a lot of PS1 games don’t really have much pull in 2018 – the main reason to play them in 1996, the spectacular 3D graphics, aren’t as spectacular any more….
#3 – Other distractions
Unlike now, where most of my income is spread evenly between my hobbies, from 1996 – 2002 I was obsessed with music and spent a fortune on CD’s, gigs and guitar stuff. Music was my main passion at that time and gaming took a backseat with games often only being bought for special occasions or rented from Blockbuster.
As a result, I wasn’t fully engaged with the Playstation…I was merely buying the odd game here and there to amuse myself. I remember getting Wipeout 2097 and being made up with being able to switch the disc with a CD while racing. That reminds me…I actually used the PS1 as a CD player quite a bit, especially when my CD player packed up. It’s never a good sign when your primary use for a console is one of it’s secondary functions…
#2 PC Envy
I had become aware of PC gaming after the Mega Drive…well originally, I had been introduced to the wonders of Championship Manager, only to find out that my PC couldn’t run it. This set off a need in me to find a decent football manager game and was in fact the main reason I picked the PS1 over the Sega Saturn – the PS1 had a (awful) Player Manager game that I figured would solve my Championship Manager woe. Luckily for me, a friend of mine got Player Manager first and confirmed it was rubbish, swapping it for ISS Pro 98.
Naturally, I didn’t get ISS Pro 98. No, I needed managerial aspects to my football games. So I got Onside Soccer…absolute rubbish! Glitchy, dull and with next to no managerial gameplay. I tried the PS1 Premier Manager games and realized they were less detailed than the Mega Drive versions….it wasn’t until Championship Manager on the Xbox that I realised my dream of Championship Manager in my bedroom.
It wasn’t just football management though…I became obsessed with all sim games. As a result, I was constantly disappointed, as the PS1 wasn’t really the place for sim games. Sure, Sim City 2000 was decent and Theme Park was good (if the same as the 16-Bit versions), but I felt constantly disappointed by the lack of good sim games. I remembered waiting months and months for Dungeon Keeper, only for EA to eventually cancel it. What games did I miss out on, waiting for that?
#1 – I had terrible taste in games
Yes, the main reason I didn’t enjoy the PS1 was down to me. I had a silly notion at the time that anything popular was rubbish and I had little patience with games. As a result, I missed out on some absolute classics…I’ve never played Final Fantasy VII, Ridge Racer, Gran Turismo, Metal Gear Solid, Tomb Raider and I’ve only flirted with games like Grand Theft Auto and Resident Evil.
I’ve bought some shockers…the list of bad mistakes includes;
Descent – I liked the demo. The full game gave me motion sickness.
Hexen – If someone offers you a cross between Doom and an RPG for £9.99 new, there’s a catch…the catch in this case is that PS1 Hexen’s version of Doom is the SNES port….
Carnage Heart – a game about building robots sounded awesome in the magazines…I just didn’t realise how complicated it would be. One play and I took it back to GAME…
Actua Soccer – one of my rules with football games is ‘Never trust football games with bad goalkeeper animations.’ Actua Soccer was 3D but played like a Master System game…a bad one at that.
Destruction Derby – Actually not a bad game, but it looked ancient in 1998…
I’m sure there are more bad purchases, but I think I’ve repressed them. It’s probably for the best…
What were your thoughts on the PS1? Did you enjoy the experience or like me, did you fail to make the most of it?