Letter from America: Our fave PS1 and PS2 games
Plus: Concursion - a five-game mashup
Although it's not likely to launch in the US for another six months, and won't be publicly available in Europe until perhaps the end of this year, we've still been thinking a fair bit about Sony's PlayStation Now streaming gaming service this week. Well, if truth be told - we've been using it as an excuse to geek out about our favourite PS1 and PS2 games.
PS Now's library will initially feature only PS3 titles, but games from the first two PlayStation generations will be added over time. Quite what those games will be remains a mystery - so in the absence of any information, we thought we'd come up with 20 PS1 games, and 20 PS2 games we'd love to see added to the service.
What struck me while rummaging through both machines' back catalogues for inspiration was the sheer variety of games that have been published on these systems. Of course there are plenty of your typical big-franchise hits, but there are so many more weird, culty, niche and just flat-out cool games that were overlooked at the time. I think our lists represent a really good cross-section of titles, but even so, the 40 games we chose feel like only the beak on the penguin sitting on the tip of the iceberg of games that Sony has to choose from.
So my question to you is - which PlayStation games from either generation would you like the chance to have streamed to a device near you? I'd love to hear what treasures from the past you'd like Sony to dig up.
Since we're in the midst of the traditional January software drought, we thought we'd change things up and look at the old-fashioned way of gaming. I know board games aren't everyone's cup of tea, but should you be interested, Pete came up with a list of great - and I mean GREAT - board games for that are perfect for those wanting to get back into traditional gaming. I have to give a shout out to the simple, but absolutely brilliant Carcassonne - my personal fave.
Pete also wrote a companion piece for those suffering from PTSD brought on by childhood games of Monopoly that went on for hours on end - a selection of entertaining card and board games that take less than 30 minutes to play.
While there was a distinct lack of gaming news this week, we did dig up some interesting stuff to preview. First up is Concursion, an indie game that mashes five different genres together in a way that almost gives you gaming whiplash. Jeremy took a look at The Longest Day, a new game by Suda51 and the creator of Tokyo Jungle. He also talked about Lightning Returns - a game he believes shows that Final Fantasy is at its best when it's scrappy and weird. And speaking of Final Fantasy - Bob looked at Bravely Default and reckons it could be the best FF game in a decade. And hanging onto the Final Fantasy tip for just one last sentence, Jeremy took a look at Unsung Story, a game he thinks could be the first proper successor to Final Fantasy Tactics.
We also checked out Obsidian's Kickstarted-and-how Pillars of Eternity and wondered if it's an old-school RPG fan's dream game. Either way, with almost $4m hurled at the screen by fans, it had better be someone's dream game.
I'll finish up with our review of the week, The Banner Saga, which Cassandra described as, "blindingly lovely and arguably just as intriguing to play." Whether you like its style of gameplay or not, there's no denying it does look absolutely knockout - almost like a classic 50s Disney movie.
See you next week.
Jaz Rignall is editorial director of USgamer.net, a site that gets the day off on Monday because it's Martin Luther King Day.