An Old Friend has Come Home to Stay

In 1998 my parents bought me a Playstation Dual Shock console for Christmas and shipped it to my base where I was never told that it had arrived and was shipped back to them. Navy mail being a slow department got around to this sometime in mid-January. (Forget the fact that I’d had a PSX for about a year, I never told them, so they never knew) A second package that they had sent to me came though, filled with all my favorite local junk food (Pennsylvania has some amazing potato chips made with real lard. I’m not a fatty, I swear!) and Mom’s seasonal pastries arrived. Being none the wiser, when I talked to Mom and Dad on Christmas day over the phone, I told them it was the best Christmas ever, (really it was) and I’d be home late sometime next year for the first time in nearly three years. The Playstation returned to my parent’s house and was completely forgotten about in storage for when I came home where it would remain for the next eleven years.

This week while my Dad was cleaning out the attic, he’d found the Playstation and promptly phoned me about his discovery. I haven’t had a Playstation in nearly a decade, but for some reason I still have a whole pile of games. My excitement was palpable when I got to my parents house. There it was, a still factory sealed Playstation waiting for to be played with my grubby little hands. (they’re actually quite clean, and a bit large) I got home and dug out my old games. I keep them in a plastic tub with my CD and DVD cases in the basement, and began to hook up the still factory fresh console to the television.

What to play, what to play.

I’d still had a memory card with some of my best saves on it.

FF7, ready to be beaten with no Knights of the Round, but a Master Enemy Skills Materia.

SoulBlade, 100% compete

Armored Core, Armored Core: Project Phantasma, Armored Core: Master of Arena, 100% everything on all three games.

And some assorted other saves.

These represented hours of fun I’d had with close friends I’d had in the Navy. Hours of pounding beers, and fighting each other, rubbing my mastery of Sophitia in their faces. I was beaming, until I loaded the first game.

Final Fantasy 7. Corrupted file.

Armored Core series. All of them corrupted.

Rival Schools, also corrupted.

Disappointment set in, but that’s alright, I could still play those classics over again. Then disappointment set in again. You see, these games haven’t aged well.

Final Fantasy VII:
I remember a time when this game blew me away, and I’d play it for hours on end. Well, time makes fools of us all. What I now see is a very dated, ugly, slow and awkward expirence. The prerendered screens had me going back and forth from room to previous room and back due to poor control mapping on the controller. It’s very dated and not as fun as it used to be compared to newer and older fare.

Rival Schools: United by Fate:
An obscure fighter from the good people at Capcom. It featured dozens of characters and more extra content that you could shake a stick at. The home run derby on the second disc was a particular favorite of my group of friends. I don’t remember controls being as sluggish as they are, but it could be fun again, I guess.

Vampire Hunter D:
It was a C- minus Resident Evil clone back when I bought it, and it still is.

Armored Core series:
I remembered fun and innovation, I now see clunky controls and dull graphics even for its era.

Chrono Trigger:
Plays exactly as I remembered it and it still looks good compared to FF7, but I guess I’m more impatient because I found it to be really slow. My save file was intact, and I somehow beat those twin golems that made me put it down all those years ago. I think I might start over again.

Dune 2000:
Yes, I played a RTS on a console. Nice live action cut scenes, but man I don’t remember the gameplay graphics being so ugly. The controls are just as clunky as I remember though.

Simpsons Wrestling:
Just as bad as the day it was released. I’m not sure why I own this.

PSX really shows it age when compared to the current generation of games. It’s primitive compared to what we have today, and I have to say that I’m not as nostalgic for the PSX as I am for SNES, Genesis, NES or Atari 2600. It seems more like a waystation on the road to what we have today, the graphics don’t have a distinctive, unified look unlike the previously mentioned consoles and I think that this is why PSX doesn’t stand out next to its predecessors. I’ve also found that the controls on nearly all the games are sluggish at their best and the graphics leave alot to be desired. FF7 was the biggest disappointment seeing as it was the first game I bought for the system, but there is still a lot that I still haven’t played in my stack. So if you’ll excuse me, I have some games to play.

[tags]Playstation, Final Fantasy VII, Armored Core, Chrono Trigger, SoulBlade, Rival Schools, Sony[/tags]

12 thoughts on “An Old Friend has Come Home to Stay

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  1. HAH! I didn’t think anyone else owned this game. It is really bad. I should fire up my old playstation to see if the original Tony Hawk still works. I dedicated a good portion of my life to that game!


  2. Lovely, it’s always surprising to get to know about things which we have yet we don’t know about it or have forgotten. I personally get surprised sometimes while cleaning about how mad I was for those things and now they’re not even remembered lol.

    I never owned a PlayStation but used to play at my friend’s place, I thought it was exciting and started as a base for the current generation of consoles.


  3. Dude, this is so awesome: “Pennsylvania has some amazing potato chips made with real lard.”

    I really want to get some beef tallow (basically beef lard) it’s what McDonalds used to fry their fries in until people freaked out about it.

    Lard, beef tallow, animal fat in general has never been proven to be bad for you.

    Props for actually eating lard fried potato chips! 🙂


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