Games Inbox: What PS1 game still plays well today?

The Monday letters page is upset at the continued lack of new dinosaur games, as one reader recommends Toem: A Photo Adventure.

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Showing their age
Now that the PS1 and other retro games for PS Plus Premium are leaking it seems, as you’d expect, that Sony is trying to get every half decent game that was ever on a PlayStation onto the service. That’s good in terms of game preservation but I have to ask the obvious question: are any of these games going to be worth playing?

It’s fairly accepted that PS1 era games have aged poorly in terms of graphics, much worse than the N64 (but not as bad as the Saturn), but I’m worried about how they’re going to play too. A lot of the early ones didn’t even have analogue controls and those that did had 90s era camera controls which were… not the best.

I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence but Tekken, Ridge Racer, and Worms should actually work fine, given the nature of their controls and restrictive nature of the game but the likes of Soul Reaver, Crash Bandicoot and Spyro, Tenchu, and Tomb Raider I’m not so sure. Everyone jokes about tank controls in Resident Evil but when you go back to them today, they make the games virtually unplayable.

This isn’t anyone’s fault of course, but it makes me wonder if Sony will change anything like controls, the way the camera works, and the difficulty. That’s going to take a lot of work, and will change the original game, but if in its original form nobody’s going to enjoy it, is that a problem as long as it’s just an option? It’s an interesting question and I’m curious to see how it all plays out.
Campbell

He’s no good to me dead
So now we’ve got Microsoft announcing its E3 style preview event in June, which should be pretty exciting, but to be honest, the one I’m most looking forward to is Star Wars Celebration at the end of May. Everyone likes to make fun at how many Star Wars games are in development right now but many are years away and they’re all different kinds of thing.

The strategy game is obviously not going to have the budget as the others but it’s the one I’m looking forward to the most, as well as the first person game and, of course Fallen Order 2. I love the first one and feel that EA has done a good job overall with the licence.

At some point though somebody needs to announce the bounty hunter game I’ve been waiting for since I was a kid, before I die of old age. I don’t know why it’s taking so long but while I’d prefer it wasn’t Ubisoft making it I’ll settle for anyone at this point. Especially as Starfield is already looking boring and they’ve barely shown anything yet.
Host

Original plot
So what is Microsoft going to do if Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 are not that big a hit? I know they’ll be big compared to anything else but if they continue decline then aren’t they in danger of having bought a dead duck?

On the other hand it saves Activision’s neck, as people have been saying for years that they’re putting themselves at risk being a one trick pony and now you see the danger that everyone was warning about. If Microsoft gets them working on other franchises than great, but that is going to take many years to produce anything so for now everything still depends on Call Of Duty.

The funny thing is if they’d gone with the original story for Modern Warfare 2, of Russia invading the US, that would have been weirdly topical and would’ve likely gone down well. This rumour about South American drug cartels though, that doesn’t sound so exciting – even if it’s still likely to do much better than a Second World War game.
Whistler

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Going extinct
Just a quick dinosaur watch now that a new Jurassic World movie is coming out and… nope, nada. Except for a ton of zoo simulators there’s still nothing. I do like the irony of there not being any decent dinosaur games and yet there are half a dozen of the same (boring) game, just because running Jurassic Park is an easy sell.

The only new dinosaur game that’s bene announced recently is Capcom’s Exoprimal, which is… whatever it is. Certainly not the dinosaur related game I was hoping they would make, but if it leads to a new Dino Crisis somewhere down the track then fine.

We’ve also got Prehistoric Planet coming up soon from Apple+ and the BBC, which looks not only amazing but really expensive. The interest is obvious there – do you know any five-year-old that doesn’t think dinosaurs are cool? – but still we get nothing. Put more dinosaurs in your games companies, put them in all your games!
Doubel

Todd Howard fan club
So I’m going to be honest when I say that I’m heavily anticipating Starfield. It’s been roughly seven years, since we last had a role-playing game, developed by Bethesda and directed by Todd Howard. The wizard who gifted us Skyrim and Oblivion. Since then they’ve focused on other projects, such as their acquisition by Microsoft, and we finally have an idea of what to expect from their next ambition.

We often credit Mass Effect with the development of the sci-fi role-playing game and I believe that Bethesda may have a game that builds on the ideas that BioWare brought to the table in 2007. It will finally be developed with a new engine in mind, and this is long overdue as Fallout 76 was indeed a disaster.

For the fans however, this is a welcome sight. When they have such a long wait for that next instalment in The Elder Scrolls, Starfield can fill that gap and possibly surpass what Skyrim fantastically built upon from Oblivion. That true role-playing aspect, when freedom in choice and character development is the pinnacle of your story.
Shahzaib Sadiq

Snap it up
I’d just like to thank the reader in the Inbox who recommended Toem: A Photo Adventure sometime last year. An absolute gem of a game would have completely passed me by otherwise. The combination of the lovely Adventure Time graphical style and humour along with the brilliant photo-based gameplay works beautifully. I chuckled throughout and was actually quite moved by the end.

Taking photos was such a joy and my only complaint would be I filled up my photo album far too quickly taking random shots, which I then had to delete. It seems a shame the game didn’t do all that well, it appears to have slipped under the radar.

Hopefully developer Something We Made are working on something equally good and will find more success in the future. Anyway, thanks again to the reader, whoever it was. I hope this letter might inspire some other people to give the game a go. You won’t be disappointed!
Ryan O’D

I was wondering if GC or any readers could advise me on a good gaming headset. I’m willing to spend around £100 – £150 on one. I’ve been looking online but it’s a bit of a minefield.

I would like one with good surround sound and really comfortable to wear as I work late & don’t want to wake up the rest of the house while I’m gaming long into the night.
Thanks
Isaac M

Mario wins in the end
Interesting news on the rumours the new Mario movie is going to have a few musical numbers in it. When you think about it, the soundtrack has played a massive part in the Super Mario games; so it only stands to reason that they acknowledge that in some way.

Anyway, thanks for not spoiling the rest of the leaks for me as I’m happy with what I know and don’t really need to delve any deeper into it for the sake of spoiling what might turn out to be a good movie.

However that was my choice and It did make me think about you guys at GC Towers? How do you guys feel when these leaks come out?

I guess in some way you are contractually obliged to research all the little rumours that come out so to report on them.

Does it ruin the final product for you?

As I can imagine you guys are big gaming fans and like the rest of us, just want to sit down, enjoy and be surprised by a good gaming movie and we all know they’re a bit thin on the ground at the moment.
freeway 77

GC: It’s unavoidable but much more irritating if it’s a game story, rather than just a video game movie.

Inbox also-rans
RE: Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. I’m sure in the very first episode, or at least in a flashback, they were seen being purchased from a pet shop, where upon the excited kid tripped outside and dropped the tank of water and ‘turtles’ down the drain… sooo, yeah terrapins. However, terrapins can’t hold nunchucks or work a gear stick, so they now have fingers and toes… that’s evolution!
big boy bent

Just want to say that the Lego Tallneck set from Horizon Forbidden West is amazing! I spent all weekend making it with the girlfriend and I’m super impressed. I hope they do some more, a Thunderjaw is a must-have, surely?
Cubby

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cubby, who asks what is your favourite game of the current generation?

It’s obviously been a strange start to the new generation but it’s being going for a year and half now, so what do you think is the best game on the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S?

Since there are so few next gen exclusives you can talk about cross-gen games but which one has impressed you the most and why? What, if anything, do they say about the new generation, and what do you hope to see from the new consoles in the future?

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The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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