And the PlayStation retro love fest continues. The Crash Bandicoot trilogy remakes are joined by not only the Spyro trilogy remakes coming out, or the PS1 Classic coming out. But now, a remade version of MediEvil will join them. This does not sound so bad. After all, MediEvil is a classic PS1 title that a lot of people look back on with fond memories. But the list of the PS1 titles included in the PS1 Classic Edition is already out, and it seems, rather by design, there’s no sign of Crash, Spyro, or MediEvil.
How You Could Play Retro Games
I don’t mean to sound like an old man, going back to this retro console very few heard of called the PlayStation 3 (I know. Obscure, right?). But when that console hit its stride, people complained about the limited backwards compatibility (that’s a bandage that needs to get pulled off eventually, but that’s for another article). But never fear, there’s a cornucopia of retro choices to choose from, from consoles past. You could download Crash, Spyro, Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy VII, and so many more from the PSN Store.
This ability that the PS3 had was sort of a way to make up for the lack of backwards compatibility. And it worked for the most part. People were able to play the old games if they wanted to. It would cost them an extra five or ten dollars per game, but the ability was there. I have tons of great memories doing this. I never owned a PS1, so the PSN Store on the PS3 was amazing for me to remember the games I played at friends’ houses as a kid. (Though being a Nintendo kid, I remember asking my friend when playing Crash for the first time, where was the open environment?)
How We Play Retro Games Now
With the PS4, it seems like the solution is to scrap the ability to buy a lot of old PS1 and PS2 games on the PSN Store. And instead, we now have to buy these games as new releases with a new coat of paint. I’m not even going to go into what this does for game preservation. (I’m not going to pretend that anyone rigorously follows my work on this site, but please know that I am a big advocate for games preservation). But this is a brilliant marketing strategy, right? If people think it’s new. They will pay full price for it. Sony’s not the first company to do this, and they certainly won’t be the last.
The problem comes from the fact that these Crash, Spyro, and MediEvil games are, despite what Sony labels them, not remasters. They are remakes. The difference, in my mind, includes that the N-Sane and Reignited trilogies were made from the ground up. As much as they try to mimic it, they are not the same games with a fresh coat of paint. That would be the Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, and Sly Cooper trilogies for the PS3. They just upped the resolution of these already great games. But with Crash and Spyro they seem to want to recreate these games from the ground up.
Why This Matters
Sounds sweet right? Not when you no longer have access to originals and the tight controls and animations that come with it. You probably think this isn’t a big deal. Maybe it’s not in the grand scheme of things, but I think of it like you might think of the scene in the original Star Wars when the Death Star blows up. Did you know that the special effects team won awards for that? No computer graphics or anything. And they made it look amazing. But now, the only way George Lucas wants you to experience that scene is with CGI. Not the ingenuity of the original award winning team.
Sony isn’t exactly George Lucas. But I feel like taking away the original from the PSN Store and not including them on the PS1 Classic Edition is doing something in the same spirit. When Sony refused to allow crossplay on their version of Fortnite, they said it was because they just wanted to give us the best way to play. Well, once again we ask, why not just give us the choice?
But what do you think? Do you care if the originals are available? Let us know in the comments below!
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I’ve been writing almost as long as I’ve been playing video games. I also do standup and improv. The game that made me realize that video games could be more than just a toy, was Metal Gear Solid 2.