Do you ever feel like replaying some games in the past while you are playing a game? Well, the present games are without a doubt excellent in many aspects such as graphics and gameplay. But some gamer experienced nostalgic feeling while playing and wanting to replay the classic games; like me. The reason why gamer experienced that is because the charms of the classic games triggers it.
The games that will be listed below are games that started in PSX (PlayStation) and have sequels in later console. Although the games are predecessors, but it doesn’t deny the fact that it is timeless and still irreplaceable. With the improvements in technology now it is possible to play it again on PC and smartphones using emulators. Here are the 7 worth-replaying PSX RPG that you should know.
1. Suikoden 1&2
Suikoden set in a fantasy world resembling feudal China. It revolves around the young Tir McDohl, accompanied with his friends and servant who enters the service of the Imperial Forces and finds out that he is destined to be a hero that will bring a new age of peace and prosperity. Similar with its predecessor, Suikoden 2 revolves around a boy who begins as a junior soldier but becomes a hero later.
Suikoden series has all of it takes to be a favorite. Gameplay, plot, nice 2D graphics are the attraction of this game. Suikoden 1 and 2 has an identical mechanics that makes it like the same game with different story. Everybody knows that the fun part of playing Suikoden series lies in the recruitment of the Stars of Destiny, where you can recruit more than 100 characters to strengthen your army.
Combat is also one of the reasons why these games are timeless. Combat is divided in three parts: party battle, army battle, and one-on-one. It has the turn-based battle system like in Final Fantasy, but with some differences like weapon range (S/M/L), Runes attacks, and the possibility of fleeing from the enemies using Bribe command.
2. Legend of Mana
Legend of Mana is set in a physical world of Fa’Diel. The game started with the story of burned down Mana Tree that known as the giver of mana and life for the world. The war between human, fairies and other creature erupted to decide who will take over the remains of the Mana Tree. After the war concluded, the silent protagonist bears the task of restoring the world and its mana to its former self.
In-game, we will collect artifacts that represent many lands of the world. By collecting the artifacts we can restore the world into a realm full of lands and inhabitants. We will see different races like: human, fairies, demons, Jumi, Sproutlings, Flowerlings, Dudbears, and Shadoles. We can also try the unique Land Make system where we can arrange the positions of the artifacts that we have found.
Long before the famous hack-and-slash popularized by Kingdom Hearts, this game started it first. Legend of Mana is an action-RPG with a lot of fun. There are a lot of enemies, monsters, and bosses waiting for us in the dungeons. But worry not; we can bring two sidekicks that will assist us in battles. These sidekicks can be controlled by second player, making this game into a multiplayer RPG.
3. Breath of Fire III
Breath of Fire III is the third installment of the entire series, and also the first to introduce 3D environments and effect. The story revolves around a boy named Ryu who has the ability to transform into a dragon. The young boy accompanied by his unique friends to uncover the secrets of the Dragon Clan. Compared with the other Breath of Fire series, this one stole my heart most.
It has all it needs to be a favorite. First is the existence of the dragon genes. It is so much fun to collect the genes while strengthening your main character with dragon power. Second is because of the possibility to train with the masters. Under certain master, the character’s growth will increase depending on who he or she trained with. And returning to the master after leveling up can give you a new skill.
Last but not least, I chose Breath of Fire III among the other in the series because it has beautiful combination of 2D and 3D graphics. It uses both 2D and 3D in a fair portion. The balanced use of 2D and 3D makes the visual appearance looks very good in a classic console such as PSX. For some reason, I found Breath of Fire III better than its successor in terms of gameplay and visuals.
(This game has a re-port for PlayStation Portable with the same title)
4. Star Ocean: The Second Story
Star Ocean: The Second Story is the second installment of the Star Ocean series made for PlayStation in 1998. Although it has been re-ported in some platform, this amazing game started its debut in the simple console such as PlayStation. This game gives the player a choice to play as Claude Kenni or Rena Lanford (the two main protagonists) with all its consequences to the story in-game.
This game gives different sensation in playing RPG where you choose which character’s scenario you will play on; resulting in different possibility of recruitable characters. Star Ocean: The Second Story has the real-time combat system that tri-Ace is famous for, and making it as a pioneer of the modern RPG’s real-time battle system. This game is one of tri-Ace’s most critical and commercial successes.
What else do you need for a good game? This game has it all: great battle system, characters recruitment, nice plot, item creation system, and of course tough bosses. Personally, I think that Star Ocean: The Second Story successfully introduced us to RPG on a higher level, where we can enjoy the time-consuming bonus dungeon as well as the one of the hardest boss in PSX games.
(This game has a re-port for PlayStation Portable with the title Star Ocean: Second Evolution)
5. Tales of Eternia
Tales of Eternia (or known as Tales of Destiny II in PSX) is the third mothership title in the Tales series. Tales of Eternia is the successor of Tales of Destiny that was released in PSX few years back. Like its predecessors, Tales of Eternia adapts the Linear Motion Battle system which allows players to attacks and moves freely. But unlike its predecessors, Tales of Eternia has more advanced battle system.
Controlling Reid Hershel at first, we will find other friends along the journey. We can find reliable companions such as the martial art-specialist Farah Oersted, the mysterious girl Meredy, the intelligent scholar Keele Zeibel, and more. This game allows players to attack brutally with combos and combinations like in Star Ocean series, the only difference is the battle will be presented in linear movements.
With the Linear Motion Battle system, you will moves left and right, up and down while attacking the enemies, making it feels like a 2D fighting game somehow. Not only attacking, you can also use spells like in the previous games, but this time without the screen freezing. For gamer who loves to inflicts unbelievable damages to the enemies, this game will suits you, provided with sets of skills and ultimate skills.
(This game has a re-port for PlayStation Portable with the same title)
The story of Grandia centers around a young man named Justin who always dreamed about being an adventurer, like his father. The Spirit Stone that his father has given to him turns out to be the key to lead him and his companion in saving the world. Together with his companions: a childhood friend, an adventurer girl, a tribal boy and a rabbit, they embark on a journey to discover the secret of the Spirit Stone.
Although Grandia was not the greatest selling game compared to Final Fantasy, people must admit that it has a genuine turn-based battle system. Most people play this game because of its attractive battle and skills tree system and they feel excited with that (including me), making level grinding isn’t that boring. The characters are also rich enough to amuse us with their different sets of skills and abilities.
7. Wild Arms 1&2
Wild Arms series is a RPG developed by Media.Vision and was released in 1996. Wild Arms and Wild Arms 2 shares similar gameplay, with better 3D touch of Wild Arms 2. Each of Wild Arms series story takes place on a planet called Filgaia. It consists of large deserts, dry plains, and red rock canyon as what a cowboy game should have. Both of it also has a similarity: blue haired protagonist.
The gameplay of both games are much alike, with Wild Arms uses combinations of 2D exploring and 3D battles, while Wild Arms 2 uses full 3D on both aspects. Although the game wasn’t as popular as Final Fantasy series, Wild Arms series successfully brings different feelings and atmospheres while playing the game. Moreover it has great soundtracks like the opening of the first Wild Arms.
(Wild Arms has a remake on PlayStation 2 with the title Wild Arms: Alter Code F)
If I have to choose, I would choose both Tales of Eternia as my favorite. It has “brutal” fighting but also fun with the Linear Motion Battle system. Luckily, with the improvement in technology now we can play those classic titles with emulators. Even after I played next generation games, I never hesitated to play them again and again just to experience the excitement once more.
What about you? Which PSX RPG do you think is worth-replaying? Please share your thoughts in the comment below.