Classical Gaming on the New PlayStation Plus

Last month the “all-new” PlayStation Plus went live. This new subscription service combined what was PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now. With this new version of the subscription service, there are several levels, the top of which is premium. Being a subscriber of both the old plus and now, I was automatically given access to the premium tier. Along with this came access to the classics catalogue, which includes games from all the previous generations of PlayStation. As far as PSOne and PS2 games are concerned, there aren’t many on the service so far, but there are a few, and they are worth playing. Below are some that I’ve had a go of so far.

Syphon Filter

When it was initially released, I loved this game. It’s a third-person action/shooter in which you take control of Gabriel Logan as he tries to apprehend global terrorist Erich Rhoemer before he releases the titular biological weapon. The game takes you to worldwide locations such as Washington D.C., Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. It was successful enough to spawn two sequels that continue Gabe’s story.

It’s been a long time since I played Syphon Filter, but it’s a game that I’ve wanted to make a come back for quite some time. It’s a game that, in this world of remakes and reboots, I think would really benefit from a renewal. Sadly I don’t think this will happen. But, having the first game released to play on current-gen consoles is a step in the right direction.

Within the game, there are few updates except for the addition of trophies now being available. Compared to more modern games of a similar ilk, the controls are clunky and difficult to use at first. But after playing for a while, I got back into the swing of it. Syphon Filter doesn’t make use of the analogue controls (I can’t remember if the original did or not), so you’re left control movements with the D-pad, which can be frustrating at times. Still, again, this is due to not having to control newer games in this way. The graphics appear to have been smoothed out some, but it’s still presented in 4:3, leaving you with a black border around the game screen. However, this doesn’t detract from the gaming experience at all.

Being able to play Syphon Filter once again has been a pleasure, and I look forward to delving deeper into the game. Of course, I still live in hope for that remake/reboot, but for now, I’m happy with what we’ve got. Fingers crossed that the sequels find their way onto the service too.

Ape Escape

This is another blast from the past, and like Syphon Filter, it is a game that I put many an hour into. Ape Escape is a 3D platformer where the aim is to capture apes with your net and other gadgets which have been released by Spectre, an ape who has put on a helmet that has increased his intelligence and turned him evil. You net your way through various locations from history, including the dinosaur era, medieval times, and the modern era.

I spent hours catching all the apes in my copy of Ape Escape that I got as an ex-rental from Blockbuster Video (I know, right? I still have it, too!). I was never a huge fan of 3D platformers, but something about this game drew me in enough for me to 100% it. So you just know that I’ll be going for that again now. I wonder if I’ve still got what it takes as someone in their mid-30s.

Like many platformers of the day, the challenge comes from collecting everything in the game, even though to finish a level, you don’t necessarily have to capture all the apes in it. There are some levels that you need to go back to as you progress in the game and acquire new gadgets in order to capture some of the pesky apes.

Thankfully, unlike some of the classic games released on PlayStation Plus Premium, Ape Escape, makes use of the analogue controls, as it was one of the first games to make use of this controller on the original PlayStation. This makes navigating the world a tad easier, but again, compared to new games, there’s something a little off about the controls that takes a bit of getting used to. The graphics haven’t been updated any as with the other titles, but Ape Escape again has the addition of trophies to collect, which will make catching all those apes all the more rewarding.

Ape Escape 2 is also on the service, and surprisingly despite my love of the first game, I didn’t even know it existed but rest assured, I will be giving that a go too.

There are numerous other games on the service, ranging from classics like Tekken 2, the older Ratchet & Clank games, Everybody’s Golf, and Wild Arms, to newer classics such as The Last of Us, the Batman Arkham series, and Bioshock. There are so many games that it will take me a while to get through, but I’m looking forward to playing what’s on there and seeing what will come over the next months. Despite numerous people reporting issues with the emulation of the older era games, I haven’t seen any, so I say that if you’re not at the premium tier, it’s well worth levelling up to it. I’ll do more posts on other games when I get through them, but for now, I’m heading back into some of these excellent games.

What are some games that you’d like to see appear on the service?

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