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Street Fighter Alpha hits PSN this Thursday

Most of us know that there are so few PS One titles on the North American PS Store and we're all wondering when the next wave of PS One games would be coming. While this isn't particularly a 'wave' per se (insert Hadouken jokes here), it is quite a powerful title with a lot of influence in the fighting-genre arena. We're talking about Street Fighter Alpha -- the first one. It was a title that prequeled the main Street Fighter series, fleshing out some of the world warriors' back stories.

If you missed it back in the day, then your chance to give the classic a try is coming. This Thursday, during the weekly scheduled PS Store update, Street Fighter Alpha will be available for download onto your PSP or your PS3. Capcom hasn't officially revealed the price yet, but we imagine it shouldn't be much different from other PS One classics.

[Thanks Eduardo!]

Japanese PS Store updated with Biohazard 2

The Japanese PS Store keeps on getting more and more PS1 classics to play. Classics like Biohazard 2 (aka Resident Evil 2) can be found in today's update to the Japanese Store:
  • Biohazard 2
  • Popolocrois II
  • Marie no Atelier Plus
  • Robin Lloyd no Bouken
  • I.Q Intelligent Qube
  • Crime Crackers 2
  • Magical Drop
  • Tantei Jinguji Saburo - Early Collection.
Once again, many of these games will be unfamiliar to non Japanese gamers. Hopefully, it won't be too long until we get our hands on a zombie-infested adventure.

[Via PSPHyper]

Japan gets budget PS1 downloads

The Japanese Store has updated once again with a bevy of new classics. Here's the translated list (via IGN).
  • Seireiki Live Red (Winky Soft)
  • Poitter's Point (Konami)
  • SuperLite Fishing: Port no Tsuri-hen (Success)
  • SuperLite Fishing: Bouhatei no Tsuri-hen (Success)
  • SuperLite Fishing: Hama no Tsuri-hen (Success)
  • Wild Arms 2nd Ignition (SCEJ)
  • MediEvil (SCEJ, PSP-only)
  • Arcade Hits Frisky Tom (Hamster)
  • Formation Soccer '98 (Hamster)
  • Armored Core Master of Arena (From, PS3-only)
More noteworthy is that some of these titles are only 300 yen each -- that's less than $3! Sure, the budget titles involve the word "Fishing" in some way, but it's great to see even cheaper content make its way to the PS Store. Hopefully, with the US Store up and running, it won't be too long before we see new (and cheap) content.

Retro Review: Twisted Metal 2

Twisted Metal 2
Original Release Date:
October 31, 1996

Once again, another stellar retro classic hits the PS Store, for play on both PSP and PS3. Twisted Metal 2 is an improved sequel of the most definitive car combat game of all time. There's a reason why Twisted Metal was so beloved: it had a lot of personality, with its apocalyptic levels and crazed vehicle designs. The relentless difficulty of the game and simplistic presentation take a lot away from this re-release, but at $6, it's still a fairly solid retread to invest in, especially for portable gamers.

Once again, the simple controls work well on the PSP (using control type 2). The cars are incredibly responsive, and can make unrealistically sharp turns at a moment's notice. It felt weird using Square to accelerate (instead of X), but there are very few surprises in the controls. Weapons are easy to switch between, and they're easy to use as well. It can become problematic to find enemies in the game's relatively large levels, but when competition is near, it's fast and furious.

Overall, what hurts this retro game is how difficult it is. There's multiple choices, but it's not easy to take down a racer, and health upgrades are few and far apart. It'll take a lot of luck and skill to survive the game's championship mode. Thankfully, the ability to play individual tracks will help you discover the locations of secrets, giving you a much-needed edge in a rather unfair fight.
Retro Review: 6.0

Retro Review: Wipeout

Price: $5.99
Original Release Date: November 21, 1995

There's very little reason to pick up Wipeout from the PS Store, especially with Wipeout Pure already available on the console (at a budget price as well!). Regardless, the original PlayStation Wipeout still manages to entertain, withstanding the test of time. The presentation is certainly not as sleek as that found in Pure, but the easy-to-navigate menus and brisk load times (when disc acceleration is used) are quite appreciated. The game has aged well visually: the framerate is smooth and the art style does a lot to compensate for the lack of polygons. The draw distance might not be what players expect from a modern game, and in a game that moves this quickly, that can be a problem. On both the PSP and PS3, the game still looks quite nice, with the PS3's upscaling doing a miraculous job.

The controls are a bit too loose in this first iteration of the franchise, and hitting walls is unforgiving. However, with a pretty undemanding AI to compete against, the only racer you should really consider is yourself. That's a shame, considering it makes the plethora of weapons rather useless.

Ultimately, the game's true shortcoming is well ... how short it is. With so few tracks and ships to choose from, one can't help but think that $6 is the absolute most you should pay for this trip down memory lane. A solid game -- but there's far better options (at least for PSP owners).
Retro Review: 6.5

Nineteen more PS1 titles hit Japan

Okay, we understand Sony. You love Japan more than the rest of us. American gamers haven't had their hands on any new (or shall we say old?) PS1 releases for PSP play for months. Europe has a paltry five releases available. Japan, on the other hand, gets frequent, massive updates. Today's update is no different, as nineteen PS1 games were added to the archives:
  • AI Mah Jong Selection (hamster)
  • DEPTH (Sony computer Entertainment)
  • Gussun Paradise (IREM software)
  • Jet Moto (Sony computer Entertainment)
  • Jumping Flash! 2 (Sony computer Entertainment)
  • Major Wave Series: Puzzle Mania 2 (hamsters)
  • Major Wave Series: Zipangu Jima: Unmei wa Saikoro ga Kimeru!? (Hamsters)
  • Metal Slug (SNK Playmore)
  • Oasis Road (Idea Factory)
  • Panekit (Sony computer Entertainment)
  • Samurai Spirits III: Zankuro Musouken (SNK Playmore)
  • Samurai Spirits IV: Amakusa Kourin Special (SNK Playmore)
  • Spectral Tower 2 (Idea Factory)
  • SuperLite 1500 Series Cotton original (Success)
  • SuperLite 1500 Series Sanvein (Success)
  • The King OF Fighters '98 (SNK Playmore)
  • The King OF Fighters '99 (SNK Playmore)
  • The King OF Fighters Kyo (SNK Playmore)
  • XI [sai] (Sony computer Entertainment)
The US Store will update today ... any chance we'll see at least one new PS1 game?

[Thanks, Joe! Via Gamers-Creed]

Europe finally gets PS1 downloads

After months-long delay, Europe is finally getting a chance to download and play PS1 classics on their PSP and PS3 systems. Although there's no way to directly download games to the PSP yet, those fortunate enough to have both Sony machines will be able to access the following content next week, according to Three Speech:
  • Crash Bandicoot
  • Wipeout
  • Medievil
  • Jumping Flash
  • Syphon Filter
Of these titles, we recommend Crash Bandicoot and Jumping Flash the most. These games will be available in the European PS Store on 6/22.

SNK dominates latest PS1 update in Japan

The Japanese PS Store has updated far more frequently than America's. Their selection of downloadable PS1 titles (which still requires a PS3 system) has expanded yet again, with a strong emphasis on SNK's classic fighters:

Guilty Gear
King of Fighters '95
King of Fighters '96
King of Fighters '97
Little Princess: Maru Oukoku no Ningyou Hime 2
Real Bout Garou Densetsu Special: Dominated Mind
Samurai Spirits: Kenkaku Yubinan Pack
Spectral Force 2
Spectral Tower
Suna no Embrace

There's also a free offering on the Store, a demo of XI, also known as Devil Dice. While Japanese gamers are enjoying frequent updates to the retro catalog, American gamers haven't had anything new since the release of Wipeout in March. Of course, that's far better than the sparse availability of titles for Europeans: zero. Hopefully, with the new PSP store arriving this Fall, we'll have better access to these PlayStation classics.

[Via Siliconera]

Japan gets 25 new downloadable PS1 games

Japan is receiving a huge selection of PS1 games to download on the PLAYSTATION Store, starting 4/26. The following games will be playable both on PSP and PS3 systems equipped with firmware 1.7:
  • Spectral Force (Idea Factory)
  • R-Types (Irem)
  • A.IV. Evolution Global (Artdink)
  • Resident Evil Directors Edition (Capcom)
  • Bishibashi Special (Konami)
  • Arc the Land (Sony)
  • Ore no Shi wo Koete Yuke (Sony)
  • Gunners Heaven (Sony)
  • Ganbare Morikawa-kun Ni-go (Sony)
  • Marl Oukoku no Ningyou Hime (Nippon Ichi)
  • Tekken 2 (Bandai Namco)
But, that's not all.

Continue reading Japan gets 25 new downloadable PS1 games

Accelerated PS1 loading not unique to OE firmware

Some homebrew users are getting excited at the possibility of running accelerated PS1 games on the upcoming 3.30 OE firmware. The option allows users to decrease the load times of their favorite PS1 classics. However, this is not a feature unique to custom firmware: it's available to all users of 3.30, official and otherwise. To enable it, start a PS1 game. Then, hit Home. Go to Settings, and you'll see "Disc-Load Speed."

The results will vary greatly, with some games not taking advantage of the feature at all. According to the PSP, "Depending on the software in use, the effect of this feature may not be noticeable or the software may not support fast disc-load speed." For example, we tested the feature using the PLAYSTATION Store's latest offering, Wipeout. In Normal mode, it took 10.3 seconds to load the menu and 18.5 seconds to load a track. However, in Fast mode, it took 9.9 seconds to load the menu and 18.4 seconds to load a track. Perennial favorite Destruction Derby took 14.2 seconds to load the game in Normal mode and 14.1 seconds in Fast mode. There are probably other games that will utilize the feature more efficiently, but the negligible differences we've seen so far have proven this is not cause for great celebration.

Japan gets five more PS1 games

American gamers haven't enjoyed an update since Wipeout, and European gamers don't have any PS1 games available on the PLAYSTATION Store yet. That hasn't stopped Sony from updating their archive of PS1 titles in Japan. The newest update brings 5 more games, bringing the total number of downloadable titles to 36:
  • Gunners Heaven (SCEJ)
  • Galaxy Fight (Sun Denshi)
  • Hard Edge (Sun Denshi)
  • Arcade Hits Raiden (Hamster)
  • Tall Unlimited (Hamster)
As usual, PSP owners must have a PS3 in order to access the PLAYSTATION Store. When Sony will choose to fix this flaw?

See also:
Retro Reviews

[Via IGN]

UK gamers left waiting for PSone game downloads

I've complained from time to time about the selection of downloadable PSone games for PSP in the US, but right now the UK has it much worse. At launch of the PS3, there are zero PSone games on the PlayStation Store for download to PSP. Sony hasn't made any statement as to when they'll show up, but the US had to wait a little while for this feature. Still, since the UK launch was much later than in Japan and the US, one would think Sony would have titles lined up for day one. In any case, let's hope for the sake of UK PS3 owners that the wait isn't too long.

[Via Games Radar]

R-Type Delta adds to our Japanese PS1 envy

As if Sony were mocking Steve's latest blog entry, they've released seven new old PSone titles to the (still PS3-only) PlayStation Store, bringing up the downloadable catalogue up to 31. Each of these games can be purchased for a paltry ¥525 (US$4.33).
  • Shanghai Dynasty (Success)
  • The Drugmania (Hamster)
  • R-Type Delta (Irem)
  • Ore no Shikabane o Koete Yuke (SCE)
  • Puzzle Mania (Hamster)
  • Pet in TV (SCE)
  • Yaku: Yuujou Dangi (Idea Factory)
To compare, America has only received 11 games so far, at a higher price of $6. Of those 11, we've only been able to recommend 4 of those games. Please Sony, if you're not going to give us more releases, at least give us better ones.

[Via Joystiq]

Japan PS1 download envy

I'm not sure what Sony has against those outside of Japan, but US PSP owners wanting to download PS1 games onto their PSP really haven't had much to get excited about. Nearly every game available for download on the US PLAYSTATION Store is either garbage or there is a better version in the series already on PSP. Tekken 2 or Wipeout aren't that appealing when we can already play more recent and better versions of each on the PSP. Meanwhile, Japan gets 21 PS1 game downloads to choose from and there are some heavy-hitters in the lot too, like Resident Evil, R-Types, Arc the Lad and Mr. Driller. I've only downloaded 1 of the 11 games available in the US and it isn't for a lack of desire. Stop teasing us Sony and give those outside of Japan some worthwhile downloads!

Retro Review: Destruction Derby

File Size: 65MB
Price: $5.99
Developed By: Reflections Interactive
Published By: Psygnosis
Original Release Date: November 1, 1995

Short Review
Destruction Derby is easily one of the finest PS1 games for play on the PSP. The graphics aren't too advanced, and the controls aren't very tight. And although there aren't too many tracks to race on, it's undeniable that the game is fun. The crash-heavy gameplay of Destruction Derby makes for an intense racing experience, and the ability to quickly jump into a single race and save at any time in a circuit makes Destruction Derby a truly ideal portable game. With such a small memory requirement, anyone that has the ability to play PS1 games on their PSP should make this a permanent part of their collection.

Continue reading Retro Review: Destruction Derby

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