I recently, shall we say, “acquired” a decent amount of Playstation games. It is the console where I first properly got into video games – I had a Game Boy before this but the Playstation is my love of video gaming truly started to blossom. From the day my sister got it for her birthday to the day I got my first game for the console that belonged solely to me (WWF Attitude I believe) to this very day, I have a large soft spot for the console. Yet I never really explored the true depths of the console – which is where this bundle came in. I wanted to play as much PS1 games and experience them for the first time. Then I decided to stream it because I thought it might be fun to share the adventure! Then I decided to make even more #nicecontent for XtA out of it by coming on this very website with his thoughts based on just 30 minutes with each game.

Now, I know half an hour is not enough time to truly judge a game. Obviously. However I have – including all the games I legitimately own and games I plan on also playing as part of this project – I am looking at playing 500 games. Even at 30 minutes each that’s gonna take a long while. However, this is a way where you can force me to give more time to a certain game. If you see a game you like or at the very least are interested in seeing more of, then subscribe to our YouTube channel where each section of the stream will be posted. If a certain video of a game gets enough views, likes and comments then I will take that a sign that there is interest in seeing more of that game and I will do a full review of the game as well as giving that game it’s very own stream too. Aren’t I generous? I will edit in the videos to this post as they go live. For now, let’s get on with the first stream and my initial thoughts on each of the eight games I played.

Action Man: Operation Extreme

Or Mission Extreme depending on where in the world you live in. We start off with a game from a toy line that was everywhere in the mid-to-late 90s, at least it felt like it to me at the time. I only ever had one Action Man – it had a microphone so you could record stuff and make Action Man say it. It was fun for, like, a day.

The game itself is split into two different modes – driving and shooting missions. Driving missions are very reminiscent to early GTAs with the top down style. You have certain targets to shoot and blow up, you can also collect Action Man logos which are “Power Points” (ugh, I hate presentations) and then there is a fight at the end with the evil villain of the stage. This wasn’t anything special and I wasn’t too enamoured with the way it controls, especially when chasing a moving target.

The shooting missions are better. This turns the game into a third person shooter though you have the option to aim in first person also. Again, nothing too inspired here but the controls work and the shooting works too. I honestly didn’t hate this as much as I thought I was going to – that might be due to my excitement about starting this project but if I was a kid (arguments can be made that I still am) I think I’d enjoy this game. I’ve definitely played worse games on the PS1 before.

Score after 30 minutes:

Other reviews: this game didn’t garner much attention from larger publications but the reviews collected by MobyGames has scores ranging from 79/100 to 0/100 (that’s too harsh)

The Adventures of Lomax

This game represented an issue that I will never attempt to correct during this project – I’m going into these games mostly completely blind and without looking up any controls. This means, if for whatever reason the basic attack in the game requires you to double tap circle then I might not figure this out until half way through the game’s allotted time.

This dampened my experience with the game somewhat. Lomax is a spin-off of the Lemmings series that is a sidescroller platformer. It is clearly HUGELY influenced by the original Rayman with this game coming out a year later. NOTE: I am not a fan of Rayman 1 (and to find out why, wait, like, two years). Lomax is a very good looking game with lovely art and for 1996 PS1 you cannot ask for more.

Once I discovered how to attack the game did, understandably, get a lot better but then I got to a bit where I kept getting stuck and I started to dislike the game again. I get the feeling that this is a game that might have it’s fans out there so please let me know if I am wrong and I’ll give it a second chance (maybe).

Score after 30 minutes:

Other reviews: reviews seem to be average-to-good with many praising the graphics while some pointing out the hard difficulty.

Alien Trilogy

Now this game is real neat. The Playstation is not known for its First Person Shooters, especially in 1996 before they brought out the DualShock, but Alien Trilogy is a good old school FPS. Think a DOOM – just point and shoot, no need to look up or down. I have only ever seen one Alien film – Aliens – so I’m not exactly the target for this game but I had a damn good time killing Xenomorphs and Facehuggers, despite me getting repeatedly lost which is standard for me in these kind of games. Luckily if you find an Auto Mapper you can check the pause menu for a good map to figure out where you should go.

It’s very atmospheric, it seems very faithful to the movies from what little I know of them while still providing a thrilling shooter experience. By design it’s more action orientated than the sci-fi horror of Alien – though we now have Isolation for that.

Overall I was impressed with this game and would happily play more. As a bonus, if this game gets the full review experience then I will also review the first three Alien films. Because I love you.

Score after 30 minutes:

Other Reviews: Reviews are generally really good (except for the DOS version) with even the most harsh review of the PS version in 1996 giving it a 7/10. I’d happily give this the full review treatment.

Alien Resurrection

This sucked. I dunno if inputs got confused somewhere but the controls were weird – I had to press L2 and Circle to switch items but L2 was also the strafe button. If that’s how it’s meant to be then that is bad. I didn’t have such problems with any other game (except Ape Escape but that was a different story) so this was just confusing.

I also hit a roadblock where I couldn’t progress because I’d just get shot by a dozen dudes and I had no weapon and no button I hit seemed to be an unarmed attack. I gave up with this one. I’m hoping I’m missing something here so feel free to shout at me when the video comes live but this was not a good first impression.

Score after 30 minutes:

NO

Other Reviews: Reviews are varied. The good reviews are there but are outweighed by the average and bad reviews. Complaints about control schemes and being a bad console FPS are usually mixed in with praise for the atmosphere and nailing the Alien aura. One does mention using the PS Mouse is the way to go…hmm.

Alundra

I knew this would be a problem eventually – I played 30 minutes of Alundra and while I definitely messed around a little bit while getting used to the controls, after 30 minutes were up I never got to where the game fully starts. I was in the starting village meeting folk but, as I learned playing more of the game later on, never entered the right house.

The art style is cool, I like the music but I can’t judge this game on 30 minutes so it’s rolling over to the next stream. This will henceforth be known as the Alundra Rule (or the JRPG Rule). I’ve played up to where I think the first dungeon takes place so I should have more thoughts about this game then. I like the look of it so far.

Animaniacs: Ten Pin Alley

Best part about this game is there is a video advertisement/mini-documentary about the Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Louis. I want to go there. A quick google suggests that it’s now in Texas. Oh well.

I have played better bowling mini-games than this though. I loved Animaniacs as a young child (I have no real memory of it other than I watched it a lot) but they don’t do enough to save this for me I’m afraid.

Score after 30 minutes:

Other Reviews: reviews are fairly kind (though they were written in 1998), with IGN giving it a 7.1 while the blurb is full of complaints. Classic.

Animorphs: Shattered Reality

This game kinda sucks, but I kinda like it. It’s not the most visually stunning game on the console but the art style works just well enough that it hasn’t aged as badly as games that tried a more realistic style. The gameplay is nothing to write home about, in fact don’t write home about this game unless it’s to talk about SKA DOLPHIN. There was a part of the game where I played as a dolphin while SKA played and honestly, that alone made me so happy that it gets an extra star for that alone. Not a great game but that made it all worth it.

Score after 30 minutes:

Other Reviews: Bad. The common thought is that it might appeal to kids because it’s quite easy but that it completely wastes the whole morphing into animals ability (which is does, to be fair. Apart from SKA DOLPHIN!)

Ape Escape

The last game of the stream and definitely the most iconic when it comes to the PS1 – Ape Escape. This led to a couple of issues. First – the emulator didn’t recognise my controller (a DualShock 4 funnily enough) as a DualShock so I had to restart and fix that. Then the inputs for clicking in the analogue sticks were buggered. So I fixed that. Then I broadcasted a black screen for, like, two minutes because I switched to the wrong scene on OBS. So I fixed that.

Yet for all the troubles I was having, Ape Escape’s quirkiness and originality still managed to shine through. Half an hour is not enough time, the control scheme is rather unique and definitely takes some getting used to. Yet there’s this satisfaction to capturing a monkey that makes it all worth it. I know the game gets crazier as it goes along with the addition of more gadgets and personalities for the monkey so if I have to do a full review of Ape Escape then I would not consider that a bad thing at all.

Score after 30 minutes:

(note: I do believe once I’m used to the controls the actual score would be higher. This is not an actual review score, this is just rating my limited experience with the game)

Other Reviews: It has a 90/100 on MetaCritic – also well done on being the first game to be big enough and in the internet era to have your MetaCritic score on Wikipedia, Ape Escape! Controls, music and graphics are praised but the voice acting (which is rather…um…poorly) is criticised.

So that’s your lot for this stream. Remember to SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL and if you want me to give one of these games (except Alundra which will be next week) another chance then LIKE and COMMENT on that game’s video.

 

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