Tag: Castlevania

The Sony PlayStation: A 2×12-Year Retrospective

Well, it's September 9th, 2019, which means its time for another 12/12 console anniversary. Yes, today makes 24 years since Sony's very first PlayStation console was first released in North America. Though Sega and Nintendo pretty much owned the home console landscape at the time they decided to enter the frey, a combination of smart business decisions and key partnerships, in addition to some pretty massive missteps by the competition helped Sony to quickly become the dominant force in the industry. A position they have continued to enjoy for the majority of their console-making career.

​Sony first began their foray into game consoles in the late 1980s when they entered into a partnership with Nintendo to create a CD-ROM add-on called the Play Station for the upcoming Super Nintendo console. The partnership was rocky though, particularly when Nintendo went behind their back to form another partnership with Sony's competitor Philips. At one point Sony even approached Sega with a proposal to a similar partnership to the one they had with Nintendo, but Sega, unfortunately, declined. Eventually, Sony decided to abandon the project altogether in favor of creating their very own gaming system for the next console generation. This, of course, is what would go on to become the PlayStation.

After settling on engineering the console to specialize in handling three-dimensional polygonal graphics, Sony then had to figure out how to get games made for its system. For this, they mainly relied on securing hundreds of deals for third-party games, both exclusive and multi-platform. In addition, they also acquired the British video game company Psygnosis which, along with creating the fantastic wipEout series for them (one particularly excellent entry of which appears on our list below), also had the unintended benefit of resulting in a more economical, dedicated game development system for their new console.

Finally, Sony needed to figure out how to get a jump on the already long-established competition. They accomplished this in two ways. With Nintendo, they primarily did this simply by beating them to market, since their next generation Nintendo 64 console wasn't even ready for release until the following year. And with Sega, they simply found a way to capitalize on their blunders, particularly by undercutting them on pricing. By selling the PlayStation for $100 less than Sega's Saturn, they made it a lot more attractive to otherwise undecided console shoppers who couldn't quite see the additional cost benefit of Sega's offering.

Even with a leg up though, without the right games, the PlayStation brand wouldn't have lasted for very long. But great games are something that every PlayStation console has always had in spades. Read on for our list of 12 of the best ones the original PlayStation had to offer.

Read more

More Games To Play When It’s Halloween

Well, it's nearly that time again - my favorite holiday of my favorite month (in my favorite season). I love this time of year. A few years back I decided to mark the occasion by making a list for you featuring some of my favorite games I play to help get me in the festive spirit. This year, like an undead creature of the night, I have emerged once again to bring you even more. While a lot of these selections are sequels to games on my original list, that shouldn't diminish their value any. On the contrary, I'm sure you will find that some of these games are equally effective at striking the proper tone. So without further ado, allow me to present you with more games to play when it's Halloween:

Read more

The PlayStation Portable: A 12-Year Anniversary Retrospective

Well, today marks the 12th anniversary of the North American release of the PlayStation Portable. It's kind of hard to believe it's already been 12 years since Sony decided to enter the portable fray. In honor of the 12th anniversary, it only seems fitting to take a look back at the handheld console and talk about twelve of the greatest games to ever appear on it.

The PSP debuted in the US on March 24, 2005. The first real competitor to a Nintendo handheld since Sega's Game Gear (10 years earlier), the PlayStation Portable quickly positioned itself as a sleek and sexy alternative to the clunkier chunkier Nintendo DS. The PSP actually had a lot going for it: better graphics, a superior form factor, millions of ardent Sony fans, and a wealth of great games. It also had a few stumbles which were almost all hardware-related: screen issues on certain models, the decision to use prohibitively expensive proprietary memory cards, not to mention the incredibly unpopular PSP Go.

All in all though, the PSP was a pretty incredible little machine. Did I mention the great games? Let's delve into that further, shall we? Here are 12 shining examples of the best gaming experiences the PlayStation Portable had to offer:

Read more

Games To Play When It’s Halloween

It's almost here again. Halloween. My favorite holiday of them all. This time of year, I tend to become a little obsessed with things that are dark, spooky, and/or macabre. I like to break out stories by Edgar Allan Poe, or watch movies by Tim Burton or John Carpenter (the original Halloween movie is one of my favorites). You get the idea.

I love the fact that Halloween falls right on the very last day of October. It basically gives me an excuse to spend the whole month getting in the mood and preparing for the big day. In addition to reading stories and watching movies, I also spend that time thinking about costumes and jack-o-lantern designs, and of course, playing video games. There has been an abundance of decent Halloween-related games over the years, going all the way back to Haunted House on the Atari 2600. I usually don't go back quite that far, but here is a list of some of the ones that I do like to play:

Read more