Top Ten PS1 Games to Revisit for the Summer

7. Bloody Roar

Bloody Roar

Zooanthropes represent! Bloody Roar takes the one-on-one fighting mechanics from Virtua Fighter, spruces things up for more fluid mechanics, and throws in a whole lot of attitude. You get to choose from a wide array of zooanthropes, that is humans who are capable of turning into human/animal hybrids. I would say werewolves, but there’s so much more than werewolves here. You’ve got weretigers, weregorillas, etc. You’ve got a kick button, a punch button, and generic throw button, all of which do radically different things depending on the character, and it gets wilder once you choose to transform. Since you start out in your human form there’s a wild card introduced here that’s missing from other fighting games: choosing the right moment to transform. Usually if you transform first, it’s because you’re lagging behind and need that extra edge to keep up with your opponent, so while you’re fighting you’re also playing a game of chicken: who will be the first to transform?

6. MediEvil

MediEvil

If you think about warfare, ever wonder why no one ever talks about the first person to die in an engagement? It’s an ignominious distinction that’s sadly a prerequisite for someone else’s boundless heroism. You play as Sir Daniel Fortesque, a liar who talked himself up until he was hailed as an army’s savior, until the first arrow launched by the enemy killed him stone dead. He was buried with full military honors, and songs are still sung of his fabricated deeds, but now he must pay for his stolen valor. He’s brought back to life inadvertently by the evil wizard Zarok, the scourge of the Kingdom of Gallowmere whom you supposedly defeated 100 years earlier. Faced with an army of the undead in this gothic-comedy platformer, Dan must slash his way to the hall of heroes in hopes that his actions while dead will make up for his stupidity while alive.

5. Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssee

Oddworld

Oddworld is one of those experiences that’s hard to sum up if you haven’t seen it. It’s a world that’s, well, odd. You play as Abe, a member of a species known as Mudokons. They’re vaguely humanoid and possess nascent psychic abilities, giving Abe the power to possess lesser-minded beings. Despite this, he’s not your average hero. He’s just a slave/janitor working at RuptureFarms, a business like any other that specializes in taking living, breathing, thinking, feeling beings and rendering them down into tasty snacks for fun and profit. Abe learns that Mudokons are next on the menu, and must escape this abattoirish hell while saving all of his fellow Mudokons from the food processor. It’s a 2D platformer that focuses less on making tricky jumps and more on solving complex puzzles involving push-button mechanisms, enemies that shoot on sight, apathetic allies, and other creatures more odd by far. I won’t say that it’s easy. You can beat it, though to save all the Mudokons to get the good ending will have you pulling your hair out. But in a good way.

4. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain

Hosted at Universal Videogame List www.uvlist.net

About the closest thing to the life story of Vlad Teppes you’ll find in a video game, Blood Omen is an action/RPG taking place in the land of Nosgoth, which bears startling resemblance to Wallachia (that’s the main province in Romania in case you were wondering.) You are Kain, an ambitious, intelligent, and infinitely cynical young nobleman who is murdered and then raised as a vampire by the sorcerer Mortanius. You seek your revenge for your death, and then find yourself the sorcerer’s pawn in his war against the Circle of Nine, a corrupt group of godlike elite sorcerers who maintain balance and power over the land. As your quest becomes more complex, Kain develops a more antisocial view of humanity, and when given the choice to return to normal he declines, having embraced the monster within. The game features many melee weapons, ranged attacks, magic powers, and innate vampiric abilities making for many available methods of play. The nonlinear exploration is a breath of fresh air, and gameplay as a whole takes after the Neverwinter Nights series, which is not without appeal. What you will relish, however, is not so much the gameplay as it is being party to Kain’s slow spiral into bloodshed and madness.

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About The Author

John Richard "Chrysophase" Albers
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John Richard Albers, an author, armchair psychologist, amateur historian, freelance, peacemaker, dragonslayer, warmaster, and part-time herald of the apocalypse, hunts ghosts when he isn't hunting crazy people. He holds dual bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and English Literature, is working toward a degree in parapsychology, and is acting CEO of Prior to Print Proofreading LLC, where he gets to torture editors instead of them torturing him for once.

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