Since it’s release in 1994(jp)/1995(NA) the Playstation has had it’s fair share of great exclusive titles. This comes from it’s cutting edge technology and it’s willingness to acquire original IP. This has allowed PlayStation to average 44, exclusive titles across all regions, per year. Out of all those titles there are a few that stand out as fan favorites; the titles that made memories.
In 1997 Everybody’s Golf released for the original PlayStation. This game introduced golf in a fun fashion in ways that weren’t available in other golf simulators. It had great elements from throwing grass to check the wind and Mini-Golf fun courses. This is a title that was easy for anyone to pick up and play, but difficult to master. A great accomplishment for any genre, let alone for a Golf Simulator. Luckily Everybody’s Golf/Hot shots Golf was announced in 2015 at the SCEJA conference for release in 2016 for the PS4.
With the echoing laughter of it’s “star” driver, Twisted Metal left trails of bodies in 1995 when it launched for the PlayStation. Each game contained a simple story of the most ruthless people on the planet battling to the death for the ability to make a wish. This title lead to a long series of games from the original PlayStation through the PSP and the PS3. Even now over 3 years after the launch of Twisted Metal in 2012, it still has a huge on-line player base on the PS3. Unfortunately, with the declining sales of the franchise we may not see a new TM game for a long time.
Rich with deep themes of destiny, free will, mortality and redemption the Legacy of Kain series still cuts deep into the souls of those that played it. Beginning in 1996 you took on the role of Kain a nobleman raised as a vampire. The story carries on through four games, bouncing back and forth between the roles of Kain and Raziel, a once loyal servant and vampire to Kain. Finally it culminates into a final chapter with a 5th game Legacy of Kain: Defiance. Just thinking about the series gets the fans blood pumping, unfortunately, it runs cold when we hear that there will be no continuation or rerelease of the series.
Last, I want to mention a personal favorite of mine; Monster Rancher. This series had 5 games released on the PlayStation systems. While there were others, they never really felt the same, and the core is what matters. With over 400 monsters, a very intense training style, adventures, monster DEATH and breeding this title marked the frontier of true monster life simulation games. Using your own CD/DVD Collection as a source you could awaken monsters of all types from living armor (Durahan) to humanoid birds (Raiden) and even bizarre technological constructs from the past (Hengar). Even today, people are still matching up monsters at Monster Rancher Metropolis and doing tournaments at Legend Cup. At it’s height the Metropolis was seeing over 50,000 unique hits and still garners over 300 hits a day from it’s 17,000 members. This too, is another series we won’t be seeing anymore of.
Franchises fall for lots of different reasons. Some change hands and lose licenses, some just don’t sell as well as their predecessors. Others get locked into the turmoil of eternal development. Whatever reason these franchises come and go, I look forward to all the franchises that are still to come, and the best place for them is on PlayStation.