I dipped back into the murky world of game collecting after coming across a bargain. At the weekend I picked up the immense Castlevania: Symphony of the night – Limited Edition and PlayStation launch title – Rapid Reload.
I will admit now I have never played or particularly wanted Rapid Reload but after seeing it advertised and doing a little research my head was turned.
Castlevania nocked me back £60 and Rapid reload a mere £15. My favourite thing about collecting PS1 games is that I can play them directly on my PS3. No messing about with old consoles. All the fuss that comes with wired controllers and composite connections is gone.
Rapid Reload – PS1 (1995)
Lets begin with Rapid Reload, launched in 1995 this 2D game met little applause on release. The world was moving fast into 3D and a hang over of the 2D age was not welcome on a new console. Looking back on it now it seems absurd that any of those early 3D games could have even been compared thigh quality animation / beautiful sprites on offer in RR.
Gunstar Heroes is the closest approximation, which for those who don’t know is basically a 2 player Contra with lots of explosions and mechs.
Why this game is awesome:
1, One of the characters is called ‘Axel Sonics’ -Axel is one of the all time best 80′s names for an action hero, and they combined it with Sonic the Hedgehog. Genius.
2, It isn’t oppressively hard. A lot of these games are impossible to enjoy as you are never alive long enough.
3, It is still beautiful. Games do not age well, without a strong art direction a game will very quickly look dated and dull. RR does not suffer from this, and in gameplay terms whilst simple and lacking in extra’s, takes a wining formula and deploys it perfectly.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night – PS1 (1997)
Not sure I need to educate any one on this one. Metroid meets Dracula. An incredible game that previously I had only played on XBLA and PSP. If you haven’t played this then pick it up (also on PSN), it is perhaps the pinnacle of 2D gaming.
The essence is to deafeat Dracula by exploring his castle unlocking extra abilities along the way to gain new levels of access. To aid you in your quest a plethora of equipment can be found and plenty of hidden extra’s are stuffed away in Dracula’s gigantic residence.
Worth the entrance fee for the iconic opening that is actually the end of the previous title – Dracula X. Player controlled Alucard exchanges the following with Dracula.