Developed by Gremlin Interactive and published by Activision in North America and Gremlin in Europe in 1997, Judge Dredd on the PlayStation is an on-rails lightgun shooter in a similar vein to something like Virtua Cop, only much, much worse.
The sequel to the notorious crime simulator, Grand Theft Auto, was developed by DMA Design and published by Rockstar Games in 1999. Grand Theft Auto 2 is more of the same overhead, scrolling car-stealing action, although this time it is a set in a futuristic metropolis known as “Anywhere City“, where three feuding gangs are competing to become the dominant crime syndicate in the city.
First released in 1997 for MS-DOS PCs, the first Grand Theft Auto laid the framework for the series as it’s become today, which is: one of the best-selling and most popular video game franchises of all-time. Not to mention one of the most controversial.
Grand Theft Auto was developed by Scottish company DMA Design and published by BMG Interactive in Europe and Take-Two Interactive in North America.
King’s Field III is the second sequel in FromSoftware‘s classic first-person RPG series and was first released in Japan in 1996. It was published in North America by ASCII Entertainment under the title of “King’s Field II” (because the original King’s Field was only released in Japan).
For my money, King’s Field III is the best of the three PlayStation King’s Field games, with larger, more interesting environments, and a bigger scope than the previous two games. The graphics are still borderline laughable, and the controls are still cumbersome, but the gameplay has evolved reasonably well in the space of a couple of years.
FromSoftware‘s King’s Field II was initially released in Japan in 1995 and it is another first-person RPG with open world exploration, dodgy graphics and challenging combat. It was later published under the title “King’s Field” by ASCII Entertainment in North America and Sony in Europe in 1996, which does cause some confusion as the western titling ignores the actual first game in the series. For clarity: the official English language “King’s Field” is actually King’s Field II – the sequel.
With Elden Ring currently wowing gamers I thought I’d take a look at the series that began FromSoftware‘s journey into the action RPG genre, and that would be King’s Field – released in Japan only in 1994 for the Sony PlayStation – and, to be honest, it couldn’t be any further removed from Elden Ring in terms of presentation…
I’ve played a lot of RPGs in my time, and I would go so far as to say that it’s my favourite genre of video game, but King’s Field came as a bit of a shock to me. Yes, King’s Field was an early 3D RPG on the PlayStation, releasing the same year as the PS1 was launched, but it post-dates Ultima Underworld by two years and is archaic in comparison.
Released in Japan in 2000 as Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past, this PlayStation exclusive JRPG was re-titled as Dragon Warrior VII for its North American English language release in 2001. It was developed by Heartbeat and was the last Dragon Quest game to be published by Enix, before merging with Squaresoft in 2003 to form Square Enix.
Known as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: The 20th Anniversary in Europe, Interplanetary Mission is an isometric action adventure featuring the famous movie character, E.T. And, while the game is no classic, it is at least much better than the infamous Atari 2600 game from 1982. In fact: it’s not too bad at all.
Vib-Ribbon is a unique game on the PlayStation. It is the only game I can think of that is mostly black and white and uses simple animated vector-style line art to present the visuals. That said: Vib-Ribbon is full of character and charm and goes to show what can be achieved when developers think out of the box.