June may well turn out to be a very memorable month for those of you who have been fond of PlayStation since the PSone days. Sony's first console launched in Japan all the way back in 1994, which seems like a lifetime ago. The success of the system is well documented, and its popularity saw Sony form an iron grip around the console market - a grip that wouldn't loosen until the PlayStation 3's rough start in 2006.
When looking back at the Japanese giant's most successful machines - the PSone and PlayStation 2 - you simply can't ignore just how many games these systems had. The sheer amount of variety was, and still is, ridiculous. An aspect that Sony is clearly trying to recreate with the PlayStation 4's already vast library, there was something for everyone on PSone - and that variety is echoed even today in three games that are launching in June on Sony's current-gen console.
We are, of course, talking about Tekken 7, WipEout: Omega Collection, and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Three properties that started life on PSone, Tekken, WipEout, and Crash Bandicoot defined PlayStation back in the day - and funnily enough, they're all returning to the PlayStation Nation [We need to stop writing that - Ed] within 30 days of each other. Pretty crazy, isn't it?
To help celebrate the existence of this hopefully glorious trio, we're going to take a look at all three titles and have ourselves a nice little nostalgia trip. Won't you join us?
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Release date: 2nd June
First PSone appearance: Tekken (1995)
Other PSone titles: Tekken 2 (1996), Tekken 3 (1998)
It's been six years since we last got a Tekken title on a PlayStation platform, and even then, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is a spin-off. With that in mind, it's actually been a whopping eight years since the last mainline Tekken game, Tekken 6, arrived on the PS3. It's been a long, long time coming, but Tekken 7 is just around the corner, and by all accounts, it's shaping up to be something quite special.
The Tekken series as a whole has had its ups and downs throughout its 22 years on the market. The very first game was rough around the edges even back in 1995, but it only took Namco a few years to seemingly perfect its 3D fighting formula with the revolutionary Tekken 3. A seriously impressive technical showcase for the time, Tekken 3 is still widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best Tekken title ever made. In 1998, Tekken was a household name, and for a good while, it dominated the fighting game scene as far as sheer popularity goes.
Unfortunately, the franchise didn't have the best of times on the PS2, and ever since, it's never quite managed to recapture the glory that it had found with Tekken 3 - even if Tekken 5 and the aforementioned Tekken Tag Tournament 2 still stand as fantastic fighters.
Enter Tekken 7, which seems to have once again caught the eye of a wider audience, at least to some extent. Tekken 7 originally launched in Japanese arcades back in 2015, so Namco's had a lot of time to tweak and balance the game's combat system. Speaking of which, several new mechanics have been introduced, and look to add further depth to the system regardless of your skill level. All new rage arts are essentially super moves, and the newly introduced screw mechanic makes it a little easier to keep your combos going. As for modes, a healthy amount of single player content should keep more casual players happy, while the competitive scene will no doubt get a kick out of brand new online tournaments.
Tekken 7 seems to have all the right ingredients, then, but will it be enough to bring lapsed players back into the fray? For those of you who enjoyed the series when it was in its prime, this could be the return to form that you've been waiting for.
Release date: 6th June (NA), 7th June (EU)
First PSone appearance: WipEout (1995)
Other PSone titles: WipEout 2097 (1996), Wip3out/WipEout 3 (1999)
WipEout brought futuristic racing to PlayStation in a big way. Technically impressive and hard as nails, the first game immediately made an impression back in 1995, and its sequel, WipEout 2097, refined the series' brand of anti-gravity madness. The inevitably named Wip3out took this refinement even further, and it's still regarded as a high point for the property.
As hinted, WipEout has never been an accessible racer, but that's an undeniable part of its appeal. Back on the PSone, the games quickly gained a reputation as titles that only the most skilled of players could handle, but that only helped define the franchise as a whole. Its no-nonsense approach to futuristic speeding allowed it to cultivate an especially hardcore following - a following that's no doubt excited to see the series make a return on PS4.
So, what actually is the Omega Collection? Well, it's essentially a mash-up of two relatively recent WipEout games: PS3 title WipEout HD, and Vita release WipEout 2048. It includes tracks from both games, and retains their brilliantly polished gameplay. You can expect a suite of single player modes as well as your usual dosage of online carnage, hopefully resulting in a rock solid racing package.
Going for a budget price, WipEout could well find a whole new audience on PS4. Its eye-watering speed may seem daunting at first, but settle into the many twists and turns of its tracks, and you'll struggle to find a more rewarding experience. Sony will be gauging interest in the property through Omega Collection, so if you want a future full of Feisar, you may want to give this upcoming release a shot.
Release date: 30th June
First PSone appearance: Crash Bandicoot (1996)
Other PSone titles: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (1997), Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped (1998), Crash Team Racing (1999), Crash Bash (2000)
Once PlayStation's undisputed mascot, Crash Bandicoot was the coolest anthropomorphic character in gaming back in the 90s. The 'coot had attitude, didn't take himself too seriously, and his games were pretty darn good. The original Crash Bandicoot launched in 1996, and for the property's first outing, it was really quite impressive. A lengthy platforming adventure that boasted loads of memorable stages and boss fights, it laid a very, very solid foundation for future titles to build upon.
Crash really hit its stride with Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, however. Introducing more depth to the series' platforming with unlockable abilities and harbouring more secrets than the diary of a serial killer, these two sequels transformed Crash into PlayStation's most recognisable star. For a time, at least.
The fall of everyone's favourite orange marsupial doesn't make for an especially exciting tale, but the short version is that once the series left the caring embrace of Naughty Dog, it slipped into a long period of irrelevance. That period continues to this day, but at least the N. Sane Trilogy promises a reunion with the Crash that we know and love as we once again guide him through his very best adventures.
This isn't a simple remaster of the first three games, though. Developer Vicarious Visions has remade each title from the ground up using modern assets, and the budget priced package contains not one, not two, but three Platinum Trophies for you to collect. This is one release that should be bursting at the seams with value.
Crash has endured many years of mistreatment, but with the N. Sane Trilogy, we're getting a chance to relive the glory days of a 90s icon. If all goes to plan, the release will set the bar for nostalgia-driven remakes and remasters.
Will June be stuffed full of PSone nostalgia for you? Vote for the game that you're most looking forward to in our poll, and then relive the good old days in the comments section below.
Which release are you most looking forward to? (65 votes)
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
WipEout: Omega Collection
Please login to vote in this poll.