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El gigantesco catalago Japonés de PSX

psx país del sol naciente yamero japón playstation

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Escrito 24 febrero 2018 - 14:57

He encontrado un hilo repleto devideos, imagenes y resumenes de jeugos que la gran mayoria solo salieron en japon. Muchos dicen que son solo simuladores de trenes, beisbol y similares pero algunos quizas os gusten.



Ultima Underworld, the revlutionary first person action RPG was ported to the PS1.
A notable change to the earlier versions was that enemies are polygons instead of sprites.
Unfortunately the game doesn't support sticks so the controls get quite complicated.



































First there's the Daisenryaku ("Grand Strategy") series developed by a Alpha SystemSoft, which is a lengthy series of turn-based strategy games. You command units on a hexagonal grid and carry out attacks which are displayed in neat cinematics, similar to Advance Wars. The series generally hasn't left Japan with the exception of Dai Senryaku VII on the Xbox and Iron Storm on the Genesis, both of which have a cult following to this day.

Daisenryaku: Player's Spirit and Master's Combat were released for the PS1 and fit the mold of the series pretty well, as their campaigns are inspired by or based on historical conflicts, and feature various countries as different factions to play as. The exception was Cyber Daisenryaku, a game designed to bring new players into the series. Here you play as a high school-aged tactician who commands units in a virtual war simulator, in preparation for real-world conflict. Unlike the other games, Cyber Daisenryaku has a visual novel-style presentation and involved story with various supporting characters, though the turn-based strategy gameplay is the same.




Also developed by Alpha and related to the Daisenryaku series is Kokidou Gensou: Gunparade March, a game that combines the turn-based strategy of Daisenryaku with a full-fledged life sim/RPG story years before Persona 3. The premise is that humanity has been fighting a losing war against alien monsters for the past 50 years, and Japan has resorted to drafting its high schoolers into the army by funneling them into military schools. You play as a student who splits his time between a normal, teenage life and epic battles against aliens on bipedal mechs.

The combat gameplay hasn't changed much but there's so much more to do now outside of fighting, such as exploring the town, going to classes, participating in extracurricular activities, getting to know your classmates, and even going on dates. The game's story and characters were so popular that it was adapted to an anime series, which is better-known internationally than the game itself. There was a follow-up on the PS2 called Gunparade Orchestra, which features a mostly new cast.



One thing that the PlayStation had a lot of was board games with RPG-esque features. Usually these were isometric, Monopoly-style board games where players chose a character class instead of a piece, purchased items at shop spaces, gained EXP from slaying monsters, and even challenged each other to duels while advancing. One of the most popular in this genre was Gaia Master: Kamigami no Boardgame, developed by Capcom. Aside from multi-player it features a single-player story mode, several characters with unique perks, and the typically gorgeous Capcom fantasy art and sprite work. Rounds even feature RPG-style showdowns against story enemies and monsters.

Gaia Master was successful enough to warrant sequels on the Dreamcast and GBC, but none were localized outside of Japan.


As I said, though, the PS1 had tons of other board games with RPG-esque features or gimmicks. Here is a rundown of other noteworthy ones:

Anokodokonoko, a dating sim board game where the objective is to buy gifts for the girl you're targeting and take her out on dates to various available locales. The players all compete for romance in the multi-player mode.

Bokujyoukeieiteki Board Game Umapoly, a board game with themes of agriculture and animal husbandry. As you advance you can raise and auction off prize horses, win races, find your stud an ideal mare, and other things, all displayed in comically graphic sprite-based illustrations.

Hi-Hou-Oh, a board game with a treasure-hunting/spelunking theme, with boards that are set in places like Atlantis or the Tower of Babel. The core of the game is your typical Monopoly clone where the player with the most money wins, but the selection of characters, themes, and various gimmicks based on finding treasure in ruins give it flavor.


Dokapon! Ikari no Tetsuken, a board game with a fantasy RPG theme and various retro RPG-esque features. This game's sequel was localized as Dokapon Kingdom for the PS2 and Wii. Dragon Money and Dioramos are two other board games with the same theme.

The DX Jinsei Game series had five entries on the PS1. These are basically enhanced versions of the classic board game The Game of Life, where you find a job, marry, start a family, and so on, but presented with colorful sprite-based graphics. Each entry added more professions, options, and random events. The series also had two spin-offs: DX Nippon Tokkyu Ryoku Game (with a theme of Japanese tourism), and DX Okuman Chouja Game (with a corporate business theme).

Finally and perhaps most interesting is Kimagure My Baby, a game where you raise a cute daughter all the way from infancy to adulthood, while overseeing important milestones in her life such as her high school graduation, first job, and eventual marriage.





Another thing that the PS1 had a lot of in Japan was adventure/sim games with a cooking or restaurant theme. Among the lesser-known ones is Ramen Hashi, a ramen-cooking adventure. You play as a Japanese man coming home from the end of World War II and deciding to become to the best ramen cook in the country. You follow his quest all the way from the 1950s to modern times. Gameplay is split between first-person exploration/interaction with characters, and ramen-making mini-games. The game as an interesting style that reminds me of newspaper cartoons, and is appropriately nostalgic.

There's also the better-known and perhaps even more nostalgic Charumera, where you play as a wandering ramen stand seller in seventies Japan. There isn't a lot to do in this game other than soak up its sunset atmosphere and experiment with ingredients for new ramen recipes. You do earn money, but the game never punishes you for not breaking even, and in general it's pretty relaxing. The protagonist of this game is known as Uncle Charumera and is actually the cartoon mascot of Japanese ramen company Myojo Foods.



Probably the best-known cooking game on the PS1 is Ore no Ryouri: We Cooking, where you play as a prodigious boy-chef across several restaurants. Customers come in and ask for various dishes that you prepare through a series of short mini-games, similar to the later Cooking Mama series.

In more action game territory there's Honoo no Ryourinin: Cooking Fighter Tao, where chefs engage in literal duels and a shounen-style, over-the-top aesthetic rules everything. It reminds of the anime series Shokugeki no Souma. The game's story is presented with anime-style illustrated portraits, but duels are top-down sprite-based combat scenes where you can literally attack your opponent with a cooking utensil while gathering ingredients and preparing dishes. The story mode only lets you play as protagonist Tao, but the Free Battle mode lets you pick any of the game's twelve chefs.


Moving towards puzzle cooking games we have Yakitori Musume, where you play as a girl in charge of a yakitori restaurant. Patrons will sit down and chat you up as part of the game's story/adventure element, but the real meat is the yakitori-cooking mini-game that ensues.

In the same vein we have Yakiniku Bugyou, a very popular and addictive puzzle game where you are in charge of a grill with various cuts of meat and other things cooking on it. Various patrons will scroll past the stop of a screen asking for different orders, and you'll have to satisfy them while keeping up with increasingly higher demand. This game can be played without knowing a word of Japanese and is extremely fun; it was even made shortly available for download on the North American PlayStation Network.



Another thing that was huge on the PS1 but stayed complete in Japan was the horse-raising sim. Horse racing is a pretty popular gambling and cultural activity in Japan, though these games focus exclusively on breeding, training, and raising horses for Western-style jockey races. There are shitloads of these games for the PS1, including series such as Classic Road (pictured), Breeding Stud, Derby Jockey, Disc Derby, G1 Jockey, and Gallop Racer.

Usually when one of these games makes its way to America it's dumbed down and marketed as a horse game for teenage girls, but these highly technical sims were clearly designed for a crowd of serious hobbyists, and are generally impenetrable if one doesn't know Japanese.


Compared to the amount of party-based JRPGs available on the PS1, the number of strategy RPGs seemed paltry, but this was only really true for English-speaking audiences. Japan kept a ton of SRPGs for the PS1 to itself.

Chief among them is Houshinengi, developed by Koei and based on Investiture of the Gods, one of the great classics of Chinese literature which also serves as the setting for their Warriors Orochi series. It's a fantasy adventure set in ancient China, with the sprites-on-polygons presentation and turn-based combat that SRPG fans are accustomed to. Every character is given their own anime-style portrait, features, personality, and abilities in battle. The game is much lighter compared to Koei's historical Chinese strategy games, although it maintains the company's signature style.


Aubirdforce and its sequel, Aubirdforce After, are sci-fi SRPGs developed and published by Bandai. The player chooses to follow the story of one of two protagonists, and acts as a space fleet captain, recruiting new pilots with distinct features and personalities. These pilots can be commanded in turn-based battles that, unlike your typical SRPG, take place in spaces, allowing for 3D grid-based movement. This adds a whole other layer of tactics to combat and can be disorienting at first, but becomes really engaging and really makes the series feel unique.



Velldeselba Senki: Tsubasa no Kunshou arguably fits the bill. This is a beautiful RPG developed by Tenki that takes place in a world of floating islands and features gorgeous airship design that looks like it was taken out of a Studio Ghibli film. You explore towns and settlements in a top-down, sprite-based presentation, but the general overworld can be explored in first-person 3D using your airship. (This is also the perspective used for engaging in battles.) Without a doubt one of the best PS1 RPGs to not receive a localization.


If not Velldeselba, another stranger option is Linda3 (or Cubed) Again, an enhanced port of a TGX-16 RPG also developed by Alpha System. This is one of the more bizarre RPGs on the system, where you play as a man and woman tasked with gathering males and females of a planet's various fauna before it's wiped out by a meteor in eight years. Visually it's a very simple game, with the typical top-down view and first-person, turn-based RPG battles. But you are encouraged to capture beasts instead of simply kill them, which requires more strategy. The story is also divided into three distinct scenarios, each with increasingly bizarre premises. The third scenario is the hardest to complete on time and has the most nonsensical story, but is allows you to explore the entire game world pretty much from the start in order to gather the required 100 species in order to pass.

Exploration in Linda Cubed Again is really fun, because the world changes noticeably with the seasons. Some species become more common than others, some parts of the world flood while others thrive, some NPC services are available and others aren't, and so on. Completing the game's third scenario requires intimate knowledge of the world's inner workings.

The story of Linda Cubed Again is also famously bizarre and surprisingly graphic, with fully-animated sequences to narrate it. It's a fiercely original and strange game, definitely not perfect, but worth trying if you're up to it.


Moving on from RPGs for a second, Brave Prove is a top-down action-adventure game developed by Data West. This was the last game they put out before leaving the video game business. Brave Prove plays a lot like Alundra or a 2D Zelda game, but it's most clearly inspired by the Genesis game Beyond Oasis/The Story of Thor. You find elemental spirits that can later be summoned for special attacks, and the game's general art direction has a similar vibe, with really colorful environments and chunky sprite work. There's also very little story, so the game is highly accessible for non-Japanese speakers. If you like classic action-adventures, this is recommended.

It should also be noted that some special attacks in this game are performed through input combinations, so you should look those up if you want to be able to pull them off.





In a similar vein to Brave Prove but much cuter is Community Pom, a top-down action-adventure where you play as a little girl-wizard whose task is to save her land... from giant watermelons. The general gameplay is like a 2D Zelda, but you can capture fuzzy little creatures called Pom, which can then help you in battle. But you have to keep them happy and also manage the Pom village, so the game has a minor sim element. There isn't a whole lot of optional content or replay value, but Community Pom does have that cozy anime atmosphere typical of the developer Fill-In Cafe, which went on to do the Summon Night series, among other JRPGs.

The game does require some knowledge of Japanese to progress, due to the puzzles and fetch quests involved, though you can brute-force your way to the end or consult a guide.

This game's popularity warranted a reprint with the title Community Pom: Omoide O Dakishimete, but aside from a new subtitle and new box art, I don't think it features any additional content.












In the realm of 3D games we have Blade Arts: Tasogare No Miyako R'lyeh, a third-person action-adventure game published by Enix. You play as a treasure hunter, exploring forgotten ruins and sealed dungeons. The game's spelunking fantasy theme definitely has a Tomb Raider vibe, but your character fights with a magical broadsword, which is very satisfying to use. In general the game has good controls and combat, thanks to a lock-on system. It also looks quite nice, features a great soundtrack, has well-directed cutscenes, and includes full voice acting to boot. It's kind of mystery as to why this game wasn't localized; it even ties into the Lovecraftian mythos in its story.



Konami's Goemon / Mystical Ninja series began on the SNES, but four Goemon games were produced for the PS1, none of them localized. The first one, Uchuu Kaizoku Akogingu, is a pretty bad and weird platformer. The second, Ooedo Daikaiten, is a slightly better but generic iteration. The third, Karunarakoi! Ayashi Geikka no Kuroikage!, is a top-down 3D mess.

For the last Goemon game on the system, Goemon: Shin Sendai Shuumei, a visual overhaul was attempted, while maintaining the gameplay intact. Goemon and his friends have been re-designed for a more shounen audience, and Ebisu in particular has been turned into a cute girl! The game takes place in the far future, with the characters re-cast as bounty hunters, but the general Goemon world's elements are the same. You can still play as the four main characters (Goemon, Ebisu, Sasuke, and Yae). It's a 2D platformer with sprites and occasional polygons, and there's no more world map exploration, as all the shopping and upgrading is done in the stages themselves. Goemon Impact also returns for some impressive mech battle sequences. It's actually a really good game, if you can get past the new look.

The game also has a pretty badass soundtrack, much of which has been uploaded to YouTube. Here's the opening cinematic:




The PlayStation also had tons upon tons of construction and management sims with unique themes. Chief among them is the Azito series, where you expand and manage a super-villainous secret base, complete with traps, mutated monsters, and robot guards. However, secret HQs are expensive, and you have to balance defense spending with consumer product development, which will generate enough profit to keep the lights on. Also, you have to deal with the occasional kaijuu attack or superhero invasion. The games are steeped in Japanese pop culture, tokusatsu, and old-school manga. Azito 3 in particular makes the interface more user-friendly and the presentation more attractive.

Some other PS1 sims with unusual themes include: Aqua Paradise: Boku no Suizokukan, where you manage an aquarium; Dekiru! Game Center, where you manage an arcade; Doki Doki on Air, where you manage a radio station; Famires e Youkosou!, where you manage a family restaurant chain; Burger Burger, where you manage a fast food empire; the Gakkou o Tsukurou!! trilogy, where you manage a high school as its principal; Happy Hotel; where you manage a hotel; King of Producer, where you manage a talent agency; the Conveni Special series, where you manage a convenience store; The Drug Store, which is self-explanatory; and finally Gamesoft Wo Tsukurou, where you manage a game development studio.


There are a few "virtual pet" raising sim-type games for the PS1, but none can really match Dig-a-Dig Pukka, a charming titled developed and published by Sony. Here you're put in charge of an adorable, mouse-like creature who explores a verdant planet in search for minerals. The game has a Pikmin-esque vibe, with scenery presented on a 2D or isometric plane and regularly interspersed with cinematics. Keeping track of your little miner's hunger, fatigue, and so on are obvious necessities, as well as hauling any treasure back to home base for examination. For the most part the game doesn't really have a language barrier so long as you're willing to click through lots of boxes of Japanese texts, though sometimes you'll encounter an obstacle that Pukka won't know how to deal with, and will have to choose the correct option through trial and error. At any rate, it's not a punishing game.



Cosmic Race - it was a close to launch title in Japan and it was one of the worst games ever made. How the hell does something like this ever get approval from Sony Japan?



The first Tobal game came out in North America and PAL territories, but Tobal 2 was exclusive to Japan. A 3D fighter similar to Tekken. Character art was designed by Akira Toriyama, author and illustrator of the popular Dragon Ball manga. In this game, you have 200 different characters to choose from. Some are really nonsensical, but that's what makes it fun! There are your normal human main characters, but then there are others like penguins, frogs, dogs, phantoms, robots, worms, machines, orcs, and so much more!









Boku no Natsuyasumi is a gorgeous adventure game developed by Millennium Kitchen, where you play as a young boy enjoying a month of vacations at the Japanese countryside, in the summer of 1975. As each day passes, you may wander around your grandparents' rural home, collecting bugs, swimming in the pond, helping with the daily chores, or getting to know the townsfolk. There's a good degree of freedom, and the game itself looks beautiful thanks to the use of polygons combined with pre-rendered backgrounds, based on nature photographs. The game has a bittersweet tone towards the end, and each day concludes with a crayon-scribbled entry in the protagonist's diary. Definitely one of the most atmospheric and memorable adventure games on the console.

Due to the nature of the game you can't really lose or get stuck much, so it's entirely possible to play this one without knowing Japanese (as well as all the following Boku no Natsuyasumi games). Text is presented vertically in these games, so it's unlikely we'll ever see a fan translation.

Not only did Boku no Natsuyasumi get ported to the PSP, but the series continued with Boku no Natsuyasumi 2 on the PS2, and 3 on the PS3. There was also a PSP spinoff where you raise a family.


Doki Doki Poyatchio!! is an overhead adventure game developed by Studio Saizensen, also responsible for the Umihara Kawase cult series, and they even share the same character designer. In this game you play as a young boy sent to a rural town for a month in order to help his aunt with her bread deliveries. Delivering bread and buying ingredients are the only things you have to do every day; how you spend the rest of the day is up to you. The town is populated by various characters who move around according to their own schedules, including a number of girls who exist as romance options for the player. Despite having a top-down, sprite-based presentation reminiscent of JRPGs, this game has no stats or combat whatsoever, and is more of a laid-back adventure/sim. Obviously, your ending changes depending on the girl you pursue.

As a side-note, the same developers would eventually produce Shining Hearts on the PSP, which was clearly meant as a spiritual successor to this game. However, Shining Hearts is a full-fledged RPG with combat and stats. You can find out more here:


Rakugaki Showtime was released by Treasure. It's far from their best game but it's their best game on the PS1 at least. Plus Marina is a playable character.



This is a very good-looking 3D adventure game based on the manga series by Akira Toriyama, and developed by Bandai. The first thing most people notice about the game is the beautiful low-polygon graphics, which really do justice to the cartoon. You can walk around and explore protagonist Arale's town, interacting with other characters and even engaging them in various activities. The game world isn't very big, but it has a sense of warmth similar to the towns of Mega Man Legends games. There are however dungeons with combat and platforming elements, though they're not very hard and there isn't a real focus on that aspect.

There's a full playthrough of this game up on YouTube with commentary on how to proceed, so you can turn to it if you ever get stuck:


Most jap. wrestling games were way better than the crap released here.

Even the Smackdown games that were only slightly better than War Zone or Attitude were just graphically beefed up versions of the Toukon Retsuden engine. Some rumors even suspect that the first WWF Smackdown was based on Yuke's budget release of their engine (Simple 1500: The Pro Wrestling). And they casualized the gameplay even further with Smackdown.

Beside the often mediocre Yuke's titles (Toukon Retsuden 3 maybe was their best one on the system) the best Wrestling games on the PS1 were done by Human Entertainment with especially AJPW King's Soul (Zen-Nihon Pro Wrestling: Ouja no Kon). The game had gameplay much deeper than it needed to be. They even simplified the inofficial sequels King of Colosseum and KoC 2 on the PS2 just a bit, which used the same engine than as PS1 game.

Oh yeah, Fire Pro Wrestling G from Human was also a great wrestling sim

And don't let me start on the games from Dream Japan, Inc







Addie no Okurimono: To Moze from Addie
is a beautiful puzzle-adventure developed by Sony's Japanese studio. You take on the role of a young girl named Addie who finds herself in a dream-like version of her hometown. The residents of this town mirror the members of her community in the real world, but act strangely and in ways that reflect their personal turmoil. You proceed by interacting with characters and solving puzzles. You generally solve puzzles using the Loglock, an artifact that lets you rearrange letters (of English words) to change one object into another. The game has a wonderful storybook atmosphere clearly inspired by Golden Age Hollywood movies, and the vibe is comparable to the Professor Layton series. There are also many references to Jungian psychology, which the writer must have brushed up on for this game. Also, one of its many neat details is how the protagonist's full portrait is always visible to the side of the screen, reacting to events.

There have been some on-off attempts to fan-translate this game to English, but nothing has surfaced. The most we got was a short sample of a translation uploaded to YouTube five years ago. It's entirely possible to play the game without knowing Japanese, but you won't get a whole lot out of it.


Speaking of games developed by Human, there's the Twilight Syndrome series, totaling four games, three of which were released for the PS1. Twilight Syndrome: Tansaku-hen, Kyuumei-hen, and Saikai. The first two games follow the lives of three teenage girls who investigate rumors of ghosts at their school. The game is presented as a 2D side-scrolling adventure, and is fully exploration-focused, with no real combat and very few puzzles. Players are encouraged primarily to advance the story.

In terms of presentation the Syndrome games seem like successors to Human's more famous Clock Tower series. They use large, rotoscoped sprites and detailed multi-layered backgrounds to create an uncanny TV-show feel. The third game, Saikai, shifted to toon-shaded 3D models for its presentation, and featured a new story, but gameplay remained the same.

Interestingly, there was a spin-off also for the PS1 called Moonlight Syndrome, and it was directed by none other than suda51. The game is very similar to the main series in both gameplay and presentation, but more visual novel-esque. It features a standalone scenario which, as per usual for suda, isn't afraid to tackle taboo subjects such as incest and torture.


In relation to the Syndrome series, there are two more, similar games that are also worth discussing.

The first is Yuuyami Toori Tankentai ("Twilight Street Investigation Team"), an adventure game also developed by Human. It features the same presentation as the first two Syndrome games, with rotoscoped 2D animation, multi-layered backgrounds, and a contemporary urban setting. This time the player follows three middle schoolers who investigate rumors and urban legends overheard at school. Each day you can choose to follow one of the three protagonists, and if you pick up the corresponding rumor, you can head out at night to investigate it.

The second game is Silver Jiken ("The Silver Case"), an adventure game directed by suda51 with a story that ties into Moonlight Syndrome and the rest of his "Kill the Past" series. This is a psychedelic crime thriller with a unique presentation taking place in a near-future, semi-dystopian version of Tokyo. I don't want to go further into this one because it's been fully officially translated, released for Steam and PS4.


The first two games in Koei's Daikoukai Jidai ("Great Age of Sailing") series, released for the SNES, were localized as Uncharted Waters. These are top-down, fairly open-ended RPGs with sim elements set in the Age of Discovery, where the player can sail, trade, explore, plunder, and more.

The PS1 had three Daikoukai Jidai games, none localized. The first was an enhanced port of Daikoukai Jidai II, which is a fan favorite. The second was Daikoukai Jidai Gaiden, a more character-centric, linear game that concludes the loose story of the first three entries. The third game is Daikoukai Jidai IV: Porto Estado, which made the gameplay more linear and somewhat more accessible; for example your characters no longer age, so you don't have to sire children in order to play as them when your original character dies. The presentation is also a lot more attractive and intuitive, with a side-view of the compartments of your ship, and gorgeous character illustrations.

However, if you want to play something more open-ended and sim-like, the first three games in the series are recommended above Gaiden or IV. (Daikoukai Jidai III was an interesting and experimental entry released only for PC.)


Kowai Syasin: Shinrei Syasin Kitan is an interesting puzzle game with a spirit photography theme. You play as a remarkably busty lady with ESP abilities. The game shows you a picture, and you have limited time to locate a certain detail which betrays the presence of a malicious spirit. Once the spirit is revealed they will try to attack you, and you have to seal them away using quick button inputs. It's a pretty fun game with an original concept, which was later developed further in the Fatal Frame series. A full playthrough is available on YouTube if you're curious:



In Japan the PS1 had a ton of "FMV games" or "interactive moves" that used live-action actors to portray story scenes, and they were usually mediocre or straight-up terrible. Not so for Suzuki Bakuhatsu, a weird, Enix-published adventure game where you follow the daily life of a bomb disposal expert's daughter. She's always being tested by bombs planted inside everyday objects, like an orange on her nightstand. The meat of the game consists in these bomb-disarming puzzle sequences presented in 3D, where the use of different tools in a distinct order under a strict time limit will result in success. Although it's a fairly short game, it has three difficulty levels. The game is easily playable without knowledge of Japanese assuming you don't mind missing the story, and there are playthroughs online.



Iblard: Rapture no Kaeru Machi is a dream-like, first-person adventure game where you explore a world of flowers, blue skies, ruined castles, and shimmering lakes. The game's setting is directly based on the paintings of fantasy neo-Impressionist Naohisa Inoue, whose art is set in the fantastical world of Iblard. There are some simple inventory puzzles that need to be solved, but they can be easily brute-forced, and the main point is to soak in the atmosphere of the setting. The game itself has little text or cinematics, so you're not even missing out on much if you don't speak Japanese. There is no real threat of death, either, so you can take things at your own pace.



Forget Me Not: Palette was originally released as Palette, made on RPG Maker 95 by Nishida Yoshitaka for a software contest, which he won. As a result the game was remade for the PS1 by Enterbrain. This is a unique adventure game with the overhead perspective and sprite-based presentation you would expect from a JRPG. It tells the story of an amnesiac woman and the psychiatrist trying to help her restore her memories, which are illustrated as a dark, dreamlike labyrinth that the player explores. By interacting with objects and solving puzzles, the player unlocks new memories, opening new paths in this world. There are no stats, combat, or other RPG aspects to speak of.

Though the original Palette was released as freeware and fully translated into English, a translation of the remake has never been completed. However, if you play the original first you can easily make your way through Forget Me Not. There's also a full playthrough of the game up on YouTube:


Hakaioh: King of Crusher is an entertainingly bad 3D beat-'em-up from FAB Communication. You play as a Japanese salary man who goes on a comical rampage, kicking, punching, and head-butting everything. The game starts off pretty low-stakes, but if you destroy sufficient things before completing a stage, you will be rewarded with transformations into werewolves, ogres, and even giant monsters, at which point the Self-Defense Force and later international armies swoop down to engage you in combat. Things get so ridiculous over the game's eighteen levels that it has to be seen to be believed. Unfortunately the game does not play well, it's extremely floaty and has lots of hit detection problems, but it might be worth trying for the story aspects alone.


Tearring Saga. Made by the original creator of Fire Emblem after leaving Nintendo. Lawsuits from Nintendo prevented the game being called Emblem Saga.


The Book Of Watermarks is a Myst-clone based upon Shakespeare's play "The Tempest". Prospero is portrayed by an American actor named Jack Donner and the theme song for the game is sung by Enya's sister. It's also entirely playable by non-Japanese speakers due to the entire game lacking a lot of dialogue and the cutscenes being recorded in English. The only thing Japanese you have to deal with is the Main Menu and that's it. The cool thing with the cover and tray liner of the physical release is that it's actually made out of parchment paper, and it gives off a little transparency, so you can kinda see through it.



Chippoke Ralph no Daibouken or The Adventure of Little Ralph is a pretty well-known game at this point, I think. It's an action-platformer developed by New Corporation. You play as a warrior trying to save his town from demons who have turned him into a defenseless child. It's very tough, and largely score-based. It also has fighting game-style boss battles and a gorgeous, Ghibli-esque visual style. It's basically the whole package, and has basically no language barrier. Be aware that you won't even get to see the real final stage unless you're playing on hard mode, though.


Germs: Nerawareta Machi is a truly weird first-person game and the only game developed by KEJ, which is otherwise a CG graphics company. You play as a journalist wandering about his hometown, which has been infiltrated by aliens. For its time the open-world environment is very impressive; the game world is pretty large and you can move around by car or public bus. The game's outdoors environments are presented in a noir-ish sepiatone with big red arrows pointing to buildings you can enter (interiors are in full color). If you run across one of the city's aliens you can shoot them, but if they kill you, you'll turn into one of them (which can be fixed by a trip to the hospital). Also, the city is pretty much empty except for you. It's a bizarre and unsettling game in every way, definitely plagued with issues, but forward-looking for its time. Worth a play if you're looking for something atmospheric and different.


"Sound novels" is a term created by Spike Chunsoft to describe a type of narrative adventure game they popularized with the Famicom game Kamaitachi no Yoru. Kamaitachi no Yoru is basically a "whodunnit" thriller told through text. It uses featureless silhouettes of people and basic photographic background slides for embellishment, but it's closer to a text adventure than a "visual novel". Soon the term "sound novel" started to be used by other developers who explicitly copied the style of this game.

There were tons of sound novels on the PS1, including an enhanced port of Kamaitachi no Yoru with new, additional storylines. Some other notable ones include Akagawa Jirou: Yasoukyoku and its sequel (detective stories), 19:03: Ueno Hatsu Yakou Ressha (paranormal mystery), and Akazu no Ma (sci-fi).

Chunsoft also released Machi: Unmei no Kousaten for the PS1 (a port of the Saturn original), a sound novel that follows the predicaments of several different characters over one night in the city, which received a famously perfect score from Famitsu at the time. Its sequel, 428: Fuusasareta Shibuya de (Wii) was awarded a perfect score as well.


The Angelique series is a blend of strategy sim and otome game developed by Koei. There were five games developed for the PS1: Angelique Special, Duet, Special 2, Tenkuu no Requiem, and Fushigi no Kuni Angelique. All entries in the series feature a protagonist named Angelique, who is summoned to a fantasy land where her ability to rule as Queen will be put to the test.

The player has to rule her assigned land while managing attacks from other rivals, including Angelique's main rival Rosaria, who is also playable in some entries. The player also employs the help of Guardians, handsome men with special powers who can aid her kingdom or ruin her rival's. At the end of the game, the player must choose to become Queen of this world or forfeit power in favor of love, if she has fallen for one of the game's romance options.

The first Angelique game was released for the Super Famicom, and Angelique Special is an enhanced remake of it. Angelique Duet and Special 2 are more or less expansions of the same game.

Angelique: Tenkuu no Requiem is a full-fledged RPG spin-off with turn-based combat featuring the protagonist of Special 2. Fushigi no Kuni no Angelique is an Alice in Wonderland-themed board game spin-off with dating sim elements.

All five Angelique games were packaged and released together in a special edition called Angelique History.


Fuuraiki is a visual novel developed by F.O.G. where you play as a young, freewheeling photographer sent on assignment to the northern Hokkaido region of Japan. He travels by motorcycle experiencing the landscape, taking the best pictures, and reporting back every night. The game also has a dating sim element, with four girls you can meet and enter a relationship with. Fuuraiki is known for its blend of real-world photography and artistic illustrations, as well as its laid-back atmosphere, which is different from your typical hyper-colorful dating sim. The game was followed by sequels on the PS2. The series has a strong cult following in Japan.


Hyper Crazy Climber is a console remake of the arcade smash Crazy Climber. Your objective in the original game is to climb up the side of a skyscraper while avoiding enemies and falling objects. Hyper Crazy Climber revamps the graphics, features three playable characters with different strengths and disadvantages, and includes an array of thematically different stages, from a spooky clock tower to a giant beanstalk. It also features "boss battles" at the end of every level. The gameplay is extremely intuitive and fun, and the language barrier is nonexistent. This is definitely one of the more import-friendly and worthwhile PS1 games if you like arcade-style action. The original Crazy Climber is also included.


Here's a PS1 visual novel that I played earlier this year, Subete Ga F Ni Naru which is a VN adaptation of a novel by the same name. I was interested in it because one of the credited writers was Takumi Nakazawa (Ever17, Remember11, Root Double) but the game was honestly fairly disappointing partially because it was much too long and had too many endings. It's okay as a closed room mystery but that's about it. Obviously, you will need to know JP to read it.



The PS1 also had several mecha games in other genres. One of the best-known among them is Love & Destroy, a 3D action game with dating sim elements and fantastic visuals. Though it's pretty short, it plays like a dream and looks amazing. It also boasts some replay value thanks to the different routes you can follow. The girls were designed by Katsura Masazaku, best known for Video Girl Ai.



The PS1 had a few side-scrolling mecha action games, all good. The first is Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force, an enhanced port of a PC-Engine game by Fill-In Cafe, a developer better-known for cute JRPGs. This game plays like a side-scrolling beat-'em-up and is aesthetically similar to the Assault Suits games.



Two that really interest me are the Yaku Tsuu or "Misfortune" games. They're relatively simple horror adventure games bit what really interests me is that they're by Hideshi Hino. Hino is a fucking mad man and made some of the earliest horror manga and wrote and directed "Flower of Flesh and Blood" and "Mermaid in a Manhole", two of the most controval Japanese horrot films ever made, so controversal one was even investigated by the US after Charlie Sheen saw it.


London Seirei Tanteidan looks really cool. It's a sprite based jrpg set in victorian Londen.



























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