5 essential PlayStation games to download from J-PSN

If you nip along to your local conbini and buy a 3,000 yen PSN ticket, what will you spend your credit on? Stuck for ideas? Here are five absolutely sublime 32-bit PlayStation games available in the Game Archives area of the Japanese PS Store for just 600 yen each…

By J.D., October 29, 2009

1. Rakugaki Showtime (Treasure)

This mega-expensive, ultra-limited disc (I seem to recall Treasure only manufactured a dozen copies for their friends and family, or something…) is, at 600 yen for a download, undisputed Bargain Of The Century. It’s also a brilliant, unhinged take on the 3D beat ‘em up/brawler subgenre, kind of a paper-thin Power Stone 2 – it even has a terrific four-player mode. Goran kudasai:

2. Gussun Paradise (Irem)

This is what happened when the world-famous R-Type developer turned its gifted hand to crafting a series of single-screen platformers. I’m not saying it’s as good as Bubble Bobble (that would be blasphemy), but it is mighty fine. Paradise, even:

3. Konami Antiques MSX Collection Vol. 2 (Konami)

Both of the first two Japan-only Konami MSX Collection Volumes are available in the Game Archives, and each packs ten nifty relics from the ’80s, but I think Vol. 2′s selection has the edge. The main reason? Simple: it features the brilliant, preposterously difficult Gradius 2. Not Gradius II, you understand, but Gradius 2:

4. Metal Slug X (Nazca)

It’s a toss-up between X and the original Metal Slug, really – both are down there in the Archives, coated in thick films of memory dust. X is, inevitably, more advanced, it being the polished, remixed version of Metal Slug 2. Either way, it’s remarkable how well the PlayStation conversions managed to stem the threat of slowdown – even if that did necessitate occasional mid-level loading pauses…

5. Arcade Hits Raiden (Hamster/Seibu Kaihatsu)

The first Raiden shmup is preserved almost perfectly in this PlayStation version. Timeless:

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