Yup it’s that time again. Matt and Ian are going to duke it out in a battle of the best. One game enters the hall of fame and one game…well doesn’t. Last week saw the battle of the N64 behemoths; GoldenEye went up against Ocarina of Time. In a rare twist of fate Matt actually won a debate, and got one of his games into the hall of fame. This week we are going to continue the best of theme as both Final Fantasy 7 and Crash Bandicoot 2 battle it put for the title of best ps1 game and a spot in the hall of fame. Matt will side with FF7 and Ian with Crash 2
FF7: Opening Statement
Matt: last week I found myself using the argument that since Ocarina of Time is considered one of the best ever, than by default it was the best in the argument. On this occasion I could use the same argument, but I’m not. Instead I’ll say this. Ff7 revolutionised the JRPG genre. It turned a fringe field of gaming into a mega power. It had an intuitive and expansive customisation tool that was simple for a casual player and deeper for those who wanted it. Ff7 set the tone for storytelling. The game has a better planned and deliver story than most films. Ff7 was also the first 3d entry into the final fantasy franchise and set the tone for future releases. It was truly the panicle of the franchise. No other game in the series has topped it and the dev will freely admit this. Ff7 deserves a place in the hall of fame. And as I said about OoT it even warrants its own wing. This is a game that captured the imagination if a whole generation of gamers. And Ian, I don’t have a bad word to say about crash 2. I just honestly believe FF7 is better.
Crash Bandicoot: Opening Statement
Ian: Crash Bandicoot. There. Argument won. Fine I’ll actually form an argument. Look, let’s be honest the PlayStation just wouldn’t be the PlayStation without Crash. I know my love for all things Naughty Dog can seem a bit stalker-ish but there is a reason why. Crash Bandicoot 2 isn’t just the best game on the PS1, it’s my favourite game ever made. So what makes it so great? It uses the strengths and weaknesses of the PlayStation to its advantage. The graphics are simple and cartoony, yet because they focus on simple designs and bright colours, they still look pretty good to this day whereas more realistic games from that era have aged horribly. The level design is amazing; there are different environments (snow, space, water etc) that all have their own unique feel. Crash also controls fantastically as well, in Crash 1 I always felt like he was too stiff whereas in 3 he was too loose, 2 got it just right. Before I ramble on about the game and use up all of my arguments I’ll pass the floor back over to Matt.
Matt: FF7 is more than just a good PS1 game. FF7 is a game that got it all right. The controls are simple and intuitive, which is great for an RPG. The customisation options are fantastic. As I mentioned in my opening statement, if you want to just simply play the game then you just put whatever materia you want in whatever slot and make powerful characters. If you want to get more into it and nail the end game weapon bosses then you need to get more into it. You need to master your materia and balance your stats. You can create brilliant combos by getting the right materia in the right weapon with the right character. Basically FF7 has a lot for you to explore. Then there is the story. Like all good stories it starts off setting a simple scene, before you are launched into a world of conspiracy and myth. I’m not going to go into great detail, as I guess anyone reading this has played it, and if you haven’t I don’t want to ruin it. Basically you’re drawn emotionally to each character, and you feel for each of their circumstances. FF7 also contains one of the defining moments of the era. When [spoiler] Aerith is killed it is done with such shock and emotion that it tugged on the heart strings of all the gamers playing it. The moment is so unexpected that it throws you right off. [/spoilers]. Final Fantasy 7 also has a nice visual charm. The game isn’t fully 3d rendered so you get a lot of drawn backgrounds and simple textures that create a unique and enjoyable backdrop. Don’t get me wrong it’s not the only game to do this; I’m just saying it does it well. FF7 also has one of thee all time greatest and most iconic villains of all time Sephiroth; I’m not going to explain him, but he’s pretty badass, in fact all the characters are pretty good. Not one I can really complain about. Any way, it’s your go Ian, because this is becoming a love letter.
Crash 2: Argument
Ian: I’ve never played FF7. Well that’s not completely true, it’s on my PS3 HDD and I’ve played around 10 mins of it and just sorta left it, probably to go play Crash 2. So instead of complaining about FF7 (which I can’t do, I hear its amazing) I’m going to tell you why Crash 2 is the best. The first level of it I ever played was level 8 ‘Bear It’ via demo disc. In this level Crash plays through the level whilst riding atop a baby polar bear. Everything about this level screams of pure brilliance; from the catchy yet never annoying music to the details like the noise you make when sliding over ice. The best part however is when a player dies it is always Crash who bears the brunt whilst polar is unharmed in a cute, innocent sort of way (vid below 0:57-1:29). The game also features a tonne of secrets and hidden levels. I’ve played this game too many times to count and know how to 100% it and let me tell you, it still takes me a good afternoon to get it all done, which isn’t bad for a late 1990s all-ages game. Right, I’ll leave it there in case I bore Jack to the point where he makes me lose because I won’t shut up. It’s closing statement time! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mrjK7op_EsI#!
FF7: Closing Statement
Matt: FF7 has a legitimate claim to the crown of best PS1 game, in the same way that it has a claim to best game. FF7 is more than just a great game; it’s an entire universe that evolves around it. The story has been expanded with prequels and sequels and has had movies. If Final Fantasy 7 wasn’t so great the gaming community wouldn’t have had a collective nerdgasm when a short remake of the first video scene was shown at E3 a few years back. I don’t want to retread old ground and mention things I’ve said before, so I’ll keep it short. I believe that FF7 should be in our hall of fame, and I believe it’s the best PS1 game. I don’t believe that Crash 2 is, because in my opinion Crash 2 isn’t even the best crash game (Crash 3 is). It has more level variety and it has those unlock able power-ups that add an extra dimension. Any way I promised I wasn’t going to mud sling so lets leave it at that.
Crash 2: Closing Statement
Ian: Crash 3 isn’t the best Crash game but let’s not lose focus here, Crash 2 absolutely deserves the title of best PS1 game. When you think of the original PlayStation two things come to mind; Gran Turismo and Crash Bandicoot. FF7 may well be a contender for best game of all time but it in no way symbolizes everything that’s great about the PS1. Crash 2 has diverse levels, amazing replay value and, most of all, its fronted by the mascot for the original PlayStation. You cannot honestly look me in the eye and say that a Japanese role-playing game symbolises the pinnacle of the original PlayStation over the marsupial platformer. As good as FF7 may be I go back to my opening sentence: Crash Bandicoot.
Jack: I was pleased to see that this weeks debate was a bit friendlier that the last few installments, we’ve had less derogatory comments which I guess shows the respect these two games generate (and the fact Ian hasn’t really played FF7). This has actually made it much more difficult to chose a winner because I have to sift through all the sugary niceness to decide a winner. Now both games are undoubtedly good. FF7 did revolutionise the JRPG format and made it more mainstream and desirable for the casual gamers. I’m sure some people would count that as a negative but I’m saying its positive. No one can argue with the fact that FF7 has spawned many sequels and even a film series; although I haven’t seen any of them it’s clear this game is iconic. Having said all that I bet your thinking I’m going to go with Matt. Well prepare to be surprised. Ian made an excellent and fatal point to Matt’s argument. Crash Bandicoot was the mascot for the PS1, when you think of the PS1 you think of Crash Bandicoot. The two are intertwined and as this is a debate over the best PS1 game it doesn’t matter how good FF7 is it simply doesn’t have the same connection with the PS1. So the newest entry into the GHoF is Crash Bandicoot 2
Winner…Ian & Crash Bandicoot 2
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