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What Ever Happened to Jumping Flash?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on February 24, 2006   |   Episode 94 (Show Archive)  


That E3 video of Killzone was about as real as ... well, you get the point!
When Sony announced their PlayStation 3 last year they made quite a splash. With killer graphics, big names and a sleek design, the PS3 stole the show at E3 2005. Along with showing off the control and specs, Sony also introduced the world to a half dozen game trailers. This was the first time we had a chance to see the new Gran Turismo, the next installment of Tekken, and a too-good-to-be-true Killzone demonstration. But there was one game that stood out from the pack, an old throwback from the first generation PlayStation. That game was Warhawk.

When it was released in 1995, Warhawk was held up as one of the most impressive games at the PlayStation

When you see Warhawk it makes you run from StarFox ... and apparently Zelda, too!
launch. With it's amazing 3D effects, it's unique level design, and exciting action, Warhawk was also a fan favorite, giving early adopters a title that showed off just about everything the PlayStation had to offer. While the game play was far from original, Warhawk was the type of game that made it difficult to go back to StarFox and other 16-bit games.

But here we are eleven years later and we're just now hearing about a sequel. This was "the most anticipated PlayStation game of the holiday season" according to Next Generation magazine, and it took them eleven years to release a proper sequel? There's a part of me that is upset that Sony took eleven years to release a sequel to this fantastic

Some early PlayStation games don't deserve to be updated ... such as Battle Arena Toshinden!
game. But I can't stay mad with Sony; they did finally decide to release Warhawk 2, and that's all I really wanted in the first place. So here's to Sony for going back in time and resurrecting what could have been one of the best franchises exclusive to the PlayStation.

So why stop there? I love the idea of Sony rediscovering Warhawk, but what about all those other games that were there when the PlayStation first launched? Where is my update to Jumping Flash? You have no problem milking Syphon Filter until it's dry, but you can't bring us another Jumping Flash adventure?

If you missed Jumping Flash when it was first released, it was essentially the first console 3D platformer. Super Mario 64 gets a lot of credit for breaking down the game play walls and letting us experience a true platformer in 3D, but Sony's Jumping Flash managed to do the same thing one year earlier. It came complete with bizarre characters, plenty of wild worlds, and some genuinely original level designs. But after 1996 Sony

Forget the Katamari Damacy soundtrack, where can I find this Jumping Flash 2 CD?
decided not to make any more titles starring Robbit or the evil Kabuki. Perhaps it's time to dust off those jumping shoes and give us a brand new Jumping Flash for the PS3.

Or how about Motor Toon Grand Prix? While not the first racer on the system (that title goes to the likes of Ridge Racer), Motor Toon Grand Prix is definitely the most unique. Featuring a ragtag group of cartoon characters, Motor Toon was all about racing through exciting toon-inspired levels using items to get into first. When put that way it sounds like nothing more than a Mario Kart knock off, but fans of the game will be quick to note that its game play was more in the vein of a traditional racer, giving it a style all its own.

No, I'm serious! Motor Toon Grand Prix is great fun, and made by one of the best designers of racers around!
If that's not enough to convince you I understand, in the past eleven years there have been a number of games that have fit that description. But Motor Toon Grand Prix was different, it was developed by none other than Polyphony Digital, the same people responsible for the hugely successful Gran Turismo franchise. Just imagine what Polyphony could do now that they have all that experience, a Motor Toon sequel could give developers a chance to unwind after spending years working on Gran Turismo sequels. It also gives Sony a family friendly title made by one of the best game developers in the genre.

Motor Toon Grand Prix and Jumping Flash were great games. Both of these games received high marks from game critics, Next Generation magazine

The PSP is a perfect place for fun new ideas, such as the highly entertaining Pursuit Force!
went as far as to give them perfect scores. These are bona fide hits just waiting to happen. Sony, it's about time you start to have a sense of history. That's one of the reasons people continue to love Nintendo, they embrace their classic characters and continue to reinvent them. Isn't it about time Jumping Flash gets reinvented?

Now I'm realistic, I understand that it will be expensive to develop these games for the PlayStation 3. For the past year all I've heard is how expensive it will be to make games in the next generation, so perhaps it's too much to ask for these

Will the PlayStation 3 be a chance for Sony to remember their past ... or will it be more of the same?
untested sequels to get the full PS3 makeover. So don't. Don't develop these games for the PlayStation 3. Let these older titles have a new life on the PlayStation Portable, a system hurting for new software.

Developing these games on the PSP is the best of all worlds; for one thing it allows Sony to test the water and see if there's still life in these older titles. Developing these portable games is considerably cheaper than attempting a full scale project on the next generation PlayStation. And for what it's worth, both Motor Toon Grand Prix and Jumping Flash are the types of games you would expect to see on a portable; quirky little titles that are great for any time of the day or night. It's franchises like these that have helped keep Nintendo the undisputed leader in the portable market.

Warhawk is a great start, it's a game that I look forward to playing in Los Angeles this May. But maybe it's time for Sony to take a deep breath and look at all those franchises they've completely ignored. Maybe it's time to stop milking Jak & Daxter, Gran Turismo, and Syphon Filter. Maybe it's time to bring back games like Motor Toon and Jumping Flash, games that are in dire need of updates. Sony, it's time for you to remember your roots!


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