Seven Mascots That Won’t Make the PlayStation All-Stars Cut «

 

Sly Cooper. Parappa. Fat Princess. Kratos. Sweet Tooth. That guy from Killzone. These treasured characters comprise the starting lineup of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Sony’s answer to Super Smash Bros. 13 years after the fact. Of course, building a team of recognizable PlayStation protagonists makes for a more selective process than Nintendo’s own; because Sony entered the console marketplace just as it underwent the final stages of mascot cancer, the company doesn’t have the luxury of relying on a cast brought into being during a time when hundreds of cartoony things ran from left to right, occasionally jumping. And some mascots that once stood for Sony have since been diluted by developer change-overs, multi-platform publishing, and a parade of forgettable installments — can you honestly name the last Crash Bandicoot release? More importantly, would you want to?

While we don’t yet know the remaining members of All-Stars’ cast, it’s safe to single out Sony’s less-popular creations as no-shows. Some are best left buried in the sands of time, while a select few would delight fans of video game history with their unexpected return. Regardless, one thing is clear: they sure as hell aren’t going to be showing up in PlayStation All-Stars.

  • Blasto
    Last seen: Blasto (PlayStation, 1998)

    Blasto didn’t kill Phil Hartman, despite the claims of the hyperbolic. In the late 90s, Sony pushed this game hard, and even tapped into the star power of the famed Saturday Night Live/Simpsons star whose beatific attitude and thousand faces made him impossible to hate. Unfortunately, Hartman’s voice alone couldn’t save Blasto, as the game suffered from the intense growing pains of developers trying to figure out how to craft their own 3D worlds in the wake of Super Mario 64. And the fact that Blasto launched a handful of days after Hartman’s death struck many as callous, especially since the game amounted to a discful of hot garbage. What could have been the beginning of a great new franchise collapsed under the combined weight of real-life tragedy and sloppy design, making the titular character one Sony would rather have us forget.

  • Dr. Don and Dr. Dan
    Last seen: Point Blank DS (DS, 2006)

    The hamburger-headed, Muppety duo of Dr. Dan and Dr. Don might have last appeared on a Nintendo system, but they had their best years back on the PlayStation, thanks to the revolutionary GunCon controller. Since their games require this highly accurate peripheral, players rarely control Dan and Don (whose doctorates are highly suspect) directly; rather, many of Point Blank’s mini-games involve protecting their flopping heads and flailing limbs from incoming danger. Sticking these two in a fighting game wouldn’t be too crazy — after all, their first appearance on the PlayStation included a full-fledged RPG mode that many have confirmed actually happened. Still, the mad doctors are best known for taking a ton of abuse, and their near-immortal status may throw any attempt at fighting game balance completely out-of-whack. To the best of my knowledge, this is how video games are actually made.

  • Callum Clockwise
    Last seen: Rascal (PlayStation, 1998)

    Though the word best represents a popular brand of scooters used by the disabled and people looking to get the most out of their Wal*Mart shopping experience, for gamers, “Rascal” means nothing but pain. This misguided 3D platformer (released a few months before our buddy Blasto) apparently stars the kid from Treasure Master, sucked through a portal and dropped into a horrible future with smaller cell phones and advanced technology engineered to stuff cheese into pizza crusts. Okay, that’s not exactly canon, but I can’t think of another way to explain his dated getup, outside of a possible bullying fetish. Developer Traveller’s Tales has gone on to do much better things, most notably, the cavalcade of LEGO games that threatens to turn everything we know and love into brick and claw-hand form. Odds are, they’d pay Sony to prevent Rascal (I refuse to use his actual name a second time) from appearing in PlayStation All-Stars, if only to ensure gamers won’t remember their dark development past. The Sonic R soundtrack still echoes through the twisted nightmares of the insane.

 

 

 

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