Classic PS2 games, including Odin Sphere and God Hand, hitting PSN tomorrow for $10

Today Sony via the PlayStation Blog announced its new PlayStation Network promotion. Titled “Only on PSN,” the blog post highlighted multiple downloadable offerings like this week’s Eufloria and Rochard, plus the Infamous 2 DLC Festival of Blood. And tucked away at the bottom, given barely a mention was the real big news: Starting tomorrow a handful of underrated PS2 games will be available for download, including staff favorites like Odin Sphere and God Hand.

Seemingly marking the first times in PSN history that straight ports of PS2 games have been offered on the service, Sony’s announcement made little mention of whether the games had seen any HD upgrades, if Trophy support had been added, or if the games were going to be quick and dirty emulations. But we do know the five games included are God Hand, GrimGrimoire, Maximo: Ghosts to Glory, Odin Sphere and Ring of Red. Here’s a quick primer for the unfamiliar:

Odin Sphere is one of the best late era PS2 games around, though its release date in the twilight of the PlayStation 2 probably meant many missed out. A great mix of brawler action and RPG genres, Odin Sphere was also one of the best looking games on the PS2, with astounding hand drawn graphics.

From the same developer as Odin Sphere, Vanillaware, and with the graphics that were nearly as stunning, GrimGrimoire played a bit differently. This one was an intricate RTS that, again, hit the PS2 too late and was missed by many.

Planned as an update to Capcom’s classic Ghosts ‘n Goblins series, Maximo was a strange beast. A cutesy action game with style, it was infamous for its difficulty and high learning curve. We’re betting this one hasn’t aged well.

Famous as the last game released by defunct Okami developer Clover, God Hand was unloved when it first came out, but has a devoted following that includes GR’s Cheats machine Michael Grimm. Ranked as one of our Top 7 Weirdest Westerns, the unique style and combat make it worth a second look.

Ring of Red is the least renowned of the group, as Konami’s title has been basically forgotten by the gaming world at large. A grid-based, tactical strategy-RPG that sprinkled in some real-time combat, it got good reviews at the time, though several reviewers knocked its localization and translation, which we bet will be unchanged on PSN.

All these will be available starting tomorrow, and by then we’ll know the more concrete facts on price and special added features should they exist. UPDATE: Sony has confirmed that the PS2 games will be basic ports, and that they’ll retail for the very fair price of $9.99. In the meantime, are there any PS2 exclusive games you’d like to see added to PlayStation Network now that it seems the flood gates are open?

Oct 3, 2011

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