PS Plus Premium update makes dramatic changes to Ape Escape

By Lee Brady,

PS Plus Premium has updated two classic PS1 games, improving emulation for Ape Escape and Syphon Filter on PS4 and PS5. However, the Ape Escape update changes a lot more than the game's performance in some regions.

A recent update for two PS Plus Premium games has massively improved the emulation quality for players across Europe, the UK, Australia, and more. Those stuck collecting Ape Escape PS1 trophies or Syphon Filter trophies while playing inferior 50Hz PAL ports can now access the superior 60Hz NTSC ports on PS5 and PS4. PS Plus subscribers have been expecting this update for a while now, but what some players might not expect is how the superior Ape Escape port makes huge changes to the game's characters and audio.

Ape Escape ps plus updateThese Ape Escape PS Plus changes are bananas.

Ape Escape update might mess with your nostalgia for the PS1 game

The PS1 emulation on PS Plus saw a major update back in September 2022 that allowed players to play some classic PS1 titles with a faster refresh rate. According to VGC, Syphon Filter and Ape Escape have only now received the update, which players can access by pressing the Options button while in-game and then changing the region in the settings menu from PAL to NTSC.

Unbeknownst to many PAL region players though is just how different the NTSC version of Ape Escape is from the PAL version. Ape Escape was originally released in 1999 with two different English language versions, a US version and a UK version, which were released in NTSC regions and PAL regions respectively. Both versions of the game contain completely different voice actors for the main characters — for example, the main villain Specter is performed in the NTSC version by Pete Burrows (seemingly his only credited voice performance) while in the UK version he's performed by Marc Silk (the US voice of Bob the Builder).

Ape Escape PS Plus updateThis is Buzz or Jake, depending on where you're from.

For many players, this shift is a huge change, as the playful British performances featured in the PAL version are a huge part of the game's nostalgic charm, and contrast harshly against the somewhat edgier American performances in NTSC version. The regions also feature different names for some of the main characters — while Spike and Spencer remain consistent, Spike's main rival is either Jake or Buzz, and the Professor's assistant is either Katie or Natalie. Confusingly, the UK version would adapt both the names Jake and Natalie from Ape Escape 2 onwards, but would keep the voice actors distinct from the US version.

So while you might be tempted to check out one of the best PS1 games on PS Plus Premium with the superior NTSC region quality, nostalgic Ape Escape fans might find the changes a little too much to put up with. Let us know which version of Ape Escape you're most familiar with in the comments below, and for a bonus factoid, did you know the regional voices of Spike and Specter even led to different regional dubs for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale? How neat.
Lee Brady
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee keeps one eye on the future (Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth), one eye on the past (PS Plus Premium, recent Sony news), and his secret third eye on the junk he really likes (Sonic Superstars, Final Fantasy XVI). Then he uses his big mouth to blurt out long-winded opinions about video games.
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