Archive for the ‘PlayStation 2’ Category

Guilty Gear X2 – PlayStation 2   Leave a comment

PS2GuiltyGearX2Guilty Gear X2 is an awesome one-on-one 2D fighting game, and bottom line is that you should get it immediately.  That should be the review right there, but I’ve got some space to fill, so let me tell you why I like it so much.  This is a beautiful looking 2D fighter released in 2002 by Sammy Studios, and developed by Arc System Works.  It’s part of the Guilty Gear series which started out on the original PlayStation in 1998.  For whatever reason I can’t remember it on the PlayStation at all.

Part of what makes Guilty Gear X2 stand out from other fighting games are the really sharp looking 2D graphics.  Before 2002, 2D fighting games used to look like crap, because developers would continue to recycle graphics from nearly 10 years prior.  Guilty Gear X2 ups the resolution to what was then modern standards, and it looked amazing.  In fact it still looks great today.  Not only are the graphics from a technical standpoint, but the characters and backgrounds are highly imaginative.  Some of the characters include a pipe smoking vampire, a woman with a witch hat who uses a guitar as a weapon, a cross-dressing teenage boy, a sexy chef, a girl who has transforming hair, a little girl who uses a huge anchor as a weapon, a guy who uses a pool stick as a weapon, and a very tall doctor who wears a paper bag over his head.  Just as good as the graphics are, the music might even be better.  If you like hard rock, then this is the music for you.  It’s some of the best music you’ll find in a video game, and it fits the chaotic battles very well.

Speaking of those chaotic battles, these fights are pretty nutty.  They’re not as fast as the fights in the Marvel vs Capcom series, but Guilty Gear X2 is crazy in it’s own way.  There are buttons for punching, kicking, a high “slash”, and a low “slash.”  If you’ve read some of the crazy weapons the fighters have, you’ll understand how insane some of the fights can be.  The doctor is my favourite, and he can literally hit you from anywhere, including through the bottom of the screen.  The fighting system is similar to other fighting games in that the way you throw projectiles, or throw people, and the fact that you have a meter you build up in order to unleash special attacks.  The fighting can be very deep with such things as a psych burst, dead angle attack, dust attack, instant kill, faultless defense, jump cancel, roman cancel, and so on.  The thing is that you don’t have to learn all that stuff in order to have fun.  The difficulty settings in the menu can make the game very forgiving while fighting the CPU.  Even those who don’t know what they’re doing can unleash very cool looking attacks.  This makes the game very easy to pick up and play, and enjoyable for even non-fighting game fans.  Isn’t the whole point of video games is to have fun?  Well this game nails that aspect perfectly.  It’s stylish, looks great, has awesome music, great controls, and it’s just plain fun!  Highly recommended for everyone.

Rating – 9 / 10

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Posted August 21, 2014 by thebandit2006 in PlayStation 2

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Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 – PlayStation 2   Leave a comment

PS2NFSHP2The PlayStation 2 has so many quality games for it that you could have that console alone for the rest of your life, and never be bored.  Regrettably I got rid of a lot of my old PS2 games under the assumption that the next generation would have much improved quality.  Some games though are really timeless, and that is the case for Electronic Arts’ Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2.  It was released in 2002, and is the sequel to the classic PC and PlayStation game.

This might be the last ever classic Need for Speed game before EA started putting the NFS label on practically every type of racing game from underground street racing, professional racing, and even Burnout types of racing games.  What I mean by “classic” NFS is racing exotic cars on country roads and highways while avoiding the police.  There are several modes to play in this game including a racer career mode, and a police career mode.  The objectives couldn’t be any more simpler.  Unlike many of today’s games, you don’t have to avoid a certain number of roadblocks, or earn a certain number of points.  Your objective is to either finish first, beat the time trial time, stay out of last place in the lap knockout races, oh and don’t get busted by the cops.  Running from the cops is great fun, and they will send out more and more the longer you can avoid them.  You can also play as the copy, and as a cop your objective is to pull over all of the racers.  You don’t need to earn turbo boost.  In fact there is no turbo boost except for when you’re a cop.  You accelerate, you brake, and you steer.  I don’t understand why racing games need to be more complicated than this.  I just finished a nearly 11 minute time trial, and I beat it by a mere 0.58 seconds.  That type of excitement makes you pump your fist, and scream out YEAH!  As you move throughout the career modes you will unlock additional cars and tracks.  Since the tracks are closed circuits, you can actually learn the track, and you won’t get lost as you could in the newer open world racing games.  The other benefit of a closed circuit is that it allows for two player split-screen game play.  There are some shortcuts in these courses that will help you overtake other racers, but they do come with more of a risk of crashing.  Crashing would have to be my only complaint about this game as the crashes are pretty weak.  If you crash into another car you will kind of stick to it too.  Don’t expect any cool Burnout crashes here.

The actual game play itself is extremely fun.  Before the race starts you can select between classic and extreme handling.  The classic handling mode controls okay, and extreme handling allows for more oversteer.  I find the extreme handling option to be more challenging, and it’s a lot of fun making your car slide around turns, although the game isn’t dependent on you doing that.  They really nailed the car handling in this game.  It’s easy to feel where the car’s handling limit is.  Part of that feel is the excellent rumble support.  You can feel bumps, feel when you go offroad, and feel the tires gripping through the turns.  While newer games will surely look nicer with their higher definition graphics, this game still looks pretty good, and that mostly comes from the beautiful course design.  The courses will lead you through forests, along coastlines, or through deserts.  All of the sound effects are exaggerated, and they add to the fun.  You’ll probably want to turn the music off unless you have a thing for early 2000’s rock.  I should note that the instrumental version of Rush’s One Little Victory might be the best music ever to race to.  I really can’t say enough great things about this game.  If you long for the simpler days of racing, then go out and get Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 for your PS2.  You’ll be very surprised at how well this game has held up.

Rating – 9 / 10

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Posted June 17, 2014 by thebandit2006 in PlayStation 2

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Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection – PlayStation 2   Leave a comment

PS2PinballHOFGottliebThe Pinball Arcade by FarSight Studios for the PlayStation 4 is one of my favourite games.  As a big pinball fan I can say that FarSight Studios always do a great job.  Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection was their first pinball compilation, and it really shows you how far they’ve come since this was released for the PlayStation 2 back in 2004.  Even though their newer pinball releases are much better, this game is a good one too.

The Gottlieb Collection features accurate recreations of pinball games originally made by Gottlieb.  There are seven different tables to choose from, and they are Ace High from 1957, Central Park from 1966, Big Shot from 1973, Genie from 1979, Black Hole from 1981, Victory from 1987, and Tee’d Off from 1993.  Three of those tables are older than I am, so it was nice to be able to play some of these old tables from the electromechanical pinball era.  Those older tables are also by far the most challenging to play.  The physics and game play are mostly spot on as per usual by FarSight, although I found the ball too floaty on the Victory table.  The tables all look, and sound great too.  There are also several camera angles to choose from.

While this is an excellent collection of fun pinball tables, I would recommend that you get The Pinball Arcade for the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4.  It’s hard to go back to this old PS2 collection after seeing the high-def graphics of the newer versions.  High definition graphics makes playing virtual pinball so much better, because it’s easier to see what you’re aiming at.  The newer versions also have wide-screen support, and they have improved the camera angles.  However if you don’t have one of the newer consoles, then I definitely recommend picking up Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection.

Rating – 8 / 10

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Posted June 10, 2014 by thebandit2006 in PlayStation 2

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The King of Fighters 2000 – PlayStation 2   Leave a comment

PS2KingofFighters2000One of my favourite fighting series has to be The King of Fighters by SNK.  It started off on SNK’s Neo Geo in 1994, and it took fighters from SNK’s other fighting games, and placed them all together in one game.  The King of Fighters 2000 was released for the Neo Geo in Japan in 2000, and brought to the PlayStation 2 in North America in 2003.  The North American version also contains The King of Fighters 2001.  They’re on separate discs, and when I bought the game I didn’t check for the second disc, so all I have is The King of Fighters 2000.  Even though I only got the one game, it was $5 very well spent, because it’s a fun game as are most of the games in the King of Fighters series.

There is a storyline, but I really can’t be bothered with the storylines in fighting games.  Besides that the dialog in this game is so bad that it’s good, which is the case for a lot of SNK games.  KOF 2000 is a 2D fighting game, and it can be played as a 1 on 1 fight, or 3 on 3 team game.  There are 35 different characters to choose from which isn’t too shabby.  Even with so many characters in the game, every character is completely unique in looks, and fighting styles.  For example a new character named Hinako, is a schoolgirl (naturally) who just likes to slap people silly.  One of the reasons I like the KOF series is that it mainly uses four buttons for attacking, and this is perfect since nearly all consoles from the Super Nintendo onwards have four buttons on the face of the controller.  Two of the shoulder buttons are used to taunt your opponent, and to call on your “striker” to hit your opponent with a cheap shot.

There are a couple of issues that I have with the game.  The first is that it doesn’t keep track of your score, or the time it takes you to finish the game.  Instead you earn “ability points.”  I’ve been searching the internet, but I still can’t figure out how you get more point, or more importantly how you loose them.  My other issue is that it seems to be a bit difficulty to pull off special moves.  For now I’ll assume that it’s because I’m so used to playing KOF 99 on the Dreamcast.  On the plus side graphics, and especially the character designs look great.  The music is all over the map.  It has some cool tunes, and some that seem a bit out of place.  The sound effects, and the constant dialog adds to the fun.  Overall KOF 2000 is a fun game, but replayability is an issue unless you have a friend to play against, and I think I like the KOF 99 for the Dreamcast a bit more.  Still though this is recommended for fighting game fans.

Rating – 8 / 10

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Posted June 9, 2014 by thebandit2006 in PlayStation 2

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Ford vs Chevy – Sony PlayStation 2   Leave a comment

Ford vs Chevy is an arcade style racing game released by Global Star Software for the PlayStation 2, and the Xbox in 2005.  I remember it being a budget title at $15 at the time of it’s release.  Usually new games at a starting price this cheap have bad game written all over them, but this one isn’t bad.

Ford vs Chevy: Not as bad as you think.

Ford vs Chevy: Not as bad as you think.

The main mode of this game is the “Westington Cup” mode.  The first thing you’ll notice about this mode is that it has a storyline.  The story is of two old men sitting on a couch watching The Westington Cup.  One guy is a Chevrolet fan, and the other is a Ford fan.  They bicker back and forth, and try to convince their grandkids as to which manufacturer is better.  Granted it’s not much of a story, but it’s neat for a racing game to have a story, and refreshing for a videogame to have such a lighthearted story too.  Your goal is to finish first in each series of races.  The series are broken down by vehicle types, such as modern muscle cars, classic muscle, trucks, and race cars.  There are races involving 6 cars at a time, point-to-point races, time trials, and missions.  The missions have you do very silly things such as knocking over signs, or counting cows.  All races take place in a closed circuit environments, and include rural and urban areas.  The toughest part of this game is that you have to finish first in every single event to move on.  I have no idea why the game rewards you with a bronze medal for finishing in third place, because you need to finish first or else.  You can upgrade your car between races, but while scrolling through the list of upgrades, the game gives you no clue as to what the part will do.  I just found it easier to save up for a new car.  The actual driving part is pretty good.  The car handling is in an arcade style similar to Burnout, Need for Speed, or Project Gotham Racing.  Also similar to Burnout is that you earn boost by drifting, hitting jumps, drafting, or moving ahead in position.  The boost does not have as a dramatic effect as it does in Burnout, but it is helpful.

The cars look really good for a PlayStation 2 game.  The environments are just okay though.  The sounds effects get the job done, and the music is just generic stock music.  In another driving game rarity, there is commentary going on while you race.  Similar to wrestling commentary, one commentator is a fan of Chevrolet, and the other Ford.  It’s a bit repetitive, but still kind of neat to have.  I raced Ford cars, and the Chevy commentator would accuse me of cheating, or mock me whenever I did a drift.

What I loved best about this game is that it offers some cars that you would never find in most other racing games.  Most other games offer only the fastest cars, or Japanese cars.  This one lets you drive nearly 50 cars such as the Chev Impala, Cobalt, Camaro, Ford Focus, Galaxie, Rachero, and various pick up trucks and SUV’s.  All in all Ford vs Chevy is a fun game, but it’s really tough to recommend it when you can play Burnout, Need for Speed, Gran Turismo, Forza, or Project Gotham Racing.  It you have played those games to death, and love American cars, then I can recommend getting this one too.

Posted March 20, 2014 by thebandit2006 in PlayStation 2

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NBA Street Vol. 2 – Sony PlayStation 2   Leave a comment

You don’t always need to be a fan of sports to enjoy sports games.  For instance I’m not a big NBA fan, but NBA Street Vol. 2 is awesome.  It is a 3 on 3 arcade style basketball game from EA Sports Big released in 2003.  Unlike the NBA Jam series, NBA Street 2 keeps things a tad more realistic.

NBA Street is all about having fun playing basketball on street courts.  Being flashy is as important as scoring points.  Besides the usual pass, shoot, steal and block options, you can also do tricks while dribbling the ball, or shooting it.  Some of the dribbling moves include dribbling between your legs, doing a spin-o-rama, and bouncing the ball off the defender’s head.  You can do no look passes, spin passes, and passes between your legs.  There are so many different dunks that I can’t even count them.  You can also do alley-oops with one of your teammates.  You can execute one of these tricks by pressing any of the 4 shoulder buttons, or combination of shoulder buttons, plus the shoot or pass button.  You benefit from these moves by not only confusing your opponent, but by also filling up your Gamebreaker meter.  Once filled, you can execute a dunk that will not only give you a point, but also take away a point from your opponent’s score.  There are no rules except for a 24 second shot clock, and the games typical end when one team reaches 21 points.

Volume 2.  That is a different kind of subtitle, and I like it.

Volume 2. That is a different kind of subtitle, but I like it.

There are a few different ways to play the game.  In the “Be a Legend” mode, you create a player, recruit teammates, and travel the USA to compete against other teams.  By winning games you open up new challenges, increase your player’s abilities, and earn reward points.  The reward points can be spent to unlock throwback jerseys, new courts, or NBA legends such as Magic Johnson, or Larry Bird.

The whole game has this 70’s vibe to it.  Everything from the music, graphics, fonts, and load screens that display facts about NBA legends, it all fits the game perfectly.  The graphic quality is very high as well.  The animations are amazing enough to make some of these outlandish moves seem real.  I’m not an expert on different music types, but the hip hop soundtrack in this game is great.  It has a mellow, sort of jazzy spin to it.  The sound effects are great, and the announcer Bobbito Garcia really adds a ton of fun and energy to the game.  Some of what he says doesn’t make much sense at times, but that’s what makes it entertaining.  I suppose if I had to pick out a flaw it would be to have more options for creating your own player.  I’ve played NBA Street 3, and NBA Street Homecourt, but I think NBA Street Vol. 2 is the best of the bunch.  Being an old sports game, it probably won’t cost you very much, so I recommend getting NBA Street Vol. 2.

Posted March 17, 2014 by thebandit2006 in PlayStation 2

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Namco Museum – Sony PlayStation 2   Leave a comment

I knew I was getting old when all of the classic arcade games I grew up playing were released in a compilation with “Museum” in the title.  There have been Namco Museum compilations released for many different platforms beginning with the original PlayStation in 1995.  The Namco Museum version I have is for the PlayStation 2, and it was released in 2001.

Pac-Man on the disc looks like he's ready to jump.

Pac-Man on the disc looks like he’s ready to jump.

Namco Museum for the PlayStation 2 has a total of 12 games.  8 of these games are arcade ports, 3 games are enhanced versions of arcade games called “arrangement”, and the last is a Tetris-like game.  First of all the Pac-Man games.  Pac-Man, and Ms. Pac-Man are great games, but Namco could have done a lot better with these ports.  The sounds are fine, the controls are fine, but the graphics are very low-resolution.  Galaga, Galaxian, and Dig Dug are very close to their arcade versions, and are a lot of fun to play.  Pole Position, and it’s nearly identical sequel Pole Position 2 both look, and sound like the arcade version, but the controls are very tough.  To be fair though, the controls in the arcade version were just as sensitive, and were also difficult to control, but the arcade machines had a steering wheel.  You can eventually get used to the PlayStation 2 controls, and the games can be a lot of fun, but you really have to be careful in these versions.  Pacmania is based on the arcade game, and while I never played the actual arcade machine, I can tell you that this is a fun game that looks and sounds great.  The music is especially catchy.  Pac-Attack is a Tetris-like game that was never released in the arcades.  I played this for a bit, but I couldn’t really get into it much.

The arrangement games were a nice surprise.  Pac-Man Arrangement might be my favourite game on the entire disc.  It enhances Pac-Man’s graphics, has a great soundtrack, and adds a few new elements to change up the game play.  Among the changes are powerups, turbo zones, and “super” ghosts with abilities such as jumping, and turbo boosting.  Galaga Arrangement stays closer to the original Galaga game both in graphics, and game play.  Among the changes are different powerups, better graphics and sounds, and different alien formations.  Dig Dug Arrangement has the most changes which include powerups, new mazes, and even boss battles.  All three arrangement games are great fun to play, and also include two player co-op modes.

With the word “museum” in the title, I thought there would be modes that showed the history of the games, but there is none of that here at all.  You get the games, and nothing more.  The games are all classics, and are still very fun to play today.  The Namco compilations available for the Nintendo Wii, and Xbox 360 have more games, so I would recommend those.  If you don’t have either system though, I recommend getting this PS2 version.

Posted March 1, 2014 by thebandit2006 in PlayStation 2

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