Fifteen years ago today, PlayStation 2 was released in Japan. So happy Birthday PS2! Maybe you’re a retro console now? Personally I don’t want to call the PS2 a retro console just yet, but it is 15 years old, so it kind of is to be honest!
Let me tell you the PlayStation 2 games that I really enjoyed…
First up there’s Shadow of the Colossus. This game really pushed the PlayStation Hardware to it’s limit, even slowing the system down to achieve it’s scope and epic-ness. You play as a young warrior called Wanda, who enters a forbidden land to revive his recently deceased lover and is told that if he slays each of the fifteen Colossi roaming the land, his lover will come back to life. You take on each Colossi by climbing onto them that makes the game feel a bit like a 3D Prince Persia, what I mean by that is the original game, not sands of time; locate a weak spot and stab it multiple times. This is a game that every PS2 owner should own, and if you don’t there’s even a PS3 remake along side with Ico that plays the game with PS3 hardware, so there’s no slow down like it’s PS2 version.
Okami is another spectacular game on the PS2. I could almost call this game the Zelda Wind Waker of the PS2. It’s gorgeous cel shaded graphics and ancient Japanese theme really makes this game ooze in style and charm. In this game, you play the role of a revived wolf possessed by the Japanese deity, Amaterasu, as you explore the land fighting off Orochi’s forces, bringing back Japan’s beauty with Cherry trees and kicking butt! Just like Shadow of the Colossus, there’s an HD Remaster of this game too, but in all honestly, you should just play this on the PS2.
Personally I’m not a fan of huge 100+ hour long RPGs, but I got hooked on Persona 3, more so than Persona 4. Persona 3 is a Rogue-like-ish RPG set in modern day where you play as a Japanese high school student who enrols to a new school in a big city. You then discover that you’re a part of a rare set of people who can experience the, Dark Hour, an hour that happens between 23:59 and midnight. In this hour, a group of monsters come out and hunt down humans to eat them. You join up with a group of students who too experience the Dark Hour and explore a tower called Tartarus where these monsters come from.
What makes this game unique to other RPGs is that you can summon a monster called a Persona. But to summon this Persona you need to shoot yourself in the head with a gun called an Evoker. Because of this, western PS2 owners were doubtful that Persona 3 would reach western shores; however in 2007, a year after the Japanese release, Persona 3, with it’s grim suicide theme, was release in the US, with it’s European release a year later.
The PS2 was a home of some awesome arcade ports. One of these was the Ignition published Metal Slug 3. The game is pretty much arcade perfect to the pixel and sound! But what made this port extra special was all the added stuff they added to the game such as the added mini games and unlockables you can get. I find it amazing that even to this day and age, people straggle to port this game when the PS2 did it so well! The Steam edition was pretty bad, and the compilation that appeared on the Wii lacked all the bonus content from the PS2 game. If you want to play the quintessential port of Metal Slug 3 without getting an arcade cabinet. The PS2 edition of Metal Slug 3 is your ticket to Metal Slug heaven!
So what was your favourite PS2 game? Do you agree with the games that I mentioned in this blog post? Have you played any PS2 game that I haven’t and that I should? Tell me in the comments below!