Monday, August 13, 2007

My Favorite Games - Playstation 2

One thing I love about the Playstation 2 was that when it came out it was backwards combatable. There was no need for system updates, or downloading files in order to get your old Playstation games on a new system. It just worked. I’m sure that’s one reason why Sony led the video game industry for so long. I don’t even think Nintendo even heard of the words “backwards combatable.” At least when it comes to their consoles. Here’s my list of favorite games for the Playstation 2:

#1 Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2
I played. I cried. Then I played some more. The story for this installment of the Final Fantasy series is wide in scope and breadth but intimate and tender at the same time. It’s been said that die hard fan boys cried in Final Fantasy VII when Aeries died but I wouldn’t blame them if they did the same sometime during this game. And who can forget Blitzball. If this sport could actually happen I’d love to go and watch it. I wish I could play, but I can’t hold my breath long enough.

#2 SSX Tricky
“I am King of the mountain!” Who hasn’t wanted to shout this just before gliding down the mountain turning Uber Tricks left and right? Nailing all those different Uber Tricks in one run can be tedious or a riot of laughter. Who wouldn’t want the laws of physics that govern this game to apply at the next Winter Olympics? I still haven’t mastered every mountain and every type of run but they’re all unlocked and they’ve given me many hours or elation and despair. That's why I keep coming back for more.

#3 TimeSplitters (all of them)
This was my first adventure into the shooting genre of game play. I was hooked right away . . . and dead. I can still remember when I finally started to get the upper hand in matches with my brother. I was no longer the perpetual respawner because of all the times he killed me. Now I could roam around and pop him off a time or two before having to spawn again. The characters are hilarious to look at and their behavior in the selection screen under the spotlight is just another chance to laugh before getting into the game. Just remember the zombies only die if you shoot their heads off.

#4 Dark Cloud
Who knew that being the only member of the Village Planning Committee could be so demanding? You fight through a dungeon in order to save a part of your village and when you go to restore that person you’re met with thanks and then a request to make their life better . . . and subsequently yours. Pretty soon you have a laundry list of things the villagers want and getting all the pieces in the right place takes a lot of trial and error. Is it worth it? Yes. And fun too. You’ll find yourself going back to past dungeons over and over again in order to get more treasured jewels to attach to your weapon to make it stronger. And have I mentioned you have to figure out how to keep fish from rotting so you can do more things in the game? Ice, ice, baby.

#5 Lego Star Wars I & II
So that’s what it looks like when a Wookie rips the arms off of someone . . . if you’re a block constructed action figure. Use the power of the Force to move something or your blaster to blow it away. It’s action packed and demands replay just so you can go back to areas that you couldn’t access before. But be prepared to laugh. Try walking down the hallways in Bespin City when Lando keeps grabbing Leia’s hand to kiss it. “The Force will be with you . . . always.”

#6 Racer Revenge (Star Wars)
Finally, a game that shows the true power and speed of pod racing. And just how making repairs mid-race really affects things. The landscape will zip by you when all you want to do is stop and admire the scenery. But don’t do it. Sebula will win and you’ll be labeled Bantha Poodoo. You don’t want to happen now do you. The only down side is it only supports 2 players in multiplayer game play. I would love to see this game support 12-16 humans players in a real race.

Honorable Mentions:
Balder’s Gate: Dark Alliance 1 & 2, Champions of Norrath 1 & 2, Ever Grace, Jak & Daxter/Ratchet and Clank, Maximo: Ghost to Glory, Super Bust a Move, Xenosaga I, Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits, and Muppets Part Cruise

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