Tag Archives: ps2

The PS2 At 20: PS2 Games That Are Still On My Backlog

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I can’t really say anything about the PlayStation 2’s Japanese 20th anniversary that I didn’t already say when I blogged about its 10th anniversary. You can go ahead and read that here. What I am gonna write about that I haven’t seen anyone else mention is the stack of PS2 games I still haven’t played or finished sitting next to my still-plugged-in PS2.

As I said in the post linked above, I didn’t get a PS2 until near the end of its life (and it was my first piece of PlayStation hardware), so I spent a lot of time catching up, and technically I’m still catching up now. Combined with my general willingness to play old games all the time, this has created a not-insignificant list of PS2 games I need to finish and even ones I still intend to buy. Just last year I bought and played through Ace Combat 4 for the first time. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Devil May Cry (2001)

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Attention: About a month ago Indie Game Website ran my preview of Project Wingman. It’s come a long way since I first did the blog post on the original release of the alpha.

I don’t actually know when I’ll buy Devil May Cry V, but I thought the run-up to its release would be a good time to finally investigate the original Devil May Cry for the first time. I’d been worried it would feel too obsolete compared to the rest of the “Character Action” genre it created, but a lot about the game surprised me that makes sense considering its place in its own lineage. Continue reading

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My Own Guide To the Yakuza Series, I Guess (Since People Keep Asking) [UPDATED]

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Update (May 22, 2018).

So SEGA just announced its also going to release Yakuza 3Yakuza 4, and Yakuza 5 on PS4 over the next couple years. These ports probably won’t come out in English for a long time, and they aren’t going to be exactly like Yakuza 0 and Kiwami. They’re going to be straight ports of the games as they were on PS3, just with a higher resolution and framerate. This means they won’t have the gameplay features 0 introduced like the multiple-fighting-style system or passing random pedestrians in distress. Playing them after the newer games will feel like a serious downgrade in terms of gameplay features.

I think there are generally two paths to go here depending on whether you care more about the gameplay of the Yakuza series or the story arc of the whole saga.

If you care more about the gameplay — the combat system and minigames, just play everything in order of release for whatever hardware you own. If that’s only a PlayStation 4, then start with Yakuza 0 and Kiwami, then just go straight to Yakuza 6, then play Kiwami 2. After that, the PS4 remasters of 3, 4, and 5 might actually be optional. If you want the full emotional impact of the saga and its characters and don’t care about gameplay downgrades, then just play the games in chronological order of when they take place. That means waiting for Kiwami 2, then the upcoming remasters.

Original Post.

There are plenty of guides to SEGA’s Yakuza series that have popped up in the year since Yakuza 0 became the game to finally get the franchise some recognition in western territories after 10 years of longtime fans begging for localizations that then sold very little. The official English website for the franchise has a whole timeline and character spreadsheet. Even still, people keep asking where they should start. When I bought Yakuza 6 the cashier asked me where they should start after I told them I’d played all the previous games. I guess it couldn’t hurt for me to put down my own opinion on where to start based on what systems you own and whether you miss out by skipping any games. Continue reading

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Late To The Party: Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, And Why GTA Online Took Over

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I’m coming up towards the end of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas now but I’m going to go ahead and write this LTTP blog about it because I don’t know if I’m going to finish the game.

I have made blog posts in the past about my struggles with GTA games, but I wanted to take one last crack at San Andreas before actually starting the copy of Grand Theft Auto V I bought years ago. I ran into some of the same problems as before and overall I don’t think San Andreas stands the test of time, but from it I also learned some important things about sandbox games which may point to why GTA is so beloved, why Grand Theft Auto Online has taken over its destiny, and what’s wrong with other sandbox games. Continue reading

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10 Years Later: Final Fantasy XII Should Have Been The Future Of Console RPGs

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So Final Fantasy XII is 10 years old (in Japan). I usually don’t say a lot about the anniversaries of individual entries in game franchises, but this one stands out for me. FFXII is easily my favorite main Final Fantasy game, and the first point where I made a legitimate effort to get into the series. More than that though, I look back on it as a critical turning point for where console role-playing games could have gone in contrast to where they actually went. Continue reading

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PS2 Emulation And PSX 2015 Speculation

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For two years now I’ve been talking about the possibility of Sony bringing original PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games to the PS4 through software emulation. Now Sony has pretty much confirmed it for PS2 games. It’s easy to speculate that we’ll get the details at PlayStation Experience 2015 on December 5th. Continue reading

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PS2 Anniversary: A Hater’s Perspective

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I didn’t put it on my anniversary list but the PlayStation 2 is 15 years old in North America today, and I think this is a good chance for me to repost what I consider one of my better blogs from back at 1up.com — the one I made for the console’s 10th anniversary in 2010. I think it’s still worth looking at it today because I came at the anniversary from sort of a unique perspective — that of someone who disliked the console at first, begrudgingly accepted its importance later on, and only started to like it after it was on the downturn.

You may also note that I kind of ignored the 30th anniversary of the NES, and that’s because I don’t really know what I could say about it that hasn’t been said. The original Nintendo Entertainment System was pretty much the background radiation or the foundation of console gaming for an entire generation of humans. Its significance is kind of ever-present in terms of market penetration if you live in Japan or North America. I also kind of expected the game industry at large and Nintendo itself to make a bigger deal of the NES’s anniversary than it did.

Anyway, the PS2. Anything I would say about it looking back today I basically already said in 2010 on 1up, so here it is, re-edited for the present day and present time. Continue reading

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10 Years On, Shadow Of The Colossus Signifies The Peak Of An Era

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As we hit the game’s 10th anniversary (another this month) I think in past blog posts I’ve said almost every good thing I can about one of my favorite games ever — Shadow of the Colossus. The occasion is also getting a bit more notice around the block than I anticipated. Looking back on Colossus in the context of its era though, I’m starting to see it as one of the last symbols of Japanese dominance of video games. Continue reading

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On Its Anniversary, Just What Does PlayStation Mean Today?

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Maybe this should have been my response last week about the 20th anniversary of PlayStation, but Sony and other people still seem to be celebrating it all season long. For some reason the whole event has fallen kind of flat on me. Last week I suggested it was because I never got into Sony hardware until 2005, but I think the real reason is what the PlayStation brand looks and feels like today.

I’ve noted it in previous blog posts about console exclusives, but I kind of feel like PlayStation doesn’t have as much of an identity today as it did 15 or 10 years ago. I feel like the 20th anniversary celebrations are more a celebration of the past than of what PlayStation is right now. In the past PlayStation was a unique library of entertainment. Today I feel like it’s just another box. I actually don’t think this is a bad thing, but I do think it’s a sign of where console gaming is going, because Xbox is no less susceptible to the change. Continue reading

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The Likelihood Of PS1/PS2 Disc Emulation On PS4

Eurogamer’s report about the possibility of Sony using emulation to get PS1 and PS2 games playable on the PS4 as opposed to PlayStation Now has got people giddy. Sony selling the games on PSN would be a given if this turns out to be true, but the discussion of Sony allowing old discs on the PS4 has quickly cropped up, and I actually think there’s a good chance of it happening.

All things considered, Sony has little reason not to do it both business-wise and technology-wise. You just have to understand how this kind of emulation works.

If you don’t know, emulation is basically how Sony has sold PS1 and PS2 games on PSN for the PS3 thus far — you download classics that run locally on your console. Those classics are essentially ISOs — the exact same data that’s on your old discs, dropped into emulation. If this happens on PS4 there’s almost no reason to doubt Sony would just let you transfer your previous purchases — they’ve already set that precedent with PSOne games the Vita. As opposed to streaming, downloading and locally emulating old games might also cause less strain on PlayStation Now’s servers. Lastly, getting fully stable PS2 emulation working on PS4 would allow Sony to toss PS2 games onto PSN much more easily and frequently, since they wouldn’t have to tweak the emulation for each game like they do now on PS3.

Logically it’s easy to assume Sony would just lock this down to digital, forcing people to buy the games on PSN, but is there really much to be lost by allowing the emulators to run discs? That’s already exactly how PS1 compatibility works on the PS3. PS3s can even run PS2 discs when hacked to unlock the emulator, though that PS2 emulator is unstable because the PS3 doesn’t quite have the horsepower to flawlessly emulate PS2.

First of all, assuming the emulation is fully stable, it would probably require more effort on Sony’s part to lock out discs than to allow them. Then you’ve got the business factors. Selling the old games on PSN would be in competition with people’s existing collections as well as the market for physical classic games, but is that market really a big deal at all?

GameStop has already begun to phase out the selling of used PS2 games, and nobody else sells them but eBay, Amazon, and your odd retro and import store. Even where these places do exist, Sony has already shown the ability to price its digital classics very competitively. Final Fantasy VII became one of the top-selling games on PSN despite the PS3 being able to run the original PS1 disc, most likely because those discs went for $70 a few years ago and are still around $20 today as opposed to the $10 for the PSN version. For PS2 Classics Sony has focused specifically on rare games that are expensive at retail, releasing digital versions for a quarter of the price or less. And what percentage of PS4 owners still have a PS2 and PS2 games laying around? Not many I imagine. It doesn’t make sense to lock out that minority of players who might actually buy a PS4 if they find out they can run their PS2 discs on it.

Lastly, even Sony probably knows it can never release every PS2 game ever made that’s worth playing on PSN. There are simply too many, and that’s not even taking licensing restrictions into account. For many of those games the original physical copies will probably remain the only available versions for the foreseeable future.

Sony had basically nothing to fear from people being able to run PS1 discs on the PS3, and has little to fear from people running PS1 and PS2 discs on the PS4. At the same time, I think Sony can only really gain from making the PS4 compatible with possibly the most valuable library of any game console ever. The only reason I could see for Sony not allowing PS2 discs (assuming any of Eurogamer’s report is true) is if its PS2 emulation still isn’t tight enough. Really, the only reason Sony is even choosing to stream PS3 games through PlayStation Now is likely because they can’t emulate PS3 (no one can as of yet).

BULLETS:

  • And then there’s the part about this emulation possibly running the classics in native 1080p. That’s certainly possible, but would likely happen on a game-to-game basis. PC emulators for PS1, PS2, Gamecube, and Wii can already do this but with spotty results for many games, so I imagine Sony would only allow this for select titles. What’s attractive about it is that it isn’t like the HD remasters we’re seeing now, where a whole studio ports and old game to a newer console. With HD emulation, Sony could just literally drop the original ISO into the emulator and let it do the work automatically, only perhaps tweaking the emulator to fix errors with specific games. It can even work with the original discs. This is what Dragon Quest VIII looks like on PC emulation: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5536/11258388293_00d816bb71_o.jpg
  • Alpha 15 of Sky Rogue is out. http://t.co/dV0wTAqtS1
  • Oniken, a game I highlighted previously on this blog, hits Steam on Wednesday. I think it’ll be $5.
  • We have a new champion of screenshot art for Dark Souls. http://t.co/LM275yG3Fx
  • Castle Vidcons: Comic #127- In Every Rumor. http://t.co/UEFHTo4Mem
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