Best games to buy with a new Playstation 2

Sol, I can’t speak for ALL combinations, but the PS2 plays DVDs just fine through my VCR. I can’t recall what brand it is off the top of my head. It was given to me recently after my Panasonic broke. It’s a newer, cheaper model, is about all I can say.

I guess that may not be totally helpful, but it would seem to indicate that if there’s a problem doing that, it’s not in the PS2.

I think there are two reasons that Rockstar has insisted on not calling GTA:Vice City a sequel.

  1. It’s not in the same time line as GTA:3. It’s set in the 80s, while GTA:3 is set in present day. So, if anything it would be a prequel. (Although, they don’t really call it that, either.)

  2. Rumors have it that there is a true sequel in the works. Set for release next year. Same city, and some of the same characters. (Plus, multiplayer action. But, that might just be based fan exuberance, and not on facts.)

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is a full new game with a complete set of it’s own missions and storyline. I would be reluctant to call it 3.5, because that makes it sound like it’s not much of a progression from GTA:3 as far as design and game engine. From, what I can see in screen shots, and writeups of the game. The graphics engine has been rebuilt and improved, and the physics engine has been improved. The new game allows the character to have a better view while in combat mode, and also allows the exploration of more indoor areas. Vehicles such as motor bikes and helicopters have also been added.

So. Yeah. I am excited about Vice City. 7 more days.

The other two games I have played for the PS2 are Metal Gear Solid 2, and Spiderman.
Spiderman is fun. It has lots of stuff from the movie in it. Some of the actual actors doing the voice overs, and really good graphics. But, the game play is a little bit lacking. Way too difficult to get through a couple of the levels, kind of put a damper on the fun.
Still. Even with the difficulty, if you are a Spider-man fan it’s a game worth having.

Metal Gear Solid 2 had kick ass fun game play. But. The cut scenes seemed to last forever, and they just kept coming. I hadn’t heard that they packaged the same game with more game play, I will have ot check that out.

Those are actually the only 2 games I have played on the PS2. GTA3 is the best, in my opinion. Vice City might surpass it, and The Getaway which is coming out pretty soon might be worth checking out, as well. But, those are in the future.

pat

FYI: Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance comes out in November for the X-Box, but won’t be out for the PS2 until 2003.

So, you’re thinking about getting your first PS2 games?

In order:

  1. Before you decide anyting, go to a place that actually sells and/or rents them. Because there’s a tremendous variety of games (I wouldn’t have gotten a PS2 if this wasn’t the case), and a far better selection than the hype-addled magazines and websites would have you believe. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but there are alternatives to ultra-violent bloodfests, mega-intense racers, and brain-crushing super-complex war zones.

Did you know, for example, that there are three installments of a unique, fast-paced shooter (Silent Scope)? Or a freewheeling, fun racer (CART Fury)…boy, never expected that on an advanced system, did ya? Or even a cute 'n light rhythm game in the same vein as Pop 'n Music (Unison)? Or a sequel to a delighful PSX hidden treasure (Klonoa 2…and I’ve been to at least one store that was really pushing this one)? There’s something for just about everyone, so if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t enjoy being a criminal and stealing everything in sight, that shouldn’t discourage you.

  1. Rent, rent, rent. I cannot stress this enough. Get a feel for the games you’re thinking about buying, ESPECIALLY if it’s gotten absolutely glowing reviews. In my experience, the greater the hype, the greater the letdown. A lot of games are a lot of fun but lack replay value (like Silent Scope). Don’t ever overcommit to a game you’re not sure about.

  2. If you decide to go by someone else’s opinion (which I do not recommend, BTW), keep in mind where they’re coming from. Everyone just can’t get enough of Tekken. Why? Because it was one of the better PSX games. And it’s a mega-complicated, next-to-impossible-to-learn fighter (hey, I’ve played it, I’ve seen others play it, I know what I’m talking about here), which those magazine writers just can’t get enough of. You may not agree. You may want something that doesn’t force you to be on your toes every millisecond. You may not go for adjusting 500 things before every race just to have a chance of winning. There’s definitely no accounting for taste when it comes to what’s supposedly “good” about video games, and you should never assume that you’re going to agree with the reviewer.

  3. Trust your eyes and ears! If that basketball game has all kinds of roster decisions and adjustments and styles etc. that you’d rather not deal with, a thousand accolatese in its favor shoudln’t deter you. If movelists that take up a whole page give you chills, don’t change your mind because of the “deep” gameplay or “scrub unfriendly” this 'n that. I’m amazed at to the extent to which so many otherwise intelligent players will mindlessly subscribe to the conventional wisdom of the moment. Don’t. That way lies misery. I speak from painful experience here.

Oh yeah, recommendations…
Swing Away Golf. Tons of fun, tons of replay value, easy to learn but you’ll never come within a par 5 of “mastering” it.
CART Fury
Capcom vs. SNK 2. Capcom usually does a great job of combining depth with a friendly learning curve. Never better than here.

That’s just to buy, mind you. There are doznes of games worth renting. You just have to look.

So, you’re thinking about getting your first PS2 games?

In order:

  1. Before you decide anyting, go to a place that actually sells and/or rents them. Because there’s a tremendous variety of games (I wouldn’t have gotten a PS2 if this wasn’t the case), and a far better selection than the hype-addled magazines and websites would have you believe. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but there are alternatives to ultra-violent bloodfests, mega-intense racers, and brain-crushing super-complex war zones.

Did you know, for example, that there are three installments of a unique, fast-paced shooter (Silent Scope)? Or a freewheeling, fun racer (CART Fury)…boy, never expected that on an advanced system, did ya? Or even a cute 'n light rhythm game in the same vein as Pop 'n Music (Unison)? Or a sequel to a delighful PSX hidden treasure (Klonoa 2…and I’ve been to at least one store that was really pushing this one)? There’s something for just about everyone, so if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t enjoy being a criminal and stealing everything in sight, that shouldn’t discourage you.

  1. Rent, rent, rent. I cannot stress this enough. Get a feel for the games you’re thinking about buying, ESPECIALLY if it’s gotten absolutely glowing reviews. In my experience, the greater the hype, the greater the letdown. A lot of games are a lot of fun but lack replay value (like Silent Scope). Don’t ever overcommit to a game you’re not sure about.

  2. If you decide to go by someone else’s opinion (which I do not recommend, BTW), keep in mind where they’re coming from. Everyone just can’t get enough of Tekken. Why? Because it was one of the better PSX games. And it’s a mega-complicated, next-to-impossible-to-learn fighter (hey, I’ve played it, I’ve seen others play it, I know what I’m talking about here), which those magazine writers just can’t get enough of. You may not agree. You may want something that doesn’t force you to be on your toes every millisecond. You may not go for adjusting 500 things before every race just to have a chance of winning. There’s definitely no accounting for taste when it comes to what’s supposedly “good” about video games, and you should never assume that you’re going to agree with the reviewer.

  3. Trust your eyes and ears! If that basketball game has all kinds of roster decisions and adjustments and styles etc. that you’d rather not deal with, a thousand accolades in its favor shoudln’t deter you. If movelists that take up a whole page give you chills, don’t change your mind because of the “deep” gameplay or “scrub unfriendly” this 'n that. I’m amazed at to the extent to which so many otherwise intelligent players will mindlessly subscribe to the conventional wisdom of the moment. Don’t. That way lies misery. I speak from painful experience here.

Oh yeah, recommendations…
Swing Away Golf. Tons of fun, tons of replay value, easy to learn but you’ll never come within a par 5 of “mastering” it.
CART Fury
Capcom vs. SNK 2. Capcom usually does a great job of combining depth with a friendly learning curve. Never better than here.

That’s just to buy, mind you. There are doznes of games worth renting. You just have to look.

Swing Away Golf rules. I could not believe how deep this game was. I played it for a damned long time to build up my character. LOTS of replay value in this one, and I bought it new for $30 almost a year ago. My high point: my super-built up guy shot 48 on the first course in the game! Once you get your length up, you can drive almost all the greens on that course.

DKW gave some great advice. Rent before you buy if you aren’t sure you’ll like the game (or the genre).

As for games that blew me away:

ICO - as someone mentioned about, a stunningly beautiful adventure game. Just difficult and long enough to give you a sense of achievement when you solve puzzles without being frustrated. Absolutely goes in my top 10. My favorite anecdote from playing the game is coming across a waterfall and admiring it, going “oh wow, isn’t that pretty how the mist at the bottom creates a rainbow”. It just didn’t occur to me that someone had to put the rainbow there until much later; it looked so natural.

Jak and Daxter - If you like 3d platformers (mario 64, crash bandicoot, etc), this one is the best I’ve played. The environments are really well designed, the lighting is great, no load times between levels, well defined goals (and hints at what you should be doing next, something too many games leave out). The game just feels like its the perfect difficulty.

Rez - Dunno if you can get a copy of this one. Not many were made and I’ve seen it used selling for $70 now. If you can find it, its worth checking out. Its a 3d rail shooter (think space harrier or panzer dragoon), but one where the action, visuals, and music are all fused together to create a really original experience. When you shoot, your shots fire out on beat and become part of the very cool soundtrack for the game.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - looks to be better than GTA3 in almost every way, which is saying a hell of a lot for one of the best PS2 games out there.

A few questions from another prospective PS2 buyer:

1)Have any of you had problems with your PS2s? Back around the time the PS2 was first made available, I heard some complaints about systems malfunctioning after only a few months. A few of the PS2 comments on Amazon also make reference to machines that stopped working shortly after the 90-day warranty expired.

2)PS2s play PS1 games, right?

3)Anyone know whether a Greatest Hits version of Silent Hill 2 will be forthcoming? Silent Hill 2 and 3 are more or less the primary reasons I would buy a PS2 (well, that and the DVD player), but SH2 already seems a little hard to find in my area.

Thanks!

I have not had issues with my PS2, but I’ve only had it since Christmas.

PS2s play PS1 games.

Personally, I like Virtua Fighter 4 better than Tekken. As far as the vast selection… there’s a lot of darn games out there. Enjoy.

My 2 cents…

Another vote for SSX:Tricky. Great characters, really fun once you start figuring out the super tricks, lots of hidden paths and surprises, and the replay value is big. Plus I love the remix they did to Run DMC anthem song for the intro.

Devil May Cry. This one just oozes cool. The story is ok I suppose but the fun is going batshit with 2 guns and subsequent weapons and the overall fighting capabilities that you can upgrade into. And they are currently making a sequel.

GTA3 will capture you and never let you go. There is just SO MUCH TO DO. The main storyline, hidden package hunt, Insane Jumps, Car search car jacking, vigilante missions, firetruck missions, cabbie, ambulances, etc etc etc. Rockstar are the gods of hour sucking your time. Another here who is absolutely bouncing up and down waiting for his copy of Vice City to arrive.

Just bought the network adapter for the system and am enjoying a whole new dimension of play here.

I never liked football, but I rented Madded 2003 and it is a blast!

Can’t wait to get Twisted Metal Black in the mail, and THPS 3 is pretty solid (can’t wait to play 4).

Next purchase will be SOCOM.

I hated Twisted Metal: Black (sorry Zen) – lovely graphics, appalling gameplay (too fast and too difficult - and I’ve played the other games in the series).

I can’t wait for The Getaway, basically “GTA in London” but with more realism. Accurate mapping of central London down to shop names – apparently you can, for example, enter a McDonald’s and take hostages to escape the police – real cars and vehicles, more coherent plot. Due out for Xmas.

I generally agree about Twisted Metal Black, but I get the online version free with my Ethernet adapter and I do think playing online will add a positive dimension in gameplay.

About the VCR thing: basically YMMV. For some it works fine, for others it doesn’t work at all. Mine plays DVDs through the VCR with incredibly bad quality (although oddly enough the games don’t have this problem at all). Games that I like are Tony Hawk 3, Dax and Jaxter (unbelievable background and a pretty fun game, too), and SSX (never played the Tricky version, so can’t comment on it).