Review by Psycho Penguin

"This console turned around better than the Yankees ever could."

The next generation console started off with a bang, as Sega released the Sega Dreamcast console on 9/9/99, to a huge amount of hype. Sony, never one to be beaten at its own game, decided that since the Dreamcast was released, it was only fitting that they too release a new console, so they would not be defeated. The result? The most powerful system ever released (for now), Playstation 2. Released to a lot of hype in 2000, the Playstation 2 has disappointed many with its lack of quality game library (although that has somewhat changed recently), but no one can doubt its power, and it definitely has a chance to become the best console of all time.

What does it need to outpace the forthcoming Gamecube and X-Box? Better games, and lately, it has been getting them. With a huge amount of third party support, ranging from Square to Capcom, plus the Sony produced games, there has been a mass wave of new and exciting games released lately, with more on their way. Case in point? In the last month, no fewer than EIGHT popular and well liked games have been released. Devil May Cry, Crazy Taxi, Ico, Silent Hill 2, Gran Turismo 3, Grand Theft Auto 3, Guilty Gear X, and Okage: Shadow King. Not to mention the wave of solid sports games by powerhouses 989 Sports and EA Sports.

This has definitely helped the Playstation 2 out tremendously in the game library department. To say the first several months of games released were disappointing would be a tremendous understatement. Most games were solid, but unspectacular. Some games just plain sucked. Only a few stood out as great, but then once newer games were released, the launch games were overshadowed. However, there is good news for Sony in some ways. Can you remember any launch games for the Playstation? I think Battle Arena Toshiden was the highest selling launch game, along with maybe Wipeout. Yes, the first year or so sucked for Sony, but now the console has a ton of great games.

I think the same thing is going to happen for Sony with its Playstation 2. Anyone will probably tell you that one game turned around the fortune of the Playstation 2: Final Fantasy 7. And what game is right around the corner for Sony? Final Fantasy X. Yeap, it looks like history might be repeating itself, and with a slew of awesome games on the horizon, it looks like fans can forget about the somewhat dismal start and look forward to some awesome games released in the near future.

The only main problem with all these new awesome games coming out is getting enough cash to buy all of them. I already mentioned quite a few of the games released recently. Games scheduled include Crazy Taxi 2, Metal Gear Solid 2, Final Fantasy X, and Crash 5: The Wrath of Cortex. Role playing game fans may be disappointed so far with the rather lackluster list of role playing games currently available (although Okage: Shadow King is the best one yet, and it was released recently), but a crapload of role playing games are coming out for it. Name a popular role playing game on Playstation, and chances are a sequel is on its way for Playstation 2. Here's a short list: Final Fantasy X, Suikoden 3, Wild Arms: 3rd Ignition, Legend of Legaia: Duel Saga, Grandia 2, Grandia Xtreme, and another Genso Suikoden game.

One game that is being released soon will definitely help out the status of the Playstation 2. This may be from a bit of bias, because as some of you may know, I am a wrestling fan, but WWF Smackdown 3!: Just Bring It has a chance to bring in many new fans to the console. There are a ton of wrestling fans in the world, no matter if you like it or not. With wrestling games scheduled for the Gamecube and X-Box, it was imperative for this console to have a WWF game, and it is getting a really good one that will help to sell consoles. I know I'd buy a Playstation 2 just for the game. Also, Legends of Wrestling will be coming out for it, and who wouldn't want to beat up Hulk Hogan?

No one can doubt the graphical power of the Playstation 2. This is the most powerful system ever released (for now), and while the Gamecube and X-Box are probably just as, if not more, powerful than this, there is no doubt that the power of this console is unbelievable. I don't have too many technical stats on it, but it is 128 bit, and one of the coolest things about it is that it uses a DVD-ROM drive, so games run a lot faster for the most part. Some Playstation 2 games, sadly, still use the CD based game format, but for the most part, loading times are a lot faster. And boy, do most of the games released for the console look SWEET!

There are two main reasons to buy a Playstation 2 besides the awesome power of it and the quality of games being released. One, it comes with a DVD player, so you can watch DVD movies on the console. This is great, because basically you are getting a DVD player AND a Playstation 2 game console. While there are not as many options on the Playstation 2 DVD player than a regular DVD player, it is still a welcome addition. Two, the system is backward compatible, so you are basically getting a Playstation with this, since mostly any Playstation game can be played on it. And the games run faster on them. And chances are you wouldn't be caught dead with the Playstation games you can't play on it, anyways. So, you are getting a Playstation 2, DVD player, and Playstation for 300 bucks. Sounds good to me.

This is the console to beat going into the next generation console war. I am really biased against this console right now, because I truly do not like most of the next generation games being released for it, but I did like some of them, and I didn't really hate any of them. I'd say this console is worth it just to get a DVD player and Playstation 1 with it. If you already have both of those, then maybe you should wait until better games are released. However, with all the new games being released nowadays, you are going to find a bunch you like. I'd definitely reccomend getting this system.

Upcoming Games Worth Getting
Final Fantasy X, Legaia: Duel Saga, WWF Smackdown! 3, Metal Gear Solid 2, and Grandia Xtreme.

Games Out Right Now Worth Getting
Devil May Cry, NBA Street, Madden 2002, Ico, Silent Hill 2, Okage: Shadow King, Zone of the Enders, Dynasty Warriors 2, and Gran Turismo 3.

Avoid At All Costs, or Rentals at Best
Orphen, Summoner, Kessen, and almost any GT racing game.

I Rate This Console, Psycho Penguin Style!
Graphical Power - 9.8/10
Sound Capabilities - 9.6/10
Loading Speeds - 9.4/10
Current Game Library - 7.8/10
Upcoming Game Library - 9.4/10
Added Features - 10/10
Buy it? - Yes.
Overall - 8.9/10

Psycho Penguin Lays The Smackdown!
The Bottom Line: I wasn't too impressed at first, but this is quickly becoming a dominating console, and it will be a major player in the forthcoming console war, especially with the rash of new games coming out, along with the recent games released. This console definitely has a bright future, and if you can afford it, there's really no reason not to buy it.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/04/01, Updated 11/04/01


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