Review by jpark4evr
"Sony leaves a fart in the gaming industry...and it really stinks."
Back in the 90s, the original Sony Playstation was a very good system. So when the PS2 came out in 2000, everyone and their brother was excited by the release of a new Sony system. I myself got one in 2001 for my 17th birthday, and I was definitely enthusiastic at the time. Within the next three years, I slowly began to become disenchanted with the PS2 for a number of reasons and in 2004, decided to sell it off. To find out why, continue reading my review below.
The system's case itself doesn't look that bad actually. They opted to make it simplistic looking and flat, perfect for stacking a smaller console or electronic device on top. Unfortunately, that's the best design feature the PS2 has.
The PS1 backwards compatibility is a plus but is certainly not the best it could be. You can enhance the graphics, but some of them won't work at all when you choose that option.
In my opinion, one of their most careless flaws was putting the switch that turns the console on is in the back. It's pretty inconvenient and more annoying than it would have been if they had put it in the front like they should have.
Then there's the fact of how buggy the PS2 can be. Mine was able to scratch discs on its own without much effort. I bought Medal of Honor Frontline brand new, and I take excellent care of my games. While playing it in the PS2 I could occasionally hear strange "scratchy sounds." Low and behold, the disc had scratches on the bottom when it certainly didn't before. I've heard that it gets even worse when you sit the console up vertically.
Then there was the infamous blue bottom disc reading errors many of the earlier PS2s had. Although mine was able to play them fine, my friend had one that couldn't play blue bottom discs...period. What's really sad is that many other people had the same problem. And what exactly was the point in having different colored discs in the first place??
One of the somewhat redeeming features of the PS2 is that it can play DVDs. It was actually the first console to have this feature. But if you plan on getting one of these for the DVD feature you'd be much better off getting a regular DVD player, one that won't beat up your discs.
In my opinion the PS2 controller is, for the most part, fairly decent. It's basically the same as the PS1's dual shock controller, albeit a different color (black instead of gray). It fit comfortably in the palm of my hands, and all the buttons are easily accessible. But the fact of the matter is that it's still the same controller, nothing new or innovative. Imagine if Nintendo took the Super Nintendo Pad and then basically used the same design for the N64...see what I'm getting at? Come on Sony, break new ground!
The PS2 can pull off some really nice looking graphics. I was definitely impressed with Virtua Fighter 4 way back when I got it. But the fact of the matter is that the graphical capabilities of the PS2 are overrated and pale in comparison to the X-Box and Gamecube. The graphics are good, son, but certainly not the best.
The DVD compatibility was certainly innovative, as there was no other console with this feature before the PS2.
As far as online gaming went, the PS2 pretty much fell completely flat. If I remember correctly, modems for it weren't released until 2002, 2 years after the system's launch. And the feature was very poorly supported, and their aren't very many good games that actually utilize it. The only ones I every hear about are SOCOM and Final Fantasy XI. Whoop-dee-doo. Even the Dreamcast, a system that included the modem right from the start, had better online support than the PS2. If you're into online console gaming, then you're much better off with purchasing an X-Box.
This is where I encountered the most disappointment. In all seriousness, the PS2 has been the least interesting system of the last generation that I owned, and I owned them all (Dreamcast, Gamecube, PS2, X-Box). Sure, there are plenty of RPG's, but I found most of them to be pretty bland. There were plenty of first person shooters and survival/horror games, but I've never been a fan of either genre, so they never did anything for me. And many of the really good games can be found on other systems anyway, with the exception of a few like Kingdom Hearts and Virtua Fighter 4. Needless to say, I kept looking at the list of upcoming games and, after awhile, found almost none of the titles to look that interesting. Too many of the games relied on eye candy and seemed to forget what was really important; FUN. Boy, was it ever a relief when I finally sold the blasted thing.
And even though the PS2 is backwards compatible with PS1 games, I don't consider them to be a part of its library since they are from a previous generation. It would be like me saying the 32X is cool because it can still allow you to play the original Sega Genesis games, and most of us know that the 32X was not cool. lol Ditto for the PS2.
Final Verdict (5/10):
The Sony PS2 failed to live up to the hype. Sony offered us unstable hardware, crappy internet support, and a slew of lackluster games. Think of it as what the Atari 7800 was to the Atari 2600. Sure, the PS2 may have far better graphics than the PS1 and can play said system's games, but you're much better off just sticking with the original.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 11/27/06
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