Review by The Pink Kirby
"Sony changed the face of Console Gaming forever."
My first contribution to GameFAQs.com is a review about a little black box which was released October 26, 2000, as a sequel to one of the best selling consoles ever, the Playstation. That little black box was hyped and promoted 4, 5, even 6 months well before it's release. Many were suckered into the hype because of the ''amazing'' graphics. Some because of the so-called ''good'' games. Some because it simply was well designed on the exterior. Nevertheless, this review is against this modern piece of plastic and metal, for I believe that Sony terribly altered the state of console gaming, and turned it into a monstrosity of mixed forms of entertainment. On to the review.
Obviously, this is the console's strongest point. Sony put a major tab on the console's power to create hype. Yet how many games on the console REALLY abuse the consoles ''power?'' I've yet too see many. A few, such as Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, or even maybe SSX have taken the console to it's limits. Personally, I'd rather have a hundred games with graphics like early Kirby games or SNES FF's, but with the perfection and excellent gameplay they behold. But graphics these days measure up as a large portion of a game or consoles worth. As I see it, a majority of the game graphics on the Playstation 2 are totally comparable to Dreamcast, a fine console that can hold its own on most fields. But, the Dreamcast's graphics are unbelievable as well, and thus the PS2 earns a great score in this area.
Controller and Console Design
I hate to say it, but the console itself looks totally awesome. The console looks great when paired with the vertical stand. The modern feel to it definitely gives the console a lead in originality, especially compared to the dull, gray box with no inspiration a.k.a. Playstation. The reason it didn't grab a perfect ''10'' in this category was because of the lack of innovation in the controller.
When the original Playstation was released, it came with a simple, two-pronged controller that reminisced of a more comfortable SNES controller, with it's D-pad on the right and four buttons on the right. But then when Sony released the Dual-Shock, it changed everything. The Dual-Shock had a built-in rumble feature which was great, and took Nintendo's embedded joystick idea, and expanded on it, creating a incredibly comfortable controller with two joysticks perfectly in reach of each thumb.
Thus, when Sony exported the Dual-Shock controller to the PS2, without ANY major adjustments, it was disappointing put next to the great-looking console.
The Black/Blue color scheme is great though. ^_~
This is where the sleek black box loses much of it's shine.
When the console launched late last year, there was much excitement about the 20+ games panned to launch with the system. After October 26th had passed, all but the most devout Sony followers were dissatisfied. Out of that mass of games, one was truly a stand-out, an excellent game in and out. Of course, that game was SSX. Then there were a few games which were alright, yet needed more work to make them complete. And the rest, also the majority, was downright bad.
The upcoming fall looks good for the PS2, with new, innovative games like Jak and Daxter, and sure-hit sequels like Tekken 4. And Final Fantasy X being release a few short months later, this fall looks like a great time to nab a PS2. That's if you resist the urge from the amazing Gamecube and Compute...I mean XBox.
Specs-wise, the PS2 can barley compete with the other two systems. But Microsoft has yet to show a second-wave of games that make you want to take your 300 bucks and shove it in their face, while the big N already has a great line up stretching to the middle of next year. Sorry for the little ''off-topicness.'' ^_~
Before you start yelling at me telling me how great the Playstation 2 is because of it's DVD compatibilities, take a listen to my thinking.
In 1991, Nintendo released the Super Nintendo, a system which had much up-ed specs from he NES. Even though it had more advanced technical capabilities, many games such as FFIV didn't utilize them. They focused on the main part of any game; gameplay. Square, along with many other great developers turned the SNES into the amazing console it is by focusing on more important things, i.e. gameplay. Sony, however seems to have a totally different theory.
Sony decided that it'd be a good idea to throw in DVD compatible disk drive. This was the first step they took into deteriorating console, not PC, gaming.
Look into this months EGM or GamePro, and there a nifty little page about Sony's new monitor, mouse, keyboard, printe...no, scratch that last one. You may think I'm speaking of a new computer, but I'm talking about the Playstation 2's upcoming ''peripherals.'' This console is supposedly taking gaming to it's next level. Yeah, right.
Let's get back to the ''amazing'' DVD feature, shall we? Next to the graphics, the most promoted aspect of this console was it's DVD feature. This turned the console into an ''entertainment system'' rather than a video game machine. The original Playstation would be in no means an amazing console, if it weren't for the large amount of gameplay-focused games (and, of course, it's backing by Square). The PS2 lacks the quality-driven games, yet unleashes a DVD featured make up or that. Smart huh? No. You know what I look for in a video game console?
A. It can play games well.
B. It has strong backbone of well-made games.
C. See A.
The PS2 can perform ''A,'' to an extent, though not covering the ''well'' part.
Now you may say, ''Well the Dreamcast can go online as well, so why don't you bag on it?'' You know why? Because it goes online to increase the amount of sheer fun. Yes, it has a browser. I don't use it, because I own a computer for a reason. And Sega, though they quit with consoles, they didn't have to release a monitor to ''improve'' the gaming level.
XBox is just going to further ruin the once-called console gaming world.
Unless yor a total Sony Freak, or must own all the latest hi-tech gadgets, don't buy the Playstation 2. Wait utill fall. ^_~
Remember when it was all about the games?
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 07/13/01, Updated 07/13/01
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