Review by Fin_Obelius

"The virtual reality dream gets closer and closer to be realized with each gen. consoles that get released."

Introduction
When I heard that Sony was creating a little brother for the original PlayStation, I enthused for the release of the sequel of the console with some of the best graphics ever seen in the gaming community. Apparently, Sony was a tad overexcited to release their baby, as this console was found to be buggy here or there. Despite that downfall, the PS2 was a immense success with the world's populace. I attribute this with the jaw dropping variety of games sure to appeal to any kind of gamer, casual or hardcore.

Visual Capabilities
What the PS2 was capable of back then blew anything Nintendo had hidden in it's sleeves out of the water. Really, how could I have expected less from the younger sibling of the PlayStation? Unfortunately, few companies put some elbow grease in this department. In the end, only a few games actually made serious use of the PS2's power. Experts were clamoring that games such as Final Fantasy X and Metal Gear Solid 2 took the PS2 to the max. That, of course, was before Final Fantasy XII and Metal Gear Solid 3 where those games far surpassed their predecessors visually.

So if more companies got off their asses and put some effort in the graphics department, we could have something beautiful on our hands. So if you think a game looks crappy, blame the developers, not the console. A factor we must always consider is, of course, the lag versus graphical power debate, but I would prefer beautiful games with slow loading times than poorly made games that run quickly. Sony has ensured that this category will not disappoint.

Design
The PS2 Slim is far smaller and lighter than the PS2 Phat. This improves its portability considerably and isn't such a prominent eyesore. Instead of being gray and blocky like the original PlayStation, the PS2 is black and rectangular. It's also outfitted with two memory card slots as well as two extra for the controllers. The power button-conveniently-is located near the edge of the PS2 for easy access. One must never forget the eject button. It's located near the slots for the extra controller and memory cards. All in all, a nice and simple design.

Controller
Before I delve into the issues pertaining to the controller, I would like to clarify upon a few things. By 'controller' I mean the actual instrument you procure in the box with the PS2 that enables you to play games by manipulating the controls. I will not be reviewing those other spin off garbage made by separate companies to make a quick buck. Pertaining to the controller, it is a veritable clone of its older sibling differed only by the fact that the PS2's controller is black. It's only a clone on the exterior, but in the exterior, the technology is quite different.

In the inside, Sony installed a vibration function to create an even more immersing gaming experience. Other notable differences is that the commands you issue are executed much more quickly than the PlayStation. I also found the fact that the controller is considerably lighter to be quite accommodating. Put simply, the controller is a clone of the PS1's with minute yet convenient alterations. However, this is handy because it makes your playing experience with PlayStation games easier and feels like a upgraded version of the original PSX.

Game Library
This is it. The reason to buy a PlayStation 2. The amount of companies that develop their games to be exclusives on this one platform is impressive. And don't get me started on the amount of games on this console (Last time I checked, there were over 3000). Without that much support, the PS2 wouldn't be held in such high esteem and popularity as it is today. So therefore, if you consider yourself a hardcore gamer, you will inevitably buy this console to be able to play the vast library of exclusive games that the PS2 has available.

All That Extra Crap!
Sony slapped on some extras such as the ability to watch movies on the PS2. You can use the controller to navigate the menu of the DVDs. Sony, being always so conveniently ready with extra stuff to sell, has a PS2 Remote to make watching movies considerably easier. But I don't think it's worth it, as it takes a massive chunk of memory to enable the PS2 to recognize the remote. Unfortunately, the console was meant to play games, so movies may become buggy and skip scenes or freeze-but it's rare. You've just gotta love that the PS2 was meant to play games imprinted on DVDs, eh?

I mentioned that the PS2 can play PSX games before, but it was just that; a mere mention. I also mentioned that the clone controller was a benefit as it simplified gameplay designs for the PSX games, but that, again, was a mere mention. But yeah, if you, under any circumstances, had to sell your PSX, you could play just fine on this piece of hardware. The only drawbacks I experienced when playing on the PS2 Slim was that it had an absolutely crappy ventilation system, resulting in the system overheating easily. This shouldn't be a problem for casual gamers, but for intensive gamers, it will frustrate them by having to take breaks at regular intervals.

Summary
All in all, a hardcore gamer will inevitably purchase this console just for its vast selection of games. That in itself is also a reason why casual gamers should pick up one as well. The graphics are superb, as expected from the younger sibling of the visually pleasing PlayStation. The design is much more sharper looking than the PS2's predecessor-I'd pick black over gray any day. The extra stuff that Sony added is rather convenient and helps make the differences between the original PlayStation and the PS2 more prominent. The controller's cloned interface is somewhat of a benefit considering the ability to play PS1 games. In conclusion, I have to say that what this system lacks in originality, it makes up in variety.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/11/08

Game Release: PlayStation 2 Hardware (Slim) (US, 11/30/04)


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