Review by Saikyo Ki
"It's very good, but it's not the best."
Here is a system that promised more than it delivered, although what it delivers is obviously cool. Many people can get enjoyment from this system, but it's not completely superior to everything else like Sony wants everyone to believe. Hype aside, it's a worthy successor to the PS1.
Graphics Capabilities: 9
The PS2 delivers the kind of amazing visuals that are the trademark of its generation of systems. A very easy way to see what the PS2 can do is to play Tekken Tag. However, what keeps this category from getting a 10 in my book is the fact that some games on this system aren't as pleasing to the eye as games on the Dreamcast. I've played more than a few PS2 games where frames drop frequently, plus the fact that the PS2 has no hardware anti-aliasing means polygons will look jagged sometimes. In comparison, I can't really recall a time when I saw the DC go below 60 fps. Nonetheless, the PS2's power won't leave you starving for great graphics.
Audio Capabilities: 10
Nothing really needs to be said here. The fact that the system uses CD/DVD media and the huge amount of RAM inside the system means that you'll never hear crappy music/audio/sound effects (unless the composers themselves suck).
Controller Design: 7
The same controller used on the PS1. Adequate, but something new would have been nice, particularly six buttons on the front.
Memory Saving Capabilities: 8
The same type of memory card system as used on the PS1. Enough said.
Load Time: 10
Just like the DC, you won't even have time to tap your foot once.
Game Library: 8
The two strongest genres of this system are the fighters and the sports games. In these genres, the PS2 locks horns with the DC well, as both systems have great ones. As far as fighting goes, Tekken Tag and Street Fighter EX3 are simply amazing. All PS2 sports games are extremely realistic and graphically outstanding. There are also some good racing games and a couple of interesting adventure games (Summoner). Sadly, there aren't any definitive RPGs on the PS2 yet, but since the DC won't be getting new games for much longer, the PS2 has a very good chance of topping the DC in this genre.
To add to the PS2's library are all of the PS1 games, which run on the system. Even PS1 memory cards work in the system. This was a very smart move on Sony's part, but since the PS2 itself does not yet have a library that touches on every genre well at the time of this review's creation, people may not want to buy a PS2 yet since they can already play PS1 games with the unit they already have.
Sony isn't going anywhere. They may have failed in their mission to make everyone have a PS2, but they succeeded in maintaining the powerful foothold they have on the gaming industry by holding its own against DC well. Even though pretty soon there will be four contenders from which you can choose a fifth generation console, at that time the PS2 will still be a satisfying choice, which is why I give it an 8.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/06/01, Updated 07/06/01
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