Review by Gudo Gobbo
Ok, I just want to start out this review by noting that I am not a nintendo fanboy, or a microsoft die-hard, or anything ridiculously biased like that. If any reader takes the time to think behind what I am saying, you will recognize this as an accurate review of an overrated system. that being said,
PS2 graphics just don't impress me, oftentimes looking between a beefy N64 game or a very poor imitation of an xbox game. The graphics are often sketchy, fuzzy, or unreal, as you will notice with any multiplatform game you look at screenshots from. Everybody admits to this area, being a much older system than the Next-Gens, ps2 graphics just don't compare anymore.
Again, I must look at framerate from a comparison standpoint. I don't think I've played any games that run at a GOOD framerate. Especially if your eyes are looking at lag-free PC games, or xbox games, or even gamecube games, this area will jump out at you as painful. Multiplatform games are often too hard on the PS2's processor to keep up, making a usually fairly framey system stutter like mad during gameplay.
Yes, this is where everybody will go 'what the **** is he talking about?'' But I must stand by this generous number. Many hot PS2 titles (Grand theft auto, or soul caliber 2, for example) can be found for Xbox, usually Gamecube, and sometimes even PC. Considering the graphics and framerate will be better on any 3 of these options, why play a PS2?
''because there are so many cool games!'' You will respond. But this is of course untrue, the terrible graphics and stuttery gameplay make most of the true PS2-only games painful to play when they were not excellent to begin with.
Load Times: 6/10
Everybody accepts PS2 load times as being painful, just like Xbox load times are painful, and PC load times are painful. As I said, though, I'm running my review as a comparison, and Gamecube load times blow PS2's out of the water, so I give this area a 6. Buy a gamecube, spend time playing when you would otherwise be watching the loading screen. Period. I'm also going to include in here because it really doesn't fit anywhere else the massive scratching PS2 does to disks just by playing them. If you have a game that you hate, play it as often as you can, and it'll come out looking like it's a war veteran.
Here's another one of those 'what the ****' areas, but again, consider what I say. The controller looks like it was made for a 5-year old. Everybody bashes the gamecube as a 'kiddy system,' when they own a system with a controller made for chipmunk hands. The buttons are so small and close-together that people with larger hands or even normal-sized hands will find themselves crunched and cramped playing it. Two tiny shoulder buttons on either side of the controller make gameplay especially painful, when you're playing a shooter and your finger stretches across the trigger AND the button to throw your last grenade. Additionally, along with the system's framerate issues comes an inevitable unresponsiveness in controls.
Now, other people may call this unique, but I have to ask, what is up with the shapes for buttons? Every other popular system I can think of dating a long while back (NES, SNES, GENESIS, MASTER SYSTEM, N64, XBOX, GAMECUBE) I'll stop naming there; have used either 1 2 3 or A B C as their control scheme. Playstation just rips right out of that trend and introduces X, circle, square, triangle. This may seem cool and of course would become nearly unnoticeable to an experienced PS2 player, but playing mortal kombat and using your best combo Circle, Circle, Square, Triangle, Triangle just seems like a joke. Either that or multiplatform games simply will leave their controls (Like soul caliber 2) in, and you end up confused as K relates to X, and A relates to circle. All these problems just snowball to ruin a system that's somewhat outdated to begin with.
DVD function: 8/10
This is my highest area because I must compare PS2 to our other systems. Xbox requires you to buy a $30 remote to play DVDs, and gamecube doesn't have a DVD player to begin with. However, the DVD player included in a PS2 would be a fairly cheap one if it were sold individually, so the DVD quality isn't great. Also, like the regular game function, this scratches CDs. Have a DVD you hate? Play it on your PS2!
PS2 came out as a big push before Next Gen systems, and was a good and successful system for its time. Since then, Sony has created a reputation for massive amounts of games to keep the community addicted to a system that's falling behind standards more by the minute.
The verdict: Want better gameplay? Want better graphics? Want less stuttering or fewer mangled CDs? Buy an Xbox. Buy a gamecube. Buy a PC. Buy something other than a PS2.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 12/18/03
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