Review by Aristotle

"I am NOT a fanboy!"

The Sony PlayStation 2. The most hyped-up console ever in video gaming history. Is it worth the hype? In my opinion (IMO), yes. It had a pretty weak launch, but it’s more than making up for it now, with all the fantastic, grade-A games coming out now. It’s slowly working it’s way to the top to crush all the competition. Onto the details, now.

Graphics: 80/100

What?? Only 80/100?? WHY?? Bear with me and I’ll explain exactly why. The PS2 has some great-looking stuff, but the Dreamcast, XBox, and GameCube can easily beat it. I believe the PS2 is the weakest of all of them. But it can still do some pretty amazing stuff, all thanks to its new “emotion engine” (which I still have yet to figure out what it’s for). Sure, it can play PSX games near perfectly, but due to the lack of anti-aliasing the PS2 has, the PSX games don’t look any better at all. Well, a select few do, for some odd reason, but 99% do not. Also, the PS2 only has 4MB of VRAM, as compared to the Dreamcast’s 8MB. This makes the PS2 work really hard at rendering huge, free-roaming environments, a la Silent Hill 1 and 2. It can be done, though, it just takes a huge amount of work on the part of the developer (who, I think, are becoming more and more lazy with each game they put out). That is another graphical downfall of the PS2. And for those of you concerned with the DVD quality of the PS2, rest assured because it is great quality, if you’re not a home movie nut and study all aspects of them. Works great as a DVD player for the average video-watcher.

Audio: 90/100

Reason for only a 90 is the extremely hard programming of Dolby 5.1. It can be done, as NHL 2002 I believe demonstrated, but again, it takes a huge amount of work from the developer. Also, it takes up an incredibly large amount of space on the disc, and most people can hardly tell the difference, so who really cares? Only people with the huge sound systems should really worry, because chances are if you’re using your TV’s speakers (generic TV speakers??? Who ever heard of such an outlandish thing!!!), you really don’t care if the game has 5.1 surround sound or not. But never fear, there is an optical output for games that are programmed in 5.1, all you audio nutcases out there. Other than that, the PS2 sounds just like all the other consoles, and renders most sounds beautifully.

Controller: 100/100

The absolute best controller I have ever had the pleasure of playing on, period. I grew accustomed to the PSX controller, and since the PS2 controller is a pumped-up model, I love it to pieces. It fits most hand sizes perfectly, allows for easy access of all the buttons and such, and has the great vibration function built into it (no, Rumble Pak and Tremor Pak). Once you get accustomed to it, you will love it, and it will come naturally to it. But then again, the hardware may be excellent, but the game has to utilize that hardware in the best possible way to make it good. The Dual Shock 2 controller is the exact reason why just looking at that monstrosity of a controller the XBox has makes my hand ache.

Value: 80/100

I still say they could have done without the DVD player, and made the whole thing only $199.99 US. But, for families with no other DVD player, the PS2 is a great investment; even for me, because I only have a DVD-ROM drive on my 17” monitor computer and no standalone. Also, if you have a PSX and lots of games for it, the PS2 is backwards compatible to I believe something along the lines of 99.9% of all PSX games. That is really cool, as you can sell your PSX without a loss of games. Got any copied games or imports? No problem, just get your PS2 modchipped and you’ll be good to go. I hear the brand new Neo4 and Messiah modchips are coming out, the best and latest chips on the market. They should both prove to be pretty k00l. Also, Sony has released a statement stating that there will be no price drop for the US in the near future (the next several months, maybe longer).

Appearance: 95/100

PS2 has to be the coolest looking console ever. It looks just like some computer before, and has taken on a black and blue look. The blue lettering that says ‘PS2’ on top kinda fades into white, and looks ultra-cool. The fact that it can be positioned horizontally or vertically further adds to the aesthetics of the console. Not much else to add here.

Add-On Peripherals and Such: 95/100

The possibilities here are virtually endless, since the PS2 is the closest a console has yet come to being a computer. They have definite plans for a hard drive, a broadband/narrowband modem, and God knows what else. The USB ports really offer an unlimited number of future peripherals for the PS2. LOL, look at the XBox; it uses the USB interface for its controllers! That makes me laugh for some reason. I predict some pretty cool add-ons for the console in the future. Too bad they aren’t included with the console itself.

Game Selection: 78/100

As of NOW, October 28, 2001, there are only a handful of good games. And one must remember, games make or break a console. A lot of people passed up PS2 because of the weak games it had; I must admit I was inclined to agree with them until I saw the upcoming game list at GameStop for October, November, and December. It looks amazing! MGS2, THPS3, SH2, GTA3, the list just goes on and on..... finally, the PS2 is emerging from the hole it dug itself into the first year. No real “killer apps” came out until GT3. Now all that’s coming out practically are killer apps. The future of PS2, however is looking bright......

The PS2’s Future: 95/100

I don’t really see how the PS2 can go wrong, unless XBox or GameCube or both have some feature that is incredibly revolutionary, and will shoot PS2 clear out of the water. Sony has too much hype in their machine (and future and past machines), with too big a reputation and ego. With all the new killer app games coming out for PS2, M$ and The Big N had better watch their backs. Just so long as Sony’s ego doesn’t run away with them, they should win over the new consoles. Thank you.

P.S. It also wouldn’t hurt if the developers got off their lazy butts and worked on some Devil May Cry quality graphics and NHL 2002 5.1 sound........

Average Score: 89.1/100
GameFAQs Score: 9/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/29/01, Updated 10/29/01

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