Review by Swordlord

"So far, the emperor of all systems"

I'm sure almost all people who own one agree with me. The only home electronic device that can do more things than the PlayStation 2 is the computer. Although not the last system released, the PS2 is still at its prime and its future looks bright. But the PS2 and the other 2 major consoles that followed have changed the video-gaming world, seemingly forever, from two-dimensional games to three-dimensional ones. I don't know if this is a good change, and I'm not going to argue it here but, nevertheless, the PlayStation 2 is the console to get, nowadays.

1)Software: You can, without a doubt, play more games on the PlayStation 2 than on any other console. There are a lot of action games, 1st-person shooters, exploration games, RPGs. Oh, and sports! How the sports games have improved over the years! Baseball, basketball, hockey, American football and regular football (I was born in Europe, ''soccer'' just doesn't sound right to me) are ultra-realistic now, and one can play as the real teams in competitions with real names. Racing games are also very well done, as good as the arcades, if not better. The thing that amazed at the launch of the PS2, although it's only casually mentioned now, is that Sony's PS2 is backwards compatible with the PSX games. That means a whole other generation of games is available to the owners of the PlayStation 2, in addition to the still-expanding library of PS2 games. PS2 is the ultimate system for fans of fighting games (even more so than the Dreamcast, in my opinion). The only problem for experienced gamers is that there are much more 3-D games, based on exploration and sophisticated moves, than the fast-paced 2-D games that were, to some, more enjoyable. The new systems have killed some genres, like the beat'em-ups, when they could have kept them alive with ease, and some gamers do miss them. But still, the PS2 is doing very well in the games department. 36% out of 40%

2)Aspect: Sony's second console looks better than the first one, I would say. It is black, like many others, but it seems more refined than the rest. The inscription ''PS2'' on top of the console looks really cool and the console looks nice positioned either way: horizontally or vertically. 6% out of 6%

3)Power: Arguably, the best technology available. The PlayStation 2 is a 128-bit system. It still has to compete with 2 newer systems, the Xbox and the GameCube, and they're pretty much level regarding power. Sure, fans of the other 2 systems could say that their graphics are better, but you would have to get a really big TV to notice even a slight difference. The Xbox is, probably, the best of the three in the graphics department but, to be honest here, the human eye can only perceive so much and you would have to use special devices to acknowledge real differences. With 66 million raw polygons available, a 300-Megahertz processor and storage that can hold 8 gigabytes of information, the Sony PlayStation 2 can create environments inside their games that seem as real as the outside. 15% out of 15%

4)Fidelity: Sony does not seem to disappoint their fans. The backwards compatibility is great, but a really good reason to buy a PlayStation 2, one that attracted even people previously not very fond of video games, is the ability to play DVD-ROM movies. This was such a great idea, that Microsoft did it, too, for their Xbox. Audio CDs can be played, too, but this isn't a novelty anymore. The PS2 cannot play Video CDs, however. Also, not all PlayStation discs and I hear that not all DVD films are (completely) compatible, but the incompatible ones are few. Imports of Japanese games are not really necessary, because it seems that all good titles are being released in North America, too. The prices are very high at the moment, but so are those of the competition. Another nice feature is the online play, which not all of the 3 next-generation consoles have (you know who you are). In a nutshell, it is a very well supported system. 28% out of 30%

5)Accessories: There are lots of accessories for the PS2. Most of the accessories made for the PSX can also be used for the PS2. Sony PlayStation 2 has, just like PlayStation One, memory cards to save game data. But, even though you can transfer the data from a PSX memory card to a PS2 memory card, you cannot directly use a PS2 card with a PSX game. For cheating, there's the GameShark. You also have the 'Multi-Tap', S-Video cable, RFU unit and even a wireless remote control for use with DVDs. And then, there's 'Sony's Network Adaptor', for online gaming. I'm not sure if there is a light gun but, very probably, its time has passed, anyway. 8% out of 9%

Total: 93% out of 100%. Every gamer can find something to like here. Sony PlayStation 2 made the PlayStation obsolete and, if every person were a gamer, it probably could make DVD Players obsolete, too. Almost 3 years after the release of the PS2, reviews of this system are probably a little rushed. Who knows what the future holds for this system? We might see more improvements. And the competition, not with one, but with two other systems, definitely can't hurt. From Swordlord, 4 swords up!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/14/03, Updated 07/14/03

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