PlayStation 2 Memories

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PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby [Q] on Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:08 pm

In the debate about the best video game console of all time, a lot of people bring up the PS2. Although I'm the past I have gone back and forth on it with older consoles I grew up with, putting nostalgia aside I feel like I can safely say it is the best for me personally. It helps that I was older and had a job so I could afford to buy games myself if I wanted to. That was a big hinderance to my game playing as a child. My mother would seldom buy games so I missed many classics but renting was a big thing back then so I did get to try more games.

Back during the PS2 days, that generation brought me a lot of good memories:

Classic NBA Live games that peaked at 2005 & 06
Introduction to the Yakuza series, a series I still play to this day.
So many hours spent on NBA Street Vol 2. Single player then when I hit college, and my roommate would dominate me with the Lakers which frustrated me so much lol
Gran Turismo 4. The best game in the series, which helped me learn more about all the different cars out there and is responsible for me owning a 2004 Subaru STI
Remember when people played Need For Speed? NFS Underground was so much fun and my college roommate and I spent a ton of time on NFS Most Wanted
Hitman series was one of my favorites, culminating with Blood Money. Even a return to open ended creative gameplay on PS4 hasn't recaptured the magic from the ps2 era games
I had Blitz: the league which was a where Midway wanted to go with Blitz but couldn't because of the NFL license
I owned Crazy Taxi so I could play an arcade classic without burning through quarters.
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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby Andrew on Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:58 pm

At this point, it's nostalgia vs even older nostalgia for me when it comes to consoles. I still think there's a strong case for the NES and SNES. The former paved the way for video games to be more than a fad and a huge industry after the Crash of 1983, and pioneered some impressive technological achievements given the processing power on hand. The same goes for the SNES. Those cartridge-based games were really able to push the limits of their systems thanks to some of the cartridges themselves containing chips that allowed for primitive 3D graphics and the like. There are some true classics from the 8-bit and 16-bit era.

However, the PS2 definitely has a strong case of its own, given its sales, longevity, and library. Also, by that point, a mediocre video game still tended to be better than the mediocre games of earlier eras. That's not to say there aren't bad games on the PS2, but when you look at the really bad stuff on NES and SNES - the kind of fare that AVGN's classic episodes were built upon - they hold up a lot worse than disappointing PS2 games. Game design was in its infancy, so bad to mediocre games in the 8-bit and 16-bit era had really clunky controls and gameplay mechanics, poor level design and unfair challenge to compensate for a lack of true longevity, and in the worst case scenario, were barely functional. By the PS2 era, the mediocre games were at least a bit better made, and more disappointing or uninspired than a complete disaster. In that respect, the PS2's library arguably holds up better overall, and that's a big factor in the discussion.

I obviously have a lot of nostalgia for the NBA Live series on PS2 from NBA Live 2002 through to NBA Live 06 (cheap plug of our ongoing 25th Anniversary of NBA Live content here), as well as the first three NBA Street games. The PS2-era GTA games are still my favourites in the series, with GTA III and Liberty City Stories being my top two (though Vice City, Vice City Stories, and San Andreas are all brilliant as well). A lot of the WWF/WWE games from the PS2 era are more fun than recent releases on superior systems, though they were admittedly still good in the PS3/360 era as well. Also, I know they're kind of looked down on now, but the Mortal Kombat games from the PS2 era - Deadly Alliance, Deception, and Armageddon - were all fun in their day. I still like them when I dust them off.

Of course, something that I miss about that era is the amount of content that just came with the game, and the complete absence of season passes and microtransactions. It's hard to grumble about that without sounding like an "old head", but those practices have stifled creativity and affected quality, as more focus goes on the recurrent revenue mechanics than making a great experience. With that being said, some of the WWE games had ridiculously long grinds to unlock everything, to the point where you were tired of the game by the time you unlocked it all. One of the games also required you to unlock Jake "The Snake" Roberts in the PSP version to unlock him in the PS2 version as well. Screw that; I invested in an Action Replay (the PAL Gameshark) and did it that way!

So yeah, I definitely have a lot of fond memories of the PS2. I think you bring up a good point about being able to buy more games as well. By the time PS2 came around, I had more of my own money to buy games, so there was much less renting. I'm trying to think of the last game I rented, actually. It might've been Conker's Bad Fur Day for the Nintendo 64, and I ended up getting that as a birthday or Christmas present not long after that anyway. I might've rented a couple of PS2 games at some point, possibly to try before I bought, but none are springing immediately to mind.
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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby Hyperize- on Sun Dec 08, 2019 2:53 pm

The menu ambience is otherworldly, but this made me want to shit my pants. :lol:

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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby Andrew on Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:44 pm

That is indeed ominous!
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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby Hyperize- on Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:46 am

Basically imagine being a 10-year old kid trying to play NCAA Football with your friends at midnight at a sleepover or trying to use an Action Replay cheat disc and that comes up... total mood killer. :lol:

The Sega CD had a similar thing where they decided to haunt the disc with the ghost of Jimi Hendrix:

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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby [Q] on Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:29 am

My college roommate had a modded one that allowed us to play pirated games so it was a bit touchy at times
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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby Andrew on Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:23 am

Points for creativity on that Sega CD warning. Gotta love how the voice keeps getting more insistent about stopping what you're doing.
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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby spiderxx7 on Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:16 am

I remember playing a lot of PES (the good old PES) in PS2 and also a lot of God of War and Guitar Hero.

I do have a soft spot for the N64, though, and bought me one last month after almost 20 years.
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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby Andrew on Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:20 pm

I was Team Nintendo through the 90s. The PS2 was my first Sony console.
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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby Hyperize- on Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:14 pm

spiderxx7 wrote:I do have a soft spot for the N64, though, and bought me one last month after almost 20 years. :bowdown2: :bowdown2: :bowdown2: :bowdown2:

To me, it's the greatest console of all-time: the perfect combination of single player, multiplayer and nostalgia. It's the last "dated"-looking console as the GameCube has aged gracefully, and it existed in the last era where playground rumors and other myths could still circulate... you couldn't really debunk them, and boy oh boy did kids get elaborate with these. Some were actually pretty well-thought-out like beating all the Yoshi's in a certain order in Smash 64 to unlock Raichu, and basically the explanation was he would either split Pikachu's slot or you would hold down a button to use him.
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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby Stress Fracture on Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:51 am

I remember owning NBA Live 09 and College Hoops 2k7 that had no real player names lol that game was weird
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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby Andrew on Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:52 am

That's the way it goes with college sports games. They can't use real player names and likenesses.
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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby spiderxx7 on Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:55 am

cavs4872 wrote: it existed in the last era where playground rumors and other myths could still circulate... you couldn't really debunk them, and boy oh boy did kids get elaborate with these


Oh for sure. The rumor of Luigi in Super Mario 64 existed for a long, long time, or that you could reach the top of that 70-star stairs... that you could find the Triforce in Ocarina of Time, hidden levels in GoldenEye 007...
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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby Andrew on Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:10 pm

Technically it is possible to get to the top of the endless stairs in Mario if you don't have enough stars, via a glitch that bypasses the check.

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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby Phil89 on Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:59 pm

I've been gaming on PlayStation since the original, so I kind of struggle to remember exactly which games were on which console.

But a quick google helped me remember playing the Tony Hawk's games, Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2, Gran Turismo 3 & 4, Need For Speed: Underground 2 and FIFA's 03-07. I never had an NBA game on PS2 for some reason. Nothing between Live '99 on PS1 and then Live 10 on PS3.

One thing I don't miss is having to decide which save files to keep and which to overwrite, because the memory cards were so limited.
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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby [Q] on Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:46 pm

Ah yes, the memory cards. It's funny how the PS2 cards were a vast improvement over the PS1 cards which simplified save data into "blocks" but the cards themselves didn't hold much data. I remember having to get a second memory card for my PS1 while I could get by with just one for my PS2
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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby Andrew on Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:44 pm

I can also relate to trying to manage space on memory cards, having to make sure I'd swapped in the right one before starting a game, and regrettably losing some saves in the process. We marvel at all of the improvements to graphics, online capabilities, and other advances in gaming, but I think storage space is an underrated way that gaming tech has gotten better over the generations.
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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby Stress Fracture on Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:36 am

I remember seeing a 30-block (or 32 i think) mem card for PS1 and a 16 MB for PS2. are those just third party items, and not released by Sony?
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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby [Q] on Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:39 am

Yeah I think there were third party 30 block cards (twice the size of a regular 15 block) and it was bulkier than the slim card

I do miss the cool icons for saved data on both consoles
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Re: PlayStation 2 Memories

Postby Andrew on Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:23 pm

I picked up one of those 16 MB cards off eBay a while back, just so that I'd have some extra storage. The N64 had similar third party Memory Paks with more pages than usual. Again, it's one of those improvements to gaming that we kind of take for granted.
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