Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published September 28th 2012
I got the PlayStation 1 when I was ten, but pretty soon after that the PlayStation 2 came out. This didn't bother me; the PlayStation 1 was new to me and had all the games I wanted. I had fours years of fun with the PS1, but it had got to the point where no more games for that console were being produced, and the games I owned, I had pretty much completed. I had to face the fact that if I wanted to keep playing video games, I would need a new console. Since I was already familiar with the PS1 controls and a slimline version of the PlayStation 2 had just come out, I decided that was the one to go for.
I never got into the PS2 in quite the same way, and I'm not sure if that was just because I was older, or because the games, quite frankly, were not as good. I think it was a mixture of the two. I loved 2D platformers, and games by this point games were mostly in 3D. Despite my disappointment about this, the PlayStation 2 still brought out a few (but nowhere near as many) games that I really got into.
Still saddened by the loss of my Crash Bandicoot games, I was glad to discover that Crash Bandicoot 4: The Wrath of Cortex was out on the PS2. It was the first game I bought, and it satisfied my cravings. Dr. Cortex is once again out to destroy Crash, and the game stays loyal to the format of progressing through warp rooms by collecting crystals. My main disappointment with the game, as I said, is that is in 3D, but other than that it had something going for it.
In the realm of racing, I found the Looney Tunes: Space Race a load of laughs. With vivid technicolour racetracks and witty catchphrases, it had all the humour and characteristics of the Looney Tunes characters. Instead of cars, you raced on rockets (the perfect combination for trouble when it comes to Wile E. Coyote), throwing ACME products at your opponents.
I've never been a huge fan of The Simpsons, but before it became too crude, I enjoyed watching an episode now and then. So when I saw The Simpsons Hit & Run on the shelves, I thought it was worth trying out. And it most certainly was. Aliens, Kang and Kodos are filming a reality TV show, and to make things more interesting, they spike Springfield's water supply with Buzz Cola. The cola makes the citizens of Springfield go crackers (not that you'd notice the difference) and it is up to the Simpsons family to save the day. It is a really good action-adventure game, with loads of missions and unlockable vehicles. You can also buy costumes while in freeplay mode, and explore all of Springfield. In mission mode you get to play as several different characters: Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge, and Apu. Although the game is called 'Hit & Run', there is also a lot to do on foot: jumping across buildings, attacking bad (and not so bad) guys, and causing general mischief.
But I have to say, without a doubt, the best games for the PlayStation 2 for me were from the Kingdom Hearts Series. Apart from a few over sentimental, cringe-worthy cutscenes, Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2 were absolutely amazing. I know I said I prefer 2D platformers, but even I couldn't help being blown away by the breathtaking 3D anmie displayed on my screen. Before then, I never would have considered Final Fantasy and Disney characters even appearing in the same sentence, let alone the same videogame. I don't know how, but they pulled it off without a hitch. Not only are there hours of almost endless gameplay, there is a thoroughly thought out and complex storyline that you would think belonged more to a movie than a PlayStation game. Then there is the music. The song, Sanctuary, by Hikaru Utada is one of the most beautiful I've ever heard.
Eventually, like the PS1 before it, the PS2 began to stagnate. Less and less games were produced until it completely gave way to the PlayStation 3. For those of you who still have a PS2, or at least still remember it, which are your favourite games?