Revisiting a number of retro classics on the PlayStation 2
[Everyone welcome Daniel Lenois to Destructoid, who just started freelancing for us! They’re a freelancer that’s worked for many sites, (including Culture Slate) and they have a knack for indie developer interviews. – Chris Carter]
All through the thirteen-year-long lifespan of the PlayStation 2, from 2000 to 2013, we noticed the discharge of many enormously-successful and beloved titles. Whereas a number of of those titles have resurfaced lately, within the type of remasters, remakes, and re-imaginings, it’s worthwhile diving again in time to understand them of their authentic glory. As with all record, there are lots of different glorious candidates price trying out, however for these trying to expertise (or re-experience) what the PlayStation 2 has to supply, these entries are an excellent place to start out.
10. Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater 3
In relation to skateboarding video games, and by extension, the skateboarding scene typically, few names have reached the identical degree of worldwide recognition as Tony Hawk. Developed by Neversoft, and printed by Activision, Tony Hawk Professional Skater 3, on the PlayStation 2, constructed upon the method beforehand established by earlier Tony Hawk video games.
Among the many many different new additions was the Hidden Combo system, which significantly expanded gamers’ potential to create and pull off advanced trick combos for extra rewards. Its on-line multiplayer capabilities, whereas a bit rudimentary by as we speak’s requirements, had been additionally a notable first for the sequence. Regardless of the title now being sufficiently old to drink in addition to skate, it nonetheless stands the check of time as one of many best skateboarding video games of all time.
9. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
It’s exhausting to not end up swept away at occasions, such as you’re in a desert wind, by this aged PlayStation 2 traditional. Developed by Ubisoft Montreal, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time combines a number of well-liked sport mechanics of the time, and repackages them in barely unorthodox methods.
Its glorious parkour and platforming mechanics, complimented by the sport’s distinctive time manipulation mechanics, grant a mixed richness and complexity that assist the sport stand out from its contemporaries, each then and now. The fleshed-out fight system permits gamers extra freedom with which to answer enemy assaults, whereas nonetheless visually showing as a fluid dance of blow and counter-blow.
With a remake now in growth at Ubisoft, there’s no higher time for brand spanking new and present gamers to dive again into this authentic traditional.
8. Spider-Man 2
With all eyes at the moment on the upcoming Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, in growth at Insomniac Video games, it’s straightforward to neglect the wall-crawler’s earlier PS2 title of the identical identify. Primarily based loosely on the 2004 movie of the identical identify, Spider-Man 2 gave gamers the free rein to discover the questionably-rendered New York Metropolis panorama, performing heroic deeds each nice and small, and naturally, delivering pizza. Even your pleasant neighborhood superhero must pay the hire.
Whereas Treyarch has, in newer years, constructed up mainstream attraction by way of its work on the Name of Obligation franchise, notably the Name of Obligation Black Ops sequence, most followers would in all probability concede that its earlier work on the console releases of Spider-Man 2 was spectacular, even superb. The net-swinging mechanics particularly obtained reward for his or her fluidity. This method would later go on to encourage future builders, together with Insomniac, who expanded and enhanced this technique with improved realism and extra performance. Peter Parker’s legacy would reside on in each future video games and web memes alike.
7. Gauntlet: Darkish Legacy
Whereas many fashionable gamers have no less than passing familiarity with Activision Blizzard’s Diablo franchise and different, newer main AAA entries within the motion RPG style, it’s comparatively straightforward to miss older retro titles that after dominated the business, equivalent to Halfway’s Gauntlet: Darkish Legacy. Darkish Legacy acts as each a remaster of, and an enlargement to, the unique retro arcade and console sport. Among the many slew of added content material had been each new ranges and character sorts for the participant to unlock, in addition to enhanced 3D graphics.
With easy however entertaining puzzles, a satisfying fight system with a ton of purchasable upgrades and one-use objects, and difficult boss fights, Gauntlet: Darkish Legacy stays an excellent solo or native co-op expertise to today. Additionally, anybody who hasn’t but skilled the twisted irony of listening to the ever-present narrator announce: “Crimson Dwarf wants meals badly!”, just for stated participant to seize two cherries hovering over the bottom, and be met with: “Crimson Dwarf is grasping”, has actually been lacking out.
6. Want For Velocity: Scorching Pursuit 2
For individuals who really feel that merely reducing out and in of site visitors, or pulling off intelligent drifts, are too mundane, Want For Velocity: Scorching Pursuit 2 makes an attempt to fulfill that heightened yearning for hazard and destruction. The gimmick behind this specific Want For Velocity title is inferred within the identify itself. As an alternative of simply pitting your self in opposition to regular NPC racers, now you will have a fully-equipped police division intensely keen to place an finish to your flagrantly law-evading methods.
Scorching Pursuit 2 follows on the heels of 1998’s Want For Velocity III: Scorching Pursuit, introducing vastly improved graphics, a reworked pursuit system, (the place the police would step by step roll out spike traps, helicopters, and different models in response to the participant’s growing aggression,) and a large assortment of recent customizable autos for the participant to unlock. One of many solely downsides to the PlayStation 2 port is the absence of the Profession Mode. Nonetheless, whereas notable, that is however a slight disappointment, in contrast with the self-evident infantile enjoyable one can have smashing by way of police vehicles and pulling off ridiculous maneuvers left and proper.
5. God of Struggle
It’s straightforward to neglect that, earlier than fatherhood and the related “Boy!” memes had been launched in Santa Monica Studios’ mushy reboot of the franchise in 2018, Kratos first smashed his means onto the worldwide stage in the course of the PlayStation 2’s lifespan, in 2005’s seminal God of Struggle. The plot behind the unique God of Struggle is pretty simple: For causes of his personal, Kratos decides to take vengeance on the gods of Olympus, and should the perfect man (himself) win.
The hack-and-slash method works properly right here, as does the customarily extreme brutality of Kratos’ assaults. He’s the stereotypical no-nonsense protagonist who is aware of precisely what he needs, and doesn’t notably care how massive a physique rely he leaves in his wake alongside the way in which. If the participant can get previous the inherent over-the-top absurdity current all through the narrative, it may be a completely divine expertise.
4. Star Wars: Battlefront II
Of all of the Star Wars video games which have been launched over the previous 40 or so years, few certainly have come near matching the thrills of enjoying as any one among a number of traditional legacy characters, on an unlimited variety of iconic unique locales. Whereas its story marketing campaign nonetheless holds up pretty properly even by as we speak’s requirements, it’s the multiplayer expertise that largely defines Battlefront II’s legacy.
The sequel launched many new options, equivalent to on-line multiplayer help for as much as 32 concurrent gamers, an overhauled AI system for pleasant and hostile bots, and extra. Its well-liked “Heroes vs Villains” mode even allowed gamers the chance to place among the galaxy’s most notable characters in crew deathmatches in opposition to each other. It’s exhausting to say no to a Star Wars sport that enables Boba Fett, Yoda, Darth Vader, and Mace Windu to brawl overtly in a public road.
With Grand Theft Auto V, and its related Grand Theft Auto On-line part, frequently racking in mountains of money that will make even Scrooge McDuck envious, it’s straightforward to miss a few of Rockstar Video games’ prior works, as is the case with Bully. Every part about it, from its story, to its world design, feels intentionally small in scale. (Virtually sufficiently small to suit into a faculty locker.) When contrasted with the sprawling vistas and adrenaline-pumping motion of different Rockstar franchises like Grand Theft Auto or Crimson Useless Redemption, it may be exhausting to affiliate the quieter, mundane world of Bully with these giants.
Bully places the participant within the sneakers of protagonist Jimmy Hopkins, as he attends Bullworth Academy, a fictitious satirical interpretation of elitist personal colleges within the northeast US area. In conventional Rockstar vogue, you will have a ton of comedic cliches and tropes on show. The alcoholic and depressed English trainer, the creepy Fitness center trainer, the strict Math trainer, and many others., all overseen by a pompous principal who undoubtedly doesn’t take a liking to you initially of the sport. (“You’ll maintain your nostril clear, boy, or I shall clear it myself!”)
Whereas the fight and navigation controls are a bit janky, the story, characters, and charming satirical humor handle to carry this sport collectively as an underrated gem that stands the check of time.
2. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
When compiling any “Better of” retro video games record involving sixth-generation consoles such because the PlayStation 2, it’s nearly unimaginable to not point out Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Whereas its identify has been dragged by way of the mud not too long ago, owing to Rockstar’s disastrous remaster bundle Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy, its generational affect stays uncontested.
With an artwork fashion that pops out on the participant, a crew of iconic characters spouting quotable traces, and a world that was not solely open, but in addition felt alive, it’s exhausting to not admire how a lot Rockstar Video games was capable of pull off right here, given the technological limitations of the time. So in case you’ve not but performed by way of this traditional, go purchase your self “a quantity six with further dip”, earlier than sitting again and inflicting some destruction.
1. Resident Evil 4
“The place’s everybody going? Bingo?” – Leon Kennedy
Whereas Leon’s cliche observational humor would possibly sometimes tread into the realm of pop jokes and basic embarrassment, it could possibly not directly be a welcome distraction at occasions, because the participant navigates the treacherous world of Resident Evil 4. Gone are the generic zombies trying to simply scratch or chew you. Current as an alternative are eerie axe-wielding psychopathic villagers and different, worse fiends greatest left undescribed.
Resident Evil 4 acts as a mushy reboot for the franchise, putting a heavier emphasis on motion, particularly fight. That stated, a sensible participant rapidly learns when to carry their floor, when to stroll away, and when to run. Whereas this fourth entry in the primary sequence affords an inexpensive diploma of problem for each new and skilled gamers, the mostly-linear construction makes it unlikely you’ll ever end up too far off the right path.
With a remake little greater than two months away, gamers will quickly have the chance to leap right into a reimagined adaptation of this beloved horror traditional.