Category: Playstation 2

Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon (PS2) – an important stepping stone…

No one likes to be trod on, but stepping stones are important! Innocent Life is an interesting deviation from the Harvest Moon formula. A sci-fi Harvest Moon to spice the series up? Hell yeah. Continue reading

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Rule of Rose (PS2): what really happened?

To ask “what really happened?” after playing a fifteen hour game may seem strange. You might ask “what do you mean, what happened? Can’t you tell?”, but horror often relies on ambiguity to create tension and mystery, and Rule of Rose is no exception. Rule of Rose is all about the unreliability of memory and the differing perspectives one has as a child and as an adult. I decided to write this post because of an analysis I read which I didn’t find totally satisfying. In reading the plot of the game on the Rule of Rose Wikia, I realised that my interpretation of events was rather different…*heavy spoilers up ahead* Continue reading

Rule of Rose (PS2): A loyal dog, a princess, and a rusty steel pipe…

A good horror experience will ask the important questions: what is the nature of evil? Is death ever truly final? What kind of hospital needs a zodiac sign puzzle-operated door? Amongst the various preoccupations of the horror genre is a longstanding fasination with children. Children are scary precisely because we expect purity and innocence from them, and yet they exhibit many of our worst traits unfiltered (cruelty, jealousy, narcisscism, idleness, fickleness…). I didn’t know I had been waiting for a game that explored the psychological dimensions of young girls’ friendships… until I played Rule of Rose. Continue reading

Lightgun adventures: Gunfighter II: Revenge of Jesse James and Vampire Night (PS2)

How often does anyone talk about a game that was released exclusively in Europe? As in, a game that never saw the light of day in Japan or America? This is a first. And unlike the one other Europe-only game I own (Formula Karts Special Edition on the Saturn), I quite like Gunfighter II: Revenge of Jesse James. It’s a blatant, and I do mean blatant Time Crisis knock-off, but at least the UK-based developer Rebellion Developments did a good job with it.

Novelty factor aside, I’m going to discuss Gunfighter II in tandem with Vampire Night here because I got very similar feelings playing both of these games: It’s a Wonderful Knock-Off. The main difference between these two is that Gunfighter II (and I presume its prequel Gunfighter for PS1) lifts its cover system and shooting mechanics straight out of the Time Crisis series, while Vampire Night takes its cues from the House of the Dead series. Continue reading

Weird Video Wednesday: Que Pasa Neng! El Videojuego

So recently I was investigating rare/expensive PS2 games (as you do) and I happened across an eBay auction advertising a rare PS2 game, the first and only Spain exclusive game on the system. The first thing that grabbed my attention was the boxart.!que pasa neng! the videogame cover

Well, that’s not something you see everyday. Que Pasa Neng! El Videojuego translates roughly as What’s Up Neng! The Videogame, Neng being the name of the character on the cover. This week’s weird video, returning after a short hiatus (i.e. I forgot it was Wednesday) is gameplay footage from this rather unusual game.

You can rest easy – this is satire, thank God, in the vein of Ali G. And, surprisingly perhaps, the game looks fun! I don’t know what is going on exactly: first you’re tasked with a Tetris challenge to stuff people in a car? Then you have to… catch and eat flies – or are you spitting them out? I can’t even tell. It’s all very random and Incredible Crisis-esque.

Crashing and burning in Sky Odyssey (PS2)

Failure in games (as in life) has its own special rhythm. At some point, retrying the same relentlessly tough mission over and over again in Sky Odyssey, I became aware that my repeated crashes were following a pattern. It goes something like this: I start with one or two no-nonsense attempts at a mission. These attempts are cut short by the inevitable plane crash at an especially tight turn in a canyon or a tricky manoeuvre in an underground cavern. After these serious attempts, it’s a downward spiral into silliness. Continue reading

Breaking the space-time continuum in Gradius V (PS2)

Reputed to be one of Treasure’s best games and one of the most ambitious shmups of all time, Gradius V is the stuff of legend. Expensive and difficult to track down on its native PS2, thanks to the PS3’s online store it is finally within easy reach for PS3 owners. And at a cheap price too! Having sunk my teeth into it at long last, I’m happy to say that in my opinion this game’s glowing reputation is justified.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Gradius V is the way it shakes up the conventions of the traditional 2D shooter genre. When I wrote about Shienryu on PS1 in my most recent shmup review, I concluded that it was competent in all areas but inspired in none. Gradius V is similarly competent, retaining the tried and true gameplay mechanics of the Gradius series, but this fifth entry is also incredibly inspired, adding puzzle elements into a genre that is generally much more taxing on your thumbs than your brain. Continue reading