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Category Archives: PS2

david lynch ps2 commercial

Remember When David Lynch Directed a PS2 Commercial?

When it comes to advertisements, Sony has never played it safe. During the PS1 era, they had Crash Bandicoot to infiltrate Nintendo headquarters, created an anti-Playstation activist group, and inexplicably transformed a Scottish girl into an alien. Their early ads ranged from ballsy to downright disturbing. So naturally, when it came time to promote the PlayStation 2, surrealist filmmaker David Lynch seemed like the perfect choice. Lynch teamed with the London brand of TWBA to create a concept called “The Third Place,” a mysterious world that could only be accessed through PlayStation consoles. “The Third Place is not up nor down, not waking or sleeping, not the past; not the present,” explained the commercial’s creative director Trevor Beattie. “It’s a third thing.”…
Shadow of the Colossus Cutscene

Shadow of the Colossus Brought Us Some Truly Heart-Wrenching Cutscenes

Arguably one of the best games of the PS2 era, Shadow of the Colossus, has earned its place in the annals of gaming history. Short on dialogue or context, SotC does a ton of heavy lifting using game mechanics, visuals, and cutscenes. Transitions from gameplay to cutscene and back are seamless. This often presents the player with an impressive introduction to the next colossi, then leaves them to scrambling to figure out how to prevail. It is a great mechanic for a game that’s all about trial and error and the rewards of taking risks. The game’s final cutscene is its best, delivering a gut punch as it lays bare the consequences of the Traveler’s actions. As the game progresses, it becomes more apparent that the Traveler might not be working for the side of good; this sequence makes no bones about the fact that his selfish actions will only bring death and destruction.…
Shadow of the Colossus

Remembering Shadow of the Colossus, One of the Greatest Video Games of All Time

No video game has ever made me cry. The closest I’ve come, however, was when I saw Argo’s limp in the finale of Shadow of the Colossus. It was such a poignant moment in an already emotionally overwhelming game experience that I simply can’t judge you if that scene made you sob like a teenage girl going through her first breakup. Shadow of the Colossus is simply one of the most beautiful and emotionally powerful games in existence. The world inside the game is so gorgeous and spacious that meandering around in it is intoxicating. There are vast spaces that offer nothing for meticulous explorers besides the sheer beauty of looking at them, yet that beauty is far greater than any quantifiable reward Team Ico could have offered the game’s players.…
Madden 2003

Madden NFL 2003’s Menu Music Is So Party That It Made Me Get Drunk By Myself on a Thursday

I honestly intended to write a deep, well-researched article on the history of the Madden NFL series.  After all, I am a hardcore gamer and the hardcorest of gamers adore Electronic Arts and consider the annual releases of their various sports franchises to be the highlights of the gaming calendar. Duh. After a decade of serious retro game collecting, I’ve somehow accrued just about every entry in the series to date. I decided to start around the middle; something not old enough to feel primitive but not new enough to be too familiar. I rummaged through a stack of loose PS2 discs and decided that Madden NFL 2003 would be a good place to start. My mission to pen the ultimate retrospective on the Madden series was quickly derailed, however, as the main menu loaded up and “Party Hard” by Andrew WK began to blare through my television speakers. There is perhaps no musician more important to who I am as a person than Andrew WK.…
Metal Gear Solid 2

One of the Highest Rated Video Games of 2013 Was a Re-release of a Remake

To satisfy a particular curiosity of mine, I decided to look into the top rated games of 2013 on Metacritic. The ones you’d expect were accounted for: Grand Theft Auto V, The Last of Us, and BioShock Infinite. But there are some surprises on that list. For example, DEVICE 6, Skulls of the Shogun, and Papa Sangre II, all iOS games, made the top ten (that’s the top ten if you don’t count any titles twice, as Metacritic separates games by platform and will count GTA V for PS3 separately from GTA V for Xbox 360). I haven’t played any of those games, so I can’t comment on their quality, but it’s strange to see them so highly praised when they didn’t receive the sort of fanfare of the other titles I’ve mentioned.…

Midway Arcade Treasures Is All About the Extras

Let’s get this out of the way: It looks like shovelware, right? It looks like another production house releasing the moldy versions of old games from over twenty years ago. Nothing says “quality game collection” like excrete, repackage, profit. That’s exactly what I thought when I received Midway Arcade Treasures as a present. I had literally nothing to lose, so I threw the game in the PlayStation 2 to play some Sinistar and never use it again. The unexpected twist: The extras on this disc kept me watching for a few hours. The extras are all the retro circulars, posters, and cabinet variants. There’s in-depth interviews with the creators of these games where they speak about the concepts, challenges, and other funny stories of developing arcade games during the industry’s renaissance.…
Wild Arms Rudy's Gun

Wild Arms Alter Code: F Is the Quintessential JRPG

Wild Arms Alter Code: F  is a remake of the original Wild Arms, which came out on the PlayStation in 1997. The original game is notable not only for being one of the first console RPGs released on the PlayStation, but also being a fucking bizarre Western Sci-fi Fantasy genre game. Wild Arms was the first game I got with my PSOne, and Alter Code: F for the PS2 is the first game I played to 100% completion. Like many of my PS2 games, it had been long enough since I’d played it that I’d forgotten many of the details, so I decided to replay it. Even after all these years, the story, the characters, and the gameplay still felt familiar.…
Fatal Frame II

Fatal Frame II Turned Me Into a Terrified 12-Year-Old Girl

Fatal Frame II‘s cover says not to play the game alone. That was my first clue that this would be bad. The game made me walk through the dark, creepy woods before giving me the title screen. Through this walk, nothing happened. And by nothing, I mean nothing. No enemies, no music, nothing. Nothing but the sound of footsteps. The path led me to an abandoned village. Outside the first house of the village, I was treated to another cutscene. My character, who, again, is a 12-year-old girl, felt her sister’s hand on her shoulder. Then her sister walked past, and the hand remained. That was creepy. I soldiered on. The house was abandoned; still, no music. I was treated to wide-angle shots of the front room, the rafters and pieces of walls littering the floor, impeding my way.…
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