Do Me Proper

Article By: BAD 
Written [ 12/28/01 ]

In response to the replies I have received upon writing the article GameCube Hysteria, many may have got the feeling that I hate or do not have any respect whatsoever for the PS2. Just by reading the article on the GameCube that I wrote, some can think that my message was that one machine was better than the other, and that one is favored far more than the other. The truth is that I do not favor any system over the other; I play games on all systems, because all systems can have their own great games. Those wondering how much I have at stake can take this into consideration: I own an NES, Gameboy, PC Engine, Genesis, SNES, Neo Geo Pocket, Saturn, PlayStation, GameBoy Advance, Nintendo 64, and a Dreamcast. Is that enough proof of my non-system bias? Not enough? well, I actually have games for each of the systems I own (yes, more than one game). Where's the PS2 in my collection? Though I wrote criticisms on the PS2 and the marketing ploy that surrounds it, I'll still eventually get the hardware. In my GameCube Hysteria article, some think it it's a direct attack on the PS2 and Sony, some think it's a direct attack on Sony fans, some believe it is Nintendo-biased, while others think it is a justified article. However, I feel that those who may have interpreted it as hostility towards the PS2 system deserve an explanation of my non-bias preference of systems. Therefore, I will explain my reasons for the PS2 being a great piece of hardware, while also having some down sides just as any other system on the market has (or had).
To start, I'll say that I don't hate any hardware (except US branded ones), I don't hate the PlayStation 2, and I do not think any other system is better than the other. The PlayStation 2 is basically the Naomi 2 or System 246 hardware, which will most likely be the choice for developers such as Capcom, Namco, and Konami in the future. With the Naomi 2 power, the system is a facilitator of wonderful games like Virtua Fighter 4, with many more to come most likely within the next year. The system is not only as powerful as said, but it is also compatible with previous hardware; it is compatible with the CPS-2 games that were on the PlayStation, and it can play the Naomi games also (just as long as they are converted to the PS2 hardware). The fact that you can play your old favorite CPS-2 games like Super Street Fighter II, Darkstalkers, X-Men, Street Fighter Alpha, Marvel Super Heroes, and Street Fighter Alpha 3 is great, while still being able to play newer games like Street Fighter EX3 and Capcom VS SNK 2 on the same hardware. It was great that Sony made the PS2 (Naomi2/System 246) hardware compatible with running Capcom 's ZNG-2 and ZNG-1 games too, allowing us to use the hardware to run games like Street Fighter EX2 Plus, Star Gladiator, Rival Schools, Strider 2, and G. Darius and Ray Crisis (on Taito's hardware) once our older PS hardware burns out from old-age.
Not to stop the compatibility range there, since Sony's PS2 is basically a consumer Sega Naomi 2 or System 246 home unit, the system can also run the Naomi titles as well, with games like Capcom VS SNK 2, Zombie Revenge, Guilty Gear X, Guilty Gear X Plus, 18 Wheeler American Pro Trucker, and Crazy Taxi (with probably a lot more to come). As with many of the past hardware being able to run previous hardwares' games, the PS2 hardware runs more than it's share with compatibility of Capcom's tight and polished CPS-2 games, SNK's Mega-Spec games, a plethora of games that run on Sony's previous System 11 and System 12, the System 246, Sega's Naomi hardware, and last but not least Sega's Naomi 2 hardware. With the ability to run games from the beautiful Megaman X6 and Metal Slug X, to games like Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Rival Schools with the addition of Strikers 1945 and Capcom VS SNK 2, the PS2 hardware power is amazing and also effective. With such vast hardware support, the PS2 can still support games of burned-out hardware; many know of the PlayStation's old-age problems, and with the Dreamcast hardware's increasing unavailability, if you already own a PS2 for the current games it can be a cheaper alternative to buying an old PS or DC off a scamming asshole on eBay. Though DC games have to be made for the PS2 (you just can't put in a DC game and go), buying the few PS2 versions of the few Naomi games you want to play shouldn't cost nearly as much as the soon-to-be inflated prices of the DC on evilBay. We all know what happens to the price of anything that has any potential to be rare on eBay, right?
Since Sony's success with the PlayStation hardware was so big, it's very likely that the PS2 will get many, many great titles in the future. With games like Maximo on the horizon, it looks good for the PS2 as long as developers are willing to experiment with all the things the system can do. Hopefully, we'll see a lot of great games for it in the future, repeating what made Sony's original system so valuable. It would be a beautiful sight to see some great shooters on the system, ones made by Cave, Capcom, Psikyo, Eighting/Raizing, or veteran shmup developers like Irem or Konami. There are rumors as of the writing of this article of Cave's On it's way to the PS2; let's hope this is not just a rumor without substance, because that would be a great game to establish quality on the PS2. Though the GameCube and the XBox are out and ready for developers, it just seems that developers are sticking mostly with the PS2 for not only all the huge titles, but a significant portion of the smaller ones as well. Sure, the XBox gets revisions and such of some titles, but will this happen with the titles that I'll buy the PS2 for (fighters, shooters)? Anyway, my point is that one of my biggest reasons to get a PS2 is because of the sheer support from developers; developers feel safe with Sony's hardware because of it's large base, and until another developer claims that place the PS2 will have lots of promise. I can already hear some saying 'what about the great titles on the XBox, and the system's power?' Well, until Microsoft can convince the big developers that the XBox hardware will be a medium and be market-stable, the games are in Sony's court. Unfortunately, this is the truth, and if I had it my way I'd like to see lots of great games on every system, but the industry decides otherwise. As of now, I only want to get Street Fighter EX3 (yeah, I like it), Silpheed: TLP, Gradius IV, Super Bust-A-Move, and Maximo; with such support from developers, there should be more reasons to get a PS2 later on. An example of this would be if Sega and Capcom both started making all their new titles on the Naomi2, which would give life to instant PS2 releases. With developer support, the PS2 is smart hardware to get, but if support dwindles I'll be getting the hardware later than anticipated.
So with so much to like, there's no problem, right? Well, you're partially correct. As in the GameCube Hysteria happy joy bus ride article, I spoke of the Sony fan boys and other assholes I can't stand. Why? When the PS2 launched, gamers who wanted to buy the system for games, were sold short of getting a PS2 because droves and droves of brain-dead idiots who wanted a PS2 for DVD viewing. Hardware of such capability, with so much to offer, and Sony had to put a cheap DVD function in it to sell units. Fuck. Now, wouldn't Sony succeed whether or not the DVD player was in? The DVD player is the biggest fucking problem with the PS2; fuckers who don't play games are always bragging about how the PS2 can play DVDs, but why didn't the assholes just buy a DVD player to begin with? I have seen guys who have no games for the PS2, but have an extensive library of DVDs to play on a system that is capable of so much more than monotone DVD viewing. If I had one, there is a slight possibility that I might view a great anime or two on it, but come on! There's idiots out there on the PS2 launch date who bought a system but no games because they already had a year of preparation in buying clearance DVD movies at Best Buy. It's not the PS2 that irritates me contrary to what many think, it's the bastard-ass motherfuckers who aren't buying the hardware for what it was made for. It is these jerks who give it a bad name, and then add to the fire by only buying games that have hour upon hour of movies in them. While gamers were sweating to get a PS2, Sony released far under the quota and it was them (gamers) who suffered, all because there was a DVD function. Some may beg me to differ, but the fact is that if Sony didn't use their PS2 DVD function as a marketing strategy, the quota even with production failures, would have been met. Though the system would have sold rather generously due to the immense success of Sony's previous hardware anyway, it wouldn't have been as bad if the DVD function was left out; gamers wouldn't have been left out if this would have been the case, and Wal-Mart PS2 promo commercials probably wouldn't be nearly as deathly ignorant. So, with the droves of overnight 'gamers' and jerks who went out and robbed faithful gamers out of a PS2, are there any other gripes about the PS2? I'm not saying that anyone shouldn't be able to go out and get a piece of hardware, but the gamers are the ones that built this foundation so that the PS2 could exist; loyal gamers deserved to get a system.
Well, from a hardware standpoint, there aren't too many gripes because the hardware isn't so strong that it completely deters developers away from it, yet it is not so completely weak when compared to the two other hardware contenders. Sure, differences in graphical quality may be prevalent between the PS2 and XBox in some ways, and also with the GameCube as well, but only time will tell as developers get to know each system, and even then it is very hard to say what will happen; the N64 hardware was great, but developing difficulty destroyed any hope for Nintendo to survive in third party support, as developers just went and developed for Sony's previous hardware regardless of the huge power gap. The other two contenders claim to have such easy developing capabilities for their hardware, but the truth is that since developers were sent PS2 developing tools a while ago, there is no technological jump now by having such simple development ease is there? Now I seem Sony biased? No, I'm not, I'm just looking at all sides; though the developers have had the tools for development for a while now, ask yourself how many of them have actually utilized it effectively (Metal Gear Solid 2 does not count - any developer can bring out a game like that if it is only once every two years). There is a problem with Sony's mass-appealing hardware though: the fact that there are only two controller ports as opposed to the four controller ports on the DreamCast, GameCube, and XBox. This was a horrible move on Sony's part, and I put my chips on it as being part of Sony's plan to get more profit. I've looked at the system several times, and I just cannot see why this is so; couldn't they have made two versions of the hardware,one with and one without the four controller ports (for a little bit more)? This is my only real strike against the PS2 (if you exclude the fuckers who buy it just to play DVDs), but I think it's not a completely major flaw unless developers really start churning out more multi-player games like Power Stone 2. Sony addressed this issue in the form of their own multi-tap (not third party, so it's quality). It's cool that Sony brought it out as opposed to a wretched American third party company, but the price is like a kick in the fucking balls; we have to pay as much for a multi-tap as we would to buy a game? Fuck! Not only does this discourage some from even thinking of buying multi-player games, but developers get discouraged and discard any ideas of making new multi-player games. Is Capcom rethinking their once announced plans for a Power Stone game on the hardware because of this reason? Wouldn't an even more absolutely carnage-filled Power Stone game be swell? Sure, the option choice is yours, and you can play multi-player games just by getting a multi-tap for the hardware, but when four ports are part of the hardware's physical architecture, it's just much more appealing. The port issue is a difficult one to address though, because some say it's a hardware issue, while others write it off completely, saying it is not a hardware issue because it doesn't affect performance of the system. It doesn't affect performance perse, but it might affect developer choices. Then again, does Sony have to be like everyone else and make four control ports on their hardware? No, but it sure would have been nice to see.
If you count the lack of four control ports as being a hardware issue, then the hardware has only that as an apparent strike against it as of now; Sony's original hardware was considered as being very versatile, with 2-D and 3-D capabilities, until a flaw was found with the lack of RAM needed to run some games adequately. The point is, though there are no hardware limitations as of now, only time can truly tell these types of things. Is it possible that the system lacks openings for inadequacy? Well, I actually can't say, because developers can also utilize the HDD add-on, which can be used just as the RAM carts that the Nintendo 64 and Saturn utilized. With the HDD, I don't think the PS2 would have problems with RAM like the PS did, but I won't deny any possibilities. If you do not count the ports as being a strike, then the PS2 has no apparent negative aspects. All aspects considered are excluding the price (though it could definitely be a strike), because the price does not affect the hardware in any way while running software. One other aspect I have not addressed because it isn't up and running yet is the system's network capabilities. The network capabilities seem impressive, with lots of financial backing from ISPs, and what seems like some backing from developers also (Capcom VS SNK 2 is network compatible in Japan). With the HDD add-on to eliminate RAM problems that plagued their first hardware, and increasing network compatibility with their network plans, Sony's newest hardware can succeed if developer bonds are kept to utilize these options effectively.
Do I hate the system? Do I love it? Do I even like it? Remember, I am not system biased, and as long as a system has Capcom, SNK, Konami, Psikyo, Eighting/Raizing, or Taito goodness, I'll own the hardware. It's not the hardware that decides it's fate in the industry, it's the developers who decide what to develop and to what extent on the hardware. I don't hate the PS2, but the loads and legions of fucking flat-liners who rush out to buy it just because it has a DVD function make me fucking sick. Sorry, but in my book, video game hardware shouldn't be used to play movies. It makes me sick to see filthy rats who play movies on hardware that is capable of so much more than gracing the screen with something as sickening as Exit Wounds.