The carefree life of a PS2 gamer

 

I read somewhere that the PS4 is going to able to play some of the old PlayStation games. I haven’t got a PS4 so this won’t really be beneficial to me, but it got me reminiscing on my favourite PS2 games from when I was a child. I don’t know how far Sony are going to go back, but it would be amazing to see some of these games revitalised.

 

The_Precursor_Legacy_front_cover_(EU)Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy has to be my all time favourite PS2 game (and series) from childhood. It was a platform game produced by Naughty Dog and was revolutionary at the time of its release due to its fluid and dynamic movement system, lack of loading times (despite having a huge, open world) and vibrant, colourful graphics that were formed from a fusion of Manga and western cartoon styles.  You play as the stoic and incredibly athletic hero Jak throughout the game, battling enemies as you journey through a range of rich landscapes in your search for Precursor power cells to help battle Gol and Mia’s minions while looking for a way to return Daxter back to his natural, ‘humanesque’ form after he was mutated by dark eco.

 

jak2_103359Jak II: Renegade follows on from its predecessor and completely changes the dynamics of the Jak world. It sees the familiar protagonists of the franchise get catapulted into the distant future and you find yourself in the dark dystopia of Haven City, which is suffering under the unyielding, authoritarian regime of Baron Praxis. Jak is arrested at the start of the story, where he is tortured and experimented on for two years before Daxter is able to implement his escape. These experiments allow Jak to harness the power of dark eco and you gain a number of unlockable abilities to help fight Baron Praxis’ Krimson Guard and the hordes of Metal Head monsters that have all but wiped out the humans on your planet. As well as keeping the previous style of hand-to-hand combat, Naughty Dog brought in a variety of guns and gadgets like the hoverboard, which introduced a fresh and enjoyable new aspect to the title’s gameplay.

 

 

Jak_3_front_cover_(EU)Jak 3 was one the last game I played in the franchise, but it still stands out as one of favourites games ever. It follows on from the third one nicely, in the aftermath of your victorious coup against Baron Praxis. The people of Haven City have blamed you for all of the death and destruction that has befallen them and you are no longer their favourite champion. You are banished from the city and left for dead in the Wastelands, where it’s believed the arid desert will claim you. Instead, you find an isolated city called Spargus that takes you in, just in time to save the world yet again when the Dark Precursors arrive. Naughty Dog have a great story for this game, which delves into Jak’s history and character, as well as brining in new light eco powers that you can harness.

All three of these games had huge, open world maps to explore, dynamic combat systems, good story lines and lovable characters. They were all digitally remastered for the PS3 and, especially in the first-person shooter dominated gaming industry, will make great title additions to the PS4.

 

250px-KillzonecoverartKillzone was another PS2 title that I used to while away long hours, both as a child and then later at university, where it has a new lease of life during my pre-drinking sessions. It’s a game I look back on fondly, even though it probably hasn’t aged very well. Regardless, it had fun gameplay, reasonably intelligent A.I. and allowed you to kill a variety of space NAZI classes, under the named of the Helghast!

 

 

 

 

 

250px-Starfighter_coverStar Wars: Starfighter was another favourite and I must have completed this game a dozen times. It was a flight simulator that allowed you to pilot a Naboo starfighter as an elite pilot. You started off as a member of the queen’s royal escourt, but you quickly lost your position when you were left adrift in space after being damaged in an ambush attack by the Trade Federation. You took up with Nim and a band of mercenaries, quickly becoming involved in a liberation campaign that saw you fight the Trade Federation via a dogged combat combat system that made you feel every hit, explosion and high speed turn!

 

 

 

RatcehtandclankeuropeA list of my favourite PS2 games can’t be complete without mentioning Ratchet & Clank. It was a platforming gem from Insomniac Games and allowed you to play as the plucky fox-like animal, Ratchet, with your trusty robot side-kick, Clank. You play through the game using an array of devastating weapons that you can collect and unlock, traversing the dangerous terrain of multiple worlds as you battled the evil Chairman Drek and his minions.

 

 

 

 

 

2026 - Star Wars - Racer Revenge (Europe) - Star Wars. Racer Revenge - 7 - 11-02-2002 - RacingStar Wars: Racer Revenge was a sequel to a game I originally played on the PC. It is a simple racing game, with a league campaign mode and free races as standard, but what made it great was the fact you controlled podracers! You could unlock all of the pods seen in the films and the original game, improve their statistics as you gained more money and got to race them through a series of harrowing tracks across favourite worlds like Tatooine, Mustafar and Mon Calamari! The speeds these pods moved at caused the landscape to blur and it was hard to control your racer at times, meaning that damage to your pod was all but a given. Furthermore, the game had interesting combat dynamics where you could actually bump into and destroy other pods to wipe them out of the race as competitors and earn extra credits from salvagers to use on your own vehicle!

 

 

Wacky_Races_Starring_Dastardly_and_Muttley_CoverartWacky Races Starring Dastardly & Mutley was another of my favourites, largely due to my love for the television show as a child and its fun, addictive gameplay. It was another simple racing game, but boasted a large number of tracks for a PS2 game and allowed you to play as any of the racers from the show. Each of the racers had their own unique stats, attacks and abilities that turned each race into a battlefield! There was something extremely satisfying about wiping Penelope Pitstop out with a heat-seeking tire as Peter Perfect, which soon turned into frustration when someone’s attack hit you and lost you the race! I spent hours racing AI, family and friends on this game and would love to see it back!

 

 

Battlefront_copyLast but not least, is Star Wars: Battlefront. It seems a bit redundant to include this on the list really, seeing as the third version has just been released, but I feel I should mention it simply because of the hours I spent playing it. This was my favourite out of the two Battlefront games released on the PS2, mainly due to its simplicity. There was none of this points system to unlock characters and bonus weapons etc… You simply got to pick your favourite class of soldier–whether it be the classic Imperial stormtrooper, Clone jet trooper or a wookie from Kashyyyk–and unleash hell with myriad weapons and vehicles!

 

 

 

 

All of these games are close to my heart and I remember spending many care-free hours playing them, but what do you think? Is this a comprehensive list games that deserve a new lease of life and what games would you add, if given the chance?

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