The PS2 has one of the most diverse and stacked gaming libraries in the history of gaming. However because of this many games continue to either be under appreciated or unnoticed entirely. For a brief moment I would like to shine a light on some of these titles. (For the sake of my audience I will only be choosing US titles. Maybe if the response is good I will do the same for imports)
Zone of Enders - Why is this game under appreciated? Probably because its developed at the same studio that works on Metal Gear. Any game short of a pokemon would be unnoticed at that studio. The genre of the game is action, and its sci fi story has lead to not only another sequel on the ps2, but a gba side game.
Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Sacred Tome - WHAT? You Mean Nippon Ichi Software produces games other than Disgaea? Coming out in-between Disgaea 1 and Disgaea 2. This game got lost in the shuffle. The typical Nippon Ichi sprite work, and classic SRPG game play might leave one to believe this game is lacking innovation. You'd be wrong. The game is one of the first SRPG to have vehicles on the battlefield (way before Valkyria Chronicles).
Shadow Hearts: Covenant- A sequel to an equally under rated PS2 rpg, this game took everything from the first game: its patented ring system, characters, spooky atmosphere and took it up about 10 notches. When people talk about the best RPG's on the PS2 most people go to suikoden, wild arms, final fantasy, ect. But I think this game is just as good as anything.
Gitaroo Man - Released well before Guitar Hero took the music game genre by storm, Gitaroo Man required the same quick reflexes to hit the notes. What was different however is you werent a rock star, you were a hero whose job it was to battle evil!!!!
Fire Pro Wrestling Returns - Why did this make the list? well its my favorite wrestling game of all time and its not a WWE game nor does it have 3d character models. Not only is the game pure sprites but it doesnt even have real wrestler names ( although you can tell who people are). The game has by far the deepest character creation/move pool of any wrestling game ever made which has lead to a cult following ever since its release in 2007.
Okage: Shadow King - One of the very first rpgs for the PS2, this game had a rim Burton kind of vibe to it. Very strange characters highlight an adventure that didnt last long but it was memorable.
Destroy All Humans! - I remember watching a feature on G4TV about this game right before launch and thought it looked hilarious. After playing it, the game wasnt as funny as I originally thought but I had a blast with it. Nobody talks about it, and every so often I pop it in my ps3.
Onimusha - The series makes use of the historic figures that shaped Japan's History, retelling those stories with supernatural elements. I always found the series one of Capcom's best, but never getting the proper kudo's. The games are action adventure games with minor puzzle solving elements.
Rogue Galaxy - Level 5 burst onto the scene during the PS2 era creating such classics as Dark Cloud and Dragon quest VIII. Those are the games people remember when they think of Level 5. However towards the end of the PS2's life they created one more rpg for the system. It took the creation depth of Dark Cloud, added in the superior cell shading of Dragon Quest VIII with a dash of Star Wars, and that is basically what Rogue Galaxy is.
Sky Odyssey - This game was an action adventure flight simulator released in 2000. I have never been tested so much in a sim like game nor have I ever felt like I actually had skills in a flight sim. The game was critically acclaimed, but sales were not high and was quickly forgotten.
I hope people are happy with this list. I have been reading tons of PS2 lists which all mostly have the same games and I got inspired to do something different.
If I missed a game you thought was particularly underrated please let me know in the comments below.
As we approach the 2 year anniversary of the Sony Vita, I think its important we highlight some of the games that have made its short life special. We all know vita is not selling well, but that's not to say its impossible for it to turn around. The system has a pretty nice library of original retail titles, indie titles, and enhanced remakes. I will limit each genre to at most 5, so not to overwhelm.
(Note: The following games will be US only and currently released)
Standouts Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention - This game is probably my personal favorite on vita because it showed me what an enhanced port could be. Not only does it include all of the PS3 version dlc ( about $60 dollars worth of characters, modes, scenerio's, ect) but it includes brand new content exclusive to this version.
Persona 4 Golden - Persona 4 came out in 2008 on the PS2 right at the tail end of the its lifespan in North America. While it flew under most people's radar's back then, it released on the Vita in 2012. Nobody missed it this time. It quickly became the vita poster child for what a game could be on vita. Not only was it a better than original port, it included so much new content, you sort of had to play it again lest you wanted your rpg license to be revoked.
Best of the Rest Atelier Totori Plus: The adventurer of Arland
Standouts Uncharted: Golden Abyss - I have never been that big on uncharted. I mean, yes it looks pretty, and yes Drake is so hot I'd let him bang me but beyond that I never had much to say about the series. The bite sized mission chunks of Golden Abyss made it perfect for a newbie to do a mission, put it down, do another mission, put it down, without feeling the enormous pressure of beating it all within a week. Now I am a fan of the series, mission accomplished.
Best of the Rest Assassin's Creed III: Liberation
Sly Cooper Thieves in Time
Standouts Gravity Rush - Until I played this it felt like forever since Sony Japan put out an original title. I am super glad they have not lost the touch. One of the best original IP I have played on a portable since Radiant Historia (DS), the game is a roller coaster ride of adrenaline, amazing art direction, and most importantly fun.
Best of the Rest Guacamelee!
Retro City Rampage
(Unfortunately in this category I have not played any of the games other than the standout. I feel like I had to be up front with that. I have it on good authority these titles though are ones to play. I will probably play them all once my backlog stops being a terrifying beast.)
Standouts Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational - When I first got vita at launch. I bought 3 titles. This, Uncharted, wipeout. I have BY FAR put more time into this game than any of the original launch titles. Its approaching 200 hours, crazy time. I guess its no mistake why I like it. Mario golf and this have almost the exact same controls/style which suits my casual pursuits of golf
WipEout 2048 - One of my launch titles. The one I probably sucked the most at. Twitchy games have my number these days. The older I get the harder it is for me to compete. Despite that I fully recommend it.
Conclusion What might appear obvious to some is many of these titles are not vita exclusives. What is important to remember is some of these titles truly shine on vita and are the best versions.
I am sure there are many more titles I missed, but I feel like if you do own a vita, or are thinking about getting one, these would be the titles to start with.
With the second half the year rapidly approaching, I thought it might be fun to look ahead. See what might be exciting from my perspective and any potential buyers of video games. So far this year we have seen such a variety of content on platforms ranging from 3ds to ps3, its sort of hard to tell we are at the end of the cycle with much more to come. In this list I will be focusing on the US/EUR ONLY. No imports in this list whatsoever and in no real order. Just some games to look forward to in the coming months.
Note: I understand this is right before E3 where we will likely get more games and more dates for 2013. I may or may not update afterwards.
Project x Zone (3DS - June 25th, 2013) - Developed by Banpresto and Monolith Soft, Project X Zone features over 50 characters from 29 historic game franchises by three of Japan's most prolific video game companies. In Project X Zone players will use a team of two characters known as a Pair Unit to explore the world within the game. An additional character known as a Solo Unit can be combined with the Pair Unit to assist in battles with Solo Attacks as well as augment the attacks available for players to execute. Throughout the game, epic battles are waiting to erupt at a moment's notice. Players will have to master an array of screen-busting moves including Solo Attacks, Support Attacks, Cross Hits, and Finishing Moves in order to defeat a multitude of foes. A game nobody thought would be localized thankfully is.
Rune Factory 4 (3ds - July 16,2013) - Rune Factory 4 marks the return of the popular Harvest Moon spinoff that combines farming with dungeon adventuring. For the first time in the series, the player can select to play as a male or female hero, and potential suitors of either gender are also available in order to pursue love, marriage, and possibly a child. As the newly-appointed prince or princess, you can fulfill your royal duties of protecting the town from invaders, or take a more rural approach to governing by raising your own fruits and vegetables and helping townsfolk. Should some dungeon adventuring be on the days itinerary, you can select from the castles vast armament of swords, spears, and staffs along with magic for battle against dangerous foes, or even bring along a companion or friendly monster to aid you during your travels. Whats most suprising about this title, is who is localizing it. Usually localized by Natsume, translation duties are being handled by Xseed, fan fave publisher.
Shin Megami Tensei IV (3DS - July 16. 2013) - Building on the styles of ATLUS' Persona, Devil Summoner, and Devil Survivor titles, SMTIV is the first true successor to 2004's Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. The story of SMTIV revolves around the Samurai, the sacred protectors of the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado. As a newly appointed Samurai, players will struggle with factions that have nefarious designs on the world as they defend their home kingdom from a growing army of demons. Decisions players make throughout the course of the story will have lasting repercussions, as the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Already a smash hit in japan, its bound to take the US by storm when it drops much sooner than people expected.
Tales of Xillia (PS3 - August 8,2013) - Tales of Xillia is the thirteenth core product of the Tales series.The gameplay is typical tales fair, but what makes this entry pretty unique is the dual main character, dual perspective system. Makes the story multi faceted. This game also has the distinct honor of being the first tales made specifically for PS3.
Dragons Crown (VITA/PS3 - August 8. 2013) - A 2D fantasy action role-playing video game developed by Vanillaware with assistance from Atlus. Vanillaware known for its unique artistic vision has come under fire recently for it, but in the end its the gameplay that matters most, and this is an area they have never faltered in.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (3DS - August 11th, 2013) - The fourth installment in the Mario & Luigi role-playing series, the game takes place inside the mind of a sleeping Luigi, who is a powerful, brave hero in his dreams. I think this game is interesting for the focus on who luigi thinks he is vs. who he actually is.
Sweet Fuse: At Your Side (PSP - August 27,2013) - Quite possibly the last physically released psp title in the US. An adventure game in the vein of other japanese visual novels it has a unique story.
Ys: Memories of Celceta (Vita - Sept 24. 2013) - In Ys: Memories of Celceta, developer Falcom revisits the land and characters of Japanese cult favorite Ys IV for its first ever North American debut. This re-envisioning of the fourth installment in the Ys series takes a brand new approach, changing and framing the story of Ys IV within an all-new tale of conspiracy, deception and mystery. Featuring an updated version of the party-based battle system from Ys Seven, as well as the largest and most varied overworld in series history. Personally I am a big fan of the Ys series because its really easy for new comers† to get into.
Pokemon X/Y (3DS - Global Launch October) - An all new pokemon generation is about to begin. A new region, new starters/pokemon, new features, and a completely new graphical engine will make this pokemon one to remember. Whats even more unusual is its global launch month of August. Anyone who knows JRPG's knows, global launches are unheard of.
Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness (PS3 - October 8.2013) - A direct sequel to the cult-classic Strategy RPG Disgaea: Hour of Darkness and the fifth game in the main series. Laharl, Etna, and Flonne return in a new adventure with both classic and new monsters, classes, and features. Disgaea 1 remains my personal favorite in terms of characters, so when nis japan announced for the anniversary of the series they would be doing a direct sequel it became a must buy.
Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS - Q3 2013) - I am a golf game junkie. Enough said. The courses range from traditional to those inspired by the Mushroom Kingdom.
Bravely Default (3DS - TBA 2013) - This new yet traditional offering from Square Enix captures the charm and elegant and simplicity of yesteryear's canonical RPGs yet brings something new to the table with its 3ds specific features. An rpg seemingly everyone has had their eyes on because it reminds them of what Final Fantasy used to be. Sporting a turn base battle system, 4 character party, job system it has everything it needs to be a classic.
The Guided Fate Paradox (PS3 - TBA 2013) -The Guided Fate Paradox is a PS3 title created by Nippon Ichi Software that shares much of the gameplay mechanics of Zettai Hero Project, a roguelike-esque dungeon crawler previously developed by NIS in 2010 for the PSP. Players take on the role of high school student Renya Kagurazaka who has become a god by winning a lottery in a mall! Out of all the games in this list, its probably the most unique and one I hope people dont sleep on.
Please let me know what games you all are looking forward to coming up.
This episode we sexualize women AND men. †A short news week gives way to discussions on accusations of domestic abuse in hospitals, the sexualization of characters in video games, and when is time to give up on a video game. †Special thanks to @MayorYoung and @Xenocore for calling in and spicing up the convos!
The 3ds did not have the best beginning. Some would say downright horrible. But I think its time to acknowledge this 2 year old system has the games, the features, and ability, to be a very cool system for years to come.
This list is a BEGINNERS guide to 3ds games. It is certainly not everything. But I feel you wont go wrong with the titles listed.
Kid Icarus: Uprising
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D
Resident Evil: Revelations
Star Fox 64 3D
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward
Dead or Alive: Dimensions
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition
Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan
Fire Emblem: Awakening
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Gates to infinity
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner - Soul Hackers
Tales of the Abyss
The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure
Mighty Switch Force!
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario 3D Land
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
Mario Kart 7
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 3D
Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Legend of zelda: LTTP 2
Mario vs DK IV
Mario & luigi IV
Project x Zone
Rune Factory 4
Shin megami Tensei IV
Yoshi's Island 3
Beyond the Labyrinth
Dragon quest Slime 3
Dragon quest VII
Dragon Quest Terry
Super Robot Wars UX
This episode we are news lite but nonetheless we bring the latest and greatest in RPG's from around the web. This week is also our monthly 'free for all' with topics like Nintendo's new approach to 'pressers', orange throwing ghost, bigfoot reality shows, and special guest Zack Reese from RPGsite.net joins in all the fun!