All those PS2 games run great on PS4, though they might be rougher than you remember

Also, PaRappa the Rapper 2!

PS2 times were amazing. I mean, that’s the era of that wild Clover clutch I never stop talking about (Okami, God Hand, etc). So news that the PlayStation 4 would be able to emulate PlayStation 2 games? Sweet!

You can’t use PS2 discs or PS2 Classics?

They’re all upwards of $10?

Less sweet.

But Sony had all eight newly announced PS2 games playable on PS4 tucked away in a corner at PlayStation Experience. I only noticed it because I met Zack there. He was sitting against a wall and put too much cream and sugar the coffee he graciously offered and I fell at the opportunity to get off my dogs. It just happened that this was right in front of Mark of Kri, which I never did play.

I jumped on Dark Cloud first and wrestled with its weird controls (almost tank-like?) and sparse environments before wanting to test something more action-oriented (Kri, beside it). I was mildly surprised to see enemies heads fall off and roll during combat, along with some very forceful, emotive animations. A powerful jump on occasional ledges, a sword getting stuck in the wood of a barrel that video games taught me should’ve yielded something. There was a better camera, too, sans free control. A pretty interesting game I probably won’t be paying $15 to finish.

And, oh, shit, PaRappa the Rapper 2! I don’t think that’s on sale yet. Same with King of Fighters 2000 and its giant pixels.

Meanwhile Grand Theft Autos Vice City and San Andreas both are a bit clunky, but workable. Driving is still horrible. When I picked up the controller for San Andreas I was very disoriented upon hitting jump, because I flew 30ft into the air. Why is everything on fire? I punched that cop and he just walked away!? I got into a car, started driving, and it took off into flight?? Yes, someone went crazy with cheat codes, bless.

It is a fun, decade plus time capsule, playing some of these again, a little crisper than when we last met. I don’t remember being this damn bad at War of the Monsters, though. Otherwise, everything seems to run smoothly, prettied up a bit.

Steven Hansen