Sunday, February 01, 2009

PS2: The Games You Missed

The PS2 has one of the largest and most diverse list of titles of any console ever released. I still play last generation's dominating console on a regular basis - sometimes even more so than the more recent batch of consoles. Due to it having such an unusually enormous game library, there were unfortunately many titles released that failed to get the recognition they deserved. These titles, despite being great experiences, were largely ignored by the gaming public during the time they were released and faded into obscurity as a result. Check out a bargain bin near you to see if you can track down any of these releases.
Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil (2001)
Klonoa 2 offered the beauty of a 3D game with the rock solid game play of a 2D classic. Old school in game play but new school in look, Klonoa 2 is a simplistic blast from the past with tried-and-true 2D platforming and intriguing puzzles. Also, even though the length of Klonoa 2 was a bit on the short side, the level design was so great that you wouldn't mind playing through this a couple of times. If this was released by Nintendo it would have unquestionably garnered more respect.

Victorious Boxers: Ippo's Road to Glory (2001)
Whether you're familiar or not with the original Japanese manga is irrelevant. Victorious Boxers is simply a fun boxing title and the first noteworthy one on the PS2. Due to to this being based off of an unfamiliar property in the U.S. (and the lack of marketing), Victorious Boxers flopped horribly when it was originally released in 2001. So while it's a bit tough to track down in stores due to its limited print run, it's well worth it if you're in the mood for an enjoyable boxing title with Japanese flavor.

Viewtiful Joe (2004)
Capcom's Viewtiful Joe found mild success on the Nintendo Gamecube but was sadly ignored on Sony's platform. Which is a shame, because the PS2 version not only featured a new difficulty level but the ability to unlock Dante from the Devil May Cry series as well. Despite its sometimes unfairly hard difficulty, Viewtiful Joe is still among the most stylish and flat out entertaining brawlers found on the PS2. Henshin a go go baby!

Taiko Drum Master (2004)

Any fan of Japan, rhythm games, or random, cute, colorful crap would be doing themselves a disservice not giving Taiko Drum Master a try. Although the overly poppy soundtrack was slightly disappointing in some regards (Britney Spears? Blech.), the included drum peripheral made Taiko a multiplayer blast.

Street Fighter EX3 (2000)
Street Fighter EX3 was among the best of the PS2's launch games. Featuring unique tag-team combat that separated this from the rest of the series, EX3 is the most underrated entry in the Street Fighter franchise by far. Being released during the same time period when 3D fighters like Tekken Tag Tournament and Dead or Alive 2 dominated the scene probably didn't help its commercial fate though...

Steambot Chronicles (2006)

Steambot Chronicles proved that an RPG didn't have to be an epic experience ala Final Fantasy to be enjoyable. While the visuals were a bit lacking, the nonlinear game play and lighthearted dialogue made Atlus' overlooked title a true role-playing treat.

And so that wraps up this list. However, this is by no means the definitive assortment of missed PS2 titles, and I'm definitely going to have to complete a part two in the future to get such excellent games like Ico and 50 Cent Bulletproof in. Wait, maybe you should scratch that last title out...

Related article:
PSX: The Games You Missed

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At 5:47 PM, Blogger gnome said...

Excellent round up! I'm afraid I've missed a couple hundred more though :p

At 5:10 AM, Blogger Ice Koobs said...

Oh my word the fact that 50 Cent: Bulletproof managed to get into this post is worring.
I remember when I worked in Game that even Hardcore fan of 50 Cent returned the game in digusted.
Thank god for the 28 day return policy.
The other games you've mentioned looked good. But I doubt that I would be able to find them anywhere.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger The Sports Satirist said...

I never even knew Viewtiful Joe was on the PS2.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Ross said...

Gnome, the PS2 has an amazing library of games. There will always be something else to pick up, no matter how large one's library is...

Ice Koobs, yes, I can tell you right now that was a simple, honest mistake. Well, maybe not simple... or honest... or a mistake... Unfortunately, he has another game coming out this year.

Funnyman, it's unfortunate that Viewtiful Joe was overlooked by virtually everyone on the PS2. Like the other titles on this list, it never made it to Greatest Hits status.

At 8:32 PM, Blogger The Sports Satirist said...

Ironically enough, I was aware of RE 4 on the PS2. But it seems like there was an insufficient marketing push for Viewtiful Joe on the PS2.


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