So it was 20 years ago next month (December 4th 1994) that the PlayStation brand first hit us in the face and changed our lives (and the world) forever. Sony celebrated with fact via this amazing and tear inducing video.
Scary to think I was only 6 at the time and remember being knee deep into everything Nintendo. A trend in my life which didn’t alter until my mid-teens. Shock horror, but I never owned a PS1 and only really got into the brand towards the end of the PS2 era.
Pretty insane as I stare around my room and see a PS4 controller, and a PS Vita laying on a PlayStation branded bean bag. Slowly PlayStation has become my number one platform to experience my hobbie (although it got a bit ropey during the PS3 era) and I’m quite proud to have played at least a small part in restoring the brand pretty much to number one worldwide.
As it’s certainly a special week for gamers and I’ve not done a list in ages, I thought I’d put down some of the important Sony titles which have lead me to here as a gamer and convinced me that Sony was the way to go.
I’ve chosen this era mainly because it was probably the most important and popular era for the brand, it’s yet to be seen if they will ever reach those heights again.
Remember I didn’t have a PS1 or really played one back then, so bite me as I skip that era.
Metal Gear Solid 2
When this was announced way back at E3 2000, it genuinely had me doubting my undying love for Nintendo. Visually this title pretty much set the scene for where video games have headed, sure it could be argued that it’s a prettier version of MGS1, but you have to admit this game pushed the industry further. Incomprehensible plot aside, the reveal trailer alone showed that video games could really compete with Hollywood when it came to incredible and epic experiences.
Gameplay wise this game also introduced us to having relatively “smart” enemies, who reacted to player actions instead of just being on set routines which we would learn to exploit as we got better at the game. The PS2 was already on the top of gamer’s wanted lists before this title was announced, which led to hype for the console being near stratospheric after that E3.
PS – I never really played this game till its re-release on the original Xbox, I’m a monster I know.
Grand Theft Auto 3
I was a lowly 13 year old when this dropped, once again due to my loyalties then and the fact I was a social recluse, I didn’t have any clue about this title really until the worlds media screamed in offence at its content and back then its “photo realistic” imagery. Guns? Prostitutes? 3D Free Roam?…..Prostitutes?
This had me running to my school friend(s), who managed to sweet talk their parents into buying them the game and I was never the same again. This was a title which yet again had me feeling I had bet on the wrong horse and probably should own a PS2. The game was of course HUGE and further added to the popularity of PlayStation (and Rockstar) as a brand and was no doubt another reason why the PS2 did so damn well worldwide.
PS – I never played Vice City and San Andreas till they came out on the Xbox….bite me.
Devil May Cry
I was never really good at video games and some would argue that I’m still crap at them. When Devil May Cry hit back in 2001, it was a reminder that I had the reaction time of a goldfish and needed to up my game. I spent hours on this game all in the space of a weekend, as my somewhat generous friend loaned me his PS2 for some reason.
As you can imagine I came nowhere near to completing this game, but I stayed due to one reason, Dante. This beautiful white haired angel, who kinda was a thundering bellend was probably my first video game crush (is that a thing?) and I spent as much time checking him out as I did failing to complete the game. Resident Evil aside, this was a title which certainly put Capcom back on the map in the west especially and was another stellar addition to the PS2s already amazing catalogue.
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
Feels ironic now, but I had never really invested huge amounts of time in a Square Enix JRPG (and any other JRPG) until this title. And I ended up getting this title for two reasons, its stunning art style and dreaded peer pressure. This title hit European shores quite late into the PS2 era, which mirrored how late I’d often be getting into college at the time.
I got forced to buy this and I must thank those friends for doing it. I instantly fell in love with the kingdom of Trodain and it’s simple yet deep combat system had me hooked day one. The amazing cast of characters and their rapport, felt like I was playing an anime and I proudly let the world know when I completed this mammoth 30+ hour game. I also had quite the soft spot for Angelo, the loveable white haired douche….I see a theme here with my male crushes.
It’s quite depressing to think that this franchise died a horrible death and will likely never see the light of day again. As I started to finally make friends, this was the title which promptly made me want to end them. Multiplayer was something I dabbled with via Golden Eye and Perfect Dark back then, but this title in sheer unbridled fun seemed to trump them.
A host of weapons and maps, bots and some of the most whacky characters I’d seen in a shooter meant this was a title I rarely put down. Sure the single player was fun and had its moments but playing this with friends, especially in co-op was the start of me being a more social gamer in general. Sure it probably wasn’t an “important” PS2 title, but it sure as hell was for me.
And there we have it, these titles had me queuing day one for a PS3 (I must have been loaded back then) and the rest is history!
Final Fantasy X (Never played it, looked too girly)
God Of War (Never played it, looked too manly)
Jack & Daxter
Zone Of The Enders (Piss off, that game was good)
Shadow Of The Colossus