301: Playing for Pennies

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Well, I can honestly say that I get more enjoyment from games like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas than games like Call Of Spamcamp that come out today, and when the PS2 becomes boring, I root up my N64 from the closet and enjoy some Goldeneye 007, the game of GOLDEN multiplayer.... ahh... memories....

Why wouldn't a poor student just use the campus internet access and play the tons of free games out there? Or am I missing the point of this article with seems written by a Sony fanboi?

Agreed wholeheartedly.

All of these generations' consoles are moving away from the people that don't/can't go online and such. The author's right - you're hard pressed now to find a split screen game, when split-screen games would display better (instead of a tiny little box inside the 24" TV)

I feel cheated somewhat, but then again, I knew what I was going in for, paying that money to Sony.

The ps2's power is nearly unrivalled not only in price ex: I got a brand new copy of maximo vs the army of zin for five dollars. but also it's ability to have lasted so long that games are still being made for it to this day.

Caff:
p.s feel special this is my first response or post for... anything :D

Oh, I feel very special. Thank you very much for taking the time to comment on my article :)

Jim Perry:
Why wouldn't a poor student just use the campus internet access and play the tons of free games out there? Or am I missing the point of this article with seems written by a Sony fanboi?

Because this isn't a story about college students. This is a story about people that are low income or prioritize their money to things other than video games. You seemed to miss the entire point of the article. Also, if I was a "fanboi" I think I would currently own at least one Sony console. Personally, I am more of an Xbox 360 guy.

Dooly95:
All of these generations' consoles are moving away from the people that don't/can't go online and such.

Yeah and I personally love the connectivity of current gen systems. I hope that no one takes my article as knocking the application of online features in gaming, but it's important that people realize there are some that can't afford or simply can't get high speed internet in their area. I live in South Eastern Ohio. I know *many* people that simply don't have a valid internet solution in their area besides satellite and that is often times worse than dial-up. It's something very easy to take for granted.

My PS2 has been a loyal and cherished friend these last few years. I've found literally dozens of games for it in bargain bins and indie game stores over the years, and still haven't tapped into everything the system offers. There are still dozens of games I'd love to play, series I'd love to get in on, so many that I seriously wonder if I'd ever be able to catch up with the current gen.

There are some games in today's world that will just never die. The PS2 had the biggest library of (what I call) the second generation (of the "gaming war", starting with N64, PS1 and dreamcast, then Xbox PS2 and gamecube etc).

At any rate: There's some good and bad things about picking out the gems from a past age for the cheap. Games like Shadow of the colossus, ICO, God of War 1, FFX, even the Orange Box.
These are games that will never be remade (most likely) and are the games that will (have, kinda) go down in history.

While what I say now might not be directly related to the article, I think it's something important that we as people who play games should remember:

Not only is gaming a past time, and having fun, but like a good movie, we have to remember the classics and the roots. People will always remember star wars, just like people (at least in the gaming world) will always remember games like Portal or other big milestones.

The fact that we can get these games cheaper now (some of them at least, Halo for the mac is now around $130 on amazon) is a good thing, since these classics can reach a wider audience at a lower price.
As someone who can only afford one system per generation, I stuck with a gamecube and missed out on most of the titles I mentioned above.

Since my girlfriend has a PS2 I can now play and enjoy these titles that I hear so many great things about. Unlike movies, system exclusives are proprietary so in order to experience all the great gems, you have to have all the systems. (I.E. I don't own a 360 and there are more good games for PS3/360 than... the Wii I own)

Point: The fact that gems can be found cheaper is a good thing, just gotta know which ones you're buying, and if they never come out as DLC, better grab 'em quick or else you'll never get your hands on it.

So aparently The Operative: No One Lives Forever was available on the PS2, as was Half Life, there you go, I didn't know that, I'd still recommend you get them on PC though. I was hopping for an article about how NOLF was better than Half Life, because you know, it was. I guess the PS2 is pretty cool if it has Half Life and NOLF, it also had Rainbow Six: Raven Shield which is awesome, however Lockdown was released on PS2 so that voids any good they may have done.

Gildan Bladeborn:
I can't help but feel vaguely cheated by this article - I mean, I see Cate Archer, protagonist from the sublime and frequently overlooked No One Lives Forever games sitting there in the artwork for the monthly issue, and I think "Awesome, an article about No One Lives Forever (or one that at least mentions it), just the thing to get some kid somewhere to give those games a look!".

But no, it turns out she's just part of a somewhat amusing illustration along with other "iconic" characters that I'm willing to bet are all far more well known and instantly recognizable than her, and not mentioned at all anywhere. Obviously if the audience is going to include folks like me, the illustration served its purpose just fine - knowing what I do about the demographics of the Escapist forum community though, I can't help but wonder how many other people read this and then wondered who the hell the woman in that picture was (just the protagonist of one of the most awesome (and hilarious!) FPS games ever made, not that the Call of Duty obsessed adolescents would recognize that). And then of course I get a hankering to fire up my copy of a game that came out when most of the people on these forums were still in elementary school (and the youngest in the crowd (that are actually allowed to be here) would have been 2 years old).

All of which only serves to remind me that I am old, and I certainly can't get enough reminders of that!

You know, I played that game when I was in year 3/4, I must have been around 8 years old. Sure, I didn't get most of it, and I can only vaguely remember a night-club level and some sort of German hotel, it was a great game none the less.

This article came out at the exact time I've become PS2 active. A few months ago my grandpa was given a ps2, which was then given to me. Add one memory card donated by a friend, plus the Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Xenosaga I and II I bought(all for less than $20 total) and I have a low budget gaming experience.
PS. Anyone near the Longview, Washington area who wants to get rid of Xenosaga III?
PSS. Captcha: "please overeci"

As somebody else mentioned above : What`s with all the Sony fanboysm? It`s cheaper to have an older PC and play free online games, plus you can hunt for special offers on Steam for old games and such. Besides lets be honest here, the graphics in most PS2 games are not quite pretty..

This article amuses me, especially because it paints (my beloved) playstation 2 console as a great budget console. I would get in to how it's so much more than a budget console (DVD player, woohoo! -$30,- to 60,- for buying a separate one.)... but really, I can just agree; and like to add a game to the list; Persona 4; I mean, come-on... that's like enough reason to buy a playstation 2 if you like good games... (Note, I play on a tight budget; mostly on that playstation 2, but I might get a second hand playstation 3 this summer.)

PS; for all the PC this, PC that, you can be cheaper of with just a PC, if you have a decent enough PC that is and if you want to play on a PC. (I do not.)

Killerbunny001:
It`s cheaper to have an older PC and play free online games, plus you can hunt for special offers on Steam for old games and such.

Sure, but some people prefer the console experience. Couch multiplayer. The ease of just putting a disc in the machine and playing. And the PC ports of some games are just rubbish. (I'm looking at you, Beyond Good and Evil...)

I'm a PC fangirl myself, but I completely agree with this article. As a matter, of fact, I've told various family members and friends much the same thing, several times. If you want a console on a budget, the PS2 is perfect. I was given one a couple of years ago, and I still haven't bothered to buy myself a current-gen console. The PS1 and PS2 game libraries are terrific. There's any number of classic PS1/2 games that I have yet to play. The games and controllers cost very little now, and you can still walk into a brick-and-mortar shop and buy them hassle-free (important for people not comfortable with online shopping).

Now would someone please make my sisters buy their own PS2 and give mine back to me? I want to finish playing Beyond Good and Evil.

Darth_Dude:

Gildan Bladeborn:
And then of course I get a hankering to fire up my copy of a game that came out when most of the people on these forums were still in elementary school (and the youngest in the crowd (that are actually allowed to be here) would have been 2 years old).

All of which only serves to remind me that I am old, and I certainly can't get enough reminders of that!

You know, I played that game when I was in year 3/4, I must have been around 8 years old. Sure, I didn't get most of it, and I can only vaguely remember a night-club level and some sort of German hotel, it was a great game none the less.

You are not helping me feel younger at all!

Seriously though, you should really go back and replay that game now that you're older - the humor and a lot of the storyline/setting, as you rightly suspect, would have gone right over your head (like the German night club overrun by beatniks who think the terrible caterwauling of its would-be opera star owner are avant garde and experimental). No One Lives Forever is what the Austin Powers films tried and failed miserably to be: a good 60s spy spoof - knowledge of what the games are spoofing isn't strictly required to enjoy the very solid gameplay, but the jokes aren't going to resonate as much if you aren't already familiar with say... the more ridiculous aspects of Bond films set in that era.

Killerbunny001:
As somebody else mentioned above : What`s with all the Sony fanboysm? It`s cheaper to have an older PC and play free online games, plus you can hunt for special offers on Steam for old games and such. Besides lets be honest here, the graphics in most PS2 games are not quite pretty..

I want to know where I can find this magical PC you can buy that is under $100 that will play these free games online that are apparently better than the ones on the PS2. You're looking at a couple hundred just for a barebone systems and that's not including a monitor, which most PCs still require these days. It's not being a fanboy, it's being competent at math. Nothing more.

I now own an PS2, Xbox and Gamecube [also Nintendo 64, Playstation etc...etc..]

Cheap games, that if look past the limitations of the hardware generation are great. Not to mention some of the best games are indeed sold so many times they are dirt cheap. I even bought a second PS2, a pink one, yeah.. just because it was pink.

I say it every console has its strong points. If you wait long enough the best games are cheap and you don't pay to much. .. some games don't go down quick enough though sigh :(

And yes I also own a PS3, and yes I also buy games for that.. but as pointed out. With a PS2 you have great games out of so many genres. And some games actually did get worse as the generation grew..

Ah games :) Such joy to just relax and play them.

I agree with this article but do hold some reservations. Essentially what is being suggested here is that because you don't have a huge expendable budget, you should forego modern technology and go slap your hard earned cash monies down on technology from eleven years ago clocked at 300MHz with positively the worst controllers ever made.

There could be a point here, it IS a cheap way into gaming, but back when the PS2 was released, so was buying a new Sega Genesis. It's not exactly what I would call a 'forward thinking' way of doing things... especially when concerning a console that's design EOL was six years ago.

Carcenomy:
There could be a point here, it IS a cheap way into gaming, but back when the PS2 was released, so was buying a new Sega Genesis. It's not exactly what I would call a 'forward thinking' way of doing things... especially when concerning a console that's design EOL was six years ago.

But for some people, this isn't a serious hobby and they don't need to be "forward thinking." Or on the very opposite end of the spectrum, some people find living without gaming a dull and hollow existence. If that person can't afford current/next-gen pricing, they really have a rough road ahead of them. That's when you have to make the choice "Do I want Call of Duty Black Ops or six decent PS2 games?"

By no means do I personally think the PS2 is the best option out there for gaming, but I do think it's a preferred choice for frugal gaming. ;)

Oooh, agreed. We used to have an original Playstation and put it through its paces everyday. Switching from the Playstation to an Xbox was hard and almost brought tears to our eyes as we watched all our favorite videogames that we had beaten countless times over being traded for ONE Xbox game (Lego Star Wars) which was all our measly games could scrabble for. But those measly games held memories that couldn't be replaced by technology. I remember Naughty Dog's Crash Bandicoot. That crazy wombat we raced, spun, flipped, and smashed through hundreds of hours of gameplay. It was weaved into a part of our childhood, as nerdy as that sounds, and it was liking loosing a friend... Ok, well, maybe not THAT bad. But almost!

We have since upgraded the Xbox to a 360 a while ago but still hold onto the original massive X. There's something irreplaceable about an old videogame console and makes one want to return to it for nostalgic purposes. It's a weird feeling when we power on an old console and begin to enjoy the games of our past and realize that we haven't really grown up at all.

Carl Watkins:

Killerbunny001:
As somebody else mentioned above : What`s with all the Sony fanboysm? It`s cheaper to have an older PC and play free online games, plus you can hunt for special offers on Steam for old games and such. Besides lets be honest here, the graphics in most PS2 games are not quite pretty..

I want to know where I can find this magical PC you can buy that is under $100 that will play these free games online that are apparently better than the ones on the PS2. You're looking at a couple hundred just for a barebone systems and that's not including a monitor, which most PCs still require these days. It's not being a fanboy, it's being competent at math. Nothing more.

I started doing the math to demonstrate my point but then I stopped. Possibly you are right and the PS2 may be slightly cheaper but I for one can`t digest the PS2 graphics anymore. I guess that was the subconscious thought that drove me to place the PC first.

Just to be on the same page, I am talking about PC and not Mac here.

Great article, and very true to life. I've only recently bought a PS2 just for the exclusive games it had, like Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, GT4, Killzone and others.

Even though I do most of my gaming on my PC, the PS2 was a great purchase for when my girlfriend is playing Sims on my pc and I need to shoot something, and all for less than 100 :P

Couldn't you say the same thing about any of the consoles of the PS2 generation, though? GameCube and the original Xbox games are just as cheap, but usually the graphics were better in those systems...

I still have my PS2 because I just can't sell it.
It was my console from 10-15 years of age, which is pretty important. And the experience of the trusty PS2 titles just doesn't come a across in the new, HD, online,$100 a game market.
There's a reason the PS2 was so good in it's day.

Jim Perry:
Why wouldn't a poor student just use the campus internet access and play the tons of free games out there? Or am I missing the point of this article with seems written by a Sony fanboi?

Yeah, Farmville is exactly like God of War, isn't it.

cairocat:
As consoles go, the PlayStation 2 is definitely the closest to a current-gen experience you're going to get for almost nothing. You have to wonder, though: Why would someone buy a console at all? Assuming they have a computer strong enough and connected enough to read The Escapist, I'm sure there's a plethora of older games for PC or Mac they could purchase and get just as much enjoyment out of for much less money.

There certainly is, yes. I just discovered gog.com (and am very happy). But and however, there are about five hundred really, really good reasons to buy a PS2 - and that's the hundreds of amazing games that are PS2 exclusive - and another few hundred from the PS1 back-catalogue. For the price of one (two year old) graphics card, I can get enough PS2 games to keep me happy for a month of sundays - and I live in Australia, the land that craps on gamers for fun.

Maybe I'm a tiny bit of a fan, but that's because I've been served faithfully by the same PS2 for nigh on ten years now - I got it when they were first released and it's still going strong. I can't say the same for my computer... not that I don't adore PC games either.

Why choose when it's not too hard to afford both?

Jim Perry:
Why wouldn't a poor student just use the campus internet access and play the tons of free games out there? Or am I missing the point of this article with seems written by a Sony fanboi?

Yes, you are. The point being made is that the PS2 is a console that has aged particularly well and has a collection of awesome games - and that since it's not that expensive to buy a PS2, you can experience several dozen of them for the same price as a new 360.

InvisibleMan:
Couldn't you say the same thing about any of the consoles of the PS2 generation, though? GameCube and the original Xbox games are just as cheap, but usually the graphics were better in those systems...

I think you could make the argument, but frankly there is a big difference between the three. Gamecube had some great games, but frankly the library just doesn't stack up to the PS2. I owned and loved a GC for many years, but the 3rd party support just wasn't there. Now the first party titles are killer and still some of the greatest games ever made.

Now the Xbox has a pretty decent library, but it fell off really quickly. Sony continues to support the PS2 whereas Microsoft cut all support within a year of the 360 releasing. Was this a bad move by Microsoft? Well, if it was, it didn't matter because I think they're clearly dominating this generation of consoles.

All that to say, all three are great and if these consoles were in their prime it would be a tough fight still... but... as it stands, I think the PS2 is the current standout from that generation.

I've owned three PS2's in my life, and as long as it lasts, my silver one isn't going anywhere. The missus and I STILL play Persona, Suikoden, SotC, Silent Hill 2, Jak II and Okami on it, and I cherish it dearly.

It's given me years and years of great gaming, with some of the best games on any system.

Jinjiro:

BloodSquirrel:
*snip*

I think you missed the point of the article, which is about getting the most out of a low budget. For the price of the minimalist Xbox package(say, 1 controller + 1 game), you could get a PS2 with an absolute crapload of accessories/games. Obviously the 360 is going to look better, but with a limited amount of money, I guarantee the PS2 is a better option.

Not to mention that, as the author said, the 360 - more than any other system - is dependent on online multiplayer. Which costs extra money in addition to a broadband connection.

I could go on amazon now and get a PS2 with a 90+ rated game like Okami or God of War, and get the full experience for less than €100.

To get the full experience from, say, CoD on a 360, I need a down payment of at least €300, because as we all know, singleplayer in CoD has been shit ever since MW1.

You can get current gen games for $20 or less too. And good games as well. There are sales, specials, etc at a lot of stores. Just browse online. For example, I can get Alan Wake for like 11.50 Euros.

AlexLoxate:
You can get current gen games for $20 or less too. And good games as well. There are sales, specials, etc at a lot of stores. Just browse online. For example, I can get Alan Wake for like 11.50 Euros.

But again, it's not just about the games. It's the overall package value of the system, not just a few titles, that is being discussed.

I still love the good old PS2. I own more games for the PS2 than any other system I own, and pretty much 90% of the games on my wishlist are also PS2.
I might need to get a replacement though, just in case. Also considering getting an American or modded PS2 to play NTSC games.

Having just bought a stack of PS2 games, I agree with this article. Best back-catalog of any console.

I still regret selling my PS2, I think it's one of the worst mistakes I've ever made and belive me, I've made many mistakes in my life.

I sold it back at the end of 2003 to buy a GameCube. While I don't regret getting the cube and it's small but wonderful catalog of games, I sold the PS2 at a really bad timing, a year later, Metal Gear Solid 3 got released, so do Jak 3 and many other wonderful PS2 games I never played.
I eventually did played those in my cousin's PS2.

Sometimes I still want to buy a PS2 again.

Tomo Stryker:
Wait, this article had nothing to do with Gordon Freeman. I feel totally cheated (/sarcasm).

well the PS2 did have Half Life complete with the expansions and the HD texture pack.

OT I still have my PS2 and I still play Ace Combat or Jak every once and a while. I just wish my PS2 would play Gran Turismo 4...

I still use and play on my Ps2

Its a good DVD player and its small (well the slim anyways) so If i want to travel I can. Plus its they only system I have The Warriors for (Fighting off hoards of hobos shouting about 'Nam is awesome)

There have been a lot of consoles that I've owned and enjoyed, but I truly feel the PS2 is the best console made. The variety of games it has and the fact it is still supported makes it a gaming console for everyone. If there is a genre of game you like, PS2 will have several games to fill that need.

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