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Games Inbox: The best PS2 game playable today

Ico – a PS2 classic (pic: Sony)

The Monday letters wonders what happens if Call Of Duty is no longer a big seller, as one reader recommends Dead Space 2.

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No remake necessary
I don’t think any reasonable person can deny that Sony are being weird about the way they’re handling the PS Plus switchover, and I can’t suggest any obvious reason why. (Although the weekend feature suggestion that the heading of Sony marketing is an Xbox double agent did make me laugh.) Hopefully this will all blow over once the service is launched though, and we can get onto the important business of arguing about which of the games are best.

Since Sony hasn’t said anything about PlayStation 2 games yet I’m particularly curious to see what people think are the best games on history’s most successful console. I think in many cases they haven’t aged much better than PS1 games, so whether they’re still playable today is a big factor in this question.

Shadows Of The Colossus, for example, is a great game but in my opinion there’s zero reason you shouldn’t play the PlayStation 4 remake instead. That still leaves the amazing Ico though, as well as other undisputed classics like Silent Hill 2 (also rumoured to be getting a remake), Resident Evil 4 (ditto), Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (also ditto), and Metal Gear Solid 3 (there were rumours at least).

We’ve obviously got to that era of nostalgia where lots of PlayStation 2 games are getting revived but as well as Ico I also loved Burnout 2, Ōkami, Katamari Damacy, Persona 4, SSX Tricky. I have no idea if any of these games are going to make it onto PS Plus Extra but I hope so, because some of them haven’t seen the light of day for quite a while.

Too big to fail
With these leaks of Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 getting more numerous, has anyone asked what happens if they’re not big hits? They’ll never be flops, in the usual sense of the word, but if it continues the downwards trend of Vanguard, or is even just a small increase, at what point does anyone start to say that Call Of Duty may have had its day?

Microsoft was able to buy Activision Blizzard for ‘cheap’ because their big sellers were starting to show signs of age, and because of all the workplace problems, but I haven’t seen much talk about how this means that the company is pretty bad shape. I imagine morale must be in the toilet, given both issues, and that is not how great games get made.

Phil Spencer has already talked about getting Activision to make games other than Call Of Duty and I wonder whether that’s not so much out of a personal wish for variety and more out of the realisation, that Bobby Kotick never had, that Activision has all its eggs in one basket. Which is especially a problem when Overwatch and World Of Warcraft are both past their prime.

Short term concerns
There has been speculation recently in the Inbox about the lack of promotion by Sony for the upcoming PlayStation Plus revamp, with a particular point being made about how the full list of games to be made available on the service is not yet forthcoming.

I think the answer to this lies in the literally constant PlayStation store sales. Sony must make some considerable money from these, and as soon as it becomes apparent that a game will be available ‘free’ on one of the new subscription tiers it will impact the revenue stream for those games, reducing Sony’s profits.

It’s certainly the reason I haven’t bought anything from the store in quite a while as I don’t want the annoyance of paying for a game to then find it’s included in the service. Well, that and my backlog!
ameisa (PSN ID)

GC: That could be the answer but by the time you read this the service will be live in Asia, which seems crazy.

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Everyone’s confused
Just to help any readers struggling to understand the changes to PlayStation Plus, like this weekend’s author of the Reader’s Feature, PlayStation Now has three tiers to which you can choose to subscribe:

Tier 1 : PlayStation Plus
Tier 2 : PlayStation Plus and a library of PlayStation 4 and 5 games
Tier 3 : All of the above and a library of retro games too.

Sony are being a bit weird about how they are drip-releasing information but if you’re confused about the changes, the above summary has you roughly covered – it’s not nearly as complicated as you may have thought.

Due to the weird way Sony are dishing out piecemeal information I’ve personally switched myself off from their news and am just thinking all the little details (like the full list of games!) will be revealed when it actually launches, and I’ll make a decision then on what (if anything) to subscribe to. Not much point in pondering it before then I reckon.
Henshin Agogo

GC: They’re not tiers of PlayStation Now, but of PlayStation Plus. PlayStation Now is now essentially tier 3, aka PlayStation Plus Premium. There’re also additional benefits, such as time limited demos for the two most expensive tiers.

Kojima multitasking
So that’s confirmed then. Kojima isn’t working on a Silent Hill title after all. Like many, I had my reservations and doubts. After the mammoth heartbreak of the cancellation of Silent Hills and the hopes that Abandoned wasn’t a scam of any sort, Norman Reedus let the cat out of the bag and we are being treated to the sequel to Death Stranding instead.

I’m not a massive fan of what is borderline a delivery simulator mixed with occasional combat and a complex, yet unmemorable story. But it’s what hits home that Konami have essentially buried the licence under slot machines and false hope. Perhaps it’s better to leave the licence buried. It’s been nearly 20 years since the last decent title was released and that was under Team Silent, who did justice to the vision of survival horror.

When you hear that Bloober Team is set to possibly revive it and you see their works so far it does raise some worry and I personally believe that it won’t match the gargantuan expectations, if it is true. It’s just too many dreams and wishes that have officially and tantalisingly vanished. If it does come to fruition, that’s lovely for the fans. If it doesn’t, that’s to be expected.
Shahzaib Sadiq

GC: Kojima working on Death Stranding 2 doesn’t mean he’s not also making a Silent Hill game – although that’s still unlikely for various other reasons. Whether he is or isn’t, he’s already rumoured to be working on something else for Microsoft.

The long drive
This was certainly not the longest I’ve ever waited for a game, however it is the most prominent memory of awaiting something for what seemed like a lifetime… at the time! It was a cold wet November 1996 and the N64 was incoming, due in March ‘97 and Toys ‘R Us had a fully working console display and were taking deposits! Now, first off, I had to wait for papa to finish work, then wait for tea, then let it rest for 30 minutes or so before finally making our way to Toys ’R Us… about 40 minutes drive away. Finally, at around 7pm we arrived. Into the store, past the tills, around the corner into the gaming section and there it was… the fabled N64, sitting behind its shiny Perspex box.

The store was empty, that little fat plumber was mine, all mine. I twanged his ears, tugged his nose, and yanked that tash, this was before even the game proper. I started, I climbed every tree in that courtyard, entered the castle after being buzzed by Lakitu and… wow, just wow that fully realised entrance hall and doors so many doors!

I found myself a painting, I instinctively jumped towards it then, shwob-a-lob-lob I was in a whole new world of 3D goombas, 3D koopas, and pink bob-ombs. Well, the grin on my face for the next half hour, I must of looked like a loon, hence the drive home was spent in a hazy day dream.

And then came the wait. Four long months and another 1½ hour round trip to pick up the fabled machine. Don’t think the parents saw me for about a week afterwards! So yeah, not the longest wait, but in the circumstances certainly the most memorable.
big boy bent

PlayStation 2 trophies
Sorry I don’t mean to point out mistakes but the quote in this article is not correct: ‘While some games from the original PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable have been re-released on modern platforms, they’ve never received trophy support until now.’

Mark Of Kri and The Warriors from the PlayStation 2 era were released digitally on PlayStation 4 with trophies. I expect there are others too. I bought The Warriors early in 2020 and just got Mark Of Kri half-price on PSN Store for £5.99, usual price £11.99, until 1st June 2022.
Andrew J.
Currently playing: Roki (PC)

GC: We stand corrected.

Waiting for perfection
I know how some people feel about finishing a game they’ve loved and feel like they have nothing ahead for a while.

I too am rounding the bend of finishing Elden Ring, but as a long-time gamer and game hoarder, and PC player, I rarely get that feeling these days.

As most PC gamers might know, GPU prices are dropping, so games I had sitting on my hard drive will soon be metaphorically dusted off and played as I’d intended. At least 60fps and at 2K with everything turned up to the max (I hope). The weekend Hot Topic was about games you waited on. I was gonna send this in about that but the games I’ve waited on have been out a while. Metro Exodus and Cyberpunk 2077. I’ve owned Metro for well over a year but felt I couldn’t do it justice at 1080p. Sure, it looks good but I want great and smooth and hopefully within a few months I will have both.

I’d also give a mention to Fallout Miami, a DLC sized mod for Fallout 4. It seems to be taking forever and now, for more torture, a new Fallout London mod has been announced; these on top of the New Vegas remake in Fallout 4 engine. The waiting never truly ends but that means there’s always something to look forward to.

Don’t forget the new God Of War is coming soon too if you have a PlayStation 4 or 5.

I guess that whole ramble can be condensed down to my last sentence.

Inbox also-rans
Following the article at the weekend, I wonder if Jelly would consider trying Dead Space 2 even though he/she was not impressed the first one. I always thought it was better than the original. The third one is a very different type of game though, so beware if you try that one.
Manic miner 100 (gamertag)

To clarify my previous email, I didn’t say Super Mario Sunshine was brilliant but that I didn’t like it. I said that there were moments of brilliance in amongst subpar design decisions. I don’t think the good moments were good or numerous enough to overcome the rest, hence why I don’t think it was a good game overall.
Joseph Dowland
PS: For any parents reading this, the Pac-Man themed soft play at the Metrocentre in Gateshead is very well designed, expansive, and cheap.

When can we expect your Sniper Elite 5 review?
LoRd SiNn

GC: We’re not sure we’re allowed to say, but it’ll be before launch.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Onibee, who asks what game do you wish went on forever?

With many publishers convinced that live service games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are the future of the industry, which existing games do you wish still got regular releases of new DLC? If it’s an action game how would new content keep it fresh and if it’s more story-based how exactly would you like it to work?

Do you like the idea of a game having no official end or do you prefer it to be finite? If it’s the latter, why is that and what do you feel is the ideal length for a game?

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The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

MORE : Weekend Hot Topic: The longest wait for a new video game

MORE : Games Inbox: Post-Elden Ring depression, Xbox Series X in Japan, and Fall Guys longevity

MORE : Games Inbox: PlayStation’s multiformat future, Warzone vs. Blackout, and FromSoftware’s Castlevania

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