Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)
Action 25 October 2004
The seventh installment in the controversial Grand Theft Auto series – one of the most popular game franchises in history that brought Rockstar Games company international fame. The series has been letting the player start as a petty criminal and work his way to the top of the criminal underground. This next part of the series is the biggest one so far, featuring world – the State of San Andreas – almost three times larger than Vice City. Among many innovations, there are several thing worthy of mention: improved AI of civilians, option to recruit gang members, increased number of interactive buildings, hunger factor, swimming, and new means of transportation (e.g. bicycles). On top of that, there game features numerous extra activities, highlighting the sandbox character of gameplay. The game features the atmosphere of the 1990s, apparent in both the graphics and the soundtrack available via the numerous in-game radio stations.
God of War II (PS2)
Action 13 March 2007
A follow-up to the Sony's bestselling slasher released in 2005, whose plot is loosely based on the characters and events from Greek mythology. In God of War II we, once again, take on the role of Kratos, a Spartan warrior seeking vengeance, who, after having killed Ares, has become the new god of war. Tormented by nightmares of his past, the hero – despite the goddess Athena’s warnings – descends to Earth to help his fellow Spartans in conquering Rhodes. His actions infuriate Zeus, who cripples and kills our hero. Finding himself in Hades, Kratos learns that to turn back time and change his fate, he must find and kill three legendary Sisters of Fate. In terms of game mechanics, the second part of God of War doesn’t differ too much from its predecessor, though developers gave players completely new attacks and placed on Kratos’ path a lot of logical puzzles, which require – aside from fast fingers – a sharp mind.
Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
RPG 31 October 2006
Final Fantasy XII is the twelfth installment of the best-selling jRPG series created by Square Enix. Game producers rejected many of the fixed elements of the series, offering a new combat system, a unique way to develop heroes, and a huge and fantastic looking three-dimensional world.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PS2)
Action 27 October 2002
A new installment in the bestselling series of action games. The game expands the ideas introduced in the third entry in the franchise, released in 2001. The game was developed by the authors of the previous installments who, after having been bought by the American giant, were transformed into Rockstar North. The game takes place in the 80's in a completely new metropolis called Vice City. The player becomes Tommy Vercetti, who was sent by his boss to establish a foothold in the city while taking care of the local gangs and corrupted police. The game has similar mechanics to its predecessor and focuses mostly on completing various non-linear story missions. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City added some new features, such as the possibility to use motorcycles and helicopters. The graphics, inspired by aesthetics of the 80's, were greatly improved as well. During the game, the player is accompanied by a varied soundtrack broadcast by several different radio stations.
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings (PS2)
Strategy 02 November 2001
The second installment belonging to an incredibly popular series of real-time strategy games. Age of Empires II: The Age of the Kings was developed by Ensemble Studios. The player assumes command of a civilization chosen (13 in total here) and leads them through subsequent stages of development. For example, one can play as Franks, Mongols, Celts or Vikings. Compared to the first installment, the visuals were improved (more detailed), as was the AI of the player's subordinates - as a result, additional orders can be given to them, such as to patrol the vicinity, to guard a designated spot, or to follow a specific target. Furthermore, an option to group units into various formations was introduced. Apart from that, the player can now trade and manipulate the prices of different resources. Age of Empires II: The Age of the Kings features both single player modes (such as a campaign devoted to a Scottish national hero William Wallace) and a multiplayer variant (PC version only).
Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven (PS2)
Action 28 January 2004
A 3D action game that takes the players to the 1930’s USA, the time when criminal underground flourished. The game was created by Czech developer Illusion Softworks, mainly known for the highly acclaimed tactical shooter Hidden & Dangerous. The story focuses on a rookie gangster named Tommy, who takes his first steps on the path of criminal life by doing jobs for an influential mafia family. Gameplay comes down to exploration of a virtual city and completing a string of story missions, featuring many subplots. While playing, you will engage in street shootouts, bank heists, car pursuits, and assassinations. The creators did their best to recreate the evocative atmosphere of the USA in the 1930s, and implemented weapons and cars from that period. Insanity 2 game engine made it possible to generate interactive, bustling city with road traffic and changing seasons.
Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel (PS2)
Action 18 January 2005
Another high-budget representative of Square/Enix console RPGs. This time the game was based on the popular anime series in Japan, telling the adventures of a young alchemist in a magical world full of monsters, evil powers and cruel technology.
God of War (2005) (PS2)
Action 22 March 2005
An action-adventure game that tells the story of Kratos – once a Spartan warrior, currently the servant of Olympus. The protagonist isn’t a flawless, noble warrior – he is a specialist when it comes to “dirty work”.
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (PS2)
A licensed LEGO action-adventure game, set in the fantasy universe of Harry Potter, created by the British writer J. K. Rowling. The story was based on the first four Harry Potter books and their movie adaptations by Warner Bros. During the gameplay, you witness the adventures of Harry and other characters, explore Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and fight many enemies, including the main antagonist of the cycle, the evil Lord Voldemort. Mechanics-wise, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 combines the features of the earlier productions by Traveller's Tales, including the distinct sense of humor, with more serious elements of Harry Potter productions by e.g. EA. The game is set in a partially open world and features many varied activities, such as magic lessons, potion making or flying a broomstick.
The Sims 2 (PS2)
Simulation 24 October 2005
A sequel to the bestselling human life simulation game – The Sims (2000). The Sims 2 was developed by Maxis Studio (SimCity, EA Land, and others) in cooperation with the Electronic Arts company. Players again take care of virtual characters leading them through their entire lives – from early childhood till elderly age. The main goal is to achieve as high Life Score as possible, which stands for how well a sim leads his/her life. When compared with its predecessor, The Sims 2 offers much more complex character creator and a wider array of available objects. A new, more efficient game engine allowed for presenting the life of the sims in fully 3D graphics.
Red Dead Revolver (PS2)
Action 03 May 2004
A third-person perspective action game developed by Rockstar Games, a company known for Grand Theft Auto and Midnight Club series. The game features a Western setting, starting during the final years of 19th century and the player assumes the role of Red, a man filled with lust for revenge. During his early years he witnessed the death of his parents at the hands of Mexican bandits that wanted to claim possession of a gold mine located on Red’s parent’s land. After many years he returns to his homeland and his main objective is to kill as many thugs as possible. The game, considered to be a Wild West version of Grand Theft Auto, is mostly about completing story missions and dueling based on the best movie westerns. The developers provided the characteristic style of the Wild West and recreated locations, buildings and characters that are typical of the genre. The players also have access to thirty different weapons, including revolvers, shotguns, rifles and explosives.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)
Action 17 November 2004
The third major installment in the stealth game series developed and published by Konami and a continuation of the Metal Gear franchise, created by Hideo Kojima back in the eighties. The game takes place in 1964 on Soviet Union territory. The player becomes a special operative, code-named Snake, whose current task is to extract a Russian scientist working on a mobile, nuclear-capable launch platform. Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater, for the first time in the series, takes the action from industrial area to a jungle. This led to the addition of completely new movements for the main protagonist, who now fights not only humans, but animals as well. The developers also implemented a new close quarter combat system and improved character's range of movement, which now allows you to change your position while holding enemy as a human shield.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (PS2)
Action 06 March 2007
Another spin-off to the legendary series of sandbox action games, developed by Rockstar Games for the PlayStation Portable console. As the title of the game suggests, its action is related to GTA: Vice City. The title takes place in 1984, two years before the events shown in the other game. The main protagonist is Victor Vance – an ex-soldier who currently works for various gangsters. By completing various jobs given to him by mafia bosses he slowly rises through the ranks of the criminal underworld. The gameplay isn’t very different from other installments of the series. However the developers added many new features such as the ability to swim, fly a helicopter or enter buildings. This made the game mechanics even more similar to the mechanics of full-fledged installments in the series. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories offers a large number of weapons and gadgets as well as a varied soundtrack that accompanies the player while driving cars.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) (PS2)
Racing 15 November 2005
The ninth installment in a legendary racing game franchise created by Electronic Arts company. After two Underground games, featuring illegal night street races, the franchise went back to its roots, combining ideas from the two most recent titles with classic elements. The player’s goal is to climb to the top of a black list of the most wanted drivers. Again you get to explore a huge virtual city, taking on different racing challenges. These include circuit, sprint, drag, elimination, time trial, speed challenge, and police pursuit. After completing enough of these you can challenge subsequent drivers from the black list. Apart from elements typical for the series, such as licensed cars and diverse soundtrack, the game features complex car customization, both in terms of appearance and performance.
The Operative: No One Lives Forever (PS2)
Action 17 April 2002
The Operative: No One Lives Forever is an action adventure game by Monolith Productions studio developers. Players are directed by Cate Archer, an agent of the top secret intelligence agency UNITY, which is trying to expose the activities of the sinister organization H.A.R.M. The creators have planned 15 dangerous missions played on 60 boards. The game also offers the option of multiplayer fun, in which 16 people can participate.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (PS2)
Fighting 09 November 2007
Another installment in a series of fighting games developed by Spike. The franchise was based on classic manga series by Akira Toriyama and takes the player to the titular Dragon Ball universe dominated by masters of different various martial arts. The game offers over 150 fighters representing different races, such as the Saiyan (Goku, Vegeta), inhabitants of the planet Namek (Piccolo), humans (Tenshinhan, Krillin) or androids (#17, #18). Each of the characters has a unique set of attacks and special abilities. Moreover, many of them are capable of transforming and accessing new, more powerful attacks by doing so. Fighting takes place in 20 in-game locations and particular arenas can be visited both in daylight and when it is dark. What complements Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, are high-quality visuals that remain faithful to the art style Toriyama has been popular for.
Shadow of the Colossus (2005) (PS2)
Action 14 October 2005
A third-person perspective fantasy action game created by Sony. It is one of the best-reviewed games in the history of PlayStation 2. Shadow of the Colossus follows a young traveler named Wander who explores a fantasy world on his horse. He is looking for a way to resurrect a girl burdened with a cursed fate. The only way to do it is by defeating the sixteen colossi that live in various regions of the world. The gameplay focuses solely on searching for the colossi and fighting them in epic, very challenging duels. Each of the enemies is many times larger than the main protagonist and must be defeated using a different strategy. The key to defeating them is to find their weak points and hit them with a sword enough times. Depending on enemy type, it might require the player to shoot arrows from a bow, climb on the giant body of the colossus or use the environments to his advantage.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (PS2)
Action 14 November 2002
The second installment of the video game series following the adventures of Harry Potter based on the books written by J.K. Rowling. Young wizard, who is about to start his second year at Hogwarts, is bound to encounter new challenges.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (PS2)
Action 08 November 2005
Another virtual adaptation based on a book belonging to the series written by J.K. Rowling. The series revolves around the adventures of Harry Potter and his two friends: Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.
Silent Hill 2 (PS2)
Adventure 28 September 2001
Silent Hill 2 is a continuation of the action adventure game in the survival-horror convention, released in 1999. The game was produced by Konami development studio. The main character is James Sunderland, who unexpectedly receives a letter from his former beloved asking him to meet in the title town. Due to the very dark climate and terrifying scenes, the title is addressed to audiences over 16 years old.
Need for Speed: Underground 2 (PS2)
Racing 17 November 2004
A sequel to Need for Speed: Underground, a best-selling 2003 game from Electronic Arts, which changed the shape of one of the most popular car racing franchises. The game takes you to a virtual metropolis that thrives after dark. For the first time in the history of the franchise, the city is completely open for exploration. As you ride around its streets you can challenge the drivers you meet on the way or learn more about the favorite locations of the street racing community. The gameplay mechanics did not change much; rather, the developers focused on an even more detailed recreations of licensed cars and car parts used for tuning. The game’s graphics were noticeably improved, featuring all sorts of new visual effects. The soundtrack keeps equally high level, as usually featuring songs by famous artists across a wide spectrum of genres.
Persona 4 (PS2)
RPG 10 July 2008
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is another part of the Japanese cRPG series, created and released by Atlus. The game, which is longer, more complicated and intriguing than the previous versions of the series, throws us into the rural landscapes of Japan.
Tekken 5 (PS2)
Fighting 24 February 2005
Another installment in one of the most popular series of fighting games developed for years by Bandai Namco Entertainment. In the fifth edition of King of Iron Fist Tournament a set of well-known fighters makes its appearance alongside three new ones (Asuka, Raven and Feng). Each character has their own motivation and goals, which constitutes the background for spectacular duels. Tekken 5 employs the well-known mechanics of its predecessors. As usual, the features four types of strikes (weak/strong punch, weak/strong kick) intuitively assigned to gamepad buttons. Combat takes place on three-dimensional arenas, where several interactive elements can be found, such as walls, columns or statues - these objects can be used in combat. Apart from the main tournament, Tekken 5 offers various game modes, such as versus, training or the adventure mode requiring the player to fight his way through waves of incoming enemies.
Indigo Prophecy (PS2)
Adventure 16 September 2005
Featuring paranormal mystery/thriller esthetics, a third-person action-adventure game by Quantic Dream studio. The plot of Indigo Prophecy – perhaps better known as Fahrenheit - is set in New York City in year 2009. The city is witness to a series of inexplicably violent acts of murder committed by seemingly ordinary, lawful citizens. The action is presented from the point of view of two separate characters. One of them is Lucas Kane who experiences the mysterious event first hand as he kills a complete stranger in a restaurant's restroom. Haunted by strange visions, he decides to find out what is really happening. The other character is Lieutenant Carla Valenti who, along with her life partner Sergeant Tyler Miles, investigates the case. In the course of the game we will visit various locations, speak to other characters, and fight. What is characteristic for Indigo Prophecy is the dark, shrouded in mystery plot and the opportunity to solve the puzzle while playing either as the hunter, or the hunted.
Action 30 November 2001
An FPS set in a science-fiction world, created by the debuting American studio Valve Software. The story takes place in secret research facility of Black Mesa and begins the main character of the game – Gordon Freeman - arrives at the facility. As a result of failed experiment that opened an inter-dimensional portal, the laboratory is invaded by aliens from planet Xen, and our protagonist has to fight for survival, facing not only alien creatures, but also soldiers of a special forces unit, sent in to cover up the disaster. The goal of the game is to escape from the destroyed facility with the assistance of its other workers. Half-Life has been acknowledged as a cornerstone of the FPS genre, skillfully combining FPP with horror elements and complex plot.
Resident Evil 4 (PS2)
Action 25 October 2005
The fourth major installment of the cult series of survival horrors created by Capcom. In the game the player assumes the role of ex-cop Leon S. Kennedy, a character well known from the second entry in the franchise. As a special agent responsible for protecting the presidential family, he goes to Europe in order to find the missing daughter of the US president. The trail leads to a small village in Spain. The village is controlled by a mysterious sect and the citizens are infected with a virus which causes mutations. During the game one will face hordes of zombies as well as more demanding bosses, such as giant monsters or the powerful leader of the sect, Osmund Saddler. Resident Evil 4 retains the dark feel of the previous installments and the game contains puzzles, but gameplay mechanics were greatly changed and the new engine allowed the developers to create faster and more dynamic action sequences. The game also contains many quick-time events.