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.
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.
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.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (PS2)
Action 06 June 2006
A spin-off to the iconic Grand Theft Auto series. The game was first developed for the PlayStation Portable handheld console. The story of Liberty City Stories takes place a few years before the events shown in GTA3, on the streets of the same metropolis. During the game player becomes Tony Cipriani who after coming to the city is caught up in the dirt of corruption, mafia wars, and drug traffic. The objective of the game is to work for the Leone mafia family, increase its influences and build up Tony’s reputation in the criminal underworld. The gameplay of GTA: Liberty City Stories employs the well-received mechanics of the series and offers an open world filled with story missions and side activities alike. As always in the series, there are many vehicles (including motorcycles, motorboats, trains and ferries) and weapons to use. However, due to the limitations of the PSP console, some things were slightly simplified.
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.
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.
Neighbours from Hell (PS2)
Logic 01 November 2004
A very humorous strategy game with adventure game features. In Neighbours from Hell the player is tasked with making the life of his neighbors as miserable as possible. The player assumes the role of a participant of a reality show who is tasked with presenting the toxic relations between the inhabitants of a single block of flats to wider audience. The action is shown from the side perspective and the game consists of fourteen scenarios of different difficulties and types of tasks to complete. Not only must the player set various traps and pull sophisticated pranks on his neighbors (for example by breaking household items), but he must watch for dangers as well. Some flats are guarded by dogs that make completing the task harder. During the game the player is constantly forced to improvise and discover unknown properties of seemingly useless items. The humorous tone of the game is highlighted by nice, cartoonish graphics and a catchy soundtrack. The game uses a simple, intuitive interface.
True Crime: New York City (PS2)
Action 15 November 2005
Continuation of the famous action game from 2003. We play the role of a black policeman Marcus and set off on the streets of the title "The Great Apple". The player can perform tasks related to the main thread or numerous additional missions.
Grand Theft Auto III (PS2)
Action 23 October 2001
Another installment in the controversial series of action games started in 1997. Grand Theft Auto III was developed by the authors of the original game, the DMA Design studio, this time under the wings of Rockstar. The third entry revolutionized the series by unleashing the players into an open, fully three-dimensional world brimming with virtual life. This was possible thanks to the RenderWare technology. The game takes place in Liberty City, a virtual adaptation of New York. The main protagonist is a young man named Claude who dreams about becoming the boss of the underworld and taking revenge on people who almost sent him to prison. The story of the game is non-linear and develops as the player completes dozens of assignments from various mafia bosses. A large arsenal of weapons can be useful in completing these tasks. The game also contains dozens of vehicles which – similarly as in the previous installments of the series – can be used with no limitations.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
Ghost Master (PS2)
Strategy 27 August 2004
A unique real-time strategy game by studio Sick Puppies. You play as the eponymous Ghost Master, who arrives in the town of Gravenville to terrorize and scare its citizens. The game features 23 kinds of wraiths, ghosts, and other spectral beings. Each of them has psychokinetic energy, unique powers and skills to use against humans, who can be affected by four kinds of stimuli: optical, auditory, olfactory, and thermal. You can phase through walls, create physical or spiritual peculiarities, or manipulate the environment's temperature. Your potential victims vary in terms of their lifestyle, character, and preferences, and they go on with their daily lives during the game — they clean, work or watch TV. Ghost Master consists of twenty missions involving various tasks, such as driving humans out of a given house or helping amateur sorcerers in finding the Book of Death. The production features pleasant colorful visuals with a humorous touch.
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.
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.
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.
The Sims (PS2)
Simulation 14 January 2003
A bestselling life simulator developed by Maxis, a studio that specializes in the genre (they've created SimCity, SimTown and other titles). The Sims enables the player to take care of a virtual family of Sims. During the game the player must take care of various needs of his characters – starting with typically physiological ones (eating, toilet, hygiene etc.), through social relations, to career. The player has great freedom in expanding his family’s house, which can be furnished with various items that will be useful for the Sims. The gameplay mechanics are based on very simple principles and lack any violence, making the game a good title for casual players. A specific humor and large number of funny animations of character’s reactions are worth mentioning.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS2)
Action 13 November 2001
The fourth installment in the Metal Gear series created by Hideo Kojima. It is a direct sequel to the 1998's Metal Gear Solid. The game features two main story chapters. The first casts the player in the role of Solid Snake (the protagonist of the previous installments), whose job is to infiltrate a ship transporting a new variety of the eponymous mech. His other task is to stop a group of Russian mercenaries trying to obtain it. The second chapter of the story takes the player to a deep sea sewage treatment facility, overrun by a terrorist group known as Sons of Liberty. Here, the player is put in the shoes of a different agent called Raiden, Snake becomes the player's support and ally. In terms of gameplay mechanics, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty does not bring any significant changes to the solutions employed in the previous installment. However, the characters have a few more options of interaction with the game world. Thanks to the PlayStation 2 console's capabilities, the game features improved visuals and high-quality cutscenes.
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.