The library of great PlayStation 2 games is pretty substantial, isn’t it? No matter what your taste, the system had a wide array of titles to tickle your fancy. That doesn’t mean that they all sold terribly well, and it would be silly to think that all of the PS2’s greatest games would ever see rerelease in the form of HD remasters.
That’s where the new PS2 Classics section of the PlayStation Store comes in. Introduced in October, we’ve seen eleven games make their way to PSN (I won’t be calling it SEN anytime soon because screw that). While there are a couple of gems on there — God Hand and Odin Sphere are wonderful — there’s plenty of filler. I’m looking right at you, BloodRayne.
There are a lot of games that deserve to be played again, and they won’t be calling a PS3-formatted Blu-Ray disc home any time soon. Instead, let’s throw some of them up on PSN, yeah?
The Mark of Kri
The Mark of Kri caught an awful lot of people by surprise when it released in 2002. At a glance, it seemed like a cartoony game, what with it’s stylized graphics and colorful environments. But what was up with that M rating on the front of the box?
As it turns out, The Mark of Kri was kind of God of War before God of War. It featured a uniquely satisfying combat mechanic that hasn’t really been repeated since, all while rewarding your fighting prowess with some good ol’ fashioned gore. Not quite as bloody as what Kratos would be doing in a few years’ time, but a little more deliberate. Also unique to Kri is the Polynesian protagonist and setting, which have unfortunately been unexplored beyond this short-lived series.
There’s an official theme for Mark of Kri to dress up your PS3 floating around somewhere (I know because I downloaded it), so SCEA obviously have some interest in the game. You should, too.
As an open-world Rockstar game, Bully (known as Canis Canem Edit to those of you in PAL territories) was hit with controversy before it even had a chance to show what it’s really all about — Grand Theft Auto in a SCHOOL?! Of course, all of that irrational hub-bub was unfounded, being one of the more heartfelt offerings of 2006.
While the game could sometimes feel like GTA-lite as you tried to get back-and-forth between Bullworth Academy and the neighboring town, it was an experience all its own. Instead of robbing banks, you were taking chemistry tests. Instead of playing for 48 straight in-game hours, Jimmy needed to sleep lest he pass out on the street. Instead of banging hookers, you were kissing girls…or even boys, if that’s your thing.
Bully already exists as an HD re-release on the Xbox 360; seeing as that was almost four years ago, though, I don’t think we’ll be seeing it on PS3 anytime soon. Unless they throw it up on SEN PSN, that is.
Metal Arms: Glitch in the System
It’s difficult for me to talk about Metal Arms because, well, I never played it. And neither did a lot of other people, for that matter. However, that doesn’t make me any less qualified to talk about it in this respect — if you’re not targeting people that didn’t play these games upon their original release, then what’s the point?
With that in mind, let’s talk about what I do know. Metal Arms: Glitch in the System was an ambitious title, created as a planned trilogy. It was violent shooter, but because the characters were robots it managed to maintain a Teen rating. It sold like crap despite critical acclaim, though, and nothing came of the franchise after. It’s a sad and fascinating story, with Metal Arms’s creator having tried to rescue the dead IP from its corporate masters to no avail. Jim Sterling of Destructoid wrote a fascinating piece on the dead franchises history that you can read by clicking here.
It’s currently available for download on the Xbox Live Marketplace, but there’s no reason that it shouldn’t exist on the PlayStation Store, too. I think playing a lost bit of gaming history is worth ten bucks, don’t you?