A PlayStation 2 Story


Hi, my name is Johnny. You would probably remember me as one of those many young kids who has fun playing video games sometimes. Of course, I'm not as avid a player as many other video game fans are, but it's still a lot of fun to play it when I'm in the mood. My present gaming console is the PlayStation 2, in spite of the fact that it's slowly becoming outdated and obsolete, because it has many games that are the kind that I really enjoy playing.

I can recall some of my most enjoyable experiences with my PS2. One day, I sat down to play a few games of Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man from my Namco Museum 50th Anniversary Arcade Collection disk. I've loved these two games since I was a little boy, and heck, they still are a challenge to play, even after all these years. I can usually make it to the "pear board," number 6, on Ms. Pac-Man before I lose all my lives, but just today, I got as far as the "banana board," number 7. Man, it's quite a feat getting through one of the trickiest boards in the game, especially when the monsters are so fast, and you only have two seconds to chomp on them when you eat an energizer pill. Pac-Man, strangely enough, is the harder game for me. Today, I managed to get through the fifth board (the first apple), and I got to see the intermission where Shadow "Blinky" loses part of his robe, but most of the time I can't get much farther than that. These games can be frustrating often, and goodness knows I've scowled plenty of times while playing a game, but then I remind myself that the frustration is just part of the fun, and I go on playing. Namco Museum also has some other fun games like Galaga, Galaxian, and Dig Dug that I enjoy almost as much as the Pac-Man franchise, but I play Mr. and Ms. Pac-Man the most.

That was one of the first PS2 games I collected. But it wasn't my very first. One of my very first, and one of my all-time favorite video games, is Star Wars: Battlefront II, the best-selling Star Wars game of all time. Someone who hasn't played this game can't imagine how exciting it is to maneuver a clone trooper, battle droid, Rebel trooper, or stormtrooper around a battlefield fighting for peace, order, justice and/or freedom for his faction. Why, just the other day, I played a clone pilot in a Space Assault game and managed to take down two Banking Clan frigates and the shields of a Trade Federation destroyer with a V-Wing bomber, and then flew inside and took out life support systems and engines, (and turrets, and a few droid pilots and marines) with time bombs and a blaster. I've discovered after years of playing that my favorite maps to play on are the Kashyyyk beachhead, the jungles of Felucia, the streets of Mygeeto and Mos Eisley, the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, and the planet Utapau.

I've played the battle droids, especially the supers, ganging up on the Jedi Temple, and achieved victory several times. I also enjoy playing Yoda chopping up Corporate Alliance droid tread tanks on Kashyyyk. In fact, I've done the same with Aayla Secura on Felucia. The secret is to slash at the rear tread, the tank's weak spot. Then one day, I played a classic space battle with the Rebels versus the Imperials, X-Wing to TIE Fighter. Technically, the TIE's aren't supposed to have torpedoes (only the Rebel fighters have those), but it was still fun to have the starfighters on an even keel with their fighting abilities. I played it over and over again, and I won almost every time, whether playing the Rebellion or the Empire. A while after getting Battlefront II, I found and bought a copy of Star Wars: Battlefront, its predecessor, and formerly the best-selling Star Wars game. Generally, it was a good game too. It lacked some of the extra features of its sequel, though it had a few old ones that the sequel lacked, but it's always fun to play, as well. It's easier to give the proper commands to your fellow soldiers in Battlefront than in Battlefront II. The only thing in the Battlefront games I've never been able to master is flying a snowspeeder, but that only means that the Hoth map is harder to play if I play as the Rebels.

One kid's game I've always loved is LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game. It is loads of fun hopping around as an animated LEGO figure in a Star Wars universe. I don't know how I would have gotten along without it, because Star Wars can sometimes be so serious, but LEGO Star Wars makes it all seem like a child's plaything. This game is available for the PS2, as well as its sequel, LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, which I have yet to collect. Whether I'm in The Phantom Menace, cutting up droids and racing podracers, in Attack of the Clones, rescuing Jedi friends, flying a Republic gunship at the beginning of the Clone Wars, or dueling Count Dooku, or in Revenge of the Sith, flying a TIE-style starfighter to rescue Palpatine, cleanly beheading clone traitors, dueling Grievous or Vader, or fighting off disguised clones in the ruins of the Jedi Temple, there's always a cute-looking challenge to beat. And after it's all over, all of us, good and evil alike, can relax in Dexter's Diner with Dexter Jettster himself, have a bite to eat, or enter the parking lot and look at the LEGO vehicles parked there.

My entertainment also comes from Midway Arcade Treasures and Atari Anthology, two other PS2 disks with a collection of classic arcade games on them. As a child, I was a fan of the Atari 2600 console because of its simple and clear-cut games, and with Atari Anthology, I can enjoy them all over again, like sports games, Centipede, Casino, Asteroids, and Swordquest, to name a few. And Midway Arcade Treasures provides me with games that I haven't played so much. Each day I play Defender or Defender II, I don't get very far, but I still love the thrill of shooting those landers and their allies, although I'm not so good at rescuing kidnapped humans or killing mutants. Robotron 2084 has me both exhilarated and frustrated simultaneously, because it's so fun to blast those robotrons, but I can never get past a certain board. Gauntlet is a good game with a good plot, that's why I'm attracted to it, and games like Rampage, Satan's Hollow, and Root Beer Tapper are so simple, and their simplicity is their strength in my opinion. Hey, no wonder I love the PlayStation 2 so much!

I could go on and on about how other games I've collected like Snoopy vs. the Red Baron, Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes, and Teen Titans have succeeded in filling some of my days with amusement and entertainment, but that would likely be tiring, even for me. Let's just say that no matter how obsolete the PS2 becomes in the near or far future, it will always be one of my favorite consoles, because it's a great source for simple yet outstanding games, and I hope my own continues to work for a long time yet. A day will come when I'll likely have to advance; maybe I'll get a PlayStation 3, or the brand new PlayStation 4, or maybe even one of the Xbox consoles. But the PlayStation 2 has been like a friend to me for a very long time, and even grown-ups can enjoy playing on it. Why else do video games with the E+10, T, and M ratings exist? Of course, I usually limit my high ratings to T when it comes to games, but I know that other people have their own favorites, and who am I to argue a point like that?