PlayStation 2 review


Finally, after the longest and most controversial launch in gaming history, Sony’s new console, the P82, arrives in Britain. From its conception, the new wonder- machine has been dogged by over- enthusiastic drooling and nagging criticism, seriously undermining the years of good work put in by the PlayStation marketing team. But now the sideways black box can speak for itself, cock a snoop at its knockers and prove that all the hype and hyperbole has been worth it. Or can it?

To start with, a ‘fair' allocation system means that only those lucky few who put their deposit down way back in August have any

chance of receiving a P52 before Christmas. Due to the complexity of the machinery, Sony has been able to produce only around 200,000 units for this year’s UK market. Weigh this against the 75 million PlayStations worldwide and a dramatic shortfall becomes clear. Imagine all those disappointed kiddies, and no small amount of adults, crying on Christmas morn when Santa lets them down. Heartbreaking.

Then there are the retailers. Why carry all the P52 games when so few people will own a console? Yep, few outlets will be selling all the games, finding it financially viable to stock the top titles only. Then there are the games themselves. Despite a number of promising titles in the pipeline, those available at the

Not cheap, hard to come by, but potentially revolutionary

launch have been met with shrugs of adequacy.

Then there were the screaming Sun headlines about the price. $229 in the States yet £299 in Rip-Off Britain.

And what about omission of internet gaming? Or the reports of poor DVD playback? Or the sliding disk drawer that cries out to be stood on?

Yes, the poor old PSZ has got its work cut out for it.

Lucky then that it is the most powerful piece of

(Iain Davidson)

hardware in the shops, able to create entire virtual worlds unlike anything seen before. Lucky then that it is a machine that successfully converges a variety of entertainment media. And lucky then that it may very well revolutionise the way we fill our leisure time.


The true test of any piece of electrical kit is how it compares to its rivals. So here goes:

Speed The P82 s by far the fastest console on the market, rac'ng aio"g about 800:: cruclcer than Sega's D"earncast

Graphics C'rtrrrrrng out 20 rnrlizor‘ t’)c)lyc}or‘s oer second, the graplvc‘s oh. the P82 have to be seen to be berrevecl Cc>vnt)r':ecl wrt't the spec rally constr‘ucte r' tyocessor, the E'notzon Er‘gne, games ll traly We and breath on you" te'-y

Storage Because rt .rses DVD "ather‘ than CD technology, there -s about f:ve tunes "‘ore space on the P82 citscs, al.O\‘.“r‘g games to be as large as the developers can :f‘r‘dg‘rtc?

Internet Unfortunately, Sony has chosen to wart for the speedrer broadpar‘d networks for :ts console A moder‘.‘ .s planned .‘or the future but at the mon‘rent, tl‘e Drearncast has the P82 prpped 'n thrs department

Extras Obvrously the abrlrty to watch DVD moves on a console :8 a huge sellrng pOrnt Such a large sellrng point rn fact that DVD sales rncreased by over 200 percent rn Japan followrng the release of the P82 and Sony sold more consoles than urirts of software, Suggestrng that people were buyrng the rnachrne to watch DVD's alone. On, and 't's backward cornpatrble so all

y ur PlayStation trtles wrll play on It. Overall Untrl Mrc‘rosoft's XBox and

116 THE “ST 16—30 No. 2000

Nrntendo's GarneCube appear rn a year Or so, the P82 erl rerharn technrcally unchallenged T'nrs grves rt a lrttle breathrng space to create a brand as strong, and a ctrstOrr-er base as loyal, as Its predecessor the PlayStatron.


SSX (Electronic Arts) {SO—£70

Snow/board games have a chectuer‘ed past 8ome have hrt the arprr‘e G-spot whrle others have been noth "rg but slusl‘y skateboardrr‘g 88X ‘oo'-cs l'lce -t .s the nuts Although the gameplay 's smear to t"e majorrty of 'ts predecessors, w‘ld-ndng th'otrgl‘ cac=r‘g, t"-c‘-c arc: boarder-cross Champrons" ps, garn ng r‘ew rIde's, ‘-c t and c‘ocrrses a'o"c‘ the way, t"e graphrcal power 0‘ the P82 Eaur‘cl‘es :t wit the stratosphere Fantast'cal courses throv. ai? manner of obstacles at your way, from massrve cuffs to a". entrre grant prnpal‘: arena, al packed

wrtn subtle flourrshes Show sprays into

In arr, sunlrgbt Oapples‘ tarough the f.r trees, torches flame on the "“Qlft

cOurses and the anrrnatron durng tr'ICI-c- pullrng !s a toy to behold Expect 88X to

be one of the surprrse l‘ti8 at launch

Silent Scope

(Konami) ESQ—£70 w w ~A'

Wrth rts rrdrCquusfy large rrfie and rnfarnous zoomrng targetrrtg srgnt, Sr/ent Scope has been. a huge hr: rn the

arcade Although srrnrlar rn content to the lrlces of l/rrtua/ Cop and Tune Crrs/s, the abrlrty to prclc ort’ baddres Wrth a carefully armed bullet through the ‘orehead rnalces 8r/ent Scope that little brt drfferent However, wrth only the Dual8hoclc2 ,oypad to worlc w'th at the vnornent, the console versron as a nttle drsappor‘trng The graplvc’s are neat and cusp and the zoom ftrnctror‘ or‘ the sort works weft but v./'tr‘.0t;t that brg weapon "1 you’ hand, 't’s ‘:lce n‘assaghg a supeWodel wh'e uneart'tg 'poxrng gloves

Ready 2 Rumble 2 (lvlid‘.‘rayl {so-£70 . t -

As we of the best games avar ape at the D'eamcas‘. :aur‘cr‘, 2‘. :s O"ly ‘rtt'ng that Ready 2 Rumb/e 2 appears for the


zda‘. Ex" b t "c: that o‘te" ‘ea‘...'e, co"‘et:\, I"‘\18l)0\l"t} ~.~."‘o knot: not“ 'Tc: about

t“e o' ct "a characters 'eappea', apt o "ec: p. sexe" "‘ore pad st c p'ete"c:e's, t" eye's area e‘ "‘{>'tt‘.t‘cl upon More spec a "‘OH“), "‘o'e 'trmp e Us, a

' c:c..o..st'a""c: "\c>(1(‘t?"(}s()"‘(* "r: '.‘8'..'<l'8 "‘dxt‘ Read". 2 Prr'rtbre 2 a more "‘reatv ’. t'e \K'tetl‘e' t"e 3o» asts any 'cv‘cter tl‘an before

7‘s 1:) be seep but fvou want to s'tovt ot‘ you "ext P82, nvolvrnct your 'r‘ates "to the parctarrt, then thrs rnrcrht be the one to" you

Tekken Tag Tournament (Sony) ESO—E/O * is 1%

Tekken Tag Tournament seems to have been around forever, pronrrsrng the chance to swrtc h your favourrte frghtrng charac ter's rnrcl-battle as you frght for that fourth Tekken Chanrpronshrp So here rt rs and, when all the smoke has cleared, rt turns out that thrs rs yet another beat-ern-up Sure the graphrcs are to dre for, Wrth each punch, krclc and throw connectrng as they never have before, and each character anrnrated beautifully And there rs much to admrr'e rn the myrrad moves that must be learned rf progress rs to be made, rncludrng the aforementroned tag optron Yet, for all the buzzers and bells, thrs feels lrlce a sequel and on a brand new console, who wants sequels7


As a prece of hardware, the P82 rs unsurpassed Then agarn, rt rs software that ultrrnately decrcles a cOnsole's fate and at the moment the P82 has lrttle that can compete wrth the Dreanrcast catalogue Ar‘ unfortunate slew of rrc'ensed tztles and seouels on the horrzorr does not help erther However, after some r":tral retrcence about the drff‘culty 0‘ ts programmer; set-Up, deve'ope's are now enroyrng the P82 challenge and we can expect some genurnely revolutronary trties rn the (O”‘r.",g 'T’tO"IlT8 8ony has very hrgh "ropes, and some pig plans, for rts hex: baby Let‘s hooe they brrng rt up property ‘larfl Dav oson,