Games You Played Today VI (III in the west)

took some PS2 games home with me from my mom’s basement this past weekend. part of this is because i haven’t played PS2 games in a long time and it’s been long enough for me to feel like i can revisit them and get something out of it, and part of it is because there are some games that are no longer playable any other way, excepting emulation (and i can’t figure out PS2 emulation for the life of me, tbh).

the games i grabbed were:

  • Silent Hill 2 - my wife wanted to see this one, and while i know there’s a PC version with some decent fan mods, i thought playing on original hardware on a CRT would be best. and honestly, the game looks so much better in motion than i was expecting. i never beat this game, and didn’t get very far, either, according to my memory card, so this is really like my first time. we played for an hour before i got tired/spooked and told her to play Judgment; we’ll pick back up inside the Wood Side apartment complex tonight, where, if memory serves, we’ll meet that guy soon.

  • Shadow Hearts - did not play last night, did not ever beat. i recall getting kind of frustrated with it, but i picked it up because it seemed like a game to put in the “maybe my wife will like this” pile.

  • Dragon Quarter - also did not play last night, and also never beat it. i never quite understood the game cycle/flow of this one and i’m determined to get it this time, since it seems beloved. i feel like maybe i’ve played enough games now to get it.

  • Contra: Shattered Soldier - this was my favorite Contra game post Hard Corps, which i guess would be obvious since the PSX games were…questionable, at best. i eventually got fed up with trying to get the secret ending because i could never get 100% on the very last level, but i’d get really close. my impressions this time are that the game is maybe kind of ugly. i need to see more of its levels again, but it kind of has that brown and grey thing going on and the 3D models aren’t super gorgeous to look at in 2023. it feels good, though, and the music is also a lot of fun - a sensory overload, all things told. looking forward to getting good at this game again.

  • Neo Contra - did not play, but i figure once i reconquer SS, i will move on to Neo Contra, which my memory regards as the best 2-player Contra game since the original.

  • Gradius V - realizing now how Konami centric my PS2 game grab was, but hey, i like what i like. Gradius V is really hard, but really cool, and i have no reservations about it or reconsidered thoughts. i’m as impressed with it now as i was, then.

all this PS2 playing made me realize i wanted to get better cables, so i ordered some HD-Retrovision component cables and some RCA-extension cables to hook it up to the speakers i use with my CRT. i told all this to my wife because of how self-satisfied i am with myself with these purchases and she just kind of scoffed. she is correct.

anyway, i need a real OEM PS2 controller because the one i have is at least functional, but the d-pad really sucks and also it’s ugly in that “little brother uses the bad controller” way. i just feel like i keep getting burned on them and idk where to look/don’t feel like taking psychic damage by dealing with eBay.