Hello, my lovelies!
I recently wrote a list of my eight favorite PlayStation 2 games, which I published on Kotaku. Note its sub-heading is “OPINION”.
I would have published it here, though I love attention (evidence: 5,500 Twitter followers, posting something on the internet right now, etc), and also Kotaku gives me enough money to buy a new pair of shoes with every article I write.
I was going to make it a top ten list, and then I decided I’d had almost enough of people complaining about the length of my articles, so I restricted myself to eight. Kotaku is a Real Journalism Website, so I was working with a deadline: I didn’t have time to put any sort of squeeze on the text to make it ten snappy entries instead of eight roomy ones. Oh, well!
So here’s a “director’s cut”, of sorts — these are the two other games I wanted to include. If I were putting them into the list as it appears on Kotaku, these games would be #8 and #9, pushing Psi-Ops to #10 — I mainly put Psi-Ops at the end of the list because it was a great excuse to get its godly Japanese box-art (by Shinkiro) onto Kotaku.
Before we jump into these two gross text jumbles, allow me to apologize to the guys on this forum: neither of the games is Socom.
To quote oGSpY from the forum: “I’m willing to bet the guy from the article has never played or heard of Socom. In my opinion most people either have played Socom and loved it or haven’t even heard of it, only a small minority of people who played the original Socom games I would say didn’t like them.”
Now to quote crazyinsane51 (who might be oGSpY’s evil twin!): “More like the 8 worst games. I never played any of them or heard to [sic] much about.”
Guys — first of all, hi. Second of all, I played the Socom games. They’re neat! crazyinsane51: you’ve never heard much about these games, so why would you assume they’re the worst? How would you feel if someone saw Socom on a Gamestop shelf and said, “I’ve never heard of that game — it must suck?”
Anyway, here are the two not-Socom “director’s cut” entries of my favorite PlayStation 2 games ever. I’m probably preaching to the choir here, in some extent. I figured it’d be fun to post these somewhere, anyway.
Chulip is a “kissing RPG”, though it’s actually less of role-playing game and more of a graphical adventure. It takes place in “Long Life Town”, which is a pun on the name of the Japanese town Minami Senju. I lived in Minami Senju for five years, once, Chulip director Yoshiro Kimura lived there even longer. Minami Senju, by the way, was also the inspiration for Wall Market in Final Fantasy VII. Enough about Minami Senju: Chulip is a game in which you are a boy who is attracted to a girl who is sitting on top of a pipe, just beyond his reach. He wants to kiss her — it is his primary dream. Kissing this girl is a goal at the end of a long, winding road of Animal-Crossing-like fetch quests. Unlike actual Animal Crossing fetch quests, however, these all climax in our hero kissing a non-player character with some sort of bizarre personality quirk. Each kiss levels you up and makes you more attractive to the girl. I’m barely doing the game any justice with this description. It is a glorious, visually richly lovable entry in the Walk-And-Enjoy genre which later birthed games such as Sword & Sworcery. And it’s also one brilliantly cohesively designed overarching riddle that you’ll have to spend a lot of time hanging out in Long Life Town to fully unravel. Chulip is a hangout game. You will love hanging out inside Chulip. And oh my god, it’s just $9.99 as a PlayStation 2 classic for PlayStation 3 on the PlayStation Store.
8. Neo Contra
First of all, Neo Contra is not one of those dumb 3D Contras on the PlayStation. It is a work of Nobuya “Contra: Hard Corps” Nakazato, also known as Nobuya “Rocket Knight Adventures” Nakazato. If you love either of those seminal Genesis classics, you will dig Neo Contra so hard that you will literally (figuratively) be an archaeologist by the time you’re done. Bam, it’s four god darn dollars used at GameStop. What’s so good about it? Well, it’s weird, it’s stickier than maple syrup, and it’s snappier than bubble wrap. The plot is a grotesque maybe-parody of the Metal Gear Solid series. Its opening cut scene shows a guy cut an airplane in half with a samurai sword. One stage of the game has our heroes flying into an enemy base on top of a helicopter — like, they’re running on the blades. And the weapons feel fantastic. This is all of the old, great Japanese arcade shooters, with a hot liter of More Everything ladled all over the top of it. It is the guts of Heavy Barrel; it is the experimental joystick-twisting direction-changing and strafing of Ikari Warriors. It adds Panzer Dragoon (or Rez) to its mechanical repertoire, as well — you’re fighting enemies on two planes: the ground, and the air. One button is devoted to locking on to air enemies. Holding a shoulder button locks your strafing direction. It’s just — it’s great. Contra: Shattered Soldier, its spiritual prequel, is great as well, though it’s nothing Contra: Hard Corps didn’t do better on Genesis. Neo Contra, meanwhile, is weird as heck and it’s not ashamed. Reviews back in the day were leery and weary of it before even playing it (“A Contra which is not a side-scroller?!”; monocles popping out of eyes), so its reputation sank. So yes: the occasion to love it is nigh. And yes, Jim Lee drew the cover art. Just . . . look at the opening video.
. . . Yep! That’s about it out of me! I hope you enjoyed reading this “2 hot 4 for Kotaku” word-slam.