Being in the Army means I need to be ready to get up and go at a moment’s notice. A few weeks ago, I was informed I was going to take a little trip to a magical land called Afghanistan. Can’t say where or when I’m going, but I’m going. I’ve decided I’m not bringing my PS4 to accompany me on this tour. That’s a four hundred dollar investment and I’m not going to risk it getting damaged. It’s best for me to stick to handhelds and maybe something cheap that I wouldn’t care about if it broke.
I’ve narrowed it down to PS2 and GameCube. I’m leaning more toward PS2 as I still have a few games I never got rid of when I sold it years ago. I still have Final Fantasy X, GTA San Andreas, Wild Arms 5, and The Bouncer. With the GameCube I’d have to acquire a library before I go down range. I feel like I’d never decide.
Smash Bros, Mario Sunshine, Resident Evil, Pikmin… I’d probably get them all and end up spending more money which would completely defeat the purpose.
I’m writing this to allow myself to think, and perhaps I’ll come to a decision by the time I finish. Let’s make a pros and cons list.
For starters, the PS2’s library is absolutely massive. Some truly great RPGs were released on this console. I’d love to replay Grandia, Wild Arms, Final Fantasy, Rogue Galaxy, Star Ocean, and Phantasy Star. The PS2 is still my favorite console because of the amazing RPGs that were released on it. If I get bored with that, the PS2 is backwards compatible with PS1, so Legend of Dragoon, Legaia, and Threads of Fate (which is actually really fucking expensive now) are also on the table.
I haven’t even touched on Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper, Ratchet and Clank, God of War… PS2 has some great software support.
The real pro for me is that I still have several games for it.
Nintendo stepped out of their comfort zone and made some very risky decisions in terms of their well established franchises. With the mechanics of Super Mario Sunshine, the gameplay of Star Fox Adventures, making Metroid first-person, and experimenting with Legend of Zelda’s art style, Nintendo grew some balls during this generation. It was all hit or miss, but even when they missed the target by a mile, it was novel and worth a playthrough at least once.
Pikmin was a very unique baby’s first RTS. Eternal Darkness is pure joy and madness. Resident Evil was a perfect remake, not to mention Zero and 4.
PS2 has a large, fun, but ultimately not very innovative library. PS2 reeks of safe. It’s warm and cozy, but as radically different Jak and Daxter is from Jak 2, Jak 2 is still a very safe game.
With the GameCube, Nintendo took risks with their licenses and most profitable IPs, and I have to acknowledge that.
The cons for both systems are so similar I’m not going to bother separating them. Memory cards are annoying, and some of the games on both consoles are motherfucking expensive, selling on Amazon and Ebay for as much as $400. The ones I really want are roughly $40 a piece.
As much as I want to just get the PS2 and go with the library I already have, the GameCube wins. Don’t get me wrong: I’d love to play my old PS2 games, but I’m itching like a crackhead to replay those Nintendo franchises now that I’ve spent a few hours remembering them. The question remains: which games am I getting?
Mario Sunshine, Pikmin, Smash Bros, and Zelda are a done deal. I’m getting those. Any recommendations?
Read More: 3 Ways Gaming Prepared Me For The Military