Though my number of Xbox 360 and/or DS games is beginning to catch up, I’d say that PlayStation 2 games still make up the largest chunk of my gaming collection. It’s a console and gaming generation where I spent that special age where one could first buy games for themselves thanks to a job and second play them fully with little stress, especially during summer vacations and homework-empty college weekends, to get in the way, and so a lot of bucks were dropped on digital entertainment. If you’d like a bit of time capsule-ness, I bought a lot of games from a little store called FuncoLand.
That said, I never completed every game I got, but a few of them came quite close to seeing credits. Real close. Alas, they either proved too difficult for me or I just didn’t have the endurance to keep going, and so I moved on, leaving them behind in a killer standstill on my memory card, just waiting for me to return, to finish them off. Many moons later, I don’t know if I ever will, but here’s what I remember about a few of them. Please understand that the below musings are shaded in gray and hazy as heck, as I’m going off memory here and trying not to look too much up.
Here we go, PS2 games I couldn’t quite finish…
Dark Cloud 2
Hmm. It’s pretty fuzzy, but I know I got as far up as the final boss. Or maybe the final boss before the final boss. Meh. I remember the main guy with a wrench and mystical girl are still traveling through time a bit, and we’re in a castle foyer or something. Right in front of a big set of winding stairs, at least. The boss is a flying/floating enemy, making it hard to hit unless you are using a gun or the Ridepod mechanism. Never could seem to get past it.
Then again, there were so many side-thingies to do in Dark Cloud 2–like taking pictures for ideas, creating new inventions, fishing (tournaments, breeding, battles), that golf minigame called Spheda once you cleared a dungeon floor–that I probably got distracted from trying to beat the boss and just do/see everything. And then I eventually gave this game, as well as my copy of Suikoden V, to my sister in Arizona to play. Years passed by, and she returned these two back to me last Christmas after trading in her own PS2 and games. A part of me wants to pop back in and just see what I need to do to kick the evil dude’s butt, and then another part of me–the sickest part–wants to start the whole game over. Yeaaaaaaah…
Honestly, I haven’t a clue story-wise where I stopped playing. Somewhere after betrayals hit, but before revelations and resolutions came into it all. Had to be really close to the end. I remember a one-on-one fight with my deranged aunt, and then an epic boss fight in some mountainous area. Maybe against a three-headed dragon. Or three enemies. I dunno. Three something seems to be right. But my party probably got wiped out way too fast, and the thought of grinding scared me away. I should load up Suikoden V sometime soon though just to check out my castle again. It’s been way too long since I’ve gone around exploring my castle headquarters in a Suikoden game, and seeing just how much Konami does not care for this franchise, it might be a long, long time until one can again.
God of War
Couldn’t kick Ares’ ass. Simple as that. No matter how many times I would dodge and roll and swipe and stab and yell crazy yells–it was all fruitless. You grew to the size of a mountain thanks to Pandora’s box voodoo and still couldn’t take down the god of war with his flaming hair and boney wings. Boo.
The Mark of Kri
I’ve actually been thinking about this game a lot ever since I ran through Mark of the Ninja. And no, it’s not just because both use mark in their names. The Mark of Kri is a really odd creation, a mix of Disney-esque visuals and then excruciating painful and violent death animations. You play it mostly as a stealthy Rau, going across entire levels unnoticed, pinning enemies to walls or simply dismembering them with a lot of flair. There’s some really great level design and aesthetics in this underrated title from 2002, that’s for sure.
Unfortunately, the final scenario for this game is anything but quiet, as you must face an endless horde of bad guys, turning a scheming stalker into a generic hack-n-slash warrior. And it’s a tough fight. You are basically surrounded by goons, all with different button prompt presses over their heads, and you just have to try your luck to take as many out as you can before your life bar depletes. Obviously, I haven’t been able to do it.
Ratchet & Clank
Chairman Drek, multiple stages with falling platforms, and rail-grinding–those are the aspects I remember most from the final fight in Ratchet & Clank, the only game in the original trilogy I did not see to its end. Yup, I still haven’t completed the first game that got me to love a lombax, a quirky robot, and the craziest weapons ever crafted. I’ve been able to finish two-thirds of the fight just fine, but that last part, with a time limit and an intimidating Drek in some kind of bomb-tossing machine, always get me. Plus, later games introduced way more health for Ratchet, but here you only get so many chances to get hit.
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
Not much has happened since I last spoke about my progress–or lack thereof–in Dragon Quest VIII. I wandered the countryside a bit, tried my hand at the casino, fought some monsters for coin, tried the next rank in the Monster Battle Arena again with no luck, and glanced through my list of uncrafted weapons/armor for the melting pot thingy. 84 hours logged is no joke though, so I am still considering this one to be an almost there, even if a whole lot of grinding for stronger weapons and gear is required to beat the boss–who is not the final boss–blocking any current progress.
So, those were some of my close, but not close enough titles. I’m sure there’s a few more that I’m forgetting right now, but I’d need to go through my collection case by case to figure it all out. In the meantime, what games–PlayStation 2 or other–have you come really close to finishing, but just haven’t as of yet? Speak up below, and maybe you’ll find some inspiration to finish the job!