WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WORST GAMES IN THE PS2 LIBRARY

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I suppose we can each take turns listing a game and explaining why it's awful. For my first pick I'd have to go with "Falling Stars" a turn-based RPG developed by a company that usually makes Barbie games. As you can imagine this game is rather rough around the edges, but the main reason the game is awful is because it has some of the longest loading screens I've ever seen in a PS2 game. Seriously, everything in this game takes around 30 seconds to load. This means it takes around 30 seconds to load into a battle and then another 30 seconds to return the main world map. And this despite the overall game world being smaller than the starting city in Final Fantasy XII. And that game was at least somewhat visually impressive for the time it was made. "Falling Stars" on the other hand looks more like a late era PS1 game. In fact, I'd say the 3D sprites in "Digimon World 3" are probably more impressive than the bulk of the 3D models in "Falling Stars".

And that's not even getting into the healing glitch or the mixed messaging of the story. After all, the game spends a lot of time telling us how evil the main character's uncle is for making his pets drink random potions of power, but it's apparently okay to make your pets participate in cock fights until one of them is rendered unconscious.

Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
20073
Dawn of Mana was a game I picked up out of curiosity, and regret every minute of it. If there is only one thing sticks out, it is the sense of progression. Or, perhaps, I should say the lack thereof, as you keep getting effectively reset after each stage. I don't recall what kinds of things the game asked players to do to complete stages, but, being reset felt like a hollow attempt to make things harder than they probably should be.

Ephemeral Fantasia didn't sit well with me for similar reasons. The sense of progression in that game was awkward, as the game involved a repeating time-loop similar to Groundhog's Day. The game had a reasonably-sized cast of characters that you could recruit, but, I don't recall what tasks players were presented with to retain them for future cycles. That, and I absolutely hated the instrument-playing mini-game.

While there is a sense of humor to Radiata Stories, I feel the game needed to slow the hell down. Here's a game where resting in your bed X times advances the story. Apparently, there are hours in the game-day where it doesn't advance the story-counter. On the other hand, resting in your bed is also the only way to save in that game? I generally save often in RPGs to not loose progress, but, here's a game where saving often can inadvertently lead players into the end-game, and be totally unprepared for it. I know I felt unprepared for it!
Unsurprising I actually own copies of all of those games you just mentioned. Though I haven't tried any of them yet, but my next pick would have to be "Red Ninja: End of Honor" a stealth game whose controls are so clunky that it renders the game nearly unplayable. In fact, the main company behind the game never made another video game afterwards. So, I'm guessing they went under due to low sales.



The sad part is the main character herself is rather memorable. Though, I imagine a lot of that comes from her blatant sex appeal, but that appeal did lead to her being put on a few lists such as being placed 2nd on FHM Philippines list of most memorable hitmen in gaming in 2009. And she does make use of that appeal in the game in order to lure enemies into remote areas so she can snap their necks. So I can't say her choice in outfit is entirely devoid of function.
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
28444
I really liked Ephemeral Fantasia and Radiata Stories.

The music minigame annoyed me at first, but I got used to it, and I liked the songs in EF.

Radiata Stories, I do actually have an issue with. It's easy to tell the canon story from the alternate story. The canon story is fairly compelling and has a bad ending. The alternate happy ending and alternate path literally feels like an afterthought and is simply awful story telling. Characters that were the good guys in the proper story and were trying to restore become literal mustache twirling villains bent on annihilating humanity in the alternate story. In the proper path, the humans seem suddenly bad, too, but it makes sense for them because you've turned traitor.

Games on the PS2 that I feel are actually bad include Sims 2: Busting Out. You're literally just home making in that game and doing absolutely nothing else. It's boring as fuck.

Also, Magna Carta 2: Tears of Blood. I have no idea why the deluxe version of that game is so sought after by collectors but the gameplay was absolutely horrible. It did attacks based on this ring system that you had to the right points exactly or you just fucked the attack. One of the most unintuitive, terrible combat systems in recent memory for me.
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
20073
I wonder if that ring system you're talking about has any relation to the Judgement Ring that Shadow Hearts games use? I've only every played Shadow Hearts: From the New World, so my experience with it is limited to that game. Saying that, I can absolutely see how somebody can think that kind of system is total BS. Like, I dunno if it works like this in Magna Carta, but, when I played Shadow Hearts: From the New World, even using items were relegated to the Judgement Ring, and could be a complete waste of action if you missed the "Strike" or "Critical/Perfect" area. I think what pisses me off about this system is that even if you do pull off a "Critical/Perfect", the enemies. Can still. Fucking. Dodge. I have no words for how dumb/unintuitive that is.

*Edit: Though, to SHFtNW's credit, there were an accessories you could equip to reduce the speed of the cursor by some set percentage. Saying that, they were pretty much a must-have-equipped-at-all-times thing because the default speed was just too damn fast. At least for my humble dexterity/reflexes. Without them, my consistency of actions would very likely be more towards "Miss/Failure", rather than be more consistent in "Successes" or even "Critical/Perfects".
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
28444
Boy, that sure sounds like Magna Carta.
Well being to lazy to do any actual research on the topic. I'm going to assume the main reason the Deluxe Edition of Magna Carta: Tears of Blood costs so much is because it's rare. After all, if your die hard collector of RPGs or PS2 games then you have to have every possible variant of the game with box, instruction manual, and extras if that version came with any.

Though continuing on with the theme I'd have to go with "Dark Angel: Vampire Apocalypse" a rather simple action RPG with dungeons that are randomly generated by a starting seed, but some of those seeds can place the keys you'll need to clear a level in places that are impossible to reach. And if this happens in more than one of the three main dungeons you'll be unable to beat the game. After all, your strength is also influenced by certain items that can only be found by advancing through the three main dungeons.

To make matters worse the game is so devoid of interesting side quests or characters that the game just feels like an extremely long grind session. The kind that takes 50+ hours to complete.
author=Marrend
I wonder if that ring system you're talking about has any relation to the Judgement Ring that Shadow Hearts games use? I've only every played Shadow Hearts: From the New World, so my experience with it is limited to that game. Saying that, I can absolutely see how somebody can think that kind of system is total BS. Like, I dunno if it works like this in Magna Carta, but, when I played Shadow Hearts: From the New World, even using items were relegated to the Judgement Ring, and could be a complete waste of action if you missed the "Strike" or "Critical/Perfect" area. I think what pisses me off about this system is that even if you do pull off a "Critical/Perfect", the enemies. Can still. Fucking. Dodge. I have no words for how dumb/unintuitive that is.

*Edit: Though, to SHFtNW's credit, there were an accessories you could equip to reduce the speed of the cursor by some set percentage. Saying that, they were pretty much a must-have-equipped-at-all-times thing because the default speed was just too damn fast. At least for my humble dexterity/reflexes. Without them, my consistency of actions would very likely be more towards "Miss/Failure", rather than be more consistent in "Successes" or even "Critical/Perfects".
I haven't played From The New World, but in Shadow Hearts 2 there is an auto-mode for people with trouble managing the Judgement Ring. I never tried the auto-mode myself, but in the description it mentioned how you couldn't get the best combos in the auto-mode but it was always a guaranteed hit or something. (I could be way wrong in this if my memory fails me here) Shadow Hearts are more on the side of hidden gems imo. It was well regarded series back then as it is today by many. I don't think it should be on a list about worst Ps2 games.
Joachim the LGBT+ pro wrestling vampire is my fav character from sh2. uses some of the most hilarious weapons too.

God Hand. Well, according to IGN. (its honestly one of the best ps2 games once you tame the movement controls/camera positioning)
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
20073
I think From the New World had something called a Practice Ring that removed the Critical/Perfect areas entirely. I don't recall if the Success/Hit areas were expanded to compensate, but, then again, perhaps it wasn't needed because the precision/timing wouldn't be as necessary in that mode?

I never personally tried it (maybe I should have), but, if the cursor speed remained the same, I would still probably need those accessories that slow the thing down. Like, there is one fight near the beginning of that game where they give you control of a character, and have not been given any opportunity to customize equipment. I was never able to complete that fight without that character consuming all their SP, and going insane/berserk. What makes it worse is that she has a pretty high SP amount normally, but, is in a transformed state (that I don't think I can cancel) that consumes more SP than what a regular turn would take.

I suppose you could tell me to "get gud", or switch the ring type to Practice. That's fair. I think it's also fair, though, that I ultimately didn't enjoy my time with this game, and am allowed the opinion of thinking it's a pretty bad game. It's like, if we tried to list the best games of PS2, I would be fighting tool and nail for Breath of Fire Dragon Quarter, even though it's widely considered the worst game of the series.


If you want to talk about bad games, though, I think this thread needs to mention Xenosaga Episode 2. I really liked the first episode, even if the cut-scenes were sometimes uncomfortable in their content, and/or length. The general lack of music when wandering around was also an odd decision. Still, the original plan was to release 6 games in the series, and I think there were really high hopes for the sequels.

Episode 2 killed that ambition, as they only made one more game in the series. Thankfully, the series ended on a high note, but, that's a bit of a derail. My personal biggest complaint would be the mess of a combat engine that this game had. This game introduced the concept of "breaking" an enemy. Each enemy had a certain sequence of attacks that, if your party performed, would "break" it, causing further incoming attacks to have a higher critical rate, if not base damage for a time (I forget how long). Which means using Boost to chain together your party's actions to either get the enemy broken to begin with, or getting the most of of your attacks after they are broken.

It also included hit zones, where enemies could either be "high/flying/in air", "medium", or "low/on the ground". You'd only be able to smack enemies into different zones after they are broken, and enemies that start "high" pretty much stay there. That aside, there are two characters that can smack enemies into the "low" zone, two characters that can smack enemies into the "high" zone, and three characters that can hit any zone, but do not have abilities to cause a zone-shift.

The thing that really got to me was the fact that the two "low" characters couldn't interact with the "high" enemies at all. Except maybe through magic. Even without that, every battle seemed to have a "prep phase" for the party to get themselves into a position to chain together attacks, and effect the opposition in any reasonable way. It's a bit of a slow grind to get to that position, and having high levels in an attempt to compensate doesn't seem to have that much of an effect that I can recall.

I dunno, the game just felt really slow overall. Not just the combat, but, like, simply walking around felt slow? The fetch-quests in the game loves to make the player go from one town to another, and only exasperates the issue further.

The story is a bit of a mess too. Like, I can't think of too many stand-out moments, outside of the dive into a character's subconscious (and getting some backstory on two characters), and the ascension into Heaven (I don't know what else to call it) by a villain, after he's defeated.
^God, I wanted to like Xenosaga 2 but yeah... it's pretty bad. And I initially hated BoF Dragon Quarter, mainly due to the drab environs and pretty punishing combat but i quickly grew to love the game to the point where I defend it vehemently whenever I see it being shat on. it's one of the PS2 games I still wish I had in my collection (i'll always have a soft spot for BoF2 though, since it, along with Tales of Phantasia were my first JRPGs).
@Marrend, oh yeah sorry. You're right that this list is about personal opinions, so nevermind that.

I tried to think up a bad game I played at the time, but couldn't really come up with any. I mean there are many 'meh' games, but I still wouldn't call them bad per se. (Even stuff like Devil May Cry 2 that's typically looked down upon had more positives than negatives imo)

I guess one of the more disappointing games to me was Baroque. I always saw it at the local game shop and was really intrigued by it. I looked it up online and heard how it's this obscure japanese hardcore old-school dungeon crawler with an unique setting and world. It was basically what you'd call a roguelike these days, but back then roguelike only meant Nethack and such, so the game sounded really novel. Finally I ended up getting it after thinking about it for like 6 months. It wasn't what I expected. The game was really tedious. All enemy encounters were just attack - try to move a little to not get hit - attack again. The base gameplay was very basic, no combos or rpg elements to give it depth or strategy, nor did the enemies do anything interesting either. The game had very original concept and world, but it felt very under-utilized with the bland corridor environments and next to no NPC interaction. I never played the game very far, so things might have changed later on, but yeah. I guess Baroque is my most negative experience on PS2, but I'm guessing it's more because of my own expectations. In my mind I had hyped up the game to be something else entirely. I guess I expected it to be something like Demon's Souls ended up being on PS3.
@orange-: To be fair, "Baroque" was originally released for the Sega Saturn. So by the time they did the port to the PS2 the game was already over a decade old. And while the game didn't go through a major graphical overhaul as part of the process of being ported to the PS2; as far as I'm aware the developers didn't make any major changes to the gameplay. The only notable change I can even find is that they changed the perspective from first-person to third-person.

Though I will admit the game is highly annoying to advance through. Since you apparently need to feed various items to a certain NPC in order to advance the story. It's one of those games that's almost impossible to beat without a guide.

@tne_blue_egyptians: While I didn't particularly care for the changes made to the combat system fro episode 2. My biggest gripe was always about the major shift in art direction between the first and second episode. Some of the characters shift so drastically that I can't help but find it highly distracting. It's like watching a show where the characters constantly go off model.

And while I do own a copy of "Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter". I don't really see myself ever playing the game. From what I've heard about the game, I would probably hate it. Though the saddest part for me is that "Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter" is basically the final game in the Breath of Fire frachise. After all, I refuse to count mobile games with micro transactions as part of a franchises main series. At least if the games originally started on consols.

And yeah, I also have a soft spot for "Breath of Fire II". I've easily spent over a hundred hours on that game over the years. And I've easily devoted dozens of hours to cooking in the game in order to earn money and create stat boosting items.

Though, I still need to try Tales of Phantasia. It's on my list of projects to work on, but that's a pretty long list.
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
20073
The (non-cutscene) character models and voice-overs in Xenosaga Episode 2 were sometimes a bit awkward. The voice-overs for Waka and Lulu for Final Fantasy X-2 were also more than a little off. Those factors didn't break the experience of playing those games for me, by themselves. I spoke at lengths about Xenosaga 2 already, and to be brief, the thing that made me want to stop playing FFX-2 was Brother, and, I dunno, just the way he jerks with his animations. Bleh.

I don't want to go into too much detail about Tales of Phanasia, as this is a thread for PS2 games, and it never saw a release on that platform that I'm aware of. I mean, I love the music, but, the actual game had an annoyingly high encounter rate at base. While there is an item that reduces it to more sane levels on a temporary basis (and another one found in the depths of a dungeon that can set it on a more permanent basis), it was still an annoying slog to actually play for me.

Slightly more on-topic, I can understand why Breath of Fire Dragon Quarter isn't particularly liked. The game pretty much tells you up front that actually using your dragon form, and abilities tied to that form, increments your D-Counter, and therefore advances towards a GAME OVER. Thus, the game ultimately trains players to use the Dragon form sparingly, if at all. Though, it's also true that, once the D-Counter becomes unlocked, it increments slowly even if you avoid your Dragon form/abilities altogether. It's definitely backwards in that regard in relation to the other games in the series, though, the game does try to have an explanation for it. Though, I kinda appreciate the combat flow, and how AP is a resource for movement, as well as performing strings of attacks. I've always played the game with feeding Stat-Stones (or the equivalent thereof) to the party on a regular basis, so I probably shouldn't talk about how difficult the game is.
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