PS2 Games Going Online
Update - 6/22/01
Armored Core 2: Another Age
The original PS2 title was a launch game that wasn't very well received in terms of sales. All in all it was a solid title that offered great action and sweet visuals, although it's lack of functionality with the analog control made it a really clumsy moving title. But aside from that there's just something about building up your own mech, fighting with it, and destroying others. But now mech fighting will be even more exhilarating on the PS2, Agetec has revealed that they are planning on releasing Armored Core 2: Another Age as an online compatible game. It's not too long off its Japanese release, so for those of you Japanese gamers out there, rest assured you'll be playing your online AC2 in just a matter of weeks.
Well Sega has already announced that NFL 2K2 and NBA 2K2 are in development for the PS2, although sadly the games will not be online compatible. Rest assured though, Sega has promised that NFL 2K3 will indeed be online compatible when it's released sometime during Fall of 2002. For those who haven't even laid hands on Visual Concepts' pigskin wonder, first of all shame on you, and second I recommend checking the game out. It holds true to the sport of football, and is arguably one of the best football sims out there.
It's the same story with NBA 2K3, Sega's plans for not making 2K2 online compatible will resolve in them making the follow online for its release, which I argue will be around the time of NFL 2K3. To be quite honest I'm still not enjoying any basketball sims, that is excluding NBA Street. I think developers still haven't grasped the concept of developing a basketball game that really represents the sport as it is. Hopefully NBA 2K2 and 2K3 changes that, and Visual Concepts' comes through with remarkable hoops titles, and great online features.
Age of Empires 2: The Age of Kings
Perhaps the PC's most well known real time strategy series is Age of Empires, even though the franchise has seen only two titles, any PC gamer will tell you that each game is long -and deep- enough to be played for months, or even years. But what makes the franchise so successful is its massive online multiplayer sessions. Once again, any PC gamer who owns an AOE title will tell you that 80% of the time, when he/she plays AOE, it's an online match. Thankfully Konami has picked up publishing rights to the PS2 version of Age of Empires 2: Age of Kings, and just recently announced that at the game's release, gamers will be able to boot up the game and play it online on their PS2s.
So there you have it, another session of PS2 Online, and four more games added to the count. This now tallies the score to an impressive 13 games. Not bad for a console that hasn't even gone online yet! :)
Update - 6/14/01
Final Fantasy XI
By now, everybody here should now that SquareSoft will be releasing Final Fantasy XI on the Playstation 2 and on PCs that use Windows. Square has already shown off two videos on how PlayOnline will allow gamers from all over the world to play either co-op or head to head with or against other people. Square has been hush-hush with their PlayOnline plans, but rest assured that Square will reveal everything about FFXI when the time comes.
Guru Guru Onsen 2
You may all be thinking "what the hell is Guru Guru Onsen?" The Guru Guru series consists of games like UNO and Mahjong. Now sadly this is only for Japanese-gamers as many of the following Sega titles are, but this game can be played against DC and PC owners alike, which is pretty cool and shows that Sega supports PS2's online plans.
Derby Owners Club Online
This game's name says it all doesn't it? This is a horse racing sim, and the concept of breeding your own horse and then racing it against others online is awesome! I'm not into horse raising or breeding, but I've learned a lot from Final Fantasy VII's Chocobos (hehe). Sadly Derby Owners Club Online is also for the Japanese market, but hey it's still an online game.
This is Sony's attempt at an MTV Music Generator like game. But instead of just having you create your own track, Sony inserted a single-player mode for people who want to play Simon-says with the tracks, think Parrapa the Rapper. This single player consists of actual songs by Dub Pistols, Crystal Method and Orbit. This is the mode you will be playing online, you will be going head to head and see who comes out best, it's like a mix of Dance Dance Revolution's two-player simultaneous gameplay with Parrapa the Rapper. Frequency is bound to be a big hit when it ships this November.
The list has now grown to 9 confirmed Playstation 2 online titles. There are few more lurking out there, and as soon as I get a few other online titles to go along with the lurkers, the series will be updated. So stay tuned, because if a game goes online we'll be on the case.
Intro on 6/13/01
This year's E3 is one of the most memorable since, well let's just say in a long time. The event was dominated by Sony and Nintendo, as huge revelations were made. It's a dead lock between which console maker had a better showing, on one hand we have Nintendo's amazing first-party line-up for GameCube. With games like Luigi's Mansion, Super Smash Bros. Melee and Metroid Prime, who wouldn't be excited about Nintendo's future? On the other we had Sony enthralling announcements about the PS2's online future. First Sony revealed their link-up with AOL TimeWarner, and that PS2 users will be able to use existing (or new) AOL accounts on their PS2s. Following that Sony told the press that RealMedia files will be PS2 compatible, in addition to Flash and Java playback.
Then Sony dropped the big one when telling E3 attendees that the PS2 network adapter will allow users to plug in either a 56k modem or a broadband modem into the adapter. It isn't known yet which DSL/Cable providers will be supported by this network adapter, but a strong guess would say almost all of them. I'm still trying to get an official word on broadband support from Sony's PR, and as soon as that happens, I'll deliver it to you. In the meantime, check out the games that have been confirmed with an online feature.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
Activision announced that they will integrate online capabilities with Tony Hawk 3, and it isn't too clear on how it will work, but my belief is that gamers will be allowed to compete in HORSE or Trick Attack sessions. It would be a terrible shame if Activision only made it that gamers can go online and challenge other peoples scores, let's just hope that doesn't happen. Rest assured that come November 2001, you'll be playing your THPS3 via internet and against some jerk who thinks he's better than you.
SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals
This one got the whole PSX Extreme crew excited. This is a cross between Tribes and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six, which to this day remains as one of my favorite FPS series on the PC. SOCOM U.S. Navy Seals is a 1st party Sony product that is bound to attract much attention when it is released later this year. Of course with a game such as this, one can only expect internet gameplay compatibilities, and that is what Sony will deliver. If SOCOM's single-player adventure is looking this good, I can only imagine its online gameplay.
Yes the incredible PC title Tribes 2 will make way for the PS2, but it will be simply titled Tribes. The first person shooter title, that can pit up to 64 players in one game, has been officially announced for the PS2 as an online compatible game. Tribes will require gamers to attack the enemy in the form of a pack, hence the title "Tribes". The action can be described as a mix of Unreal Tournament with Half-Life. Chances are that PS2 gamers will be limited to a 16 player match (or a 32 at best), since there is a chance that the V-RAM of the console will not be able to simultaneously produce 64 characters on one horizon. But never the less the PS2 version of Tribes should be just as great as the PC version is. There are currently some rumors running amok that Sierra will create a network that will allow PS2 and PC owners of Tribes to play under one server.
Twisted Metal Online
Sony made it official when they announced that software in the form of a patch will be sold to owners of Twisted Metal: Black who are looking for some online vengeance. This "patch" will require the Twisted Metal: Black software as well, and it will be sold as a CD. No pricing plan has been revealed at this point, but my estimates for this CD are $20. With your TM: Black all online ready, you will be able to participate in killer (no pun) deathmatches and various other types of engagements, such co-operative play. Twisted Metal: Black is currently awaiting a June 19th shipment date, and the online disc has not received a date as of yet, but signs point to holiday 2001.
Gran Turismo 4
Believe it or not, the next Gran Turismo in the fabled series will feature online gameplay and will not require the purchase of a separate disc. After completing Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, the producer of the GT series Kazunori Yamauchi announced that after taking a vacation, the Polyphony Team will return to work on developing the fourth 'Turismo' title, and its all new online capability.
Think that's all? There's still more left, from Sega and other companies. Stay tuned as I update on this list as info arises.