[Originally posted on 1Up.com]
As you may have noticed I've added a statistics section to my greeting. I must admit, I'm a bit of a stats-freak, I don't know why, I just like bar-graphs, pie-charts and line-graphs, seeing trends and reflecting on their meaning just somehow gives me a sense of control and order. Anyway, as you can tell, I've been using my new PSTwo quite a lot, and I've been totally neglecting my GameCube. I've gotten some really great titles for the PS2 recently, and even though there's a long list of titles that I have been meaning to play on the Cube, for now they will just have to wait. Since I have so much good stuff for the PS2, my plan is to just pick up the Cube-titles as they go on sale. A few weeks ago I picked up Viewtiful Joe 2 for just under $13, I haven't played it yet though, partly because I haven't finished the first VJ, but mostly because I also bought Psychonauts for the PS2. This was one of the games that convinced me to get a PSTwo, a killer-app you might say.
If you're unfamiliar with Psychonauts, it's a third-person action-adventure game made by Tim Schafer, the man behind such Lucas Arts classics as Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango and the Monkey Island series. Like these games, Psychonauts is funny and clever, and has lots of excellent dialog and voice acting. Seems like the long lost Adventure-genre is finally finding a way to work it self into todays gaming-scene. Many gamers, myself included mourned the death of the point-n-click adventure games in the middle of the 90's, and have sorely missed the excellent humor of it's top titles. Making an action-adventure game, with more focus on the adventure part than is maybe common, along with rich dialogs seems to be a winning combination. It really glads me to see the return of Schafer, and I hope that his former colleague, Ron Gilbert of GrumpyGamer.com fame, will be as successful. I'm talking about formulistic success here, economic success is another matter. From what I've gathered Psychonauts has yet to reach mass-market awareness, it was released here in Europe less than a month ago, so I hope that a lot of Europeans pick it up, and ensure that Double Fine's publisher, Majesco, who have fallen on hard-times can recover and be inclined to publish future Double Fine titles.
But Psychonauts is not the only game currently spinning in my PSTwo, another and probably the #1 killer-app for the PS2 in my eyes is Guitar Hero. I imported this game and the Guitar-controller from the USA and I've been lovin' every riff! I can't play the guitar proper, but my air-guitar just got a mayor upgrade! This game is so much fun, and anyone who has just a lukewarm liking of rock should pick this up! It's coming to Europe in April, so if you don't have a PS2\Two that can take NTSC-discs then you too can soon "join the band". I love rhythm-games, and have greatly enjoyed titles like Dance Dance Revolution, Donkey Konga and Ouendan!, but Guitar Hero is just in a class of it own. Hitting those combinations and adding your personal touch by altering the sound with the help of the whammy-bar is just so rewarding. God of War and Resident Evil 4 in all honor, but I think this should have been the PS2 game of the year for 2005. Man just writing about it makes me want to go home and strum that plastic Gibson SG! At first I was disappointed when looking at the tracks list that there where so few songs that I recognized, but after playing them I've come to really like them and I see why they are in the game, they work really well. Many of them are probably well know to someone with a broader musical scope, such as the songs by the Ramones, Queens of the Stone Age, and Hammerfall. I must admit that when it comes to rock I mostly listen to Metallica, Aerosmith, Audioslave and Faith No More, but I think Guitar Hero will help to broaden my musical taste.