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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

PlayStation 2 PC Emulation Test

I received a survey from Sony several days ago that was sent out to determine which classic PlayStation 2 game(s) will receive a remake on the PlayStation 3 in that God of War Collection style. I took the opportunity in the survey to explain to them that I was disappointed with the remake of the first two God of War games because they were only upgraded to 720p and that no real efforts were made to add big changes to the graphics engine to make them much more attractive. To be honest, the backwards compatible PS3s should have been able to clean up the graphics of the old PSOne and PS2 games and make them look new instead of the poor upscaling technique we were left with. It's apparent that Sony will milk their PSOne and PS2 library by offering either remakes or eventually selling them on the PlayStation Network Store so there is really no need to whine about it I suppose.

I have found from multiple websites across the Internet that Sony may be planning to re-release Shadow of the Colossus on the PS3. The news to me is not that exciting. I mean, I have already played the game and despite some of its graphical problems, it is still one of the best games ever made in both gameplay and visuals. Still, a complete remake would be incredible. It was during this time that I encountered screenshots of the game being ran in 720p using a PS2 emulator. They definitely looked pretty good. This got me very curious about about testing it out for myself and after a little bit of research, I learned about the PCSX2 emulator. It's freeware that is legal to download but here's the tricky part: to use it, the software requires you to obtain your own bios from your PS2 console - not a very fun process mind you - and it also need your PS2 game discs in the DVD drive. Apparently back-ups would also work but unless you actually own the games, that would not be recommended of course. Below are the screenshots from the games I have tested using the PCSX2 emulator today. Click to enlarge:

Final Fantasy XII:




Culdcept:


And yes, Shadow of the Colossus:


As you could probably gather already from the screenshots above, these games looked absolutely stunning on the PCSX2 emulator. I cannot believe my eyes when I saw just how incredible Final Fantasy XII looks in true 1080p. And the cards on Culdcept looks very clear now, close to how they look like on Culdcept Saga! Though everything looks violently sharp, Shadow of the Colossus unfortunately performs very poorly on this emulator where everything seems to move at half the speed. I have not tweaked the many options found on the emulator yet so perhaps I could still be able to get this game to perform admirably in the future. The PCSX2 may seem to be the best way to play PS2 games but unfortunately, it is hardly perfect. The sound can cut off here and there while some special effects just cannot be reproduced properly on the emulator. It could also crash at any given moment but at least there's a quick save option if you want to use it to play through your PS2 games. I am very excited to be able to actually mess around with this thing and there are so many other PS2 games I want to test out using it. If you are interested in the PCSX2, check out the official site to download the program and to receive the instructions on how to use it. You will need a fast PC to make it run smoothly.

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