The PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox have some fantastic exclusive releases, but there are plenty of titles you can enjoy across a variety of systems! In this final last generation entry of TSG Staff Picks, we look at some of the staff’s favorite titles that you can experience across two, three or even four platforms, if you include PC releases.
Silent Hill 2 (PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC)
Silent Hill 2 isn’t just my favorite multi-platform game of the last generation, it’s my favorite game ever. Silent Hill 2 was leaps and bounds ahead of the Resident Evil games and its own predecessor in terms of delivering a genuine feeling of dread. Silent Hill 2 uses its fantastic music and audio to make you constantly feel like something may be in the room with you. The abstract nature of its story and characters makes your mind work to make sense of it. Silent Hill 2 was one of the first games that really got me to think about and analyze a game after I was done playing. I can’t recommend the game enough on PS2, PC or Xbox, however I think it will probably be easiest to find the PS2 version.
Tony Hawk Underground (PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, PC)
The Tony Hawk series, like Guitar Hero, has suffered over time thanks to being milked like no other. That doesn’t mean the series has always been bad. Possibly one of the last great Tony Hawk titles was Tony Hawk Underground, a release that, actually, focused a lot on story. You and your create a character rise to skating fame, fall and then rise again in this epic skating quest. Despite being extremely cheesy, the whole affair pans out pretty well and is actually an interesting tale from start to finish. That and, of course, some classic Tony Hawk arcade action never hurts. Well, maybe after the fiftieth entry.
Blood Omen 2: Legacy of Kain (PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, PC)
While part of Silicon Knights’ and Crystal Dynamics’ much larger story line of Kain and Raziel that most people are aware of due to the popularity of PS1 classic Soul Reaver, Blood Omen 2 was a story that followed Kain getting so powerful that by the end of the game he could literally point at dudes and they would rise up into the air and burst into flames. Then you could drink their blood from the charred remains WHILE STANDING ACROSS THE ROOM, because Kain doesn’t have the time to walk all the way over to some dead chump just to consume his lifeblood. It would shoot out of their corpse in a thick syrupy stream and be pulled into Kain’s waiting maw. The story and the puzzles were awesome, and each boss battle had the classic Mega Man and Zelda feel to them, where you used your most recently gained power to defeat them and then used their remains to get new abilities. Terrorizing the Victorian age was never as much fun!
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell (PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, PC)
When my brother decided on an Xbox for Christmas, I was fairly indifferent, perhaps even a little bitter. What the hell was this thing? A game console from someone other than Nintendo in our house? Even the Playstation had proven it’s mettle, despite playing..ugh..discs. But this..this was from Microsoft? The guys who make Windows? Good lord that controller is HUGE! And so forth. Splinter Cell was one of the games he got with it, and I decided in the interest of both science and boredom, I’d give it a spin. It took me a while to get into it, but once I did, I was sold. I found myself replaying levels over and over in order to get that perfect storm of stealth. There is a stage that takes place inside CIA headquarters in Langley where you are not allowed to kill anybody, and getting that place down to a science is still one of my most gratifying moments in gaming. It was engaging, it was exciting, it was well-written, and it was different than anything I’d ever played. But what it did a better job of was selling me on the Xbox, and in turn, introducing me to many more great games which I wouldn’t have played otherwise. The series has had its ups and downs since then, but I’ll always have fond memories of the original.
Oni (PlayStation 2, PC)
What can I say about Oni? It’s awesome, that’s what! The game was, at the time, unique in blending typical third person shooting action with hand to hand combat almost seamlessly. The story features Konoko, a secret agent who has to go against her employers in the hunt for her true past. This is a game that deserves an HD release, so the missing features that had to be cut out could be added, and give this game the reception it deserves. It’s fun, it’s awesome and voice acted well.
Beyond Good & Evil (PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, PC)
Beyond Good and Evil is the quintessential cult game. The characters and setting represent archetypes never before seen in video gaming, the gameplay is minimalistic and enthralling yet it presents itself in new and interesting ways and, most importantly, no-one bought it when it came out! The story involves Jade, a photojournalist who runs an orphanage for children that have had their homes attacked by a mysterious alien force. After the children are kidnapped, Jade must team up with her uncle Peyj (a Pig/Mechanic) to uncover a conspiracy between the aliens and the forces that are supposed to keep them at bay. A sequel has been teased for years, however even if one never comes into fruition, we will still have the original game to enjoy for years to come.
Sonic Heroes (PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, PC)
First off, my choice was between this game, Need 4 Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, and Shadow the Hedgehog, so yeah.This was the second Sonic game I owned, right after Sonic Adventure DX, and it has always been a really fun game in my opinion. What got me excited for the game was that it was the first Sonic game I saw post-classic era that seemed to stay true to the light hearted outlook of the past games. Along with the aesthetics, I really love the music in this game. It strikes a great balance between new and old sounding Sonic soundtracks and adds to the characters and level designs a ton. No, it’s not as great as either of the Adventure games and the team gimmick does get tiring after awhile, along with replaying levels with very subtle changes made to them. But the introduction of a lot more CG cutscenes, as well as character revivals from past games ala Team Chaotix and Metal Sonic (and Shadow for all of the fanboys) and funny dialogue more than make up for its shortcomings it’s definitely a game you should own if you’re a Sonic fan.
Share your favorite multi-platform titles in the comments!