PS2 Multi-Player?

I used to be a die hard gamer. Collected all of the systems from the 2600 to the Colecovision to the Sega Saturn and more. Then Something awful happened. I’ll never forget. I got this cool game for my Playstion (the original psx), I think it was a Christmas gift. It was called Syphon Filter or something. I played it for hours but always got a headache during the game. The head ache would turn into a mild form of nausea until I gave up on the game during which time said headache became full blown nausea. This went on for several months as I almost completed the game. Eventually I put the video games away altogether, started a family and started my career in computer software design. I lived gameless for several years until I decided to take a part time job at the local Babbage’s (before they became Gamestop). I would occasionally toy with the next gen systems noticing that every game I played brought back that familiar feeling of playing Syphon Filter. I eventually learned, years later that I was getting motion sickness from video games! I can no longer enjoy video games the way I used to, well not the newer full 3D camera perspective swinging vomit inducing games that are all over the market today. Older games like Street Fighter II, Killer Instinct, Double Dragon, Mega Man, Metroid, and Legend Of Zelda are cool.

I’m saying all of that to explain this year the kids got a PS2 from Santa. Santa doesn’t know anything about current gen game consoles but he tried really really hard to find something the little ones wouldn’t fight over. Everything was supposed to be multi-player. Santa discovered something this year. It doesn’t seem like two player games exist on the PS2. Well they don’t seem to be as common. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s just Santa. But in my day (that entire first paragraph exists exclusively to give me permission to stroke my facial hair and say “in my day”) you would by a game that advertised 2 players and there would always, ALWAYS be an option on the menu that said something like oh, let’s say “2 Players” or “VS Mode”. Not with these games. Take Wall-e for example. The box clearly says 1-4 players but in order for more that one pile of flesh sporting 10 phalanges to become involved you have to first play single player mode, complete some levels and unlock the mini games. Mini games???!!! Kim possible is the same however there is a single pre-unlocked mini game that works off the disc and allows two players to talk trash as they compete. Then there’s Cars, which I haven’t look at but doesn’t even appear to support two players. Finally we have a true two player Crash Bandicoot.

My question to you is what’s up with multi-player on PS2? Santa forgot the memory cards this year so there’s no chance for two players even if one does plow through the first couple of levels. Why are games even made this way? Who’s crummy idea was it to require some sort of status be established prior to inviting a friend or sibling? Am I alone in thinking this is an awful thing to do to a parent? To a couple of children? Are there any shortcuts to the mini games on Wall-e or Kim Possible? Can we get a split screen driving session happening in Cars? What games would a concerned dad on a razor thin budget (read cheapskate) consider for two little girls that are prone to grab the same controller while leaving the second identically shaped device floor-bound and neglected? Holla back y’all…

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