Issues of Import – PS2 Classics

PlayStation 2 Classics. Downloadable, emulated games from the PS2 back-catalogue that work just fine and dandy on your PS3. Smoothed graphics and fast reading on by default… what’s not to like? Well, the European catalogue for one thing. While we are “blessed” with a grand total of 96, less than a quarter of them are actually worth playing. Most of the catalogue is merely shovelware or outdated sports franchises few people ever really cared about.

Sure, the European store has a few exclusive gems that American and Japanese gamers can’t get on their stores like Deus Ex, Just Cause and Maximo vs. the Army of Zin; but what are we missing out on?

There is not a single game that is available across all three regions. Only one game on the European store is available in Japan (Neo Contra), while only 11 can be bought on both the American and European stores. This means we have access to 36 more games on the American store and 25 more on the Japanese store, and -hurrah- almost none of them are total cack!

First, a few games that never hit European shores:


On the US store, Chulip is as odd as adventure games get thanks to its life system revolving around stalking and kissing people. The original PS2 Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland may not be the pinnacle of the series, but will please fans as will the full-screen upgrade of the PSP’s Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon Special Edition.


As far as the Japanese store goes, the original Katamari Damacy is a blast even if you can’t read Japanese as all challenges are time/size-related rather than its more fussy sequels. A whole bunch of the SEGA AGES series made it across too, with the cream of the crop being Phantasy Star Complete Collection (with difficulty and speeds hacks plus English for the main series), Dynamite Deka (AKA Die Hard Arcade) and Gunstar Heroes Treasure Box (featuring multiple versions of Gunstar Heroes, Alien Soldier and Dynamite Headdy).

Now, some games that we could get over here on the PS2, but just haven’t wangled their way over to our store yet…


If you’re on the American store picking up the other Harvest Moon games, you might as well complete the set with the GameCube port of Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life Special Edition. Nippon Ichi strategy fans have Disgaea, Disgaea 2 as well as La Pucelle: Tactics to keep them busy. Other stars of the show here would be Psychonauts, Persona 3 FES, Red Faction II and Max Payne.


Fighting game fans who like to cart around all their favourites on one console may appreciate the Japanese store’s selection of Capcom Fighting Jam, Capcom vs SNK 2 and Dead or Alive 2: Hard・Core (The last, most complete version of the game released before Ultimate on the Xbox). Contra: Shattered Soldier is also knocking about here for anyone who’s up for a challenge!


All this takes is a few minutes to set up an account with a fake address in the States or Japan and an imported point card code from that region and you’re set. For once, we Europeans have the home advantage thanks to our 50/60Hz-compatible TVs!

Keep on importing!







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