The PS2 is probably my favourite console of all time, mainly due to it's incredible library of timeless games, but also because, to me atleast, it was the console that won the war between Nintendo (Gamecube/Gamecube), Microsoft (Xbox) and Sony (PS2) and indeed started the next generation console war which Sony is arguably still winning.
I still remember when I first got a PS2, I felt privilaged, infact, I was... I was the envy of my older brother who used to repeatedly come into my room to steal it from me, causing me no end of distress. Admitidely, the PS2 was very expensive when it first came out, but to me, it was worth every penny.
Anyway, enough about me, let's get to the review. As the PS2 is my favourite console, it stands to reason that a PS2 emulator would be my favourite emulator, which is correct. This leads me on to the PCSX2, by far my favourite emulator for PC. This review will check out the PCSX2.
This review will not give detailed tutorials on how to use the PCSX2, as that would be reinventing the wheel, instead, I'll give my view on this amazing software.
History of the PCSX2
The PCSX2 was created by the PCSX team, the very same that brought you the PCSX (Playstation emulator). When the emulator was first publically released, framerate was between 2 to 15 FPS, depending on the game and the PC specs. Since its release in April 2006, it has made drastic inprovements, probably partially due to the fact that it is open source, allowing the entire emu scene offer their contributions.
To date, the PCSX2 is capable if running many games at full speed or even faster! In my experience a few games that run very well are the Final Fantasy series, but you will have to try for yourself. FFX is my favourite game on the PS2 so this couldn't be better for me.
The PCSX2 is one of, if the the most intensive emulators out there for the PC. Most games are playable but alot of games will be slow if your PC is not up to scratch, check the PCSX2 site or the forums for official requirements.
The PS2 is an extremely difficult machine to emulate, it has many different chips, and all of these must be emulated, so I give the PCSX2 team huge credit for creating such a masterpiece, and indeed, one of the most advanced emulators ever created.
What you need to play
- Like most modern consoles, the PS2 uses a BIOS that copyrighted by Sony, so downloading is illegal.You can however dump the BIOS from your own PS2 is relative ease. You need this file to use the PCSX2.
- Games. You can either play the game directly from the Disk using the Gigahertz plugin, or you can rip these from your own disks using the DVD Decrypter, then play the games using the linuzappz plugin.
- Plugins. Most plugins come with the PCSX2, but there are some others you may wih to download to get more speed or higher compatibility with games.
- Optional controller for ease of playing and more fun!
Playing the games
I have played quite a few games on the PCSX2, and even though alot run very slowly, some are playable to completion, like FFX, which i have gotten very far on the PCSX2 with. My PC specs are as follows.
- CPU: AMD Athlon x4 620 @ (overclocked) 3.4GH/z
- GPU: Nvideo Geforce 8800GTS
- RAM: 4GB DDR3 @ 1333mhz
- HDD: Sata 500GB
Remember though, if you want to play all the original games properly, at full speed, buy a PS2! This advice is straight from the PCSX2 team themselves.
What else can I say? The PCSX2 is awesome, I can hardly believe PS2 emulation is even possible, let alone so soon. The PCSX2 team have done a great job so appreciate their work and support them if you can by visting their site. Some people give the PCSX2 bad press for it's low framerate on some games, but this is out of ignorance of how difficult PS2 emulation really is.
Enjoy a video of FFX on the PCSX2