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Music Mantra

Hey welcome back! This week I promised something heavy. Ok, there are many out there who by this time are getting tired of your Linkin Parks and Limp Bizkits and yes please about time too. Leave those music behind. You guys have grown up! If you want to start with heavy metal, you could start the way most people start: By listening to Metallica. It's kinda unfortunate that Metallica has fallen into disrepute lately after the publication of an album, which screamed bad music as loudly as a howler. However that doesn't rob their old music of its glory. Now Metallica is a rather serious band despite being loud and 'heavy', with some songs having deeply nostalgic undertones. If you are in this mood, start with the classic “Nothing Else Matters”. Then bow down to the deeply distressing and angry “Unforgivven” and even better its second part “Unforgivven II” If you suddenly feel that nothing is worth it and life would lead you nowhere this is the song to hear. However no one really wants to feel that for long and this is the beauty of heavy metal. If you liked what you heard, there are plenty of good Metallica songs to go. Try to buy their Greatest Hits, and as the name says all of the songs are awesome.

Have you ever heard of Slayer? Lately I have been hooked on it. Coming from the age of Metallica, Slayer possesses similar styles and their music seems to be inspired by well hate. Kick-start your Slayer frenzy with the awesome song, Skeletons of Society possessing even more awesome lyrics and riffs which really gets your head banging:

“Minutes seem like days when fires ruled the skies, the rich became the beggar and fool became the wise! “

The song is about inequality, but what I like most about it is the way the chorus is chanted out. Amidst the heavy guitar riffs almost in a priest like way the vocalist changes tones and seriously chants: “Scenes of death are all I see, Fragments of what used to be”

Now enough of Metallica style music. Heavy metal ain't all about that you know. A must listen to song for all heavy metal nuts is obviously the classic the awesome, the inspiring, the enigmatic, the poetic, Fear of the Dark by Iron Maiden. You shouldn't be born if you don't listen to this song. I would rate it as perhaps the best song made by the BEST heavy metal band in the world. Fear of the Dark is one song, which sets everyone's hearts racing. Starting in a soft way with a legendary intro riff, which gets everyone humming. Bruce Dickinson sings softly,

“I am the man who walks alone and when I am walking a dark road. At night I am strolling through the path, when the light begins to change…”

Then suddenly there is a shift, the guitars all go into overdrive and then the chorus. If the chorus doesn't make you jump out of your seats or doesn't get you head banging I would eat my leg. Fear of the dark inspires I tell you. If you want a couple more Maiden songs to go with it, listen to the balladic, cover song from their new album Dance of Death or something much more soothing, Infinite Dreams from the album Seventh Son of A Seven Son. That's all for today and oh you haven't heard the last of Iron Maiden from me. Up for the greatest band in the world!! Next week we shift gears to something way lighter!

1. Nothing Else Matter
2. Unforgivven
3. Unforgivven II
4. Skeleton's of Society
5. Fear of the Dark
6. Dance of Death

By Reggie

Part I
PS2 who?
For gaming, nothing beats a PS2 except maybe a Ps3

Now, many of you may have noticed by now that there's something different about the RS centrefold. No, it's not the new 'Girl Power' section. It's that a lot of these game reviews say 'PS2 Game Review' instead of 'PC Game Review'. I've been informed that there's been a significant amount of feedback asking why there are so many PS2 reviews and of course, asking what a PS2 is. So, for every reader that's going to cringe at this article, whining “What the hell? I know what a bloody PS2 is… sod off with the patronising!” there will be many more who will still be scratching their heads, still in the dark about this mysterious 'PS2' thingy. So, for the benefit of all you 'deshi gamers: here's an article that explains the What-Why-When-Where-Who-and-maybe-the-How of the Sony PlayStation 2. More importantly, this article is to help you decide whether you would prefer to invest in the PS2 as your gaming machine over a Gaming PC.

Firstly, I'd like to apologise to everyone since this article comes about five years too late. Also, the Xbox 360 has been released and the PS3 is almost there. However, early 'deshi adopters of the PS3 (and the 360) should be few, if any. Thus, the time is still right for a PS2. Read on.

To make a long and boring history short:
The PlayStation 2 (Oh bloody good job with the naming, Sony) is the successor to the PlayStation gaming console created by the Sony Computer Entertainment, Japan division of the Sony Corporation, Japan. The PS2 was released in Japan (March 4th, 2000) then the USA (October 26th, 2000) and finally in Europe (November 24th, 2000). The PS2 is also the fastest selling console in history, passing the 100-million mark in November 2005. Hurray.

Now, if you really want to know about all this in more detail, just visit the WikiPedia site.

Okay, now for the important bits.
Now, a PC is an extremely versatile tool you can watch movies, listen to music, browse the internet, and perform multimedia tasks, blah, blah, yadda, yadda. And of course you can play games. A truly wondrous device, isn't it?

The PS2, on the other hand, is a videogame console. A PC's job, yes even a Gaming PC's, is to be a multipurpose tool whereas a PS2 is a dedicated gaming beast.

You use the intuitive DualShock 2 controller to direct the action and the drama. Every button is where you need it to be and the pressure-sensitive (e.g. hold X harder to accelerate a car faster, tilt the Analog stick farther to run faster, etc.) Analog Sticks give you a level of control that's unmatched by the WASD PC set-up. Many new PC 'game-pads' follow the DualShock 2 configuration. Why? Simply because the DualShock 2 is arguably the perfect controller.

The following points explain exactly what makes a PS2 something that your hard-earned money should be spent on.

It's convenient!
Unlike a PC, where your PC has to be made for the games you play, for a PS2, the games are made for it! If you've ever gone ballistic simply because you need 200 more MBs of HD space or if your graphics card (despite being only six months old) just doesn't cut it anymore, well, a PS2 is what you need. It's a given that no matter how much money you spend on keeping your Gaming PC at the top, it takes little time for all that labour to be belittled. Not a very pleasant thing, is it? The PS2 knows no such difficulty. The PS2 is also backwards-compatible with all PS1 games and hardware so if you still have all that stuff lying around… rejoice!

1 PS2 + 1 TV + Multitap + 4 controllers + bunch of mates = PARTAAAAAAY!
Okay, so calling a PS2 a proper multiplayer console is a wee bit of a misnomer. It only has two controller ports as opposed to four for the GameCube, Xbox and Xbox 360 (the PS3 purportedly supports seven). But that can be fixed by buying a PS2 Multitap you plug in the Multitap to the controller port and plug in the controllers (a max. of 4 per Multitap) to the Multitap voila and really intense multiplayer gaming ensues (two player gaming is still damn fun, mind you!). For some games you can combine two Multitaps and eight controllers for really insane multiplayer sessions. Another great bit about PS2 multiplayer is that you only need one console and one TV!

The Games
The daddy. The nuts. The daddy's nuts! This is what the PS2 is all about. The PS2 is about gaming, and it's safe to say that gaming is about the PS2. The PS2 game collection, on an average, is just bloody brilliant and recent years have seen some of the greatest games of all time being released on the PS2. The genres are but limitless! Looking for an Adventure-RPG-Platformer or an Action-Racing-Strategy (yep, you read that right) title? Chances are that you'll find it on PS2. This is what really gives it a huge edge over PC games PS2 games are a meld of many different genres that offer multicultural and engaging experiences unlike any other. The PS2 caters to all tastes age and gender are not issues here! If you've Ever thought things like music, exercising, anime, art, et al could never work as games the PS2 is there to prove you dead wrong and moreso than a (Gaming) PC.

Play games like Katamari or ICO and see if anything on the PC can even compare (apart from the brilliant Half-Life 2 of course but what's one amazing game compared to hundreds of amazing games, eh)! Another great thing is that once a PS2 game is developed, it's a final decision. Unlike PC games that often need to be patched up, fixed (and in the case, of pirated games cracked); PS2 games are the final product. Since you can't update them, developers go that extra distance to make sure the game actually works. This extra bit of attention goes a long way to ensuring a quality product something that PC games can't always boast about.

Yes, there are stinkers in every gaming library and the PS2 has its fair share of the mediocre, poor and abysmal (but less in proportion to PC and Xbox, mind you). However, the sheer quality and quantity offered by the PS2's top tier titles (and trust me, the PS2 has a lot of those!) easily offsets that fact.

Remember that 'PS2 Games of Winter 2005' list I wrote up? That was just for one month (they came out in November) of releases and I originally started with a list of 36, by the way!

Once again, I'll also admit that the PS2 is a less-than stellar machine for playing your First Person Shooters you can't beat a mouse/keyboard combo for an FPS. While there are few quality FPSs on the PS2, it's the whole multiplayer set-up that once again makes it somewhat superior to the PC. Sadly, if you're looking for Real-Time Strategy games, the PS2 won't help.

And last, but not least… The Price
The PS2 (with one DualShock 2 controller) is a mere 15,000 Tk. here. Imagine, just 15,000Tk. for all that yummy gaming goodness described above. Infact, it's possible to get PS2s in Malaysia and Thailand that cost about 10,000 12,000Tk. at most and you get about 15 to 25 free (lovely word, innit?) games with your purchase. A 15,000Tk investment on a PC? Well, sure you can get a really good graphics card but aren't we forgetting something like, oh say, oodles of RAM, a large HDD, a good motherboard and a gaming-worthy processor? An upgrade is pretty expensive as it is… and a brand new Gaming PC at 15,000Tk if that bit makes any sense whatsoever then please book a room at the local asylum. Fact is, since it's the games we're concerned about, a PS2 turns out to be quite an economical choice. So once again: 15,000Tk and a PS2 or a PC?

The PS2 seems to be a no-brainer here.
Later, I'll go through important issues like the purchasing options, mod-chips, problems, regional coding, peripherals, and most importantly - a games list!

If you have any queries, comments, suggestions, etc. please e-mail me at baka.ero.sennin@gmail.com. Should you be confused even after reading all this, once again, my e-mail address awaits.

By Le Chupacabra


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