The PS2 Reborn

Posted by benspyda (2050 posts) -

It has been a long while since my PS2 has been switched on. I have decent sized PS2 library however the thought of playing them on a 1080p LCD display has been off-putting. A while back I bought a copy of Persona 4 after watching the endurance run but never actually put it in the console (I did listen to the awesome soundtrack though). I also have a copy of Odin Sphere collecting dust that I played for about 10 minutes. So I took the plunge!

At 1am after not being able to sleep and having weird delusional thoughts about the Wii emulator Dolphin, I jumped online and looked into PCSX2 (an odd jump in logic I know). The install process and setup has been quite streamlined to a point that they are now calling the version 1.0 and most games will run on it. The biggest hassle with the installation was the PS2 BIOS because in order for it all to be legal you need to use the BIOS from your actual PS2 to get it up and running. This means you need to setup your console to have a homebrew OS in order to extract it. Once all setup, I quickly found the software recognised my 360 controller which made playing the games a breeze.

Resident Evil 4

Now for the important part, you can run the games in much higher resolutions just like with Dolphin. So because my PC hardware is pretty decent I have the games set to render at 6x their native resolution. This makes the models crisp even without AA activated, which is also an option. The higher resolution also improves the textures although I have no idea how the programmers have made this possible; voodoo magic I'm guessing! So far every game I have tested on it looks amazing and will run straight from the ps2 disc, although extracting them to your hard-drive is preferable.

I primarily used Resident Evil 4 as a test to begin with as it's a great looking game and has a widescreen option, a rarity for PS2 games. Using the PCSX2 emulator, I'd say the PS2 RE4 would look on par with the downloadable re-release on 360 and PS3, just with a couple graphical glitches here and there. Another game I tried was Kingdom Hearts which looked great also.

All in all, it has made going back to my PS2 collection a lot more exciting. I am aware that people have been doing this for ages but I think now that the software is pretty stable I feel there's no better time to jump in. Next I will probably look into Dolphin. I am unsure if Gamecube and Wii games read on a pc dvd drive like PS2 games, so I think I will need to do some more research before jumping head first into buying Wii and GC games.

#1 Edited by benspyda (2050 posts) -

It has been a long while since my PS2 has been switched on. I have decent sized PS2 library however the thought of playing them on a 1080p LCD display has been off-putting. A while back I bought a copy of Persona 4 after watching the endurance run but never actually put it in the console (I did listen to the awesome soundtrack though). I also have a copy of Odin Sphere collecting dust that I played for about 10 minutes. So I took the plunge!

At 1am after not being able to sleep and having weird delusional thoughts about the Wii emulator Dolphin, I jumped online and looked into PCSX2 (an odd jump in logic I know). The install process and setup has been quite streamlined to a point that they are now calling the version 1.0 and most games will run on it. The biggest hassle with the installation was the PS2 BIOS because in order for it all to be legal you need to use the BIOS from your actual PS2 to get it up and running. This means you need to setup your console to have a homebrew OS in order to extract it. Once all setup, I quickly found the software recognised my 360 controller which made playing the games a breeze.

Resident Evil 4

Now for the important part, you can run the games in much higher resolutions just like with Dolphin. So because my PC hardware is pretty decent I have the games set to render at 6x their native resolution. This makes the models crisp even without AA activated, which is also an option. The higher resolution also improves the textures although I have no idea how the programmers have made this possible; voodoo magic I'm guessing! So far every game I have tested on it looks amazing and will run straight from the ps2 disc, although extracting them to your hard-drive is preferable.

I primarily used Resident Evil 4 as a test to begin with as it's a great looking game and has a widescreen option, a rarity for PS2 games. Using the PCSX2 emulator, I'd say the PS2 RE4 would look on par with the downloadable re-release on 360 and PS3, just with a couple graphical glitches here and there. Another game I tried was Kingdom Hearts which looked great also.

All in all, it has made going back to my PS2 collection a lot more exciting. I am aware that people have been doing this for ages but I think now that the software is pretty stable I feel there's no better time to jump in. Next I will probably look into Dolphin. I am unsure if Gamecube and Wii games read on a pc dvd drive like PS2 games, so I think I will need to do some more research before jumping head first into buying Wii and GC games.

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Is a discussion like this allowed on the site? It's somewhere near the line.

#3 Posted by benspyda (2050 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: Heard the staff talk about Dolphin before and there's no direct piracy involved but I have no idea. I apologise if it is.

#4 Posted by Snail (8659 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

Is a discussion like this allowed on the site? It's somewhere near the line.

I just skimmed, but he doesn't mention ROMs anywhere does he? As far as I can tell emulators are perfectly legal and fine, illegal ROM downloads not so much.

#5 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

I get horrendous slow down with Persona 4, and no amount of jiggering with the settings will fix it. Alas.

#6 Edited by benspyda (2050 posts) -

@Snail said:

@Video_Game_King said:

Is a discussion like this allowed on the site? It's somewhere near the line.

I just skimmed, but he doesn't mention ROMs anywhere does he? As far as I can tell emulators are perfectly legal and fine, illegal ROM downloads not so much.

I'm just using games from my physical collection that I own.

#7 Posted by Baillie (4281 posts) -

@benspyda: Oh shit, I used to use this a long time ago, and my computer could barely keep up. I wonder if there is an equivalent for a mac? I'd love to see my games is this quality, it'd also make capturing footage/images really awesome.

#8 Posted by benspyda (2050 posts) -

@Baillie: I think there is a mac version on the site.

#9 Posted by Akyho (1698 posts) -

Ive tried such this last 6 months. Since I bought some pre owned ps2 games set things up on my PS2 and nope....I cant controll anything. Turns out my controller ports are broken....me taking apart the ps2 after did not help. So I tried running my Ps2 discs on my pc.

Its fine with certain games, however the games I was trying to play Godzilla: Save the earth, Godhand, Ring of Red and Zone of the Enders 2, are all games are would push the Framerate on the ps2 as is, let alone emulation.

So I will have to buy a ps2 when I can since I realy do want to play these games. Even if I have completed Ring of Red and ZOE 1 and 2.

#10 Posted by benspyda (2050 posts) -

@Akyho: Its a real resource hog for sure. I've got a quadcore i5 cpu and GTX 580 so they seem to run fine on my system but I havn't tried that many games yet. I'm sure I'll run into some hiccups but so far so good.

#11 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@Akyho: You really need either a fast dual core or quad core to emulate games at full speed

#12 Posted by believer258 (12176 posts) -

Wait, so it automatically detects and correctly maps a 360 controller?

#13 Posted by pw2566ch (480 posts) -

@Snail said:

@Video_Game_King said:

Is a discussion like this allowed on the site? It's somewhere near the line.

I just skimmed, but he doesn't mention ROMs anywhere does he? As far as I can tell emulators are perfectly legal and fine, illegal ROM downloads not so much.

Running an emulator is not considered illegal. Having ROMs or downloaded ISOs is illegal. So you can run any emulator you want, you just can't have any licensed games running on them.

@benspyda: Dolphin is by far the best emulator I have ever used. If you're going to use that emulator then I highly suggest investing in a bluetooth dongle. You can use a mouse and keyboard for Wii games, but it's still much better to use a Wii remote. You should also purchase a wireless sensor bar.

And how does the games on PCSX2 run for you? Usually when I'm running a graphic heavy game like Dynasty Warriors or something that need to render a lot of objects, it just slows down. Maybe because I'm still running a dual-core processor.

#14 Posted by TooWalrus (13256 posts) -

I've messed around with it. I don't really care for it, the fact that the polygonal models and environments look so great, but the 2D character portraits and menu stuff looks so pixelated drives me insane.

#15 Posted by benspyda (2050 posts) -

@believer258 said:

Wait, so it automatically detects and correctly maps a 360 controller?

You have to map the buttons how you want them but it takes like 5 minutes. I think its called lilypad, its a plugin that comes with the install.

#16 Posted by ThunderSlash (1947 posts) -

I find that PS2 emulators (and to a lesser extent, PS1 emulators) are super finicky when it comes to certain types of games. I basically had to create plugin configurations that will work for each game, and it drives me nuts whenever I notice weird texture flickering or low resolution 2D images in an otherwise perfect emulation.

#17 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

Is a discussion like this allowed on the site? It's somewhere near the line.

What is this I don't even

#18 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@pw2566ch: You can run games on it too, they just have to be your copy of the game. Fair use, yadda yadda. It's not illegal to say, use your Wii to rip your copy of Skyward Sword to a flash stick and then emulate the game on your PC.

@HaltIamReptar said:

I get horrendous slow down with Persona 4, and no amount of jiggering with the settings will fix it. Alas.

Everyone I know who's tried to emulate it has had horrible luck with that game in particular. I've been meaning to try that and a couple other PS2 games I have now that I have my super bad ass PC, but I have yet to get around to finding the discs.

#19 Posted by benspyda (2050 posts) -

A screen grab from Resident evil 4 for those interested.

#20 Posted by pw2566ch (480 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@pw2566ch: You can run games on it too, they just have to be your copy of the game. Fair use, yadda yadda. It's not illegal to say, use your Wii to rip your copy of Skyward Sword to a flash stick and then emulate the game on your PC.

You don't even need to rip the game. Dolphin can run the game from the PC DVD drive.

#21 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

Buy a PS2..

#22 Posted by Giefcookie (610 posts) -

I moved recently and unearthed some PS2 treasures. Like you I picked up PSX2 and started fiddling with it. Getting a solid 60 fps in games with 6x original resolution is great. I'd actually suggest making ISOs from your games instead of just running them off the disc. Ripping PS2 games is pretty easy and it speeds up the emulation process even more.

Having to fiddle with the settings on a per game basis isn't that bad considering the boost in frame rate and graphical quality. So far the glitchiest game I've had has been Tales of the Abyss with weird layering issues. Sometimes it just decides to move a part of the screen ever so slightly to the left giving you a trippy ghosting effect. Its a side effect of running the game at a higher resolution than native but gameplay wise its a non issue so you just deal with it.

Played 4 hours of Odin Sphere and the music is so good. I've also got FFXII and some other JRPG goodness lined up after Tales.

I doubt I'll touch P4 though, it will still remain my favourite game of all time that I've never played.

#23 Posted by LiquidPrince (16157 posts) -

@pw2566ch said:

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@pw2566ch: You can run games on it too, they just have to be your copy of the game. Fair use, yadda yadda. It's not illegal to say, use your Wii to rip your copy of Skyward Sword to a flash stick and then emulate the game on your PC.

You don't even need to rip the game. Dolphin can run the game from the PC DVD drive.

Not really. Unless you have a very specific DVD drive in your PC they won't be able to read WII games straight off the disc in Dolphin. MOst modern DVD drives can't read Wii discs properly.

#24 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

Sony need to release another PS3 model BC with PS2 before the PS4 comes out.

Or have the PS4 Fully BC.

#25 Posted by PixelPrinny (1050 posts) -

@LiquidPrince said:

@pw2566ch said:

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@pw2566ch: You can run games on it too, they just have to be your copy of the game. Fair use, yadda yadda. It's not illegal to say, use your Wii to rip your copy of Skyward Sword to a flash stick and then emulate the game on your PC.

You don't even need to rip the game. Dolphin can run the game from the PC DVD drive.

Not really. Unless you have a very specific DVD drive in your PC they won't be able to read WII games straight off the disc in Dolphin. MOst modern DVD drives can't read Wii discs properly.

I can attest to this. I tried playing my copies of Last Story and Xenoblade on Dolphin for the better AA and resolutions than the Wii has and it was a no go cause my DVD drive was like "Pfft Wii discs? What are those?" :(

However, PCSX2 is running my copy of Dark Cloud 2 just great, looks all crisp and purty; better than it does natively on the PS2. And the best part about it is save states. Delicious save states. Mmmmm.... Oh and turbo mode. I wish all RPGs had a turbo mode feature to alleviate some of the grinding. That'd be so nice.

#26 Posted by pw2566ch (480 posts) -

@PixelPrinny said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@pw2566ch said:

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@pw2566ch: You can run games on it too, they just have to be your copy of the game. Fair use, yadda yadda. It's not illegal to say, use your Wii to rip your copy of Skyward Sword to a flash stick and then emulate the game on your PC.

You don't even need to rip the game. Dolphin can run the game from the PC DVD drive.

Not really. Unless you have a very specific DVD drive in your PC they won't be able to read WII games straight off the disc in Dolphin. MOst modern DVD drives can't read Wii discs properly.

I can attest to this. I tried playing my copies of Last Story and Xenoblade on Dolphin for the better AA and resolutions than the Wii has and it was a no go cause my DVD drive was like "Pfft Wii discs? What are those?" :(

However, PCSX2 is running my copy of Dark Cloud 2 just great, looks all crisp and purty; better than it does natively on the PS2. And the best part about it is save states. Delicious save states. Mmmmm.... Oh and turbo mode. I wish all RPGs had a turbo mode feature to alleviate some of the grinding. That'd be so nice.

I guess I got lucky with my DVD drive. Weird. Or maybe I'm thinking of PCSX2 that can run straight from the DVD. It's been awhile since I've played them. So I can't remember.

#27 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@Hizang said:

Buy a PS2..

Yeah, spend money for an inferior experience, good one Hizang!

I bought a PS2 because Persona 4 at the time had horrendous emulation issues which all seem to be fixed now, I would not have done it otherwise because that game looks so much better on an emulator, but what do I care...I have Golden now.

#28 Edited by wolf_blitzer85 (5293 posts) -

Weird I'm doing that exact same thing this weekend. I dug out my copy of Final Fantasy X, and am also having fun throwing in whatever PS2 disc I find just to see what it looks like all cranked up.  
  
Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando looks fantastic, unfortunately it just didn't want to run well. Fatal Frame 2 and Haunting Ground work and look amazing, so super excited to go through those again at some point.  
 
FFX has been the most flawless so far, so back to that for another 10 hours today. GODDAMN I LOVE HOLIDAY PAY!

#29 Posted by oraknabo (1514 posts) -

Even though my PS2 still works, I emulate PS2 and PSX on my PC with a wired 360 controller. I have a pretty large collection of games for those systems so I don't have any need to use it for roms, except when I want to try some rare or Japanese game just to see what it's like.

#30 Posted by Ducksworth (662 posts) -

What a coincidence, I've been looking into builds for that purpose as well. My PS2 died a little while ago and before I got a new one, I got a 50" HDTV without thinking about what I'm going to do for PS2 games. PS2 came in, set it up, and then immediately turned it off because it looked so bad.

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