Older video games rarely hold up in retrospect—at least graphically.
While plenty of older video games feature phenomenal gameplay that continues to stay relevant decades later, technology has moved quickly enough that older graphics look borderline ridiculous in comparison to the modern stuff. Of course, there are exceptions—8-bit and 16-bit era aesthetics will always remain popular within certain niches—but as soon as video games began aiming for more realistic graphics, the medium cursed itself with the never-ending whims of technological advancement
The Sony PlayStation 2 launched 20 years ago in March of 2000, and for all intents and purposes, it was the first system to bring mainstream video game graphics into the realm of realism. As such, perhaps more than any other older system, PlayStation 2 graphics look especially dated. (It's worth noting here that Shenmue released on the Sega Dreamcast in 1999 and was graphically superior to the majority of games that came out on PlayStation 2 and competing systems even years later. Alas, the Dreamcast flopped hard enough that Shenmue was relegated to a forgotten gem, so the burden of establishing a mainstream standard for video game graphics fell onto the PlayStation 2.)
While technically boasting less powerful hardware than the GameCube and Xbox, both of which came out a year later in 2001, PlayStation 2 remained most gamers' console of choice for many years, becoming the best-selling video game console of all time (a title it holds even today) and maintaining relevance long after the technologically advanced PlayStation 3 debuted in 2006. So how did a system that featured less impressive hardware go on to become the most popular console in the history of video games? What made the PlayStation 2 so special?
In short, the PlayStation 2's overwhelming success proves the only consistent truth in video games: Great games are not limited to great graphics.
Great graphics are nice, of course. Looking at the gorgeously rendered models of modern video games is much more appealing than staring at the smushed, pixelated faces of the PS1 era. But given the choice between an old school game with subpar graphics that features fantastic gameplay, or the latest Call of Duty, the old school game wins every time.
Thus, the most central element to the PlayStation 2's success was its incredible library of exclusive games: Metal Gear Solid 3, God of War, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Jak and Daxter, Shadow of the Colossus, Resident Evil 4, Kingdom Hearts 1 + 2, God of War, Dragon Quest 8, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, Final Fantasy X, etc. There's a reason that so many of these games have been graphically remastered to better fit into the modern era of graphics—Because the gameplay continues to hold up even if the graphics don't.
So while the actual PS2 console may be a distant memory in the modern age, its greatest hits continue to thrive.
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The quarterback said "I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country." And then he tried to apologize. And only made it worse.
Drew Brees, a man who makes literally millions of dollars for throwing a ball, has come under fire for insensitive comments he made about NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality.
"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees said in the interview with Yahoo Finance. He clarified that this was in part because he envisioned his grandfathers, who fought in World War II, during the National Anthem. He continued, saying, "And is everything right with our country right now? No. It's not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together. We can all do better. And that we are all part of the solution."
This isn't the first time Brees made it clear that he cares more for the idea of a make-believe unified America than he does for actual human lives. In 2016, he criticized Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the anthem, saying it was "disrespectful to the American flag" and "an oxymoron" because the flag gave critics the right to speak out in the first place.
Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest of racist police brutality
Of course, the flag's alleged ideals have been proven to only be applicable to wealthy, white men—men like Brees. Sure, his grandfathers did a noble thing when they fought under the US flag during WWII, and no one, including Kaepernick, has ever said that sacrifice isn't worth respecting. Thanks to the sacrifices of many people (including the enslaved Black backs upon which this country was built, including the scores of routinely abused Black soldiers who fought for American lives), America has offered opportunity and peace for many, many people. In particular, Ole' Glory has been very kind to men like Brees: rich, white men who still control the majority of the power and the wealth in the United States.
But what about the rest of us, Drew? What about George Floyd whose neck was crushed by a police officer who kneeled on him so casually that he didn't even take his hand out of his pocket? What about Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot for the crime of being Black and going for a jog? What about Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was murdered by police in her home in the middle of the night for a crime that had nothing to do with her? What about Tony McDade, Drew–have you heard his name? Have you heard about the 38-year-old Black trans man who was gunned down in Florida last week? Do you understand why these people's family's may harbor just a bit of disrespect for your precious flag?
Is it possible for you to realize, Drew, that your wish for "unity" is not a wish for progress, but a wish to maintain the status quo? When you call for unity under the American flag, you're talking about your flag, the flag that represents a long, sordid history of racial oppression and violence. There is no unity where there is no justice. When you say that "we are all in this together," what you're saying is that we all have roles to play in the version of society that has served you so well. For your part, you'll be a rich, white man, and for Black people's part, they'll continue to be victims of state-sanctioned murders– but hopefully more quietly, hopefully in a manner that doesn't make you uncomfortable?
When you say, "We can all do better. And that we are all part of the solution," what you mean to say is that POC and their allies are at fault. Sure, you probably agree that Derek Chauvin took it a bit too far, and you probably feel a little self-conscious that he's brought all this "Black rights" stuff up again. But when you say "all," you place blame on the victims who are dying under a broken system. And what, exactly, do you expect POC to do differently, Drew? Ahmaud Arbery was just out jogging, and still he died. George Floyd was just trying to pay a cashier, and still he died. POC and their allies try to peacefully protest by marching in the streets or taking a knee at a football game, and still white people condemn and criticize. Still the police shoot.
After much criticism, Brees did attempt an apology on Instagram, where he posted a hilariously corny stock photo of a Black and white hand clasped together. His caption, though possibly well-intentioned, made it even clearer that his understanding of the movement for Black lives is thoroughly lacking.
Highlights of the "apology" include his immediate attempt to exonerate himself from culpability, claiming that his words were misconstrued, saying of his previous statement: "Those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character." Unfortunately, Drew, white people like you are the "enemy," as you put it, because by default you are at the very least part of the problem. No one is accusing you of being an overt racist, Drew; no one thinks you actively and consciously detest Black people. But your lack of empathy, your apathy, and your unwillingness to unlearn your own biases are precisely what has persisted in the hearts and minds of well-meaning white Americans for centuries.
Next, you say, "I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the Black community in this movement." No, Drew. Just no. Black people don't need white people's savior complexes to interfere in their organizing; what they need is for us to shut up and listen. What they need is for us to get our knees off of their necks.
Finally, you say, "I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy." This, Drew, is suspiciously similar to saying, "But I'm one of the good whites!" The fact of the matter is that feeling the need to prove your allyship is not about helping a movement; it's about feeding your own ego. Not only that, but your emphasis on "ALWAYS" does a pretty good job of making it clear that you don't think you have a racist bone in your body and that you have taken great offense at any accusations to the contrary. I have some news for you, Drew: Every white person is racist. Sure, the levels vary, and while you may not be actively and consciously discriminating against POC, you have been brought up in a racist system, and your implicit biases are as strong as any other white person's. Your job now is to unlearn those biases and confront those subtle prejudices in yourself and in other white people. Maybe the first step in doing so is just shutting your f*cking mouth about kneeling at football games. Maybe you should even consider taking a knee yourself.
For other non-BIPOC trying to be better allies, check out one of these 68+ anti-racism resources.
Mai Shiranui may be a top tier anime girl, but that doesn't mean she fits in Smash.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game director Masahiro Sakurai loves SNK with a burning passion.
Sakurai made his passion crystal clear throughout his 48-minute Nintendo Direct breakdown of Smash's newest guest DLC character, Terry Bogard from SNK's Fatal Fury and King of Fighters, which almost plays out like a history lesson on SNK as a whole.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – Mr. Sakurai Presents "Terry Bogard" www.youtube.com
But after extensively demoing all of Terry's special moves and unique gameplay mechanics and revealing 26 SNK cameo characters and a whopping 50 new SNK music tracks, one glaringly obvious hole seemed to be missing from the SNK Smash collab.
"You may have noticed that a very important character from the Fatal furies series was not included," says Sakurai. "Yes, Mai Shiranui. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is for good boys and girls of many different ages, so we decided not to feature her. Please forgive us."
Indeed, Mai Shiranui, SNK's next-level busty kunoichi and most popular recurring female character, will not be appearing in Smash because, as Sakurai suggested, she's simply too sexy for an all-ages game.
And yes, Smash features Bayonetta who wears skin-tight leather while she open-leg flip kicks. But here's Mai Shiranui's default outfit:
And this is how she moves:
Look, I'm not saying Mai Shiranui shouldn't have made a cameo in Smash. I'm just saying that Sakurai made a conscious decision not to show big bouncing anime boobs to 10-year-olds, and that maybe he made the right call.
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