PS2 Games
December 10, 2004 8:55 AM   Subscribe

PS2Filter: Help me pick a game for my mentally handicapped brother...[more inside]

My younger brother is 20, but he has mental functioning similar to a 5-7 year old child. He loves video games and has a Playstation Two, but he only has one game. I'd like to get him something that he'll enjoy and actually be able to play. He loved Mario Bros. on his GameBoy. Currently, he has an ATV racing game, which is perfect because it doesn't require lots of controller combinations or complicated game levels. My sister helps him to navigate the introductory stuff, but I am looking for recommendations on games that don't require much in the gameplay. I'm open to all genres.
posted by MrZero to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total)
I have no personal experience with the game, but I have read many reviews of Katamari Damacy (Gamespot link) that make me believe that it crosses age boundaries and is fun to boot.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 9:03 AM on December 10, 2004

Katamari Damacy is pretty simple when it comes to gameplay. If he likes platformers, maybe something like Jak and Daxter? Has some tricky bits, though.

(on preview, I knew someone would mention it if I didn't...)
posted by squidlarkin at 9:06 AM on December 10, 2004

If Super Monkey Ball DX ever comes out, that's a definite must buy. You use a single analog joystick to control the game, no buttons.
posted by shepd at 9:13 AM on December 10, 2004

One of my friends who has Down Syndrome loves (loves, I tell you) the Jak and Daxter series, though he needs some help when it comes to the maps. He also likes most fighting games, especially wrestling games (he's hardcore into WWE).

Sports games tend to be more complicated, especially when it comes to switching from player to player. However, something like NBA Street might be up his alley.

I'd generally recommend staying away from kids games since he's 20 and folks at that age are pretty aware of being an adult.
posted by Avogadro at 9:16 AM on December 10, 2004

(but, you probably already know that)
posted by Avogadro at 9:18 AM on December 10, 2004

Everyone we know is Katamari-crazy. I think it would be worth a shot. :)
posted by Medieval Maven at 9:21 AM on December 10, 2004

It's a shame that he doesn't have the GameCube, since that system seems to have more "easy gameplay" games - Mario, Super Monkey Ball, Mario Cart Racing, etc.

That said, I would make the following recommendations: First, any of the "old-school" collections of old console or arcade games might be a good choice. There are collections of old Atari games or Midway arcade games available. These offer mutliple games on one disc, and most offer relatively simple game-play. On the downside, the graphics are low end.

Second, the "follow a beat" games might be good. These have music, and you must press certain buttons (shown on the screen) in time to the music. While there are a lot of button presses, there are not a lot of complicated multi-buttons-at-once combinations. Mad Maestro is one of these games.

Hope that either of these help...
posted by Futurehouse at 9:22 AM on December 10, 2004

Hell, I think my mom could play Katamari Damacy decently. Definitely check it out.
posted by Ryvar at 9:29 AM on December 10, 2004

Definitely Katamari Damacy. It has a very simple control scheme and straightforward gameplay, but it's also deceptively challenging and a lot of fun.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:34 AM on December 10, 2004

Katamari for one, and Donkey Konga. I love me some Donkey Konga, and so does my 6 yo.
posted by adampsyche at 9:45 AM on December 10, 2004

People have already come up with a lot of good ideas: Katamari Damacy, arcade-sports games, cart-racing games, rhythm games and retro compilations. Two more options: Mario Party-style 'party games,' though there aren't a lot of good ones for the PS2, and anything that uses the EyeToy, a webcamesque peripheral.

Alternately, you could buy him a secondhand Nintendo 64. Because it's cartridge-based, games are less susceptible to damage and load times are a lot shorter. Because it's a legacy system, consoles, games and controllers are all super cheap these days. And there are plenty of excellent titles, kiddy and otherwise.
posted by box at 9:48 AM on December 10, 2004

Also, Donkey Konga's closest PS2 equivalent is Taiko Drum Master.
posted by box at 9:53 AM on December 10, 2004

Doh, forgot that DK is a GC game.
posted by adampsyche at 10:06 AM on December 10, 2004

I second the EyeToy. That gadget has my five year old nephew, (and his 43 year old uncle), howling with laughter.
posted by punilux at 10:32 AM on December 10, 2004

I would recommend picking up a copy of the Official PlayStation Magazine and trying out the demos of the games with him and see if any of those games work for him. It kinda takes the surprise element away (if this is to be a Christmas present) but it will help you buy the right game for him.
posted by glyphlet at 1:06 PM on December 10, 2004

Another vote for the EyeToy. If he likes music and jumping around the "Groove" game that goes with the EyeToy is the way to go. Stupid fun for kids and adults.
posted by Cuke at 1:11 PM on December 10, 2004

I would be careful with Katamari Damacy. While the game itself is certainly fun (okay, it's a freakin' blast) and crosses age boundaries, someone who's mentally handicapped may be somewhat sensitive to the way the game berates you when you fail (and you will - while the game itself is simple, some of the levels are difficult to complete in the time allowed).

Someone with fully developed emotional facilities will get that it's a joke, but your brother may not fully appreciate being made to stand in the rain and being told that his Katamari is a mediocre failure (and that's the lightest of the insults).

So, a tentative yes, but be aware that there's that aspect to the game also.
posted by Caviar at 2:12 PM on December 10, 2004

I'm also thinking he might enjoy some of the retro arcade collections, like the Midway Arcade Treasures series (there are two different ones that have games like Joust, Gauntlet, Paperboy and Tapper), or Namco Museum (with Pac Man. Dig Dug, Galaga and Pole Position).

Retro games generally have one or two button control schemes, not much of a learning curve and a lot of repeat play value. The advantage in these collections is that while you are buying one disk, the disk has several different games on it. The first Midway collection, for example, has 24 classic arcade titles on it.
posted by MegoSteve at 6:33 PM on December 10, 2004

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