Crash Bandicoot: The Death of Cortex

We moved about a year ago. One of the results of this is that some of the PS2 cables got lost in a box, somewhere. Chris was pretty bummed about not being able to play his games, but the novelty of the new house and town dulled his loss. Never-the-less, every couple of months he would ask me about setting the console back up for him – even after he got an Xbox 360 and access to some new games! A few weeks ago, I decided to get the house (mostly) in order for some guests. While unpacking, I found the missing cables, and ended up resurrecting the PS2 after they left. Chris was pretty excited, and jumped back into “Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex” (my last review) immediately.

Several days later, he came to me for some help, because the game was not working. Upon investigation, I found that he must have yanked the controller cable while playing, pulling the console off a shelf and onto the desk several inches below. After righting everything, I tried to restart the game, but it went blank shortly after startup. Taking the disk out, I saw that it had been badly laser-burned during the fall. I showed it to him, and explained that it was now effectively dead and was no better than if it had physically broken. He still did not seem to understand, as he kept asking me to put the disk back in to see if it would work. So, after some consideration, and to make the point final, I showed him the laser burns, told him they made it absolutely broken, snapped the disk in half, and threw it in the garbage. My hope is that he now understands how fragile these systems can be, and that he needs to take more care.

The machine, itself, still appeared to be operational, so I clamped some wood around it, to prevent it from falling off, again. Since this was a pretty old game on an old console, I thought I might replace it fairly cheaply. However, it ran about $60 on Amazon. As I was writing this post, I decided to check, again, and found a used copy in a plain jewel case for $11. Since we already have the box and manuals, I figured I’d give it a shot.

Follow-up: The laser head on the machine must be slightly misaligned. Some games work OK, some won’t start up, and others have in-game issues and long load times (such as the replacement copy of the game). Since the next console generation is nearly upon us, I may resist the temptation to pick up another PS2 and leave the old games for lost – or maybe not! I have another young one starting to play video games, after all…

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