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Going out on top
Last week Sony quietly announced that the very last Playstation 2 was manufactured and shipped from their facilities in Japan. Over the course of twelve years the PS2 sold 155.1 million units making it the best selling and longest lasting video game console of all time. New games were being released for the PS2 as late as 2012, twelve years after its initial release. For gamers this is like when Volkswagen ceased making the original Beetle in 2003.

When the console was first released on March 4, 2000, its main competitors were Sega's last console, the Dreamcast, and the Nintendo 64. Microsoft had not yet even finished developing the Xbox. Since then Sega left the console wars and both Microsoft and Nintendo have released two and three new generations of consoles respectively. Even after the release of the Playstation 3 in 2006, the PS2 continued to outperform its far more expensive successor for several years. Even as late as 2008, Neilson ratings have shown that the PS2 was the most played console that year.

What follows is my personal tribute to the Playstation 2 and the many games I enjoyed playing on it.

I got the PS2 that I have today as a Christmas present in 2001 and eleven years later it still works as well as the day I got it. The first truly great game that I remember getting and playing on it was Final Fantasy X.

Also the last great game in Square's flagship Final Fantasy series.
Another early PS2 game I have fond memories of is the first installment of Devil May Cry. I was a big fan of the Castlevania series on the Super Nintendo and this was the first of those types of games to really take advantage of 64-bit graphics.
Though that logo looks like it could be the sign for a trashy strip club.
Another game from this era I'd like to recognize from this time is Silent Hill 2. Still to this day many still consider it one of the best survival-horror games ever made. I'm not a big fan of that genre but I will give credit where credit is due with this one.
This series is the main reason I would never want to go to West Virginia. No offense to anyone from West Virginia.
This brings me to what I think is the most influential video game of the last decade (and Jack Thompson's favourite boogeyman) Grand Theft Auto III. This game featured a truly open world that was unprecedented at the time. It was a game where you can have all sorts of fun just messing around while completely ignoring the main story. This type of sandbox format would go on to influence countless games like the Elder Scrolls series, the Fallout series, the Saints Row series, and the Fable series among others. Its PS2 successors Vice City and San Andreas were both worthy prequels to an amazing game.
Oh yeah there was some violence in it too.
The next game I'd like to pay tribute to is one of my personal favourite sports games, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. In my opinion this game hit the sweet spot in terms of improving on its predecessors while not going too far like later games in the series. The simple addition of the 'revert' allowed the user to extend combos in a way that made the game much more fun. Still the levels were simple and the game stayed grounded to its roots. I had tons of fun playing this with my friends.
Tony Hawk has been one of the pioneers of skateboarding bringing it to where it is today starting in the 1970s. Today he is only 44 years old.
Sticking with the same company, the PS2 was the main platform that gave rise to another incredibly fun game series: Guitar Hero. This game was incredibly innovative for its time. It allowed people who aren't musically inclined to feel like they're performing some of their favourite songs. This series would go on to give rise to the Rock Band series and later begin to include drums and vocals as well. When I first went to college, games like Guitar Hero and Mario Party served as social lubricants to help our floor get to know one another and make friendships that last to this day.
This series also had the side-effect of giving me a great deal of disdain for Dragonforce. "Through the fire and the flames WE CARRY ON!!!"
Those games gave me some of my best memories of the Playstation 2 and those are only a few of the 10,828 games that were made for the console. Everyone knew that this console was going to die eventually, but it died years later than anyone ever anticipated and we should not let its death go by unnoticed. I'll put this out to the gamers here, what were your favourite titles on the PS2?

Originally posted to billyleeblack16 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:30 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos Gamers.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Huh, and I was just about to give ours away (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billyleeblack16

    on local Freeshare.  Odd coincidence - thanks for reporting and reminiscing.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:40:25 PM PST

  •  ps rules xbox drools lol (4+ / 0-)

    been playstationing it up since playstation one.  

    I feel like the "Soul" series has grown up with me lol (soul edge, soul caluburs 1, 2, 3, 4, AND 5)

    I played the first grand theft on a PC so it's not the same with that game for me, though I've owned every iteration of that series as well.

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:44:13 PM PST

  •  EQOA was a great technological achievement (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billyleeblack16, Supavash

    and deserves mention along with SOCOM to advance multiplayer games on consoles.

  •  Actually, the fat PS2s have been gone for a while (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billyleeblack16, Supavash

    which is a shame because they are the best.  With nothing more than a network adapter and specially formatted memory card you can install all your games to an IDE hard drive (no larger than 120GB) so they load much faster.  Dragon Quest/Warrior 8 goes from being a pain to play (15 seconds of loading just to leave town) to being lots of fun.

    You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

    by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:48:57 PM PST

      •  It's called freemcboot and has to be installed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        billyleeblack16

        on the memory card from a homebrew capable PS2 (one that already has freemcboot on it, a modchip, or you can use an action replay or codebreaker (at least version 9.x) disc).  Then you use openps2loader (currently at 0.9, freemcboot comes with 0.8) to run the games off an ide hard drive or even a SMB share but SMB is slower than just using the disc.  Took a while to convert all my discs into ISO format so I could install them (the PC software winhiip can install directly from the disc but it works better if you make an ISO first) but it was worth it.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:07:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  A great system. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCaliana, billyleeblack16

    Fantastic third-party support.  So many quirky, off-the-beaten-path, brilliant games that might not otherwise have seen the light of day, or been relegated to PC.  I'll be keeping mine for a long time.

    "Forecast for tomorrow? A few sprinkles of genius with a chance of doom!" -Stewie Griffin

    by quillsinister on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:49:33 PM PST

  •  I'll miss the PS2. (3+ / 0-)

    The glory days watching the laugh scene in FFX and absolutely cringing are long gone.

  •  If I could only have (3+ / 0-)

    all of those hours back that I spent on this thing.  

    I bought one for my son Christmas 2002.  He recently told me that it doesn't play his games anymore.  He wants me to buy him a new one.  He's 18 now, I told him to buy it himself.

    If only Sony had made the PS3 backwards compatible with PS2 games I think it would have sold more.

  •  I'll queue to dkgamers, since it's got our tag ;) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billyleeblack16
  •  My brother and I were first in line (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billyleeblack16, SoCaliana

    at the local "Software Etc." to buy our PS2s at midnight. Twelve years later, it's still working and connected to my tv for the occasional game.

    As someone who was introduced to video games through an old atari in the 80's, the PS2's graphics and gameplay were amazing that first night (I believe the game I bought on release day was TimeSplitters), but GTA3 was truly the moment when I realized how encompassing video games could be.

  •  What's the future of video games? (3+ / 0-)

    I'm still a grad student, so I haven't dared get myself a video game.  I graduate end of this year, so over the holidays I may be ready to take the plunge.

    Seems that there is a huge push of unifying experiences over devices now.  Everything is about ecoystems.

    So what console to get next? XBox? Playstation 3 (or 4)? Nintendo?

    Should the phone, tablet or desktop PC that one has influence which gaming system they get?

    •  Good question (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Supavash, sagesource

      I personally thing gaming is going to move away from traditional consoles altogether even though Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft are already developing their next generation.

      IMO i would go the PC route. The games are available quicker and very often users themselves fix the inevitable bugs that games get released with long more the developer gets around to it. Also the potential for user-made mods give the games far more longevity than they would otherwise have.

      •  My problem with PCs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moviemeister76

        1. I can only sit crouched at a desktop for so long.

        2. This is a generalization and I ask it out of ignorance--what is the offering of PCs outside of shooter games and MMPORGs?

        2. Is there a social aspect to it? I don't mean online, but can you get your boys over and play PC games? Or can you sit with your 5 year old kid and play some game together?

        •  It all depends (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sagesource

          Many games that come out on the 360 and PS3 these days also go to PC. In fact, games like Skyrim are better on the PC  because you can easily modify them.

          As for the social aspect, my husband and I sometimes play detective PC games together. He usually controls the mouse and keyboard and I just watch and provide ideas on where to go next.

          I am actually split on console and PC games. I greatly prefer console controllers. However, sometimes it is nice to have all the control a PC game offers me over a game.

          Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

          by moviemeister76 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:33:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It depends (0+ / 0-)

          1. First of all with a fairly modern TV you can turn that TV into a computer monitor. That's what my brother does with his PC games.

          2. There are a great deal of games outside of shooters and MMORPS on the PC. Two of my favorite PC series are the SimCity series and the Civilization series fits neither of those categories. Also games like Skyrim are available as PC games.

          3. Sort of, but for most of those types of games everyone needs their own computer. Much of the in-person multiplayer PC-gaming happens in what are called LAN parties:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          •  Skyrim is next on my list. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            billyleeblack16

            I started the Elder Scrolls franchise with Oblivion, and just love it. Now that I've upgraded the PC, I'm really looking forward to trying Skyrim.

            I think TV and PC's will integrate more and more, and in a few years the idea of a monitor especially for your PC will seem quaint.

            And while group gaming on the PC is problematic right now (there's only one keyboard and one mouse), I'm guessing that will change in the next few years. Someone has to be working on a PC-compatible game controller that will essentially make your PC a true gaming console.
            I also think all TV will eventually come through the PC as well. It's going to be the Primary Device, from which all others flow.

            “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?” - Rumi

            by Jaxpagan on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:57:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I would also recommend you check out Morrowind (0+ / 0-)

              Last year Bethesda really ramped up the graphics on the original game and it looks much newer than it really is. The lore in the game is also much deeper because there is very little voice acting in the game. I was actually quite disappointed in Oblivion coming from Morrowind but Skyrim is incredibly awesome.

              •  Or how about Skywind when it comes out? It's (0+ / 0-)

                a mod that will convert the Morrowind data to run on the Skyrim engine (you will need to have both Morrowind and Skyrim for the PC to make it work, of course).

                You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:19:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Hm.... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                billyleeblack16

                Never noticed a lack of lore in Oblivion. Maybe it's just that Cyrodill, the Empire's central province, is so domesticated compared to Vvardenfell or Skyrim.

                The best DLC for any of the Elder Scrolls games, in my opinion, is The Shivering Isles for Oblivion. Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness, is quite a creation (the Sheogorath in Skyrim is a disappointment in comparison). It's even quite moving at the end, when Jygglag, your enemy, tells you about the dirty trick that's been played on him and thanks you for his defeat and death.

                "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

                by sagesource on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:43:19 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Perhaps I didn't put it correctly (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sagesource

                  There is plenty of lore in Oblivion in terms of books. The real difference is in your interactions with NPCs.When you talk to someone in Morrowind you usually have far more dialogue options and their responses go into much greater detail than in Oblivion. Voice acting was one of the big hurdles Bethesda faced in developing Oblivion in that every last NPC interaction had to be recorded.

                  There also seems to be less in the way of side quests and guilds as well. Oblivion had the Fighters, Mages, and Theives guilds and the Dark Brotherhood and that was it. Morrowind had all of those four (substitute DB with Morag Tong) plus the three joinable Dunmer houses, the imperial cult and legion, some of the Ashland tribes, and the vampire clans. There was just a lot more depth in terms of the character interactions you could take part in.

            •  One word of warning.... (0+ / 0-)

              Skyrim itself ran better than most of Bethseda's games right out of the box, and as pointed out above, it's already been modded up (I only run about 15 mods or so, mostly hi-res textures; my partner, who considers me a wimp, is usually running somewhere around a hundred, at least until her game blows up). There is also a good community-written patch for the bugs that remain (I swear, Betheseda could crap out a totally non-functional game and within a month the modding community would have it running like a clock -- they are incredibly lucky that way and in my opinion it's made them irresponsible).

              However, the first DLC, Dawnguard, must be approached with great care. I found the story and setting a good deal more interesting than I had gathered from reviewers, but the instability and general quirkiness, even after the community patch was installed, is quite incredible. In the blink of an eye, it turned my Skyrim from a crash-twice-a-week kittycat to a crash-every-ten-minutes monster. I literally had to turn the graphics down to their absolute minimum before I could get through the final battle with Lord Harkon; otherwise, it was boom-boom-freeze. I think that reviewers' comments have been soured by the instability of the software.

              On the other hand, many people seem to be running it with few or no problems. So you pays your money and you takes your chances.

              "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

              by sagesource on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:05:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Correction... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                billyleeblack16

                "Bethesda," not "Bethseda."

                I've just had Skyrim with Dawnguard crash again, walking down a corridor in an empty castle after the big ending battle. Seriously, one day they've got to hire someone who knows how to program a computer. That or start listening to their playtesters more. (I was told by someone in the industry that the playtesters usually find nearly all of the bugs, and then the suits decide it isn't worth the money to fix them. Hmph.)

                "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

                by sagesource on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:28:58 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  To quote an often used phrase in business (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sagesource

                  "There is no quality without quality control."

                  The fact is that the developer is more than likely going to have to go back and fix the bugs anyway even after the content is released. As a consumer I'd rather they delay the release and release a perfect game rather than get a buggy game sooner. The suits want the game out and making money sooner rather than later and want the release date to be at a time where there will be high sales (ie. the winter holidays).

            •  Especially now that Valve has released... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              billyleeblack16

              Big Picture, which makes it easy to mate a gaming PC with a modern television.

              "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

              by sagesource on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:11:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I'm a PC gamer, for the most part (3+ / 0-)

          Of course, I'm not generally a social gamer, at least with video games. I play things like Civilization, or Diablo (2, and now working on 3, though I don't play it multiplayer). I haven't done a genuine online multiplayer game since Quake, unless you count my free trials of WOW (bored the crap out of me) and Eve (beautiful, and I like the sandbox, but I'm still not paying a monthly fee for a video game).

          I also have one of those fancy "kneeling" chairs, which makes it easier. I'd suggest looking into alternate setups - i.e., lounging on floor cushions, as long as the keyboard and mouse were accessible.

          PC games run a gambit from shooters to RPG's to strategy to simulation - anything that's on a console (and a lot of stuff that isn't). PC's also have the advantage of demo versions, something you normally can't get with console games. And - as long as you're running the latest Windows - you know all the PC games are made for you. There is no greater pain than seeing the game you want only for XBox when you have a PS2.

          So what's the future? hard to say, but I think the ergonomics of PC gaming will improve - I think we'll see game systems made for people to not, as you say "sit crouched at a desktop". I think they will add interactive features like the Wii's motion sensors, or even "gamer controls" - a USB plugin with a variety of controls like the controller on a console game, with future games designed to incorporate it.

          I think, ultimately, consoles will lose out to the PC/TV chimera that's fast approaching. They're ultimately just too specialized, when their functions could easily be absorbed by the more mainstream devices. Expect to see new PC accessories, like the hypothetical controller I mentioned. But, honestly, we're in one of those flux periods, where no one is quite sure what it will all look like when the dust settles. I think that's why people like PC's - they seem more "stable" than consoles, which have risen and fallen, come and gone (remember Sega?), and it's a safe bet they'll be around, in some form, for a while yet.

          “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?” - Rumi

          by Jaxpagan on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:38:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Consoles also have too long a shelf life. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            billyleeblack16

            They hold back game development by forcing everyone to respect hardware limits that PCs have long passed.

            "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

            by sagesource on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:14:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  But they also have the advantage of knowing (0+ / 0-)

              exactly what kind of hardware developers will be working with. PC specs vary greatly and PC developers sometimes have to strike a balance between performance and accessibility. That problem doesn't exist when developing console games. That is also why it infuriates me when console games get released with all sorts of bugs and performance issues. They know damn well what kind of hardware their customers are working with.

        •  Independent games and ones from small publishers (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          billyleeblack16

          Like Christine Love's Analogue: A Hate Story, basically about revenge and its justifications; or thechineseroom's Dear Esther, a strange sad exploration of loss and death; or The Path, by Tale of Tales in Belgium (I think), Little Red Riding Hood done in a way to get under your skin; or Amnesia: The Dark Descent by Frictional Games in Sweden. That last, incidentally, might be the most frightening game ever written; certainly it would be in the top ten. Then there are free-standing mods like Korsakovia by thechineseroom, which is horribly effective at taking you into the mind of a madman.

          There are also a lot of nice independent games and mods, I'm told. One that I do play, since it allows me to keep in touch with friends far away, is Gmod Tower, a mod to the Valve games mod Garry's Mod, which allows you to play a form of Gmod with up to a hundred and fifty other people. I play as Zoey from Left 4 Dead, wearing a Kentucky Fried Chicken container on her head. It's that sort of game.

          "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

          by sagesource on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:32:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Whaaaa?!? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billyleeblack16, Supavash

    No Kingdom Hearts?
    No SSX?
    No Metal Gear Solid 3 and 4? GT4 one of the greatest games ever!
    And don't forget GT3 and GT4! Mission 34 took several weeks to master!

    Just Kidding.  Those were some of my favorites from the PS2.  My sister-in-law got me one when they were sold out elsewhere Christmas 2000.  Mine still works 12 years after I bought it, and the kids play Guitar Hero mostly these days.

    "We will never have the elite, smart people on our side."~Little Ricky Santorum

    by Dahankster on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:06:41 PM PST

    •  ahh yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dahankster

      I never really liked racing games beyond the occasional Mario Kart but i would be remiss in neglecting the Gran Turismo series, widely considered great games for that genre.

      I was actually not much of a fan of the MGS series but that goes for most games that rely too much on stealth. I tried Kingdom Hearts but never really got into it for some reason.

    •  I'll vouch for SSX. I still have two SSX games, & (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dahankster, billyleeblack16

      they are still fun to play. I have the PS2 hooked up to an old TV in the garage. If I do a long, lower heart rate cardio (read fat-burning) workout, I queue up a PS2 game to pass the time.

      I enjoyed the Kessen game as well - the strategy games work a little better when one is working out - but as far as I know, I'm the only one to ever play Kessen LOL.

      "Yes, reason has been a part of organized religion, ever since two nudists took dietary advice from a talking snake." - Jon Stewart; The Daily Show

      by Uwaine on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:31:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Final Fantasy IX, for me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moviemeister76

    But I also had Devil May Cry and Silent Hill 2 (and the uber-creepy Silent Hill 4). Never got into the Grand Theft Auto games at all, nor Guitar Hero, but I am a junkie for the Resident Evil franchise - got everything they made for PS2. One day I will yet make the jump to a PS3 so I can play the later entries in the RE franchise (or maybe just hold out for the next gen console and rely on backward compatibility).

    “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?” - Rumi

    by Jaxpagan on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:17:54 PM PST

  •  I just want to give a shoutout to (5+ / 0-)

    Kingdom Hearts, one of my favorite game series of all time.

    I've put so many hours into 1 and 2. I've played all of the spin-offs but man, nothing quite captures the magic quite as well.

  •  So many good memories (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billyleeblack16, mythatsme

    I remember getting the PS2 when it came out. My husband and I were up at midnight just to get one. All these years later and it still works. We primarily still use it as a DVD player in the bedroom now.

    I loved playing FFX on it, especially watching the graphics at the beginning. Also enjoyed FFXII. The first Kingdom Hearts was a lot of fun as well. And I definitely played a ton of the Silent Hill games.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:39:25 PM PST

  •  I still use my PS 2 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billyleeblack16, TracieLynn

    as do the grandkids when they come over. Katamari Damancy (sp), Ratchet and Clank, ATV and car racing. It also makes a perfectly good DVD player for movies.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:44:12 PM PST

  •  I have a PS3 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billyleeblack16

    ... but I'm considering picking up a PS2. There are a lot of good games available for the PS2. I liked some of the multi-player RPG games that were available for the PS2. My favorite PS2 game may be Katamari Damacy. I don't care much for games where you shoot guns.

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:20:34 PM PST

  •  I did like the GTA games. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billyleeblack16

    But I played on the PC, and I'm a little biased. A co-worker's stepdaughter is friends with a Rockstar Games employee. Actually a cool guy.  :)

  •  Katamari Damacy! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billyleeblack16

    One of the best series of weird but addicting games originated on the PS2.  Who knew you could take the concept of rolling up balls of snow to new levels and throw in some weird Japanese cultural things to make one of the greatest games of all time?

    Also, the PS2 was the first console I modded and learned to do a lot more with consoles than they were originally designed for.

    Also, I probably spent more time playing Chrono Cross on the PS2 than any actual PS2 game.

  •  I must be an Old God. This is my box (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billyleeblack16, Jaxpagan

    now and forever:

    NES

    In Roviet Union, money spends YOU.

    by Troubadour on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:36:54 PM PST

  •  My PS2 game was always (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billyleeblack16

    FFXI--Final Fantasy XI. Thank it for your auction houses, that's where they came from!

    Such a good game, my Mithra had a lot of fun on it. Over 5 years...

    Get 15% off with KOSKATALOGUE at my shop starting Black Friday, or go to the Kos Katalogue!

    by LoreleiHI on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:04:25 PM PST

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