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2001: A Favorites Odyssey

On 08/09/2020 at 09:36 AM by KnightDriver

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2001 seems like a great year to me from a media perspective but it was kind of hell for me. I left my job that summer and started a new one (no better than the old one) where I began working late night again. 911 happened. I woke up just in time to watch part of it happen live; one of those "never forget" moments. Then rent went up, and I moved to a new place. After all that, things picked up because Adult Swim started on Comedy Central, members of The State comedy troop made a movie, and a game appeared that would define the next decade for me, Halo. 

TV: Adult Swim

Since I was working late, I would  watch some stuff before bed in the wee hours. I would check out Comedy Central's website and discovered Adult Swim and a whole lot of sample shows I could watch. I saw a lot of Aqua Teen Hunger Force and little bits of Sealab 2021, The Brak Show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Harvey Birdman. Some of my favorite shows on Adult Swim would come later, but here's where I first sampled the weird world of late night cartoons. 

Film: Wet Hot American Summer

Ever since Monty Python, I've been a huge skit comedy fan (add that to my list of nerdy interests). So when I heard that members of The State, a 90s skit comedy show on MTV, were doing a movie, I was extatic. I love all the players of the original crew plus the SNL actors and others added to this large cast. There are so many great moments; I could watch it in a loop all day long, which is something I might actually do when they finally catch me and put me in the loony bin. 

Game: Halo: Combat Evolved

I keep thinking of Halo as my 21st century Star Wars moment. It started a franchise that lasted at least until 2010 when Bungie handed it to 343. When my friend Mark and I got a hold of Halo: CE it was weekend Halo sessions for (I'm not kidding) three years until Halo 2 came out. It never ever got old or boring. The Silent Cartographer level demonstrated in the video above was where Mark and I almost always started are co-op races which ran to the end of the next level, Assault on the Control Room. The game got us to get seperate TVs so we could hide our moves from each other in multiplayer, and that's how we still game to this day. Halo returns to its roots with a Master Chief story this Fall. I can't wait. 

Halo Original Soundtrack

The music for the first Halo game really stands out as a memorable piece of work. The theme is exciting and reminds you of the heroic deeds performed in the game. The rest of the tracks fit in perfectly with certain levels, accompanying you through the game, enhancing the emotional impact of the story. The ambient sound is great too. I will always have specfic memories of gameplay from every track on this album. 

Halo: Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund

This was the first Halo book and strangely enough, it wasn't about the events in the first game. It was about the creation of Master Chief, the Spartans, and the events on planet Reach, last stronghold of the Human interstellar empire I still feel this it's the best book of the many that have been written since. Halo Contact Harvest, about the first battle between humans and covenant, and the Greg Bear trilogy, about the Forerunners which explain the Halo rings, are close seconds. I hadn't read much scifi since high school but Halo got me back into it. I'm excited for the next book out in September, Halo: Shadows of Reach. Things come full circle?



Super Step Contributing Writer

08/09/2020 at 10:30 AM

Man, all of those adult swim shows look fun to watch and having never seen Wet Hot American Summer, I think now is the time since I want some fluffy/light stuff to watch. 

I never got quite as into Halo as others but your love of it is infectious and I loved playing Halo 2 on the couch with friends. 


08/09/2020 at 08:59 PM

They're all pretty good funny stuff that was perfect for my 2am returns from work. The American Summer film is like a lot of summer camp films from the 80s like Meatballs except I like this much more. I went to summer camp in the 80s but I don't see me in any of these movies. 

I never played a lot of straight up multiplayer but co-op was the best. I don't like arenas. 


08/09/2020 at 07:54 PM

Fall 2001 was when I started nursing school, and I really wanted a PS2. My folks got me one for Christmas, and the next day I went out and got Final Fantasy X. 

I remember 9/11. I drove an old truck that didn't have a radio, so I didn't have any idea what was going on until I got there and the school was completely deserted. I went to a nearby bank and that's when I saw the footage, on the lobby TV.


08/09/2020 at 09:04 PM

That 911 story sounds like the opening of a movie about a disaster. The viewer knows what has happened but the character doesn't. It creates some suspense until he finds out via a random tv screen. 

Cary Woodham

08/09/2020 at 09:00 PM

2001 started out all right, but a few months in and I had a few disagreements with family and moved out a bit abruptly, which caused some bumpiness for a little while.  Then my editor left the Lifestyles section at the newspaper and they decided they'd fire all the free-lance game reviewers (me included), and hire one guy who just was lucky to have graduated a year before me and could work there right away.  And then 9/11 happened.  So yeah, a sucky year for me.

The GameCube came out that year so I played a lot of Luigi's Mansion, Super Monkey Ball, and Super Smash Bros. Melee.  

One story about being let go from the newspaper.  While I was writing for the newspaper, I got to know the team that made Pac-Man World and Pac-Man World 2 pretty well.  Pac-Man World 2 was set to release right about the time I got laid off from the newspaper.  I had to tell the team to not send me a review copy of it because I wouldn't be able to write an article for it.  But they sent me one anyway and the whole team signed the front of the box.  That's a memory that'll stick with me always (well that and Ulala).


08/09/2020 at 09:06 PM

Luigi's Mansion is high on my list of favorites for that year. 

That's a neat story and a great thing that they did for you. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

08/10/2020 at 10:27 PM

I watched a lot of Cowboy Bebop on Adult Swim. 

I moved back to the east coast in the fall of 2001. That was when the dot com was bursting, so jobs were harder to find in San Francisco. Plus, 9/11 fucked everything up. I miss San Francisco, but it was for the best. 


08/11/2020 at 03:40 PM

Cowboy Beebop looks pretty cool to me now. I somehow never saw an episode back then. 

I heard Jeremy Parish talking about the days when the money was so good for games journalists and then how it wasn't, probably right in 2001. I had my head burried in music at the time and had no idea any bubble was growing or bursting. 

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