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Return to 2004

On 09/23/2023 at 10:39 AM by KnightDriver

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I remember this year mostly for the being disappointed with the World of Warcaft MMO. I wanted another another strategy WoW. But there was also the release of the DS, which got me back into handheld gaming, and cueing up for my first midnight release for Halo 2. The rest of the world was buying GTA: San Andreas and Pokemon FireRed/Leaf Green, numbers 1 and 2 in sales respectively. Half-Life 2 was a notable winner on Metacritic. Here's some stuff I played and want to play. 

Played during the decade: 

Dragon Quest VIII (PS2): Got this on a Gamestop sale probably 2006 or so. It was my introduction to Dragon Quest and led to becoming a big fan of the series. Mad Krammer and I played this in tandem to see who would finish it first. He won as I collapsed around the 90 hour mark. 

Half-Life 2 (on XSS with Orange Box): I played this on OG Xbox and then again on Xbox 360 as part of The Orange Box. What a great game! A few years ago I went after achievements and got most of them. One had me run the whole game without using bullets. That's using only the grav tool and the few grenades and rocket launchers you can find. It was a really fun challenge I'll never forget. 

Halo 2 (Xbox, XSS): Halo 2 was a major event for me and Mad Krammer. We had played the first game every weekend for all the time it was out and couldn't wait to see what the sequel was going to be. I was also reading all the books and comics related to Halo at the time. We went to our first, and last, midnight release for Halo 2. I'd say I liked it better than Mad Krammer did. We ended up returning to the first game for regular Halo co-op, but we played Halo 2 to completion both solo and co-op. 

Fable (Xbox, XSS): Both Mad Krammer and I finished this on Xbox back then. Really fun action RPG. 

Far Cry (PC, XSS as Classic): I was still playing PC games back then and played this first on PC and then Xbox. I remember being really in awe of the graphics. The CryEngine can do wonders for series like Far Cry and Crysis. Xbox 360 got a upgraded version with Far Cry: Instincts-Predator that I also played. Both Classic and Instincts-Predator is playable on XSS still. 

Flatout (Xbox, PS2, Wii): Always on the look out for Burnout-like games, this was pretty darn close. The best part was the rag doll phyisics of your driver, who would hilariously fly from your car in a crash. There were even minigames involving chucking your driver into targets. Fun fun. 

Killzone (PS2): A rare moment when both Mad Krammer and I were playing PS2 at the same time trying to beat this excellent FPS. 

Red Dead Revolver (Xbox, PS2, XSS): The first game in the Red Dead series. Its quite different from Redemption 1, 2, being more like a straight ahead shooter and not a huge open world game. This was me and Mad Krammer's jam back then. 

Pikmin 2 (NGC, Wii, Switch): More of the same from Pikmin. I loved every bit of it. I have the New Play Control version for the Wii these days. 

Burnout 3: Takedown (Xbox, PS2): The crowning achievement of the Burnout series in my opinion. I was dismayed at the open world direction of Paradise and now the series seems forever dead. There's no reason I can see why the first 3 games shouldn't be available on XSS right now. Burnout 3 had the crash junctions mode which was endlessly fun. Also, the racing was smooth as silk and super aggressive. It was so much fun to bump cars off the road. 

Paper Mario Thousand Year Door (NGC, Switch): I played this a little later than release but it made me a super fan of the Paper Mario games. This game is so endlessly creative and joyous in tone, I was litterally in tears of joy playing it. I had to sell my NGC version when it got valuable but not until I knew I could play it on Switch. 

Feeding Frenzy (PC, Xbox Live, XSS): Mad Krammer and I were still playing PopCap games on PC, and I was thrilled when this got ported to Xbox 360 some years later. It's a very close approximation to the Intellivision game Shark! Shark! but with gorgeous graphics, little ocean life factoids and amazing boss battles against giant sharks. Love it!

Painkiller (PC, Xbox): Developers People Can Fly have gone on to bigger things since then, but Painkiller was a huge favorite of Mad Krammer and I on PC and then on Xbox when it got a port. It was a really good Doom clone with a very dark tone and novel weapons like the stake gun which shot long wood pointed poles at foes and pinned them to the environment. Endlessly fun. I wonder why this isn't still playable on XSS. 

Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy (Xbox, PS2): This was the best mind powers, ala force powers, in any game at the time. It was also a shooter, so bonus points there. Mad Krammer and I played the heck out of it. 

Want to Play: 

Spider-Man 2 (Xbox, PS2, NGC): This is Treyarch's second Spider-Man game to follow the second Sam Raimi directed Spider-Man movie. If it's as good as the first, I'm going to love it. 

Metroid Prime 2 (NGC, Wii): I've had this in my collection forever and still haven't touched it. I guess maybe because I haven't gotten all the way through the first one yet. It would be a great project to run the first three games finally. 

Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (PS2, PS3): I have this in the PS3 collection, and I probably tried it at one time. I really need to get to it and really fininsh it. 

Silent Hill 4: The Room (Xbox, PS2): Another project would be to play all the Silent Hill games. I love the first one but haven't touched the others in the series yet. 

That's my '04. What did you play then? 





Cary Woodham

09/23/2023 at 11:44 AM

2003-2006 were really good years for me.  I had just started writing for in 2003, and that same year I started a job I liked pretty well for the most part.  I also got to go to E3 every year again!  I also joined a really neat website called!

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is probably the best Mario RPG.  What impressed me the most is the clever writing in that game.  I hope it's the same in the remake.

Metroid Prime 2 was the hardest in the Prime series for me.  I don't think I ever beat it like I did the others. 

R&C: Up Your Arsenal took the vast improvments from the second game and refined them even more.  


09/29/2023 at 09:30 AM

Glad you enjoyed those years. 1UP was fun. 


11/06/2023 at 02:05 AM

2004 wasn't a great year for me. My Gamecube helped get me through a bad time in my life. My favorite game of the year was Tales of Symphonia, and the runner-up was Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life. Both of those games got re-releases this year, as you saw with my Story of Seasons: AWL video.


11/10/2023 at 01:56 PM

I saw the Tales of Symphonia rerelease. I used to own it on Gamecube but I think I sold it. Would love to try it out. 

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