Addicting Demos

Game Demo was not in my vocabulary growing up. There were game previews that aired on television and encountering actual games in the store while browsing the selections. Oh and there were sampling your siblings game collection as well but outside of that demos were unheard of.

Then came an introduction to my first game console: the PSone. Yeah! Fun times have arrived again but what do I play? There were full version games that were tackled which included Soul Blade, Tekken 2, Tekken 3, Twisted Metal 3, Gran Turismo 2, Need for Speed, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, Digimon World (can't remember installment) and Digimon Rumble Arena.

During some vacay from school months, a friend of the family comes over with a stack load of video game discs for the PlayStation console. In the stack was this game called Bushido Blade which had strict requirements for the solo player modes; not a big deal but you do have to keep them in mind while playing because your progress will suffer. Outside of Bushido Blade were some other games including a small collection of demo discs.

PSU JamPack Winter 1999
Got the booklet but game disc
is broken.

I thought it was the name of a game series but they were actual discs that contained samplings of games that were due to be out in the future at the time of the discs production. There were two game demo discs that caught my eye: PSU Demo special and JamPak CD.

Pre 2000 Era

This pair of demo discs were easy to date because great deal of the games were due to come out close to the year 2000 with the exception of some delayed releases. The PSU Demo Special (don't know exact name so came up with this) housed a great deal of titles and had an intriguing selection screen track which was also accessible via CD player; some of the games back then had this ability of doubling as music CDs too. In addition to game demos there were preview videos of other titles due to launch within the same time frame as the others.

This particular disc was the one responsible for that post back on January 1st, 2017 where I was discussing this incredible game demo for Spyro: Year of the Dragon that didn't feel like a demo. Next to this was the demo for Crash Bash which also didn't feel like a demo to the extensive play time wasn't disrupted by a screen stating the need for the full version of the game. Also on this disc were demos for Syphon Filter, MediEvil and some others.

Chapter 2 Platinum Shadow
White Silver Dragon Dragoon Shirley VS Virage
Next came the JamPak CD which housed some amazing titles most of which were explored repeatedly. For this disc demos for Speed Punks, Hot Shots Golf, Legend of Dragoon, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and many more; this was for Winter 1999. In addition to these, there was a game demo for Ore-no Ryouri of which was played repeatedly along with some of the others.

Of the demos Crash Bash and Legend of Dragoon were obtained for my puny game library. I've unlocked almost everything from the Crash Bash disc with the exception of the game demo for Spyro: Year of the Dragon. Legend of Dragoon on the other hand is pretty much at a standstill; at the wire traps to be exact.

LoD probably wouldn't have been purchased if not for the game demo and the behind the scenes video of how the game was made along with the time frame it took to bring everything together.

2000 and Beyond

Many years have gone by at this point and no new games were introduced to my arsenal of the time. Then comes 2005 and I find a little gift waiting for me in the mail. It was a game demo disc from the PSU for the 2005 Holiday season.

I was ecstatic and depressed at the same time due in part to me not having a PS2 at the time. So I gave it to my brother who had the game console and then later gave it back along with his PS2 console of which was temporary till I had a chance to get one of my own. After plugging it in and viewing the selection, it was like a wave of nostalgia rushing towards me.

It was like high school summer all over again when I saw demos for new installments to the Jak, Project Soul and Sly Cooper. Jak-X Combat Racing quickly because a favorite as it was almost like a combo between NFS and Twisted Metal. Seriously though it pretty much took what was likeable from both titles and tied them into a neat bundle of mayhem and drama.

Clifftop Battlefield
One of my favorite arenas...during the day.
Gameplay aside, the music tracks were mind blowing especially when it came to this one track in particular that didn't make it to the final production; this was quite upsetting. The track had an interesting beat and rhythm that was so trance inducing that I was constantly cycling through the game screens till it was time for it to replay again. Still trying to hunt it down; if only the name were known.

Sly Cooper Honor Among Thieves was pretty interesting especially in regards to the opening movie and the two player game of "tag". After Sly Cooper was Soul Calibur 3. This is game four of the project soul series which includes the first tagged as Soul Blade.

The intro movie had your attention almost immediately. Of the demo features the Create-a-Character, Solo Player and Story Mode were frequented a lot. Before this point, Legend of Dragoon was the only game that was purchased after playing the game demo.

Shortly after this Jak-X Combat Racing and Soul Calibur 3 were purchased at the same time thanks to the game demos. It was nice to see some familiar faces within the SC3 installment even if they were older than they were during their first introduction.

What Else Be There?
There have been an interesting amount of game demos sampled. With each pleasant experience comes that special snowflake that will either stress you more than you would like or just down right scare the crap out of you due to the amount of adrenaline needed to play. Fortunately Moto GP and I Love Katamari wasn't among these; however, Shadow of the Colossus is.

At first sampling the intro video painted a rather calm picture of a traveling warrior making their way to a particular destination with orchestral music playing in the back. No big right? Continue on to the opening scene where said warrior arrives and looks to be at an altar of sorts with his trusty horse by his side.

So far so good. You're then prompted to use your sword to find your way to the chosen destination; which at this time would be a battle location. You head out then you discover that your horse is a fast runner and that if you run too fast you'll wind up standing on said horse. Even with that said you repeat the above just see if anything bad will occur.

After some fun galloping adventures you get back on track. It looks like a dead end but your sword alerts you that the location is at the top of the ravine so you look around for a place to start your way up. Some trials and errors later you make it to the top but see nothing.
Bear Colossus - Valus
Not an ideal place to be. Swing behind and
climb like a madman.

Going further in the gameplay pauses, a cinematic screen appears, music starts playing and this giant armored teddy bear with club walks from behind this rock face into your view. Instead of going forward my character went backwards and the demo ended. It took some tries - namely because I was exploring the environment of the demo rather than actually doing what I was supposed to - but I finally was able muster some nerve to attack that thing.

I succeeded only once in defeating the giant teddy bear and still don't know what happened to my character because they mysteriously walked in front of where these greenish black things were flowing out and then fell down. Suffice it to say no more demos were explored after this as...well my console gaming halted after a while. There was a recent attempt at a revisit but discovered that my trusty controller was missing and nowhere to be found.

Online and PC games have come into play but even that isn't as time filling as it used to be; especially after that massive crash that wiped out everything that was on my computer including the latest addition to The Sims franchise of the time.


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