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Discussion The early 00's: Memories, cringe and nostalgia thread

Irene

Tears of the Kingdom hype generator
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I personally think that no era has been quite like the early 00's. Between the infamous "PS360Wii" era, with its shiny HD graphics, online gaming, indie revolution and plastic accessories, and the genre-defining revolution of 3D, we have this funky inbetweener that hummed and vibrated with a unique kind of energy.

We had Sony at the top of the world, and all that came with it in the form of the shovelests of shovelware, but also the hottest of hits. Tekken brought the punches, Gran Turismo brought the wheels, and Kojima brought the hype. We had Nintendo and their pink cube, kiddie-stamped by the public, yet with their own brand of offbeat, unique games, some considered masterful today. And last but not least, there was the one-two punch of Sega exiting consoles, (?) and Microsoft entering the console business. (?!) Who would've thought? But the shiny green Xbox brought a killer app no one saw coming in Halo: Combat Evolved.

This was the true advent of the internet after its modem infancy, and the proper dawn of forums. Grand Theft Auto wasn't a 100 million seller, but a cause of moral panic. "Indie" was a music genre. It was a special time. One that I, at least, look back on with a mix of amusement, exasperation and fondness.

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Nintendo's new console, the GameCube, was a follow-up that might've not been the revolution that was the N64, but it had some very impressive games that were both odd, unique and technically sound. (I was personally blown away by the fact that the stormtroopers in Rogue Squadron had spaces between their fingers - THIS IS NEXT GEN HOLY SHIT) Perhaps most legendary of the earlier games was Super Smash Bros. Melee, a fighting game that is still being avidly played today, even in tournaments.

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And.. following along the waters of the glorious lead-up to the console was a controversy that shook the very foundations of gaming: The Wind Waker. New graphics, so called "cel-shading" and a more colourful aesthetic was enough to make red sparks fly, magazine owners type furious headlines and forum members - including one of my earliest forum friends - cry real, actual, tears.


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Away from Nintendo, then, Xbox was proven to be a formidable console, when Halo: Combat Evolved was met with widespread acclaim. A for the time precise, complete and polished shooter, it paved the way for FPS on consoles, and the series would later be key to Microsoft's pioneering Xbox Live.


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But not everything worth experiencing was combat and loud bangs during the early 00's. Standing out in the middle was a shy, silent and modest adventure about a boy with horns. Ico was something special, it was a game where the controller vibrated when you held someone's hands. This was a game that really tugged at your heartstrings.


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Half-Life 2 was another milestone releasing during this time. With its revolutionary physics engine, and lifelike characters - I remember Alyx becoming something of a new standard according to many - it reached a sort of peak in critical acclaim, and for good reason. It's a classic as timeless as any.


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And we had Army Men. 25 of them.


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Sega's beautiful swan song, the Dreamcast, started the decade by sorrowfully fizzling out, but with a legacy that remains today, a console with an array of games looked upon today with varying degrees of fondness.


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Nintendo also lended their hero of heroes, Link, to Soul Calibur 2. Fuck, this was pure hype to see in magazines. I personally wasn't too into non-Smash fighting games at the time, but I wanted to play the game so bad.


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Back when E3 was all about the conferences, the sweaty, crowded floors, and sites reporting in on greasy hamburgers and long lines, we got some pretty hype reactions, screenshots and trailers to chew on. And an unforgettable moment of E3 came from this era, with the man behind Metal Gear Solid dropping the trailer to the sequel - Son's of Liberty - a trailer that drummed up so much hype that people bought Kojima's Zone of the Enders in droves - just for the demo of Sons of Liberty.


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Then, of course, towards the middle of the decade, a certain someone's body was ready.


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And following that, Nintendo, in 2004, dropped a trailer that was so ecstatic, generated so much anticipation and excitement, that it is today a legend of its own, the origin of reaction videos, showcasing vast fields, an impending army, a shield clashing with arrows, and a fire-spewing beast ...

Link had grown up.


What are your special memories of the 00's? Were you a member of any forum? Where were you when Sega winded down? What was your favorite console, and why? What did you (or do you) think of Nintendo during this era?
 

Brock Reiher

Kremling
Between the GameCube and the proto-Wii (Ps2), there are tons of good games this gen. Was just playing Beatdown: Fist of Vengeance (bad) and Urban Reign (good) last night.
 
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Mekanos

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As someone born in the early 90s, while I have fairly strong memories of the late 90s, the early 00s is when I really started to be a person with more agency and awareness, so I definitely have a lot of nostalgia for that era, including video games.


I remember reading about Battle Network in Nintendo Power and thinking it sounded interesting, but it wasn't until I saw BN2 in a store randomly one day that I was compelled to pick it up. I was hooked. The cyberspace setting, the mix of turn based and real time gameplay, the soundtrack, it was all so captivating. Although I love the Classic series, to this day I feel like the Battle Network/Star Force timeline spoke to my sensibilities in a way no other Mega Man series did, and I can't wait for the compilation to come out.


Smash Melee was another cornerstone of that era, this music is burned into my brain because of playing this level constantly with my brother and friends, this being really the last game I would play with my brother before he lost interest in them. I don't think I need to say any more about the greatness of Melee.


Lots of great memories with Pokemon games of this era, but Gold/Silver is still one of the most hyped games I've ever played. As someone who was fully swept up in Pokemania at the time, I poured over magazines religiously to get more info, and it definitely didn't disappoint. The vibrant graphics, gameplay changes, and all the new Pokemon, it just felt like an experience unlike any other at the time. While it's not my favorite Pokemon game nowadays, it's still perhaps the one I'm most nostalgic for and definitely still one of my favorites.


I played a couple of Sonic games here and there, namely CD on the PC, but as a Nintendo kid, this game was what turned me into a Sonic fan proper. The amazing music, the sense of speed, the crazy and weird plot, it all blew my young mind in ways that few games have since then. Warts and all, it's still a game I love and return to frequently. This is easily my most wanted Switch port now that Persona 5 has finally made the leap.

I could go on and on but here's a few that spring to mind immediately. I'm not as hot on the GameCube's library as some, but I still have a lot of good memories of gaming in that era.
 

big lantern ghost

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I think this E3 2003 demonstration of Half-Life 2 is the first early 2000s memory that comes to mind:


I remember watching this again and again, just absolutely blown away by how detailed and considered everything was. Then it came out a year later and...yeah dude! It was completely amazing.
 

MissingNo.

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You've got the games covered pretty well, but when I think early 2000's, it is a lot like the late 90's — shitty boybands and cringey fashion, only now they are joined by the Star Wars prequels and the Lord of the Rings movies.
 

Mekanos

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You've got the games covered pretty well, but when I think early 2000's, it is a lot like the late 90's — shitty boybands and cringey fashion, only now they are joined by the Star Wars prequels and the Lord of the Rings movies.
Don't forget Dubya. I consider the 2000 election and 9/11 to be the cultural reset from the 90s into the 2000s.
 

Rooster

Like Like
This seems like the last gen when the b-tier franchises were really kicking, before HD development helped pick them off. I miss that niche being less niche.

Also pop punk.
 

SammyJ9

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You've got the games covered pretty well, but when I think early 2000's, it is a lot like the late 90's — shitty boybands and cringey fashion, only now they are joined by the Star Wars prequels and the Lord of the Rings movies.
You're not wrong. Early 2000s there was a huge shift into fantasy being more of a thing - Harry Potter mania sort of began in like 1999 or 2000 book-wise, but in November 2001 the first HP movie came out, and then in December the first LOTR movie came out, it was a pretty big combo. Combine that with Star Wars prequels and even Pirates of the Carribbean in 2003 and that was a huge part of pop culture in the early 00s.
 

Mekanos

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You're not wrong. Early 2000s there was a huge shift into fantasy being more of a thing - Harry Potter mania sort of began in like 1999 or 2000 book-wise, but in November 2001 the first HP movie came out, and then in December the first LOTR movie came out, it was a pretty big combo. Combine that with Star Wars prequels and even Pirates of the Carribbean in 2003 and that was a huge part of pop culture in the early 00s.
I'd say the biggest shift in retrospect was superhero movies becoming popular again. X-Men in 2000 got the ball rolling but Spider-Man in 2002 was a monster hit, and paved the way for movies like Batman Begins and Iron Man that would really open the floodgates on the genre. Whereas the fantasy/adventure revival kinda petered out.
 

jnWake

i have 50 characters and i'll use them, all of 'em
I was like 13 when The Wind Waker was first announced and I remember reacting like any proper 13 year old would when seeing those graphics. It was a truly insane moment in the internet.
 

Shadow

Openly likes cuddles
I remember wanting this... Good Lord, I'm happy in retrospect that I never got this...

ETTtSdUWAAEn_rB.jpg:large


As someone actively trying to bring the 00s back, this thread represents me.
Yeah, your signature confirms this without a doubt!
 

SammyJ9

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I'd say the biggest shift in retrospect was superhero movies becoming popular again. X-Men in 2000 got the ball rolling but Spider-Man in 2002 was a monster hit, and paved the way for movies like Batman Begins and Iron Man that would really open the floodgates on the genre. Whereas the fantasy/adventure revival kinda petered out.
You're right, X-Men and Spider-Man leading to Batman Begins and later Iron Man was huge, and in retrospect maybe a bigger deal. But IMO that was really more of a thing in the latter half of the 00s and later on, whereas in the early 00s HP and LOTR mania seemed bigger, at least to me. And it was also LOTR (plus others) that directly lead to Game of Thrones turning into the biggest thing ever 10 years later.

Might be a more broad statement to say that starting in around 1999-2001 with The Matrix, Phantom Menace, X-Men, HP, LOTR, etc., that genre fiction and SFF movies in general exploded in popularity and we're still in the middle of that today, even if exactly what flavor is most popular has shifted around here and there.
 

chocolate_supra

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Another thing I just remembered that is super early 00's: Fast and Furious, and subsequently Japanese sports cars. Also Need for Speed.
Japanese sports cars never stopped being a thing for me. The only difference was in the early 00's I could afford one.
 

Fercho

Touch Fuzzy get dizzy
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Cringe:
ravi1.gif


Nostalgia: getting my Dreamcast and those days and nights playing Sonic Adventure, Code:Veronica and Soul Reaver specially. Loved that console, I never had that sense of wonder before it (and i had Nes, Snes , Genesis) or after it, and i don't really know why.
 

chocolate_supra

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Nostalgia: getting my Dreamcast and those days and nights playing Sonic Adventure, Code:Veronica and Soul Reaver specially. Loved that console, I never had that sense of wonder before it (and i had Nes, Snes , Genesis) or after it, and i don't really know why.
There was something special about the DC that I can't put my finger on. I really loved that thing and its games.

1) 2008 so not really early 2000s
2) this guy later went to perform at the Trump inaguration, fun fact
That fact is not terribly fun 🙃
 
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I remember spending a ton of time playing Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 and The Sims back in the early 2000's, and in all the time I spent playing them I'm not sure I ever spent more than a couple hours actually playing through a real "campaign" in either. The Sims was basically an exercise in building cool houses using cheats while RCT was all about building cool parks (and a drowning simulator).

Completing the trifecta of my early PC gaming life would be Neopets. I feel like I restarted my account every other day and just played a bunch of the games.
 

SammyJ9

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Gaming-wise for me the early 2000s will always be classified by the gamecube: Tales of Symphonia, TTYD, Wind Waker, and Metroid Prime being the biggest games for me personally. I didn't get a PS2 until 2005, so it was all gamecube those first few years.
 

TreIII

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By the early 00s, it was the last few years of my time in high school and the beginning of my college years. So to say that they were some of the most formative years of my life, online and off, should go without saying.

I was a part of so many different Mega Man and Sonic-themed forums, and followed sprite comics like Bob & George religiously! Of course, GameFAQs was there for more "general" coverage. And all still on a 56K modem, because Comcast and Verizon wouldn't be available for another few years!
 

chocolate_supra

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I've been posting a lot of Homestar stuff on other threads so I'll share something equally as formative but not as easily memeable:
lWmtJdL.gif
 

chocolate_supra

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When I think of the early 2000s, this is what I think of.

Oh man

Early 2000s was definitely defined by 320x240 AMVs for me.

This was one of my favorite AMVs from back then:

This was a time, hard as it is to picture for youngers, before all of DBZ was even available in the English-speaking countries. The USA was basically looping the Saiyan saga and half of the Freiza saga, ending partway through the stuff with the Ginyu Force and starting over again with Raditz arriving on earth. We never thought we'd get more of the series on tv, so we sought out fansubs and whatever we could find online. There were literal online shrine websites for this character called "Trunks" that comes in later in the series that most American fans had never heard of (this AMV is from a person's website literally called "Temple O' Trunks"). There was a crazed obsession around this guy, and much of the DBZ online content of the day revolved around him.

And when I say "online content" I mean "webpages with center-aligned comic sans font, tiled background images, sections like "GALLERY" and "COOL QUOTES" and webring links on the bottom.

It's a lost era, yall.
 
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Irene

Irene

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My fondest memory is probably seeing the TP reveal, but also Melee in general. Lots of matches with the local kids in the area. I quickly grew fond of Falco, and loved his down throw+shield combo. And of course Metroid Prime and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes was magical moments to experience. (Twin Snakes has aged poorly though)

I was like 13 when The Wind Waker was first announced and I remember reacting like any proper 13 year old would when seeing those graphics. It was a truly insane moment in the internet.

Funny thing was, when the game released, it actually turned out to be a (in my opinion at least) pretty somber experience, with a kingdom in ruin, a melancholic story about leaving the past behind, and a drowning king. The colourful exterior was sort of deceptive, in a way.
 

chocolate_supra

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Funny thing was, when the game released, it actually turned out to be a (in my opinion at least) pretty somber experience, with a kingdom in ruin, a melancholic story about leaving the past behind, and a drowning king. The colourful exterior was sort of deceptive, in a way.
Kinda like BotW
 
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manfromthedam

Semi Undercover Game Music Guy
Oh man, I always kinda forget about this period. There should be a Billy Joel "We Didn't Start The Fire" type song about it :p.

I was away from Nintendo in this period and was playing PC games (being 12-16 will do that to ya). Need For Speed Underground / Most Wanted (GOAT), UT2004, HL2, Heroes of Might and Magic 3/4, FF7/8, Neverwinter Nights, Morrowind...

Musically speaking I was entering my metal phase - naturally combined with playing Magic: the Gathering xD. Within Temptation, Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, Devin Townsend - only the last of which I still really enjoy nowadays. I even made metal music with my best bud!

I was also a BIG Fellowship of the Ring film nerd, and read the books after seeing it (and wouldn't shut up about how much I preferred the books). Harry Potter was alright, but didn't do the wizarding school thing as well as Anthony Horowitz (I wouldn't shut up about that either).

Mario Galaxy ultimately was the BotW moment in that period, pulling me back towards Nintendo for a little while.
 

jnWake

i have 50 characters and i'll use them, all of 'em
Funny thing was, when the game released, it actually turned out to be a (in my opinion at least) pretty somber experience, with a kingdom in ruin, a melancholic story about leaving the past behind, and a drowning king. The colourful exterior was sort of deceptive, in a way.
Yep, I remember that 13 year old Wake was very down on the game after reveal but also was like "it's Zelda so it has to be good" so I got the game right away and it ended up being one of my favorites for years. I really loved the melancholic side of the story as well.
 
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Irene

Irene

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Thinking about it, Nintendo really went out on a limb that gen.

They took RISKS.

"Zelda is for kids?"
"Metroid is an FPS?"
"Mario has cutscenes?"
"Star Fox is on the ground?"
"Luigi has a vacuum?"
"Mario Kart has TWO drivers?"
"A new IP with astronauts?"
"Eternal WHAT?"
 

chocolate_supra

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"Zelda is for kids?"
Video games have always been for kids, just ask every bully from the 90s
"Metroid is an FPS?"
Frames Per Second became very important that generation, yes
"Mario has cutscenes?"
There's a "Mario on PlayStation" joke in there somewhere
"Star Fox is on the ground?"
More like Dirt Fox amirite
"Luigi has a vacuum?"
Luigi Sucks™
"Mario Kart has TWO drivers?"
Mario Sports Car Instead of Kart (I'd actually play this)
"A new IP with astronauts?"
To replace Star Fox which is now on the ground
Eternal Darkness, which is also what I call my stance on Famiboards color schemes (unless @bellydrum ever makes a SNES one)
 

Beanstar40

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For me the lead up to the xbox 360/ ps3, and wii was the most exciting time of my early teens. I stayed up late to watch this live on g4 back in 2005

And watching preview videos from e3 2005-2008 which had so much wonderful off screen footage. I must have watched this particular mario galaxy preview 75 times as a 13 year old. I was frothing at the mouth for this game. This is the game, not wii sports or twilight princess, that sold me on the wii

Shout out to goldmetalsonic for uploading and cleaning up these awesome old preview videos from the early 000’s
 
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Mekanos

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The GameCube’s first party library was a mixed bag for me overall. I definitely found games to enjoy and obsess over (Melee, TTYD), but Sunshine and WW I didn’t like nearly as much as their N64 counterparts and losing Rare was very upsetting for me as someone who considered their games a pivotal part of my experience growing up. Air Ride also was fairly disappointing, especially as the only Kirby game on the system - I specifically remember the feeling of getting it and playing it going “that’s it?” It might be the first time I realized that sense of disappointment of wanting a game and then playing it. For various reasons I don’t really enjoy FPS games so while I respect Metroid Prime it doesn’t do a lot for me.

The GameCube was on the other hand a very solid Sonic machine, I already mentioned SA2B but I also played a ton of SADX and Mega Collection. Mega Man Anniversay Collection too, crappy controls and all, is a game I put a lot of time into and got me into 2D Mega Man proper (having had only played MMX before).
 

Síriocaz

Xenoblade Enjoyer
Most embarrassing thing I did in those years was violently pulling my first GameCube in a tantrum and crashing it on the ground. The disc lens stopped working and I had to save for three months for another unit :( Definitely learned to keep my composure and take care of my stuff after that, though.
 
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Stephen 776

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What are your special memories of the 00's? Were you a member of any forum? Where were you when Sega winded down? What was your favorite console, and why? What did you (or do you) think of Nintendo during this era?

My gateway into gaming was the Gameboy for Pokemon in late 2000 (I adored the anime ant TCG), starting with Yellow and Crystal the following summer; and while my family got a Nintendo 64 (my brother wanted Goldeneye) I rarely ventured beyond Mario, DK64, and multiplayer games. We also got a GCN where I really explored more due to Melee and Nintendo Power. Kingdom Hearts advertising eventually led to me getting a PS2 for it in 2003; I was terrible at Kingdom Hearts and the PS2 honestly didn't get much use until high school.

And while real-life, 2002 was also the year I finally received my autism diagnosis. A paradox of autism is that it's hard to connect with folks unless you have some common interest; but also, my brain can't just will in new interests for the sake socialization. So what I remember most were folks leaving Pokemon for Halo, World of Warcraft and especially Grand Theft Auto because Pokemon did so much to connect me to my peers in elementary school, and while Yu-Gi-Oh TCG had enough inertia to carry through Middle School, I never really made gaming friends until I met another who still adored Pokemon at a summer camp. And because I didn't have gaming friends, I was completely oblivious to what the gaming industry was doing. My world was pretty much Nintendo Power and blockbuster rental shelf. Metal Gear Solid, ICO, Half-Life 2, Dreamcast generally (sans Sonic Adventure GCN ports), Final Fantasy (2003 me thought KH's Cloud et al. were OCs lmfao); I literally did not know what any of these games were until high school. ¯\ _ (ツ) _ /¯

Also, wasn't a member of any forum; by the time I turned 13, the Xbox 360 was basically around the corner. Wile my high school years were marked with greater awareness of what the gaming industry was doing because of forums, I also continued to do my own thing. Honestly, that's pretty much true today lmao.
 

MaitreWakou

Famicom Dog & Cat Club
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What are your special memories of the 00's?

Being a 95' kid, my special memories of the 00's will always be me playing the Gamecube. Super Mario Sunshine being my first 3D game and instantly becoming my favorite game ever and forever. Me being scared of Luigi's Mansion, and to go to the forest at the top of the island at the very beginning of Wind Waker (took me like a week until I finally decided to go, I kid you not ! I played more Ocarina of Time than Wind Waker when the double pack released lol). Playing a lot of GC Animal Crossing.
Were you a member of any forum?
Not until 2008. Jeuxvideo.com, biggest french (and european) video game website. Before their forums became a fascist shithole (around 2012). Joined in order to talk about GTA4 and Smash Bros Brawl, ended up mostly talking in the general discussions threads, mostly shitposting.
Where were you when Sega winded down?
Too young to realize about it, to me Sonic on Gamecube and GBA was normal, though my cousin had a Dreamcast and to me that console and its library seemed mystic and cool as fuck. Would end up buying one at 40€ (!!) in great condition with a controller and Jet Set Radio in 2011 or something. Thinking back about it, god damn what a deal that was, just 40€ for all that. And back then having to pay 60€ for Shenmue 1 and another 60€ for Shenmue 2 felt like I was being robbed lol, simpler times when it came to buy retro games.
What was your favorite console, and why?
Already mentionned Gamecube. Obviously GBA too. Started gaming with my sister's NES and Gameboy, and I always dreamed about having a SNES back then (loved playing it at my cousin's home), so the GBA having quite a lot of SNES port was awesome to me.
Later on, as I entered my teenage years (in 2008/2009/2010), I wanted more edgy stuff so Xbox 360 became my favorite console of the gen over the DS and Wii. Nowadays I much much much prefer the Wii lol (and the DS too)
What did you (or do you) think of Nintendo during this era?
If I had 20 or something back then, I probably would have thought that Nintendo wasn't releasing enough games (which makes people saying Switch ever had drought looking crazy to me lol), but back then it took me 3 years to complete Sunshine (not having the 120 shines, just having the 7 required shines in each world lol), about one year for Paper Mario TTYD, didn't unlock Mewtwo in Melee until like 2003 or 2004, etc etc. You just don't play as much as a kid, so for me back then Nintendo was perfect lol
Now I realize it was a weird era for them. Though during the Wii/DS era they were on fire, holy shit. And funnily enough, back then, once again because of my age, I wasn't able to realize it because I just wanted to play GTA and Gears of War lol


Oh and weirdly enough, the Better Call Saul TV show is giving me a looooot of nostalgia for that era (being a recent show taking place in 2004), the stores we see just scream early 2000s (especially when Jimmy works in a cellphone store, that is THE early 2000s store by excellence to me lol), reminds me a lot of going to the mall as a kid and going to the video game store, lot of good vibes when I watch Better Call Saul because of that. They did a good job to recreate that era that is still very recent but somehow is a whole different era.
 
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Suswave

𝖘𝖍𝖎𝖙𝖕𝖔𝖘𝖙 ~.+.~ 𝖆𝖇𝖞𝖘𝖘
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𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖞 / 𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖒𝖒𝖊
My fondest memory is probably seeing the TP reveal, but also Melee in general. Lots of matches with the local kids in the area. I quickly grew fond of Falco, and loved his down throw+shield combo. And of course Metroid Prime and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes was magical moments to experience. (Twin Snakes has aged poorly though)



Funny thing was, when the game released, it actually turned out to be a (in my opinion at least) pretty somber experience, with a kingdom in ruin, a melancholic story about leaving the past behind, and a drowning king. The colourful exterior was sort of deceptive, in a way.
big same feelings about Wind Waker — I loved it then and I loved it now. The new art style worked for me, and the way it coated the darkness of the actual game was balanced so well.

plus, I found WW Ganondorf much scarier. he’s not just grappling for power or consumed by hubris — he is wise, and measured, and knows that his return is just a matter of time. he treats you like a curiosity, but doesn’t talk down to you, even though you’re this windswept kid. the arc of that to where it ends was really effective to me.

and the targeting + rolling felt so much slicker than OoT & MM — I remember being completely wowed.

I won’t get too deep into spoilers, but the first major underwater part really blew my mind. and the ending sticks with me harder than so many things to this day. that ending. holy shit that ending. the perfect example of the darkness disguised by the cel-shaded style.
 
C

codacious

Guest
For me, the most nostalgia for video games is kind of the very late '90s to the early 2000s. My first video games were PC games from around that time, and my first console was the Gamecube. A couple of my friends also had PS2s, so I played a bunch of PS2 games also. I have a ton of nostalgia for the games I played during this time. Specifically, my favorites that I guess stand out the most in my memory are Pac-Man Adventures in Time, Pac Man World 2/3, Jak/Daxter, Lego Racers 1/2, Animal Crossing, Super Monkey Ball 2, Sonic Heroes, and Bionicle the Game.

Definitely a very special time for me, not only for video games but also for other interests and really just life in general.
 
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PixelKnight

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My interest in gaming as a hobby waned for a few years between around 2001 and 2006, and I pretty missed out on the GameCube (although I was lucky enough to be able to pick up the games for a song when I got a Wii). Xbox is something I was barely even aware of, but I still was following the PS2 releases and picked up a console and a dozen or so games for it over those years. I would only really sit down and play on it once every months or so though, although I still got really into the games when I made time to play them. It was just a really busy period of my life.

Off the top of my head on PS2-
I started with Devil May Cry, Final Fantasy X and Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance. Then much later on I picked up the Maximo games and FFXII to cap it off. Devil May Cry I thought was the coolest thing ever for a while in a post-matrix world. Stylish swords and guns and demons and wisecracks. Maximo still stands as a game I’d love to see again, a logical successor to PSOne/N64 cartoony action games, with all the humour of Ghouls and Ghosts. It’s rare for me to prefer a 3D iteration of a franchise that had 2D origins but that’s one where I thought the Maximo games were a lot more fun.

The thing I was really sorry to miss out on was the GBA- I largely picked up the games on the cheap to play on my DS, just as I grabbed GameCube games to play on the Wii. But, I credit the GBA with introducing me to Fire Emblem and Advance Wars, and also letting me finally play FFVI. I credit the GameCube with also introducing me to FE through Path of Radiance at the same time, but also Skies of Arcadia: Legends was wonderful and Wind Waker felt timeless to me.

I did really like the energy of the games from the era. Pushing 3D games to be stronger than their predecessors, they were often still experimental and with a ton of middleware, but it was also before everything went brown and grey as the home console idea of what a major game should look like in the early HD era was still a few years away. On the portables, the GBA vibe pretty much continued on DS, with tons of great pixel art games. The dual screen and stylus added control/HUD elements, but there was still a lot of crossover.

Really minor point- I loved the way DS game cases had a GBA cart slot to store them in too, I always thought that acknowledgement was very cool!
 
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freedomseekr

life is noise
Pronouns
he/him
While, by all intents and purposes, I should have been a "90s kid" - being born in the late 80s, old enough to predate the fall of the USSR but too young to have any proper memories of it - I think the 00's shaped me a lot more than the previous decade did.

I started watching anime on a somewhat regular basis - often paired with sneaking off to either my grandmother's living room or the attic to watch TV there since my parents were astutely opposed to the idea of me watching any TV unless the time and content was accepted by them - really, do you want to tell your parents you want to watch Agent AikA at 9PM while they're in the room with you - and gradually started reading manga which was exploding in popularity at the time. And yeah, I was all-in on .hack once it started hitting the West.

Games-wise, I mainly stuck with the Cube for the better part of the decade, but by 2005, I had gotten myself a PS2 primarily because I was fascinated by Kingdom Hearts and I did play a lot of it and also started getting into RPGs from Japan at the time - primarily Final Fantasy since it was the popular one, but also dipped my toes into the Shin Megami Tensei universe, Tales, Atelier Iris and other series that were dripping in to Europe at the time. I tried my hand at some of the Western games that were getting popular at the time - mainly Grand Theft Auto in the form of San Andreas - but really didn't enjoy a lot of them (and I still don't to this day).

I tried leaving weebdom behind for a spell in the 2010s, but really found that a lot of the non-anime/manga stuff completely and utterly failed to resonate with me and I look back on those days as me being a cringey tryhard.

Another thing that really was huge at the time - especially if you were an adult gamer or approaching adult age - was the years-long moral panic surrounding violent video games, something that kinda shaped me into being more anti-authoritarian politically.

Were you a member of any forum?
Yes, I was even a moderator on it... but I dropped out after some issues in 2009 (some to do with the forum, some with personal life stuff).
Where were you when Sega winded down?
I don't remember much from that time. I knew the Dreamcast was a thing and then it wasn't - I mainly followed Nintendo news at the time and didn't pay much heed to what else was going on in video games.
What was your favorite console, and why?
PS2 or Gamecube. Going by volume, it's probably the PS2 - my collection for that system nearly triples the amount of GameCube games I have - but I think more highly of the individual games for GameCube.
What did you (or do you) think of Nintendo during this era?
I wasn't too concerned with console warring back then (funnily enough, since the forum I joined was called "consolewars") and really, the GameCube didn't bother me. In hindsight, it was a transitional era for Nintendo - they started fixing their relationships with publishers that jumped off board the generation prior and they started leaning into their Japanese segments a bit more, beginning with the localizations of Fire Emblem - and while some may be less positive about how Nintendo operated post-Gamecube, I think nowadays, they're better off for it.
 
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