The Autumn of 2003

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The Autumn of 2003

Postby Herschie » September 29th, 2018, 5:05 pm

For me, this is a time that I'll never forget. I think a lot of it had to do with the Cubs. I'm sure most of us know what happened with Bartman (Though Rizzo almost suffered the same fate the other night), but it was quite the fun season. I went to so many games, and really couldn't believe it was over. October turned into November, Thanksgiving came and went, December began. And I was still in denial. I still thought that there were more games left to be played. Was this way until November 2016 :lol: .

I also ordered a book called "Double Your Dating" by David DeAngelo, a book my wife and I still joke about to this day. It had rather peculiar advice, but some of it was good, like his "Cocky and Funny" ideas. In fact, I first started talking to my wife around this time, and don't laugh, but we met off of AOL. All of the guys were telling her how pretty she was, but I was saying different things, and this seemed to have piqued her interest. Ten years later, we were at the altar.

But it took awhile for us to meet. And so I'd spend many nights wishing I had a date, though often times I actually would. I seemed to enjoy getting high a lot too. There was this smoke shop I remember would sell these flavored blunt wraps. My favorite was pineapple. I'd go outside, smoke a blunt, then come back in to watch American Pie or Animal House. Or even some Indiana Jones. And there were a few games I played around then too.

Given that this was such a memorable time in my life, I decided to play a few games from that era.

First thing I did was I went outside with a cigar and whiskey because I'm between jobs, and one must remain clean at such times. Wasn't a blunt, but man a glass of Jameson and a cigar will get you feeling mighty good! Watched a few clips of Animal House and American Pie on my phone, then I went inside.

Back then I played on a Sony Trinitron, but I recently found my component cables for my Gamecube, and I wanted to use the surround sound. I bought these things like twelve years ago for fifty bucks, now I'm seeing them on Amazon for a whopping $380! But man, do they improve the picture even better than the Framemeister would.

I also ordered SCART cables, and Amazon said they're coming tomorrow. Supposedly this is the best picture, and the Framemeister supports it. Anyway, I played a few games:

Metroid Prime

Who could forget this memorable game? I'm always chirping about how it's the best surround sound game I have ever played, and my opinion has not changed. This game never gets old no matter how many times I play it. But I remember my friends would like this game, while I was hooked on the original Metroid you got to play, I think if you connected a completed Metroid Fusion game. I forget how you unlocked that.

Much as I enjoyed finding the "Secret Worlds" in the original, I enjoyed finding them in this game. Most you need the double-jump for, and it's interesting getting "out of bounds" in these games. Plus, the whole game has this calming, halcyonic effect on me, one which is enhanced by the ever-precious surround-sound.

Weird too, I remember getting sick playing Metroid Prime back in 2003, but I played this for well over an hour last night and felt fine. Must be the whiskey.

All Star Baseball 2004

Years ago, Critic had a gripes article that I thought was hilarious. One thing he mentioned was how sports games always were always a year ahead, for some reason. Makes sense for the NBA; when someone mentions the 1993 season, I think 1992-1993. But in NFL, if you ask me who won the Super Bowl in 1985, I'm saying the Bears, even though the big game took place on January 26th, 1986. And MLB, well, that just makes no sense! Even if you include spring training, it starts in February, and nowadays goes into early November. So there's no reason to call it 2004 when it's based on the 2003 season.

That said, it really was a cool game! One disheartening thing was how it illustrates how little progress has actually been made. I had about as much fun playing as I do a game of MLB: The Show 18. The graphics are pretty good, though you don't get the lively crowds that you get in modern games. Whoop dee do! The gameplay was fun, and I remember guys like Sosa, Alou, and Kenny Lofton. Ultimately my starter, Shawn Estes, got rocked, and I lost 13-10. Oh, and they had a quick-count feature!

Madden 2004

If EA never made another good football game, I would be perfectly fine and dandy with this. Only problem is, the Bears stunk that year. Well, 7-9 I guess isn't terrible, but it wasn't enough to save head coach Dick Jauron's job. Fortunately it helped clear the way for Lovie Smith, and why they let him go after a 10-6 season is beyond me.

I actually played this more in the early parts of 2004, but I had it around this time. I like how defense seems to be played properly, and the game actually feels a little more natural than Madden 19. The graphics were pretty good to. As for me, I seem to have gotten a lot better at this, and discovered some interception-factory plays out of the 46 normal formation. I won 56-14.

Mario Kart Double Dash

I still give Mario Kart 64 the nod as the better stoner game, but I enjoy Double Dash a little more. Now I am an absolute beast with Bowser Jr. and Diddy Kong with those huge bananas! I like to put them right by all the jumps, getting me some monster leads on some courses. Plus, unlike Mario Kart 64, they don't have that rubberband AI. I always like the wacky graphics, music, and sound effects. To this day, I play this quite often.

That's about all I had time for since my wife had a honey-do list for me. But often when I play these games, it brings back memories not so much of the game itself, but moreso the way things were around the time I'd play them. I've come a long way, buying a townhouse, getting married, having two cars. All the nights I didn't have a date, and now I have a gorgeous woman I'm married to who I love so much. Not a bad cook, either!

Do you guys agree? I'd be curious to hear some of your memories and games you played around this time.

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Re: The Autumn of 2003

Postby Voor » September 29th, 2018, 9:52 pm

Fall 2003? Let’s see. My wife and I would have been married almost 2 years (dated for 3 months, so we beat y’all by just a hair, lol) and I was in my junior year of college. Honestly, between the wife, college, full time job, I was just trying to stay Alive. Lol.

I’ve never been a drinker or smoker. I don’t like the taste of alcohol (can never get past it) and I think weed is way overhyped—my opinion.

I had a GameCube and NES at the time. My NES games of choice were RBI Baseball, Ninja Gaiden, and Kings of the Beach.

GameCube would have been a double Dash, Sunshine, and an obscure game called Freedom Fights (squad based 3rd person shooter). Metroid prime made me sick, but I’ve always been jealous. I may try it on the Wii again, though I’ve had my eye on Other M and Okami lately.

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Re: The Autumn of 2003

Postby Stalvern » September 29th, 2018, 11:12 pm

I think I would have been playing a lot of Super Smash Bros. Melee and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2. One of my friends also got me into older adventure games around that time, particularly the Myst series.

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Re: The Autumn of 2003

Postby Herschie » September 30th, 2018, 2:21 am

Let's keep this going. Somebody should do a similar topic from a time from, say no earlier than 1988, and no later than 2013. What games were you playing? What was going on in your life? Video games are virtual time machines.

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Re: The Autumn of 2003

Postby VideoGameCritic » September 30th, 2018, 10:34 am

Fascinating topic. I don't consider 2003 that long ago but a lot has changed in 15 years. I sorted my reviews by date to see what I was playing in the fall of 2003

This was the year I acquired the somewhat rare Castlevania Dracula-X (Japan) for the Turbografx CD - a great Halloween game and maybe the best game for the system.

I was REALLY in the Halloween spirit, reviewing Clock Tower 2 (PS1), Resident Evil Zero (GameCube), Ghoul Patrol (SNES), Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (GBA), The Haunted Mansion (Xbox), and Resident Evil Dead Aim (PS2)

Apparently I was getting pretty deep into my Atari 2600 coverage, reviewing obscure titles like Gas Hog, Solaris, and Ocean City Defender. It makes sense that after several years of running the site I had probably covered all the common games.

ESPN NFL Football (PS2). After the Dreamcast Sega started to make sports games for the PS2, and this got an A-. Makes me feel sad for sports fans of today. Let's face it - today's sports selection is a barren wasteland.

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Re: The Autumn of 2003

Postby Matchstick » September 30th, 2018, 8:46 pm

Herschie wrote: Fortunately it helped clear the way for Lovie Smith, and why they let him go after a 10-6 season is beyond me.


Guy could've been Bears coach for life, for all I care. Was there anyone else out there who could've hitched his wagon to Rex Grossman like he did, and ride him all the way to the Super Bowl? That feat alone, I think, should make your job untouchable.

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Re: The Autumn of 2003

Postby David » September 30th, 2018, 10:25 pm

The fall of 2003 I was 18 starting my freshman year at the U of MN. There was a period of about three years where I wasn’t gaming too much that started during college, except for multiplayer games we played in the dorms. I remember playing some Halo 2, WWE Raw vs Smackdown I think, and Madden. Coincidentally, by the time I was leaving for college my launch PS2 decided to stop reading discs and I never bothered to replace it until much later.

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Re: The Autumn of 2003

Postby matmico399 » October 1st, 2018, 12:30 pm

Cool topic. Lemme see I believe I had just gotten a PS2 a few years after release. Recently divorced at that time I didn't have much spare cash so I only had 3 games at that time. The latest NCAA football, medal of Honor Rising Sun and GTA Vice City. That was all I needed.

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Re: The Autumn of 2003

Postby Gleebergloben123 » October 1st, 2018, 2:05 pm

Herschie wrote:Let's keep this going. Somebody should do a similar topic from a time from, say no earlier than 1988, and no later than 2013. What games were you playing? What was going on in your life? Video games are virtual time machines.

Autumn 1996. At the time my wife and I, recently married, moved to Chicago as she got a job with the airlines and I was commuting to Tokyo about 15 times a year for work. In the summer of that year, I got my first glimpse of the N64 and Super Mario at a department store in Shinjuku, and I was absolutely blown away by the graphics, music, and gameplay.

I had to check, but the N64 came out in Japan in June 1996, in the U.S., Sept 1996. I had been playing our SNES to death since we brought in back from Tokyo where we were living. Had/have an adapter that allowed us to play Japanese games (or visa versa, can't remember). My wife's kanji and katakana skills were good enough where she could translate the games for me (especially RPG's). Games like Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Zelda, Mario, Earthworm Jim, Donkey Kong Country, Lion King, etc etc etc, and we were set. But once I saw the N64, I knew that I had to have it.

In September 1996 I believe, I called all around for an N64 in the Chicago area (we didn't have internet at the time, so I had to use a *gasp!* rotary phone.) After calling about 15 or 20 stores, I found one in Belize or Honduras (at least it felt that far). Drove 1.5 hours, bought the system with Wave Race (I believe) and Super Mario 64. I couldn't put Mario down. The game just immersed me in the Mario world and the music knocked my socks off. When I wasn't in Japan, during Autumn of 1996 I was watching college and pro football, and playing Mario on my new fangled N64.

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Re: The Autumn of 2003

Postby txsizzler » October 1st, 2018, 2:20 pm

Autumn of 2003... being that my daughter was born in September of 2003, pretty much all my time was being devoted to her, my wife, and work. Sleep and the above responsibilities is pretty all I did during that time (and sleep was hard to come by with a newborn).

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