To hell with seasonal affective disorder. It's friggin' Christmas time.
I wasn't a huge fan of the Playstation 2 when it came out. The launch lineup wasn't exactly stellar, consisting of stuff like Ridge Racer (Which seems to be on every console at launch), Fantavision (a puzzle game without a ton of depth, if I recall) and Smuggler's Run. A lot of these games sat on shelves for ages. I'm sure that a few Wal-Marts still have copies of Smuggler's Run in their gaming section.
The less-than-stellar launch lineup of the Playstation 2 made me a little bit hesitant about getting one. It just wasn't something I wanted.
Clearly, I didn't tell my parents this. Out of all the gifts I received on Christmas 2000, what do you think the biggest one was?
Yuuup. A Playstation 2.
I didn't complain. Especially since it meant I got to play SSX.
For me, this was THE BEST Playstation 2 game for a long while. My first memories of it come from the local Blockbuster Video, where I would rent the vast majority of games as a child. Owning an actual game was a special occasion sort of thing, as, of course, games are expensive, and with a Blockbuster membership they only cost about $5. For a kid who wanted to play EVERY GAME EVER, a Blockbuster card meant more than a passport.
My local store also had kiosks set up with game consoles in them for people to demo. The one for the Playstation 2 had SSX. And it was amazing. It was the first time games looked like more than just polygons.
Above is a quick video of SSX in action. Credit goes to the uploader, not me.
My favorite course was the Elysium Alps course, because that felt significantly more "open" than the rest. Sure, it was on a track like the rest, but Elysium Alps is the one that stuck with me. That, and the snow. Oh, the snow effects in this game were great. The painted lines in the snow that signified jumps weren't completely painted-in, as you could see flecks of white that weren't "painted." Basically, it looked like you were boarding down a giant snow-cone in some parts. It was one of the first experiences with truly next-gen visuals.
Being the ungrateful bastard that I was, I proceeded to ignore my PS2 once SSX had run its course. SSX was also the only game in my PS2 collection for about a year and a half. Sure, I played the hell out of Mega Man X6, but that wasn't a PS2 game. It took the power of a little game called Ratchet & Clank for me to really appreciate the Playstation 2 in the long run. I'll definitely get to talking about that series eventually.
For now, though? I'm going to go get my copy of SSX resurfaced. I think I may have used it as a drink coaster at some point.