Games time forgot: the rest of the demo disc

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A few weeks back, I talked about the beauty of the Metal Gear Solid demo on an official PlayStation demo disc I had.

Today, I’ll try my best to remember playing the other demos on that disc.

Though my memory is hazy and I can’t find a definitive list regarding which discs had which demos, I remember several demos I played over and over: Wild 9, Medieval, Gran Turismo, Crash Bandicoot: Warped, and one of the Madden games.

Hit the jump for some unfiltered nostalgia, in all its probably-inaccurate glory.

I think the thing I loved most about this demo disc is, with the definite exception of Wild 9 and the possible one of Crash Bandicoot Warped (I haven’t played the full game), most of these games entertained me for exactly as long as the demos lasted.

Medieval wasn’t that interesting in practice, but the art design was cool and I hadn’t really played any action-platformer-whatever games on the PSOne at the time.

Madden was football, which I hated then and hated now, but everytime you completed a “game” (read: a single quarter), you got to see a picture of a real-life cheerleader from the winning side. I was something like 10 or 11 or 12 at the time, so try and understand what a big deal that was. I sucked ass at the game, so in order to see all the different cheerleaders I’d just pick the team whose chicks I’d already seen, and then just intentionally lose over and over so i could see the others.

What? You would have, too.

Anyway, the demos on that disc truly ran the gamut of game genres, and therefore taught me a lot about my own tastes. After playing Gran Turismo a few times, I realized I hated realistic driving games. After playing Madden, I understood that football games weren’t worth my time (though breasts probably were). I’m not exactly sure how to classify Crash Bandicoot Warped — on-rails platforming? — but I definitely fell in love with it.

I’d habitually play Warped and Wild 9 over and over, trying to find the perfect way to complete each level, never taking any damage and collecting every item. After a month or so of sustained playing during summer, I actually managed to accomplish this goal: I officially annihilated the Warped level (I think it was on the Great Wall or something, I may have been riding a tiger) and found every single way you could possibly kill all the enemies in the short Wild 9 demo (which started in the level where you find your exploding friend, and ended right before you got to use him).

Oh, hey, here’s that Warped level. I remember it being darker, as if the level were set at night.

Either way, I honestly sort of miss the days of demo discs: it’s pretty much solely nostalgia talking, considering how costly and easy to lose and often inconvenient they are, but I loved being able to pick from a buffet line of different snippets of different games from different genres.

I can still technically do that, with XBL and PSN and downloadable demos, but those take a lot of time to download (and/or install), and I only ever download things I’m already interested in. The demo discs often opened me up to things I never thought I’d enjoy.

I don’t really know where I was going with that, but there you are.

Anthony Burch