In these days before the consoles hooked themselves up to Skynet and could read your heartbeat from a room away, the only real way to discover (pardon the pun) what new games were coming out was to buy the magazine. If you were wise, you’d go for the Official Playstation Magazine and eagerly slam in the demo disc that was glued to the front of each issue. The demo disc held samples of around half a dozen games, just the first level usually, so that you could tell if the game was going to be worth your hard earned cash.
Some months it was a bit of a waste of time – a handful of rather bad games that were not worth the time or the energy. But once in a while, there was a gem on there that had you instantly hooked. A demo you kept reloading over and over again.
There were four demos that really stood out for me as being real high points in my gaming history. These are in no order really, just ones that come to mind.
|MTV Sports: Snowboarding|
|Hogs of War PS1 Game|
Thirdly was Final Fantasy VII. The demo was a disc to itself, and took Cloud through to placing the bomb early on in the game. Playthrough of the demo took easily twenty five minutes to play, and it was just stunning. I think I only played the demo through a couple of times before I realised that I needed to buy the full game. And what a game it was. I loved FFVII. And it is, still, to date, the only Final Fantasy game I’ve actually completed to the end.
|Final Fantasy VII - Genius!|
The final boss battle with Sephiroth took nearly three hours, and I only managed it thanks to getting the Knights of the Round Materia and the Mime Materia to copy its effects over and over. Man that was a hard fight. Sweaty palms, shaky hands and a weak bladder by the end of that, but FFVII is still a work of genius. At a time when I didn’t get to tabletop game very often (if at all) it filled a hole in my gaming life, and made me wonder why there wasn’t an official Final Fantasy tabletop RPG…
A special mention should also go for the demo disc that included the opening title sequence to FFVIII. Good lord that was amazing…
|The original Grand Theft Auto game|
I loved GTA, bought the game after almost wearing the disc out. I played GTA and FFVII so much we had the regular PS1 problem where you had to stand the console on its side or upside-down to get the discs to load.
And then, Sony announced the PS2… it had to be done…