Demos you used to play constantly.

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Kemuri07

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I was watching a random video on the new Diablo 2 remake, and I was nostalging over the hours I poured into the original game on pc. Not the full game, but simply a demo. But I was a kid, no job, my parents rarely ever let me buy games, and around that time in the early 00s, demos were pretty much one of the few ways I could play games.

But I played them like they were the actual games. I remember playing the shit out of that Pizza Hut ps1 demo disc (you know what I'm talking about) constantly going through that Metal Gear Solid demo. Or the demo disc that came with the playstation and constantly playing that Tekken 2 demo or Crash Bandicoot. And hell, I remember just playing Rise of Nations, an rts, with codes on simply for the enjoyment of destroying the ai enemies.

So do any of you guys have similar stories of playing through demos for a crazy amount fo time?

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brian_

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I remember having demos for Metal Gear and Medieval, but I have no idea how or why I had them. I don't know if they were on the same disc or where they came from. Pretty sure it wasn't a Pizza Hut thing though.

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jacksmedulla

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#3  Edited By jacksmedulla

I didn't really start playing demos until the 360 era, so a lot of those early titles stick out in my mind. Stuff like Dead Rising, Lost Planet, and Rainbow Six Siege Vegas I would play on repeat.

Edit* I play a lot of siege now, so it's hard to type Rainbow Six without it. I meant Rainbow Six Vegas.

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FRANZlSKA

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#4  Edited By FRANZlSKA

For about five months after I first made a Steam account, the only thing for me to play with it were demos and f2p games, which really meant the main thing for me to play on Steam was the Portal demo over and over, which I have zero regrets about. Also, despite already owning Minecraft before I got the issue of PC Gamer with a Minecraft demo, I must have played just the demo version at least half a dozen times, partially just for the novelty of the semi-prebuilt world and 100-minute time limit.

I also remember trying to use OnLive and playing the first hour or so of Just Cause 2, Borderlands, and Dead Island over and over again trying to poke my way as far into each game as the time limit would allow.

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yourid

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Man, I've played the demo of the first Delta Force incessantly. And the demo of Unreal Tournament 2004 comes to mind. I played that so much.

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Topcyclist

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@kemuri07: I loved demos. Pizza hut demo or the ones in magazines. I was shocked to learn during the internet age, that most people hate em or avoid em and don't care that they are gone. That said, most of said people had a log of games less varied than I expected, with it mostly consisting of sports titles and a shooter here and there, so I was a minority in the demo camp since it allowed me to try out the genre's I never knew I'd like. Got into RPG's cause demos. Otherwise, those sprite rpg's look bad in pictures but the story draws you. Anyway, enough waxing nostalgic like a grumpy old mare, to answer your question.

Dreamcast demo disc. Loved playing swirls, power stone (missed my bus ride a lot playing that in the morning), sonic

Playstation pizza hut: MGS (first got into the series cause of it. I know people think it's overrated and the plot is anime bull crap, but at the time it blew me away with the level of voice acting, acting, plot, conspiracies, and graphics. I learned I loved stealth games too. Had no idea the actual game was kinda short but would get better and better story-wise for what I was looking for. I know it's considered bad now thou. :P) Crash bandicoot 2, made me get the game but played the level over and over, graphics at the time were unheard of. Didn't get why people loved Mario 64 so much graphics-wise as I thought this game looked better on a weaker system. Didn't know that the game was essentially somewhat hacked to look that way.

Xbox magazine: Otogi demo blew me away with the destructibility of levels saved to the underutilized hard drive. Loved when the devs used all their tools to make something special. Reminded me of a really good dbz game slamming people into mountains and seeing dust and buildings crumble to the ground. It was an older red armageddon.

Demos on Xbox 360: Just pure fun going into a short slice of beautiful-looking games at the time for free. Money and games were harder to get back then so it was nice to have a free selection with time-limited as well. Today games are cheap enough or given for free, with the caveat of paying as you go so ehh.

Finally, not much demos today, but I enjoyed PT somewhat, all those play for 10 hours things, which are essentially the game for me cause I wasn't gonna buy it anyway, but if I played for 10 I might get it on sale. etc.

Wish demos were still a big thing. I know why their not, but eh.

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Kemuri07

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@yourid: Oh same here. I played the shit out of Unreal2k4

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fisk0

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#8 fisk0  Moderator

The original GTA demo comes to mind. You had 10 or 15 minutes to explore Liberty City and blow stuff up, and I had a lot of fun doing that.

That's probably it when it comes to traditional demos, but I spent a lot of time with the shareware versions of lots of games like Blake Stone, Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, Commander Keen, Monster Bash and Secret Agent too.

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noboners

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#9  Edited By noboners

I think it was the first Just Cause demo that was like a 30 minute timer in the world, and I would spend all 30 minutes every time trying to attach a tuk tuk to a helicopter, flying really high, jumping out and trying to hook myself into the tuk tuk as it fell.

Edit: it was just cause 2

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jamesyfx

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I used to play the Christmas Nights into Dreams Demo disc and the Panzer Dragoon Saga Demo disc all the time on my Saturn, way back.

That PZ demo was loooong. I'm pretty sure it was just the entirety of Disc 1 of the retail game.

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SSully

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#11  Edited By SSully

I am not sure if it was the most, but I replayed the demo for Dark Messiah of Might & Magic a lot. I had multiple classes to choose from (melee, archer, and mage I believe) and the big deal at the time was the interactivity of the fighting. There were spikes on walls, barrels you could drop, and pits to kick guys into so it made replaying the demo worth it to mess around and see how everything interacted.

They also put out a multiplayer beta before the game came out that I played for as long as I could. I was interesting because it had a per-match leveling system, almost like a MOBA, where you would pick your abilities from a skill tree as the match went on. In addition to the interactive environments, it was a lot of fun.

Oddly enough I never bought the game. It came out around the same time as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. I remember going to the Gamespot forums and asking which game I should buy, and the response was overwhelming Oblivion. I honestly regretted picking Oblivion over it.

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rorie

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#12 rorie  Staff

I think I played the Ellis Island demo for Deus Ex maybe a couple hundred times front to back. Just a crazy good demo!

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rorie

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#13 rorie  Staff

@ssully said:

I am not sure if it was the most, but I replayed the demo for Dark Messiah of Might & Magic a lot. I had multiple classes to choose from (melee, archer, and mage I believe) and the big deal at the time was the interactivity of the fighting. There were spikes on walls, barrels you could drop, and pits to kick guys into so it made replaying the demo worth it to mess around and see how everything interacted.

Wow that demo is still available on Steam! What a good game that was.

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FinalDasa

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#14 FinalDasa  Moderator

I can't remember if it was Battlefront 1 or 2, but whichever demo was on the Star Wars DVDs saw a LOT of play on my Xbox.

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FacelessVixen

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I got a lot of mileage out of the Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal demo back in the day.

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Kyary

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Literally all of my programming classes in high school were a rush to finish all the assignments so you could load up the Halo CE demo for Mac. We got so into it that we started modding the demo. You can probably imagine that the modding tools for the mac port of the demo for halo 1 were not exactly the most fully featured, but we made it work. Matches on Blood Gulch with snipers that shot tank shells got pretty heated.

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glots

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I'd imagine that the original Unreal Tournament demo is high up there, 2003 and 2004 probably got played a decent amount too. Does Half-Life: Uplink count? Cause I'm pretty sure I replayed that one a fair bit too.

Outside of those, I'm not too sure! I used to buy and subscribe to several PC gaming magazines that came with demo discs on them, so I played a looooot of demos. First one that comes to mind when I try to think is the Hulk game from 2003, so that'd probably be one?

I didn't have a Playstation myself, but I do remember that I played at least the Crash and Spyro demos over at my friend's place a loooot of times.

...maaaan, I really miss Demo Derby.

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LapsarianGiraff

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#18  Edited By LapsarianGiraff

All of them?

When I was a kid that couldn't buy everything but wanted to play everything, I had a huge list of demos I just cycled through instead of playing bought games. That being said, I played a ton of the Just Cause 2 and Stuntman: Ignition demos in particular.

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sombre

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The PS1 demo disk in the UK had this game called "Overboard", where you were a pirate ship.

I played a LOT of that gmae.

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redwing42

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The only ones I ever really put much time into were shareware DOOM, Christmas Nights, and Tony Hawk 2. But I did put quite a bit of time into both DOOM and TH2.

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FrodoBaggins

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Future Cop L.A.P.D

I played the heck out of that demo disk

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TehBuLL

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Spent so much time in a PC Motocross Madness demo just zipping around on a dirt bike...huge. Ooo and clearing the demo for the original Hitman over and over, just dumping bodies down the sewer.

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ll_Exile_ll

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I didn't really start playing demos until the 360 era, so a lot of those early titles stick out in my mind. Stuff like Dead Rising, Lost Planet, and Rainbow Six Siege I would play on repeat.

I played a ton of the Dead Rising demo. My friend and I would get in an Xbox Live private chat and compete against each other to see who could get the most zombie kills in the demo's time limit. I never even ended up getting the actual game, because I'd played the demo so much I had basically had my fill of the game.

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CrimsonJesus

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Just Cause 2 demo, I will have that Bolo Santosi voice over in my head until the day I die. "My name is Bolo Santosi. I am the leader of the revolutionary army known as the Reapers."

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Nocall

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My PC came with demos of Midtown Madness and AOE2, played those a ton. Had a subscription to PC Gamer magazine as a kid and played those to death as well. Majesty, warlords: battle cry, and the Star Trek FPS stick out in particular.

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Junkerman

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Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2

That demo had Multiplayer (With one map) and a full level mid-way through the game. It took 6 year old me forever to even know how to progress out of the first open courtyard and had zero context to what the hell was happening. Probably killed that Ugnaught NPC when you first load in a few hundred times. Sometimes a sizzling arm would fly off. The future was now!

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ripelivejam

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Mechwarrior 2 and Ascendancy spring instantly to mind.

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AV_Gamer

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When I first got the original Playstation, it came with a Playstation Underground disc with Raystorm on the demos section. The demo was the first space mission where you fight the giant warship in the end. Because my gaming library was limited with only having Fighting Force and Final Fantasy 7 at the time, I played a ton out of that demo. Eventually, I was able to rent the full game and it didn't disappoint. Also played a decent amount of Intelligent Qube demo, but not as much as Raystorm.

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Teoball

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I played so much of the Battlefield 1942 wake island demo.

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Judoboy

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#30  Edited By Judoboy

@teoball said:

I played so much of the Battlefield 1942 wake island demo.

I was just about to post this too. Played this a ton. Unreal Tournament demos too.

My real answer hasn't been mentioned yet and thats the multiplayer demo of Soldier of Fortune 2. It was a single multiplayer map and I played dozens of hours of it and I think I did eventually buy the game but I barely played any more of it after I bought it. Such an underrated game. I still think about the AK in that game.

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ape_dosmil

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#31  Edited By ape_dosmil

Not demos as such but if anyone remember Net Yaroze, the PS1 devkit that was released to the public so people could make their own games.

The UK Official Playststion Magazine would sometimes include one of these homemade games on their demo disc. Anyway one issue they included a disc with all the best Net Yaroze games on it and I played the absolute shit out of it. They were mostly really basic, janky games but at the time it was a real novelty to play what were essentially indie games before indie games really became a thing.

EDIT: I would love if that disc could be sourced for Demo Derby, I think it may have just been a UK thing and being homemade games I don't think they were released in any other manner.

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theunseenshadow

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It was mentioned above already, but the Just Cause 2 Demo on Xbox 360. You had a timer of about 30 minutes but it gave you a super large area to play around in and do wacky Just Cause 2 physics. I must have played that demo dozens of times. Sold me on getting the game which beforehand I had no idea about and did the same for several friends I told to try it. There needs to be more demos, especially for non-AAA games.

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MightyDuck

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I used to love the old Playstation Underground demos. I remember getting 1 or 2 in the mail. One of them was Toys R Us branded. It had Hot Shots Golf and Tomba on it, which I played a ton every once in a while.

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Onemanarmyy

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#34  Edited By Onemanarmyy

Yeah i did go through that Deus Ex demo quite a bit too. Me & my neighbor also played that MGS1 PSX demo multiple times just because it's vibe was unlike anything else.

But i probably spent the most time on demo's during the PS3 days. Internet access was a-plenty, and there would be new demo's every week i checked the store. Some of my favorites were some version of Fifa (it took like 4 minutes to go through all the screens between games, but if you were adamant, that meant you could play a whole lot of Fifa for free) and the SSX demo (which was timed, so it was sort of exciting to contineously improve your shortcuts and boosts to turn 1 more corner on the track). I also had some good fun with some ice hockey game, motorstorm, Rygar & the demo of super-rub-a-dub.

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mylifeforAiur

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Red Faction Guerrilla on 360. I was awestruck by the destruction capabilities.

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kaungo

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Vivid memories of replaying The first Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction on PS2.

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Rentarousensei

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I usually was very one and done with game demos, but the demo of Metal Gear Solid 2 that came with Zone of the Enders was different. I played that over and over again and did basically everything you could do in that starting area.

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stantongrouse

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Ah, it's nice to hear all the love for the golden years of demos. Me and my cousin used to get a Spectrum magazine that was on the cheaper side of things and instead of a demo disc/cassette it would have a lump of code to type in to programme a simple game or level. These would run until the machine switched off, so we would play the heck out of whatever it was, knowing that we'd not ever bother to type it all out again. Once the Amiga came out the Amiga Format demo discs were such a feature for me while I still had no finances to just buy games as I wanted them. Sensible Soccer, Cannon Fodder, Lemmings 2 and Skidmarks were the standout ones that I played so much I lose track to whether I ever owned the games or just had the demos.

By the time of Doom and the sudden growth of shareware, I had access to too many ways of getting games (all highly above board, definitely legal, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more) that demos seemed unnecessary, especially as a budget game was often now less than the price of two magazines. Those UK PS1 magazines with discs were pricy, especially considering that Blockbuster had rental games competing against them.

I completely understand why the era of the print magazine and demo disc scene is a thing of the past, but the feeling of being with a buddy or two, flicking through the pages of the magazine, dealing out spurious rumours about the games inside while replaying the demo disc level of a game like it was the whole thing will always be a great time in my brain space.

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deactivated-629ec706f0783

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The Silent Cartographer level of Halo on one of the early OXM Demo Disks was played so many times for me in my youth, so much that now if I play through Halo 1 for fun, I actively kinda hate that level, even though It's a really well made level.

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Humanity

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The 10 minute GTA1 demo on PC. Man in like 1996-7 I think it was.. an entire open city was wild AND I can get out of the car ANNDDD steal any other car?! I had a 66mhz PC that couldn’t even play the well and while it worked everything moved at half speed. I played that demo so much that when I finally got a new PC and the full game I couldn’t even play it because everything moved so fast.

Incidentally for whatever reason as a young kid I would often have this fantasy of what it would be like if you could play GTA like on the go and it seemed so far fetched.

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GTxForza

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All I can remember is WipEout XL/2097 for PS1.

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Klopek

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I played the Steep Slope Sliders demo countless times on Sega Saturn. The irony is that I never actually bought it. I think it was too rare and expensive at the time and the moment simply passed.

I also played The Indiana Jones (Emperor's Tomb) demo for the first Xbox endlessly. There was a competition in the Xbox magazine to record yourself finishing the demo as quickly as possible. I streamlined everything with no unnecessary actions. I finally got the perfect run recorded and submitted (on VHS) but when the winner was announced it was some dude swinging with the whip and glitching over a wall, skipping the majority of the level. I'm still wondering now whether my time was a winner for the 'non-bullshit' entries.

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Sahalarious

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Hitman 2 demo was my GOTY the year I got that disc, OPM I believe? Not sure. But it was a while Hitman level, which is really substantial for a demo, and I wasn't allowed to buy M rated games at the time, so all the sweeter

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ToughShed

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I played the Tetris demo on my blackberry so many times. It was only the first two lines.

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Brendan

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I'm surprised I haven't seen more people post the Doom demo disk with Raptor and some other titles I can't remember. I played those demos on the disk (White Wolf installer screen bay-bee!) as much as someone would play full games.

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SigFigg

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When the GameCube first came out, Walmart had stations set up where you could play Custom Robo. Probably the only time I can remember being excited about going to the store with my parents.

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glots

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Somehow I forgot all about Halo for my original post, but I think I've written about it here before.

I didn't play it constantly and I never owned the original Xbox, but back when the console originally launched over here, there was a demo kiosk over at a department store, with games like Fuzion Frenzy, Halo: Combat Evolved and something else. I was there with my buddy and obviously we only cared about one of those. Somehow we didn't get bothered by any other customers or even the staff and we stood there playing the Halo demo for probably close to two hours. One of my favorite gaming related memories.

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cornfed40

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Nothing occupied my time like the demo for the first Crackdown

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Undeadpool

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I still remember the Japanese audio for the Shadow Moses exterior in the first Metal Gear Solid game.

That demo was one of the first "Oh, holy shit, VIDEOGAMES ARE NEXT-LEVEL ENTERTAINMENT!!" moments I had. You could find TWO ways into the base? The guards followed your footsteps? There was all this voice acting, nothing was just text, it was INCREDIBLE.

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Phoenix654

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A buddy of mine had a Dreamcast demo disk with the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 demo on it that we played to death. It had the Skatestreet Ventura level on it, I think we did hundreds of two minute runs each on it. By the time he got the actual game, we blew through the competition on that level easily, and eventually beat the game with every skater. So much fun, and the Dreamcast version was amazingly smooth.