noiseredux vs.

Posted on Nov 26th 2011 at 11:53:56 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Magazines

A while back I started collecting issues of PSM, which is one of my favorite PlayStation magazines. I suppose it's the "100% independent" part of it -- the idea that the views may be a bit more unbiased than those coming form Official PlayStation Magazine. Or maybe it's just how cool a lot of the cover art was. Who knows? But with Black Friday's arrival, I felt the urge to look back at the 2002 Holiday Buyer's Guide issue... from 2002. So let's see what PSM was urging everyone to shove under the tree 9 years ago, shall we?

The issue starts off with a nice recap of the year's biggest PlayStation-related stories. The top story of the year was the arrival of the PS2 Network Adapter. The blurb mentions that previously the PS2 had gone online with Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 thanks to the use of third-party modems -- something I had never been aware of. Of course the PS2 being an online console was an exciting prospect. And as I've recently pointed out in my last blog post, many of those PS2 games still have accessible servers up. But of course there is one glaring moment of hindsight present here -- the next revision of the PS2 hardware would have integrated ethernet that did not allow for the PS2 harddrive. Which of course means that Final Fantasy XI (one of the Network Adapter's biggest killer app) would no longer be playable. Though thankfully Sony would have the brains to fix this for those of us with backwards compatible PS3's.

And now for a little controversy:  the censorship of BMX XXX. Now certainly I'm not saying a BMX game needs topless women as playable characters. Nor do I think it needs full motion videos of strippers. But at the same time it is still a bit bothersome to me that the GameCube version was uncut while it was deemed to risque for PS2 owners. Keep in mind that Nintendo edited out a sprite of a topless work of art from Maniac Mansion and that the PS2 had The Guy Game. Just saying...

The Game Of The Month for this issue was Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Not much to argue with there. Though I'm not what you'd consider a big fan of the GTA series, Vice City and its baby brother Vice City Stories are the two entries that have appealed to me the most. There was just something perfect about taking the main concept of that game engine and setting it in the 80's.

Besides the Game Of The Month, there was a full-on Holiday Buyer's Guide. The games that were most highly recommended for the 2002 holiday season included Madden 2004, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Need For Speed Hot Pursuit 2, Ratchet & Clank, Socom: US Navy Seals, Suikoden III, Timesplitters 2 and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4.

PSM was also nice enough to pick out some possible stocking stuffers. In fact, these entries were far more interesting than the games themselves. For instance the PS2 keyboard and mouse -- certainly another nod to embracing the future of online gaming with the console. The Sony PED was also listed which was an early LED gaming TV/monitor combo. Though I can't really see how this would be a stocking stuffer, it was certainly an interesting early attempt at making a console-specific monitor for gamers -- something we've just seen Sony reattempt with their recently released 3D monitor.

The cover story focused on the soon to hit stateside Final Fantasy X-2. It's definitely interesting to me that they made this the cover. I feel like X-2 has been a pretty serious black sheep in the series. Though I actually find it rather refreshing in its uniqueness. Truth be told I'd probably rather have some fast fun with X-2 than spend a million hours slogging through XII. But of course, that's just one man's opinion.

And in one last awesome WTF? blurb, PSM exposes us to the then upcoming Capcom Fighting All Stars. Never played it? Well that's because it doesn't exist. Instead the total mess was aborted and turned into the so-bizarre-it's-kind-of-awesome Capcom Fighting Evolution. So of course, seeing this early screens of trainwreck is definitely interesting.

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I've been discovering dirt-cheap back issues of a few obscure gaming magazines, myself. And, like you with your PSMs, I've found them to be a fascinating blast from the past. I recently dug into an issue of Gamers' Republic, featuring cover stories about Quake 3 and the improbability of Evangelion for the N64 hitting the U.S. shores. It also sports a full-page ad for the Neo Geo Pocket Color, and three pages devoted to SoulCalibur--for the Dreamcast.

Oh, how quaint...

Neat! I'm also surprised Nintendo didn't force BMX XXX to censor the game.
I'd rather play X-2 than XII again given the choice also. Your not alone! Also Tony Hawk PS4 is my favorite in the series. Thats a solid recommendation if you ask me.
THPS4 is excellent. I'll give you that. I'm not sure I could even decide on a favorite. I guess 2 for nostalgia, but 3 and 4 are brilliant.
Mortal Kombat, Tony Hawk, Final Fantasy, Need for Speed, Ratchet and Clank.
2002 was a good year.!
I actually got BMX XXX for the Gamecube that year. I can say that it was easily one of the worst games I ever had the misfortune of owning. I would say the humor was juvenile, but that would be an insult to juveniles. It was the stupidest, cluinkiest waste of a disc I have played. After a week, I went to go and try to get some money out of it at my local game retailer. The trade-in value had already dropped to $5! Can you imagine? $5 for a game that had been out less than a month.
Netscape web browser ^.^

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