10 Years Ago in November: Video Game Edition

As with every year, the holiday season hits the gaming industry pretty hard in November. This year was no exception. With big title releases such as Assassin’s Creed III, Halo 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2Need for Speed: Most Wanted and even the launch of the Wii U, it’s easy to forget about the holiday gaming seasons of yesteryear.

For video games, 2002 was a pretty big year. Looking at just consoles, games and accessories, there was an estimated $10.3 billion dollars of merchandise sold. This, in comparison to 2011’s estimated $16.6 billion, shows that video games are only growing more popular as the years go by. For those of you reading this, you might as well be in for a heavy nostalgia trip and a sudden feeling of being old. We are going to look back 10 years into the past and get a glimpse at some of the most notable video game releases in November 2002. There’s also always the chance that some of you have never heard of or played these games. Hopefully this will educate you and convince to to go back and experience some of these gems for yourself.

 Ratchet & Clank (November 4, 2002)

2002 saw the birth of arguably one of the most enjoyable original series of the past 10 years. With its strange, yet intriguing characters and simple yet enjoyable gameplay mechanics, Ratchet and Clank flew high in the eyes of reviewers everywhere.

Ratchet and Clank makes use of various weapons, from a simple wrench to a Morph-O-Ray, a gun that turns enemies into chickens. Each gun has its own strengths and weaknesses, so you’re forced to plan accordingly to get out of some very sticky situations. The gameplay itself swaps back and forth between Ratchet and Clank. As Ratchet, you spend your time whacking creatures over the head with a wrench and shooting up armies of bad guys. As Clank, you’re a much more vulnerable little robot with the ability to control a legion of smaller robots to help you through various puzzles. The variety never gets old.

 Resident Evil 0 (November 12, 2002)

Resident Evil 0 was originally developed on the Nintendo 64 but was later dropped due to the developers having issues with the Nintendo 64’s memory. Shortly after the Nintendo GameCube was released, the developers picked it up again and opted to use two discs to overcome the initial memory issue.

Resident Evil 0 was the last console game in the series to use the original game mechanics, as opposed to the new “action” mechanics of Resident Evil 4 onwards. Resident Evil 0 serves as a prequel to the original Resident Evil, showing what happened to the members of S.T.A.R.S Bravo team up until a few hours before Alpha team enters the mansion.

The game used a “partner-zapping” system where, unlike the second game in the series where you have a disc for each character’s story, you have control of both characters throughout the whole story and will ‘zap’ between them at various points in the game.

Splinter Cell Sneaking Through Shadows

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell (November 17, 2002)

Let’s all take a second and be honest with ourselves, we always wanted to be a secret agent with cool gadgets when we were younger. Sadly, Splinter Cell very well may be the closest some of us will ever get to that.

In Splinter Cell you play as the retired marine Sam Fisher who gets brought out of retirement by the NSA to become a ‘Splinter Cell’ for their secret sub-agency, Third Echelon. Fisher gets dispatched on his first mission to investigate two CIA agents who disappeared under mysterious circumstances, but ends up getting a lot more than he bargained for.

As you progress through, you learn that there is something big going on. Real big. With a potential war about to start if information falls into the wrong hands, it’s up to you to stop this from happening.

With the main aspect of the game being based on stealth, you’ll be hiding in shadows for the majority of the game. One very nice touch though is the ability to aid yourself by shooting out lights to give yourself more darkness to work with.

Splinter Cell is a far cry from the standard third-person shooter, but it works oh so very well. With a new title announced at this years E3, it’s one that doesn’t look like it’s going to fall anytime soon.

 Metroid Prime ( November 17, 2002)

For those of you familiar with the Metroid world, this one will pretty much speak for itself. For those of you who are not so fortunate then stop reading here, go get yourself a Gamecube and a copy of this. Right now.

8 years after the release of Super Metroid, we were graced with the gem that is Metroid Prime. The game is the second installment in the ‘Prime’ series. With it’s first-person adventure approach and fun combat the game was essentially an open sci-fi world free for you to explore. With an array of weapons and abilities you play as Samus Aran, a bounty hunter who intercepts a distress beacon from a ship, and before she knows it, she is fighting for her survival on the planet known as ‘the Tallon Overworld.”

With that, I come to the end of my piece. I hope that you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane and maybe even found a new series that you fancy trying out along the way. Oh the nostalgia…

[Submitted by contributor Declan McGeachey]