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Gamesfirst! Holiday Wishlist! '04: Part 1
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posted by: Chris Martin
date posted: 12:00 AM Thu Dec 16th, 2004
last revision: 12:00 AM Thu Dec 16th, 2004

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First Annual GamesFirst! Holiday Wishlist! 2004: Part I

Dear Readers,

Giving is great and all, but let us face facts: there's nothing better than tearing open a present and finding just what you wanted on Christmas day.  And it doesn't just have to be on the day itself; late Christmas presents are always welcomed too.  Presents, in general, just rock.  Combine the concept of presents - boxes with things in them - with the concept of games - the things we all hope to find in the boxes - and you have a general recipe for a happy GF crew.  Unfortunately, being adults, we here at GF! don't always get every game we want; sometimes we have to put our favorites aside in favor of some less worthy title we've been given for review, or we have families, or we're building hot tubs, or doing something else that eats away our time.  But, being kids at heart, especially around Christmas, that doesn't keep us from wishing for them, or fulfilling childhood rituals like writing their names on paper, putting them in stamped envelopes, and sending them off to Santa, who, for us at GF, also sometimes goes by the name of Editor-in-Chief.  If we've been good little boys and girls, we get those games for review, and we respond by bringing Santa tidings of cookies and eggnog.  Such is the Christmas way. 

This year, we thought it would be fun to compile a GamesFirst! wish list, a little compilation of the top game related items that has our inner children jumping up and down screaming, I want!  I want! I want!?  For the most part, all the items - mostly games, systems, and peripherals - come out around the Christmas season.  In a few cases, we refused to be bound by anything resembling either reality or income.  What fun would that be? 

So here is the rather extensively titled GamesFirst! Holiday Wishlist! 2004: Part I (sheesh!).  In good old-fashioned tradition, we'll start the wish list with the last item on each contributor's list, item #3, and work our way towards #1 as we get closer to Christmas itself.  We hope that this list will not only be a window into our souls, but might also help you to sort through all of the great presents that are available this Christmas season.  Enjoy our wish list, and here's to hoping that you get at least one of the items on your own wish lists, and that, presents or no presents, you have a fabulous Christmas season. 

From all of us here at GF!, have a merry Christmas.

Sincerely Yours,

Chris Martin, Staff Writer
Aaron Stanton, Editor


Chris Martin
Tales of Symphonia (PS2)
Release Date: July 13, 2004

Even though this game was released earlier this year, I've yet to pick it up simply because of time.  I've been a fan of the Tales? series ever since the Playstation's Tales of Destiny, which combined some excellently drawn sprites, spunky swords (that could talk), and fighting game battles a la Street Fighter.  Overall, Tales of Destiny was a solid gaming experience, but the best part was the ability to have a friend join in for the battles and fight alongside you.  Tales of Symphonia continues the trend with a similar battle system, upgraded graphics, and a deeper story that is estimated at an ungodly 80 hours of gameplay.  Symphonia delivers, and I want it now.  Please Santa!

Aaron Stanton
Ghost Recon II (Xbox)
Release Date: November 16, 2004

Sure, it's out already, and yeah, I already have a copy, but this is what I'd want under a Christmas tree if I didn't.  With all the other big name games out this season, like Halo 2, Metroid Prime 2, and GTA: San Andreas, it's a good bet that games like Ghost Recon II might not make it into the cart during the first round of holiday buying.  Yet hands down, no recent set of games has provided me with as much lasting enjoyment as Ubisoft's Tom Clancy games.  The original Ghost Recon. Rainbow Six 3.  Island Thunder.  Black Arrow.  I might get in trouble for saying it, but even Halo 2 provides less enjoyment for 3 or more people during co-op play in this house.  Ghost Recon II is hard, allows up to four players split screen, has strong system link capabilities, and is a pretty safe bet for anyone that loves tactical shooters.  As far as I'm concerned, Santa is hip if he shows up with this one.  It'd earn him a cookie or two.

Steffan Del Piano
I want my love of PS2 back.
Release Date: In accord with Steffan's heart.

Ever since I bought Microsoft's behemoth of a console my Playstation has become little more than a dust collector, nothing more than a paperweight.  Then the other day, as if life needed to add insult to injury, my sole Dual Shock Controller broke during a game of Rez, which means I have to go and buy another controller for a system I rarely ever play.  Honestly, I'm debating the purchase furiously.  I want to say to my PS2, "It's not about me or you.  I'm not blaming either one of us.  No - no, it's not about X-Box.  She's got nothing to do with it.  These things....just....happen.  Remember you and Gameboy?  People and consoles sometimes drift apart.  It's no one's fault.  You'll always have a special place in my heart."  I'd say all the words necessary to ease both our pains, but, alas, I don't speak analog.  We continue to drift farther and farther apart in stale, stoic silence.

Laurie Taylor
Kuon (PS2)
Release Date: December 7, 2004

Kuon is a thriller/survival horror game that takes place in a haunted mansion in ancient Japan during the Heiankyo period (which is in the late 1100s - and doesn't cross with either Fatal Frame as far as I remember). I love survival horror and I need something to tide me over until Resident Evil 4 comes out.  Resident Evil Outbreak and Silent Hill 4 just don't have the same running-forever-without-ammo element that I've learned to love and need. Fatal Frame 2 was great, but I don't even think there's a release date for Fatal Frame 3 yet.

Eric Bodrero
Kameo: Elements of Power (Xbox)
Release Date: TBA - estimated Q1, 2005
Okay, so it supposedly doesn't come out until early in Q1, but who says I celebrate Christmas in December? Maybe I celebrate Christmas later around here. Maybe when Elements of Power shows up, that's Christmas.  Oh, hold on one second; I need to whoop the Boss for the fourth Crystal Star in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door...

Eric Qualls
Half-Life 2 (PC)
Release Date: November 16, 2004

I'm not really a PC gamer, but Half-Life 2 has got me all hot and bothered anyway.  The awesome physics and the gravity gun alone are sure to provide hours of fun just to goof off and throw one thing at another thing.

Tristan Mayshark
Radeon X800 XT 256 MB (PC)
Release Date: June 1, 2004

Because it's the latest and greatest Radeon - it must be a good thing, even if it does cost more than any console currently available.

George Holomshek
Super Mario 64 (DS)
Release Date: November 21, 2004

The original Mario 64 on N64 was, and still is, one of the best
action/adventure games out there.  And now, with the help of the Ninendo DS, things are just going to get even better.  With the original Mario 64 in its entirety, along with more minigames than you can shake a stick at, this really will be a game you can take anywhere.  It's tough to disguise a GBA when you have both hands wrapped around it in a strangle hold, trying to pretend it's a PDA, but by using the stylus to play a few puzzle or card games on the DS, imagine all the extra gaming you'll be able to discretely get away with. 

Matt James
Metroid Prime II: Echoes (GCN)
Release Date: November 15, 2004

Because I already have Halo 2.

Cathlena Martin
Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events (GCN)
Release Date: November 9, 2004

I am just hoping the game is as good as the books.

Shawn Rider
Halo 2 (Xbox)
Release Date: Novenber 9, 2004

Easily the best gaming experience this Fall (in the face of some AMAZING gaming experiences), and I just want to get lots of people online and playing with GamesFirst!

Take me to Part II! --->

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