Month of the Week: October 2005 in Games

A stacked month of releases for the spooky season.

On their Fire Emblem: Three Hopes spoilercast, my colleagues on 99 Potions brought up the concept of the “Month of the Year” in reference to October 2005. I was immediately smitten by this concept, and am now adapting it for a weekly format. In this first installment, I’m featuring that same month and looking at what it was like for games.

In October 2005, I was a freshman in college. The year prior, I’d sold my GameCube and Dreamcast to buy an Xbox and a copy of Halo 2, which has since gone down as one of history’s greatest mistakes. (It was, at least, one of those cool clear Xboxes.) I’d left the Xbox at home when I moved into the dorms, and all of my older consoles were in storage in the basement of my mom’s apartment building. The PlayStation 3 and Wii were still over a year away, and the Xbox 360 wouldn’t come out for another month.

I was still playing games, though — for the first time in my life owned a gaming PC in the form of a gigantic laptop I’d purchased with some of my student loan money. And once I settled into my residence, I learned about the massive filesharing network that was available exclusively to users on campus, which enabled transfers at then-unheard of speeds. Let’s just say that I played a lot of PC games that school year, and I didn’t pay for most of them.

October 2005 in particular was a stacked month. The much-loathed David Cage made his debut with Fahrenheit, while the long-running Castlevania series made its debut on the Nintendo DS with Dawn of Sorrow, one of the two games that made me pick up the handheld. (The other was Mario Kart DS, which was released in November.) In addition to Dawn of Sorrow, the DS received a number of other early platform-defining hits like Phoenix Wright: Ace AttorneyTrauma Center: Under the KnifeNintendogs, and Metroid Prime Pinball. Those sticking with the older Game Boy Advance got to play Gunstar Super Heroes, a sort-of sequel to Treasure’s Genesis classic.

October 2005 The Warriors
The Warriors

I couldn’t have picked a better time to get a gaming PC, either. Black & White 2F.E.A.R.Quake 4Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, Call of Duty 2, and Civilization IV made my laptop and its stream of easily-accessible pirated games a dangerous distraction from my studies.

Meanwhile, PlayStation 2 owners were getting hits like Shadow of the Colossus, The WarriorsJak X: Combat RacingResident Evil 4, and SoulCaliber III. And if I hadn’t sold my GameCube, I could have been enjoying Pokemon XD: Gale of DarknessFire Emblem: Path of RadianceDance Dance Revolution Mario Mix, and LEGO Star Wars. But honestly, it’s not like I could to take chances on console retail release prices at the time.

Outside of games, October 2005 saw the release of the first Twilight book, the first airing of the Colbert Report, the trial of Saddam Hussein, the death of Rosa Parks at 92, and the indictment of Scooter Libby in the Plame affair.

One game, though, transcended the boundaries of platforms and world events. It adapted what would go on to become one of the most enduring animated icons of the early 21st century before the character had any standing as a meme — this was back in the dark ages when YTMND was the height of internet comedy. I’m talking, of course, about Shrek SuperSlam, a game where Shrek needs to put Donkey’s monster dragon/donkey hybrid children to sleep so that he can watch Survivor in peace. Ah, I miss the mid-2000s.