Every time I post a new catalog scan I declare it will be the last one. I feel like I mean it this time. This is the last full catalog I haven't posted. I put off scanning it for a while since it's 100 pages. Realizing it turns 20 this year is what finally motivated me. It's hard to think of the GameCube and Xbox launches being that long ago.
I also struggled with how to look back on late 2001 in a positive light. It was a very difficult time. Many recently suffered an indescribable loss. Even those not directly impacted by 9/11 shared in a collective trauma. I was commuting to downtown Chicago during this time and felt the constant background anxiety. We were supposed to be on the watch for "something" but didn't know what. We definitely didn't know what to do if we saw whatever it was. It was a surreal and awful time for most.
None of this stopped two iconic systems from launching and selling out everywhere. Many were skeptical that Microsoft could launch a successful game system, myself included. We were all wrong. The GameCube was Nintendo's concession that sticking with cartridges was a bad call (until it was a good call for the Switch). Launching without a proper Mario game seemed risky but it worked. Neither system outsold the PlayStation 2, or even came close. That didn't matter as both sold well and are beloved today.
I think people wanted a mental escape over the holidays. This catalog is certainly reaching for that goal. You'll find nothing but positive vibes and Xmas artwork. I certainly tried to tune out that December with the GameCube. Besides the aforementioned background worry, I was dealing with extreme burnout from juggling work+graduate school. Playing Luigi's Mansion, Rogue Squadron, and Madden 2002 did wonders for my mental health. Once again let's try to forget our troubles, as we tried to 20 years ago, and enjoy the season.
As usual these are thumbnails. Click on them for the full version or pound the "Save Link As.." menu to download them. I look forward to seeing these re-posted on various sites without links back to here. I have long conceded this is the inevitable outcome of all the scans I post.
I believe this cover is the first Harry Potter sighting in any catalog I've scanned. The first movie also dropped during this time. My recollection is the games are OK, better than expected at a minimum.
Table of contents with an explanation of the ESRB rating system.
Totally real letters from totally real people.
Sorry about the cropping on this one, it's how my copy looks. I've literally never played Halo and could have written these tips for it.
I guess I agree with the Rogue Leader review.
The Xbox remote looks like something from the dollar store. As for the "AV Advanced Pack" - just call it an s-video adapter.
I have close to zero experience with any Xbox version so I won't have much to say about these. That's probably a relief to most of you. NightCaster looks kind of interesting.
I know so little about the Xbox that for a long time I thought Halo and Halo: Combat Evolved were different games with the latter being a sequel.
I probably shouldn't have admitted that last part.
This is the first of like 3,000 Dave Mirra sightings in this catalog.
I believe the three laserdisc games labeled "Xbox Compatible" are just DVDs.
I scored one of those GameCube monitors at a garage sale a few years ago. It works well and looks nice.
Launch lineup for the GameCube with some games technically released a couple weeks later.
The GameCube joystick looks nice but at $19.99 ($15 less than a first-party pad) it has to be junk.
If there's any system that didn't need a vertical stand it was the original PlayStation 2. A 7.5 earthquake couldn't knock that thing over.
It's probably also bad to admit I'm not well-versed in early PlayStation 2 titles either. I got into the system a little late.
I know I've said it elsewhere but I'll note again that it was better when we had multiple publishers making licensed sports games.
Why is Frogger wearing clothes?
"Alon Dar" must have started with an idea like "let's remove one letter from each word in a game title and see what we get".
2001 is the peak year for "extreme" sports games. Now that many of these are Olympic events they feel less edgy.
Smackdown: Just Bring It is the last game with "WWF" in the title.
We're just about due for another game simply called "Spy Hunter" to be published.
At this point in time I thought the 2K sports games were much more fun than their EA counterparts.
Here are the same DVDs pulling the "PlayStation compatible" trick.
Vampire Night is one of my favorite console shooters.
The "Fighting Arena" looks like Activator 2.0.
Alright, what is the Sharkdrive? I know there's a hard drive expansion for the original PlayStation 2 but that is clearly using Zip disks. There are still reviews online for the Nuwave Video Game Enhancer and they are not pretty.
Logitech usually makes good controllers so that wheel is probably worth the price for hardcore racing fans.
The PlayStation is still chugging along for the moment. That screen is the top item on my gaming wish list. I would for sure use it to play Chrono Cross during boring mandatory meetings.
There are usually amazing deals late in a system's lifespan and the PlayStation is no exception. Someone is going to flip-out when they see Final Fantasy VII for $19.99 here.
Great page here, only slightly downgraded by the inclusion of E.T. - controversial statement time.. E.T. on the Atari 2600 is better than E.T. on the PlayStation.
So is Barbie Explorer supposed to be a Tomb Raider knock-off?
Interesting assortment of new and budget titles here.
The Game Boy Advance was such a great system. You really can't go wrong with any game on this page. Even the Harry Potter game is passable.
This page is a little bit less impressive. What was with the E.T. revival in 2001 anyway?
Although Kao the Kangaroo looks to be part of the Kangaroo franchise, if that's even a thing, it is not. I suppose it would be hard to copyright the general idea of a kangaroo wearing boxing gloves.
"No Rules: Get Phat" is a game title that's about 4 years too late.
I guess this is supposed to be the kids page except all the previous games are fine for kids too.
That is an awful lot of junky-looking light accessories.
Two of these look like generic bags that probably come in 3-4 different styles of packaging. Like they sell the exact same thing for some model of camera or whatever.
That Pokemon Crystal Version Bundle must sell for like $10b now.
I couldn't stand the curiosity and watched a playthrough of Mary-Kate and Ashley: Crush Course (or at least some of it). It seems like 3-4 different unfinished games glued together.
The Nintendo 64 was already not doing awesome prior to the GameCube launch and is relegated to a single page.
These are weird. The Nintendo 64 and PlayStation bundles are games they want to dump with off-brand memory cards. They are so desperate to get rid of these Dreamcast games that they include first-party VMUs. Meanwhile the d-list Game Boy Color games include batteries (which Electronics Boutique sold up until portable systems stopped using them).
I'm surprised they still had Dreamcast hardware. After it was discontinued in March of this year the prices were slashed. They don't list a price for it on here because maybe they didn't know what it be marked down to at any stores that still had it in December? It's all strange.
If you don't care about current rosters you'd be fine if these were the last sports games you ever purchased.
Printed strategy guides are barely a thing anymore and I sort of miss them.
I assure you that the strategy guide for Legends of Wrestling is completely unnecessary.
BradyGames must have paid for this page.
Staff picks.. I wonder how many of these people work in IT now? I bet it's about half. Based solely on anecdotal experience it was common to jump from video game store to some IT profession.
I actually debated for a little bit whether I should include these pages. Would someone object to their name appearing on the internet like this? It was in a catalog that was given away for free to thousands at a time when the internet certainly existed. If someone asked I would for sure take it down, that seems like a fair solution to the debate.
There are a few games I have no recollection of ever existing on this page.
Yeah, ok. I must have been really tuned-out to PC gaming in 2001 because none of this seems familiar.
These I think I've all heard of even if I never played them (or more correctly the PC versions of them).
Obviously I know the Sim series, Theme Park is the one I've spent the most time with by far.
Sim City 2000 is still kicking around, not bad.
I can't tell if the Wikipedia page for Darkened Skye is actually describing the game or an elaborate prank.
I think Beach Head 2002 wins for most 80s box art of the catalog.
I wonder whether Edge of Chaos was sued by the now possibly defunct Edge Games?
Am I wrong in thinking that Ballistics is like if Descent was a racing game?
I bet Train Simulator is a very relaxing game.
The Microsoft PC game page.
And 2/3 of this page too. I forgot that they acquired the Links franchise, I preferred the old box art.
That Jack Orlando game looks like something I could get into.
Some needs to explain to Druuna how pants work.
Serious Sam seems to have a seriously large box.
Green Berets contains a free copy of Myth II which is not in this catalog but was likely the same price or more expensive at the time.
No One Lives Forever sounds more like a James Bond title.
The cover for Conflict Zone would cause Twitter outrage today.
This page is a reminder that Baldur's Gate II has been in my backlog for roughly 20 years now.
Alright, proper Frogger. Here he's just a plain frog as whoever invented him intended.
They missed a big opportunity not calling it "Vietnam: Back 2 the Front".
I'm starting to get that feeling like I'm on page 1 million of the PC games section.
Alright, down to the discount games. These probably ran great on 2001 PCs.
Not a bad deal they have on the game+strategy guide bundles.
Dude, that Tonka game is 100% going to end with your kid trying a real drill on your monitor.
I'll say it, the Freddi Fish games aren't bad. They're super-easy versions of Sierra games.
I feel like Shrek Game Land Activity Center would still sell today.
How is there not a "Barbie: Beach Influencer" game today?
Of all the shows my kids watched (my oldest wasn't born long after this catalog) Caillou was the worst. The absolute worst.
Wow, I didn't know they were still selling Plus! into the XP era. It was a great add-on to Windows 95, I used the Mystery theme always.
I definitely want that Christmas for Windows CD.
Mandrake Linux Gaming Edition is the item in this catalog I have the most questions about.
I had an early SideWinder control pad, it was fine. This model looks more like a high-tech electric razor.
Early cordless mice were a rip-off and barely worked.
I'm trying to get into a 2001 mindset and I think those were awesome prices for memory.
Sometimes I have nightmares about trying to fit Sound Blaster boxes onto shelves.
Everything on this page looks like total junk.
During week I don't remember of quarantine I got rid of all my CD-R disks - sent them off to a recycling center. It was a small step in addressing my hoarding problem.
WinTV - from a time when watching TV shows on your computer was novel.
Huh.. why doesn't modern day Gamestop sell more Anime products. It seems like there is a lot of overlap between gamers and anime fans.
I suppose these were the hottest 8 DVDs of the time.
I've never been into card games but I understand the appeal.
Most of these seem like things that would also sell alright at Gamestop today (maybe they are?)
I thought about getting into those Simpsons sets when they were new but they were odd. The locations would all include a figure but it was usually someone who never set foot in there. Not the two pictured here but some of the earlier ones I looked at.
There is nothing here I would ever consider buying for a kid.
Alright, closing this thing up with a couple sort of reviews.
Some coming soon titles, including one DVD.
I have quite an assortment of GameSharks but never use them. I should just get rid of them already. Step 1 is admitting I have a problem.
The Dreamcast wish list is an interesting inclusion.
I'm definitely getting old when I think "Windows XP, that's not a bad gift".
There has to be something funky with that SharkDrive that they're discounting it early on.
770 Pilot Road in Las Vegas looks like a pretty generic office building. I guess some things don't change over 20 years.
Thanks for making it to the end of the last catalog I'm ever going to scan (until the next one). If you're reading this over the 2021 holiday season, or a future one, I hope it is happy & relaxing for you.