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indigoasis

What's the best demo you've ever played?

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As a kid, I would occasionally download demos off of the Wii Shop Channel and the Nintendo 3DS eShop. They were free, and I usually had a lot of fun with them, despite how short they were. As of recently, I gave the demo for Sonic Utopia (a fan game that's currently in the works) a shot, and had a really great time! It got me to thinking... what's the best demo I've ever played?

I would like to extend the question to everyone else here. What's the best demo you've ever played?

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I remember when I was around 8 or so, I got to play a PS1 demo disc at a neighbor's house on a few separate occasions. I remember playing Crash 2 & 3, A Bug's Life, Brave Fencer Musashi, and Ape Escape (I don't think these were all on the same demo disc); I really enjoyed these demos especially Crash, and when I finally got a PS1 of my own I eventually got all but the latter two of these games (a shame, really).

In the modern world of downloadable demos, I don't really download demos often. However, I expressed interest in Daemon X Machina when they showcased it the 2nd time at E3 2018(?). I even got to try the game's Prototype Missions demo, which I very much enjoyed and I appreciate the improvements seen in the final game.

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Lewd record of the three kingdoms, OBVIOUSLY!

Serious answer would be "Hero & Witch" I think it was called, revolved around a hero defending a petrified witch (which was his friend) from hordes of monsters, the demo was 2 chapters long if I'm not mis-remembering(*?) but it's still on the 3DS eShop and it's a blast to play.

Another good Demo was on the PS3 and it was called "Defenders" iirc, it's a tower defense game where you control a hero in a 3D environment  of a single map, my brother, cousins and I ended up having so much fun over playing in the hardest difficulty (which was super tough in demo because Lv. 10 was the max and it ended at like chapter 4 or so starting from the 2nd one of all things, anyways: ) and dying or tossing each other into the lava( @The Dark Emperor fuck you, brother for pushing me but also in the sense that I am pushing you, he he he) it ended up being so fun  my brother bought the full version though I think he never beat it, I'm not sure but I played that too

 

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Hm... Good question. 

I know I really liked Bravely Second's demo for being its own story before the events of the game, rather than just a piece of the early game. I found that that was really cool. 

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I remember playing Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal on a demo disc for hours when I was young. It was the Marcadia level, including the psuedo arena section. Then I asked my dad for the game at Christmas. He got me the wrong Ratchet & Clank game, but I was still very grateful. Lots of memories with that series.

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For me, it's definitely the old PS1 demos. Even if I had the actual full game, I still played the demos from time to time just because it was fun. I'd probably place the Pizza Hut demos over the rest of the PS1 demos, though, those ones stand out the most to me in my memory. I remember playing Spyro 2 and Crash Team Racing in the basement of my old house with my brother, it's some of the most fun I've ever had.

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Bravely Default had a fun demo that was had voiceovers and stuff "unique" to the demo, a trait that carried over to Bravely Second's demo which was a mini-prequel of sorts.

Octopath Traveler's demo may have been relatively basic considering it's just the first chapter of two characters, but man it delivered a lot for what it was. At least, it did the job of hyping me up for the full game (which I have yet to beat since I set it aside for other things...)

Going oldschool, I remember there being a PC Demo Disk that had Warlords Battlecry. Even though all it had was a single skirmish map with two factions (Human and Undead), I was hooked on that demo. We eventually got Warlords Battlecry proper later.

Lastly, Miitopia's demo. Just like how Find Mii and Find Mii 2 were likely better games than they should be, Miitopia was an amazing game in its own right. A shame I'll never be able to play the full thing properly since Miis seem to be phased out and the Switch is where all the hype is these days.

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3 hours ago, Fire Emblem Fan said:

For me, it's definitely the old PS1 demos. Even if I had the actual full game, I still played the demos from time to time just because it was fun. I'd probably place the Pizza Hut demos over the rest of the PS1 demos, though, those ones stand out the most to me in my memory. I remember playing Spyro 2 and Crash Team Racing in the basement of my old house with my brother, it's some of the most fun I've ever had.

 

1 hour ago, Dragoncat said:

Gonna echo the PS1 demo disks. It's how I got into Spyro.

Oh yes, forgot about Spyro. Played a demo of that too and got the classic trilogy later. I remember the balloonist telling you in a rhyme to "come back in September" for the full release.

I also remember my aforementioned neighbor playing MediEvil on the demo disc. I only watched, wasn't willing to play because my child mind thought "Ohh, you play as a skeleton? Must be a scary game." Boy, did I not have a clue.

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The actual best? Probably PT or the Resident Evil 7 demo. Two very specific demos crafted to tease a game without giving anything away. They were also just big mysteries that did a great job at generating interest for their respective games(Even though one never came out).

My favorite? I'm in the PS1 demo disc camp. I don't remember which one specifically, but I remember playing the ones with Einhander and MediEvil on it a lot.

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Mike Hommel's two Demos  for Dr. Lunatic - first  Spooky Castle  and then the Dr. Lunatic demo itself (Lisa Keck level set).

I forget the chronology, but I know that Spooky Castle is essentially a single "Dr. L" world made as its own game but it shows screenshots and store pages of Dr. L when you beat the game or exit the game. - The Dr. L demo itself is just Dr. L with most content cordoned off and 4 Lisa Keck worlds (of higher quality than some Dr. L worlds) 

His other demos feel too small (except Loonyland 2 which was accidently the fullgame except with 2 tactically placed rocks on certain map transitions that you could glitch through)

 

 

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7 hours ago, Baron the Shining Blade said:

Oh yes, forgot about Spyro. Played a demo of that too and got the classic trilogy later. I remember the balloonist telling you in a rhyme to "come back in September" for the full release.

Dude, I actually PLAYED IN SEPTEMBER and wondered why I wasn't going to the other worlds lol.

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I completely forgot about demo discs! I remember playing a demo for this one game that you could get a toy for in the real world, and you plug it into your computer with a USB cable and the toy you had would be your character in the game (I forget what it was called, but it wasn't Neopets. The characters looked more like... little aliens? The character in the demo was a blank slate, more or less. Also, I never actually got a toy for the game in question). Another demo disc I had was for Carmen Sandiego, although after playing through it multiple times as a kid, I think it was moreso a shorter game than a demo.

Edit: The game I was thinking of that I couldn't remember was called U.B. Funkeys.

Edited by indigoasis

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Final Fantasy 7R's demo convinced me to purchase. I was blown away.

 

Langrisser 1 and 2 remake's demo convinced me to purchase at a discount. It was good, don't get me wrong, but I really didn't care for having to protect suicidal and fragile allied AI on the second chapter.

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35 minutes ago, Etheus said:

Langrisser 1 and 2 remake's demo convinced me to purchase at a discount. It was good, don't get me wrong, but I really didn't care for having to protect suicidal and fragile allied AI on the second chapter.

The funny thing is that those are the only escort chapters in the game, or at least in the original. That said, the demo convinced me it is overpriced, so you are right. I will buy it day 1 because i would feel dirty not doing it after i played the originals so much. 

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On 2/23/2020 at 1:48 AM, Sire said:

Octopath Traveler's demo may have been relatively basic considering it's just the first chapter of two characters, but man it delivered a lot for what it was. At least, it did the job of hyping me up for the full game (which I have yet to beat since I set it aside for other things...)

 

On 3/10/2020 at 9:32 AM, Etheus said:

Final Fantasy 7R's demo convinced me to purchase. I was blown away.

I share both of these experiences. The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon remake demo also reminded me how much I love it. Though I haven't bought it yet. Speaking of Pokemon, the ORAS demo was really fun as well.

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Team 17 put out a demo for "Moving Out" today - I played it and it has 4 Player local co-op ! Pretty fun and as an Overcooked fan I'll probably go and pre-order off of this. 

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The first two Gothic games had fantastic demos that had content for quite a few hours to beat.
In Gothic I you had the area from the exchange point to the Old Camp, with access to enough quests to be allowed to join the Old Camp. ...well, or at least it would. There is also the Test of Trust, which you can't complete since doing so would require visiting an area outside of the demo boundaries.

Gothic II had a similarly neat demo. The area from Xardas' Tower to Khorinis were all accessible. Which includes some neat optional areas like the valley next to the tower. Unfortunately the city of Khorinis is only partially accessible. Only the part of the city with the craftsmen. But they were nice enough to move some NPCs from other parts into that area so that you can reasonably complete the craftmens' trials and become the apprentice of one of them.

Plus, both demos had some ways to explore some areas you weren't intended to if you were sufficiently resourceful. Like, in Gothic II you can climb to the top of Xardas' tower and might just barely make a jump across the nearby cliffs, allowing you to circumvent the invisible walls on the overworld. That way you can reach the tavern in the center of the world map and a farm whose's owners are currently harassed by mercenaries of the grand farmer Onar. The voiced dialog for those NPCs is not in the demo, but the subtitles work still just fine.
Beyond those areas though, the world quickly ceases to exist. Still, it was a nice bonus to get out of the demo. ...too bad I never actually figured out to get back inside the demo's boundaries, though. Unfortunately those invisible walls work both ways.

I feel like a honorable mention should go to Aquanox 2. It has a truly huge demo that I think might cover like a quarter of the game's missions. 7 in total, with one of them being a bit hidden. It does cover all missions of the Terror Zone and Atacama City. It's a pretty huge chunk of game and story that you get here. As for the "hidden mission", the game has a nice little feature that allows you to replay any unlocked missions from the main menu. The demo allows you to use this feature to play a mission from a bit later in the game then what you can access in the demo. Downside is that this feature gives you a preset loadout but it's still pretty neat. I always felt Fire Emblem could have included something like that to replay maps.
It's only a honorable mention though because it just so happens that the 2nd level is one of the hardest missions in the entire game. It's filled with beginners traps, like ships that are just stronger then what the player currently has access to and a ton of side missions that are only feasible if you really mastered the mechanics of the game. You also have no repair modules yet so you can't lame it out. And the mission is pretty lengthy with no checkpoints. If you can get past this mission it's smooth sailing for the rest of the demo, but I would imagine a lot of players have thrown in the towel before they got that far.

Edited by BrightBow

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