Gaming Confessions & Blasphemy

A lot of older players will tell you that there was nothing like playing the old Atari games with the original arcade hardware. I imagine that is the truth. I don't know if you can play emulated versions of Missile Command, but I got to try it at MAGFest and was honestly a bit surprised by it. It's an interesting and hectic game, and yet even if you feel like you're doing badly, it's easy enough to get a few screens in. It was a game perfectly designed to lure you to keep trying to play again and again.

So some old games are still good, though it depends on the game, its design and if you have the original hardware. Galaga is also still pretty fun.

I still enjoy Final Fantasy 1, though the franchise has made enough improvements that it can be tough. For example, the amazing discovery of automatically changing a character's target if the original target happens to be dead. Nothing worse than wasting a precious spell on a corpse.

ccesarano wrote:

I still enjoy Final Fantasy 1, though the franchise has made enough improvements that it can be tough. For example, the amazing discovery of automatically changing a character's target if the original target happens to be dead. Nothing worse than wasting a precious spell on a corpse.

I'm pretty sure all the remakes of FF1 have fixed that little issue. I played the GBA version and it was great, although of course nothing at all like later Final Fantasy games.

The original Playstation 1 remake allowed that to be an option. I actually find it really cool that it could be an option.

Tanglebones wrote:
Garden Ninja wrote:
Vrikk wrote:
gore wrote:

Well, here's a blasphemy: I think most old video games really suck if I play them again now.

To expand on this, I feel that the NES is the absolute oldest console that you can go back and play now - and even then, some of the games are too archaic to enjoy. Trying to play Commodore, Atari, et cetera is no longer fun outside of a nostalgic re-visit because of how far gaming has come.

Interesting. I consider NES as effectively the start of console gaming. I forget that there was stuff out before it, though I did have an Atari 2600 before the NES. Personally I'd say most NES games are too archaic and not worth it. Arcade games were designed to be quarter suckers, and the NES came out in the same era, so a lot of the games were designed the same way, just because that's how game are made. Even the games I personally am nostalgic for on the NES (Mario 1, 2 and 3, DK, Duck Hunt and maybe a handful of others) have better iterations on the SNES. So you can go back to the NES, but why bother?

Because Mylon's Secret Castle.

Fix´d for greatness.

ccesarano wrote:

A lot of older players will tell you that there was nothing like playing the old Atari games with the original arcade hardware. I imagine that is the truth.

As someone who bought an Atari 2600 last year, they're right. There is nothing quite as sh*tty as playing old Atari games on the original hardware.

Garden Ninja wrote:
Vrikk wrote:
gore wrote:

Well, here's a blasphemy: I think most old video games really suck if I play them again now.

To expand on this, I feel that the NES is the absolute oldest console that you can go back and play now - and even then, some of the games are too archaic to enjoy. Trying to play Commodore, Atari, et cetera is no longer fun outside of a nostalgic re-visit because of how far gaming has come.

Interesting. I consider NES as effectively the start of console gaming. I forget that there was stuff out before it, though I did have an Atari 2600 before the NES. Personally I'd say most NES games are too archaic and not worth it. Arcade games were designed to be quarter suckers, and the NES came out in the same era, so a lot of the games were designed the same way, just because that's how game are made. Even the games I personally am nostalgic for on the NES (Mario 1, 2 and 3, DK, Duck Hunt and maybe a handful of others) have better iterations on the SNES. So you can go back to the NES, but why bother?

Crazy me would take the NES over any 16 bit system any day.

Although I had an Atari 2600 as well, the vast majority of my pre-NES gaming (and up until about 1990) was on the Commodore64. Many of those games are pretty tough to go back to now. I don't feel that way about most of my NES favorites.

Yeah, we have rose-tinted goggles when it comes to these older systems. How many of you really want to go back and try to fix worn contacts on an NES cartridge, or have to turn the system on/off again 5 times before the game actually loads properly?

The games are still solid IMO, but the systems they lived on should remain dead.

Jonman wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

A lot of older players will tell you that there was nothing like playing the old Atari games with the original arcade hardware. I imagine that is the truth.

As someone who bought an Atari 2600 last year, they're right. There is nothing quite as sh*tty as playing old Atari games on the original hardware.

:)

To be more specific, I meant the arcade cabinets.

ahrezmendi wrote:

Yeah, we have rose-tinted goggles when it comes to these older systems. How many of you really want to go back and try to fix worn contacts on an NES cartridge, or have to turn the system on/off again 5 times before the game actually loads properly?

The games are still solid IMO, but the systems they lived on should remain dead.

This is probably why I collect SNES instead of NES. Though I hear the top loading NESs are almost as rock solid as the SNES.

ccesarano wrote:

A lot of older players will tell you that there was nothing like playing the old Atari games with the original arcade hardware. I imagine that is the truth.

While technically true, there's nothing else like getting a root canal with a rusty spoon either, and I'm not planning on doing that any time soon.

In all seriousness, I think some of the very early games "hold up" from a design perspective because of their forced simplicity. They had to focus on doing a very small number of things and doing them as well as possible, and within those constraints a lot of them succeeded pretty well (if you can overlook the graphics).

I think video games hold up least well when there's some new whiz-bang tech that developers want to show just for the sake of showing off. Most of the early 3d games (of which I'd include FFVII IMO) now look incredibly dated and the controls generally feel pretty awful, regardless of what else they might do well. A lot of sprite based games from the 8-bit/16-bit era actually look better to me because they were stylized, and their controls don't feel quite so terrible because the paradigm was well established.

ahrezmendi wrote:

Yeah, we have rose-tinted goggles when it comes to these older systems. How many of you really want to go back and try to fix worn contacts on an NES cartridge, or have to turn the system on/off again 5 times before the game actually loads properly?

I actually just did that a few months ago. My wife hadn't played any Mario games so I had her try SMB1. She took many tries to finish 1-1 and couldn't get through 1-2. Sadly I couldn't get through 2-4 before we had had enough. I will report that yes, a lot of our time was spent blowing, raising and lowering, pulling slightly, etc.

Keithustus wrote:

I will report that yes, a lot of our time was spent blowing, raising and lowering, pulling slightly, etc.

So a good time was still had either way, eh?

I like random, turn based battles. There, I've said it!

By "random" do you mean random encounters on a world map?

ccesarano wrote:

By "random" do you mean random encounters on a world map?

Yes, such as the final fantasy games.

gore wrote:

I think video games hold up least well when there's some new whiz-bang tech that developers want to show just for the sake of showing off. Most of the early 3d games (of which I'd include FFVII IMO) now look incredibly dated and the controls generally feel pretty awful, regardless of what else they might do well. A lot of sprite based games from the 8-bit/16-bit era actually look better to me because they were stylized, and their controls don't feel quite so terrible because the paradigm was well established.

Totally agree. The first generation of 3D games (especially consoles ones) largely felt like a step backwards to me in both graphics and game-play. It opened up an interesting realm of possibilities though and got us where we are today.

It's the same with any new tech, it takes a while for designers to train themselves, which usually involves a process of trying stuff out - not all of it will be good.

kexx wrote:

Because Mylon's Secret Castle

Fix´d for greatness.

You are my hero, kexx!

Keithustus wrote:
ahrezmendi wrote:

Yeah, we have rose-tinted goggles when it comes to these older systems. How many of you really want to go back and try to fix worn contacts on an NES cartridge, or have to turn the system on/off again 5 times before the game actually loads properly?

I actually just did that a few months ago. My wife hadn't played any Mario games so I had her try SMB1. She took many tries to finish 1-1 and couldn't get through 1-2. Sadly I couldn't get through 2-4 before we had had enough. I will report that yes, a lot of our time was spent blowing, raising and lowering, pulling slightly, etc.

Funny enough, had this experience just this past Sunday. I unloaded a bunch of old NES games on my brother-in-law and we attempted to play them over at his house. I'd say a good 25% of the time was spent messing around with both the cartridges and system itself. Once we *did* get the game going, it would end up glitching out halfway through a play through.

That's why I like my virtual console or 3DS eShop for playing classics now

McIrishJihad wrote:
Keithustus wrote:

I will report that yes, a lot of our time was spent blowing, raising and lowering, pulling slightly, etc.

So a good time was still had either way, eh?

Boom.

Scratched wrote:

It's the same with any new tech, it takes a while for designers to train themselves, which usually involves a process of trying stuff out - not all of it will be good.

Sports games were particularly brutal in the transition to 3D.

kexx wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
Garden Ninja wrote:
Vrikk wrote:
gore wrote:

Well, here's a blasphemy: I think most old video games really suck if I play them again now.

To expand on this, I feel that the NES is the absolute oldest console that you can go back and play now - and even then, some of the games are too archaic to enjoy. Trying to play Commodore, Atari, et cetera is no longer fun outside of a nostalgic re-visit because of how far gaming has come.

Interesting. I consider NES as effectively the start of console gaming. I forget that there was stuff out before it, though I did have an Atari 2600 before the NES. Personally I'd say most NES games are too archaic and not worth it. Arcade games were designed to be quarter suckers, and the NES came out in the same era, so a lot of the games were designed the same way, just because that's how game are made. Even the games I personally am nostalgic for on the NES (Mario 1, 2 and 3, DK, Duck Hunt and maybe a handful of others) have better iterations on the SNES. So you can go back to the NES, but why bother?

Because Mega Man 2.

Fix´d for greatness.

Fixed for the greatest.

I have no idea what Mylon's is. Also, I think the "y" should be and "i" after googling it.

Also, Played through The Guardian Legend and finally beat it for the first time ever in 2010. It held up really well. Well enough to enjoy 100%'ing a game that had bested me on mulitiple occasions in the past.

I can settle for Mega Man 2. It truly is one of the greatest games ever created.

This line of discussion would be fine fruit for its own topic.

My first impulse is to suggest that solid/addictive game mechanics completely trump age, but upon further reflection I realize that I have absolutely zero objectivity when approaching vintage gaming.

I remember being hooked on video games before the Atari 2600 even launched, thanks to Pong, Mattel LED handhelds and such (everyone remembers Football, but Missile Attack was my favorite joint). Heck, before that scene I was crazy over pinball machines.

So along comes Atari 2600 and my mind is blown regarding the tech/presentational bump over Pong and such. Then comes Colecovision/Intellivision and I'm dutifully floored again at the visual upgrade over 2600. NES, SNES, PSX, Dreamcast, PC, etc. etc. It just keeps going where I'm constantly wowed by the next best thing.

When I look back, there never was a moment when anything from a first-timer's perspective, was technically antiquated. I have no frame of reference in that regard. So when I look back fondly at Superman (2600), Missile Command (2600), AD&D Treasure of Tarmin (Intellivision), etc...all I have in the memory banks is, "Oh man, those games were freakin' ACE!"

Hand a kid a controller and Maze Craze (2600) and they'll likely throw it back at you wondering what the punch line is. But to me Maze Craze = Gaming Heaven (obviously fueled by nostalgia).

So when someone asks, “Does this old-school game hold up?”, am I in any position to answer from a semi-objective standpoint? I certainly think arcade classics like Galaga and Ms. Pac-Man are structurally sound and visually appealing. Yet I have a hard time parsing my personal nostalgia from modern evaluations of these games from those approaching them cold.

Aaron D. wrote:

So when someone asks, “Does this old-school game hold up?”, am I in any position to answer from a semi-objective standpoint? I certainly think arcade classics like Galaga and Ms. Pac-Man are structurally sound and visually appealing. Yet I have a hard time parsing my personal nostalgia from modern evaluations of these games from those approaching them cold.

+1 Totally, I am constantly intrigued by how our modern day youth perceive things so differently from the way I do, and the reasons for it. Sometimes, I'll pull out something oldschool, and the kids are sometimes impressed, but mostly not.

Aaron D. wrote:

This line of discussion would be fine fruit for its own topic.

Here you go.

There was an interview I read a few years ago with some game developer, and they commented on doing play testing with younger kids. When asked if the kids liked Mario, their response was "Who's Mario?" Obviously this doesn't hold for ALL children, but it is the proof positive that our experiences growing up with games most definitely skew our view of them. I highly doubt there's a gamer 30 or older who doesn't know Mario, but there are plenty of kids growing up now who never see a Nintendo console. I think Aaron is spot on.

I wish I could find that interview again, it was interesting and depressing at the same time.

ahrezmendi wrote:

There was an interview I read a few years ago with some game developer, and they commented on doing play testing with younger kids. When asked if the kids liked Mario, their response was "Who's Mario?" Obviously this doesn't hold for ALL children, but it is the proof positive that our experiences growing up with games most definitely skew our view of them. I highly doubt there's a gamer 30 or older who doesn't know Mario, but there are plenty of kids growing up now who never see a Nintendo console. I think Aaron is spot on.

I wish I could find that interview again, it was interesting and depressing at the same time.

I would think that changed pretty significantly post-Wii, as that particular console had the sort of profile the N64 and Gamecube couldn't even dream of. Considering the massive popularity of Mario Kart alone, I'd bet most kids these days know exactly who Mario is.

Kids should have their memories, it's okay if they don't appreciate the same things we did.

Until I have a child, then they have to like exactly what I like, of course.

Milkman - Yes, but the point goes beyond Mario, that's just an example.

ahrezmendi wrote:

There was an interview I read a few years ago with some game developer, and they commented on doing play testing with younger kids. When asked if the kids liked Mario, their response was "Who's Mario?" Obviously this doesn't hold for ALL children, but it is the proof positive that our experiences growing up with games most definitely skew our view of them. I highly doubt there's a gamer 30 or older who doesn't know Mario, but there are plenty of kids growing up now who never see a Nintendo console. I think Aaron is spot on.

Which is weird considering the sales numbers on Wii (97 million)vs NES (62 million). I put it down to kids being more social back in the days of the NES, instead of internet social.

Then again, gowing up I lived on a block with at least 9 families with a NES in the house.