Skip to comments.Retro games offer an alluring respite
Posted on 12/11/2004 4:53:11 PM PST by qam1
Today's video games are so deep, complex and involving that you don't play them, you live them. For people who already have a life, that's a problem.
Games now can take 24 hours or more to complete, because gamemakers want to make sure you feel you're getting your 50 bucks' worth from playing a game that cost $10 million or more to make. What happened to the Zen-like simplicity of "Pong," the uncomplicated mad dash of "Pac-Man"?
Actually, they're coming back.
Atari recently released the Flashback, a slim TV-top box stuffed with 20 games from the 1980s. Gamemakers Midway and Nintendo now offer Vol. 2 of their respective retro game compilations. "Xbox Live Arcade" brings in an Internet component so retro gamers with broadband-enabled Xboxes can compete against one another.
The differences between retro games and today's games are simple.
"Older games are reaction-based," notes Adam Sessler, co-host of a cable TV video game review show, "X-Play." To play, all you have to do is destroy the aliens or escape the monsters or jump at the right time, and you don't have to be inside anybody's head.
"There is no learning curve, no intimidation," says Michael Wolf, Xbox public relations manager, "just the opportunity to pick up and play with anyone at any skill level."
This year's hit story-driven titles "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" and "Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal" include old-school-style mini-games that are heavy on action and light on plot, a nod to the popularity of this kind of simpler entertainment and a break from the intensity of the main game's mission.
There's clearly an audience -- these games have become staples of the Internet. Sites such as Yahoo!, AOL and MSN draw hundreds of thousands of gamers,
(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...
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Spent MANY, MANY quarters in that sucker.
love X-box and PS2 but old school rules baby!!!
Spent many quarters on Tempest!
This is cool.
I saw a review of that Flashback thing just the other day. Made me smile.
I used to play Gallaga a lot. When I was in college, I used to collect empty cans for the refund money and that was my "fun" money.
So I only played a couple of games so that I got good and could make a quarter last a LONG time.
My daughter was impressed when i found a Gallaga machine this summer, and even 20 years later, old Mom can keep it going for 15 minutes! LOL!
She was NOT impressed with the graphics, though, and told me so!
So did I!! I now have Tempest on both my PS2 and PC. My faves though were Final Fantasy X, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Majoras Mask, Banjo Kazooie, and FarCry.
Am waiting for GT4 and just got Fable. LOL
My very first game was "Adventure" on an IBM 360 Mainframe. My first console (which I still have) is the original Atari Pong game.
Is available for your PC now. Even lookes like the old arcade console. :-)
There's nothing like spinning that big ole ball, though.
Hmmm.... I could design a USB gaming console that had all the goodies, such as a ball and spinning wheel, for a PC to run those old games. Bet they would sell too!
Go Atari 2600,
Super Mario Bros. 3 was possibly the best game ever, But overall the Atari 2600 with games like Adventure, Atlantis, Haunted House, Pitfall, Turmoil, Worm War I, Yar's Revenge, etc. make it a more fun system.
LOL! The Sailor and I were just playing the PS2 Atari games earlier today. Boy have I missed playing Centipede! I also remember why I hate the game Dig Dug. UGH!! LOL!
Oh, man. I remember that one.
I could've put a small country through college with all those quarters.
they sell full size controllers ala the old arcades for PC's. Actually with a bit of searching, you can find everything you need, and put something like 4300 old video games and arcade games in one machine.
I've seen these machines, they are awe inspiring. Gattaga to Area 51 (with guns), to original Mortal Combat, to Gauntlet, all at your finger tips.
There are DIY project sites that explain the entire process, as well as guys who build and sell them.
Does anyone remember "Joust"?
Joust was great. We had Intellivision. Anyone remember that. Really enjoyed those games...Astrosmash!
Joust was rereleased on the Nintendo (the base system) in the late 80s/early 90s.
And, yeah, there's not much better than dueling ostriches. ;)
Joust, sure, just google it. Find a rom, there are java programs of it too.
What state are you living in? I got three broken stand up missile command games that im cannabalising and turning into one working missile command game and after I am done I will be selling it.It probably wont be done before febuary at the earliest I only get a couple of hours aweek spare time to work on these things but after im done i can let you know if you arent to far away i can sell it to you. I live in indiana
I would pay big bucks for an arcade Marble Madness!
sounds like I need not remind you to "avoid spikes"
did you know how to defeat the 'undefeatable (?) Ptaradactyal?
Thanks for the info. :-)
I still have the following consoles:
Vectrex (The only vector-graphic gaming console ever made for the personal market)
Play Station 1
Play Station 2
I like M.U.L.E. as well :-)
Played that for hours on the Commodore 64
I beat a kid out of $75 playing Asteroids back in '81. It was half a week's pay for me at the time.
It's from an Asteroids game I lost that I got my screen name. Me and someone else who played it at the bowling alley where the game was, used the same 3 letter initials for high scores. So we played against each other, winner keeps initials loser picks something else. I lost* so I closed my eyes and randomily picked letters and up came QAM and 25 years later I am still using that name (Now systems require you to use 4 characters minimum so I later tacked on the 1).
* I technically won, But in Asteroids when you go over 99,990 it resets back to 0 and I had 99,970 and just before I commited suicide into a 20pt Asteroid to get a perfect 99,990 the ^@^# little ship shot it out from under me and I crashed into the resulting 50 point asteroid and went over.
It's like riding a bike, isn't it? I play Ms. Pac Man maybe once or twice a year, and each time I make it to the final maze without a problem.
My kids routinely play retro games like Missile Command and Asteriods (on my old Atari 800 no less) while the newer PS2 games sit on the shelf. The newer games have cooler graphics, but sometimes it takes 10 minutes to get thru all the menus to start the game. Plus, you need to devote your life to some to become expert in. With the old games, it plug, play, and have fun. Thats why they will still be around 100 years from now.
Thank you, Mario, but our princess is in another castle! ... Just kidding.
Well, if you can do that, your reflexes are better than mine!
I loved Sprint, Punch-Out, Galaga, Dig Dug, 1942, Centipede, Pole Position, Tempest, Pac-Man (all versions) and Defender. Never cared for Donkey Kong though.
If you guys like the old stuff, google for Mame.
They sound good and read good till you play them again and wonder how you spent so many hours and quarters on them the first time around. Like most things old, the memories are better than the reality.
I miss the old style pinball machines. Pinball was one game that was ruined by technology. I'd love to have one of the old 70's style machines.
Man I spent a lot of money and time playing pinball. I recently tried some of those same machines at a retro-arcade and the magic was gone. Maybe I'm getting too old but I still game like crazy on the computer, most likely just I'm spoiled now.
Most if not all of these games can be made to run on a modern machine although the more modern your computer is the more tweaking you'll have to do IE if you're running XP and an onboard sound card you'll probably need a DOS and a Sound Blaster emulator.If you've got an old clunker gathering dust in the garage you're in luck These are all legal shareware demos with three to six levels each but with that many games it'll be a long time before I feel like shelling out the big bucks for a full version.There are allot of other of games on this website from MS.Pacman to Tomb Raider or a couple or 3 different Asteroid clones.
I am in no way affiliated with www.dosgames.com I'm just letting you know that if you miss your old games they're all out there on the net and most of them are free.Also I have never got a virus from www.dosgames.com but use common sense when downloading and installing stuff from the web.Resident spyware shields up, virus scan before you install.
there are tons of old pinballs out there for sale. there is a whole cottage industry devoted to them, as well as the newer electronic ones. i had four at one time, and still have two. I'll help you find a website for pinball classifieds if you like (i'll have to do some searching for the url, but shouldnt be a problem.
I also had the Intellivision. You can get a controller for that out of the JCPenney Christmas Catalog (plug). I had about 75 games for the Intellivision which I purchased when I had a paper route back in the late 70s and early 80s.
You can find Joust and a number of the old video games for the PS2 and XBox as well. They have the old Atari 2600, and Intellivision games available as well. For example, there are 2 games of Midway's greatest hits for about $20 each.
I used to spend so much money playing pinball, Mortal Kombat, the old Ivan Stewart off-road game while I was at GVSU. There is a combination Galaga/Ms. Pac-Man game available to play in the arcades as well.
OK, Well don't leave us in suspense.
I would say no. I have all the emulators and I still enjoy all the games, I just pick one depending on my mood, go back and remaster it all over again, then pick another one and repeat until I get back.
The only exception so far is Lazerblast & Air sea Battle for the 2600, I used to like those games as a kid but now I realize they suck
I kinda like chess and monopoly.
When our kids got their Game Cube, last year, I got a NAMCO game for myself. It's got several old games on it, including Dig Dug, one of my old time favorites. I haven't played it much, yet. I gotta get used to those controllers!
Tempest, Crystal Castle, Q-Bert . . . ah, but there was nothing like Gauntlet. I could spend DAYS playing Gauntlet. "Warrior needs food! Badly!"
Marble madness was an incredibly addictive game. We had it on gameboy color, but it is not the same.
the 2600 was good..i played that up until 5th grade (1991)
There are C-64 and Intellivision versions as well - and probably others. Clever idea - wish I would've thought of it.
yea ive seen those dunno if im gonna pick one up..thinking about it though