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Retro games offer an alluring respite
Chicago Tribune ^ | 12/7/04 | Eric Gwinn

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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: atari2600; genx; videogames
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1 posted on 12/11/2004 4:53:12 PM PST by qam1
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To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; malakhi; m18436572; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.  

2 posted on 12/11/2004 4:54:58 PM PST by qam1 (Anyone who was born in New Jersey should not be allowed to drive at night or on hills.)
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To: qam1
I'd love to have a Missile Command console in my apt.

Spent MANY, MANY quarters in that sucker.

3 posted on 12/11/2004 4:58:33 PM PST by Benrand
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To: qam1
Sega ruled,SNES rules,NINTENDO ruled...and having the emulators for all 3 make it that much better

love X-box and PS2 but old school rules baby!!!

4 posted on 12/11/2004 5:02:14 PM PST by MetalHeadConservative35 (RIP Dimebag Darrell Of Pantera/Damageplan...Were gonna F-ing Miss you)
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To: qam1

Spent many quarters on Tempest!


5 posted on 12/11/2004 5:14:04 PM PST by rdb3 (Can I join the Pajamahadeen even if I sleep in the nude?)
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To: qam1

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!

:-)


6 posted on 12/11/2004 5:16:57 PM PST by tiamat (Solis Invicti)
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To: rdb3; Ernest_at_the_Beach
Spent many quarters on Tempest!

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.

7 posted on 12/11/2004 5:20:13 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: Benrand
I'd love to have a Missile Command console in my apt.

Is available for your PC now. Even lookes like the old arcade console. :-)

8 posted on 12/11/2004 5:21:17 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: RadioAstronomer
Is available for your PC now. Even lookes like the old arcade console. :-)

There's nothing like spinning that big ole ball, though.

9 posted on 12/11/2004 5:25:27 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: eddie willers
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!

10 posted on 12/11/2004 5:29:12 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: qam1
We just bought 4 of the Retro Game Units, Plug and Play. They are so much fun. Only $18 a piece
11 posted on 12/11/2004 5:36:01 PM PST by cmsgop
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To: MetalHeadConservative35

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.


12 posted on 12/11/2004 5:37:01 PM PST by qam1 (Anyone who was born in New Jersey should not be allowed to drive at night or on hills.)
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To: qam1

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!


13 posted on 12/11/2004 5:46:03 PM PST by MoJo2001 (Operation Valentine's Day ---Begins January 1st - January 21st..www.proudpatriots.com)
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To: rdb3

Oh, man. I remember that one.

I could've put a small country through college with all those quarters.


14 posted on 12/11/2004 5:48:51 PM PST by Skooz (The "holiday" has a name.)
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To: RadioAstronomer; eddie willers

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.


15 posted on 12/11/2004 5:54:40 PM PST by JerseyHighlander
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To: JerseyHighlander; RadioAstronomer
Has anyone put out "Joust"?

Does anyone remember "Joust"?

16 posted on 12/11/2004 5:59:39 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: eddie willers

Joust was great. We had Intellivision. Anyone remember that. Really enjoyed those games...Astrosmash!


17 posted on 12/11/2004 6:05:40 PM PST by Sertorius (A hayseed with no greek and dam^ proud of it)
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To: eddie willers

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. ;)


18 posted on 12/11/2004 6:06:36 PM PST by Renderofveils (8th Engineer Bn, 1 Cav. "Cannibals!")
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To: eddie willers

Joust, sure, just google it. Find a rom, there are java programs of it too.

http://www.klov.com/J/Joust.html


19 posted on 12/11/2004 6:07:25 PM PST by JerseyHighlander
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To: Benrand

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


20 posted on 12/11/2004 6:09:18 PM PST by freepatriot32 (http://chonlalonde.blogspot.com)
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To: Renderofveils
Right, theoretically one could find a Nintendo NES emulator, and joust rom and be able to play, though not quite legal...
21 posted on 12/11/2004 6:09:57 PM PST by JerseyHighlander
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To: rdb3

I would pay big bucks for an arcade Marble Madness!


22 posted on 12/11/2004 6:10:54 PM PST by realpatriot (Some spelling errors may have been intentionally included)
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To: rdb3

sounds like I need not remind you to "avoid spikes"


23 posted on 12/11/2004 6:12:12 PM PST by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: eddie willers

did you know how to defeat the 'undefeatable (?) Ptaradactyal?


24 posted on 12/11/2004 6:14:04 PM PST by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: JerseyHighlander

Thanks for the info. :-)

I still have the following consoles:

Vectrex (The only vector-graphic gaming console ever made for the personal market)
Original Pong
Atari 2600
Nintendo NES
Super NES
N64
Game Cube
Play Station 1
Play Station 2
X-Box
Sega Saturn


25 posted on 12/11/2004 6:17:02 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: eddie willers

I like M.U.L.E. as well :-)

Played that for hours on the Commodore 64


26 posted on 12/11/2004 6:18:25 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: eddie willers

I beat a kid out of $75 playing Asteroids back in '81. It was half a week's pay for me at the time.


27 posted on 12/11/2004 6:44:45 PM PST by SnuffaBolshevik
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To: SnuffaBolshevik

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.


28 posted on 12/11/2004 6:59:50 PM PST by qam1 (Anyone who was born in New Jersey should not be allowed to drive at night or on hills.)
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To: tiamat
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

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.

29 posted on 12/11/2004 7:05:04 PM PST by jmc813 (J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS)
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To: qam1

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.


30 posted on 12/11/2004 7:15:03 PM PST by rbg81
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To: qam1
Super Mario Bros. 3 was possibly the best game ever, I have to concur. SMB3 was magnificent and still (until quite recently) the best-selling console game of all time.

Thank you, Mario, but our princess is in another castle! ... Just kidding.

31 posted on 12/11/2004 7:16:28 PM PST by SedVictaCatoni (<><)
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To: jmc813

Well, if you can do that, your reflexes are better than mine!



32 posted on 12/11/2004 7:26:16 PM PST by tiamat (Solis Invicti)
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To: qam1

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.


33 posted on 12/11/2004 8:56:51 PM PST by CAR913 (Is there ANYTHING leftists won't blame on Bush???)
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To: qam1; Benrand
One word: MAME

If you guys like the old stuff, google for Mame.

34 posted on 12/11/2004 9:29:52 PM PST by Slump Tester (John Kerry - When even your best still isn't good enough)
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To: qam1

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.


35 posted on 12/11/2004 9:34:15 PM PST by this_ol_patriot
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To: this_ol_patriot

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.


36 posted on 12/11/2004 9:42:56 PM PST by centexan (Go 1st Cav - stay safe and come home soon)
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To: centexan
When we were kids we used to play pinball on one machine at a small local pool hall near us. We spent HOURS and tons of nickles on just that one machine trying to turn it over or get all the lights lit. I am at a loss to explain why we didn't get bored. They never changed the machine but we just played and played and played. Later I used to hit all the machines in the pizza joints, restaurants, stores or wherever else they may be.

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.

37 posted on 12/11/2004 10:03:52 PM PST by this_ol_patriot
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To: CAR913
I know this is apples an oranges but I just put the finishing touches on my own "time machine".I've always been more of First Person Shooter fan, I get bored too quick with most of the arcade games.I got on my old 233 mhz clunker and downloaded literally all the 3d shooters from www.dosgames.com.With a little work 90% of these games will run straight from the 98se desktop.In semi historical order there's Catacombs Abyss,Wolfenstien 3d,Spear of Destiny,Blake stone,Nightmare3D,Hurl,Kens Labyrinth,Corridor 7,Doom,Heretic,Rise of the Triad,Terminator Future shock,Duke Nukem3D,Descent,Radix,Blood,Shadow Warrior,Quake and a few more I forgot.

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.

Happy blasting

38 posted on 12/11/2004 10:26:34 PM PST by edchambers ("Pajamahadin Neocon footsoldier of the Haliburton Death squad Digital brown shirts")
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To: centexan

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.


39 posted on 12/12/2004 5:21:13 AM PST by jdub
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To: Sertorius

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.


40 posted on 12/12/2004 7:46:03 AM PST by Eric Roelfsema (Congrats to the NBA Champion Detroit Pistons)
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To: eddie willers

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.


41 posted on 12/12/2004 7:53:00 AM PST by Eric Roelfsema (Congrats to the NBA Champion Detroit Pistons)
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To: Hegewisch Dupa

OK, Well don't leave us in suspense.

How?


42 posted on 12/12/2004 8:11:34 AM PST by qam1 (Anyone who was born in New Jersey should not be allowed to drive at night or on hills.)
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To: this_ol_patriot
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 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

43 posted on 12/12/2004 8:15:55 AM PST by qam1 (Anyone who was born in New Jersey should not be allowed to drive at night or on hills.)
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To: qam1

I kinda like chess and monopoly.


44 posted on 12/12/2004 8:16:54 AM PST by bankwalker (Katie's legs are the reason God created the mute button.)
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To: qam1

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!


45 posted on 12/12/2004 8:50:55 AM PST by SuziQ (W: STILL the President)
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To: qam1; Bacon Man; Hap

Tempest, Crystal Castle, Q-Bert . . . ah, but there was nothing like Gauntlet. I could spend DAYS playing Gauntlet. "Warrior needs food! Badly!"


46 posted on 12/12/2004 8:55:59 AM PST by Xenalyte (Lord, I apologize . . . and be with the starving pygmies in New Guinea amen.)
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To: realpatriot

Marble madness was an incredibly addictive game. We had it on gameboy color, but it is not the same.


47 posted on 12/12/2004 10:53:09 AM PST by Sertorius (A hayseed with no greek and dam^ proud of it)
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To: qam1

the 2600 was good..i played that up until 5th grade (1991)


48 posted on 12/12/2004 10:55:54 AM PST by MetalHeadConservative35 (RIP Dimebag Darrell Of Pantera/Damageplan...Were gonna F-ing Miss you)
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To: MetalHeadConservative35; All
Have you seen the "direct to TV" video games based on classic console game joysticks and paddle wheel controllers? The one for the 2600 is made to look like an original 2600 joystick, but has a few selector and reset buttons on it. No "console" needed, you just plug the joystick into your TV's front A/V jacks and choose from a list of classic games.

There are C-64 and Intellivision versions as well - and probably others. Clever idea - wish I would've thought of it.

49 posted on 12/12/2004 11:13:17 AM PST by Cloud William (Liberals are the crab grass in the lawn of life.)
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To: Cloud William

yea ive seen those dunno if im gonna pick one up..thinking about it though


50 posted on 12/12/2004 11:46:15 AM PST by MetalHeadConservative35 (RIP Dimebag Darrell Of Pantera/Damageplan...Were gonna F-ing Miss you)
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