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Retro games?

 
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Szczepaniak
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:39 am    Post subject: Retro games? Reply with quote

What are your thoughts on 'retro games'?

Are you a self proclaimed retro gamer, or do you hate the term? You don't hear about retro films, since a good film is a good film regardless of when it was made. So why the distinction with games?

More problematic is that there is a definite divide between such things. There is little or no grey area. On the one side is an ever growing blob of classification we call retro, that with each passing years grows bigger, and then we have "modern games" which are segregated off until they are old enough to be called retro.

Still, I am a huge fan of classic games, for many reasons, and calling myself a retro gamer helps put this view across quite quickly and easily. So I use it. But is this to do with me, or the fact that the majority of the gaming masses won't understand what you are talking about unless you re-package 'Adventure' under a new heading?

Perhaps there will come a time when there is no 'retro' and all games are classified by hardware generation in much the same way other media is classified by decade?

Does the USA even call them retro games? To me it seems to be very British with each of our main multiformat magazines having a retro section and even one magazine dedicated solely to older games. Several forums also have special dedicated retro sections.


I personally don't care what you call them, I like older games and gain as much enjoyment out of them as I do newer games. I also thought we should have a topic for retro related gubbins in here, perhaps to keep the boards more tidy?

Otherwise I've been playing Shinobi 3 and Star Control on the MD as well Star Control 2 on my 3DO.

Anyone else?............
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Shapermc
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, we know what retro gaming is here Smile

I think retro gaming is when you pull out the old systems and get old games (as in original). The GBA line of NES rereleases are call the NES Classic series. It is classic games on new systems. I think the retro comes from the hardware we use.

This is also a phenomenon that is only on gaming. Well at least more wide spread. If you want to listen to Frank Senatra you don't have to track down a phonograph and old vinyl, you go got the CD store. If you want to watch Fritz Lang's Metropolis you don't have to find a theatre running the ancient film, you get the DVD. If you want to play Tempest 2000 you have to get a Jagurar. If you want to play Castlevania... you get the GBA game.

I guess there is no clear cut definition or distinction. But I definatly see this as a problem. When Audio upgraded from 8-Tracks to Cassettes you did not find only new/modern music available on Cassette. Same from Cassette to CD and kind of to MP3s (but MP3s are not a new format, more an alternative).

In gaming we have problems like Radiant Silvergun, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Castlevania: Rondo of Blood that would not happen with Movies or Audio... or hell even books.

Right now I am playing Castlevania Chronicles, which is more than a classic.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like the movies and cds you mentioned prior, when our classic games become old enough to be unobtainable and yet there is a demand for them, companies will surely release them on newer formats.

It would help speed the process up if there was a single unified console in the future, though.


And I'm assuming Nintendo will continue to whore out their classic goods with every generation of their portable handhelds, simply because that's their crutch. Fear the day when our GBA games becomes a Classic line on the Nintendo LANboy TS!
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Szczepaniak
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing is, there is a lot of demand, for many games, but no one is re-releasing them.
Also, many companies have gone bust, making the question of who owns them tricky.
Case in point: Shadowrun. Microsoft owns the rights, but doesnt care about re-releasing the trilogy.

Thankfully though, sites like the underdogs keep the dreams alive. That and emulation make older games easier to play.

On the flip side, you also have the release of Star Control 2 as an open source project on the PC now.

What I love about old games, is that there are some design elements that you would only find in these older games.

Does anyone else miss FMV gaming?
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Shapermc
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Szczepaniak wrote:
Does anyone else miss FMV gaming?
No! There were only a few I played, but Dragons Lair was the only thing close enough to a Good FMV game. Fuck night trap.

But the history behind the games of this type and the theroy is interesting enough.
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Szczepaniak
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, fans of FMV like me are rare indeed.

I love the games, though to explain why would take a fairly long post, and Im about to dash off for dinner.

I even bought the Japanese PS2 version of "The Fear", very good game.

One of my personal favourites was "Ground Zero Texas", it has a great Sci-Fi plot that was very well scripted, and some sublime shooting action, similar to lethal enforcers.
I mean really good shooting action, plus they used randomisation to a fantastic degree, meaning you could replay the game several times and it would be different each time.
(for example, a scene where you had to find out which gambler was an alien, there were four different recordings, meaning you couldn't just guess, you had to study their behaviour)

I'm rambling again, maybe I should save this for if/when I start blogging.

Suffice to say, I now nominate myself officially the president of the TGQ FMV fan club, as well as its only member.... for the time being. Wink
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Shapermc
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Szczepaniak wrote:
Suffice to say, I now nominate myself officially the president of the TGQ FMV fan club, as well as its only member.... for the time being. Wink
Yea, I kind of put you there Wink
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Mr. Mechanical
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I play classic, or retro, games. I don't like emulating so I do all my classic gaming on the original hardware, if possible. This has led to me starting up a collection of NES and SNES games, as well as Genesis. If I can't physically aqcuire it and I still really want to play it then I'll emulate.

The reason I don't like emulating has nothing to do with personal ethics or fear of legal recourse, it is simply that I am a purist by heart. I think the only way to truly experience any medium is through the means which it was originally conceived. Now, this doesn't mean that I have objections to watching stage plays on DVD or anything like that, as I often don't have any choice about how I experience various old movies or plays. However, I often have that choice with video games.

Video games, or rather the hardware we use to play them on, isn't quite there yet with old movies and plays. You can buy an old movie on DVD, but if you want to play an old game you either emulate, which has a shaky legal foundation due to the jargon filled nature of laws and a sometimes poor understanding of electronic medums as a whole, or you track down the original hardware. The original hardware won't always be there though, as the video game industry has proven time and again. Every five years or so we toss out our old systems, our old technology, in favor of newer ones.

So, yeah, video games by their very nature are transitory. They won't last as long as film or music if we don't find a way to experience the old as easily as the new and I have a feeling video game developers won't learn as much as they could if they can't learn and experience their history as easily as those in the film or music industry. Those who forget history's mistakes are doomed to repeat tham and all that.. Nintendo is kind of going in the right direction with their Classics series, but that's only a drop in the ocean compared to rest of the NES library, or even 8bit developerd games as a whole, so we need another alternative.

Underdogs was mentioned earlier and it springs to mind, but due to the laws surrounding electronic media it might not always be there. Besides, from my purist standpoint emulation will never be the preferred way to experience a game. Who was responsible for the DVD? We print our old and new movies on them, as well as our newer video games. I think we need something universal like that for old cart based media. Hardware developers should get together and make that technology happen so that we can buy a cart based video game player, much like we buy DVD players to watch old movies, and use it to experience old cart based games like they were intended: with a controller and a TV.

However, this doesn't solve the problem of older disk based games like those on the C64 and such. Similar measures could be taken with those as well, I think, but it would have to be a very concerted effort on the part of hardware makers and frankly, I don't think we're anywhere near there yet, maturity wise. Sometimes I fear that the whole house of cards that is the game and hardware industry will collapse in on itself before we can get there.

edit-I just came across this link after posting this. Kind of goes towards what I was talking about, and shows that there is the demand out there to preserve our past. Granted, none of the games this person orders for his library could be considered "classic". It's a start though.
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dhex
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what are we considering as "retro" in this case?

the only retro game i still play semi-regulary is yar's revenge.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dhex wrote:
what are we considering as "retro" in this case?


I consider anything that isn't 3D "retro", or more technically anything up to the original PlayStation.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh, ok.

i'm giong to go hang myself now. if i don't die of old age first.
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Szczepaniak
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question, and part of the problem regarding the whole classic/retro games scenario.

Personally I regard anything that isn't part of the current "limelight" generation to be retro or classic gaming. Despite the homebrew and pccasional Japanese releases, I regard the DC as retro, at least in my mind.

But from I've heard from other people, its different for everyone. There are so many divides in gaming (more than other mediums?), it makes classification very difficult.

I know some people who refuse to regard even the first Mario game as "retro" since there are still Mario games being released today. Whereas others who think the Saturn might be old, but not actually retro.

Personally I think all games should be easily available to everyone, for a minimal price.


Speaking of old games, has anyone here played "The Divide: Enemies Within"? A US PS1 game that can be vagually described as a Super Mtetroid clone in 3D.


PS: cheers for the location change!
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it is most likely a function of age and imprint vulnerability, which i'm thinking is what i'm going to concentrate on in the next issue's story.

to me, retro is the atari 2600 and NES. everything else is still fairly modern. but that doesn't take into consideration a few factors - the rate of change in electronics, generational gaps, and most importantly, personal experience.

edit: as far as divisions, i would argue games have nothing on music.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i myself am a retro gamer as i play old games...


i understand where you are coming from regarding the undating of 'classic' games from a new medium to an older one. it is most unfortunate most of the time it is much harder to 'convert' said game from one platform to another as the medium is much more complex than audio/video/literary media. as hardware progresses and the way of doing things changes, hardware specific code becomes obsolete. i remember hearing something about those atari ports and how the way atari output its graphics was so radically different than what we have now that they had alot of trouble getting the graphics working.

blah blah blah.. i'm rambling again..

we'll i have seen something really cool that you all must know.
with the right tools and easily found hardware (Non-NES), one could build oneself a custom NES that reads real carts.. heck, some guy even made one that just read flashcards... the NES community is very strong and people actually make carts....some folks even reproduce boxes...

bleh... rambling again....

!

emulation is inevitable. the thing about emulation is that many have small innacuracies that ruin the experience... for examble take 'Super Dodge Ball'/'Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball Bu' for the NES.. when emulatied...the sprites flicker...and thats not cool.... but then again.. as newer and more different systems keep being born.. emulation will end up being the only way to enjoy certain classic games...that is... unless you have the actual hardware...





bleh...
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The longer videogames are around, the less important the "retro" label is going to get. You're going to hear things like, "I bust out Contra every once and a while, but I hardly consider myself a 'retro gamer'." I've got friends that aren't particularly big gamers or anything that spontaneously decide to take on Super Mario World when they're over at my place. It's just something they've enjoyed in the past, like your favourite movies or books, and my place happens to be a very convenient place to enjoy an older game or two. (I've got 9 consoles hooked up to my TV.)

I've found emulators running on current-gen consoles to be a fairly decent setup for most console games. (So long as the games use joysticks -- nothing touches the original Atari paddles.) Doesn't stop me from collecting, of course.

Man, dhex, I've gotta be as old as you are in videogame years. Grew up with a Coleco Gemini (a delightful VCS clone, don't you know) and a Vic-20. Remember being irritated with my peers for calling cartridges "tapes". Buying a couple of boxed 2600 games for a dollar apiece at like a drugstore or something. My brother would occasionally rent a NES from the local video store -- I remember playing SMB2 on a rented NES.

To all you FMV haters -- play a round of Panic! on your SegaCD, and you'll see how enjoyable non-existant on-rails gameplay can be. I'm seriously going to develop a ridiculous, grainy-ass SegaCD FMV game of my own one day. It'll be atrocious.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Coleco Gemini


holy fucking shit, yeah. with those awful fucking joysticks.

i played atari games from age 3 to age 12, then sold the entire collection. ah well.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My favorite definition of the place where classic gaming died comes from something Tim Rogers wrote. I'm no Tim Rogers fanboy, but in one of his writings he said that it died with the 1994's release of Donkey Kong Country. I tend to agree with that.

Retro gaming to me is something else though, I'd say Retro gaming is anything NES and beyond. When I play Super Metroid I don't feel like I'm playing a Retro game, but when I play the original Metroid I do.

-Wes
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dhex wrote:
edit: as far as divisions, i would argue games have nothing on music.


Shit man. Ain't nothin' got nothin' on music. There's like, what, 50 different divisions of "electronica" (if that can word can even be used anymore) alone?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, yeah.

consider drum n' bass. or jungle, if you're older school. then you have two step, darkstep, and techstep. then you have drill n' bass, which i happen to like, and breakcore, which i don't always like as much. it's the direct descendant of hardcore jungle, which is far more straightforward. then you have broken beats, which refers to drill, breakcore and stuff in between that kinda gets shoved in there. i've even heard unfortunate midwestern raver types refer to psy-breaks. then you have nu school breaks, which aren't really related unless you're a pussy.

and i'm sure i missed 10 or so extra ones.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gemini joysticks were awesome. No one believes me, but they were. My brother still talks about how awesome Gemini joysticks were, and he barely even plays games anymore.

The Intellivision controller gets way too much hate, too. The disc is totally sweet.

Colecovision] joysticks, on the other hand, are downright unusable. My hands cramp up just thinking about playing Smurf Rescue.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John... this looks like your kind of book:
http://www.ludologica.com/pages/9/index.htm
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Retro games? Reply with quote

Szczepaniak wrote:
What are your thoughts on 'retro games'?

Are you a self proclaimed retro gamer, or do you hate the term? You don't hear about retro films, since a good film is a good film regardless of when it was made. So why the distinction with games?

Anyone else?............


First off I say a big HELLO to all of you already a part of this gaming community. I hope to have interesting and fun discussions with the lot of you. And for my first post I will just say this.

I personally love "Retro" games and don't see anything primarily wrong with the term in and within itself. While it is unusual that it indeed is a term that seems to only be synanomous with gaming, I think it's needed. The only problem I have with the title is when I think of something being Retro, my mind automatically thinks back to the ATARI 2600, the COLECOVISION, Intellevision, Oddyssey etc. To me that is "Retro", though I guess by the industry's estimation that might actually be considered Vintage Gaming, I guess the jury is still out on that note.

I own a PS2 system, but have roughly 10 games for it at present. Thus I guess I'd have to be a "Retro" gamer 95% of the time and a simple "GAMER" the last 5%. I grew up with the evolution of the differing systems, and with hindsight while it is true a lot of stuff that's in 3-D wouldn't have looked nor played right in 2-D; I for one still enjoy the simplistic/addictive play mechanics of the older stuff. I mostly collect and play games for the following systems: Mega Drive, Super Famicom, Famicom and the Neo Geo MVS. As far as the title of "Retro" is concerned though, it's just there to separate the contemporary endeavors of game developers from anything that is no longer garnering official support, which is why I don't understand the drama between a lot of game companies like Nintendo and ppl who want to emulate the games. But that's another topic for another disscussion. Wink
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Szczepaniak
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shapermc wrote:
John... this looks like your kind of book:
http://www.ludologica.com/pages/9/index.htm


Thanks for the link, that looks really good. Alas, I am too late to submit anything, but will be interested to read it...

Though there is some trepidation.
There was a museum exhibiton in the UK on the history of games, with over 50 classic games on all systems available to play for free all day, for price of admission (7 I think), and there were also video interviews, artwork and other non-playing stuff. The exhibit itself was fantastic, well balanced, covered a range of stuff, and hampered only by the limitations of area space. Thoughrally good stuff otherwise. (Barbican centre, GAME ON exhibit)

But....

They had a book to accompany it.
It was meant to look at the history and cultural impact of games on society.
It was one of the most poorly written "things" on gaming I have ever personally read, full of bizarre disconnected peoples thoughts, one guy spent an entire page debating Snake's mullet and the nature of iconic character design. The whole thing simply did not have a clue, not a single decent page in the book.

So while this seems incredibly exciting, the nasty burn scars left by previous stuff I read keep coming back to haunt me, like flashback actually.


I will keep my eye on this though. Cheers for the linkage mr Shaper!


EDIT:
Welcome to the community Master Fighter!
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i don't blame you.

i can't bring myself to use the term retro. it makes me sad.

i just say 2600.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say that my purchasing of games are so varied that they have just be come newer stuff and older stuff.

Retro is something that I can say in public and other people will instantly recognise. If I say older stuff other people may think that I am talking about a 2003 release, not a 1993 release.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So here I am in this new place, coming here from the old place.

I'll jump right in, since no one else has mentioned this, even though Szczepaniak poses it directly in his first post: do I hate the term (retro gamer)? (EDIT: so now that I post this I see that shapermc and dhex have both mentioned the point. Guh.)

YES. I can't stand the term at all, since it reeks of marketing and crappy VH1 shows about remembering whatever everyone's decided is kitschy and quaintly old fashioned for this week. 'Classic' is a much more appropriate term for the kinds of games I have a particular taste for.

On a more civilized note, anyone from the old place who knows me knows that I love the classic stuff, but especially the obscure and the underappreciated. Like with some music, I have this feeling that there's this vast ocean of great stuff from between 1972 or so and 1990 (although that's an arbitrary date, really-- there's great new stuff coming out that immediately goes into the bargain bin) that are completely underrepresented in compilations, reissues, and even discussion, that will before long be lost forever (literally or figuratively) because it hasn't garnered the attention that your Asteroids, your Ninja Gaiden, and your Mother 2 have. Although to be fair I think the Internet has staved this off fairly well-- if you look hard enough you can find a fan of ANYTHING out there. But still.

So there you go.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of old games, has anyone here played "Star Control 2"?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as retro gaming goes, I think you could be picky and say anything that was last-gen counts as retro. Then again, the PS2 made PSX games still playable, so they might not count. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Personally, anything from SNES/Genesis and prior is retro gaming. I don't consider Dreamcast of Playstation games "old" but Super Mario Bros. is. Still as enjoyable as the first day I played it, but it is old. Although lately with school, work, and so many new games out that I have and want to finish (not to mention the ones I don't have and want), retro gaming is fast becoming one of those past times I can indulge in, but only once every so often. Which is a shame - I've been meaning to get back to Secret of Mana again...

Oh, question: when and older game is re-released, is it no longer old? Or what if it gets the remake treatment, or new additions tagged on, and so on? Could it be seen as a 'new' game?
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a retrogamer, but not as much as I used to be... when I first discovered emulation, I played every game under the sun for the next several years. Now I feel like I've played everything worth playing, even though things I've missed keep coming to my attention... which is why I'm still a retrogamer, because I keep playing all these older games that I missed. If you know what I mean.

I don't mind the term "retro". I've never really cared about names and labels. I still consider stuff like the 2600 and such retro, but not the SNES or even the NES because like, I grew up with them so... I don't want to feel old, I guess!

Quote:
Oh, question: when and older game is re-released, is it no longer old? Or what if it gets the remake treatment, or new additions tagged on, and so on? Could it be seen as a 'new' game?


I think remakes can be seen as new games... just look at the recent Bionic Commando remake! I guess it depends how much effort goes into it. If it's just updated graphics, then it's just an old game in a snazzy new outfit.

Quote:
As far as retro gaming goes, I think you could be picky and say anything that was last-gen counts as retro. Then again, the PS2 made PSX games still playable, so they might not count.


Then again, these days we have stuff like the Virtual Console that let us play even older games on our modern consoles.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cycle, did someone unplug you overnight? Would you like me to reset your clock?
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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KinokoFry
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ApM wrote:
Colecovision] joysticks, on the other hand, are downright unusable. My hands cramp up just thinking about playing Smurf Rescue.


Smurf Rescue!! I grew up with that game. My first console was a Coleco (though not a Gemini, I'm not sure what that is to be honest). Ladybug, Frogger, Smurf Rescue, a copy of Mousetrap that never worked and a really great driving game that came with a steering wheel. A few other titles I can't remember.

Coleco. That is some retro gaming right there.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember a STEW OF CONTROVERSY surrounding Smurf Rescue, because when you reach smurfette and leave on the left of the screen, her dress would dissapear!!!

The Coleco port of Donkey Kong was pretty brill, from what I remember. Mousetrap was a surprisingly good Pac-Man knock off! What was ladybug about? That name doesn't ring any bells.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Colecovision in general is plenty of fantastic; easily my favorite pre-NES system. I just like the feel of it; there's a certain tangibility that's lacking in the Intellivision or 2600. The controllers, though... yeah.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a lovely old thread to unearth, I guess it predates me being here by about a year.

Few thoughts:
back in the day (err, by which I mean 1993) my view of video game hobbyists was centered on Usenet and rec.games.video.classic. The amount of dumb arguing about the definition of "classic" in terms of the group's charter/mandate... it specfied "older, "classic" home video entertainment systems like the Atari 2600, Coleco, Intellivision, etc." without making clear if that was a sliding and growing category, or if it applied to the NES-etc, which at that point had been superseded by the SNES/Genesis stuff. This led to many, many attempts to develop and "era" system for videogames, most often with a comicbook like "gold, silver, copper" and usually getting to pretty disparaging metals and materials for the current stuff. Why this effort was doomed to fail is left as an exercise for the reader.

ApM, my first console wasn't even a Gemini... it was a Gemini clone (well, rebadge) the Columbia Home Arcade, which was like one of those record clubs. Nifty monthly catalog/posters. And those sticks WERE the bombdiggity (though Intellivision discs were crap) -- only the "Amiga Powerstick" did the small tight control thing well.

History wise I had a 2600 and 7800 during college in the early 90s (also a Vectrex, later) which was all pretty much a throwback, but fun.

For whatever goddamn reason, I wrote an essay on Why I Like Classic Games
Quote:
And now I know: I play games for the microcosms they create. I love the idea of each cartridge holding a small virtual universe, establishing its rules and laws of physics, populated with artificial beings. Video Games are one of the few forms of Artifical Life that we might encounter on a daily basis.

Classic games, then, appeal to me for two reasons: one is that they're cheap. You can get stacks and stacks of these little universes for just a little money. The second reason is how the graphical and memory constraints of these games forced the designers to be very created in the universes they set up. The NES was plagued by a series of not-very-different side-scrollers, where only the graphics and music varied from game to game. Atari designers didn't have the luxury: they created new universes from the ground up. Game innovation came in the form of new interactions with these electronic microcosms.

That's still kind of true.

Over the past ten years I've been heartened by the rise of minigames, where I think the truest expression of the "retro" gameplay outlook is being kept alive... simple, interaction based games is more important to me than the pixelart and chiptunes aspects.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found that anecdote about usenet pretty interesting. It's nice to see people were having stupid arguements about videogames even during the infancy of the internet! Though, I do think a system like the one used with comics COULD work for videogames (heck, I even think it's a good idea)... but good luck getting everyone to agree on it.

My first console was a master system. For about a day. Then my parents took it back and I got a NES with a bunch of games with it instead! That was actually a bit of a step down, previously we owned a C64 and then an Amiga with a million pirated games. I guess that's why I'm more of a PC bloke.

I used to have a Vectrex. which we got from a garage sale. Years later my mother gave it to the Salvation Army without asking me (she assumed I didn't want it because it was at the back of the closet). I only forgave her a year ago. I need to buy a new one... I have the multicart but no system to play it on.

I also like what you say about little universes. I'd probably say the console is the universe, and each game is a planet. I loved that about my counsins Atari... each game was very simply and got boring after awhile, but if I stuck in another one I'd (usually) get something completely different and exciting.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
(though not a Gemini, I'm not sure what that is to be honest)


a 2600 clone made by coleco. i got one because i kept breaking the original controllers for the atari, before our original 2600 gave up the ghost sometime in the mid 80s. the gemini's stick was even smaller and more ridiculously flimsy, so that solved nothing with regards to my giant meaty child hands.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cycle wrote:
I found that anecdote about usenet pretty interesting. It's nice to see people were having stupid arguements about videogames even during the infancy of the internet! Though, I do think a system like the one used with comics COULD work for videogames (heck, I even think it's a good idea)... but good luck getting everyone to agree on it.

Well, the scale is tough;
the first 20 years of games were marked by so much change, as technology really opened up to allow less-iconic and more representational styles of interaction and graphics.

With comics, there's little that you can do now that you couldn't, in theory, have done 60 years ago. So the changes you saw (leaving a side some of the external factors, like the Comic Codes) were more zeitgeist and artist driven, rather than being powered by technology.

It might be that we're entering an era where fairly decent "reality" representation is a solved problem (it's always foolish to think "games can't get more realistic than THIS!" but still) and the situation will be more like it has been with comics. But for the 80s and 90s, I think the "generation" system that seems to have emerged as a de facto standard is about as good as you can hope to get. (And even that doesn't preclude stupid fights... for some reason I've drifted back a little to Atari Age, and immediately got involved in a "Is Wii truly nextgen" discussion -- leaving aside that "nextgen" is now the current generation, the Wii is kind of interesting in not just hammering the Polygons and Processing power that PS3 and 360 are continuations of, though in this gen you see more of an emphasis on in-device storage and online game purchases and play)

Quote:
My first console was a master system. For about a day. Then my parents took it back and I got a NES with a bunch of games with it instead! That was actually a bit of a step down, previously we owned a C64 and then an Amiga with a million pirated games. I guess that's why I'm more of a PC bloke.

I knew that potentially C=64 was more powerful than an NES... but I also realized that no one seemed to be making "Metroid" for the C=64 (frankly, it was that "Players Guide" w/ the black cover, all those lovely handdrawn (I think) but obsessively accurate maps, and especially the whole sci-fi vibe of Metroid...

Two things killed PCs for me: realizing it was an upgrade treadmill, and PCs, unlike the Amiga, didn't have proper joysticks, just flight sticks (actually it was "Wing Commander" that got me to push for getting a PC senior year of high school)

Quote:
I also like what you say about little universes. I'd probably say the console is the universe, and each game is a planet. I loved that about my counsins Atari... each game was very simply and got boring after awhile, but if I stuck in another one I'd (usually) get something completely different and exciting.

Exactly.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Wizard_Is_About_To_Die!]Has anybody read this?[/url]

I am curious.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Redeye wrote:
[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Wizard_Is_About_To_Die!]Has anybody read this?[/url]

I am curious.

I think it was in my bathroom for a while.

I don't remember liking it that much. It didn't do that much of that recontextualizing of games that I dig.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate whatever retro gaming is.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worm wrote:
I hate whatever retro gaming is.


It's playing old games, sometimes on old systems.

Plus more, apparently.


I don't know if remakes count, but I'd like to play Mail Order Monsters as some kind of modern zombiepocalypse game.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to get the Apple II version of Prince of Persia to work. Sad
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a little amused, and alarmed, as the Atari 2600's TV connection gets more and more out of date.

Most "properly" (and interference-y) it goes to a switchbox that you screw in to where the antenna goes

there is now a cheap coax cable adapter plug that is a good balance, decent signal, still supported on VCRs.

I think there's a hack to let it output RCA composite.

And for modern systems there are just too many frickin' choices., after RCA is svideo, component, I use VGA for my 360 on my projector, HDMI... it's kind of weird how the choices multiplied.

Man, I'm not sure why I've been posting like I had asperger syndrome lately.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i enjoy your aspergers posts, kirk
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dracko wrote:
I'd like to get the Apple II version of Prince of Persia to work. Sad

I really want to see side 2 of Karateka.

Kirk, you should see the horrific daisy chain of automatic RF switches my setup requires.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ApM wrote:
Dracko wrote:
I'd like to get the Apple II version of Prince of Persia to work. Sad

I really want to see side 2 of Karateka.

Kirk, you should see the horrific daisy chain of automatic RF switches my setup requires.

I could imagine! Do you lose much signal fidelity?

I guess I made some compromises in the triangle of small living space, video projector, and desire to have games easily available. The 360 gets a permanent shelf and VGA plug (along with the never used PS2), every other system gets plugged into the front of the multiselector as needed, including the Wii, which is my travel system.

Speaking of that kind of thing... every month or so a coworker has a table game night after work, and I follow it up a week after with a Wii night. In theory, Wii is a great travel system, but when I made a checklist (and decided to bring the GC setup -- I'm hoping to get some Pac Man VS" in) I feel a little like a new parent packing the Baby Bag --

-Wii
--power supply
--video cable
--sensor bar(s) and battery for wireless one
-4 Wiimotes + power packs
-4 nunchucks
-blue CD folder of Wii games.

So that's not too bad, would probably fit in my courier bag.
But there are still some titles on GC that don't quite have adequate Wii replacements, so...
-4 GC controllers
-GC memcard?
-tan CD folder w/ GC games

Then there are a few things I largely skipped this time:
-extra batteries
-white Kart steering wheels
-gun holder thing

Then, if I'm more "in the wild", there's also
-computer speakers (I actually grabbed these today)
-video projector
-powerstrip
-classic controller

and then since I'm in the mood for Pac Man Vs
-GBA
--connector
--charger

OK, this post wasn't as entertaining as I had envisioned.

And even with all that, a Wii + Projector + Speakers has a pretty extraordinary fun / volume ratio and can go anywhere there's a power supply and a dark blank wall.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kirkjerk wrote:
OK, this post wasn't as entertaining as I had envisioned.

Probably twice as aspergers-y, though!

The signal actually turns out to not be that terrible, considering. I've got my cable box hooked into the very end, anyway, and I don't generally notice any issues watching TV. But then, I'm hardly a videophile, and I have been tolerating an undiagnosed loud 60hz buzz coming from my PC's audio-out for at least a year now.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ApM wrote:
kirkjerk wrote:
OK, this post wasn't as entertaining as I had envisioned.

Probably twice as aspergers-y, though!

Yeah, I wonder if I'm using the term too loosely, but still.

Retrogaming seems to bring out that kind of thinking. Sometimes the line between that form of geekery and asperger's seems like a fine one.
Quote:
The signal actually turns out to not be that terrible, considering. I've got my cable box hooked into the very end, anyway, and I don't generally notice any issues watching TV. But then, I'm hardly a videophile, and I have been tolerating an undiagnosed loud 60hz buzz coming from my PC's audio-out for at least a year now.

My 360 redringed and so I hooked up an old DVD/VCR combo; was surprised at how mediocre the Svideo looked 'cause I'm not much of a video wonk. I'm hoping it was just a suspect cable or something, 'cause I'd like to use the VCR to dump some old materialto DVD.
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