I’ve always had a soft spot for the classics. Having grown up through most of the history of video games, there’s a nostalgia there that gets me in the feels every time. That said, retro gaming is not a part of my day-to-day life. I have a few retro consoles on display in an entertainment unit, with all of the games tucked away in shoe boxes in the bottom compartment.
There are numerous reasons why this is the case. For one, I like to keep up with the zeitgeist, so modern gaming takes up the vast majority of my time. Two, hooking up retro consoles to a modern TV is a huge pain. Thirdly, there was a time in my life where I used retro game collecting as a means of avoiding the harsh realities of adulthood. Once I got my mind right, collecting moved to the back burner.
Due to recent events, the classics may receive a second wind in my world.
Did you ever play Street Fighter II on the Genesis with the default 3-button controller? I’m sure a lot of you did. Didn’t it suck to have to hit the start button every time you wanted to switch between punches and kicks? Imagine trying to sell a control scheme like that through now.
Before WCW vs. NWO World Tour, wrestling video games were very basic. Wrestlers were cartoony, move sets were limited and they primarily offered an arcade-like experience. For video game players of that time, this genre of game was fun for what it was. However, the genre definitely was lacking in the (dare I say it) realism department. As a wrestling fan at the time, I was disappointed in the fact that most of the games in the genre had only a handful of characters, a single shared move list across all characters except for finishers, and limited use of weapons (if there were weapons at all). I wanted to play a wrestling game that felt more like I was actually playing a WWF match, rather than playing a beat-em-up that just so happens to take place inside a wrestling ring.
Then I played WCW vs. NWO World Tour.
Have you ever played the board game Operation? Growing up, I used to always wonder when someone would take the idea of making surgery a game and make that into a video game.Thanks to the advent of the Nintendo DS and touch screen gaming, the idea of surgery-based gameplay came to life in 2005 thanks to Trauma Center: Under the Knife.
To even the most diehard Nintendo fans, the name Fire Emblem means nothing to them outside of Marth, Roy and Ike, who all appeared in various versions of Super Smash Bros. They may not be household names like Mario or Link, but little do they know that those three guys come from one of Nintendo’s oldest and longest-running franchises, which dates back to 1990. Most people also don’t know that the Fire Emblem series of games are awesome. I don’t think I could do my love for this franchise justice in a blog post, but I’m going to try anyway.
It’s scary to me to think about how old this game is. Though this game will forever be linked to my childhood, I’m sure that this game is alien to 95% of gamers who weren’t born in the mid-80s or earlier. This game lived and died in the early 90s as a 4-player or 6-player arcade cabinet and was never legally available anywhere else…until now.
If you’ve played this game during the hey day of the arcades, I do not need to sell you on it. You know enough to judge whether or not you’re ready to spend money on this experience again. For everyone else, here’s what you’ve missed out on (or what you’ll get if you decide to pick this up).
When I think about my time in the arcades during the early 90s, I think about two games: Street Fighter II and X-Men Arcade. While Street Fighter II has since appeared on every home video game platform known to man, X-Men Arcade lived and died in the arcade. Unless you still have access to an arcade cabinet, there hasn’t been a (legal) way of playing this game ever since it first appeared in the arcades.
For the rest of us, we can finally now play X-Men arcade on the PlayStation 3 or XBOX 360.
For those with a jones for retro gaming, the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console was supposed to be a dream come true. It was supposed to be the home of every old Nintendo game you could ask for. As time passed, the Virtual Console grew to include the Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx-16, Sega Master System, Commodore 64 and arcade games. It’s been almost 5 years since the launch of Virtual Console, and we as consumers have access to over 300 games.
On the surface, that sounds decent. I’ve been able to buy a few favourites, try older games I’ve never played before and even grab a Japanese import game that never came out here (in my case, the very awesome Sin and Punishment). However, that number isn’t even close to representing the full catalogue of platforms represented in Virtual Console. Between the NES, SNES, SMS, Genesis, TG16, N64 and Neo Geo, the Virtual console has only made 10% of their combined catalogue available to consumers. It’s only going to get worse, as the once weekly updates have slowed to once a month, if we’re lucky.
What started out as an amazing idea is fizzling fast. How did Nintendo screw up what should have been a sure-fire win?
The Super Nintendo port of Street Fighter Alpha 2 confused many. While the Super Nintendo did have some fantastic Street Fighter ports in the past, many developers at the time (including Capcom) had already abandoned the Super Nintendo for the Playstation, Saturn and Nintendo 64. Capcom themselves had skipped porting Street Fighter Alpha to the Super Nintendo because the hardware couldn’t handle it.
So when this came out in 1996, it sparked a lot of questions. Why is this being ported to the Super Nintendo now? Do Super Nintendo players still want more Street Fighter? Is this port even any good?
Back in 1996, Nintendo released a North American version of their puzzle game, Panel de Pon. You may remember it as Tetris Attack. You may also recognize this game as Pokemon Puzzle League on the Nintendo 64 or Planet Puzzle League on the Nintendo DS. If you do, awesome.
It’s a shame that Tetris Attack/Puzzle League have never taken off in North America, because this series of puzzle games are, in my opinion, the best puzzle games that aren’t regular Tetris.