Classic Games

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I've always been a big fan of good games which may be old, but embody the very essence of gaming. Sure, cool graphics, awesome effects, realistic surroundings and surreal sound effects may be excellent in a game, but a lot of games that come out now just don't have the 'wow' factor some of the older simpler games have. By older and simpler, I'm referring to PC games such as Lucasarts™ adventure games (SamnMax, Full Throttle, DoTT, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, and the unforgettable Monkey Island series), Sierra™ adventure games (King Quest series), Flight simulators like Lucasarts™ X-Wing vs Tie Fighter, FPS like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, Strategy games like Westwood Studio's C&C and Red Alert. Even console gaming has changed, and I remember some classics like the good old scrolling beat-em-up type games (like Bare Knuckle / Streets of Rage for the Sega Megadrive system), regular beat-em-ups (Street Fighter, X-Men, Mortal Kombat) and scrolling platform games (Mario Brothers and Sonic the Hedgehog). These were what I grew up playing and till now, I simply have a soft spot for them.

Recently, I had the opportunity to replay some of these classics (Theme Hospital anyone?) and I suddenly realised that despite how 'horrible' the graphics may be now, it is still superb to play and has the most important ingredient that any game of this type ought to have... the element of FUN! Now I'm not going to say that all new games don't incorporate this in their games, but what I do want to emphasize is that I don't find the appeal in a lot of the current games that seem to be released. For starters, I'm a PC person, meaning my gaming world is more geared towards the PC than the console. Perhaps I just don't move with the times, but I just don't really agree with many console games. FPS are my main gripe... NOTHING can replace the old mouse+keyboard when it comes to fast reaction. I agree that it depends on the genre, meaning football, beat-em-ups and the like would be better of in consoles, and those requiring precision movement for the PC. Looking at the current releases however, I must say that Halo 2 for example was released for the X-Box, and I still don't see a PC version. Come on, it's an FPS, leave it to the good old mouse instead of trying to do a second rate job by a second rate controller. This is precisely the reason I refuse to play the game, even though I know that it's cool.

Technicalities aside, there simply aren't any good upcoming releases that actually have me drooling over. None that make me excited enough to look forward to a release date. None that I find remotely facinating... perhaps it's because my choice genre is one where people actually use their brains and enjoy the story of the game instead of merely blasting every moving thing like the mindless roles we tend to take in new games. Perhaps it is also because I'm not so much into eye-candy; so what if the game is the most realistic game? It's not how realistic the game is that makes it fun... it's the gameplay, the story, the appeal. I personally don't need to have every single one of my senses tell me that it seems real before I can enjoy a game. Even if the graphics were really awesome, and things were really realistic, or perhaps because it is TOO realistic, I'll start not to like the game... it'd be too much of a chore to handle it like in a 'real' situation.

But I digress. Perhaps I'm just a sentimentalist reliving the golden era of computer games, who enjoys the simpler things in life, who loves the conceptually witty but may not be as technically advanced type of games. All I do know is, I certainly enjoyed playing a lot of these old games, and even now, if I can find them I would still choose them over say, Doom 3. Not that it's necessarily bad just because it's new, but I prefer originality and the fun factor. I'm half disappointed in Lucasarts™ (yes, now you know... I absolutely love their works) for not releasing Full Throttle 2. I'm unhappy because I can't get to play it, but I'm happy because they realise that the quality of the games they produced before have such a high reputation and standard that it's hard to meet. This also tells me that they KNOW what fans of their games (people like me) actually want... not necessarily eye-candy that makes us melt, but more importantly, a game with good playability, plot and has a lot more wit than mindless grinding or fragging. Hopefully, they'll be able to come up with more such games in the future... I certainly have high hopes for them.

Posted by Gerald at 3/05/2006 04:39:00 PM