Rose-tinted glasses - you chose the 100 worst retro games

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Re: Rose-tinted glasses - you chose the 100 worst retro games

Post by will2097 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:21 am

Antiriad2097 wrote:Did you ever play Powerdrome on the ST/Amiga?

Wipeout is a tarted up version of that, except playable. Yet still we persisted with Powerdrome.

Its more than just the design, hover racing games have been around for a long time. Wipeout managed to get most of the elements right, with only the 'stop dead if you touch anything' being a real problem. The sequel sorted that, allowing you a little warning time to react and just slowing a little if you skimmed an edge.
I loved the original Wipeout. It was quite an amazing experience seeing it, hearing it and playing it for the first time. I think Wipeout 2097 ruined the sense of achievement you got from the original when you did finally start to win. And by the time we arrived at Wipeout HD (which is aces) you could simply blunder your way around the track. But that's kids today ;)

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Re: Rose-tinted glasses - you chose the 100 worst retro games

Post by thevulture » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:43 am

Powerdrome got an update/Remake on 'Classic' Xbox did`nt it?...any good? :?

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Re: Rose-tinted glasses - you chose the 100 worst retro games

Post by Timothy Lumsden » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:55 am

I take your point Antirad, but the 'stop if you touch something' play mechanic was a fundamental flaw in my eyes - harking back to the 8bit era of unfair collision detection. I think my main feeling is that this game is part of the' 'cool Britiannia' movement - where the mediocre was elevated in status for no real reason other than hype.

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Re: Rose-tinted glasses - you chose the 100 worst retro games

Post by Chinnico » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:08 pm

thevulture wrote:Powerdrome got an update/Remake on 'Classic' Xbox did`nt it?...any good? :?
I've got the PC version for less than a fiver (speaking in euro) from a bargain bin at the local electronic-thingie supermarket.
Plays like StarWars: Pod Racer - that is 2D racer. Track, vehicle and character's design is nice, it gives a good sense of speed. I didn't play it enough to evaluate AI behaviour or difficoulty level.
It's not bad, but it isn't Powerdrome at all, save for the name.

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Re: Rose-tinted glasses - you chose the 100 worst retro games

Post by dwitefry » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:25 pm

Ecco the Dolphin! Well the Mega CD version WAS better but regardless but i thought it was a great little experience, oh well, everything else is pretty agreeable.

My suggestion - Dark Castle for the Mega Drive.

Small NES like graphics, very unrepsonsive controls mixed with cheap death, small enemies that would be hard to hit anyway but are even harder with the bad attacks the player has, uninspiring levels in both layout and look, one hit deaths, you can't attack on stairs (then there's a level made up of stairs with enemies) and it's frustratingly hard even on 'easy'. I want to kill it with a rock.


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Re: Rose-tinted glasses - you chose the 100 worst retro game

Post by 647 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:19 pm

Considering the concept of Pac-Man it's actually kind of funny to think it's one of the most successful franchises in video game history. All you do is move a yellow circle around a maze over dots while avoiding some ghosts. Why does that make for a fun video game? I guess it takes the power of mediocrity that is Pac-Man for Atari 2600 to question the appeal of such a game. The original arcade game is a classic, but this home edition is anything but.

There really isn't a story to Pac-Man. How this living yellow disc got stuck in this maze and why he has a taste for dots (or rectangles called "wafers" in this edition) and a phobia of ghosts is a mystery. He's like Sisyphus, forever doomed to clean up the maze and dodge the ghosts only to start all over again once his task is complete.

The entire game consists of one, and only ONE screen; a bright blue background under an ugly orange-brown maze with wafers of the same color scattered about. Your job is to gobble up all the wafers for a whole one point each. Once you've cleared the maze you begin another one.

Of course there are some obstacles in your way, namely, four flickering ghosts who kill you instantly if they even graze you. To counteract these baddies there's an arsenal of four power pills (a whopping five points each) in each corner which enable you to turn the tables on the ghosts for a short period of time (earning you 20 to 160 points). Every once in a while a "vitamin" will appear in the center of the maze for and extra 100 points.

But that's it, that's all there is!

Simple? Yes. Fun? No.

Playing the same game over and over again can be fun and challenging, but this edition of Pac-Man is most definitely not. You would think after a few stages the maze would change or the ghosts would speed up or SOMETHING out of the ordinary would happen, right? Unfortunately, no, and it's the main reason this game is so bad because of its repetitive nature.

How many times can you go through the exact same maze accomplishing the exact same task? Actually, that's the concept behind the original arcade edition and yet it works on that platform because as the stages progress both Pac-Man and the ghosts speed up. That does not happen here, although the game does have eight different modes of play which vary the speed of both Pac-Man and the ghosts. Game #6 in which both move at the fastest possible speed is probably the most fun and challenging way to play this game, but even that's not saying much.

Why couldn't the game designer have incorporated a few more challenging aspects? Obviously, additional mazes would have made the game dramatically more fun. But if that wasn't possible, what about a timer? Also, why are the ghosts so seemingly random in their movements? You never get the feeling they're out to get Pac-Man, they're just obstacles that get in his way.

What's also surprising is the fact you are awarded a 1-Up for every stage you clear. There's seemingly no limit on the number of lives you could earn and because the game is so easy, being able to have so many chances just makes it even easier (or prolongs your boredom).

As lame as the overall concept and gameplay are, the game itself is at least playable. In fact, the controls are surprisingly smooth and quickly responsive. Pac-Man will always go wherever you want him to go whenever you move him. There's only two problems with play control I have:

1) How easily Pac-Man is considered "caught" by one of the ghosts. You never truly feel like you've been pwned, only that you made a wrong turn and because you got within the radius of a molecule to a ghost he got you.

2) Pac-Man must move over a wafer completely in order to eat it. There have been times in which I went to eat a wafer and move in the opposite direction only to realize Pac-Man never ate the wafer even though it was IN his mouth, but he never chomped down on it (oiy!).

Even for an Atari 2600 game the graphics are very primitive, mostly due to the fact the game is made up more of shapes than true graphics.

The bright blue and hideous orange-brown color scheme is actually quite taxing on the eyes. Why not a blue maze on a black background? Also, all four ghosts are the exact same aqua green color and are constantly flickering (again, annoying on the eyes). Why couldn't they be four different colors?

As for Pac-Man himself, he has a funny crescent wrench shape to him. When he moves up and down he stays facing either left or right and his jaws never stop flapping, even when he's not moving.

Yet another source for my derision against this game is the abysmal quality of the sound. There isn't any music to be heard here - only four notes to indicate the game is about to start.

The sound palette is just as ugly as the color scheme. Hearing an annoying metallic "boink" every time Pac-Man eats a wafer is grating on the ears. Even the sound that plays when you eat a power-pill or a vitamin is a low-pitched, annoying tone. These sounds almost make the player think they've just done something wrong!

There is something of a cute four-note tune played whenever Pac-Man dies, but that's the only remotely positive aural aspect to be found here.

This particular edition of Pac-Man is a perfect example of what a video game should NOT be. It's not challenging, it looks awful, it sounds awful, it's repetitive and obviously uncreative. But more than anything else, Pac-Man fails because it's just not fun to play, so why would you?

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Re: Rose-tinted glasses - you chose the 100 worst retro game

Post by The Laird » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:08 pm

Outrun on the CPC - total disgrace.

The game barely looks like its even moving.

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Re: Rose-tinted glasses - you chose the 100 worst retro game

Post by Mootown » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:42 pm

That's down to the Amstrad running it at 1 million frames per second - only when we have super ultra hd screens will it finally be playable as intended, the Amstrad was simply too powerful for such a low-spec arcade conversion :) it's actually running so fast you finish the game 200 times over before you've even pressed start.

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Re: Rose-tinted glasses - you chose the 100 worst retro game

Post by stvd » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:18 pm

647 wrote:Considering .......... fun to play, so why would you?
Try to be a bit more concise.
This is already at no. 81 so your extreme wafflling was unnecessary! ;)

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