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Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 6:51 am
Great discussion.

I don't think there's a black and white answer. It depends on the individual and there motivation for playing retro games. I never owned a C64 or a Megadrive back in the day. However through emulation I've gone back to find and play the classics I've missed. To collect the best of the best. The Retro Gamer magazine is a reference along with the internet for me to find out what I missed out on through poverty or ignorance.

But when I fire up the speccy emulator on my GBA, the feeling is different, it is nostalgic. Is Jetpac still a good game or does it just fire up a set of neurons that make me feel good. I don't know, but if it makes you feel good, do it.


Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:04 am
by CraigGrannell
Gameplan wrote:I never played the two Braybrook masterpieces, you mentioned, so I can't comment on them. You have to tell me: Is "Paradroid" still fun, today?
I think it is, but then even back in the mid 1980s, I never considered Paradroid's graphics and sound to be anything special. Sure, they were atmospheric and well-suited to the game, but they paled in comparison to the sort of thing put out by the likes of Epyx. For me, Paradroid has always been about the game dynamics—the way that it works. And I guess for those retro games that I hold above all others—Kikstart II, IK+, Drelbs, Super Mario Kart, Stunt Car Racer, Pac-Man, Wizard of Wor et al that's almost always the case. Those games that largely relied on "wow factor" graphics and audio rarely hold up well today, and even if the gameplay in such games was extraordinarily good, it's the gameplay that makes me want to return, not the presentation.


Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:09 am
by necronom
Gameplan wrote:
necronom wrote:I agree, you had to be there to fully appreciate the games. Anyone these days playing the C64 versions of Ghostbusters or Impossible Mission cannot really understand how amazing it was to hear the speech and see the amazing animation of the IM character.
I disagree. The magic ingredients, which make a game great & fun, aren't lost over time, imo.
I agree with that, but what I meant was if a game is great (like IM), then you can still enjoy it and still think it's a great game now, but you don't get the "full experience" like we did at the time. You might think "hmm, nice speech", but at the time we were going "My God! That was incredible! Load it back in so we can here the opening bit again!". It doesn't mean the rest of the game has aged badly, or the speech and animation were the only things that were good. If it's good, it's good. It's just that the awe is lost these days by new players.
Gameplan wrote: To make a long story short: The test of time shows, whether a game was great because of its eye and ear candy, or because it was a perfect design.
I never played the two Braybrook masterpieces, you mentioned, so I can't comment on them. You have to tell me: Is "Paradroid" still fun, today?
I would say the two A.B. games I mentioned are still very good, and I still like playing Summer Games. Maybe The Eidolon was mainly about the graphics. Mercenery is probably still interesting, but may be too boring for people these days. It was incredible at the time though, imo.

Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:45 pm
by RonnieT
Ok, my tuppenceworth... what this entire thread is about isn't quite nostalgia - it's about the moments when your love of gaming was born, and reaffirmed.

I grew up with arcades, so I'll always have a soft spot for Gorf, Robotron, Tempest or Invaders (never really liked Pac Man, must admit). That's when my love to gaming began, and since then I can throw out hundreds of moments when it's been reaffirmed, from the mystery of what the hell you were doing in Lunar Jetman to Mario Kart to Zelda OOT & Goldeneye, right up to the present with Halo or Resident Evil 4. I was "there" for all those moment, and anytime in the future I look back to them I'll remember the first time I experienced the standout gaming moments.

But it should be about a love of games more than recreating the feelings. It doesn't matter where you start - perhaps your road to Damascus gaming moment was on PS1, or Dreamcast. It's a love of the medium which makes you want to discover more, be it current offerings or classics from the past.

There's been a few posts in the thread comparing gaming to music and movies. The first record I bought with my own money was "Southern Comfort" by Bernie Flint. The first film I saw was "Herbie Returns". Neither were genre classics, but both made me like music and movies enough to seek out other examples, find out more.

And much of the joy of Retro gaming is "finding out more". With MAME I've discovered machines which never made it to my arcades, emulators have finally allowed me to play the C64 games denied to me as a Spectrum owner in my youth which I read reviews off in PCG!

Maybe if you learnt to love games on a Playstation, playing something like Ultimate's Tranz Am on emulation won't cause the same feelings of freedom, scale or excitement the game did when I first played it in 1982. But you'll have fun, and perhaps spot the origins of the early top down Grand Theft Auto games;) And isn't that what loving games is about ?

Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:52 pm
by The Universal
I like the Tranz am GTA idea, very good point, thread in its self me thinks

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:21 am
by savva0122
I agree with the majority of comments, I do think you had to be there and I feel quite lucky to be at the age when I saw the Atari come out (I had an Acetronic) then I was about 6-7 when my neighbour got a ZX80 and I thought it was ace, that is until he got a ZX81, then a Spectrum. We moved house and my dad bought me a CBM64 which was just unbelieveable when I got it - the graphics and sound - and then my final games machine was the Amiga which took it to a new level.

The kids these days can still enjoy the games, but they won't get the feeling of blowing their bollocks off the first time you play Summer Games 2, or the Hubbard tunes or the speech. Todays games have great graphics and sounds but IMHO the play isn't there, or the spark of originality. Of course there are exceptions, but the truly great days wer ein the 80's

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:34 am
by planetmatt
I agree Savva. Dont want to start a "back in my day all this was fields and great crap" but there was shed loads of originality in the 80's and these days we're luckly to get a couple of titles that have the "wow, thats different" factor each year.

I feel it will get worse as development costs spiral and investors will insist that companies play safe with big name endorsements or the continuation of successful series.

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:38 am
by necronom
An example of why you had to be there go get the "full effect":

About a week ago, I got an N64 emulator. I never had an N64 (or most of the consoles - I went the computer route, not the parallel route through console city). I have heard many people say how good Goldeneye is, so I played through it.

It was okay. Not bad, but nothing very special (I expect that emulating it took away some of the fun).

People who had an N64 when it was released will have had a much better experience than I did.


Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:13 am
by LeeT
necronom wrote:An example of why you had to be there go get the "full effect":

About a week ago, I got an N64 emulator. I never had an N64 (or most of the consoles - I went the computer route, not the parallel route through console city). I have heard many people say how good Goldeneye is, so I played through it.
It was okay. Not bad, but nothing very special (I expect that emulating it took away some of the fun).
People who had an N64 when it was released will have had a much better experience than I did.
Fromw what I have read in a few places, GoldenEye hasn't aged too well...

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:26 am
by planetmatt
I never had an N64 until a few months ago and I picked up Goldeneye with the console. It is very overated IMO. May have been good back in the day but I failed to see anything special there.

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 12:26 pm
by Gilderoy Lockheart
I definately don't think you 'had' to have been there in the first place but I do agree with other posters in that it will mean differnt things to different generations , even different people within a generation.

One of my strongest gaming memoires is going into the school youth hut and hearing (well you couldn't see anything through all the cigarette smoke) the fusion of a solitary space invaders machine and adam ant blasting out on the jukebox, that didn't last too long though as it was burnt down by an expelled pupil about six months later :evil:

That to me is a retro gaming moment, less asociated with gameplay more associated with an emotional 'anchor' I have with that time of my life.

Great gameplay remains great gameplay no matter how old the game, the games themselves evolve but the basic gameplan remains the same underneath. Proven many times i.e. breakout great gameplay evolving a few years later into arkanoid

What we have which the current new generation of gamers have not is the fond memories of great moments, of the rapid changes that took place, the nearly weekly new computer lauches back in the early 80's, the similar number of bankruptcies in the mid 80's :? The new game genres appearing, and the ability of coders to perform absolute miracles in tiny portions of code which has now been superceeded by simply upgrading instead of pushing each technology to its max.

As each generation progresses I do agree that the wow factor lessens, the evolutionary jump with each generation is now less and less as the on screen polygons almost beat the number of pixels available to draw them. In some ways its a shame that new gamers won't ever have the same thrills of each new 'major' leap from generation to generation of console/computer that us older people enjoyed but they in their turn will have their own 'wow' moments but they will be differnt to ours, As graphics become less of a draw developers are going to have to find new ways to draw in the casuals, how long before we have electrodes attached to give us a truely emotional response to a game (half the toys out there this year seem to involve the kids electrocuting themselves in some form or another, if only there was a way to up the voltage :wink: ).

Whilst I consider myself to have been lucky to have been there from the start and to have all the memories attached I don't think it changes my appreciation of any game it just enhances those 'warm and fuzzy' feelings about that time of life, but that isn't down to the game itself thats simply down to growing older.

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:11 pm
by The Universal
What a great thread this has turned into. Do you think that the elders amongst us (like Darran) :wink: Enjoyed the industry more because the game creators became known to us?
Did it help to know who made the game, to read about the programmers and the creation process. I remember reading Braybrooks diary while he was making the game that came after Uridium and one he did for his conversion of Rainbow Islands, somehow this gave the games more soul for me.

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:42 pm
by necronom
Knowing the programmers did make it more interesting. The Diary of a Game for Paradroid is one of the most memorable things Zzap! ever did (I even call the individual projects on my website "The diary of a <insert project name>").

If I knew that a particular programmer had made a game, I would check it out to see what it was like. I think we became interested in following people's programming careers. The same with Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway, et al.

These days programmers and musicians don't get the fame that the 80's provided, since it's a large team now instead of one or two people to make a game.

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:54 pm
by The Universal
Totally agree. Didnt Mel Crowther do some kind of expose in The One about the seedier side of game programming? Somehow it all seemed very Hollywood to me back then.

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:57 pm
by The Universal
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ... sp?ID=2701

This may answer the did you have to be there question better than any discussion ever could. Darran you didnt tell me you used to be on the tv

Have a trawl around guys lots on that site