Why are video games and gamers are alike? They both get better with age of course.
For most of us here on 2old2play we started playing games during the late 70’s and early 80’s. This was an era when gameplay really did trump fancy graphics and music. Without your imagination it’s hard to get excited about your knight/spaceman/hero when in reality they’re represented by a pixelated block. Much like reading a good book, our imaginations filled in the gaps.
The enduring nature of video games from this period is explored in a new book by Brett Weiss called “The Best 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987”. It’s clear that classic video games are a passion for Weiss and the knowledge he possesses of the subject shines through in this beautifully produced hard back volume. The book consists of a rundown of the “best” games of this decade as selected by Weiss himself. As you’d expect the usual suspects are there such as Pac Man, Legend of Zelda and Metroid, but there are also some gems that you most likely have never heard of before such as Killer Bees! and Escape from the Mindmaster. All video games consoles are covered (no computer games sorry) including Atari 2600, Odyssey2, Intellivision, Vectrex, ColecoVision, Atari 5200 and NES. The attention to detail is quite remarkable. Each game gets 2-3 pages during which Weiss presents a brief description of the game, some of his own opinions as to the merit of the game and a justification as to why it should be included in the list (if your particular favourite isn’t included, don’t worry it most likely made the 100 “next best” list Weiss includes as an appendix). Rounding out each chapter is a recap of review scores the game received on its release, a list of any reissues and remakes, and in many cases quotes and anecdotes from some of the programmers and people involved in making the game.
Weiss has done a remarkable job in putting all of this together and his love for the games shines through. It’s also clear that he has played each game - there are no fillers here. The graphical presentation is top class and each page has at least a couple of game-associated images. One could be critical of the lack of screenshots for the games; I can only assume related to copyright issues. Instead we get box art, cart art (if there is such a thing) and also my own personal favourite, original print advertisements from the era.
For anyone interested in the collecting aspect of older games, Weiss includes a commentary on the rarity and value of a particular game, when relevant, as well as a rough price guide. It’ll be interesting to the see the impact the digital download era has on classic game collecting in the next few years.
Overall, I can’t recommend this book enough, especially for gamers reared during the emerging years of video games. It would make a really great Christmas gift and who knows, waking up Christmas morning this year you may just be able to justify to your kids exactly why Joust is better than Destiny.
Now join us over at the 2old2retro forum to continue the conversation………..
I know how this soldier feels.........
Ok here are some early xbox one impressions.
Set up is simple. I plugged everything in and it worked first time. I downloaded the update and queued FIFA, BF4, Killer Instinct and Skype. By the time the kids were in bed everything was done.
Kinect seems to work well. Xbox works without the Kinect plugged in. Voice recognition is quite reliable. I sit about 4 feet away from the TV and it has no problem recognising my face for log in and the QR code reading was impeccable (and useful).
Snapping and doing two tasks at once is useful but will take some time to adjust to on a console. I found the video recording unintuitive so far. It has recorded some of my game play clips, but why? Did I press a button by accident or do something so awesome the xbox decided to record it? Not a major problem and I haven’t really explored this feature yet.
The three games I have played are FIFA, BF4, and Killer Instinct.
Although I love soccer I hated previous iterations of FIFA. I’m loving this so far though. Graphics are a marginal improvement but the ball play seems more natural and less mechanical. More random events happen.
I’ve mainly stuck to campaign with BF4. Graphics are very nice and the campaign is a solid 7/10. I need to work up to 64 players multiplayer after spending so long with only 32.
Killer Instinct looks good. I only played the free game so I’ve only tried one character. He is basically Ryu from Streetfighter – the moves are almost identical. The tutorial is good though and if the kids like it I may get the full game.
Overall very smooth opening weekend and may the games continue.....
Here's the latest arrival to our family. Baby Sarah arrived happy and healthy last week. She's enjoying the Battlefield 4 beta so far and looking forward to the game launch later this month..............
To pass the time until Battlefield 4 and the new consoles come out I decided to try my hand at a new hobby. Since my two boys are crazy for Star Wars at the moment I thought I'd try to create some models of the sets from the movies. After a little internet research I discovered the proper term is "diorama". Anyway rather than follow a preset blueprint I jumped right iin at the deep end with my own custom Mos Eisley cantina. It's about half way through and I would say I've put about 30 hours in so far. Obviously everything takes longer to create from scratch. Here are a few pics of progress so far.