With my 24 hours gaming marathon coming up, I’ve found myself getting a touch sentimental.
I have several polls for folk to vote for the games that I will play, the first of which is for a “classic game”. Really by “classic” I mean a game that I loved. This is where I’m getting all sentimental. Putting together the poll has made me remember enjoying those games and now I want to play them all!
Curiously there’s quite an eclectic mix considering that I’ve often viewed myself as limited in the games I enjoy. I did deliberately omit sequels and very similar games, for example Red Alert beat C&C Tiberian Sun, Dark Reign and Cossacks plus Duke 3D beat Shaddow Warrior, Wolfenstein 3D and ROTT. I want to play all those games too!
One thing that I’m nervous about is that I just won’t enjoy them. My tastes and gaming in general has evolved a lot so will gameplay that I enjoyed as a young lad still be fun now that I’m older. I wouldn’t say more grown up, just older. When it comes to humour, are there jokes that I’ll now understand better or will I find things annoying and juvenille? I suspect Duke 3D might be one that I now wouldn’t find as funny.
Thinking about gameplay, most of these games will be a lot simpler and I’ve always stated that I prefer this. I don’t recall action games having complex mechanisms to get weapons working or effects that cover the screen but have I been looking back with rosy tinted glasses? Will it be evident that over the years game developers have improved handling of vehicles to make them more realistic and/or fun? Or will I find myself playing games that have all this extra fluff removed and more raw good fun?
I’m also curious how many of them will stand the test of time. Chu Chu Rocket and Worms are the sort of games where graphics weren’t important and probably still look fine so I’m confident they’ll be great to play. I know GTA and Duke 3D are fun from previous revisits (so long as I don’t play GTA with an requirement of completing the game!).
Games like Delta Force: Black Hawk Down, Toy Commander, Vice City and No One Lives Forever are more liable to struggle with poor graphics, but in truth I don’t think that will particularly bother me… aside from maybe cut scenes. If the gameplay is smooth and I have no issues identifying bad guys, terrain etc then whats the big deal? I’m pretty confident that I can look past this and still enjoy the core game.
To be honest from memory I think BHD, Toy Commander and NOLF were a touch dated on release to begin with. BHD just felt a little different – keeping good old Delta Force gameplay as the FPS world moved to more Modern Warfare style gameplay. Toy Commander and in particular NOLF were just a bit silly and fun. I suspect that I’d still chuckle at a lot of the humour in No One Lives Forever and hopefully Toy Commander would still be the same simple yet enjoyable experience.
PowerStone is an interesting one because it was very pretty at the time and I’m curious whether it would still hold out. I’m sure the gameplay will still be great fun though and I’d really love to give it a try!
Given I never felt Wacky Wheels was a *good* game when I first played it (which may have been a few years after release!), I’m sure that I won’t mind it looking a bit crummy. However the one big thing here is that karting games have come on so far, meaning this could really feel very dated, not just look it. By this I’m mainly thinking of the controls and feedback that makes you feel like you’re going fast or that there’s chaos afoot.
Finally we come to Left4Dead, which is the most recent release in the list. Strangely I suspect this may struggle most with age, in large part due to the fact that I still occassionally play the sequel. Rather than a trip down memory lane, will this be a sub par version of what I’ve recently played?
Beyond the games in the classic poll, other retro games that I may be playing during my marathon include those voted in the “Series” poll, which includes all my Sonic games, although I’ve already failed to resist a revisit to the world of Sonic already, my SEGA Classics collection, 3D Realms collection and GTA. The SEGA Classics and 3D Realms are interesting possibilities as the majority of the games on there are ones I’ve never played so the marathon would be a great opportunity plus they have several games that I fondly remember. 3D Realms in particular. Heck, half the list of games here could have been 3D Realms!
With so many great games that I want to revisit, along with playing some of my favourites for right now, it does beg the question… will 24 hours be enough?!