Myst is a great game.
That used to be the consensus, but it’s a controversial opinion to hold now. One of the bestselling games of all time. It was the software that sold us the compact disc, the game that broke all kinds of critical records and the game that made The New York Times realize games could be art. But newer voices haven’t been so kind. READ MORE
Some games make me feel as if I were not welcome in their worlds. They are quick to drop an invitation or lavish me with all kinds of attention, but they do so with the half-hearted smile given to an unexpected guest. They are too keen on being pleasing, on impressing me with graphics, complex plotlines and surprising scripted events, standing with their faces in smug expression, expecting cheers and clapping. READ MORE
Long study sessions in public libraries seem to entail equally-long tedium after suffering the effects of cerebral overload. Hours of hunching over the old computers of the place soon gained me an acquaintance: a cheerful girl who shyly admitted her inexperience in all things gaming. She told me this with the eyes of a puppy, as if she expected a scolding. In her mind, I was the guy who owned 200 cartridges and spent his time playing evening-long board games of Roman politics and railroad operations, and wrote about them for a foreign website. She thought we had no common ground, that she would disappoint me were we to play together.
Nothing could be further from the truth! You just have to pick the right title. READ MORE
Ghosts’n Goblins has gotten this reputation of being an incredibly difficult game over the years. While it certainly doesn’t even approach the level of games like Mushimeshama or Beatmania, it’s true that the game is punishing, and it requires a very different mindset from the usual platformer. While most allow the players to rush through the stages once beaten once with some skill and memorization of the patterns, trying to do the same in Ghosts’n Goblins is impossible, thanks to the heavy randomization of enemy spawns and movements. Every step, jump and attack must be planned in advance, and trying to ignore even the lowliest of the enemies is a sure way of getting killed. READ MORE
As someone who still sees the original Far Cry as the spearhead of a fabled next generation of gaming, the chatter surrounding each new Metal Gear installment has always been something strange to me. It’s not that I didn’t understand what they were saying. Even though I’m practically newcomer to the franchise, I understood the talk about Raiden, or the complains about feature-length cutscenes or the nanomachines. What always struck me as weird was that all such discussions were created by what is, by all accounts, a stealth game.
This is not to say I was outright jumping on the bandwagon. Flaws aside, I liked those aspects of the series, and found the hour-long videos on the Soviets surprisingly engaging. But deep inside, I wanted something tighter, something more compact. I found it in the second Metal Gear. READ MORE
Most retrogaming discussions tend to focus on the most evergreen design elements of each title. The controls, the art direction and graphics, the little nuances of level design… they are often the focus, the measure against the tide of time and the reason they stand up against their dated brethren.
But there’s also value in those more ephemeral designs, those clear products of their time. Retrogaming is not just about the age of the games but a different experience, a different frame of mind and goal. It’s a vindication of the past and all the greatness that was in it. And no game shows it better than The Tower of Druaga. READ MORE
Blue skies, the beach, a romantic escapade towards the sunset. The original OutRun was a very personal title, a game designed as a single-player experience first and foremost. The idea of turning it into a multiplayer racer strikes one as odd, but it’s surprisingly appropriate. given its origins. READ MORE
Most third-party studios not called Konami or Capcom are largely overlooked when it comes to retrogaming, as if their great games were flukes or their only worthy property. It’s unfortunate, because there’s always more than meets the eye: the golden days of Hudson before it stopped making anything but Bomberman, the unique titles of Game Freak and, of course, the polished gems of Sunsoft. READ MORE
I’ve never understood any real-time strategy game.
I just haven’t. As much as I loved Red Alert and spent half of my early Internet days playing Age of Empires and Starcraft, I realized that I didn’t understand the games I was playing. Sure, I built units, chopped down trees and made a coordinated attack on the enemy base with a quite-brilliant paratrooper plan, but at no point did I question what I was doing or even cared about the options the game was giving.
Total Annihilation was the first time I was told that having options without understanding them is as good as not having any. And I loved every second of it. READ MORE
One of the most influential titles of its time and a huge hit in the arcades when it was first released by Namco in 1982, Xevious is an increasingly divisive game among shooter fans. While still loved in Japan, it’s often found too boring and slow by Western audiences, who can’t find any compelling reasons to play it over the likes of Gradius and DoDonPachi.
I used to share that sentiment.
And I was wrong. READ MORE