Old School Console Gaming

I have quite a few retro consoles which I’ve been neglecting as of late. Some games I haven’t played yet for them and would like to do a chronological nostalgic Fall/Winter sampling. Also I want to save money and resist the urge to buy everything on Steam. So why not play games I already have? I would like to beat one game for each system. Here are my retro systems and a few games for each in which I haven’t played for more than twenty minutes.

  • Atari 2600: River Raid, River Raid II, Space War
  • Atari 5200: Frogger, Pac-Man, Breakout
  • Colecovision: Zaxxon, Mouse Trap
  • NES: Megaman 5, Kid Icarus, Metroid
  • Sega Genesis: Altered Beast, Castlevania Bloodlines, Streets of Rage
  • SNES: Final Fantasy 3, Final Fight 2, Mega Man X
  • N64: Paper Mario, Conker’s Bad Fur Day
  • PS2: Shadow of the Colossus, Okami, Devil May Cry
  • GBA: Golden Sun, Super Mario Land 2 (Original Gameboy), Castlevania Adventure (Original Gameboy)

That’s most of them. I have a few PS1 games but I played them a lot.
So, looking for some feedback. Which games bring back memories for you? Which should I look forward to playing first? Have you done something like this with your old games and consoles?

“Beating” some of those earlier system games may not be something that can be done. A lot of them are mainly score based arcade like games. So you may have to define what beating those means.

River Raid is one of my all time favorite games. I absolutely loved it when I was younger. It felt more robust and faster than many other games on the Atari 2600 at the time. Such a great game.

Altered Beast is not actually a good game. You may want to just drop that one off the list.

Final Fantasy 3 on the SNES is my favorite RPG. It will eat up a lot of time, but it is worth it.

There is really a lot of good stuff on your list. Most of them are worth visiting. Many of them bring up good memories of gaming throughout my life. I don’t know if I have an answer on where to start. Seems reasonable to start from the beginning and move forward. That way you get to revisit the way game design and technology continued to evolve.

Right, a lot of those old games are basically arcade ports where the game doesn’t really have an ending. You eventually die and have earned a score. Or the really old ones are only two player with no computer AI.

Definitely looking forward to River Raid. Have you played the second one?

My other Sega games are either lame or I’ve spent a good amount of time on. Haven’t played much Sonic 2 or 3. One of those could be a good substitute for Altered Beast.

I have played Final Fantasy 3 a long time ago, but not for any considerable amount of time. Not sure why. Should be fun to revisit that.

I think I’ll start from the oldest and work my way to newest. Like you said it will be cool to see the progression of technology and game design. Thanks for the feedback. Not sure when I’ll start this project. Maybe once I complete one of my current PC games.

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Hello friend! I too have a collection of old systems and I love dearly, although they have been gathering a lot of dust lately… Adult life sucks, I wish I had more time. You’re right, I have the exact same problem! A HUGE backlog of really cool old games, yet Lord Gaben ropes me into his steam sales and my library grows and grows even though I hardly ever play them. Gotta play more games! My old systems and favourite games on them are are follows:

  • N64 ~ Pokemon Snap, Body Harvest, Snowbard Kids, Space Station Silicon Valley
  • GBA ~Advance wars, Warioland, the Metroid titles
  • Sega Genesis ~ToeJam and Earl, Shadow of the Beast1+2, The Immortal, Ghouls n’ Ghosts
  • Ancient DOS PC ~ Cosmo’s Cosmic Adventure, Secret Agent, Crystal Caves, Hugo’s Haunted House, Biomenace, Gods, Mystic Towers, XCOM (the original)
  • Intense Sadness ~It sucks living in Australia. It’s nigh-impossible to get any retro games or systems,they just don’t exist here. :{ The only option is to buy something (for example an old half-broken NES system) from Ebay for around $600, plus an additional $300 or so for shipping and insurance. Games for around $60 for common titles. So it’s an awful situation!

Although I heard from a “friend” and if you want to play a range of fun old NES/SNES/GENESIS games (whose publishers/devs all went out of business half a century ago) there are these awesome resources available online. Torrents like “Every single NES game ever, in one folder with a choice of emulation software, in one big 3GB file”, same for most older systems. Of course I would not condone such activity and it’s always better to pay support the devs if at all possible.

On your N64 I must strongly urge you to play Pokemon Snap. Now wait, don’t turn away in horror, I’m not a huge pokemon fan or anything, and I usually prefer more ‘sophisticated’ games, but seriously, Pokemon Snap is an incredible masterpiece. You will be surprised and blown away if you haven’t tried it before. Really innovative gameplay mechanics, a totally unique game.

For PS2 I would recommend ICO. That’s the best game I’ve played in recent years, it totally changed my life. It’s also a very original game, great mysterious atmosphere and really innovative mechanics. It’s like a living artwork.

On GBA I was really impressed with Metroid Fusion and Metro Zero Mission. They get a lot of criticism online but I think they are two of the finest Metroid games, really loved them. I’m sure you’ve probably already played them.

I have not played the second one. I should definitely give it a shot. If you play, let me know how it is and if it is worth me tracking down a cart and re-hooking up one of my Ataris.

I agree with @Torgo on Pokemon Snap. That game is awesome. There are so many things to do and uncover in it and the entire concept is great.

Great list Torgo! I really haven’t played any Metroid games so it’s basically all new to me. I’m kind of a weird gamer. A lot of classics I haven’t played, such as any Pokemon game, but I will check out Snap, ICO, Portal, Diablo, Most of the Fallout series. I took a break from video games for something like 8 years. Just recently I’ve been getting back into them and found I still have a lot of old games.

I’ve played a few emulator ROMs but I feel dirty when I do. I prefer to have the cart or CD, or what have you. My friend has an emulator with tons of games and it is pretty sweet. That was my first experience with Little Samson, that game is amazing.

Was there restricted distribution to Australia? Smaller market?

I will play it at some point and let you know. Although a quick Ebay search showed me it’s going for around $30.

Now I have to play Pokemon Snap.

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I fooled around a lot with the original Pokemon on GBC, but I don’t think I completed that. I have, however, spent endless hours and hours playing Pokemon snap with a glass of wine on weird moonlit evenings. I’m surprised that very few games have tried to copy the brilliant idea of that game; it works so well.
I had a similar experience during my young-and-wild years of partying and nefarious activities I rejected gaming and sadly disposed of much of my old stuff, which still breaks my hearts… “What the hell was I thinking, did I REALLY throw that out? It would be worth $890 on ebay right now!” I didn’t touch games (in general) for many years; I got back into it all around the time Skyrim came out.

I agree with you, it’s just not the same without the original hardware. That’s why I had an ancient MS-DOS PC in my spare room for playing the DOS classics, and all my other systems. But in Australia yes there was a very limited distribution.Some of the more obscure consoles weren’t even launched here, many of the games weren’t. Even if I wanted to spend my life savings on eBay, all of the cartridges are NTSC, incompatible with the Australian PAL systems. The population of Australia in minuscule compared to US or Europe, so I guess it’s unsurprising that they released a much smaller amount of stuff.

As a final note, I cannot stress enough: you’ve gotta play ICO, it blew my mind, a true masterpiece. Of all the Fallout games (including Fallout 4) nothing will ever beat Fallout 2, it’s one of the best RPGs out there.

Yeah, that’s the worst when you sell or get rid of something that is worth a lot now. But things were different at the time, I’m sure. I know when I got rid of almost all my playstation games and comic books I didn’t have a lot of money and a few hundred bucks sounded pretty good. Luckily I still have a lot of my games because deep down I always knew I couldn’t get rid of them for any amount of money. Well, maybe a million or so would be worth it. I did play Fallout 2. Didn’t get into it very much but I did like it. Maybe I just didn’t get it.

Did you move to Australia and brought your NTSC games with you?

I meant to reply to this a while ago, but my ISP accidentally shut off my internet on Friday afternoon and couldn’t fix it until tonight >.<

So this may not make me many friends but honestly I’m not a fan of pre-NES consoles, so I don’t have much to input there. I understand their relevance, and they’re fun to talk about, but as far as actual “fun” they just don’t hold my interest. For the rest though, here are the game that give me the warm and fuzzies…

NES: Mega Man 2, Kickle Cubicle, Bionic Commando
Sega Genesis: Ristar, Phelios, Might & Magic: Gates to Another World
SNES: Final Fantasy 3/6, Mega Man X, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Super Mario World and Yoshi’s Island, Super Mario RPG, Turtles in Time, Harvest Moon, Castlevania IV… I could go on forever…
N64: StarCraft 64, StarFox 64, Ocarina of Time, Beetle Adventure Racing, Mischief Makers
PS2: Final Fantasy XII, Persona 4, Burnout 3
GBA: Link’s Awakening DX, Yugioh… what?

I realize I’m just spouting off random games, but, they’re good random games! Mostly!

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I think I play those older systems (pre-NES) more as novelties. Frogger is awesome along with several others but I didn’t grow up with an Atari or other 2nd gen consoles so I don’t have the nostalgia factor. I can see where you’re coming from. NES was the key system for me. Lots of colors, great music, controls were good for the most part.

Mega Man 2 is definitely a great game.
I played Might and Magic II on the PC a lot. Cuisnarts (sp) were insane.
Secret of Mana, what’s not to love? Mario RPG, Turtles in Time, Castlevania IV all amazing games I have great memories playing.

So, yeah, I want to take on this project to get away from PC gaming. I just found out today there will be a Steam Winter/Xmas sale. Didn’t know that before. I think I joined Steam in Feb last year. We’ll see how much console gaming I do. There’s nothing wrong with PC, it’s just too convenient and affordable. I can get a game for $10 that is awesome and keeps me entertained for 40 hours. Anyway, I’m rambling. I just need will power to play these classics in their original forms and resist the temptation to dl more games.

@8bithero Devastated that I chucked out a lot of my gaming stuff. It breaks my heart. In particular my old DOS machines, and also my of PCPowerPlay magazines… it hurts me to even think about it. Luckily I saved a fair bit of it, but (unlike games) those magazines are unobtainable now, not even on ebay or anything. Gone forever. :frowning: If I could find PCPowerPlay issues 1 through 50, I would happily throw down $700 or something for it. Lol, it’s probably sitting out there in someone’s yard sale right now for 20 cents per issue.

Nah, I’ve lived in Australia my whole life (although I spent a year in Boston, MA during my undergrad degree {gosh I am still kicking myself, wish I had hunted around for some good cheap gaming stuff while I was in the USA, but it was during my “gaming is for nerds, I don’t like games” period} ).
It’s complicated (re: the NTSC/PAL thing) and there’s many ways to approach it. For example I could buy an American NES and a power converter and then play NTSC cartridges.
A much easier (and cheaper) solution (which is what I currently do) is to buy a sketchy 3rd party console. I have this weird 3rd party Genesis/MegaDrive and it will accept both PAL and NTSC cartridges. But the build quality of the system isn’t very good (compared to original Sega hardware).
The final option is just to emulate everything, but I guess that kind of ruins all the fun. But sometimes you kind of have to (e.g. if I wanted to play “Stadium Events” on NES… I can emulate it right now and play it, or I can buy the cartridge for $85,000 USD and then wait for 6 months for shipping to Australia).

Yup, it’s difficult to resist Lord Gaben’s crazy xmas deals. Though I have my eye on a couple titles I’m hoping will be on sale. I like to play games about a year after release… when the hype has died, you know if it’s actually any good or not, and you can get it (with all DLC) for $10 instead of pre-ordering for $89.95.

Final note: if you ever find a chance, you should give Fallout 2 another go. If you never liked/played isometric RPGS (Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, etc.) then perhaps it will be hard to get into it. But if you can get past the ancient interface and graphics and stuff, apply a bunch of community patches/upgrades, then in my opinion it’s the best of all the Fallout games (including 3 & NV). You can often find Fallout 1 and 2 and ‘Fallout Tactics’ (another great unappreciated gem) together as a pack on sale on GOG for $5 or something like that.

@Torgo I wish I could help you with the mags. I recently picked up all my old Nintendo powers from my parents house.
Sounds like its more difficult to get the old games in Australia. I guess emulators alleviate the struggle. I’ll see if i can get my install discs to work on my laptop for Fallout 2.Hmm maybe I should add PC games for the project? I have Half-Life, Mafia, Fallout2, Quake.

“Difficult” is a huge understatement. It’s borderline-impossible. Well, if you’re a multi-billionaire it would be fine, but otherwise it’s impossible. I love going to thrift stores (we call them ‘op shops’ here in oz), garage sales, etc, I do this almost daily. But in a 10+ years period of desperate searching I’ve never even once seen an old-school game in one of those places. A big part was just yeah, many of the games and systems weren’t even released here, and if they were it was in very small numbers. Plus, you have to remember Australia’s population is about one tenth of USA’s, so that increases the scarcity. One time, in a moment of glorious unimaginable serendipity I found a huge box of N64 games sitting on the side of the road down a dusty street in the middle of nowhere. It was absolutely bizarre and surreal. It was almost as though the hand of God/Cthulhu had taken pity and placed it there as I was wandering the dimly-lit cobblestoned alleys of North Melbourne on a moonlit night. That’s the only time I’ve been able to get a good deal (other than spending huge dollars importing stuff from OS).

Perhaps you should! I definitely feel retro PC games are unnoticed and unappreciated these days. There’s one or two youtubers like LGR who look into it, but it’s pretty sparse. There are some games like GODS (1991) or BioMenace (1993) that I hold up with such nostalgiac reverence. For me, when I think of gaming as a kid of think of those games, but most people think of Mario and stuff.

You should do a good deed for the neglected MS-DOS/Amiga/IBM/whatever games and play one of those games using DOSBOX or something. A really good one I would highly recommend would be Cosmo’s Cosmic Adventure for DOS, episode 1. It’s a short beautiful little game, my favourite DOS game of all time, you could probably complete it in an hour or two. Plus DOSBOX has really good controller support build-in.

Note also: DosBox is open source freeware, and also Cosmo’s Cosmic Adventure episode 1 is still “shareware” so you can actually happily download and play this one guilt-free without breaking any archaic laws or being hunted down by 85 year old Apogee executives! :floppy_disk:

I love DOSBOX! I use it for original command and conquer and might and magic 2. I will download cosmos cosmic adventure asap. Sounds really cool.

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