Perusing through my massive back catalog of games from my childhood has led me to one conclusion: Games of the past have more capacity to challenge the imagination than those on today’s consoles.
Pocky and Rocky for the Super Nintendo! Can any childhood be complete without it? Come on, surely I’m not the only one who has played this? No?
In essence, the 2-D warmth of games we played as children symbolize a spoiled innocence that has been long lost, which has since been replaced by so-called “Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games” (MMORPGs) and first-person shooters. Games can still be addictive, but the enhanced technological capabilities of today often provide a shortcut. Technological innovation replaced game play innovation. Today game story lines are often bogged down with tedious cut scenes which just take away from the game play more than anything else. The titles on older systems of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and first half of the ‘00s weren’t just reduced to the number of polygons or shades of green. They relied on fun game play and clever artwork to keep their patrons entertained – instead of hooking hopeless addicts with make believe social lives which require a monthly subscription fee and the final ounces of one’s self-respect.
Perhaps though, I should be more balanced about the Video Game’s Golden Days. In some ways, it was actually the Dark Ages.
This is what Pokemon Stadium looked like when it first came out in 2000. It may have been state of the art at the time, but play it now and you’d better have some killer weed.
It would be misleading to say that all of the games from the past deserve recognition. Video games are just like all media: the majority of titles were overhyped, derivative, and poorly designed. This list covers some of the worst offenders from my own vast collection. After weeks of gaming I’ve narrowed down my list to five guilty titles that were considered classics at the time of their release but now do little more than piss you off. Play at your own risk.