7 Classic Games That Haven't Stood the Test of Time
Every generation of video games has their "must-haves"- games that define the console or bring prestige to the genre. But as time passes, some of these greats start to get a little creaky. Which classics have gotten a little stiff in the bones over the years?
#1 Deus Ex - PC, PS2 (2000)
Warren Spector's magnum opus, Deus Ex showed audiences that FPS gaming wasn't all twitch gaming shoot-em-up action. Featuring a deep story, goals which featured multiple paths and solutions, and the option to complete the game without killing a single enemy, Deus Ex was a breath of fresh air in 2000.
If you've played it recently though, you might notice it hasn't quite lived up to your memory of the original experience. The graphics are blocky and the textures are unsightly. The enemy's sight detection is questionable at best, making much of the stealth options very frustrating.
Still, the game had a great impact and Spector is a brilliant game designer. The fundamentals are still sound, even if you feel a little nauseous looking at the screen from time to time. If you want to relive the memories, check out Gametap, where you can download and play the entire game for free. Completely legal too!
#2 Final Fantasy VII - PS (1997)
When Final Fantasy VII, it was like a tornado hit the US gaming market. For the first time in history, the Japanese role-playing game was a money earner in the West. A 70 hour story, state of the art FMV graphics that took advantage of the Playstation's new CD format, and a mature storyline helped propel this one to the top. Even today, this game has the fans salivating for more.
But what happens when you go back and play this one with a fresh eye? Well, that fresh eye is hurtin' for one. There are few types of ugly worse than the ugly born out of early 3D graphics, and Final Fantasy VII is no exception. Your main character is an awkward blob with hamhands. There must have been a polygon shortage in Japan, because main character Cloud was only rationed nine or ten. Even the once jaw-dropping cinemas no longer have that wow-factor.
Without the sizzle of cutting edge graphics, you're really forced to see how poor the game's US localization is. Riddled with errors, the translation is awkward and inconsistent. Often times, it seems that the writers felt a little TOO happy to be free of Nintendo's overbearing censorship rules and throw in inappropriate material. Anything Barret says ever is a good example of Square's adolescent fascination with dirty words.
But, hey- here's hoping for a PS3 remake that fixes all of this and brings the faithful back into the fold.
#3 Baldur's Gate - PC (1998)
A deep, engaging RPG based on the beloved Dungeons and Dragons Franchise. Baldur's Gate offered the deepest RPG experience audiences anywhere had yet to see. I remember I was smitten with it on release.
However, a recent replay has shown all is not well in the small town of Candlekeep. The game's resolution is low, making the game feel cramped and claustrophobic. This is forgivable, however the combat is not. Archery and other ranged combat is overpowered, and will easily cut down any of your player characters unlucky enough to be a target. God help you if a magic user is under the gun (because your other party members sure won't be able to).
My suggestion is to go out and pick up the also elderly but more playable sequel, Baldur's Gate 2. All of the highlights of the original, with none of the drawbacks.
Sites about classic games I enjoy
- The Video Game Museum - The largest source for video games
VGmuseum.com, the internet's largest video game museum. Relive old memories here with everything from screenshots, endings, scans, music, ads and reviews, we have it all.
- VGMusic - 26,110 Game Music MIDI files
Video Game MIDI Music from NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Gameboy, Genesis, Master System, Sega Dreamcast, Sega Saturn, Sony PlayStation, X-Box, Atari, TurboGrafx-16, and more!
- ClassicGaming - the home of classic gaming on the net
ClassicGaming.com -- the home of classic gaming on the net. A member of the GameSpy Network.
#4 Battletoads - NES (1991)
Maybe it was just the folly of youth. Maybe there was nothing else good to play at the time. Maybe we all just learned that games didn't have to be like this. During the early '90s, it seemed like every game was a struggle, a battle tooth and nail to the top. This game, for lack of a better term, is junk.
Battletoads was a summer affair. You'd sit down and try and plow through it. Maybe you would let your little brother play with you, until he started crying during the jetbike level. But who could blame him? Battletoads required rote memorization and reflexes that would make an Olympic athlete jealous. Never in all my years have I met someone who beat Battletoads on their own.
To add insult to injury, if you and a friend DID manage to make it to the end of the game, one of the last levels has a bug that would kill the second player over and over until they earned a game over. I can understand why no one in QA caught this, because it would require Christ himself to get there.
So that's why Battletoads makes the list: because we were all stupid when we were 9.
#5- Donkey Kong Country - SNES (1994)
"WOAH! Look at those graphics" This was everyone who owned a Super Nintendo the year DKC came out. The videogame industry was in the middle of a minor lull, and Donkey Kong Country would be one of the few highlights of the period. The game featured generic platforming, some great music, and truly remarkable graphics.
To the game's credit, the graphics have remained fairly attractive even today. It shows a good character design will trump aging technology. However, with the luster faded and better games having shown us the way, it is now apparent that DKC just wasn't very good. Boring platforming and hyper-kinetic but uninvolving barrel shooting really makes you wonder what all the fuss was about.
Also, it was indirectly responsible for this horror.
Someone was paid to sing this. To WRITE this
#6 Mega Man - NES (1987)
Mega Man had quite a career, soon to be revived with the upcoming Mega Man 9. But for those of you who remember playing the original, it isn't quite all it was cracked up to be. Overly hard, lacking the whimsy of its successors, and the only one to feature points, Mega Man just doesn't live up to the series reputation.
Today, the only thing really notable about the first Mega Man is the introduction of the character and his companions. Oh, that and the fact that the Elec Man stage is a complete rip off of Journey's Faithfully.
Loving a Mega Man ain't always what its supposed to be...
#7 Mortal Kombat - Arcade, SNES, Genesis (1992)
Do you remember "Mortal Monday?" I do. It heralded the console launch of the grealty anticipated Mortal Kombat game. Both loved by fans and derided by critics for its over the top violence and finishing moves, Mortal Kombat was a hot ticket in 1992.
Today, though, all you're left with is a badly digitized fighting game which is far inferior to its contemporary, Street Fighter 2. Slow gameplay, awkward hit detection, and boring characters, Mortal Kombat coasted by on new technology and gore. Today, Street Fighter is coming out with a much anticipated fourth installment, while Mortal Kombat is reduced to playing second fiddle to Superman.
Then again, Street Fighter never had Christopher Lambert star as one of their main characters in a cult classic motion picture. Et tu, Raiden?
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