Remember when video games were simpler back in the '80s and early '90s? Now, playing games is a very different experience. There are international leagues of thousands all charging down the same mountain. There are real-life “drops” that coincide with the video game, blurring the realms between what’s the game and what’s the real world. There are so many crossovers that nobody knows who is part of what franchise anymore. That’s not to disparage modern gaming. Games today are 10x more visceral than they ever were in the past. But there are some games that hit the nail right on the head. Here are some old school video game experiences that we played at home, on the go, and at the arcade that are still worth checking out today.
Sega burst on the scene with their classic lineup of insanely fun games. They brought the first Mortal Kombat to home consoles. They even brought us one of the most recognizable characters in all of video game history: Sonic The Hedgehog. Revisiting these games is a lot like riding a bike after not doing picking it up for years. It just comes natural and you can never NOT know how to play your favorite games. But it might take a while to get all the facilities back. The Sega Genesis also has some classic video games you might have forgotten about. Remember Gunstar Hero, Shining Force 2, The Eternals, Shinobi, and all the Monsters World games? Those fun games are still out there waiting to experience again, while perhaps lost to modern gaming.
Nintendo Game Boy
One of the best parts about playing video games was watching and listening for your console turn on. Nobody did this better than the Nintendo Game Boy. Some of our favorite characters had a huge presence from the Game Boy roster. Dr. Mario, Kirby, and, of course, Link. Game Boys were the prototype for handheld technology and set the precedence for mobile gaming today. There’s a reason why millennials are so used to handling a smartphone the way they do. It all started with the Game Boy and Game Boy color.
If you’re over 30 and a child of the city, you remember how important arcades were. They were the cornerstone of the '80s and mid-'90s culture. It was a place to hang out, buy a root beer float from the money your mom gave you, and be awkward around your crush. That experience never really translated to the home console. Good thing there are home versions of classic experiences like the Neo Geo arcade setup. If Neo Geo doesn’t ring a bell, their titles will. Garou, King of Fighters, Samurai Shodown, and Metal Slug are all classic titles from the Neo Geo arcade experience.
Classic games were the best. There were a few objectives that companies had to develop perfectly in order to progress. It was not so much about the quantity of stimulus as it was the quality. Sure, they looked like blocks. Sure, faces looked like fog on a mirror, but they peaked our imagination. That’s what video games were. There’s one thing that they had that most modern games fail at miserably: they were just plain mindless fun. Gameplay was all they had to work with and gameplay was what they produced.