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Which games do you feel have aged well/poorly, and why? [roundtable]
Seeing all of the Metroid I hate being flung around has put this topic on my mind.

What makes a game age well? What makes a game age poorly? Is nostalgia the biggest factor of your enjoyment of an old title?

Feel free to share any of your experiences. I'll start with one: StarTropics. A very divisive game. Never played it back in the day, bought it on VC. It was clunky by modern standards, but still eminently playable, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. In fact, I found it's lack of mercy to be quite refreshing. That's how most of the games that I was introduced to on the VC feel to me: refreshing. It seems that many of the modern tenets of game design annoy me.

A counter-example: Beyond Oasis. Blech. Interesting in concept. Horrible in execution. Actually, much of the Sega Genesis Collection gave me that impression.

Begin the Segacide!

But first, let's go back to good ol', controversial ol' Metroid 1. When I played that game, it was like a nuclear bomb. Just so fresh and innovative and incredible, and, at the time, I was so receptive to that type of exploratory experience. And, like StarTropics, I feel like the game design generally accounts for those 'antiquated' elements. But maybe it's almost impossible for a new player to appreciate things like the Ice Beam and Morph Ball after the game has had so many sequels.

On the other hand, I got the 3D Classics version of Twinbee, which is significantly more simple than the sequels that I am familiar with. But I can appreciate it for what it is.

So it seems that I am capable of enjoying an old game, as long as the design is solid (or NOT enjoying one, if it's a Sega game). The question is, can I personally overcome the power of nostalgia? I'm trying to think of a game that I loved before, but hate now (or vice versa), and I'm having some difficulty. So either my judgment was always coolly rational, or I can't separate out my happy memories.

How about you guys? What's your take on vintage games?

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Posted: 09/29/11, 18:15:09  - Edited by 
 on: 09/29/11, 18:20:01
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I have great memories of playing Ice Hockey with the kid next door, fighting over who got to be the fat guy. But I picked it up in the early days of the VC and it was hard to get back into.

I do think Jargon's equations are too strict. I understand the spirit, but how do you account for something like Goldeneye, which was so amazing but has started show its age a bit? Do you say, "Oh, it was never any good to begin with?"
Posted: 09/30/11, 20:34:17

Well, I'm with you. I still like to pick it up and play a few games with my bro every now and again. Those NES sports games are great for that. Especially the baseball games. Little League Baseball is my personal favorite, but Baseball Stars and RBI Baseball are also quite good. The funny thing is, I don't think current baseball games are anywhere near as fun.


Well as I said it's a personal formula. I'm sure I would have just as much fun playing multiplayer Goldeneye today as I did when I was in high school if I could get together the right group. I never thought the single player was particularly great although I played it a lot because I didn't have much else to play. And I still think it's a lot better than modern FPS campaigns.
Posted: 09/30/11, 21:12:08
[ref=id=6623&pagenumber=2#185730]TriforceBun said:[/ref][quote][ref=id=6623&pagenumber=2#185728]stephen08 said:[/ref][quote]Goldeneye and Perfect Dark are both very antiquated.[/quote]
Nah, for me, these are some of the most replayable N64 games and FPSes. I love the stealth-based gameplay and wide variety of weaponry (two things that have since died out), not to mention the sheer volume of stuff to do in the games. I don't think I'll ever get tired of PD.

A lot of N64 games do feel pretty old and chunky at this point though, mainly due to the graphics and early 3D training ground feel. I feel like I can't play 99% of Atari games either--that's the point where it's just too old for me.[/quote]
Go buy Deus Ex Human Revolution and thank me later.


I agree the 64 has more games that stand up today, however other than flagship Nintendo AAA efforts like Mario 64, Waverace (which I played in HD via emulator a while back and imo has stood up better than any game from the generation, it is hard to believe it came out fifteen years ago), Banjo and Ocarina, the list is incredibly short. I would be hard pressed to find ten games on the 64 that I would deem worth playing today.

The PSone has even less, though they did have some pretty great jrpgs which due to the fact they move like molasses and rely on static, pre rendered backgrounds held up ok. Actually I take that back. If you like jrpgs, then I suppose it's a wash between the 64 and PSone, if you don't it's the 64 all the way. The 3D based action games on the PSone were a fucking travesty.
Posted: 09/30/11, 22:02:42  - Edited by 
 on: 09/30/11, 22:08:31
With regards to the old Excitebike not saving your high scores when you turned the game off - so what? Most of the games I played for high scores didn't save my score when I turned it off. I wrote it down instead. Crazy notion, I realize. Many games even came with space in the back of the instruction manual for writing down your high scores.
Posted: 09/30/11, 23:22:52
@Oldmanwinter Hmm, here I go, still playable...

StarFox 64
Sin & Punishment
Super Mario 64
The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask
Paper Mario
Mario Kart 64 (battle mode)
Pilotwings 64
Waverace 64
Blast Corps
1080 Snowboarding
Robotron 64

Also playable, though have been surpassed by sequels so kind of pointless now...

F-Zero X
Super Smash Brothers
Mario Golf
Mario Tennis


Banjo Kazooie
Rogue Squadron
Excitebike 64

Probably forgetting a few.
Posted: 09/30/11, 23:30:03
Robotron 64. Haha. No kidding, I picked that up for 2 dollars at a pawn shop on Tuesday. Pretty fun. I'm not sure if there's a Hard Mode on it, but the default setting is way too easy compared to the original. And the music is relentless.
Posted: 09/30/11, 23:32:46

Also The New Tetris (best Tetris ever!) and Harvest Moon 64 (best farm sim ever!). Dr. Mario 64 and Pokemon Puzzle League are still plenty of fun (although they've probably been surpassed as well). Same with the Mario Party games.

If Deus Ex actually isn't a CoD clone like so many other games this gen, I'd love to give it a try. But my limited gamer funds pretty much mean I've only got Nintendo systems at the ready, and my computer is an old fart. Perhaps my brother will pick it up for his 360.
Posted: 09/30/11, 23:43:32

Banjo definitely still holds up.
Posted: 10/01/11, 02:19:08

Even with all the collecting?
Posted: 10/01/11, 02:25:12
After playing all these Ratchet and Clank games, I really wonder what I'd think of Banjo.
Posted: 10/01/11, 02:33:02
I remember having a lot of fun with Banjo a few years ago upon revisiting it. Maybe it would be repetitive if the music wasn't so damn good, but the world is so charming that I think it's great. I wish I waited for it to come out on XBLA.
Posted: 10/01/11, 02:35:22
I think the biggest issue with Banjo is the same as a lot of Rare games of the era -- the framerate isn't great. The XBLA version remedies that, though. I love Banjo-Kazooie, but I think Tooie goes a bit too far into collectathon territory.
Posted: 10/01/11, 02:47:22

That only gets tedious if you insist on going for 100% completion. The flow is a lot nicer than Mario 64 since you can clear out an entire level without interruption.
Posted: 10/01/11, 03:28:29
@stephen08 That's the thing I didn't like about Banjo-Tooie. You had to go to later levels to get new abilities to get jiggies in earlier levels... it's annoying.

Banjo 1 is still excellent though, particularly the XBLA version.
Posted: 10/01/11, 03:31:41
@Zero, @TriforceBun

I'll add a couple more games that I feel are still playable today from the N64:

Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber
Rush 2: Extreme Racing USA
San Francisco Rush 2049
Mortal Kombat Trilogy
Killer Instinct Gold
Mortal Kombat 4

And I think Diddy Kong Racing would still be very playable. I never much cared for this game, but a lot of people liked it, and I don't recall much slowdown or anything like that when I was playing it.

With the understanding that the graphics are terrible by today's standards, I think these games are still quite good.
Posted: 10/01/11, 08:42:24  - Edited by 
 on: 10/01/11, 08:42:49
The best part about Banjo-Kazooie was just the design of Gruntilda's Lair and how you progressed through the game. Finding things in the 'overworld' was a huge deal, and there was a lot of suspense around what was around the next corner. I didn't get that as much with Tooie. I'm not exactly sure why that is though. Maybe it's just a superficial change, because the Lair is kind of a big tower, and you feel like you're making progress by working your way through it, while in BT, it's just kind of a land that you make your way through. I'd be interested to see how BT holds up though without its framerate problems.

Did anyone ever play the Superman game on Gamecube? Shadow of Apokolips? It always looked interesting to me and I was close to picking it up at Gamestop the other day for like $4 or something like that. I figured it couldn't be anywhere near as bad as Superman 64 and it was based around the animated series. I'll have to look it up to see if it seems like it might hold up at all (if it was any good to begin with).
Posted: 10/01/11, 09:08:06
@Jargon See I don't disagree with that. Ice Hockey is still a good game. Where I think it doesn't pass the test of time is in replayability/value. Certain games just get surpassed like 10x over so there is really not much of a reason to go back. Personally, Ice Hockey doesn't offer me much nowadays that I can't get from NHL '94 and such.
Posted: 10/01/11, 22:49:39
Zero said:
Also playable, though have been surpassed by sequels so kind of pointless now...

F-Zero X
Super Smash Brothers
Mario Golf
Mario Tennis
I'd put Super Mario 64 in this category.
Posted: 10/01/11, 23:14:46
I used to like Banjo-Kazooie as a kid, but I don't like it as much today. If you're into collecting stuff then it's probably great, but I find it really tedious now. I like Super Mario 64, not just because I prefer the controls and level design, but also because there isn't nearly as much stuff you have to collect. The closest thing to tedious in that game would be collecting the red coins, but generally it wasn't too bad. I thought Sunshine went overboard though, with all those stupid-ass blue coins

EDIT: Also it doesn't help that I don't really care for the Banjo-Kazooie world.
Posted: 10/02/11, 00:19:11  - Edited by 
 on: 10/02/11, 00:19:33
Banjo-Kazooie is a great example of a game that has always sucked.
Posted: 10/02/11, 00:29:36
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