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Everything Old is Old Again

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the pac-man-and-i-have-the-same-birth-year dept.

Classic Games (Games) 106

TechDock writes "GameDaily interviews some of the folks involved with retro game services, including GameTap, XBox Live Arcade, and assorted standalone retro game devices. They discuss the new business models associated with the retro business, and why 25 year-old games are still popular." From the article: "Want to feel really old? It's been 26 years since the sound of 'waka-waka-waka' first resounded in an arcade. Yes, 1980 was the year Midway licensed and installed the coin-op version of Namco's Pac-Man in the U.S. And 2006 is the year that Pac-Man has become one of the most popular downloads on Xbox Live Arcade and GameTap. Talk about a game with legs."

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106 comments

oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16296027)

In Korea, only old people play pacman

Legs? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16296069)

Pac has no legs!

Re:Legs? (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296805)

For an old fart with no legs, he sure does get around to take all his Viagra. No wonder Mrs. Pac-Man ran away with the ghosts!

Re:Legs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16301259)

You mean like how Hello Kitty has no mouth?

I'll tell you why... (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296109)

They discuss the new business models associated with the retro business, and why 25 year-old games are still popular

25 year old games are still popular because of people like myself who still think that Stratosfear, Dark Side of the Moon and 2112 are fantastic albums but couldn't name a song by Blink 187 or Disturbed.

Part nostalgia and part not keeping up with the times is what really makes retro popular. While I can't appreciate the latest Rob Zombie offering it doesn't mean I don't like Counterstrike Source... Not to say I don't enjoy kicking up Telengard from time to time but I don't play it as intensely as EQ2.

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296185)

I couldn't name one either, and Pac-Man's older than I am. Maybe those bands just suck.

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296607)

If you don't even know what band played Dark Side of the Moon, then you have no culture. Really, that is as widely known as the Wedding March's theme!
By the way, yes, I know who wrote that one too. Not hard, and I love the composer. You don't. See? Lack of culture.

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296871)

... I believe by saying "Bands" he was referring to Blink 187 and Disturbed seeing as Stratosfear, Dark Side of the Moon and 2112 are albums not bands...

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297425)

I'm older than Pac-Man, and while I agree that Blink 182 sucks, you're bound to have heard them if you listen to any modern alternative. And Disturbed's Down with the Sickness is excellently angry, and I just heard a cover they did of Genesis's Land of Confusion on the radio this morning.

Just because you don't keep up with modern music, doesn't mean anything you haven't heard sucks.

Re:I'll tell you why... (0, Flamebait)

Afrosheen (42464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297639)

Bah, the only reason you're familiar with the Disturbed song is because you frequent titty bars.

  Wait, how do I know that? *whistles and backs away quickly*

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16299715)

I hear them on the radio all the time. I just don't find most new bands these days original enough to be worth remembering.

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296299)

"25 year old games are still popular because of people like myself who still think that Stratosfear, Dark Side of the Moon and 2112 are fantastic albums but couldn't name a song by Blink 187 or Disturbed."

That's okay, you're not missing much.

"Part nostalgia and part not keeping up with the times is what really makes retro popular."

For those of us old enough to be nostalgic, that's true. But what about the generation that doesn't remember Pac Man and Galaga in the arcades? I'm finding that they're the ones who seem to be the most into those games. Could it be that the story-driven nature of the major games released today makes them less fun to replay? Is it possible that multiplay is so rife with cheating, stupidity, and general lameness that it's not as fun as it once was? Retro games are "pure" in a sense; they don't burden you with story arcs, they don't bore you with cut scenes, they don't annoy you with having to deal with stupid people. They don't try to yank at your emotions or evoke startle or gag reflexes. They're just fun.

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296415)

It must be the story-drive nature; Pacman: Run around and as much shit as possible as fast as possible.

Super Size Me (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297233)

I heard Morgan Spurlock [wikipedia.org] is making a remake of Super Size Me [wikipedia.org] with Pac-Man, using Super Pac-Man [wikipedia.org] as the background story.

Re:Super Size Me (3, Funny)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297277)

You know how to use wikipedia. I'm so proud of you. Now stop.

Re:Super Size Me (2, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297481)

Well, that's how the web should work. References for people who don't know who Morgan Spurlock is, what "Super Size Me" is or what's the point of the reference to Super Pac-Man (i.e. huge Pac-Man, i.e. Super-Sized).

Slashdot makes external links heavy on the text by adding the domain name in brackets after the actual link. It's not my fault, that's the way Slashdot works. I hate it myself, and I'm too lazy to go check my account settings to see if there's a way to disable that "feature".

Re:Super Size Me (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297997)

The way the web works for me is that if I want to look something up on wikipedia, I right-click it and select "search wikipedia". Link noise is otherwise just that. Oh well, at least it's not like an old Wiki where everyone SpellsLikeThis and thinks that's somehow a GoodThing (and I also thank the stars that MediaWiki doesn't promulgate that nonsense)

Anyway, the feature that shows the brackets is set at the individual reader's end, somewhere in the preferences. I'm pondering turning it off myself, since I haven't run into a real goatse troll in a long time.

Re:Super Size Me (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16304441)

The way the web works for me is that if I want to look something up on wikipedia, I right-click it and select "search wikipedia". Link noise is otherwise just that.
If you want the link, it's there. It's not "noise". If you have to copy/paste something into a search engine or wikipedia (or anything) then you're working for the computer. The computer should be working for us. If I add links, I do the task once. If I don't, then (random number) people will do the same task.

Re:Super Size Me (1)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 7 years ago | (#16299821)

I like that feature. I think enough of us have had to use eye-bleach because of some tard "linking" to a story only to have goatse come up.

Re:Super Size Me (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16304467)

I think enough of us have had to use eye-bleach because of some tard "linking" to a story only to have goatse come up.
That's what the browser's status bar is for. If you're afraid to click on a link, just hover the URL then look at the URL in the status bar before actually clicking. No need to add noise to the text with the URL in brackets after the link, stupid slashdot.

Re:I'll tell you why... (3, Informative)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296615)

Retro games are "pure" in a sense; ...they don't bore you with cut scenes

The Pac-Man series did have cut scenes; they were just under one minute each.

In the first one, Pac-Man is chased from the right edge of the screen to the left by the four ghosts. The four ghosts reappear in their blue edible form and a larger Pac-Man chases them off the right side of the screen.

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296717)

I thought about those. They're just be an opportunity to stretch my hands and take a sip of my drink.

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16299253)

Or you are looking at the past with rose colored glasses. Games are less fun now because you have grown up. Nothing wrong with going back and finding the joy of your childhood in these games. But to think they are strictly superior to modern games is a bit naieve. For example, classic games were a lot of fun to play as kids...but they never brought a tear to my eye like some modern games are capable of.

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296361)

I'll tell you why I still play Asteroids; because it's one of the best games.

No, off the top of my head I can't tell you the title of a Blink 187 song, but about half the artists I listen to are under 25 years of age themselves. Some of them well under.

I listen to them because they are good.

KFG

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

flink (18449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298893)

Unfortunately, Asteroids just isn't the same on a regular CRT. The only way to play is on an arcade machine with the bullets blazing little phosphor trails across a vector monitor.

Re:I'll tell you why... (3, Insightful)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296503)

Part nostalgia and part not keeping up with the times is what really makes retro popular. While I can't appreciate the latest Rob Zombie offering it doesn't mean I don't like Counterstrike Source... Not to say I don't enjoy kicking up Telengard from time to time but I don't play it as intensely as EQ2.

I don't know that that's necessarily true. I think part of retro popularity is that sometimes things have inherent value. It's the same way that William Shakespeare's plays don't go away after so many years. Now I know that I'm comparing Shakespeare to Pac Man, but bear with me here.

I love listening to the Beatles and the Doors, I was born after these bands were long dead and buried (well maybe not buried in the case of the Doors), I discovered them anew in my own life and formed my own kinship with their recordings.

In the same way the first video game my little nephew ever played (at about 2 or 3 years old) was the first Super Mario Brothers. There are newer, better, more graphically entertaining games available, but my nephew is just as happy playing Super Mario Brothers as he is playing anything else (and he's now a bit older).

I would argue that old games have inherent value, they are classics for a reason. There are a million old games which straight up suck, but they don't get the downloads because nobody cared then and nobody cares now. Just like music, film, plays, books, novels, etc. videogames have retro value because they are inherently entertaining, not because they are the newest technology and the best EFFECTS EVER... Many of today's games that are great graphically will be forgotten quickly after they are released, because they lack the same things that make classics strong. Mario, Pac Man, Duck Hunt and friends will bridge the gap generation after generation because they are as good now as they were then, even if we have better graphics.

There are certain things which defy trendiness because they are good art and good entertainment, and these things will remain when everything else crumbles. People get so concerned with pushing units that they forget these facts in every one of the trades I just mentioned. Some things are eternal, some are rubbish. Those which only have nostalgia value (because it was the only game you had one time as a kid growing up) won't get exceptional attention now just as they didn't then. It's not just being old that makes them popular, it's the fact that they were great.

Re:I'll tell you why... (2, Interesting)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297141)

...I think part of retro popularity is that sometimes things have inherent value. It's the same way that William Shakespeare's plays don't go away after so many years...
I would tend to agree, some might feel nostalgia towards Shakespeare if they were introduced to his works as a child, but you'd be hard pressed to find someone who remembers seeing those plays on opening night.

I think in some ways older games are still popular because the games are GOOD and they will always be GOOD, they aren't good because they're following a trend or a fad they are themselves and they are classic and original in their execution; they don't try to be things that they're not.
That's not to say that games today are all bad, certainly there are THOUSANDS of old games and we still only talk about a very very small number of them. I think every generation has titles that stand the test of time. Doom, Street Fighter II, Mario 64, Final Fantasy VII, etc. Those games will still be played for a long long time because they're original and timeless.

In other ways retro games like PacMan are popular because there aren't any modern alternatives, and in the rare instance that we DO get a modern alternative gamers jump on it like rabid wolves, just look at titles like Bejeweled, Geometry Wars, Lumines, Brain Age, etc. All of those games are incredibly simple rely very minimally on graphical glitz for their popularity and could probably be recreated in a short time with some dedication.
Basically, They're simple cheap and fun games, and the gaming industry seems to completely ignore this type of game... We keep hearing about the costs of development rising but that's only because they're pursuing the graphical envelope, if they just stopped and looked around they're realize that there is a giant gaping hole in the market for fun and innovative retro-style games, that are cheap to develop and offer infinite replayability. I love lots of older games but I don't really think I like them for nostalgic reasons (I'm too young to remember PacMan in the Arcade but I still love the game) it's just because they're good games, I also love Geometry wars and if they made more GOOD games in this simple style I'm sure I'd find a lot to like in them too.

Why does everything have to be 3D? Why does everything have to use the latest technological advances? Why can't new hardware advances be used to make new and innovative classic games (think of a PacMan era game but with the advantage of the wiimote). There's no reason except that the industry rarely ever thinks to make games like that. Hopefully we'll get some indy talent fixing this situation with things like Steam, XNA Express/XBLA, and the Virtual Console.

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297571)

I think the biggest reason some of these games had value (especially to us old guys) was their novelty. PONG was cool because it was the first video game. Asteroids was cool because it had "graphics". Tank Battle was cool because two players could shoot each other. Dragon's Lair was cool because it incorporated a real cartoon. Battle Zone was cool because it was the first "3D" game. Castle Wolfenstein was cool because it was the first 3D game to feature images instead of wireframes. And so on.

Each game that incorporated some new technological advance was making leaps over what had previously existed. Sure, good gameplay was vital, but each of those games really stood out above its competition, in easily visible terms. Now, the improvements are incremental at best. 1280x1024 x 32 bits of color was an improvement over 1280x1024 x 8 bits, but by comparison it was not a dramatic leap like "color vs. black and white".

Novelty also means the designers get the luxury of calling their solution "right". If a new thing is copied but changes the user interface slightly, it may be seen as awkward or uncomfortable in comparison to the original thing.

I don't think we can easily discount nostalgia, either. These old arcade games had a lot of social value. The technology in those boxes was not "available-at-home technology" for the average kid. If you wanted the coolest thing ever, you had to travel to an arcade to play them, and that usually meant hooking up with your buddies. All those things build pleasant associations in your brain. No matter what games you had, an Atari 2600 at home just wasn't as fun as going to the noisy arcade with a big group of friends. Even now, my brain associates Asteroids with "good times as a kid" regardless of how good the gameplay may have been. And that may have rubbed off on you, being exposed to "old people" who have repeated to you how good Missile Defender was.

I'm guessing the next "big" game is not going to be here for a while yet, but will incorporate some new unaffordable "wow!" technology, such as a holographic display that doesn't require glasses, or something like that.

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

Leviance (1001065) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298617)

I don't think I'm the only one whose most anticipated title for the Wii is the revamped Duck Hunt

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296563)

Well... that, and the fact that games back then were *extremely* limited on graphics, so they had to focus all their efforts on making it fun rather than pretty.

LOL Blink 187 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16297095)

It is actually Blink 182. I wonder if that was intentional or not. Either way it really drives the point home.

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

Deinhard (644412) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297267)

Funny that you should mention Disturbed, since the song that is getting the most airplay is Land of Confusion, a cover of a twenty-year-old Phil Collins song (and not a bad cover, btw). They just fall into the "everything old is new again" category.

That said, I can't name songs for most of the new artists out there (I have Dream, Floyd, and Rush on my iPod), but I can appreciate the latest Rob Zombie (or Tool, or Godsmack).

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

mbsatgt (948603) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297801)

Wow, I am not as in the dark as I thought I was, apparently. I couldn't name a song by those bands either, but Blink 187 didn't sound right, and sure enough, iTunes confirms it:
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/ viewArtist?id=116851 [apple.com]
The band is Blink 182. The funny thing is everyone else in the thread also just assumed it was Blink 187. Ah well, having looked at their "Greatest Hits" (Ah the irony, that a "Greatest Hits" album is always where you look to find out if you have even heard of a band you have no clue about.), it seems I knew a couple of their songs after all. Indeed, "All the Small Things" was even in Donkey Konga!

Now I know more pop culture than I did 5 minutes ago.

Re:I'll tell you why... (2, Insightful)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16299737)

Don't forget The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway!

No, but seriously, time is a good filter. Usually the higher end of things tend to be remembered, at least all the crap gets forgotten. As big as Disturbed are, in 20 years, hardly ANYONE will remember who they are. If you really think back to the early 80s in gaming, there was a whole lot of shit out there... I'm a proponant to think that creativity is pretty constant among humans... no matter how corporate we get, or how primative we become, there's usually always about the same amount of truly inspiring things out there, and it may take decades for it to get all sorted out, which is why you are guarenteed at least some semblance of quality if you look back at stuff in the past.

Re:I'll tell you why... (1)

leland242 (736905) | more than 7 years ago | (#16300071)

dude, check out the new disturbed song - "land of confusion"

oh wait, that was a Genesis song from the 80's. never mind.

Although, I have to take some issue with your arguement. For instance, I have no idea who released Stratosfear, but I could tell you who put out the other two. Your tastes are not going to be the same as everyone else. Is Blink 182 a good band, i dont think so. same is true for Disturbed (i think they just keep making the same song). However, that doesnt make them any less important to thier fans.

Floyd, Zepplin, Rush, Beatles, etc - all classics, but they have stood the test of time. It's not like the 70's music scene only had hitmakers - there was a fair bit of shit, im sure. You're comparing some one-hit wonders to some of the greatest musicians of the 20th century...not exactly a fair comparison.

waka waka waka (3, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296141)

It's been 26 years since the sound of 'waka-waka-waka' first resounded in an arcade.

I'm pretty sure I remember seeing the Muppets on a TV in an arcade before 1980...

In time... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16296143)

There will come a time when games like The Legend of Zelda and Castlevania will be 80 years old. I wonder if anyone will still be playing them then.

Re:In time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16296575)

Yes. The students taking Games 120: Historical Japanese RPG Games of the Latter Half of the 20th Centaury.

Nostalgia (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296157)

A lot of these games are still popular because there is a crowd that grew up with them. The reason? Well, first was novelty, back in the late 1970s, video games were whizbang and fascinated a lot of ordinary folk. The second reason was the swift growth of arcades and the amount of businesses like pizza parlors installing games.

How many of today's games will appeal to people decades here? Arcades are dead, and the only way you can get exposed to video games is if you buy a console. Then, the complicated nature of today's games makes porting difficult. Even if the code to PacMan were lost, you could write that sort of gameplay again in just a couple of hours. Try doing that with anything from later games.

Re:Nostalgia (5, Insightful)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296303)

Even if the code to PacMan were lost, you could write that sort of gameplay again in just a couple of hours.

Granted, you could make a pretty faithful Pac-Man clone in a few hours, maybe less if you weren't too picky about how close it was, but to make an exact duplicate would be difficult for a few reasons.

First, the Ghosts aren't exactly random, and they aren't exactly "patterns". They more or less respond in accordance to the player and almost precisely at that. A really good player with excellent timing can develope a pattern that will result in the ghosts moving in exactly the same way each time. The best players have a pattern for each level up to level 18 at least.

Each of the four ghosts have a response different from the others so while in a very indirect way the player may be "controlling" the ghosts they are designed to respond in a way that makes them more or less close in on the player.

Pac-Man is a brilliant game in a lot of ways. Some people really appreciate how brilliant it is, and they're the ones with the 50,000+ scores. Some people just acknoledge that it's a classic. Others only know it because it's famous. But no matter how you look at it Pac-Man is going to stick around a long time because it just happens to be fun.

Re:Nostalgia (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16303061)

Ms PacMan is much better, because the patterns are way more difficult to trace. I've searched for gameplay guides that show patterns, but I found none.

Re:Nostalgia (1)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 7 years ago | (#16303957)

I wouldn't say Ms Pac Man is "better", I would just say it's a natural progression for those who have mastered Pac Man. It's essentially the same game with different level designs and, as you have noticed, harder to develope patterns.

Re:Nostalgia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16296507)

> Even if the code to PacMan were lost, you could write that sort of gameplay again in just a couple of hours. Try doing that with anything from later games.

Back when Pacman was written the late 70's I'm sure it took months if not years to write. Today we have the tools and programming languages (Python, Lua, Ruby) which indeed would allow it to be rewritten in a matter of hours. Whose to say, however, that we won't have the tools 20 years from now to rewrite a masterpiece of today in a few hours? Yes, the art content alone can be enormous, but how can we say that 3D StudioMax 2030 won't allow a talented artist to produce all the content of *today's* games that quickly as well?

Re:Nostalgia (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 7 years ago | (#16299437)

Even if the code to PacMan were lost, you could write that sort of gameplay again in just a couple of hours.

It _felt_ like it took a couple hours just to key in the assembly from ZX Magazine for what passed as one of the Pac Man versions on the Sinclair ZX81.

Simple games have appeal (1)

Warbringer87 (969664) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296165)

Sure, there are people who want to manage theyr'e massive empire in Civ 4, but for a lot of people with little time, sometimes a mindless game of Pac-Man, Tetris, Space Invaders, etc, is just perfect. Makes you wonder where game like GTA and Halo will be 20 something years from now.

Re:Simple games have appeal (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296451)

Agreed. I don't think that nostalgia is a primary factor in this. Rather, it's the quality of the games. For example, Geometry Wars, while a throwback to old games, is a relatively recent creation. So, its popularity (I'm a new convert, having just bought a 360 this weekend) is due to the fact that it's fun.

Re:Simple games have appeal (1)

Warbringer87 (969664) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296645)

Yup, it doesn't really matter how shiny a game is, down the line, fun is all that matters. Thats why we will always and forever see mario games (platformers, im not talking about strikers, tennis, etc). Mario, the old game, was really fun. And they've more or less fun since. (sonic, on the other hand, keeps getting worse). Guitar Hero is an amazing success, it focuses primarily on fun factor, shiny graphics are not important to the fun of the game, not really.

Re:Simple games have appeal (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296817)

I don't disagree with your point, but GTA is a poor example. Half the delight of it is being able to ignore the scripting missions and just jump in a car and go screaming through the city, narrowing missing cars, terrorizing pedestrians and then having to fractically keep ahead of the cops as they try to crack down on your little spree...

Re:Simple games have appeal (1)

Warbringer87 (969664) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297581)

true, thats one reason I ever really game a damn about played Driver. But the full extent of the gae isn't unlocked right off the bat. a poor example, I agree.

movies of old games helps (1)

N-Wing (30722) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296237)

Having old games made into movies helps. :)

I just saw a machinima short for Pac-Man and Space Invaders from LoadingReadyRun [loadingreadyrun.com]. Go to the page http://www.loadingreadyrun.com/vid.php?cat=MT [loadingreadyrun.com] and look for "Pachinima" to download a humorous 12 MB movie [loadingreadyrun.com].

(And, to be on topic... yay emulators.)

yeah, it's new again (1, Interesting)

hamburger lady (218108) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296245)

people want to connect with the games of their youth.

there's a bar in williamsburg brooklyn, barcade. full of old-ass consoles. place is always packed, and not because of the ubiquitous williamsburg indie rock jerkoff either. 30-somethings dump tons of quarters into those badboys. two reasons:

1) they still cost a quarter
2) they've got Robotron 2084 for hell's sake. robotron 2084!!. and time pilot.

Re:yeah, it's new again (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298475)

Just FYI, Robotron 2084 and Time Pilot are both on Xbox Live Arcade. Not as good as playing it in a bar with a beer in your hand and a bunch of enthusiastic people nearby cheering you on, but a lot cheaper.

Re:yeah, it's new again (1)

kpharmer (452893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16301293)

> people want to connect with the games of their youth.

how about a few other reasons, like:
    - these games are quick to pick up - you don't have to blow eight hours to just learn the game
    - many of them lived & died on gameplay - which many newer, more media-rich games blow

> 2) they've got Robotron 2084 for hell's sake. robotron 2084!!. and time pilot.

Man, i loved both of those games. Especially Robotron. What a great workout - I could hit three million in that game over the period of thirty minutes - by which time I got killed due to numb fingers. I'd love to play that more but I'd really want the good controls.

Re:yeah, it's new again (1)

OrangeTrafficCone (535434) | more than 7 years ago | (#16307065)

If you can get past the fact that it's run by The Mouse... DisneyQuest has floors filled with the classic arcade games... hell, some that I, as a nearly-40-year-old, hadn't seen before, like Spacewar [wikipedia.org] (as implemented from Slug Russell's designs back in the 1960's at MIT.

In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16296255)

They discuss the new business models associated with the retro business

In other words, how to profit off of work someone else did decades ago, while continuing to lock away a society's culture.

Simple Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16296271)

Of course they were the best. Make anything simple enough and even the designers can tell if it's bad.

Old time games for casual gamers (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296331)

I just downloaded Pac-Man for my iPod [apple.com], and I've already played it around 20 times. It's great for a quick pick-up game, especially since I can save and quit. If I want to do a few minutes without having to think about where I left off, it's perfect! Now if only I could get Golden Axe for my iPod, I'd be all set!

Re:Old time games for casual gamers (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297121)

Didn't Golden Axe require buttons? How is that going to be managed?

Dragons Lair, I'd like to see that for the iPod.

Mona Lisa's Smile (4, Insightful)

Fullhazard (985772) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296521)

Pacman is popular for exactly the same reason that countless people pay money to see the Mona Lisa.
Firstly, it's simplistic, and not filled with greater meaning. Secondly, it's popular/famous, and present in 'popular culture'. If you asked somebody who wasn't into games/art about Gradius/Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosch, they'd greet you with a blank stare, but mention EVERYONE knows Pacman/Mona Lisa to one extent or another. Thirdly, it's deeply layered. Despite simplistic gameplay/subject matter, there is a rich possibility under the surface.
Okay, i'm now officially a giant nerd.

Re:Mona Lisa's Smile (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298439)

Hmmm, gotta disagree with you their. First, Mona Lisa was full of "greater meaning", just like damned-near every painting created during that period, and Leonardo was as guilty of it as anyone. Second, how exactly it Pacman deeply layered? I can't see any depth to it, and I was under the very strong impression that was why so many people liked it. Not to put too fine a point on it, your third statement almost directly contradicts your first, and they're both fairly far off the mark anyway.

Re:Mona Lisa's Smile (1)

bradkittenbrink (608877) | more than 7 years ago | (#16299445)

hehe, I just pictured this image of some server admin at google sitting there scratching his head and wondering what the hell could cause such a huge surge in queries for "Garden of Earthly Delights".

Well.... Back in my day...... (2, Insightful)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296683)

....things were the same as I suppose they are today. You young whippersnappers!!!!

However, back then, they promoted game play, not eye candy. I don't care how low my ride is or how much it's been tricked out on my "underground" racing game. If I race my NFS car around a track, I can bang it up for a while and come out unscathed. I just make it to the finish line faster by bouncing off the other cars.

However, in Pole Position, you needed more skill. You blew up when you hit another car or road sign. You had to be careful around the turns or you didn't place in position for the next race. Let's see how many young NFS players even qualify in Pole Position.

The other thing about retro gaming is that the older gameplay works well on a handheld platform. You may not always have your DS or PSP with you, but you do have your mobile phone.....

I want a spinner on my next phone. I want to take Tempest with me wherever I go.

Re:Well.... Back in my day...... (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297479)

Ok, NFS2 Underground has no crashes. Neither does PGR. So go play Burnout (I recommend Burnout 3, as Burnout 4 is actually not as good). It's pretty, and you crash. The physics are something akin to matchbox cars, but so it is with almost any driving game. Only problem is, it's too easy, so you'll want to do multiplayer.

Yes, some games are great and timeless, and I too bemoan the lack of originality in most games, but I think it goes in cycles. I'm not about to join the cane-wagglers pissing and moaning about the Good Old Days. I'm old enough to have seen the entire arc of video gaming so far, but I'm young enough to actually remember most of it. Go back and play some of these games, and when you can't recapture that same moment, you'll realize that a great deal of the fun of the game was your subjective experience at the time -- there's really not much to these games that isn't in current games as well. It's not like they were all great either: for every Centipede, there was a Track & Field.

Re:Well.... Back in my day...... (1)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 7 years ago | (#16303225)

So go play Burnout (I recommend Burnout 3, as Burnout 4 is actually not as good)

Oh, I love Burnout 3 (didn't know there was a 4 out). I didn't mention it in my previous post because it's in a class by itself right now. Most other race games, even Gran Turismo, lack final realism. That's the part where you suffer for your actions and banging your car all up is detrimental to game advancement. Then again, I enjoy true realism in my games. That's also why I turn off all assists on my Flight Simulator games.

Re:Well.... Back in my day...... (1)

Dorceon (928997) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297693)

ou may not always have your DS or PSP with you, but you do have your mobile phone.
Speak for yourself. Some of us choose not to pay the T-Mobile tax, and my DS is a better alarm clock anyways.

Re:Well.... Back in my day...... (1)

El_Isma (979791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16299935)

However, back then, they promoted game play, not eye candy.

Well... Maybe because there's not much eye candy you can fit into 16 colors...

Back then, there was no processing power available for eye candy.

Emulators (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296855)

I"m betting a lot of people buying/downloading these are the same people who where on the front with the emulators to play Mario and Megaman again.

As A note: I'm guilty of downloading MegaMan to my cell phone... I'm weak

Pac-Man and Galaga (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16296891)

And yet TV shows often use the same sound effects for the background noises of an arcade, and it's usually always either Galaga (even if there's no Galaga game present) or/and Atari 2600 Pac-Man(!), even if they're actually playing at a LAN party a fictional MMOFPS First Degree Murder: San Fernando Valley as the latest "ripped from the headlines" scare tactic over video games.

Re:Pac-Man and Galaga (1)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 7 years ago | (#16300247)

God, those craptastic sound effects from the Atari 2600 Pac-Man are so annoying and pop up entirely too often. POKEY, we hardly knew ye.

Lazy Geeks? (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297165)

You can play ancient games on hundreds of different emulators, yet because you're too lazy to hook your computer to your TV means you'll pay M$ a few bucks just so you won't have to put down your 360 controller? Isn't that just a little bit sad? This is slashdot! You're supposed to have everything networked to everything else in your homes and have it all accessible from anywhere outside of your homes as well! What kind of geeks are you?! :)

a true geek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16298335)

would have the eprom boards for the games. hooked ip in a cocktail cabnit

Re:a true geek (1)

erikdotla (609033) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298945)

Agree with parent, should have your compy hooked to your TV.

If your living room doesn't resemble this, you don't belong here:

http://knepfler.com/compy [knepfler.com]

Re:a true geek (1)

tomservo84 (990233) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306251)

Wait...if you're true arcade geek, you'd build your own arcade cabinet for all your MAME needs.

I did. :)

Sundog: Frozen Legacy (1)

nebulous_afterthough (943262) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297619)

I wasted hours and hours playing that game. Never finished it though. My Apple II floppy version was corrupted and I had to send it in for replacement. Of course, the new one didn't include my saved games so I was back to square one. Lost interest at that point... From there I went back to playing Ultima II and III. The Ultima series really takes me back! Oh to be in Ambrosia again, bribing guards, visiting shrines, all at the bottom of a whirlpool. sigh

waka waka waka (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16301089)

why do they say waka waka waka? It doesn't even resemble the sound of pac man remotely... and when I hear waka waka waka I think elmo.... always annoyed me that people do that...

Upgrade? Yeah Right.... (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 7 years ago | (#16305135)

you play it for a few minutes and then you're like, okay, I'm kind of sorry I tried it again because I had better memories of it. The truth is the game still kicks butt; it just needs a little updating for the hi-def generation -- maybe tightening up the graphics, maybe adding a background.
I have an arcade cocktail Temptest machine in my basement, that I still play occasionally. It uses color vector graphics. Made in 1980, it is ~2048 x 4096. Let's see you do *that* on your hi-def screen sonny. In my day, we had real hi-def, up hill, both ways, and we liked it.
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