Does Retro Mean Anything in Gaming Anymore?

July 9, 2012

As many times as a TV show or comic book breaks our thinking about how time flows: that it may just be circular instead of linear, is exactly how I feel about gaming these days. What we used to consider out of date, flawed, boring, and old-school has simply become “in”. It’s not an “old Nintendo” anymore, it’s a NES. It’s no longer a Mario T-shirt left over from my childhood, it’s the cool one I got from Hot Topic, or some clever pun shirt from Woot! In any event, I think it’s time we seriously considered if all of these interest groups tied to this concept of ‘retro gaming’, really still serve their original purpose.

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Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri Now on Good Old Games!

June 10, 2011

Everyone’s favorite sci-fi variation on Sid Meier’s classic Civilization formula is finally available as a digital download on the online store Good Old Games.  Manage the first human colonies on an alien planet!  Defend your colony from hostile monsters!  Battle economically, politically and militarily against rival colonies!  Customize all of your units at an unparalleled level of detail!  Design your own civilization from the ground up in an extraterrestrial setting!

Do you need to hear more reasons why this is one of the finest 4X turn-based games ever built?  Go check out a true PC classic from 1999!


Kevin’s Let’s Play Korner #1 – Dune 2000

May 24, 2011

Hi folks!  I’m Kevin, and I make Let’s Play videos.  These are first-person recordings of gameplay with live commentary.  I guess a lot of people like them?  I know I do!

This will be a new, regular column with my Let’s Plays of older games, as befitting the theme of our site.  To start things off, we have Dune 2000, the sequel/remake to a game I have previously reviewed, Dune 2.  Dune 2000 was released by Westwood Games for PC and Playstation in 1998 and served as an updated remake of the classic that defined the RTS genre.  I’ll fill you in on the differences, the improvements, and the continued interface frustrations as I battle it out on the dusty sands of Arrakis in this old-school 2D RTS.

Episode 1

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Star Trek: The Kobayashi Alternative

May 16, 2011

Every Star Trek fan has wished for the real Trek game.  The open-ended captain-simulation that lets you explore the galaxy, manage your ship and crew, and make meaningful choices that don’t always involve combat.  The closest we’ve recently gotten has been Bridge Commander, and arguably Star Trek Online, but any fan will tell you these games weren’t quite what we all want out of the ideal Trek game.  “When will they learn how to make a truly perfect Trek game?!” We cry out.

But guess what?  They’ve already made it – in 1985.

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GOG.com is not dead – Fans not quite sure how to feel.

September 22, 2010

After a long weekend of wondering what the hell happened, fans and stakeholders of classic PC game retailer GOG.com (short for “Good Old Games”) learned today that the site is in fact very much alive, and the supposed death of the site was in fact a ruse designed to generate buzz surrounding its “rebirth” out of beta after two years.  The sites developers, dressed in monks’ robes,  apologized during an online conference (and later in a taped statement on Youtube) for the deception and outlined some of the new features coming to the online store, including the re-release of Baldur’s Gate, a highly requested title prior to the site’s alleged demise.  The representatives also re-affirmed that the site is not going to require a separate download client (à la Steam) or add Digital Rights Management software to the released packages.

GOG.com's logo

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Ode to an International Thief

August 31, 2010

Since “retro” is, in part, a product of nostalgia, I decided a good place to start when writing for a blog about retro gaming would be one of the earliest gaming experiences I can remember.  After all, like so many things, the first game you play can set the stage for future expectations and provides your early basis for what works and doesn’t work in a game.  For me, the choice was obvious about which game I should write.  And so, dear readers, what you are about to read is the story of the first game that caught my attention way back when.  It is the story of a hard-nosed detective hot on the trail of a supernaturally-gifted looter of world treasures.  Armed only with a bottomless frequent flier account and a trusty almanac, this bold investigator must track the aforementioned felon and her many henchmen across the globe in order to bring her to justice and prevent the world’s cultural heritage from disappearing forever.

That’s right.  What in the world could I be talking about besides Carmen Sandiego?

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How Far We’ve Come: Review – Dune II (DOS)

August 5, 2010

With the release of Starcraft II, it’s fun to look back at the origins of the Real-Time-Strategy genre and see just how far we’ve come.  And by “fun”, what I really mean is “not the least bit fun.”  Here’s a modern look back at one of the most awkward, clunky and slow RTSes ever made.  Probably because it was the first.

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