I recently popped on my N64 the other day, and played something OTHER than Super Smash Bros. A wave of nostalgia hit me so hard, it inspired me to write this post.
I just got to thinking about titles I really miss. Now, I’m not using this post to say “oh boo hoo there aren’t any good games anymore.” There are plenty. I’m only saying I miss these titles, and I feel some of the genres featured here have gone by the wayside in favor of what’s currently popular.
See if my picks ring any bells for you as well.
Due to a household ban that left me without a video game console until my teens, Starfox 64 was the first game I ever owned, and it’s also one of my favorites.
For the life of me, I will never understand why this game was never given a proper sequel. Nintendo brought all of its franchises into the modern era, Mario, Metroid, Zelda, but not Starfox. Why? It had a cast of memorable characters, was a blast to play and there really wasn’t much else like it.
Why has this genre of space-shooters seem to have gone away. I also remember playing Rogue Squadron on Nintendo 64 which was equally as fun, but I’ll be damned if I can name a similar title in the current console generation. Starfox definitely needs a comeback.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Few games bring back better memories than Sonic. I still have every audio track embedded in my head, and the games were just perfect back in the days when Genesis was king.
But what happened? How could a franchise get this horribly mangled? It seemed like Sega had a Mario competitor on their hands, but as those titles evolved, Sonic, against his nature, stood still. Flash forward to today where announcements of a new Sonic game elicits more groans than anything else. It’s sad to see such a storied franchise reduced to this.
In general, I don’t think they make games like this anymore. Kid-friendly platformers aren’t at all what they used to be, and Rachet and Clank and Jax and Daxter are in no way going to be memorable icons years from now. Have we lost our ability to create classics in this genre?
Your initial experience with first person shooters might have been Doom, Wolfenstein or Quake. Mine was Goldeneye, and I couldn’t imagine ever playing a cooler game.
I miss that sense of wonder that accompanied my entire first playthrough of this game, or the first time I went at it with my friends in multiplayer. Today there are more FPS games than any other type, and they’re all starting to blur together as everyone copies either the Halo or Call of Duty formulas (which are copies of older games themselves) in order to try and find the next big hit.
Online multiplayer has really affected the play experience as well. Your biggest competition used to be your big brother, but now it’s some 12 year old in Arkansas calling you a “faggot” as he teabags your corpse. So much for the age of innocence.
I know there’s a die-hard contingent of gamers who still play fighting games religiously, but in terms of being a mainstream genre, it’s star has faded a bit.
But I remember back when Mortal Kombat was the most shocked I’d ever been in my life. Naturally, I was playing it when I was way, way too young for it, but it was my first real exposure to video game violence.
Thankfully I didn’t grow up to be a serial killer or cannibal, but I did get desensitized to virtual violence like this pretty quickly. Now the series is trying to push the bounds using “X-Ray Moves” that I showcased yesterday, and it’s a lot lamer than the developers think it is.
Streets of Rage
Like the platformer, this is another genre that really took a hit when everything became 3D. Side scrolling beat-em-ups used to be a staple of every old console, and Streets of Rage was among my favorites. It was the perfect co-op game, something else that’s all but gone out the window these days, and required actual teamwork to beat.
There really aren’t games like this anymore. The closest I can think of something like it would be Marvel Ultimate alliance, but it’s a far cry from the fun these titles used to be.
I would love for a studio to update this franchise correctly and have me walking around city streets, picking up random weapons and using them on enemies while I play with my friends. Seems simplistic now, but it’s a genre that doesn’t need to die.
Which games do you miss the most?