One of the few posts I will ever cross-post to both this and my blog...

I downloaded an emulator for the old Apple IIe (the computer I had when I was like 8), and found a bunch of the old games I played growing up -- Pool of Radiance, MicroLeague Baseball, Might and Magic II...shit like that. And, I have to say, that these games, despite the ghetto graphics and all the rest of the limitations inherent in coming out in the late 80s, these games had a certain fun factor that a lot of games today lack.

Some of this may just be nostalgia. Some of it may be that I don't get a chance to play many games for systems more recent than the Dreamcast. But, the sense I did get from when I lived in houses that had these advanced systems is that games today try to hide behind fancy graphics, and all sorts of other neat bells and whistles.

However, facts are facts. The best hockey game by far ever made is NHL '95, which I rocked on the Genesis during high school. If the goalies had been a little tougher to score on, then its place would be well and truly cemented (it was way too easy to score on a deke or on a one-timer). Everything that has come out since just hasn't caught anywhere near the magic and the FEEL of hockey that '95 did.

Another example: The Final Fantasy series of games is a long and distinguished one, but for me, the list goes FF III, then a huge chasm down to FF II, then another huge chasm to whatever you want to put in third. Those two were on the Super Nintendo, and all the later ones have S-U-C-K-E-D. I can't even put my finger on why...but I HATED 7 and 8. I would go to the wall for 3 being the best-ever one.

And, while I'm on the subject, another general lament: Why oh why can't anyone make a fucking decent soccer video game? Nothing I've ever played has even come close to capturing the feel of a real soccer match. Note to game developers: 1) It should be more difficult to score (on easy), and not as ridiculously hard (on medium or hard), 2) It's common in the sport of soccer for fouls to be called on BOTH teams (not just the one controlled by the first player...only Manchester United playing at Old Trafford gets away with what the computer always does), 3) I watch a LOT of soccer games, and I have never (not ONCE) seen someone score from a header outside the penalty area. FIFA 2000, I'm looking at YOU, 4) Someone is going to have to make a game where it doesn't feel like a version of pinball played between two sets of guys in different colors. That's the biggest problem.


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