Tag Archives: old games

My week off work

Can anyone tell me what good use of a week off work is? Or at least what is considered a good, well-spent week off work? Because it would appear I don’t know. I decided it would be a good idea to visit my ladychum in Manchester and desecrate her flat for the week: good idea. That’s where they end.

In this week where I could be productive, fun, catch up on sleep and generally sort myself out a bit I have done nothing of the above. I’m surprised I even managed to arrive in Manchester without falling into a coma or something.

Instead of doing things I should be doing, exercising my brain or anything of the sort, I have spent the last couple of days – for example – finding old games to install on my netbook. I have also spent a lot of this time locating newer games that can successfully be tweaked enough to run on the very same netbook. Have I even played any of these games yet? Oh god no. You have to remember it’s the chase that’s the exciting part. After that it just gets boring. It’s the sitting, trawling through reams of half-literate nonsense all over the interspaz that gets me excited about the possibilities of these things. Then you finally load up a functioning version of Daggerfall and realise it’s slow, clunky and resoundingly old. Not at all like you remember it.

I haven’t been fun, though this is pretty much par for the course when it comes to post-2006-Leeds Ian, which was pretty much the cut-off point for me bothering to go out very much anymore. So surely with a lack of pubbing and drinking I have managed to catch up with some sleep? No. Awake at about half nine every morning, up at about half ten after staring at the walls for an hour. In a week where I have had no responsibilities whatsoever I have failed to even do the thing that is most important to me: to sleep.

Many would consider this a wasted week, but then many insist on doing things like going outside, talking to people and whatever else they feel is “normal”, whatever that is. I actually consider it a good week off.

Anyway, I have to go see if Oldblivion makes Oblivion playable on this tiny thing.

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Past prattle… pattle

Well how the hell am I supposed to follow up yesterday’s masterclass in blogging style? Well, for one by not being so drunk it takes me half an hour to write 200 words. And for two, some classic Dransfield Photoshop skills. You all love it so dearly. WARNING: This entry is about games, so if you don’t care about them then piss off somewhere else.

Anywho, today saw the purchase of some monies for my PlayStation Network account – the shop for games, add-ons etc on the PS3, for those who don’t know and surely care a great deal. After purchasing the new Vandal Hearts, because it’s the new Vandal Hearts*, a few other things popped into the basket – all PSOne ‘classics’, and all things I’m surely going to play for about half an hour before discarding them for another 10 years. What the hell is it with nostalgia? Why is it such a powerful beast? And why does it inevitably turn out to be a waste of time? And money? QUESTIONS?

“But old games is grate!” I hear you spew like a moron, as you are a moron. They’re not. It’s not the games you love, it’s the notion of the past; the thought that these are from a better time when things were more innocent, and you didn’t live in a house WHERE PEOPLE KEEP ON SLAMMING THE DOORS LIKE THEY’RE ACTUALLY DARING YOU TO GO DOWN THERE AND STAB THEM IN THEIR IDIOTIC, BOURNEMOUTHIAN FACES.

Ahem.

I remember trawling the Home of the Underdogs til the early hours on a regular basis (yes, I am SUPER COOL). It was a wonderful place where you could find all manner of old games to download and piss about with (not now, mind, as it died a death years ago – it is slowly being rebuilt, however). The thing is, I have much fonder memories of just reading through the site, of finding these hidden/forgotten gems, than of actually getting to play them. Let’s be honest here – most old games are a bit shit. Ignoring how hard they are (were, actually, thanks to DOSBox) to get working, they were often badly designed with a poor interface, they were unable to give you even the slightest clue as to what you’re supposed to be doing and they were invariably incredibly hard.

It was the chase – the hunt – that was such an exciting part for the younger, exactly as nerdy as now me. It’s the same today with modern retro releases (what an odd turn of phrase), only now there’s no real chase any more. It’s all been monetised, we’re all herded in to the same places – Steam, Good Old Games, PSN, Xbox Live – to buy the same 20-year-old crap and it’s just become too easy. There’s no fun in it. So I’m just going to play Resident Evil 2, which I have just downloaded. It won’t be as satisfying as the time I managed to track down a working download of Daggerfall and used my 56k connection to get the bugger, but hey – nothing’s ever as good as it was in the past. Right?

In summation: Old games are great until you play them – except for Syndicate, AvP and UFO: Enemy Unknown. Those three will remain ridiculously stunning until the day I die, and none of you can come up with a counter-argument to this that I’ll actually listen to.

*This is a new version of another classic game. One I can probably put on the list with Syndicate, UFO and AvP, actually. TEMPTING. But no.

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