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.
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.