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video game revolution (with hall of fame voting enabled)

Watching those wretched Video Game Awards last night - and breaking out in hives as they named Madden 2003 Game of the Year - kept me awake most of the night thinking about gaming. Yes, I actually lay there in bed, tossing, turning and cursing the video game industry.

Still harping on the subject today, I started a conversation with my fellow stunted-maturity victim Todd and we both came to the same conclusion. Old School beats New School when it comes to gaming.

Iíve had enough of 3D. Itís starting to bore me. Iím sick of first person shooters. I hate video games that spend too much time presenting themselves as slick CGI movies. Iím tired of the way they dick you around when you are buying a system, making you purchase your second controller extra or buying bundles with games you have no interest in playing or, in the case of the Game Boy Advance, having to purchase a light so you can play the damn thing without going blind. Most of all, I hate that the industry has become nothing but a relationship between whores and pimps.To wit: Two whores for the price of one today: IGN and GameSpy are merging. That means one less place you can go to for biased reviews of games, paid for by advertising from the companies who make the games that are being reviewed. Pity.

I am going to start a revolution, even if itís a revolution of one. I am going to drag my Super NES and my Sega Genesis out of the closet. Hell, Iíll even break out the Atari. Iím forsaking 3D rendered worlds for the flat world of Mario and Luigi. Iím kicking out all the half-dressed babes and macho men for the simple world of Pole Position. I want controllers that donít have as many buttons as the space shuttle. I want cheat codes that consist of U-D-R-D. I want cartridges that take a beating and keep on ticking. Come on, how cool was it to be able to attach Sonic & Knuckles to Sonic 3? I want simple midi music and cheesy looking characters. I want Pitfall Harry and poorly rendered spaceships. I want to waste hours upon hours playing Dr. Robotnikís Mean Bean Machine or Castlevania. And I donít want your new-fangled 3D super spectacular improved and anatomically correct Mario or Zelda. I want a scrolling flat screen, a simple controller. I may even search the attic for my C64 and Vic 20 and rescue Leisure Suit Larry from oblivion.

Join my revolution. Tell John Madden and his over hyped games to take a hike. Bring back the Tecmo Super Bowl!

So what am I going to do about this but have a revolution from my living room? Iím going to make my own awards. Simple, easy and no David Spade or Missy Elliot to distract you from the real issue at hand. The award will be called the Old School Video Game Hall of Fame Recognition (for lack of something more creative at the moment).

Make your nominations below. Nominate as many as you want. The only rule is, the game has to be for older platforms, meaning Sega Genesis, NES, N64, Atari, C64 or, basically, anything before the Playstation came out.

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Comments

For really old school, I nominate Suspended for the Commodore 64. Possibly the best text-based adventure game ever.

Newer than that, nothing can beat Zelda: A Link to the Past for the Super Nintendo.

Extremely old school: any good game from Intellivision. I still have mine, by the way, although the last time I tried to hook it up it was starting to act a bit funkier than usual.

To be more specific: Snafu, Night Stalker, Armor Battle, Lock 'N' Chase, Triple Action--ah hell, that's probably enough, seeing as how it wasn't exactly a popular system for very long, if ever.

Contra!
(Long live 8 bits of "graphically challenged" NES goodness!)

Downhill Skiing by Intellivision (Circa 1982)

The original Castle Wolfenstein for the Apple II (Oh how I miss the days of the 5 1/4 floppy operating system)

For the games you actually put a quarter into, nothing will ever beat Joust.

And for the computer...Well...

Long live Joust. Yay, flying ostriches!

w00t! Double-post with Matt, a fellow Joust fan!
highfives

Ravenwolf: Great minds, etc.

I forgot Wall Street Kid by Nintendo.

Can't go wrong with Mike Tyson's Punch Out, if for not other reason but for the fat guy on the bike with Little Joe running behind cut-scenes.

Ninja Gaiden.

Atari: Vanguard.

Ooh, ooh! Paperboy!

Anyone else remember Gauntlet?

the only game i got to play on my friends Sega Genesis was a D&D game called "Valley of the Dark Sun", and i'm nominating it, because i stayed up for 56 hours straight playing it, once.

For old 'puter games, "Scorched Earth" gets my vote everytime.

Can't have this discussion without mentioning these 2:

Q-Bert, the little fuzzy dude jumping around on the pyramid, and, the game of wiggly hot-dogs, Burgertime!

Since it can be for anything before Playstation---I would humbly submit Pong for your consideration. Not for its technical prowess, but more for its lack thereof.

God, the memories.

When I was growing up, we had an elderly bachelor gentleman living next door to us. He lived with his sister, who took care of him, and he worked for a food distributor---every Sunday he would come over with a treat for us kids. I asked my mom why did Uncle Paul always bring over food? We weren't poor, were we? She laughed and said, no, we weren't poor. But that Uncle Paul recognized the sacrifice my folks had taken up by having eight children, respected it, and wanted to provide us with little extras, like all the frozen pies you could eat, because of it. Besides, my mom said, he liked treating us---it made him feel good.

So good, in fact, for Hannukah one year, (We celebrated Christmas)on the eighth day he brought over this huge box and watched while we opened it up---and low and behold, there was our Pong box.

It was so simple, so cool, and so much frigging fun. I loved how you had to manipulate the buttons on the back of the TV to make it work; how vivid and real the colors were---it was a blue background for hockey and a green background for tennis and what was even better was that by simply flipping the switch, you could go from hockey to tennis and still be playing the same game. I loved how you could play by yourself, and by some wierd twist of fate, if you weren't watching what you were doing, you could beat yourself. Oh, and that hollow sound when the ball richocheted! It seemed so new fangled and so cool, that it was strikingly incongrous that this elderly neighbor had given us this gift.

But damn, did he ever enjoy playing it. He'd come over and have hockey death matches with my brother and my brother could never beat him. I was at that stage where anyone who beat my brother at anything was definitely a friend of mine.

No other game system has ever compared to Pong. They all seemed lame after that. We had an Atari: I liked playing space invaders, centipede. I spent so much money playing Pac-Man up at the 7-eleven, but nothing compare to Pong. The blush was off the rose and I haven't bothered since. Nothing's managed to capture my imagination. I've never played any type of Nintendo or Sega or have even touched a Gameboy. What's the point?

Not exactly what you were looking for, eh? :) Sorry for the trip down memory lane.

Is there really any other? Once you pop, you can't stop!

Ok, two more and I'll shut up.

Rastan - It only cost 100 quarters to get to the point of being able to finish with one quarter.

Drag Race - It was the summer of '79.

F-15 Strike Eagle for the Commodore 64.
Time Pilot, Donkey King and Ladybug for ColecoVision.
Asteroids for Atari.
And Duck Hunt on NES. How I loved killing all those damn ducks.

Super Mario Kart - just too much fun, great college dorm game.

Super Techmo Bowl - greatest football game ever with the greatest video game athlete ever, Bo Jackson.

Sorta off-topic, but......

A Short History Of Video Games

Pong - Player controls a rectangular block of pixels along the y-axis. Computer controls a separate rectangular block of pixels in the x-y plane. The algorithm by which the computer "moves" those pixels is fairly easily internalized by the player, who then adjusts his/her actions so that the location of the player's pixels matches the location of the computer's pixels as often as possible. Points are earned when the player's pixels occupy the same location as the computer's.

Space Invaders - Player controls a roughly triangular block of pixels along the y-axis, with an addition ability to move a single pixel along the positive y-axis, originating from the triangular block. Computer controls several irregularly shaped blocks of pixels in the x-y plane. The algorithm by which the computer "moves" those pixels is fairly easily internalized by the player, who then adjusts his/her actions so that the location of the player's y-moving pixel matches the location of the computer's pixels as often as possible, while avoiding the computer's y-moving pixels. Points are earned when the player's y-axis pixel occupies the same location as the computer's.

John Madden 2003 - Player controls a highly stylized block of pixels with various amounts of shading, coloring, and other graphics elements. Motion is still in the x-y plane, but graphics simulate motion along the z-axis as well. Computer controls a similar set of pixels. The algorithm by which the computer "moves" those pixels is easily understood, though somewhat unpredictable by the player, who adjusts his/her actions so that the location of the player's pixels matches the location of some of the computer's pixels while avoiding others. Points are earned when the player's pixels occupy the same location as some of the computer's, while avoiding intersection with others. The "opposing" pixels may be controlled by another player.

Doom 3 - (See John Madden 2003)

Despite the complexity of the controllers, the graphic elements, the "story lines", and all the other clap-trap available in modern video games, the concept has never changed since Pong. The player uses a controller to make one set of pixels either avoid or intersect with a set of pixels controlled by the computer. Has all the clap-trap made video games more fun? I say no. I have yet to see any game where more authenticity in terrain adds even one iota of enjoyment.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/view.php3

Here's a link to Penny Arcade's comment on the merger...

As for my nomination, Bionic Commando! C'mon, y'know you love it!

Super Mario Brothers.... the original still rules.

The Legend Of Zelda has already been mentioned.. I can't remember if it was A Link To The Past or what, but the one where you had to find the enterances to all seven of the "hidden" mazes, then you get a heart for beating the bossman... great game.

Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball for the SNES was the best sports game, too.

I lost my mind a couple of months ago and sold off both my NES and SNES and all the games. I hadn't played them in so long and they acted so funky when I played them that I figured it was time to trade up. I bought a few Playstation (PS One...) games with the credit.

I agree 100% on the "Videogamemovies" that are out now... the new sports games don't even look like games anymore, they look like you're watching a telecast. Very distracting. Too many buttons, too.

Oh and for Atari, Seaquest, Chopper Command and the Empire Strikes Back.

Earthbound for the SNES
X-Men the Arcade Game - two screens, six controls, it was fantastic.
All the NES/SNES/original Gameboy Zelda games.
Metroid & Super Metroid

One word.

Combat.

Two words.

Tank pong.

The only game I still play is Road Rash for the Genesis.

Spent plenty of hrs on Pitfall and Space Invaders on the 2600.

Best coin-op of all time is Out Run

Space Invaders and the original Pac Man, two great games. For the C64; Paradroid. I read the articles in ZZap64 every month as the programmer explained how he shifted memory around and created the sprites. Now, we just tell the users to go buy more.

The article is here

Bard's Tale. Christ, I feel like I'm going to get stuffed into a high school gym locker just for saying that. I'm so lame.

Atari: Robot Tank
coin-op: Frogger

I loved going to my friends house in high school and playing Ultima IV on his Commodore 128 (128!!!)

He also had a great pirate type game...sailing around the Carribean, sacking towns and villiages and the like. I forgot the name of it though...many hours and Cokes playing those games.

PC: Virtually any Infocom text adventure. I appreciate that "Suspended" was nominated, but nothing beats the "Zork" trilogy (originally one whole game.)

Atari (and the like): Activision's "Pitfall".

Coin-Op: Pac-Land. Let me be clear on that: Pac-LAND. Not Pac-Man, or Pac-Attack, or Pac-Mania, or Pac-Nation, or Pac-Factory, or Pac-Alley, or Pac-Sburgh, or The-Wrong-Side-Of-The-Pacs. PAC-Fuggin-LAND, man!!!

Jason, I think that was Pirate Hunter. Great game.

DIGDUG. Pumping little creatures full of air until they blow up was sick as hell.

P.S. There is already an anatomically correct Mario...his name is Ron Jeremy.

Holy cow, people. I may be showing my youth here, but while I have a nostalgia for earlier games (Bionic Commando is the greatest game of all time), I love new video games. I love my copy of Madden 2003--hell, I'm in the process of creating my own great franchise, and me and 5 of my buddies are currently playing in the year 2009 in NCAA College Football 2004.

I love immersive games that are like movies. Max Payne rules. Return to Castle Wolfenstein rules. I like being able to jump into bullet time. I like seeing blood spatters on the backs of walls after I blast somebody with a shotgun.

And I love the multiplayer action you can get now, too. I love getting drunk and playing Mario Party or Monkey Ball. I love the sheer violent intensity of multiplayer James Bond games. And I'm very much looking forward to playing XIII for both its multiplayer and storyline aspects.

Sorry guys, but video games are fucking cool.

For the C64, Pogo Joe utterly inane, Q-bert like game with hordes of board shapes and oddly alterable settings.

And Berzerk for the Atari, and Adventure and Pitfall

Mmm...Intellivision Baseball. Or even better, Atari Home Run! The one with only one outfielder, so you could do home run after home run (come to think of it, this was one game with truth in advertising - it consisted of about as much baseball as a Sammy Sosa performance).

Hell, I wonder if I can hook one of those ancient Pong consoles up to a Sony TV?

Tron Deadly Discs for Intellivision kept me indoors quite a bit longer than it should have.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors was the most addictive SNES system ever.

Q-bert and Frogger, which were both Atari and coin-op. Remember how you had to hold the Atari controller crooked to get the moves for Q-bert? And Pitfall - loved the hopping across alligator heads!

Brass,

Combat? Damn straight.

Jason,

That would be Sid Meier's Pirates!, years bfore Sid was making us damn little Sims and SimCitys and Alpha Centauri (and my odd favorite, SimTower). Good lordy, this is a game I'd lvoe to find a ROM of for Macintosh...

Ghostbusters for the Atari 2600 has to be one of the best games I've ever played. I still break out my old Atari to play it...

Some of my favorite memories from middle and high school involved the original Electronic Arts games, played in their vastly-superior (best graphics of the day) Atari computer versions:

Archon (until you got good enough the computer started cheating. I once had the computer resurrect a basilisk on the FIRST play of the game. Put it front of the little "pawn"-like creatures, two, on the third row of the board.)

Seven Cities of Gold (man, was this one fun, especially with the random maps.)

I never had anyone to play it with, so I never bought M.U.L.E., so I have no idea if it was as good as everyone said.

I also had all the 2600 games, Pitfall being a favorite, but the computer games were a lot more cerebral.

Choplifter, of course.

The original Prince of Persia. I loved the pressure of a game that gives you infinte lives, but no saves and just one hour to make it through, with the clock ticking madenningly down as you play.

K.C. Munchkin, and Monkeyshines. (Odyssey ][ forever!)

Intellivision: B-17 Bomber!

C-64: Oh man, too many to mention. Alter Ego, Barbarian II, Impossible Mission, Infiltrator, Rad Warrior, Roadwar Europa 2000, Racind Destruction Set, Adventure Construction Set, Commando, Armageddon Man (with nukes!), Last Ninja 1 and 2, Chernobyl, Space Taxi (yeah! Space Taxi!) Attack of the Mutant Camels! And of course, M.U.L.E.

I had 'em all. (sob) Long live hardware sprites and the Fastload w/debugger cartridge! 1200 baud modems! Cracked game intros!

Ravenwolf, I totally forgot all about Gauntlet. I think I went through puberty playing that game. And, I don't mean I was going through puberty when I bought it, either. I mean, I started playing that addicting damn game before puberty, and by the time I finally laid the controller to rest, I had a full chest of hair and wanted to screw every woman in my class, even the bowsers.

Infocom's Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Collect the fluff--win the game!

Ooh, ooh. On the old Apple IIc computers: Conan The Barbarian.

C64: Red Baron, Sword of Fargoal, King's Quest, River Raid, Bruce Lee, and Commando were the ones I played until their 5 1/4" disks started smoking. If I had to pick just one: Bruce Lee, for the two-player mode and the fact I could actually finish it.

Oooh, man... Zork! The first, the one and only. The pre-personal computer game was on mainframes only at first. Play it today online on the internet at http://thcnet.net/error/index.php

On my old Atati 800 - Jumpman
Coin op - Popeye or Kangaroo - I could play till I got tired on one quarter.
2600 - Decathalon

Mmmm...Galaga!

The Dungeons & Dragons game... I can't remember if it was Atari or Intellivision. I still can remember those little stick figures wandering around under the mountain!

The first Space Quest game. There was a history of computer games on the G4 channel the other day, and I had forgotten how much fun that game was. "Let's blow this hot taco stand!"

I am posting without haven read the comments, so this may be a repeat. Here are my votes for the top games of the good ol' days.

Super Metroid - My all-time favorite.

Metroid
Contra
Legend of Zelda
Kid Icarus
Castlevania
Ninja Gaiden
Metal Gear

My favorite gaming system is the Super NES. I have owned the Atari 2600, NES, Sega Master System, and Genesis.

Pretty much every RPG for the SNES. Especially Final Fantasy II/IV, Final Fantasy III/VI, and ChronoTrigger.

"Gateway to Apshai" and "Zaxxon" - Colecovision

"Pirates!," "Pool of Radiance," and "Wasteland" - C64.

I remember one of the first games I ever really loved. Dragon Warrior. First RPG I ever played, and I absolutely loved it. I got it when it came with my subscription to Nintendo Power (This was back even before the SNES, and started me on my long road to RPG geekdom).

Also

Sonic the Hedgehog 1-S&K

Final Fantasy 2 & 3

Clash at Demonhead (very old sidescroller game for the NES that most of you have probably never heard of.)

I loved one of the Contra games, but I forget which one it was.

Also Tetris (The one video game my mother would play).

Coin Ops: Berzerk (well, duh!), Asteroids, Discs of Tron

Atari VCS: Space Invaders, Adventure, Warlords, E.T. the Extraterrestrial (OK, I'm lying)

Nintendo: Rock & Roll Racing, Legend of Zelda

Atari: Pitfall, Chopper Command, Space Invaders

Coleco: Mr. Do, Zaxxon, Turbo

C64: To Many to List, Pirates, Pool of Radience, Wasteland, Starflight, Paradroid, Legacy of the Ancients

NES: SMB

Genesis: NHL PA, Hezog Zwei(This game created a genre)

pitfall rules.

and i remembered being virtually unbeatable in the Atari tank game, too.

dude! does anybody remember the "Superman" game for the old Atari? that game was awesome!

I brought my Intellivision home from my Mom's a few weeks ago. I LOVED playing that thing. Unfortunately, I can't get the damn thing to work right with our TV and all the other game systems and entertainment stuff we've got hooked up! whine

This is one of thousands of people who probably feel the way you do, and have done something about it:

http://www.russprince.com/cabinet/

I can't knock Madden. I just love football games. As for the rest, there's not much there. I've played some of Mario Sunshine. It's ok, but not like Super Mario Bros. Medal of Honor is also pretty good. I just wish these new games weren't so dang complicated. I don't want to have to buy a book to figure out how to get through a level. I also want to be able to control my character without looking like I'm having seizures.

I guess I should nominate something since that's what Michele asked. I'll pick Contra. I want DARPA to invent a spread gun. Islamists, watch out!

1. Astrosmash -- I spent hours and hours and hours playing that game when I was little, and it still hasn't gotten old; I'd still like to hook the old Intellivision up and shoot a few asteroids.

3. SMB3 -- So many neat tricks to learn, so many cool suits and neat power-ups, etc. This has got to be my favorite NES game.

And yeah, I'll give a nod to LSL, the original one. I never did figure out how to get even close to beating it, but still, I had a lot of fun trying out different actions and picking up different items.