Old Man Musings – The Games I Want to Play

Things are always changing. It’s important to know that’s not inherently a bad thing. It’s easy to give in to the pull of nostalgia and say that the old way is the best way and we should stick with that. I mean, let’s be honest, this category of posts is called “Old Man Musings.” That’s pretty damning evidence that I’m going to come down on the side of nostalgia. But there’s no inherent guarantee that older is actually better.

Games have changed a lot over the course of my being a gamer. We’re seeing two categories of games rocket off in terms of popularity/market saturation, and neither of them interest me. I don’t know if we need to go back to the way things were, but I would certainly enjoy if we remembered it as we create new games.

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RPG Musings – 90s RPGs

Okay, now it’s time for me to nostalgia, hard. This isn’t for a single game, though. It’s for an era that came and went. Riding high on the insane success of Final Fantasy 7, the world of RPGs became a powerful force in gaming. So, as any sane company would do, everyone started making RPGs. Sure, lots of people had been doing that already (I mean, it was the seventh Final Fantasy, after all, and they’re hardly the only RPG series that had been running from before the PlayStation), but FF7 brought RPGs to global attention. For a little while, it was a very different gaming scene. A better one? Eh, I’ll just hammer out a bunch of rose-tinted text and let you decide for yourself (spoilers: it was better).

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Old Man Musings – The Olden Days of Couch Coop

I recently sat down and played Dynamite Cop with a friend. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about (which is very understandable), Dynamite Cop was a Sega Dreamcast title made in the same vein as the Die Hard Arcade game. Basically, it’s mindlessly fun 3d brawler gameplay with silly little quick time events between brawls. Honestly, it’s not a very good game, but it does have cooperative play, and that makes all the difference in the world.

I may be old now, but when the world and I were still young, there were all sorts of couch coop games out there. Things have changed quite a bit, but one thing hasn’t changed at all: even the most mediocre of titles becomes fantastic when you’re playing it with a friend. So find a spot on the couch, grab a controller, and we’ll play our way through memory lane.

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Old Man Musings – I Suck at Competition

I love competitive gaming. I enjoy watching fighting game tournaments way more than I’ve ever liked any sort of physical sport, and about as much as I like watching speed runs (which are somewhat competitive in their own right). If you’ve never seen this or this, then your are really missing out on one of the most fun aspects of gaming.

Unfortunately, there is one serious problem that I have when it comes to competitive games: I really and truly am terrible at them. There’s a lot to competitive gaming, from score attacking to fighting games to first person shooters (and don’t forget speed runs). How about we take a look at the cool stuff each one brings to the table even as I recount how I specifically suck at all of them?

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Old Man Musings – Summer of Square

I’m sure it’s pretty apparent that I’m a giant Squaresoft fan.┬áHaving gotten really into gaming between 1997 and 2000, it’s pretty darn easy to be fond of the titles that Squaresoft put out. They formed a huge part of the Playstation library, and certainly over half of what I own on PSX discs are games that they put out. RPGs are my favourite genre of games, and during those years, Squaresoft seemed like they could do no wrong.

Obviously that couldn’t last forever (As the Play Online insert for FF9 reminded me (and Play Online itself was quite the disaster), Final Fantasy Spirits Within was just around the corner), but while it lasted, it was incredible. For me, the Squaresoft of those years was a massive inspiration, and their games forever impacted my tastes and interests. Lets go on a journey through that golden summer.

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Old Man Musings – Mapping the Lost Woods

Once upon a time, I was a young lad instead of an old man. I know, it’s hard to imagine, but bear with me. There are quite a few memories of video games from that time that shape the way I think about games to this day. I think the biggest one was probably my first time playing The Legend of Zelda.

This isn’t some tale of an amazing triumph over a puzzle. Or a story about some difficult boss fight that I managed to scrape by. This is the time that I got completely and utterly lost in the Lost Woods.

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Old Man Musings – Backwards Compatibility

Of all the aspects of video game consoles, I feel as though backwards compatibility is the most arbitrary and neglected. From the beginnings of home consoles (well, at least post-1983 crash), there’s always been a push for things to be better – more bits, more colors, faster processing, more dimensions, more polygons, etc., etc.. Well, at least that goes for every other feature.

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Old Man Musings – I Miss Strategy Guides

I know that a lot of people are of the mindset that games should be completed without any help – that the experience is intended to be between the self and the game. Personally, I’ve never really bought into that, and I actually miss strategy guides as they once were (yes, I realize that some strategy guides are still coming out, but with the nature of the internet being what it is, things have certainly changed). In a recent post I talked about coming back to gaming after a long hiatus. In line with that, I’m going to walk down memory lane and just kind of ramble about the good old days.

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