Eye Candy Retro Style

I have a huge catalog of Original PlayStation (PSX) and PlayStation 2 (PS2) games just sitting around in my entertainment center, various bookshelves, boxes and bins. I know; this sort of sucks as a waste of perfectly good (and not so good) games. I have written before that at one point in time I was pretty much addicted to videogames – buying the game, holding it, owning it, preordering it, playing it for a few minutes. Getting a new game was akin to crack.

Over the years I have broken this habit; sort of. The addiction is partly what drove me from reviewing games, and not getting new material every week also contributes to not having anything new to say, but I digress. Writing about the latest, greatest videogame releases became more of a core than a welcome distraction.

At any rate, I do a much better job of selling some games if I figure I just do not enjoy them or will never get around to completing the game. I try to time selling sports games on eBay so I can get $25-30 in preparations for the next release. At other times, I have a hard time letting go. Seeing the Gran Turismo 4 (GT4) game case, knowing that the disc is destroyed (see previous blog entry – “Life without a PS3?”), I think about tracking down a replacement copy. I know that I will never finish it; the only GT series game that I have completed 100% is the first release for the PSX. Still, to me, GT4 is the best release in the series, even if the graphics do not compare to the PlayStation 3 (PS3) eye candy in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, which finally brings me to the point of this column.

I was poking around looking for some information on older PSX games; need to make some decisions on which games to sell and which ones to keep a while longer. I came across this article about upcoming PSOne (I still like PSX) games for the PlayStation Store.

Medal of Honor
Spyro: Year of the Dragon
Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!
Street Fighter Alpha 2
Street Fighter Alpha 3
Wipeout XL

I still have Wipeout XL (and the original Wipeout). Fun games that I never really got into, but never sold because I know they are “classics” that I will eventually came back to one of these days. I never got into the Spyro games; I am sure I purchased them, but that is a different story. I own Medal of Honor, but never got around to playing it. Several times I thought about selling it, but I always thought I should hang onto it for a while longer. I use to play the heck out of the Street Fighter Alpha series, but was never very good. I think I still own one of these games, but will have to look to see. I do still have the Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter game, which I have held onto just because. Seriously, no real reason other than the Marvel characters in the Street Fighter engine was pretty cool.

The only problem with these older games, that I may or may not get around to playing one day, is that the graphics really do suck on my HDTV. Funny; I have become a graphics whore. Every time I attempt to cull my collection, I think about which games were fun (at the time of the PSX) and which ones have gameplay that would hold up well today. This pretty much rules out sports games, but you cannot get more than fifty cents for many of the older games, unless they have some collectable value (i.e. Tecmo Super Bowl). I would actually play some of these games if I could get my PS3 and PSP to do a decent job with Remote Play. Maybe one day.

I have been having a good time with my two oldest sons playing Midway Arcade Treasures 3; mainly Rush 2049 and Hydro Thunder. Back in the day this collection averaged a metacritic score of 67.

It goes without saying that the graphics are certainly better than any of the PSX offerings, but nowhere near the level of PS3 arcade racers. In this case, it all comes down to gameplay and that all important fun factor quality. It is fun “re-discovering” some of these older titles with my boys. They could care less about the graphics (they are use to the Wii and their Nintendo DS); I think they are actually OK with enjoying a game for the pure pleasure of playing something new.

So maybe there is still some life in that old collection of mine, and along the way maybe I can educate my kids in the finer arts of PlayStation and arcade style gaming classics. If my kids learn to value fun factor and gameplay over eye candy, I win.


2 thoughts on “Eye Candy Retro Style”

  1. The success of the Wii has elevated casual games.

    So Xbox 360 and PS3 both are putting out arcade or shorter games, at $20 or less.

    Then there is the iPhone which along with iPod Touch has sold about 40 million units in less than 2 years. Games, most of them under $10 or even free, are the biggest downloads and some think it poses a threat to other handhelds.

    This generation seems to exalt gameplay over graphics, although the gameplay mechanics of the Wii and the iPhone touch screen are dubious.

  2. wco81 – Nice to see a few old regulars still checking thing out every once in a while. Not sure what to make of your “this generation” comment – I think it is more of instant gratification and the “coolness” factor of the iPod Touch vs. any overarching desire for better gameplay. Then again I am a bastard that way … :)

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