Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When I was your age, I played in a closet

Retro gaming, god I love it. Damman mentioned last night that with our respective bouts of retro fever, he picking up the new Street Fighter and myself opting for the Sega Genesis collection, we were both feeling like kids again. I mentioned I always feel like a child, then corrected myself and opted for the more appropriate “I always ACT like a child.” None the less, I enjoyed my walk down memory lane to the tune of $30 and figured we could have a chat about it.

Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection on the 360 has a tremendous 40 titles from what I could gather was 1988-1995. Filled with every Sonic game, Streets of Rage Game, Phantasy Star, and even Ecco 1 and 2, it’s a big piece of nostalgia. Plugging the game in to a CD drive does not give the same satisfaction of snapping a cartridge into a port, but once it booted and I heard the muted “Seeeegaaaaaaa” come out the speakers, I knew I was home.

For me, my Genesis years were spent in a closet. Stop the jokes, I really mean a closet, not a figurative one. I shared a bedroom with my brother and in it we had a closet about 12 feet long and 4 feet deep. In the back corner we stuffed a tiny TV, our Genesis (and later my Sega CD) and a bean bag chair. Many an hour was spent hiding away in that corner conquering the kind of cartoonish villains today’s games seem to have drifted away from. I thought for a moment about stuffing my 47” into my tiny closet at home and playing, but realized that just was not gonna work. Ahh progress.

I’ll give the Collection an A+ for throwback effort as the menu of the disc does its best to replicate the top down look of a Sega. Scrolling through the 40 titles is easy, as you can sort alphabetically, by year, or genre. I jumped right into Sonic the Hedgehog and realized I blow. Seriously, today’s games have made me so nervous about crossing a platformer screen, I did not possess the speed and prowess needed to even complete Act I. From here I moved onto Sonic Spinball, and had a blast remembering how much I cursed this game in the past. The difference today is I possess a greater amount of curse words which to use.

What I really need, is my brother here so we can beat Streets of Rage in 3 hours flat, and then move onto some Golden Axe. What the Collection needs is to cut the crap with this “Now in HD!!” selling point. Look, I don’t know what you did to tweak these games and say they are HD now; the sound is still 16 bit, graphics are 16 bit, and you have to pattern out the extra 6 inches of space on my cinematic TV because they are still 4:3 games. Just sell the collection for what it is, nostalgia, and forget trying to sex it up.

Overall, I want to march through the first level of each of these classics and feel like a kid again. My only hope is that someday when I have children, my 13th Xbox 360 might still be alive and I can show them what daddy used to play when he was in the closet.

Score: 3 out of 5 mountain dew fueled adolescent gaming parties


Newman said...

Man, you guys should know that currently attached and working on my 42 in. HDTV are: Super Nintendo, N64, Sega Genesis, Playstation II. Up until earlier this year, we had an original Nintendo also, but my roommate sold it. :( I own all the others, so they aren't going anywhere.

Sonic was fun, but my favorite Sega game has got to be Desert Strike. You fly missions over a "Middle Eastern Country" that looks very similar to Iraq, with a leader who looks very similar to "Saddam Hussein." It's really great...

Slick said...

The closet joke is soooo implied here that even mentioning it makes me feel like a dork.