The ugly truth about classic games, however, is that they are terrible. It's no secret that I love classic games. I have a huge personal collection of old Atari 2600, 5200, 7200, Intellivision, and Colecovision cartridges all in good working order. That you can still buy old Atari games in stores and on XBox Live, among other places, warms my heart. Let's not put too fine a point on it. They are not, for the most part, fun. One of my favorite things about my classic games collection is my ability to keep having this conversation with my friends:
"Oooh! Old games! I loved Pitfall! Do you have Pitfall?"
"Can I play it?"
(Five minutes pass.)
"This isn't any fun."
"No, it's not."
I have this huge collection of old games, but I spend all my gaming time with my Xbox 360, PS3 or, on increasingly rare occasions, my Wii. The reason I bring it up is because of this fascinating article about the unquestionable classic, that inspirational breakthrough, that great of greats, Ultima IV.
Basic summary: Professor teaches class on classic video games. Makes students play old games. Goes all right until they try Ultima IV. They find it to be opaque, dull, and completely unplayable. Well, yes. Look, nobody worships at the altar of Lord British more than me, and you can't put into words what a breakthrough Ultima IV was at the time. It set people on a path that changed their lives, but it isn't playable now. The controls make no sense. The dialogue is bland. All of the little UI tricks that make RPGs accessible (tooltips, in-game maps, pathfinding) were not yet invented and this is really important, everything that Ultima IV introduced everyone has done far better. Ultima IV had an epic quest and morality woven into the game, which was amazing at the time, but everyone does those things way better now. So it's been years and years since I've recommended... [continues]
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(2011, 06). Buying Used Games Does Not Make You a Bad Person. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 06, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Buying-Used-Games-Does-Not-Make-720608.html
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