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A Retro Gaming Experience

I take a spin on older games and find out they aren't what they used to be

By Troy Roberts     January 31, 2003


Have you ever gotten into one of those moods where you want to play nothing but older games? Hey, nothing against the quality of today's games, but sometimes I just get the urge to sit down with an old game and just play it for the fun of it (I don't seem to have much time for that anymore). Well, for the last few weeks, that has been exactly what I've wanted to do.


I've had an urge to play a good game. Now, I've got tons of good games that are unopened on my desk (which is a bad sign), but none of them could quench my need. So I went through my closet and found my old Nintendo Entertainment System. I pride myself on knowing that mine still works perfectly. How? I don't know. Anyway, after looking through assorted games, I came across the game I was looking for - CONTRA. Yeah, everybody remembers CONTRA. In my opinion, CONTRA was the ultimate side-scroller shooting game. When I was younger, I would play CONTRA for hours on end. And you know what? I suck at it now. I mean, terribly suck at it.


So after being embarrassed by a game I could handle when I was seven years old, I decided to turn on the old Sega Genesis and play a little bit of SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 (another one of my favorite classics). Yes, I could have as easily turned on my GameCube copy of SONIC MEGA COLLECTION, but holding the Genesis controller in my hands reminds me of a time that won't come again. Hey, guess what else I suck at? Yup, I am happy to say I am now terrible at SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2.


Now, what am I trying to say? Am I just trying to take up space for a Gamers' Thumb in which I didn't have a topic or am I getting to a deeper meaning? Take your pick.


Actually, I've realized that games today have either gotten easier or I somehow have degraded in my game playing ability. I mean, is there any other excuse for it? I used to be able to sit down with any SONIC game (for the first time, mind you) and beat it in one sitting. Now...pssh. I don't think it's possible.


So, give it a try sometime. Go back and play a game you did as a kid, and let me know how you do. If more results are coming in like mine, we may have some investigating to do.


TIDBITS



Sega has announced they will being publishing online PC games beginning with LEGACY ONLINE, an economic strategy game...Electronic Arts has announced they are closing Westwood Studios...the PC version of SPLINTER CELL has gone gold...Activision has announced a new game in the PITFALL HARRY series...


ON SHELVES

DEVIL MAY CRY 2



I give the nod to DEVIL MAY CRY 2 this week. Although I've seen some mediocre early reviews so far, I reserve the right to judge until I've actually played the game.


Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Video Game column.

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