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Article on retro gaming

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  1. #1
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    Article on retro gaming

    Back in play
    Retro's the name of the game for a new generation of videophiles
    By Brian D. Crecente, Rocky Mountain News
    June 25, 2004

    Today's hottest games don't feature violence or mayhem. They're not photo-realistic and they don't even really have a plot.

    Instead, they've got blocky graphics, tinny sound and bizarre objectives. And despite their rudimentary look, these games have inspired an almost manic need to play them.

    A sudden spike in the popularity of retro gaming is bringing such low-frill hits as Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Pong to a new generation of gamers looking for something a bit simpler to enjoy.

    "Pac-Man is still as compelling today as it was 30 or 40 years ago," said Genna Goldberg, spokeswoman for Jakks Pacific, a company that sells a classic Atari joystick loaded with 10 games from the original 1970s Atari home console. "These retro games are very easy to play: You don't need a high skill set, you don't need secret codes, you can just pick it up and play."

    Suddenly an industry that thrives on technological advancement is going old school, digging up its past and repackaging it.

    Last week Nintendo released eight classics from the '80s for their handheld gaming device the Game Boy Advance. The company also released a new Game Boy Advance designed to look like a classic Nintendo controller from the '80s.

    Later this month, Jakks Pacific, which already has classic systems loaded with Atari, Activision and Namco classics, is releasing two more retro controller systems. One will feature the first lady of gaming, Ms. Pac-Man, and the other will be a set of Atari paddles loaded with such low-res wonders as Break-out and Warlords.

    Next year Pac-Man, which is turning 25, will once more hit the small screen in a brand new pill-munching adventure. Lin Leng, associate product marketing manager for Namco's upcoming Pac-Man, says the sudden popularity of classic video games can be traced to their simplicity.

    "The games today are hyper-realistic, photo-realistic and take a long time to complete, an average of 20 hours of gameplay," he said. "But with Pac-Man you just jump in and play and you get a quick fix. It also brings back childhood memories for some of us."

    A few years back Namco did a study to see how aware people still were of Pac-Man. They found that the highest awareness was among people 25 and older. But recently some younger gamers have grown more interested in the roots of video games, Goldberg said.

    "Everything old is new to kids of today, and these games have just as much appeal to them as they did when they were first introduced," she said.

    In 2003, Jakks Pacific released the Atari 10-in-1 TV Games joystick. The device, a near-perfect replica of the original Atari 2600 controller from the '70s, comes packed with 10 Atari classics. To play, you just plug it into your television and turn it on.

    The system was a hit, although it might not have been had it been released in the original, distinctly non-Atari joystick that had been planned.

    "We recognized the appeal of the product was putting the games in an authentic 2600 joystick," Goldberg said. "For many people in their 20s and 30s that was the first joystick they had. It invoked tons of nostalgic feelings.

    "It's been a great ride ever since."

    Jakks has sold more than a million of the self-contained gaming systems and the company has plans for new versions through 2006, Goldberg said.

    "We've tried to snatch up as many retro licenses as we could," she said. "Anything retro is hot right now."

    Nintendo, with a library of hundreds of classic games, is ecstatic at the retro-gaming revival. The company recently re-released eight games originally created for their 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System for handheld device.

    "Nintendo is in a fortunate position where we have this huge library of games," said Beth Llewelyn, spokeswoman for Nintendo of America.

    "We thought it would be kind of fun to bring them out for the Game Boy Advance."

    Sales for the classic titles have so far been "phenomenal," said Llewelyn. "It's crossing a very broad age range."

    Llewelyn believes the younger audience is attracted to the golden oldies of gaming because they want to see how video gaming started, and "this is how it all began."

    The Xbox Live Arcade, coming out late this fall, hopes to tap into that curiosity. The service will be free through Xbox Live's online connection, but players will have to pay to permanently download different games.

    While the service will include a library of leisure games like chess and cards and some other casual games, a large chunk of its titles will be devoted to retro gaming.

    The Retro Arcade will allow gamers to buy packs of three or four games; one set includes Dig Dug, Galaxian and Pole Position.

    Although the full list of games hasn't yet been made public, it will likely include hits from Namco, Midway and Atari, said Greg Canessa, group manager of Xbox Casual Games.

    "We want to make sure we have the right mix," he said. "We are going to start with some of the bigger hits and work our way from there."

    For Canessa, Xbox Live Arcade is a perfect way for some of the best games of the past three decades to reach both new and old fans.

    Canessa says his love of classic gaming - he has 25 classic gaming systems and a full coin-operated arcade version of Joust - is fueled by the purity of the original arcade and home video games.

    "Having played hundreds, thousands of games, there is something about the overall quality of the design and the evergreen appeal of classic games that keeps us coming back," he said. "If I walk into the soda shop and there is a Pac-Man or Joust, I will still drop a quarter in and play."

    He points to Pong as a prime example of perfection in gaming.

    "Pong is one of those games that, despite its ber-simplicity, has that perennial appeal," he said. "It can't get any simpler than two paddles and a dot."


    Back to the future Where you can get your retro fix:
    Jakks This company specializes in packing retro titles in classic gaming controllers that plug directly into a television. Its top products include an Atari joystick with 10 games including Pong, Missile Command and Asteroids, and a Namco arcade joystick packed with five arcade hits including Pac-Man, Galaxian and Dig-Dug.

    Nintendo The granddaddy of modern home gaming, Nintendo has an extensive library of classics. The company recently released a line of Nintendo classics for the Game Boy Advance that includes Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and Pac-Man.

    Midway One of the top arcade companies of the '80s, Midway recently released Midway Arcade Treasures and Arcade Treasures 2 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Gamecube. The original includes 24 classic arcade games such as Joust, Smash TV and Paperboy. The sequel sports a more modern selection of 21 arcade hits. The compilation games also have bonus features such as artwork from the original arcade systems and interviews with some of the programmers.

    Microsoft The Xbox Live Arcade, due out this fall, will allow gamers to permanently download classic game titles for play on their Xbox in three- or four-game packs at a "reasonable" price.

    StarROMS Software available for download allows you to play classic games on your home computer. StarROMS is one of the only services around that went to the trouble of actually obtaining the licensing to legally sell these classic hits. For $2 to $6 a game you can download a single Atari great and play it as much as you want on your PC. The site has more than 50 titles to choose from, including most of the Atari greats.

    Techno Source This company has an excellent modern game controller stuffed with 25 classic hits from the Intellivision home gaming system. The controller plugs directly into your television to let you play such games as Astromash, Hover Force and Space Armada. The Intellivision, released three years after the Atari 2600 in 1980, started the first video game war by touting its superior 16-bit graphics. Atari had a mere 8 bits.
    Yes,i'm a new world samurai and a redneck none the less

  2. #2
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    Re: Article on retro gaming

    "Pac-Man is still as compelling today as it was 30 or 40 years ago," said Genna Goldberg, spokeswoman for Jakks Pacific, a company that sells a classic Atari joystick loaded with 10 games from the original 1970s Atari home console. "These retro games are very easy to play: You don't need a high skill set, you don't need secret codes, you can just pick it up and play."


    40 years ago? So, it's as compelling as it was in 1964? Somehow, I just don't see that as being quite true!
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  3. #3
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    Re: Article on retro gaming

    I noticed that too! But other things they said "were" true Like the fact that sometimes I get really annoyed that it can take up to a year to complete a game when I can just play galaga for 5 mins!
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Gulia
    "Everything old is new to kids of today, and these games have just as much appeal to them as they did when they were first introduced,"
    After bieng subjected to the garbage made today,THEY WOULD BE IN GAMERS HEAVEN PLAYING WHAT WE HAD @ THIER AGE!!

    Nothing to compare,1000% better stuff was made back in the day!!

  5. #5
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    Re: Article on retro gaming

    I actually think that we can't compare the games we used to play with the ones that nowadays a produced, at that time there weren't the computers as there are today, but what I mean, is those games were the most addictive that I have ever played without any doubt.

  6. #6
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    The games made today are ABSOLUTE CRAP and i wouldnt wish them on my worst enemy really

    Not one game i like thats been made after 1990 or so...... (Arcade wise,console wise) Its pure garbage......

  7. #7
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    Re: Article on retro gaming

    Bệnh hói đầu di truyền được coi l* một trong những bệnh khó chữa. Tuy nhiên, theo các chuyên gia, c*ng bắt đầu ngăn ngừa sớm từ khi mới bị hói, khả năng để hạn chế hói c*ng cao! Đơn giản vì, chỉ cần ngăn ngừa được tóc rụng v* k*ch th*ch tóc mọc mới trở lại một cách hăng hái, ta có thể giúp cho mái đầu tránh khỏi nguy cơ hói bóng, tránh hình th*nh những “mảng sân bay” trên đỉnh đầu…

    Đó cũng l* kinh nghiệm quý báu m* anh Nguyễn Th*nh Nghiệp, 39 tuổi, số nh* 167, đường số 6, phường Phước Bình, Q.9, TPHCM tự tổng kết được: “ Tôi bắt đầu bị hói từ năm 27 tuổi, ban đầu, tóc ra dầu nhiều, khi gội đầu thì thấy trong kẽ tay tóc d*nh rất nhiều. Dần dần nó rụng th*nh mảng, bắt đầu từ đỉnh đầu đi xuống. Sự lo lắng c*ng ng*y c*ng lớn khi tôi biết trong gia đình cả ông, cha v* anh cũng đều bị hói đầu như v*y ” . Khẽ nhấp ngụm nước, anh lại tiếp kiến câu chuyện: “Khi đó, tôi đã tá hỏa đi khắp nơi tìm thuốc để chữa bệnh. Tôi lên mạng v* tìm mua lọ thuốc xịt tóc dạng nước của Mỹ. Tuy nhiên, dùng hết 2 hộp thì tôi thấy tóc mọc được *t, rồi lại rụng, da đầu lại bắt đầu *ng đỏ nữa. Lo sợ có tác dụng phụ, tôi chuyển sang dùng thuốc tây uống, xong cũng không thấy hiệu quả gì”

    L* quản lý trong một xưởng tu bổ máy, công việc cũng đòi hỏi anh phải giao thiệp nhiều. Tuy nhiên, với mái đầu bóng, hói của mình, anh khôn cùng mặc cảm. Anh đã từng nghĩ đến việc bỏ cuộc, cạo cho trọc luôn vì dù sao đây cũng l* chứng bệnh do di truyền. Bẵng đi bốn năm trời, cho tới khi anh đọc được thông tin về sản phẩm Maxxhair cùng câu chuyện chữa bệnh hói di truyền của anh Mã Anh Tuấn ở Mê Linh, H* Nội. tâm linh mách bảo anh th* dùng nốt sản phẩm n*y nữa xem sao, biết đâu có hy vọng: “Tháng trước nhất, vẫn chưa thấy hiệu quả gì. Nhưng sang tháng thứ 2 thì thấy dầu giảm bớt đến 70%, tóc cũng đã bớt rụng. Vùng da đỉnh đầu không còn hói bóng, chân tóc con đã thấy mọc lên chơm chởm. Tôi thực sự s*ng sốt v* vui không tả xiết” – Anh hồ hởi kể.

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