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27Jun/100

Changing gaming habits and old systems.

Atari_2600 Are you the type of person who’s gaming habits constantly change? Maybe sometimes you play nothing but first person shooters for however long and then find yourself wanting to play an old school top down RPG. Or maybe you jump from system to system like I do. When you’re in a position like me and have lots and lots of choices … you tend to jump around. I have at LEAST 7 computers in this house of varying degrees of usefulness with literally thousands of games, an NES, a Retro Duo (a review of which is elsewhere on this site), Sega Genesis, 32X, various versions of the old Game Boy. A few PS1’s, a few Dreamcasts, a friggin’ Atari Lynx, a Playstation 2 and a ton and a half of those cheesy little Play and Play TV games … although I feel a little guilty not having the Atari Flashback 2 … my 29th birthday is soon. Bear that in mind. ;) And that’s not even all of them.

As well as what I call the current generation consoles … I’ve got two Xbox 360 consoles, a Playstation 3 and (even though I don’t see it as current generation) I’ve got a Wii that was loaned to me shoved off into a box somewhere. But my gaming habits change somewhat like anyone else. One minute I’ll be playing a hardcore first person shooter like Left 4 Dead or Unreal Tournament, the next minute I’ll be playing something like the original Need for Speed : Underground. Another time I’ll be wasting my time with the Playstation 2 Grand Theft Auto games. Out of all the consoles I have it seems that the PS2 gets the most play just because it has a MONSTROUS library of great games. And it obviously runs the PS1 games. The Xbox 360 comes in a close second of course since it’s my current generation system of choice.

pstwo Lately I’ve even been playing games that are FAR out of my realm. Like I started playing Madden NFL 10 on the PS2 (yeah yeah I could’ve gotten it for the 360 or PS3, but I snagged it for 7 bucks.) and I’m not even a football guy. Sometimes I’ll break out my little iPod Touch and game on that, where I have a bunch of Gameloft’s games, I think I’ve got all of EA’s sports games on there which are surprisingly good and better than anything I’ve played on the Nintendo DS.

Some people seem to see it as a bad thing that my gaming habits just from genre to genre, or even from generation to generation. But how is that a bad thing? A game that was fun back in 2003 (like Need for Speed : Underground) … is it any less fun now? How about the old Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo games. Great games are great games. It doesn’t matter what platform or generation they’re from. Hell, sometimes I’ll pop in a game I can’t STAND just to see if somehow I can enjoy it. The Grand Theft Auto series as a whole is a prime example of that.

I already had the original 2 games for the PC as well as all the expansions … and no I’m not talking about the recently released freeware versions of them. These are on disc. And I thought “alright, I’ve got a weird itch to play these now.” so I picked up GTA 3, San Andreas and Vice City for the PS2. Now, granted, I still can’t stand those games. Great style, loads of things to do but none of that matters when the gameplay itself is terrible. And don’t try to tell me that GTA IV fixes that. I’ve played GTA IV and the game STILL plays like shit.

ps3 I had another itch to play Need for Speed : Underground. So I went out and got that, Underground 2 and Midnight Club 2. Awesome games that have stood the test of time beautifully. And the iPhone (or, as I’ve said in the past in my case the iPod Touch) has a HUGE amount of great games for it. And they keep getting better.

I don’t see any reason to stop making Playstation 2 games because it’s still a very viable system. Sure it doesn’t have the power of the current generation consoles, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot in the end. Companies like EA just started getting lazy with it … Tiger Woods PGA Tour is a prime example of that where they just keep stripping out feature after feature after doing nothing but updating the stats for it. Yes, I’m well aware that it’s becoming less and less of a financial option for the company.

But what about these game compilations they have out for it? Here’s a list of the ones I have that I can think of off the top of my head. The Metal Slug Anthology. SNK Arcade Classics 1. The Atari Anthology. Intellivision Lives!, the Street Fighter Alpha Anthology … Midway Arcade Treasures 1, Taito Legends, both the Gottlieb and Williams Pinball Hall of Fame games. And there are even more that I DON’T have that I still need to get. That Data East arcade compilation that got released for the Wii recently, why is that collection JUST limited to the Wii when the PS2 is sitting there, has a HUGE userbase and can MORE than handle something like that.

sega-dreamcast-system How about the Dreamcast? Now, I’m not saying that the system would have a chance in hell of surviving as long as the PS2 has, but it should’ve lasted a lot longer than it did. Just look back on that sucker in 1999 … the PC was just REALLY get into the whole 3D thing and blowing the consoles out the water with the Voodoo graphics cards. The big games at that time were the original Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 Arena. Then the Dreamcast comes along and trumps EVERYTHING. Console owners were used to the pathetic excuse for 3D the PS1 was cranking out, and real gamers at the time were still on the PC with it’s almost unlimited capabilities.

Then the Dreamcast hit and really (at the time) freaked out the PC gamers with damn near completely accurate renditions of the aforementioned games, as well as BETTER than arcade perfect ports of games like Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Soul Calibur. Hell, the little Dreamcast was even more capable than the PS2 is NOW thanks to hardware anti-aliasing … there’s a reason why a lot of PS2 games look jagged as hell. It’s because the AA on that machine has to be done via software.

I’m proud to have my PS2, and my Dreamcast. The 360 can (and probably will) die out on me due to a red ring or something and I won’t even flinch. The PS3 … if it dies I won’t even bother just because I’ve played and beaten the games that are worth playing on it with the exception of a few. But if my PS2 or Dreamcast die out on me, I’ll be out that same day replacing them.

And the same goes for my little iPod Touch. If that thing goes out for some reason, I’ll be in line to get a bigger, better one because that is my handheld of choice for gaming. And I’ve only got a little 2nd generation 8GB iPod Touch there.

Just don’t limit yourself to one console, or one generation or even one game type. There are tons of them out there. Just find them out.

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