Tuesday, 14 October 2008

A History of Computer Games, part ii.

So, the 80’s and 90’s. I guess I should talk about the Slump here. I think, some of the reasons for that was the fact that the market was so saturated with titles, and so many of them were just poorly-made advertisements for a franchise that flooded the market. There was a lack of innovation, and the prices of games were forced to be lowered to stay competitive.

1985 was the NES/Famicom. [I never had a Nintendo myself, but I went back and played some of the classics with emulators, Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros, Metroid etc] Consoles started to use CDs and put things like real video and animation into games when they couldn’t before. There was also the era of handhelds, which further contributed to the decline of the video arcade, and have continued to hold a significant segment of the market

In '96 my parents bought me my own playstation, and obviously I ran home from school and had a strange kind of fit Nintendo64 kid-style. At this point I was already completely obsessed with Sony playstation [and Pokémon blue on GBC], I used to buy gaming magazines that I now wish I kept. I don't read them anymore because there's so many now, and they all seem pretty biased and overpriced. I was really into Oddworld around that time, because that game just stood out from everything even in the demo version. I think it was a pretty popular game, so most likely you'll know what I'm saying about how genuinely macabre it is, which makes it special because it isn't even supposed to be a horror game or spooky at all, its actually kind of humorous, but Sligs are just the scariest thing in the world, aren't they? That mechanical noise when they walk, you hear one coming closer and you know he's going to gun you down on site and laugh in your face. Or force some poor slave into a meat grinder. Also, remember those scrolling marquees with the ‘motivational messages’ in the meat factory? So so disturbing.

I said before I went back and discovered Tomb Raider on PSX. TRII was my favourite because it had the better action, [exploding Lara] but TRIII had those cool cinematics. Or they seemed so great at the time. They got a bit silly after Toby Gard left, but I still played the games. I don't even care if Lara was designed to pull in the male audience, as someone who generally dislikes the way females are represented in any form of mainstream media, I love Lara because she uses her strength and intelligence to get to places in this really dignified way, and at that time weren't most female game characters either innocent weaklings or super-violent dominatrixes? It disturbs me that we still see these lame things today. Also, she had a butler and a quad biking track, what's not to like.

Though saying that, I'm really unimpressed with the default costume for Underworld, it brings back bad memories of AoD.

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