Jump to content

Once popular games which no one seems to give a shit about


JamesC
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've recently been playing Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure on the Megadrive.
It's a really fun (pretty derivative but much of it derives from the original Pitfall, so fair enough) good looking action platformer with plenty of atmosphere and some particularly lovely graphics and animation.
Full of ethusiasm, I thought I'd have a look online to see what people have to say about it and the answer is...not much.

While the game obviously sold well at the time, received plenty of ports and reveiwed well, enthusiasm seems to have dried up, which seems a shame.

 

I feel the same about James Pond: Operation Starfish. It's an excellent game with a ton of content, bags of charm and some very fun mechanics. It reveiwed really well at the time but never seems to get a mention (I also really like Robocod, which has been ported about a million times - there's even a new version on the Switch). The biggest problem with the original release is the hard-to-write-down password system. That's not a problem if you have a phone camera though.

 

What games would you recommend trying out despite that fact that the 'retro gaming scene' in general seems to not give a shit?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, electricmastro said:

Klax. Had over 20 ports back in the day, but no one seems to talk about it anymore even among puzzle enthusiasts.

 

bjUcOlx.jpg

I'll have to give Klax a go. I've never played it and don't even have any idea what you have to do, despite it being all over the place back in the 90s.
 

Another game that seems to have dropped out of favour is Road Rash which was incredibly popular back in the mid 90s and is still a pretty fun time (I like the second one best). I reckon if they'd focussed on improving the combat and the multiplayer experience it could have had a slice of Mario Kart's pie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, JamesC said:

I'll have to give Klax a go. I've never played it and don't even have any idea what you have to do, despite it being all over the place back in the 90s.

 

The goal in Klax is to catch falling blocks and arrange the ones of certain colors in a row. Rather nice.

 

FBI5VgW.mp4

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’d name a lot of Amiga platformers (or, more accurately, Amiga-originated platformers that later had loads of console conversions) as prime examples of this. I’d argue that’s mostly because they aren’t objectively good games; if you’re using an emulator on your PC/Mac or a dedicated emulator box and you’re playing “for free”, why would you pick Zool or Robocod over Castle of Illusion or a Castlevania game, for example?

 

Also: Lemmings. Huge at the time. Loads of computer and console conversions. You’d think it’d be as ubiquitous as modern remakes of Tetris, but I’m not even sure if there has been any Lemmings games after Lemmings 3D on the PC and PlayStation. Perhaps the gameplay concept is often too ‘fiddly’ for more casual gamers? Or the IP owners can’t be bothered to produce anything new, leading to people forgetting about the series?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

54 minutes ago, Protocol Penguin said:

Also: Lemmings. Huge at the time. Loads of computer and console conversions. You’d think it’d be as ubiquitous as modern remakes of Tetris, but I’m not even sure if there has been any Lemmings games after Lemmings 3D on the PC and PlayStation. Perhaps the gameplay concept is often too ‘fiddly’ for more casual gamers? Or the IP owners can’t be bothered to produce anything new, leading to people forgetting about the series?

 

Sony own or owned it last I heard, which seems to have amounted to half-arsed versions on PS3, PSP (or Vita maybe) and phones but very little in the way of promotion or effort seemingly. First one to my mind too though. Loved that. Even on the Spectrum, multi-load and all!

 

Was Lemmings 2 actually any good? I rented it and was impressed because it had loads of stuff but have never gone back to it. And which version to go for if so?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Japanese and American consoles have been preserved by that retro attention so much more than British/European stuff. It’s a huge shame. 
 

But part of that, is that Amiga etc platformers are pretty trash with hindsight. Up for jump killed them. 
 

For me it’s K240, Sim City on asteroids with fleet combat and crucially missle strikes. A fantastic game that would work brilliantly with todays tech. But just forgotten. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, LaveDisco said:

Japanese and American consoles have been preserved by that retro attention so much more than British/European stuff. It’s a huge shame. 

True, but I don’t think there’s a conspiracy behind there like some youtubers think, more a form of survivor bias, as so few British publishers survived into the late ‘90s. Also, very few British games series had much intentional reach – your Lemmings, Grand Theft Auto, etc did, and some e.g. Populous became big in Japan, but they’re the massive exceptions to the rule.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Protocol Penguin said:

True, but I don’t think there’s a conspiracy behind there like some youtubers think, more a form of survivor bias, as so few British publishers survived into the late ‘90s. Also, very few British games series had much intentional reach – your Lemmings, Grand Theft Auto, etc did, and some e.g. Populous became big in Japan, but they’re the massive exceptions to the rule.

 


Thank god for @striderand RG. It’s THE mag for retro in the Western world and gives deserved coverage for British gaming. Is a nice counter to the cultural imperialism of retro YouTubers making everyone believe the world grew up on the NES.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Stoppy2000 said:

There is no excuse to play Zool at all. It was shite at the time and it certainly hasn't got any better with age. 

 

The remaster, Zool Redimensioned,  is pretty good. They went back and fixed its major problems, pretty fun to play now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Yasawas said:

 

Sony own or owned it last I heard, which seems to have amounted to half-arsed versions on PS3, PSP (or Vita maybe) and phones but very little in the way of promotion or effort seemingly. First one to my mind too though. Loved that. Even on the Spectrum, multi-load and all!

 

Was Lemmings 2 actually any good? I rented it and was impressed because it had loads of stuff but have never gone back to it. And which version to go for if so?

Lemmings 2 was great at the time. It seems a bit fiddly and complicated now though, compared to the straightforward loveliness of the original. I guess the Amiga version is the version to go for, never played the PC version but it's probably not got such good music. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Protocol Penguin said:

I’d name a lot of Amiga platformers (or, more accurately, Amiga-originated platformers that later had loads of console conversions) as prime examples of this. I’d argue that’s mostly because they aren’t objectively good games; if you’re using an emulator on your PC/Mac or a dedicated emulator box and you’re playing “for free”, why would you pick Zool or Robocod over Castle of Illusion or a Castlevania game, for example?

 

Also: Lemmings. Huge at the time. Loads of computer and console conversions. You’d think it’d be as ubiquitous as modern remakes of Tetris, but I’m not even sure if there has been any Lemmings games after Lemmings 3D on the PC and PlayStation. Perhaps the gameplay concept is often too ‘fiddly’ for more casual gamers? Or the IP owners can’t be bothered to produce anything new, leading to people forgetting about the series?


Yeah, with Lemmings even being on 3DO and CD-i, as if being a standard game to have when wanting to go into the gaming industry. People tried things like Adventures of Lomax and Lemmings Touch, but it seems it was really after Lemmings 3D that Lemmings entered this uncertainty of what exactly to do with it. I think that if a really passionate and imaginative team got to make a Lemmings game today with enough backing, something special could be created, but alas Lemmings mostly remains dormant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When people talk of the early 80s arcade boom you hear of Pac Man, Space Invaders, .etc. you don't tend to see Mr Do! in those lists and yet it is a really amazingly well designed game with way more depth than first appears.

 

I think a reason for Mr Do! being forgotten about was that the thing that makes it great was missed in most, if not all the home conversions. Mr Do (I'm dropping the ! now) throws a ball to kill enemies. The ball bounces around the tunnels you leave behind when you move and hopefully hits an enemy.  The ball then respawns in Mr Do's hand and you can throw towards another baddie. But each throw takes longer to respawn.  The thing everyone missed in their conversions was that you can eat a fruit in the center of the screen to let the bonus monsters out. Suddenly your ball respawns really quickly. You can aim to kill the boss for an E.X.T.R.A letter, kill his entourage that turn into apples or go around picking off the standard enemies to help clear the level.  This is fast paced, firing the ball multiple times. The game becomes kill as many enemies as possible, wat as many fruits as possible, get the middle fruit, clear more enemies , grab your letter, kill the last enemy.. it's proper arcade, frantic, fast paced, and none of the home conversions I played had that fast action because the ball takes longer to come back every time you throw it.  There was a recent Spectrum remake which was mighty impressive.   The SNES looked perfect but didn't have the ball behavior. It's like the programmers just didn't notice and it's what makes the game.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess Desert Strike and its sequels – though they never held great appeal to me, they were massive but I think died off in the late 90s with gen 5. what was the last one, Nuclear Strike?

I was going to say Road Rash, too - it would be an easy one to bring back but not sure it'd sell – like most arcade racer style games, well out of favour :( I got so much fun out of it on the Mega Drive, and agree RR2 was the peak. 

 

Up until recently we could say any and all side-scrolling beat-em 'ups, but what a welcome return to form that has been - maybe not mainstream, but great to see new games in this classic genre.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Protocol Penguin said:

I’d name a lot of Amiga platformers (or, more accurately, Amiga-originated platformers that later had loads of console conversions) as prime examples of this.

 

Yeah, Shadow of the Beast would be my pick in that regard. I was never a fan - it was just a graphics showcase.

 

Also - Altered Beast.

 

Spoiler

Me and my cousins blew £10 beating it in the arcade at Littlehampton. Never again.

 

Spoiler

My parents got me the UK MegaDrive + Altered Beast pack. 🤦‍♂️

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, strider said:

Wouldn’t that not make it Zool 😘

 

Think it has an original mode so you can see both, which is what a reimagining should be.  One of the original developers was involved alongside a class of UK game developer uni students.

 

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1647730/Zool_Redimensioned/

 

There's a few vids which talk about the development and seems pretty interesting/unique.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, Goemon said:

One that always sticks in my mind is Onimusha.

 

The series spawned 4 iterations on PS2 so it must have been popular but then was never seen again. 

 

I never played them - I only remember stories of silly money being thrown into them, and occasionally high-profile names attached. Jean Reno!

 

Onimusha_3-_Demon_Siege_21_large.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.