Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Links: Hardcore Gaming 101

It can be strange to share the Internet with a generation that never experienced the beginning of the video game industry. I received an NES for Christmas when I was five years' old - some of today's teenage gamers' first experiences with gaming were with the 3D consoles - the N64 and the PSX. When you start talking fondly about "Blaster Master" and "Brandish," you're likely to get a few blank stares. Even worse are the classic franchises that have been run into the ground -it's hard to rhapsodize about Sonic's 2D outings when the recent 3D games have been so frightfully bad.

That's why sites like Hardcore Gaming 101 are so useful. Featuring synopses and descriptions of entire series of classic games, HG101 is a great way to inform new gamers about where the medium has been, where it is, and where it might be going. Feel like going over all the characters in the "Darkstalkers" series? It's there. Want to look back at "Prince of Persia" before the "Sands of Time" trilogy? Feast your eyes on the Prince in all his 16-bit, limited color palette glory.

Perhaps the only problem with gaming nostalgia sites is that there's no way to really communicate how great a game is short of actually letting a person play it. Like movies and books, each game will affect a person in a unique way; telling someone how much fun they could have is equivalent to licking an ice cream cone and describing how good it is.

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