A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

[Operation Game Collection/Let's Play] Computer Games on Consoles, Construction Sets, and Themed Malarkey PT 2.


Yes last post was but the start of a silly idea.  You the reader get to first choose what theme I am going to play, then we will have another vote of what game(s) to do.

Last time I showed you three of the themes.

Computer Games on Consoles, Construction Sets, Some Barely Talked About Niche Games.

That is but three choices.  I have a few more for your consideration!

Rufus' Computer Games on Systems He Doesn't Own or the Machine Doesn't Work
This one will make me go through some C64, Tandy Color Computer, TI 99 4A, MSX, Amiga, and Atari ST games.  I don't have working machines for any of them except an Amiga 500 that may have a faulty disk drive or just every disk is faulty.  (Ignore non computer titles in the photos.)

Atari 8 Bit Computers Experience  That is a LOT of Atari!
I have a ton of Atari 8 bit software.  Like gobs of it.

  Ok I have given y'all five fine options of a retro computing bent to torment or tickle me.  Reasons for me to not only idiotically add more to these collections (I uhh.. just got a C64 game in today I have wanted since 1988-9.), but to put some proper time and effort into the bastards.

  Let's face it: when your collection gets large enough and your time gets more limited you both become picky at what to play and paralyzed at what to play.  You become a lazy snob griping about every little game interface issue or you get the electronic games version of Analysis Paralysis where you have so many choices you just can't decide AT ALL.  As kids unless a game was a completely unplayable war crime (LJN NES X MEN) you were gonna spend a lot of time at a game and would even give the most obnoxious games plenty of your attention as it might be your only game for a weekend rental or a gift or a borrowed game.  Or even your own allowance.  You made do with what you had.  Sometimes you would get stuck but a magazine or a book or a friend would give you the little push you needed to GET DOWN WIT YO BAD SELF and then the bad game became a personal favorite.

  So you folks now get to kick me in the ass and force me to play stuff and not just be a big whiny emo baby who stops playing a game that dares not have WASD for a first person title, or who won't bother to read the manual and figure out idiotic ass 80s game interfaces.

  This is what you vote on.  To start you get a vote.  For those reading this blog or a select forum or Discord group online you are the special ones who get to help me pick a theme.  The Let's Plays themselves will also be voted on in a Something Awful thread devoted to Casual Let's Plays as this is going to be depending on what actual theme is selected.  But those nitty gritty details can wait until sometime Sunday the 6th 2019.  Provided I get enough votes to show there is any interest in even continuing this little experiment.  (In case of a tie I get to break it.  Otherwise it is all on YOU fine folks as to what I am gonna be playing.)

  My game time in 2019 is now partially in the hands of the Internet.  Let's see what happens!

[Operation Game Collection/Let's Play] Computer Games on Consoles, Construction Sets, and Themed Malarkey PT 1.

  Happy 2019 everyone!  We are one year away from Neo Geo arcade classic Super Baseball 2020 becoming reality except Baseball is still boring and doesn't have landmines or robots in it.  But as always I have silly collection themes and a really silly idea to force me to actually spend some proper TIME with my stupidly huge collection of games I don't need or really have the proper amount of time or space for.

  But before my idea let us see yet another of my theme collections that just sort of popped out at me one year and I have sometimes added to intentionally but not really.

  Computer Games on a Console.  It is a sad fact that most people game on consoles and not their computers, or at least people won't admit to it or give computers of any sort any real respect.  (Outside of our European and United Kingdom friends.  Which apparently enrages the console fanboys of North America something fierce.)

  So many games got ported once consoles got big again because it was both an easy way to make a fast buck off a back catalog with little real effort needed and a way to get some older titles in front of a new audience.  To the point many games like Skate or Die and Tetris are more known for their NES versions than the computer originals.  Sometimes these games ended up better than their originals thanks to sometimes superior core hardware or the game effectively becoming a Director's Cut of the computer version, in other cases they are screwed up in numerous ways to become a complete embarassment.

  But either way as a computer retro type these ports have some upsides.  Being on consoles generally makes these games MUCH cheaper than their microcomputer counterparts as consoles being bigger platforms means more copies were made.  Add in that the classic era that my LP is gonna cover primarily has cartridges or CDs towards the end of it and the games are more reliable and easier to get running than temperamental floppy disk drives and the computers that tended to have single button joysticks and we at least have a recipe for interesting if not always GOOD ports of classic or niche titles that might have otherwise been forgotten and lost.

  Now what am I considering a port?  Its more or less FEELINGS.  Do I feel the game more or less started on a home computer of some kind and the console version was a later port and not just a window of time that was always intended to be a multiplatform release as so many games are these days?  Well that is what I am going by.  I could do things like look up release dates and whatnot but who really cares anyhow?  It is what I choose to consider.  Some of these could possibly be considered sequels and in fact might be so!  Anyhow, let us show what I have to my knowledge.  Note that as a fellow from the USA I am not counting MSX or NEC PC 88/98 type machines as computers for porting purposes as in general most of those titles stayed in Japan or had very limited releases in PAL territories.  Plus it would make things insane.  

We start off with 2 failed systems and the Game Boy which was more like one of the biggest consoles ever if you take the original pea soup unit up through the Color model.  That platform had a ton of sequels and ports of classic games when it wasn't becoming a dumping ground for terrible licensed dross designed to rip off children('s parents).  The Atari 7800 was a casualty of the US 1983-4 game console crash and was more or less brought out due to legal rules, full warehouses, and a notoriously cheap boss looking to make some fast ME TOO money.  So of course it would be easy to just port stuff over as the 7800 shared the same basic 6502 CPU as many big platforms of the day.  And of course the Turbografx 16 which was sold in the US hamstrung by both the hardball Nintendo was pulling at the time and how inept and clueless NEC was.  Oddly enough most of these ports are from the system's dying days in the US and are all quite good and sought after.  

I have already stated the basics of the Nintendo era.  It was also the biggest platform for two entire game console generations roughly owning the roost from 1983 to 1995 worldwide outside of a few notable regions.  So early on in Japan it was a quick way to get some software out the gate to a hungry audience once the JPN version of the NES was known to be a hit, and later on much of what I said above.  The SNES had a fair share of ports as well though not quite as many given how it didn't use the 68000 CPU most of the big home gaming machines had.  But in some cases Nintendo themselves handled a port giving us the best version of the original Sim City.  

Now Sega Master System using the 2nd most popular old system CPU (Z80) and it's follow up having the 68000 meant they both got a whole lot of ports, some of which are even BETTER at being definitive than Sim City above is.  (And far fewer disaster level ports compared to the NES.)  SMS era Sega needed software and a lot of it so it was easy to do ports and also get around Nintendo douchebaggery.  In the CD era it was easy to also take advantage of all that CD space to put those big massive multiple disk titles on a single CD.  

In fact I would say in many cases the Genesis is the cheaper alternative for retro gamers who would like to sample some of the bigger games from the Amiga and Atari ST.  While a few have issues thanks to PAL/NTSC speeds not being accounted for, by and large the Genesis could easily handle Amiga stuff of the time and normally a little bit better when enough cartridge space was alloted.

 And of course as an Ultima dork I have a lot of the better Ultima ports.  In some ways they are easier and more fun to play than their computer originals.  Although the Ultima 7 and Wing Commander SNES ports I merely have thanks to the PSP EA Replay collection are.. not definitive.  Perhaps the opposite in U7's case.

  Now let us get into the other part, Construction Sets.  (And a few things for the LP.  Hold on we are getting to that.)

  See for whatever reason I really haven't been able to have programming click in my head.  While I do still want to learn and think older computers might be a good way with all their novice level self teaching books and all, in general my brain hates programming.  But I have the urge to create.  And a Construction Set done right is a fantastic tool to at least dabble in making a game.  Done well a CSet gives you a relative amount of flexibility and freedom to create without having to code.  Done poorly they are either little more than scenario editors or so limited or so complex to use they are insults to the very idea of a CSet.  Like off brand Legos that are just giant pieces you really can't make anything but whatever was on the box cover.

Here we see a fair number of the sets I have although we may discover they aren't unlimited at all.  Or are ridiculously limited in use and scope.  Or are more or less just a scenario editor with illusions of grandeur. (Or are meant to be in an above image but were misplaced for a moment.  Yet somehow STILL FITS.)

Psychic War, War of the Lance, Roadwar 2000, Thunderscape, and Power Dolls are all options for the Let's Play.

  Ok cool huh?  I got a LOT of silly stuff.   Now it is the time for you the reader to rise up to my fate and help me not just have a hoard of games but to PLAY SOME OF THEM.  Join me swiftly along in Part 2 which will also have fun links to older posts of mine with other options to peruse!  


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I like to play nerd games! I am a nerd! Join our nerd ways at https://www.facebook.com/groups/112040385527428/