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They don't make 'em like they used to [Old Games Thread]

WormeyWormey Registered User
edited June 2010 in Games and Technology
The debate part: I feel like i've really missed out on a golden age of games growing up. My firends are currently getting me into things like Fallout, Civilization 3 etc. There seems to be an immersion and level of choice not present in some of the more graphically focussed games of today. How far would you hold this to be true? Do you feel that games have progressed or regressed? Or has gameplay progressed in some areas whilst regressing in others. If so, do you feel that this new 'emphasis' (if one indeed exists) is a good thing or not?

The help/advice part: Recommend me some old PC games! (Planescape Torment? Civ 4? Alpha Centauri? I've heard good things about these... would anyone here agree? Basically anything that would run on an old computer, and something you feel has a 'spark' that makes them worthy of going back to after all this time [my priorities when gaming are good story/character development, and/or lots of choice in how I choose to play/develop my game] - So yeah, I feel the need to immerse myself in something and could do with some recommendations! :)

Wormey on
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Posts

  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Sins of a Solar Empire

    Fallout 3

    Mass Effect 1 & 2

    Crysis + Warhead

    These are all outstanding modern games that definitely give you tons of immersion and level of choice as you put it.

    Lucascraft on
  • JaramrJaramr Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Alpha Centauri is basically my favorite science fiction game ever, closely followed by X3, but they are whole different beasts.

    Jaramr on
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  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Civ 4 > civ 3.

    Antihippy on
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  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Anything with the Infinity Engine was great *despite* the limitations of the engine itself. Baldur's Gate 1 & 2 (with associated expansions), Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale 1 & 2 (with associated expansions).

    Alpha Centaury

    Chrono Trigger

    the Zelda games

    the Final Fantasy games

    Beyond Good and Evil

    Dungeon Keeper 1 & 2

    Europa Universalis 3

    Worms: Armageddon (don't play this singleplayer though)


    Diablo 1 & 2 (and expansion for 2)

    Starcraft

    Warcraft 2 & 3

    Smrtnik on
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  • Peter PrinciplePeter Principle Registered User
    edited June 2010
    I have spent a lot of time playing the civ games. I started with Civ2, then went to Test of Time, Call to Power, Alpha Centauri, Civ3 and a bit of Civ4. I don't know how well I'd like going back to play something like Civ2, though. The first time I had to move 50 artillery pieces from a city on my east boarder to a city on my west border, I'd be cursing the lack of Civ3's stack move. And playing a game like Ultima 5 or Bard's Tale without stuff like in-game quest notes or a mini-map (assuming you want to go back that far)? Ugh. They're all great games, of course, but they're saddled with certain burdens that have long since been fixed by improvements in programming or technology.

    Peter Principle on
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  • Zoku GojiraZoku Gojira Monster IslandRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Fallout 3 makes better use of the setting and style of the Fallout franchise than the original game which began the whole thing, IMO.

    And games in general are light years beyond the crap we played on the NES, SNES, and PS1. Not merely in graphics and visual presentation, although to rule this out completely would be absurd, but in gameplay and controls as well.

    Nostalgia has its place, but should always be recognized for what it is. Emotional attachment, not an objective evaluation of the merits of old games.

    Zoku Gojira on
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  • Bacon-BuTTyBacon-BuTTy Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Diablo 2 + Expansion + At least one friend = Months of enjoyment.

    Years even, if you're anything like us.

    Bacon-BuTTy on
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  • KelorKelor Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Most of the old Lucas Arts adventure games are fantastic and definately worth taking a poke at.

    You can get The Dig, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and Loom from steam in a pack for all of about $10.

    Kelor on
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Listen.

    There's this Lucasarts game, sorta like SimCity only amusing and has character.

    It's called Afterlife. I don't know if Lucasarts still sells it in collection packs or something but find it. Get it. You build heaven and hell for a planet.

    Henroid on
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  • Al BaronAl Baron Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Henroid wrote: »
    It's called Afterlife. I don't know if Lucasarts still sells it in collection packs or something but find it. Get it. You build heaven and hell for a planet.
    This becomes micro-management...well Hell in the late game.

    You will see the Four Surfers of the Apocalypso eventually.

    Al Baron on
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  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    It's probably a bitch and a half to find nowadays, but the quest for glory series is the best adventure game series ever.
    Antihippy wrote: »
    Civ 4 > civ 3.
    Really, There's absolutely no real reason to play 3. 2 has much more solid classic gameplay and 4 takes what's in 3 and improves it in every single way. I still don't know why we can't have squares (well, now hexes) and still have the nice elevation system that SMAC had though...
    Fallout 3 makes better use of the setting and style of the Fallout franchise than the original game which began the whole thing, IMO.

    Hate you. It takes story elements and some general ideas, but then is practically a whole different subgenre.

    Spoit on
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  • mere_immortalmere_immortal So tasty!Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Wormey wrote: »
    [my priorities when gaming are good story/character development, and/or lots of choice in how I choose to play/develop my game]

    Deus Ex. In the ten years since release no game has done the FPS/RPG hybrid as good as it has.

    mere_immortal on
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  • OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? peach treesRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Deus Ex is a classic for a number of reasons

    It's not perfect, there's a tons of problems with the engine and limitations in the programming and really, it's pretty ugly and not a very good shooter

    But god damn the way that game tells it's story, the way it handles choice within the confines of it's narrative, and the way the levels are designed is all so incredible that it's still totally playable and enjoyable, even today!

    Olivaw on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    By Category!

    (Turn based) Strategy:
    Civ 2, Civ 4 (they're both better iterations on similar gameplay ideas, much more refined; 5 looks like it's another new thing entirely)
    Master of Orion 1 and 2/Master of Magic
    Heroes of Might and Magic 2 and 3
    Age of Wonders
    Alpha Centauri, duh

    (Real Time) Strategy: Warcraft 2 and 3/Starcraft
    Age of Empires 1/2
    Dungeon Keeper (both of them)
    Homeworld
    Myth 1/2
    Syndicate
    Populous

    Simulations:
    Railroad Tycoon (but only the original or Deluxe, even though it came out in like '89)
    SimWhatever that is not Copter: City, Ant, Farm, and Tower in particular
    Afterlife is amusing and has a good amount of character to it
    Tropico is a lot of fun (Tropico 3 is basically the same game with prettier graphics and a few upgrades)
    Transport Tycoon (Deluxe, preferably). Also there's an open source version called open ttd that I think is legal if you want to find it.

    General strategy awesomeness:
    X-COM, X-COM, and X-COM. If you have never played the first in particular, you need to play it. Still the scariest game ever made, even though it has circa 1994 sprite based graphics. Also, coincidentally, the best game ever made. If you feel like getting raped add Terror From the Deep to your list. Apocalypse is fun, but different.

    RPGs:
    Ultima VI, without a doubt. Game that taught me to read at a high level before I started kindergarten. Also features a playable character that is a talking mouse that absolutely wrecks shit if you know what you're doing. I love it so. And just beat it again this last week.
    While you're there, the other best game in the series is generally considered to be Ultima 7 (which has two parts, Serpent Isle wasn't quite finished upon realease (EA!!!), both are still worth it). Ultimas 4 and 5 are also excellent. 8 is fairly lame and 9 is the devil.
    While you're at it, check out the two Ultima Underworlds. Fun games, part of the pioneering wave of first person games. Warren Spector led both of them, I believe.
    Also Warren Spector games: the two worlds of Ultima games, Savage Empire and Martian Dreams. Martian Dreams in fact features Spector as a playable character.
    Also a great RPG series: Might and Magic. I particularly enjoy the Xeen editions (4/5) and then the two set in the worlds of Heroes 2/3 which are VI and VII in the RPG series.
    For more hacking and slashing, Diablo 2 is pretty obvious

    Adventure games:
    Loom is an old, somewhat unknown gem. You should play it. Made by the Lucasarts crew that was also behind...
    Monkey Island 1-3 (and possibly Tales of? I'm sort of broke so only played the first chapter when it was free on Talk Like a Pirate Day). These are the games in the humorous adventure game genre. The first one is in particular brilliant, I think.

    Can anyone tell that I really liked Microprose, Bullfrog, Blizzard, New World, and Origin? Speaking of Origin, Wing Commander was pretty awesome.

    enlightenedbum on
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  • OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? peach treesRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    And I don't know that games ever had a "golden age"

    People like to look back fondly on games of the past, and there were a ton of games back in the day that were pretty darn good even by today's standards, but they overlook all the awful shit that came out then too. And really, game design has come a long, long way since the days of no minimaps and objective markers

    Really, I think that if any time is a "golden age" of games, it's now. There's so many different genres and they've all had enough time to evolve to the point that they can all generally accomplish what they set out to do in a way that is fun and engaging, so there's something for everyone out there and it's easier than ever to get it with Steam and Gamefly and big game aisles in Best Buy and whatnot

    Olivaw on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    We always look back at our youth as if things were better. Because we were young and life was reasonably simple. It's why "back in my day..." in a crochety voice will always be a cliche.

    That said, games totally peaked from 1989-1996. :P

    enlightenedbum on
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  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    What? Clearly it was 2000-2005 :P

    But seriously, while games as a whole might not, genres certainly fade in and out, much less subgenres. I mean, does anyone seriously think that we'll ever see a game like P:ST again, with the demand for everything, even incidental NPCs, to be fully modeled, animated, and voiced? Much less games in the whole flight sim genre, much less a space combat game like Tie Fighter or Freespace

    Spoit on
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  • XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn and Planescape: Torment are still the finest wRPGs ever made.
    In once sense that's a bad thing, but the OP should definitely play them.
    Other classic PC games include the two System Shocks, Sacrifice, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, MDK1 and 2, the Dungeon Keeper games, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic and Vampire: Bloodlines.
    All of those do things you won't easily find in modern gaming, too.

    Xagarath on
  • OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? peach treesRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Baldur's Gate 2 has the shittiest interface

    The shittiest

    That's one area where game design has certainly evolved: UI design

    Olivaw on
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  • GooglyBooglyGooglyBoogly Registered User
    edited June 2010
    Strategy (Turn based)

    I cannot recommend Alpha Centauri enough

    There is some work going in patching the .exe and I am still working on my update to the datalinks (see sig)

    Cavewars can be pretty fun for the first few games


    (Real Time) Strategy

    Nobody has mentioned Total Annihilation yet? I loved the early briefings

    Warzone 2100

    Hybrid:

    Missionforce Cyberstorm 2:

    I always found one to be too difficult, but kitting out your mechs was pretty cool.

    The same can be said for the classic Mechwarrior style games - Mechwarrior, Heavy gear etc..


    If you like hotseat I always have a shortcut to Liero (or one of the MANY variants) on any computer I use

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  • VistiVisti Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Yeah, play Planescape. The mechanics might bother you at first, but when you get hooked, you're hooked.

    Also seconding Citizen Kabuto, MDK and Vampire: Bloodlines.

    Visti on
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  • MegaMekMegaMek Is a girl, actually. Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Man, everyone not talking about Jagged Alliance 2 in here. Something's wrong with that.

    MegaMek on
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  • ZedarZedar Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I honestly think this all just fondly misremembering games we enjoyed in the past. If you didn't play a lot of these games when they were modern, they'll just look and feel terrible now without nostalgia to help improve them. Incidentally Civ 3 being referred to as an old game makes me feel really, really old.

    Zedar on
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  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    MegaMek wrote: »
    Man, everyone not talking about Jagged Alliance 2 in here. Something's wrong with that.

    Just remember to get the GoG one, not steam. Supposedly it has problems
    Zedar wrote: »
    I honestly think this all just fondly misremembering games we enjoyed in the past. If you didn't play a lot of these games when they were modern, they'll just look and feel terrible now without nostalgia to help improve them. Incidentally Civ 3 being referred to as an old game makes me feel really, really old.

    2D graphics hold up much better than 3D though. I find it physically painful to play PS1 games, even downscaled to the PSP's small screen, but I didn't have any problems when I replayed QfG when that VGA remake for 2 came out like a year and a half ago. And Lucasarts games hold up really well, especially CoMI

    Spoit on
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  • Bacon-BuTTyBacon-BuTTy Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Syphon Filter was one of my favourite PS1 games. And SF2. They were fun, the action and gunplay was amazing, and the story, while I knew it was cheesey, was so well presented for a game at that time.

    But I went back to it recently.

    And.

    Um.

    Don't.... don't go back to Syphon Filter. Any of them.

    Jesus.

    Bacon-BuTTy on
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  • spiderj24spiderj24 Registered User
    edited June 2010
    Spoit wrote: »
    MegaMek wrote: »
    Man, everyone not talking about Jagged Alliance 2 in here. Something's wrong with that.

    Just remember to get the GoG one, not steam. Supposedly it has problems

    The GoG version also allows you to apply fan patches, which can expand/improve the game significantly. Not that it needs expanding or improving, but why wouldn't you?

    I know it's already been mentioned now, but when I read the OP, Jagged Alliance 2 seemed like the perfect recommendation. It's worth just browsing GoG and seeing if anything catches your eye. Then rush back here and ask what people think - I reckon you'll find someone who's played just about anything there.

    Lots of classics to be found.

    I play and enjoy as many games now as I did in the past, but there are certain older games that, for me, have never been bettered. They tend to be the long, involving, replayable type.

    The aforementioned Jagged Alliance 2
    Master of Magic
    Master of Orion 2
    UFO: Enemy Unknown
    Ultima VII

    spiderj24 on
  • XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Olivaw wrote: »
    Baldur's Gate 2 has the shittiest interface

    The shittiest

    That's one area where game design has certainly evolved: UI design

    I think you have it confused with Dwarf Fortress.

    Xagarath on
  • Peter PrinciplePeter Principle Registered User
    edited June 2010
    I see a lot of Ultima mentions. There's a company out there (at least, there was a few years ago) called Spiderweb games that did a good job making turn-based Ultima 3-5ish games for windows systems. They're the Avernum (originally Exile) series and they're definitely good for weeks of play of that old Origins feel with more modern control and interface improvements.

    ETA: looks like they're still in business. http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com/

    Peter Principle on
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  • Cameron_TalleyCameron_Talley Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Old PC games?

    There's only one worth playing.

    TIE FIGHTER.

    Cameron_Talley on
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  • Brainiac 8Brainiac 8 Don't call me Shirley... Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Baldur's Gate 1 & 2
    Willy Beamish
    Commander Keen (any of them)
    The Dig
    Indiana Jones and the Lost City of Atlantis
    Space Quest (any of them)
    King's Quest (any of them)

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  • HykuHyku Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Ahem...

    Best Series :

    Quest for Glory - Way ahead of its time and I've yet to find someone who doesn't play to at least 4 if they give it a shot now.

    Best Flight Sim :

    Tie Fighter, sorry privateer you just don't hold up...

    Best Turn Based Fantasy Strategy :

    Warlords 2 - so many hours wasted... so many...

    Best 4X :

    Master of Orion 2 - just... one... more.. turn... thats... all... I... need.. *Repeat for 29 straight hours until you win or pass out**

    Best Fighter:

    One Must Fall - Come on you could buy/upgrade your robot, mix/match pilots....

    Honourable Mention :

    Ultima VI, VII & VII part 2 - simply awesome

    Lucas Adventure Series - Heh, DoT still makes me chuckle. Stupid clown... HAH HAH HAH

    Kings Quest/Space Quest - classics

    Fallout - It did what games only dreamt of and not only got away with it, but made a sequel

    Age of Wonders - Took Warlords and made it better

    Disciples - just plain fun, although Disciples II aged better.

    Dungeon Keeper - slapping your peons to keep them moving faster taught me everything I need to know about upper management today!

    Yup I could go on and on... but I'll leave it there

    Hyku on
  • spiderj24spiderj24 Registered User
    edited June 2010
    This is the second time I've seen Warlords mentioned on these forums in about a week and it is doing nothing for my desire to own the Goddamn thing. Although I'm after the third rather than the second. Lost my CD a long long time ago and was horrified to find it's not available to buy digitally anywhere.

    I'm hoping GoG picks it up at some point, seeing as they have Warlords Battlecry up.

    Also worthy of mention, Heroes of Might and Magic 3.

    spiderj24 on
  • jerzakiejerzakie Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Back in the day I was a huge fan of Syndicate and the Darkseed series. The whole Leisure Suit Larry, Police Quest, Space Quest, Kings Quest, etc are all pretty much classics.

    <3 this thread.

    jerzakie on
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  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    X-COM is such a fucking great game

    oh man

    As for the nostalgia tinted glasses thing, it can be true to an extent, but some games are just really freaking great no matter how old they are. I got into X-COM late last year, for instance. Had never played it before. The same kind of thing happened to me with Planescape and Deus Ex. I had no nostalgia to tell me they were amazing games, they just were.

    Also every time someone mentions Dungeon Keeper I seriously consider reinstalling DK2.

    BloodySloth on
  • BritishDavidBritishDavid Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Theme Hospital, Dungeon Keeper 1 & 2 ... Lionhead has yet to reach the dizzy heights of the early bullfrog games.

    BritishDavid on
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  • XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Theme Hospital, Dungeon Keeper 1 & 2 ... Lionhead has yet to reach the dizzy heights of the early bullfrog games.

    And never will.

    Xagarath on
  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    jerzakie wrote: »
    Back in the day I was a huge fan of Syndicate and the Darkseed series. The whole Leisure Suit Larry, Police Quest, Space Quest, Kings Quest, etc are all pretty much classics.

    <3 this thread.

    Dark Seed? Seriously? Yikes.

    Orogogus on
  • VistiVisti Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Pretty much all the LucasArts adventures if you're into that stuff, really. My favorites are Day Of The Tentacle and Sam and Max, but they're all really, really good.

    Visti on
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  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    There's an old board/action game called Dark Legions. You can play over a network or hotseat, and I think with Hamachi you could play it online (possibly). You and an opponent get a number of points in order to purchase units like fire elementals, demons, wizards, thieves, etc. Every unit has a special ability on the map. Wizards have a freeze spell that makes units within range lose a turn and does damage. Seers can see enemy traps on the map, and thieves can disarm them. Trolls can turn into stones, and it's impossible to tell the difference between real stones and hiding trolls.

    When two enemy pieces occupy the same space, the game changes to a top-down action game, and every unit fights in a different way. Whoever wins the fight gets control of that space.

    The objective is to kill the enemy Orb-holder, but the Orb is hidden from the opposing player. Part of the strategy is to decide whether you want to surround your Orb holder with traps and risk making your choice obvious, or to do something devious (like surround a random unit with traps to make your opponent think that unit holds the Orb, while a Shapeshifter moving with your army really holds it).

    It was a shitload of fun back in the day, and it still is if you can get it to work. Might be difficult to find a boxed copy, though.

    joshofalltrades on
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  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Descent and Descent 2 are still amazing. Crazy levels and intense shooting, with some great 3D movement mechanics. Same with Doom and Doom II, for the purest run and gun gameplay around. These are still great benchmarks for pure action.

    Deus Ex is still a completely amazing achievement.

    Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is the greatest turn based strategy game of all time. Ever. A complete masterpiece.

    If you haven't played the original Half Life, you should do that.

    I really love the first Fallout. It's one of my favorite RPGs ever, but I can really see how time may not have been too kind. The interface is a little bit clunky (but by no means horrible), and the graphics are basically lottabrown 2D isometric. The turn based combat was never terribly exciting either, but once again it has it's moments and isn't outright horrible. The Bloody Mess perk helps a lot with that one. Still, it's one of the best I've ever played. It's what I compare everything else to in the long run.

    Drake on
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