Featured Post: Top 5 Retro Games
With two new consoles in the Xbox One and Playstation 4 released just before Christmas with newer, better and faster gameplay, graphics and games I am taking an opportunity to look a list of five of the top games from a simpler time. The following games got me through many hours and days during my childhood and I reflect on a time long gone, but not forgotten with this list.
1. Super Mario Bros
Mario first made is computer game debut back in 1981 as he had to rescue his girlfriend Pauline from the grasp of a large gorilla in the classic Donkey Kong, but it was not for another four years that the Italian plumber really made his mark on the world as he was given his own vehicle in Super Mario Bros. Mario and his brother Luigi (when playing in two player mode) had to travel through the Mushroom Kingdom battling the armies of Bowser to rescue to the captured Princess Toadstool utilising power ups, such as mushroom that doubles their size or a fire flower that allows them to kill enemies with balls of flame.
The game was so successful that, as of now, there have been 16 direct follow up games on each and every Nintendo console in the 29 years since its release. Even more impressive is that Super Mario Bros is the second biggest selling of all time with more than 40m units sold, with only Wii Sports having sold more copies. Not bad at all for a game going on 30 years, but after spending hours and hours my childhood playing this game and it still being as easy to pick and play to this day I can see why this game has sold so well over the last three decades.
2. Sonic the Hedgehog
While Mario was the front man for Nintendo and their first console the NES that destroyed Sega’s first console offering of the Master System in the mid 80’s Sega decided they needed a mascot of their own for their second console offering of the Mega Drive, released in 1988. As such, Sonic the Hedgehog was born via Sega AM8 (later to become Sonic Team) in 1991 and he helped transform Sega into a market leader with Nintendo during the early to mid 90’s during the 16 bit era of console gaming.
Sonic is known as the world’s fastest hedgehog and regularly has to use his famous speed to prevent Doctor Ivo Robotnik, more commonly known as Doctor Eggman, from collecting the Chaos Emeralds and taking over the world. The first Sonic the Hedgehog game was a commercial success and was the biggest selling game on the Mega Drive console as sold more than 15m copies (putting it in the same league as Call of Duty: Black Ops and Pokémon Black and White). While not being as popular as Mario the blue hedgehog has spawned 15 sequel games, as well as several joint ventures with the Nintendo mascot, and is still going strong to this day. I must admit that while being a Nintendo head in my more youthful days, I still have a soft spot for Sonic and his speedy adventures on the Mega Drive console as the game has a large change of pace from the slower moving Super Mario Bros.
3. Street Fighter II
When I was growing up you were either a Street Fighter fan or a Mortal Kombat fan and for me it was the former of these two games that held my heart and my pocket money at the local arcade! I was, and still am, a massive Street Fighter fan with the Street Fighter II: Champion Edition that was released in 1992 being my favoured version of the game. The premise is about as simple as can be in that you choose a character and fight your way through the ranks in one-on-one battles to meet, and hopefully beat, the final boss – M. Bison.
The arcade versions of the games sold over 200,000 machines, while the console releases on the Super NES and Mega Drive (as well as the HD Remix version of the game in the Playstation Store and Xbox Live Marketplace) sold more than 14m units since its 1991 release. While getting a handle on the game I tended to pick the more flamboyant fighting figures, such as Blanka or Dhalsim, but once I got to grips with it I settled on Ryu as my go to character I continue to choose the white clad fighter to this day, whether I play on a console or online (Just Google: Street Fighter 2 Champion Edition to find a place to play on your laptop!), and bring back the sounds and smells of many an hour spent in a local arcade shovelling coins into machines.
Created in Moscow in 1984 by Alexey Pajitnov Tetris is one of, if not the, most well known and played games in the last 30 years. It was released on the IBM PC in 1986 before finding its way to other formats, such as the Amiga and Atari in 1987 and the Commodore 64 the following year, but it was not until that Nintendo published a version of the game and bundled it with the new on the market Gameboy did the game’s popularity go through the roof.
The basic premise of the game is to arrange the seven different types of shape that fall down the screen into horizontal lines across the game field and once a line has been completed it cleared. Once you clear the required lines for each level you advance and the Gameboy version has no theoretical end level (although the level counter did stop at 99). This game has a simplicity that extends its game life unimaginably and I still play this game (on an original Gameboy no less!) to this game despite being released 25 years ago on this format.
The Atari 2600, which was released in 1977, was the first console in my household as a child and playing this as a small child with my family provides me with some of my earliest memories. There were many great games with the likes of Pac-man, Defender and Centipede noted as some of the all time classics.
However, while recently looking for an alternate way to entertain myself and spend money online apart from sports betting and poker I found a free online bingo site Butlers Bingo that piqued my interest and brought back memories of my days of playing the Atari. The game Bingo was published in 1983 by Brazilian firm CCE and was basically a port of the Dice Puzzle title and while the game itself shares nothing with the game we know today as Bingo it is an entertaining and deceptively difficult game to play.
The game requires that you change the 16 squares from their random numbers of 1-6 to all display a six and you are able to change the numbers by row, column or diagonally. While each grid will be solvable some are easy to solve while others are deceptively hard but the game was fantastically enjoyable – and still is. Just Google Dice Puzzle Atari 2600 and you will be able to locate and play a browser version of the game. Can you solve the puzzle?