A Nickel for your Thoughts

My random thoughts about politics, cars, computers, sports, the environment and so on. For free. And that's about what they're worth.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The "Killer" List of Videogames

I find it interesting that the ColecoVision was superior in every conceivable way to its contemporary competition (it was basically a Sega Master System with less RAM, but it came out four years before the SMS), yet, due mostly to unfortunate timing (being introduced right before the industry collapsed under the weight of craptacular games for inferior, aged hardware (see Atari 2600)) it led a Dreamcast-like existence in which it sold like hotcakes for a couple years before market conditions killed it. It seems that's been a pattern with consoles; the best hardware frequently does not get the biggest market share.

The ColecoVision's game library consists of well-made '80s arcade ports (Donkey Kong, Galaxian, SpyHunter, Zaxxon, etc.) and thus it doesn't have any franchise games like those that gave the NES its staying power. Now you can emulate old arcade games pixel-for-pixel so no one cares about the ColecoVision anymore.

Not that anyone should.

I've never understood certain peoples' fondness for ancient video games. I don't mean old but fun and playable arcade games like those ported to the ColecoVision, I mean just plain old crummy games. Before you remind me that I just wrote two posts about the ColecoVision, understand that my interest in the ColecoVision is purely academic, never having owned nor played with one (except for a less-than-satisfying emulation experience caused by my crummy computer). While I think it's an interesting, ahead-of-it's time '80s artifact, I'd sure rather play a modern game on a modern system.

For example, the Killer List of Video Games' Top 100 Video Games should be called A List Of Some Video Games That Sucked But Are Really Really Old Plus Some Good Games With An Obvious Bias Toward Games That Run On CPUs That Now Run Scientific Calculators. Notice that KLOV's readers do not share the authors' fondness for games made before the advent of color graphics and microprocessors.

I'm sorry KLOV, but PONG is not a better game than Pac-Man, Pole Position is not a better game than Ferarri F355 Challenge, and Tank and BiPlane aren't better games than...a goddamn nose-picking contest. While many of the Top 100 are undisputed classics (Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, SpyHunter, Frogger, Dragon's Lair etc.) some are just old. Classic arcade games are cool (one of the first games I'm going to buy for my new console will be Namco Museum 50th Anniversary Edition), but there are some wierdos that still play Atari 2600 games on emulators. I don't get it.

Who would win in a fight...Pac-Man or Q*Bert?


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