Because ‘Sonic Mania’ is a really good one.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/599gdq/whats-your-favorite-nostalgia-trip
Because ‘Sonic Mania’ is a really good one.
I guess just so that I’m not posting Secret of Mana and other SNES games again, there’s also this, though it’s not a game:
Half Life 1 - To remind me of when I first started playing PC games with my brother.
Suikoden. One or Two. I go back to Vandal Hearts every few years as well.
I’m a few hours into the PS4 port of Final Fantasy 7, and I’m shocked at how much I’m enjoying it. Often nostalgia fades very quickly when confronted with the realities of dated tech, but I think it’s been so long since I played the original (nearly 20 years) that instead of re-experiencing a still fresh story through potentially frustrating mechanics I didn’t notice the first time, I’m truly rediscovering the game, my memories of it and that time in my life.
Being able to turn off random battles and run to a save point when it’s quitting time doesn’t hurt, either.
Donkey Kong Country Returns was suuuuch a good one. It isn’t exactly like its predecessors, but it made me feel like I was playing them again. I think that’s what any great nostalgia piece does: gives you the sensation that you’re replaying a classic without the annoying bits that kind of stick out now.
Funnily enough, my favourite nostalgia game is also a sonic game - Sonic Adventure. I got the Director’s Cut when I was like 8 on my PC and it was one of the first games I have ever played. I would not consider that game to be outright “good”, but there are so many sweet, memorable and creative things about it that it allways felt like a warm old blanket to me, one that just makes me feel good. The game also has a bunch of genuinly great stuff in it - the beach levels felt like the best translations of ethe early sonic games into 3D( and that whale amiright?!), the chaos bosses were really awesome and creative(they hold up!), the story is short but surprisingly sweet and coherent, and the game had just the right amount of one-time-use gimick level like the casino and airplane fight to really make it shine. Also, shout out to E-102 Gamma - the original sad existential robot!
OK but for real who do I have to seduce at sega in order to get Gamma Automata. WHO.
It’s obviously the greatest Genesis game of all time: Shadow Dancer. As a poor kid with very few games, this cart got a ton of play. It also fulfilled my six year old dream of becoming a Kung fu action star by allowing me to do cool ninja shit.(I know that Kung fu is Chinese and Ninjas are Japanese but I was six and didn’t know any better.) Plus the music is bangin.
Actually Sonic Mania has been reminding me of some kinda weird neat things from my experience of being a child in the 90s.
During the mid 90s, my mother was working for an apparel manufacturer that primarily did licensed apparel. One of the licenses they were able to land was from SEGA for Sonic the Hedgehog. My sister and I both played the Sonic games a bit at that time, so she actually had us come to her job one day and demonstrate Sonic 3 for her bosses while they grilled us for what kids liked about Sonic.
(Not really grilled, more just asked relatively harmlessly but it was still kinda neat)
But this isn’t the only fun 90s story I have. After that job she started working for another apparel company setup in Redmond. Around that time the N64 had come out and we’d gotten it for Christmas with Super Mario 64, and since my birthday was the following month, I asked for Pilotwings 64, but apparently it was really hard to find anything N64 related at this time cause it was the hot new thing. However, one of my mother’s co-workers apparently had a brother who worked at Nintendo of America which was literally right up the road where she worked from, and she’d asked if she could get a copy of the game directly from them. Of course they don’t sell games directly, so they had to do this weird shady deal in a Burger King parking lot for the game that the brother apparently had taken from the stock of review copies for the game and sold it to her right then and there.
Mind you I didn’t know this until a couple years ago when it’d just come up in conversation which… like I get why she didn’t say how she got it back then but still one of those weirdly amusing “what the hell” stories.
The 90s was a crazy time, kids.
Few things make me feel like a child the way Mario Paint does. Haven’t played it since my obsession with it when it came out, but even just the soundtrack teleports me straight back to being a kid.
Especially this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIIs-yx01_k
I don’t think I ever beat that fly swatting game, either. Hmmph.
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance is totally this game for me. It’s one of the games that I played when I was just old enough to really wrap my head around games and identify strongly with characters on more than a superficial level. While it hasn’t remained at the top of my pecking order, it never fails to raise a smile and any game that enters its orbit of influence may as well, in my eyes, be showered in accolades.
Fire Emblem is one series I’m so upset I missed the boat for. Stil haven’t gotten into one yet, but it’s right up my alley.
Anything Starcraft just reminds me of muddling through the first few Terran missions over and over again in my parents’ kitchen. I never really got into 2 while it was big, but I boot it up from time to time to acquire more minerals.
The Jak trilogy. I adored those games as a kid, and replaying them where they were remastered for the PS3 was an absolute blast. Jak 3, in particular, is just incredible. There’s just so much to do in that world.
Also, I would pay good money for Halo 3 on PC. Just the campaign, even. The nostalgia hits hard whenever I hear that monk-like theme music, followed by those soft strings and keys
Wolfenstein 3D, the original Duke Nukem, when it was still a platformer, and old timey Adventure games like Hugo House of Horrors <3
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 & Underground for me. I would spend entire weekends at my friends place playing those games with him & his brothers. The only thing that mattered (especially in Underground) was getting all the tapes & finding the hidden spots on the map. I remember distinctly all of us would always play as a particular skater (Reynolds, Muska, Margera & Mullen) if we couldn’t play ourselves & just spend hours trying to complete a certain goal.
Several years later when I went to college I’d learn my sister would play THPS 3 on her own since she was too young to play with me at the time but remembered I’d play it a lot. Now whenever Amoeba by Adolescents we end up singing together. Thinking about it now THPS 3 probably helped my sister & I become closer.
Now that my sis is leaving for college I wish there was a way to play that game with her.
Resurrecting (hijacking?) this thread for my own lil nostalgia trip.
I spent quite a while recently obsessing over the look and feel of early FPS games, a la Wolfenstein 3D, Hexen, and the like. Something about their relatively bare-bones designs is so beautiful, even as the worlds they create feel whole and completely fleshed out. I decided to create my own homage to those games, as well as that general era of '90s culture. Maybe it was all just a way to try to revisit those seemingly simpler times. Anyway, if anyone feels like jumping into the weird lil retro world I made, it’s available for free.
Super Mario World for me. It was my first “proper” game I suppose. I had a Gameboy before, but the games always felt really limited and often pretty difficult for my young mind.
SMW was just this whole world filled with challenges and secrets. It took me a very long time to get all the secrets in the game, and the sense of amazement when I discovered each is just sort of ingrained in my brain.
I try to play it through to 100% completion every year or so, because every time I do I feel I learn something new about game design.