I'm sure Alex (my 13-year-old niece) and I (a tragic, 30-year-old video game expert/snob) are not the only ones to have bridged that gap between the videogame generations, but we are the only ones with a soap box from which to shout about it, so here's our run down of the best games to help old people get back in touch with the gaming scene and for whippersnappers to learn about games the way they used to be.
PS2 (as part of Taito Legends)
by Alex Spencer
Bubble Bobble is a good choice to play with a friend or a relative who just isn't into the more violent or serious kind of games, and is a good way to just sit and relax together. You play as either Bub or Bob who are two cute, bubble-blowing dragons. In the game, you have to catch things like robots, ghosts and other peculiar creatures by capturing them inside a bubble. As they float off toward the ceiling getting angry and red-faced, you must chase after them and pop their bubblebefore they escape, from which you gain points. Points mean lives, so you need to be fast and make sure you share the goodies with the other player. Touching one of the enemies without a bubble means you loose one of your three lives, although it's worth it at first to see your dragon go all dizzy and fall over.
There are one hundred levels in total which keep getting harder, but each level is nice and short, so you can play it if you have only a few minutes to fill. Spanner might blow a fuse at this one, but I think Bubble Bobble is as good on the console as it is on the arcade machine, so I really recommend Taito Legends.
Remember how Double Dragon turned out to be the best game ever? Well, it was in a photo finish with Final Fight.
Originally intended to be Street Fighter II, Capcom released Final Fight in1989 in its own right when test audiences complained about its lack of similarity to the original Street Fighter. The historical relevance of Final Fight is it's introduction of the "attack" button to the beat 'em up genre, whereby the player no longer had to learn button and joystick combinations to perform the game's attack sequences, they just pounded rabidly on a single button and the game engine filled in all the Jackie Chan type moves.
Although the (S)NES has its share of Final Fight conversions (good ones, too), this is definitely one for playing on the arcade floor. The thumping bass and cracking bones need to be experienced first-hand through the tactility of excessive audio volume, while an irresponsible disregard for the cabinet and its controls provide a warrior with exactly the kind of aggression relief their overworked psychiatrist might recommend.
Plug'n'Play TV game
By Alex Spencer
Tetris is another oldie-but-goodie, that I'm sure doesn't need an introduction. I first played a one-player version on Kirsty's (that's my auntie andSpanner's wife) original Game Boy. Spanner recently bought one of the "plug directly into your TV"-type Tetris games that allows two players to battle it out. He said it was for Kirsty...
In the TV game, the different shaped bricks still fall from the top for you to fit into the spaces below, only this two-player version allows you to make it a real block war. Completing a single line, as you might do more often when playing on your own and just want the points, doesn't have any effect on the other player. Completing two, three or four (Tetris!) lines at once adds the same number of lines to the bottom of your opponent's pile, taking them closer to the top of the screen.