Extra Punctuation: Keeping Old Games Intact

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Keeping Old Games Intact

Yahtzee calls for a game archive to keep them playable after technology has moved on.

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Perhaps we can ask CD Projekt to make a Good Old Games for consoles? I've only bought one or two games off that site but I'm still astounded by how amazing it is.

People still use their old consoles though, the only time I ever go to Gamestop is to see what's in the PS2 bargain bin. Although the majority of the games people trade in are terrible, for every 10 Fifa 2004s, there's one Sly Raccoon.

To preserve the medium you should trade in games after you're finished and take good care of your consoles, allowing old farts like me to relive them in all their glory. Ape Escape needs love too you know.

It seems to me that every console maker should be willing to put together an emulator for all their consoles that are more than 1 generation old. I know that every current gen console has the computing power necessary to emulate a PSone or Sega Saturn.

It seems like it would be a win-win because for minimal effort you could then re-release every game ever made in their orignal format (if they were CDs) or in digital format and they would instantly be playable on modern consoles.

I'm very thankful for GOG.com because they're been able to keep old PC games coming out at exceptionally low prices. Now if only the console makers could get together to support something similar on their end.

I know what you mean about backwards compatibility. I had to buy a PS2 this year for just one game, and will probably go for months before buying another one.

I'm sure there are already at least a dozen sites that run '80s games in a web browser like this.

And this is what the PC is best for. Almost infinite backwards compatibility.

This is why I love Good Old Games. They update the games to run on current operating systems, then sell them for cheap. Nothing else. Oh, and they pile in lots of extras, and no DRM. That's awesome as well.

I love GoG and CD Projekt Red. Only ones that really seem to care about their games and their customers.

If only there was a similar group for console games...

The Smithsonian has begun this process, but yes, a museum of interactive media is going to be needed soon.

Babitz:
And this is what the PC is best for. Almost infinite backwards compatibility.

Yeah, but only if you're willing to put in some blood, sweat and tears just to get old games to run properly on newer operating systems. It was a royal pain in the ass for me to get classics like Tie Fighter and Daggerfall to run properly on my current computer. Fortunately services and programs like GoG and DOSBox are helping to alleviate some of these issues.

Speaking as a history enthusiast, I am often disappointed at the general apathy towards archiving old games. I agree wholeheartedly with Yahtzee's disgust at how console manufacturers really dropped the ball with backwards compatibility. Some of my favorite last-gen games simply won't start at all, and others have technical hiccups when I play them on current machines.

As for enhanced re-releases, it all depends on how it's handled. Generally I don't mind visual overhauls, but changing the gameplay or "feel" is a no-no. For example, I despised the later versions of X-Wing and Tie Fighter because they ditched the dynamic and original iMUSE soundtrack for a lazy Redbook conversion of music from the Star Wars movies.

Yeah unless there is a profit to be had. You can forget about it. Sad state of affairs I know, but perhaps it will change in time when the generation that grew up with Atari and NES, is old and decrepit and looks at games as if they are "a part of our cultural heritage" Perhaps then you will see such an archive.

I had this idea too. How many games will be lost to history if there is no place to preserve them? The big names will likely carry on, but what about the brilliant, but flawed games that flew under the radar?

That's partly why I never "upgraded" from the original model DS- the newer ones removed backward compatability with GBA games (which includes some of my favorites).
What's more is that no one seems to understand my frustration- when I tell people I'm mad that it's getting harder to play my GBAGs (my original DS just broke) they look at me all askance and ask why I even bother playing old games.

Ask and ye shall receive. http://www.cah.utexas.edu/projects/videogamearchive/mission.php It's a start at any rate.

Gaming definitely has a weird relationship with its history. Good Old Games is at the forefront of preserving old games and making them playable on modern machines, but they're all alone. Publishers keep cranking up the DRM, require us to be online to play, require constant authentication to use our downloaded games and DLC... it's honestly getting worse and worse, and the games are becoming more and more temporary and ephemeral. Which is ironic, because the wii virtual console, playstation network, and x-box live have all given a second life to previously released games, allowing for new and legitimate downloading.

Babitz:
And this is what the PC is best for. Almost infinite backwards compatibility.

I second this, as Neverhoodian states, possible yes - for the moment, and a royal pain in the arse!

Whats to say in 5 years Microsoft won't release a newer system that even dosbox won't be compatible with, and as time moves on a dual booting PC with an ol' window XP/98 boot up just won't be happening.

An archival process sounds wonderful, but who would do it, and to what end....unfortunately unless heres money in it or we can find a gaming nerd Bruce Wayne....

Yeah, I have to agree with your point. Even the greatest games will go forgotten if they aren't made available to new generations of gamers. But show these games as they were, not with digital Botox injections and tummy tucks.

sniddy:

Babitz:
And this is what the PC is best for. Almost infinite backwards compatibility.

I second this, as Neverhoodian states, possible yes - for the moment, and a royal pain in the arse!

Whats to say in 5 years Microsoft won't release a newer system that even dosbox won't be compatible with, and as time moves on a dual booting PC with an ol' window XP/98 boot up just won't be happening.

An archival process sounds wonderful, but who would do it, and to what end....unfortunately unless heres money in it or we can find a gaming nerd Bruce Wayne....

For every old game I've ever wanted to play on 7 or XP, I just had to google a bit. Also, there's tons of emulators out there for different systems. I believe there are some games that are tricky or even impossible to run for the time being, but we can really run a lot of stuff. A lot more than our console brethren. Of course Sony doesn't want ps3 to have backwards compatibility when they can just rerelease a game and earn more money.

I agree, and this is why I love the sites like Good Old Games, and DotEmu. And don't ever mention CG'ing Shia LaBeuf into Raiders, George Lucas might see it and think it's a good idea. Remember Star War Episode 6 the Special Edition?

Speaking of keeping the old things alive, the main reason why I'm not getting a Wii U is because it fails to completely reflect upon the Wii. It is one of the reasons why I got a Wii: backwards compatibility to the Gamecube.

This is exactly why 3D/HD Remastering speaks to the lowest form. It's not out of the company's "good will." Look at Square constantly rereleasing FF4 knock-offs while refusing to touch the rest. I wouldn't mind having a newer version of FF6 that didn't have the load time bugs that the PS collection had. Other features like eliminating random battles, fully fledged voice acting and CD quality audio would be nice. It won't happen though, because we've seen how far Square employees are lodged up their *****.

I disagree that changing voice acting would be a problem. I know two games that have definitely improved because of the fix: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and Symphony of the Night. Not every choice was pitch perfect (Alucard was such a wasted opportunity), but those actors all have massive experience and know how to provide quality performances day in and day out. It's a delicate balance between keeping the old-school mentality, fixing problems, and finding out how to avoid the companies from ****** us for extra money.

Yahtzee Croshaw:

Yahtzee calls for a game archive to keep them playable after technology has moved on.

Just for you Yahtzee.

http://www.freegameempire.com/games/Fantasy-world-Dizzy

Heres a question. In 70 years do all the copyrights expire and all these games become free game?

One of the best things Yahtzee talked about is context. Let me explain why.

I'm an avid reader, and have read most of what would be the pillars of modern sci fi and fantasy. This includes the mythologies they evolved from (Norse, German and English mostly). I'm also a huge Asimov fan. Thing is by modern standards his works are often simplistic, or lacking in areas like character development, and plotting. Does this make his writings less worthwhile?

Thing is that you have to read in context of his day, which is largely different than ours. What everyone takes for granted now he pioneered. He distiller ideas down to their core, and explored the possibilities they offered. Snow Crash and Enders Game might do the same with better characters and plotting, but Asimovs traces are there. To really appreciate his works this context is essential. Taken out of context and you would wonder what the fuss was about.

viranimus:
Yeah unless there is a profit to be had. You can forget about it. Sad state of affairs I know, but perhaps it will change in time when the generation that grew up with Atari and NES, is old and decrepit and looks at games as if they are "a part of our cultural heritage" Perhaps then you will see such an archive.

But isn't there a profit to be made, though? I mean, if we look and think about it, having backwards compatibility is a great way to ensure fidelity over generations. I know it was one of the factors weighing on my mind when moving from PS1 to PS2. And they could still make money off the old games, something which at least Sony is doing with selling some PSOne classics on the PSN. The fact that my PSN has all Final Fantasies (V to IX), Medievil, Syndicate wars, Vagrant Story, Oddworld and quite a few others for prices between 4.99€ and 9.99€ (for the Final fantasy games). Which really makes it all the more perplexing that they're not adopting backwards compatibility with the PS2 and/or selling the games in PSN. If I can play PSOne, why not PS2?

The PC community has embued almost all of gamings history with almost magical powers to run on almost any modern PC. From the abononware havens, to the murky waters to emulation and ROMs there is varying degree of effort required but you can get almost anything to run in some form or another.

This is why I own and maintain as many old consoles and games as I can.

Fuck legality, this is why emulation needs to be legalized. Anything other than the current generation of consoles is going to swiftly disappear to the mists of time, and we've gotten pretty damn good at emulation the really old stuff. Anything from the SNES/Genesis era and earlier is nearly perfect.

I seriously agree to everything in that article. Since I found out about emulators I enjoyed a lot of the old SNES, Genesis, Arcade games that I played or missed out on. I wouldn't want them to be remastered because they'll just up the graphics which really didn't need help and try to remix and or "modernize" the soundtrack which would alienate the original fanbase. This is why I respect the PC as the true king of gaming. Some might say its elitist but hell when you can play games from the from the 80's all the way up to modern games on one platform. That makes any console look like udder shit right there easy and we use your controllers too.

While I agree with your points in the article, part of your opinion regarding videogames as special cases (unlike books, music and movies) because of the way technology evolves is not entirely true. After all, I might get into trouble trying to play my betamax version of Star Wars, my HD-DVD version of Lord of the Rings or my vinyl record copy of Revolver.

Personally, I love finding emulators for old consoles and playing old games. My favorite is Tales of Phantasia on the ZSNES Emulator.

This whole column almost reads like the "About Us" section for www.gog.com.

Did anyone else come to sad realization that Sony removed BC of PS2 games so they could re-sell them to us in these HD packs? I for one now have to buy the Metal Gear solid HD pack because my PS2 just crapped out(I bought it from a friend for 20 bucks and it was already dying) and I really want to play some MGS 2 and 3

CGing Shia Laboeuf into Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Don't say that aloud Yahtzee. Need I remind you what George Lucas is like?

gtuil:
Did anyone else come to sad realization that Sony removed BC of PS2 games so they could re-sell them to us in these HD packs? I for one now have to buy the Metal Gear solid HD pack because my PS2 just crapped out(I bought it from a friend for 20 bucks and it was already dying) and I really want to play some MGS 2 and 3

You can try to emulate them on your PC. If you have a ps2 already, it's perfectly legal.

I tried that my PC cannot handle PS2 emulation.

Well history is one thing, but playability is completely another.

I'll watch the original Star Wars trilogy someday basically for historical reasons, but to watch the movies casually, I'll watch the remastered versions, just because they look better.

Same for games. I want to check out some old games, such as RPGs, but I really don't want to read the dialog. So if someone re-releases them with voice acting, they'll be much more tempting.

I have the original American McGee's Alice on CD for my nostalgic reasons, but to actually play it, I'll play the re-released version, because it's playable on the gamepad.

So, I'm absolutely all for preserving the history intact, but to make the old art enjoyable is another thing.

After all, you can read Homer's Odyssey in a completely different form than he has written it.

bombadilillo:
Heres a question. In 70 years do all the copyrights expire and all these games become free game?

Nope. Because then all the movie companies will have extended copyright protection by another century or so, and probably eliminating the concepts of Fair Use and Public Domain from copyright law just to be on the safe side, as well as convincing the government to monitor everything anyone does on a computer remotely in order to catch all "illegal" activity.

I'm aware of at least one such software preservation project: http://www.softpres.org - it started with "classic" Amiga games but these days I think they do quite a bit more than that. HTH

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