2017 Classic Gaming Binge

A lot of classic game collections became available in the past year or two, and I figured this is a good year to catch up on some of the old-ass games I've missed in the past. So in 2017, I am going to play through:

  • Atari Vault (100 games)
  • Sega Genesis Classics on Steam (59 games)
  • NES Classic Mini (30 games) EDIT: WELP, GUESS THAT'S NOT HAPPENING
  • Mega Man Legacy Collection (Another 5 6 games)
  • EDIT: Disney Afternoon Collection (6 games)
  • EDIT: Namco Museum (10 games)
  • And six 19 other pre-PS1 games to make it an even 200

200 games might seem like a daunting task, but I think its doable. My definition of "play through" is a little loose, so for a lot of these Atari games I'll just poke at them for 3 minutes before I give up and move on. Also, I still don't have a NES Mini, but I figure it'll have to become available sometime in the next few months... Right?

EDIT: Well, Nintendo discontinued the NES mini which screws up my whole stupid plan. I'm really unreasonably angry about this... I guess I won't play a full 200 games. I'll probably just buy the Disney Afternoon Collection and call it a day.

EDIT: Adding the Namco Museum onto the pile. Ten more games, 181 total.

EDIT: Turns out, I had a friend with a NES and SNES in his basement! *wink* So I added 19 games to bring it up to an even 200. Its early November right now, and I'm in the home stretch... I have thirteen games I bounced off of already, which I'll at least revisit briefly. And three bonafide classics from my youth that I'll replay for funsies.

List items

  • I'm not gonna list out all the Atari games below, just the ones I really like will get their own entry.

    As of 12/30/2016, I've tried out 28 of these games that looked kind of shitty. And having played them, they're just as shitty as they looked. 28 down, 72 to go.

    1/31 -- I played four more, 68 to go. Asteroids is the only standout, some thoughts below.

    3/1 -- I've checked off 50 games so far, 50 to go. None really worth talking about...

    5/1 -- With Major Havoc checked off, I've got 49 games to go.

    5/26 -- Four more checked off, 45 left.

    7/24 -- 70 games down, 30 to go. I'll eventually write reviews for Yars Revenge, Adventure and Secret Quest for the 2600. And I'll probably review most of the arcade games.

    9/21 -- OK that's it, that's all the Atari I ever want to play. I thought I would take the time to play through Adventure, but I just don't have the patience for it. I enjoyed going through the collection even though 80% of it was pure ass. Its just funny to think that people used to be actually impressed with this stuff.

  • What is it? -- A side-scrolling beat-em-up.

    When did you play it? -- Late 2016

    Did you play it back in the day? -- I don't remember.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its ok. Three stars.

    How long is it? -- About two hours long.

  • What is it? -- The most popular of the old Mega Man games. I heard Patrick say it was his 1st or 2nd favorite game ever.

    When did you play it? -- Started on Jan 8, finished on Jan 9.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- I don't think so... I remember owning MM1 and renting MM4, but I'm pretty sure my family missed out on MM2 & MM3 (the two games that matter).

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Mega Man 2 is pretty damn good! I can see why this is considered a Top Five NES game. This was a passion project for the devs, and you can see the passion right there in the game. It has heart.

    I found myself enjoying the Dr. Wily castle stages the most... In a way it seemed like the first eight stages were just a long open-ended tutorial for the Wily Castle stages. After I'd collected all the weapons/abilities and learned how to use them, the Wily stages really tested my skills with all of them.

    I wish it was longer though. Mega Man 3 is supposed to be longer and I have a hunch that I'm gonna like it more... We'll see.

    Five stars.

    How long is it? -- About four hours.

  • What is it? -- The best Sonic game.

    When did you play it? -- January 14

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Yes, a lot.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yeah, Sonic 2 is still pretty good. Not as fun as in my memory, but fun. Its harder than I remember too, I couldn't beat the last boss. Fantastic soundtrack. Four stars.

    Are there any good mods? -- I tried out a few different mods for this but none of them held my attention.

    How long is it? -- About 80 minutes.

  • What is it? -- A bad Genesis game, with the VF2 name slapped on it.

    When did you play it? -- January 14

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- This is not worth my time.

  • What is it? -- The first Sonic game.

    When did you play it? -- January 15

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Yes, quite a bit.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its better than I remember in some ways, but... Sonic 1 is a game with issues. Playing through Green Hill Zone is platforming bliss, even in 2017. But then you hit Marble Zone which is slower-paced and has depressing music. Its not bad level design, but it doesn't give me the speed and sensory overload I want from a Sonic game. After that is Springyard Zone, which is actually cooler than I remembered.

    The fourth zone is Labyrinth Zone and it is truly awful. Sonic goes underwater, where he moves like he's walking through molasses and has to watch out for air bubbles or else he'll drown. It is tedious and difficult in all the wrong ways. For a game that is advertised and focused on speed, this is just bad design. It doesn't belong in a Sonic game. The last two zones are actually pretty awesome, but they're not worth suffering through Labyrinth Zone.

    Three stars.

    Are there any good mods? -- Yes, there's one in particular: Sonic 1 Reordered -- This rearranges the order of the zones, and modifies many of the levels to make the game less tedious and have a better flow. I don't know exactly what was changed, but I did seem to have an easier and more fun time playing through this version of the game. Its worth a look.

    There are many other mods and level sets, but none that really stood out to me.

    How long is it? -- I forgot to time it... About 90 minutes I think.

  • What is it? -- A very old Atari arcade game.

    When did you play it? -- Off and on, starting in January

    Did you play it back in the day? -- I think I played it twice before? Maybe?

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- I was hoping that if I put some serious time into Asteroids I'd get good at it and learn something insightful to say about why its a classic. So far, all I've learned is that Asteroids is a hard fucking game. I do like the iconic simplicity of its vector art-style, still looks kind of cool today.

    Four stars.

  • What is it? -- Walk to the right and hurt people.

    When did you play it? -- Jan 17.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- I don't think so.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its fine? I guess? Three stars.

  • What is it? -- Its supposedly the 1st or 2nd best Mega Man game on the NES.

    When did you play it? -- Started on Jan 21, finished on Jan 23.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Nope.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its a great game, but I definitely enjoyed MM2 more. MM2 seemed more relaxed and loose, I felt like I was being encouraged to experiment and try stuff out as I learned the mechanics. I enjoyed MM2's weapons a lot more (especially the Wood Shield). MM3 is more difficult, and it felt kind of rigid somehow... In addition, it had a LOT more flickering and slow-down. This is still a really great game though.

    Four stars.

    How long is it? -- About six hours.

  • What is it? -- A falling-block puzzle game for the Genesis.

    When did you play it? -- Jan 24

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Nope.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- It seems fine, I just don't feel any pull to put more time into it. Seems like a 3-star game.

  • What is it? -- The first of many Mega Man games.

    When did you play it? -- Jan 28 thru 29

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Yes, I owned it on the NES. I never could manage to beat it.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Mega Man is unfairly hard, and I had to abuse save states quite a bit to get through one part. It has a satisfying feel to it, but its totally outdone by MM2. Four stars.

    How long is it? -- About three hours.

  • What is it? -- A Sonic game for the Sega CD.

    When did you play it? -- February 5

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Nope.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Not really. The time-travel mechanic is strange and kind of pointless. The J-pop soundtrack is annoying. The level design is really frustrating in some spots. I didn't like it. Three stars.

    How long is it? -- About 90 minutes.

  • On Steam, this is "Sonic 3 and Knuckles".

    What is it? -- The third Sonic game, and its expansion pack released as a special lock-on cartridge. Combined to make one big-ass Sonic game.

    When did you play it? -- February 7-9

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Yep!

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its still great! Better than I remember actually. I think I actually prefer this to Sonic 2 now. Four stars.

    Any good mods? -- There's a mod called "Knuckles, Knuckles and Knuckles" that's funny for a few minutes. *shrug*

  • What is it? -- A beat-em-up.

    When did you play it? -- March 13

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Nope.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- This is pretty clunky, even for the genre. Three stars.

  • What is it? -- Supposed to be one of the best beat-em-ups and one of the best Genesis games.

    When did you play it? -- March 14

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Nope.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its pretty good. Much better than the first game. The controls feel smooth and nice. Four stars.

  • What is it? -- Another one of these.

    When did you play it? -- March 14

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Nope.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- The music is awful, the graphics are worse than SOR2, controls are even worse than SOR1 somehow. This is an awful game. Two stars.

  • What is it? -- A behind-the-back rail shooter.

    When did you play it? -- March 14

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Nope.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Sorry, I can't deal with this framerate. This looks like its 15 fps or something.

  • What is it? -- An isometric-view Sonic game. Why?

    When did you play it? -- March 14

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Nope.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- I hate it, I didn't even get past the first level. Who thought this was a good idea?

  • What is it? -- More of this shit.

    When did you play it? -- March 14

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Nope.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its added some new characters that I like and they've added multiple routes through the game. But its definitely the clunkiest of the series. Two stars.

  • What is it? -- Pinball-themed Sonic spin-off

    When did you play it? -- March 15-17

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Yes, probably a lot. I got to the last boss but never could beat him.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- This game is totally unfair, I have no idea how I ever got so far as a kid with just three lives. This time I gave myself infinite lives and even then I had to abuse save states to finish the game. I still kind of like it, but I could never recommend it to anyone. Great soundtrack though. Three stars.

  • What is it? -- A Genesis launch game, I think.

    When did you play it? -- March 18

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- No, this is pretty bad. And unfairly hard. I gave myself infinite lives and I feel pretty sorry for anyone who had to beat their head against this game back in the day. A real mind-numbing slog. Neat transformations though. Two stars.

  • What is it? -- A fighting game.

    When did you play it? -- March 18

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Sorry, this is just way too hard for me, and Jeff said it was pretty bad. So lets check it off the list.

  • What is it? -- A nonviolent rogue-like for the Genesis

    When did you play it? -- March 19

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its ok. The movement is so fucking slow, it kind of drives me crazy. And its frustrating how the game will constantly find ways to wind back your progress. I'd keep getting knocked down a level. Or all the presents I had identified would be de-identified randomly. I got up to the 20th level and only needed three more ship parts, but I was feeling pretty bored. The aesthetic is kind of neat though. Three stars.

  • What is it? -- A beat-em-up, with a few shooting sections.

    When did you play it? -- March 19

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- This is pretty bad, but I found it to be delightfully goofy and had a great time playing it. It has a real B-movie charm. Three stars.

  • What is it? -- A NES platformer.

    When did you play it? -- April 18

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Yep! Its the 2nd game I beat as a kid.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yes, its still great! Really solid level design. Still challenging but not quite as hard as I remembered. I did use save states a couple times, but for the most part I beat this fairly. It took me about 80 minutes to finish.

    Five stars.

  • What is it? -- An obscure arcade game from 1983.

    When did you play it? -- Several times through the year, up until 4/26.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Discovering awesome obscure games like Major Havoc is what makes this whole stupid endeavor worth it. This game is crazy ambitious for its time, and I'm amazed that I'd never heard about it until this year. The 3D vector graphics still look great and it mixes up several gameplay types that go great together. Every level starts as a simple spaceship shooter, followed by landing on the enemy ship, then it becomes a side-scroller where you have to get to the reactor and get back out before the time limit runs out. Also, there's a breakout mini-game that you can use to level warp.

    I wish I could give this a higher rating, but eventually I came to realize that the platforming controls are terrible and the difficulty is brutally unfair. I'll never make it past the fifth level, but I REALLY enjoyed the time I've put into it any way.

    Four stars.

  • What is it? -- A badass action game for the Genesis.

    When did you play it? -- Several times through the year, up until 5/5.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yes, its one of the best looking Genesis games I've seen and the gameplay is very, very good. I really wish I had the time to beat my head against this game and really master it, but that's just not possible right now. As it is, I played through it once with infinite life and tried a few times to play it normally but could never get past any of the bosses.

    Four stars.

    But if I had the time and patience to get good and beat this legitimately, it would likely be a Five-Star game.

  • What is it? -- An action-platformer for the Genesis.

    When did you play it? -- May 6 thru 13.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yes, this game is so goddamn good. Fantastic control and level design. It really rewards taking the time to practice and get good at the game so you can complete it in one smooth run. One of the best Genesis games I've ever played. Five stars.

  • What is it? -- An '80s arcade game, ported to the Genesis

    When did you play it? -- A few times this year up to May 26

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yeah, Flicky is pretty good for what it is. I'll never have the patience to really get good at it, but the time I've spent with it was pretty fun. Three stars.

  • What is it? -- Its an American port of Puyo Puyo

    When did you play it? -- May 26, plus a couple times before

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- It seems fine. I'm not gonna put a ton of time into this when I have Puyo Puyo Tetris on the Switch, but this seems good for what it is.

  • What is it? -- An arcade game ported to the Genesis. A platformer/shmup hybrid.

    When did you play it? -- May 29, and a few times before.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its not great. It was clearly designed to suck up quarters. There's nothing else especially wrong with it, it looks alright and the controls are alright. Three stars.

  • What is it? -- An action-platformer for the Genesis.

    When did you play it? -- May 29 thru June 1

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yes, Shadow Dancer is a solid, challenging action game, until the final boss fight which is totally unfair. But everything right up till then was great fun. Four stars.

  • What is it? -- An RPG for the Genesis.

    When did you play it? -- June 11

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- No, I'm finding the dungeon-crawling sections to be unplayable. Its first-person dungeon-crawling, with the screen shrunk down to about 1/4 its normal size. And really slow, choppy movement through the dungeon. I'm not doing this to myself.

  • What is it? -- Mo' Mega Man

    When did you play it? -- June 18

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Yes, it was a rental.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yeah, I had a good experience with this even though it is uninspired and not on the same level as its predecessors. Its a decent Mega Man game... Nothing more, nothing less. Four Stars.

  • What is it? -- Another one.

    When did you play it? -- June 19 thru 24.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yep, another solid Mega Man game. There's not much else to say about it. Four stars.

  • What is it? -- The last NES Mega Man game.

    When did you play it? -- June 24

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yeah, sure, its another pretty good Mega Man game. Its more of the same formula, but its a good-ass formula. Four stars.

    And lets just get this over with:

    MM2 > MM3 > MM1 ≥ MM5 > MM6 > MM4

  • What is it? -- A great fucking game.

    When did you play it? -- August 7 thru 10

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Yes, I've 100%'d this at least three times.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yeah, if you've never played SMW then you should. If you've played it before, you should maybe replay it. Five stars.

  • What is it? -- An arcade game from 1988. Side-scrolling action.

    When did you play it? -- August 26, and a couple times before.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Nope.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yes, I really enjoyed my time with Splatterhouse. Its probably a little too hard for its own good (it was supposed to be a quarter-muncher after all), but its a solid little action game. Four stars.

  • What is it? -- An action-RPG for the SNES. Released in Europe, but not in the US.

    When did you play it? -- I finished on 8/28. I think it took me about 10 days.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Just a tiny bit on emulator, in my teens.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- I don't think so... I've read so many good things about Terranigma, and I'm a HUGE fan of Illusion of Gaia (this game's predecessor). I was really looking forward to this. But I found it to be a real slog in certain places, and the story is either badly translated or nonsensical. I see what they were going for: An RPG where life and civilization rise up around you throughout your quest. There are some great bits in there, I especially liked doing the side-quests that would transform the tiny villages into modern cities. Maybe if I had played this as a kid I could overlook the bad pacing, the story-telling flaws and the poor translation.

    ** SPOILERS BELOW **

    There were several parts in the story where I would do things as a player that my character would have zero motivation for doing. In the late game I go into a lab to resurrect someone who is clearly a mad scientist and cult leader. Why? My character has absolutely no reason to do that. Beruga is clearly an evil bastard, why wouldn't I just leave him in cryogenic sleep? And there are several parts where major characters just disappear and then reappear apropos of nothing. I meet a skateboarding kid in North America, there's a short cut-scene, then he disappears. Three hours later, I meet him again in China and he acts like he's my best friend. WTF? Why would he be in China? Why is he helping me with this dungeon, I barely know the guy? There's a ton of nonsense like that.

    ** END SPOILERS **

    Overall, I feel like Terranigma is the Twilight Princess of the SNES library. A mediocre game that a vocal fanbase likes to evangelize because they were too young to recognize its huge flaws at the time. Three stars.

  • What is it? -- Some kind of top-down action game for Genesis.

    When did you play it? -- Aug 29th

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- No, this seems pretty bad. Avoid.

  • What is it? -- A rail shooter for Genesis.

    When did you play it? -- Aug 29th

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Every rail shooter or first-person game I've played on Genesis has this crazy choppiness that gives me a headache. It may be a decent game, but I found it unplayable.

  • What is it? -- A classic arcade game

    When did you play it? -- Several times up through Sept 2.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Yes, I've played Pac-Man before.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yeah of course, Pac-Man is a classic for good reason. Five stars.

  • What is it? -- A remake/sequel to Galaga.

    When did you play it? -- September 2

    Did you play it back in the day? -- I don't think so.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its ok, but I prefer the original Galaga.

  • What is it? -- An arcade dungeon crawler.

    When did you play it? -- A few times up through Sept 2.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- No, I don't like anything about this. Its competently made but the movement is slow as shit, the sound effects are fucking annoying... I don't see why anyone would want to play this. Two stars.

  • What is it? -- An arcade action game.

    When did you play it? -- Several times up through Sept 2.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Nope.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- I fucking love this game. Its way too hard for its own good, but the feel of the controls, the look of it, the music... This is a fantastic game. Four stars.

  • What is it? -- A NES platformer

    When did you play it? -- September 17

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Just a little bit at a friend's house.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yes, this is a solid platformer, four stars

  • What is it? -- A dual-stick shooter

    When did you play it? -- Many times up thru 9/21

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- This isn't really my genre, but I think Black Widow is a pretty decent game. Three stars.

  • What is it? -- A popular arcade game

    When did you play it? -- A few times up thru 9/21

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Probably...

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- I think Centipede is just OK, I don't understand why its considered a classic. Three stars.

  • What is it? -- An arcade shooter, sort of

    When did you play it? -- A few times up thru 9/21

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its too damn hard... Its a cool concept and the vector graphics are great, but I can never get much of anything done before dying. Three stars.

  • What is it? -- Sequel to Centipede

    When did you play it? -- A few times up thru 9/21

    Did you play it back in the day? -- I don't remember...

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- I like it a little more than Centipede.... three stars

  • What is it? -- A very early arcade game

    When did you play it? -- A few times up thru 9/21

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Lunar Lander is oddly relaxing once you get the hang of it... A good podcast game. Its so simple that I can't recommend it, but I've had some good times playing it. Three stars.

  • What is it? -- 80s arcade game

    When did you play it? -- A few times up thru 9/21

    Did you play it back in the day? -- I don't think so

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- I think its just OK... Maybe if I played it on a real cabinet with a trackball I'd get more out of it. Three stars.

  • What is it? -- The first commercially successful video game

    When did you play it? -- A few times up thru 9/21

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Nah

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Well, no, not really. Maybe if you had someone to play with you, but who would ever do that?

  • What is it? -- Very popular game for the 2600

    When did you play it? -- Several times up thru 9/21

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yars Revenge is fantastic. There's just something really primally satisfying about lining up that shot from the left side of the screen and nailing the Qotile with it. It could use more variety (its just the same two levels looped repeatedly with very minor changes), but its the best game I played in the Atari collection, and the only one I'd be tempted to return to. Four stars.

  • What is it? -- NES game

    When did you play it? -- September 22

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Nah.... It just didn't grab me.

  • What is it? -- NES game

    When did you play it? -- September 22

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- No, it was always considered bad. I don't really know why I played this, except for morbid curiosity. Two stars.

  • What is it? -- The Big Daddy

    When did you play it? -- September 22

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Yes, this was my favorite thing ever when I was a kid.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yeah, I mean there's all kinds of nostalgia involved, but I still enjoy playing through SMB. Five stars.

  • What is it? -- Arcade action game

    When did you play it? -- A few times up thru 9/23

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yeah, I had an alright time playing through this. Four Stars.

  • What is it? -- An arcade action game.

    When did you play it? -- A few times up thru Sept 24.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Nope.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- No, I don't like it nearly as much as Rolling Thunder 1. The movement feels very stiff, I don't like the music... It isn't satisfying, and its still way too hard. Two stars.

  • What is it? -- A vertical scrolling shooter

    When did you play it? -- A few times up thru Sept 24.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Probably at some point

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its not for me... I suck at this game, I can never get past level 5. It seems well made I guess. Three stars.

  • What is it? -- An arcade action game.

    When did you play it? -- A few times up thru Sept 24.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- I think so...

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- I just don't enjoy playing Dig Dug. I'm bored by the time I get to the 3rd level, and consider death to be a sweet relief from the insane music. Two stars.

  • What is it? -- A side-scrolling shooter. Very unique.

    When did you play it? -- A few times up thru Sept 24.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its way too hard, but very interesting. It has a lot of unique mechanics, such as a specific bombing target in the middle of each level and having to land your plane at the end. I wish I had the time and patience to git gud, but its not possible for me right now.

  • What is it? -- A NES platformer.

    When did you play it? -- Finished on 9/25

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Not bad. Three stars.

  • What is it? -- A NES platformer.

    When did you play it? -- Sept 26

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its ok. Three stars.

  • What is it? -- An early NES game.

    When did you play it? -- Sept 27, a couple times before

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its kind of neat. A good way to kill twenty minutes. Three stars.

  • What is it? -- A NES platformer.

    When did you play it? -- Sept 27

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its not as good as the first game, but I had some fun with it. It seemed much easier than the first one. Four stars.

  • What is it? -- A side-scrolling shooter

    When did you play it? -- Sept 27, once or twice before

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- This isn't my genre and TaleSpin doesn't seem like an especially good one of those. I didn't get too far with it.

  • What is it? -- A single-screen arcade game

    When did you play it? -- October 12

    Did you play it back in the day? -- I've played various remakes and ports of Mario Bros on NES, GBA, etc over the years... I don't know that I've ever played the original arcade game before

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- I don't like it at all. The arcade version has a very irritating footstep noise whenever you walk. The physics in this version are too floaty and you skid too far when you try to change direction. The gameplay is boring and repetitive. This is only interesting as a historical curiosity. Two stars.

  • What is it? -- The first Mario game

    When did you play it? -- October 12

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Yeah.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yeah, Donkey Kong is still a pretty cool little thing. Four stars.

  • What is it? -- Sequel to Donkey Kong

    When did you play it? -- October 12

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Yes

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yep, its still pretty fun. Four stars.

  • What is it? -- The Doki Doki Panic re-skin

    When did you play it? -- October 12-13

    Did you play it back in the day? -- Hell yeah I did

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yes, Mario 2 is a very unique platformer with great level design and a well-executed difficulty curve. I wish Nintendo would revisit this world and these gameplay concepts some day... Five stars.

  • What is it? -- Some sort of stealth action game.

    When did you play it? -- October 14, a couple times before

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Nah... I didn't like it.

  • What is it? -- An edu-tainment game

    When did you play it? -- October 14, a couple times before

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- The interesting part of Ecco the Dolphin is the storyline and the world-building... This has none of that, and I think its supposed to teach pattern recognition to young children. I didn't put much time into it.

  • What is it? -- A 2D platformer

    When did you play it? -- October 14, a couple times before

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- I don't care for it... Feels like a three-star game.

  • What is it? -- Its sort of a cross between 2D platformers and adventure games... you're supposed to roam through the level and find the kids that are hiding behind trees and shit like that.

    When did you play it? -- October 14, a couple times before

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- I didn't click with the good TJ&E game, so I'm not gonna try too hard to get into the allegedly bad one.

  • What is it? -- A rail shooter for Genesis

    When did you play it? -- October 14, maybe once before

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its another game where I can't deal with the shitty frame-rate. There might be a decent game here, but I can't play it without getting a headache.

  • What is it? -- Sequel to Castlevania

    When did you play it? -- October 14

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- It seems really bad. I'm just gonna watch Vinny's playthrough... I don't want to do this to myself.

  • What is it? -- Falling-block-style puzzle game

    When did you play it? -- October 15

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- It seems totally fine but its not grabbing me at all.

  • What is it? -- Side-scrolling shooter

    When did you play it? -- October 15

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- It has an interesting art-style that reminds me of the Panzer Dragoon games. I had to turn on infinite lives and then I just held down the fire button for a half hour to beat it. I had a good time, but I couldn't tell you if this is a good shmup or not.

  • What is it? -- An arcade platform game

    When did you play it? -- October 15

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- No, the jump physics are too fucked up for me to enjoy this. There's an interesting game here, but I keep falling through the floor when I jump up, even though my character clearly has his feet on the floor. Its intensely frustrating. Two stars.

  • What is it? -- A late Genesis game from Treasure.

    When did you play it? -- October 21, a couple times before

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its got a TON of style. I'll give it that much. But I didn't find the gameplay very engaging, so I cheated my way through it. The visual imagery on display in this game is pretty wild, if you like weird Japanese humor you'll probably enjoy Dynamite Headdy.

  • What is it? -- An early Genesis game, very popular.

    When did you play it? -- October 21, a few times before

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Yes, its great. My experience with this game was a bit like Resident Evil 4 actually: I came to both games long after their release and they both made a bad first impression with their seemingly clunky controls. But the level design is so damn tight, that once I invested the time to really engage with the games on their own terms I was deeply impressed.

    Its much harder than Shinobi 3 (I had to play on Easy difficulty, using a fuck-ton of save states) and its not as fun to control, but The Revenge of Shinobi is undeniably a classic. Five stars.

  • What is it? -- A Genesis game about a dolphin, with a beautiful art-style. Involves time travel, pteranodons and aliens.

    When did you play it? -- October 22

    Did you play it back in the day? -- I tried to play the XBLA port about ten years ago. I got stuck very quickly and gave up.

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- I got a little further than last time, then I got frustrated again and just watched the damn thing on YouTube. Ecco is very hard to control, and I was always losing my sense of direction... The game involves a lot of fumbling your way around with no clear idea as to where the goal is. I don't have it in me. I'm glad I at least watched a playthrough, this game gets freakin' crazy in the second half.

    Sorry Ecco, I tried! I still think you've got a really cool concept and I hope Sega tries to reboot you again some day. But your controls suck, and you're too damn hard.

  • What is it? -- An action platformer, it has a DKC-esque art style.

    When did you play it? -- October 24

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- It seems totally competent but it didn't grab me at all.

  • What is it? -- Sequel to the game above

    When did you play it? -- October 25

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Still competent, still not grabbing me.

  • What is it? -- Sequel to Ecco the Dolphin

    When did you play it? -- October 25

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- I already know I don't like this series, so I only played a tiny bit and YouTubed the rest. They did a good job of developing the atmosphere and fiction. The Ecco series was ahead of its time in some ways, but I don't enjoy the gameplay at all.

  • What is it? -- A platformer

    When did you play it? -- October 29

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its pretty mediocre. A subpar Mario clone.

  • What is it? -- An action platformer

    When did you play it? -- October 29

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its kind of neat, but I feel no pull to actually finish it.

  • What is it? -- A platformer

    When did you play it? -- October 29

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- No, it seems really shitty.

  • What is it? -- An early NES game

    When did you play it? -- October 29

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Nah, its way too simplistic.

  • What is it? -- An action RPG

    When did you play it? -- I played about an hour sometime in the summer.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its pretty enjoyable, but I'm not gonna go the distance with this. A decent Secret of Mana replacement for the kids who never had a SNES.

  • What is it? -- A strange top-down action game. Its supposed to be a strategy game, but I don't think it qualifies.

    When did you play it? -- Nov 1

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- No, I don't like anything about this.

  • What is it? -- A very cute platformer with a horror theme

    When did you play it? -- Nov 1

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its got a great art-style and quirky sense of humor. I don't think its an especially great platformer and I won't take the time to beat it, but this seems really cool.

  • What is it? -- A popular action-platformer for NES

    When did you play it? -- Nov 4

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- This game is hard but fair... for the first five levels. Then all of a sudden it starts blatantly horse-fucking you with some of the worst cheap bullshit difficulty I've ever seen. Plus, there's a bug which causes the checkpoints to work incorrectly for the last few boss fights. I never would have finished without save-states.

    Ninja Gaiden was an amazing five-star game until the endgame, which thoroughly disappointed me... Four stars.

  • What is it? -- The first of many Castlevania games

    When did you play it? -- Nov 4

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its not perfect, but Castlevania is still well worth playing. It seemed clunky at first, but as I learned the levels I found a very satisfying hypnotic rhythm to the movement. Walk, jump, whip, keep walking, whip, jump, walk back, turn, whip, etc... The game just feels good to play. Four stars.

  • What is it? -- An obscure action game from Treasure. Released physically in Europe, but only on the Sega Channel in America. A boss rush game with very short stages in between.

    When did you play it? -- Watched on YouTube on 11/19. Tried to play it earlier this month.

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its very difficult and I couldn't wrap my head around the strange controls and mechanics. I feel like this was designed for people who'd beaten Gunstar Heroes thirty times and wanted something stranger and more difficult.

  • What is it? -- An action platformer with RPG elements.

    When did you play it? -- Early November

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- Its very clunky and the RPG elements feel tacked on unnecessarily. I didn't get too far with this.

  • What is it? -- A genuine turn-based Rogue-like for the Genesis.

    When did you play it? -- Early November

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- It was confusing and seemed very unfair. Having a real rogue-like back in the 16-bit days must have been novel and unique... But nowadays we're swimming in way too many rogue-likes, rogue-lites and rogue-like-likes that are much more immediately engaging. I can't really justify putting a lot of time into this.

  • What is it? -- A cult classic Action RPG for Genesis. The people who played this in its heyday seem to REALLY like it.

    When did you play it? -- Early November

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- The isometric viewpoint makes it very hard to control. You have to constantly be pressing your thumb at diagonal angles to move where you want. I may not be giving this game a fair shake, but I found that really off-putting and I don't want to fight these controls for a 20-hour game. The hour or so I played of it did seem alright.

  • What is it? -- An obscure Action RPG from Treasure. From what I could find, this is not well-remembered or well-liked.

    When did you play it? -- Early November

    Did you play it back in the day? -- No

    How is it? Does it hold up? -- I had the same problem with isometric controls as the game above... This game is shorter with much less of a story and only a single large dungeon to explore. But the reviews I read did not encourage me to continue on...