PC Games & I: A Monumental Mento Memento

Since Steam finally got me back into PC gaming, after some decade and a half or so of ignoring it for various reasons (hint: they all relate to how technologically sophisticated my PCs have been, which is to say not very), I figured I'd celebrate by talking about all the junk I used to play on this ol' box of beige.

Because this list is partially dedicated to ArbitraryWater, the main guy of talking about horrible old PC games in these parts, each game has a "AW" score - in this case short for "Aged Well?" - to help out those pondering their next GOG purchase or DOSBox-enabled abandonware download. I ought to give people a reason to read this thing, right? Keep in mind, I actually haven't played some of this stuff for years, so... mostly guessing here.

(Prog in Workress)

List items

  • Stay a while, stay forever! No wait, that was Impossible Mission.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Sure.

  • I have no idea what's going on. Aerosmith's trying to kill you and Jim Belushi.<br>

    <br>

    AW: If you have a thing for incomprehensible FMV adventures.

  • Like a weird, German Ultima with aliens and 1st person sections.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Not really, but it's an interesting enough game to try.

  • Can Sly Boots survive a universe of oddballs that's falling apart? Probably not!<br>

    <br>

    AW: Absolutely. The dated polygon graphics were never the highlight.

  • Old-school subterranean FP-RPG. If you like being lost in cold, dark holes underground..?<br>

    <br>

    AW: Sure, it's not too old.

  • Miniature giant space hamsters, going for the eyes.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Damn straight it has.

  • Best PC RPG ever made? I wouldn't bet against it.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Like a fine wine.

  • Cyberpunk graphic adventures were a thing in the late 90s.<br>

    <br>

    AW: It's free on GOG so who cares if it's aged badly or not?

  • Good road movie game based on huge fantasy novel series. Riddle locks.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Perhaps not, there's a lot of digitized LARPers. It's smart, though.

  • I wrote a blog that mentioned this thing. War sims need more skeletons and wizards.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Uhh.. no.

  • French murder mystery adventure game. Or is it German? It's cartoony and bright.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Sure. Most adventure games are evergreen.

  • Running over people in the DeGory'un.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Ha, I'd like to think this never gets old. But it's sort of old.

  • Gandhi declared war on me again. :(<br>

    <br>

    AW: It's ageless, but you're better off with a newer iteration.

  • Civilization, but shinier.<br>

    <br>

    AW: See above.

  • Man, puns. Am I right? This game's got them.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Weeeeell. It's an adventure game. But not a good one.

  • Diablo, but not.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Nah. Get Torchlight.

  • S&M desert frolics with D&D's least liked franchise.<br>

    <br>

    AW: It's an okay game, but tough. And old. But not Gold Box old, Lord no. Playable old.

  • Another long fantasy novel series, another adventure game.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Surprisingly, yes. Some neat puzzles with the spell casting.

  • A MacVenture about crime and criminals who do crime. And amnesia.<br>

    <br>

    AW: One of the earliest graphic adventures. It's certainly playable, if you like cheap deaths and confusion.

  • Oh wow. I'm trying to get AW to play this to gauge his reaction.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Spoiler - It's not good.

  • Y'all know Deus Ex. Trenchcoat guy with a laser sword and nanomachines. Etc.<br>

    <br>

    AW: The makers of Bioshock seem to think so. Zing?

  • Stay a while, and HEY! LISTEN! That was the 90s for me.<br>

    <br>

    AW: This may shock you, but there are games that still use this type of gameplay.

  • Like the first Diablo, but everyone's dead. Club Diablo with Wirt's Wooden Leg for the secret ending.<br>

    <br>

    AW: There's probably still clans of dudes playing this.

  • Running towards monsters, hitting the swing button, hoping for the best. Hours of fun.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Pfft, no.

  • Like the first. Very like the first.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Also no.

  • Discworld's a fun series. It's a very random adventure game. Use a guide.<br>

    <br>

    AW: There's a benefit in choosing colorful, cartoony pixel graphics over polygons, and this is it.

  • Like the first. But more confusinger?<br>

    <br>

    AW: Sure. Adventure games.

  • I guess they forgot to spell it "Discworld Noire." Amateurs.<br>

    <br>

    AW: It's FMVy, but still kind of good.

  • Can't have enough Diablo clones. This one's got a bit more of a plot to it.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Click. Click click click. Click. Yes?

  • [Insert MP3 of Vinny trying to do the Stage 1-1 theme.]<br>

    <br>

    AW: It got a XBLA rerelease so I assume so.

  • More Doom, but now with demons that bring other demons back to life. Yay?<br>

    <br>

    AW: See previous.

  • An early RPG-Action-Platformer thing. Also dragons.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Bit blocky, but still good.

  • Those alien bastards are going to pay for shooting up my ride. In 15 years.<br>

    <br>

    AW: I'd like to think the original still holds up, but...

  • The sequel trailblazed the RTS, this is more a weird adventure game hybrid. ATOMICS?!<br>

    <br>

    AW: I can't imagine it has.

  • Walk without rhythm, and you won't attract the additional pylons needed. This is a Dune RTS btw.<br>

    <br>

    AW: It's a really primitive RTS. Hasn't there been a Dune RTS since this one?

  • Endlessly generated dungeons! Only one character! See how long you can last before tedium sets in!<br>

    <br>

    AW: I like it more than NetHack, and people still play that shit.

  • The original and best first-person dungeon explorer. Maybe not the best.<br>

    <br>

    AW: It's really old. But, I dunno, it still has an edge to it. I thought some of the puzzles were really clever but then I was 8, so.. YMMV.

  • It's an expansion pack, but it's practically as big as the original game. You could make your own portraits in this one. Then you were dumped on a floor with some of the toughest enemies from the previous game. Fun.<br>

    <br>

    AW: As much as the original I suppose.

  • Inexplicable sequel that took years to arrive. Really quite strange.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Not really.

  • See the Giant Bomb retrospective on these games. Pack mules.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Did you see that retrospective yet?

  • Glitch your way to riches, power and bottomless pits to nowhere.<br>

    <br>

    AW: You don't need to play the previous Elder Scrolls to play Oblivion or Skyrim. Just FYI.

  • If I stated that Arena was too glitchy, I retract it. Daggerfall makes Arena look as stable as the atomic structure of a diamond.<br>

    <br>

    AW: You could probably play this your entire life, it's that big.

  • I don't really think I got past the dark elf asking your name on that boat before the game crashed. My old PC wasn't great.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Some folk seem to like this one. Dark elves, mostly.

  • Huge swaths of landscape to explore and monsters to stab in the back.<br>

    <br>

    AW: If you like top-down action RPGs with laughable voice acting, sure.

  • "Yo, this sure is the fifties again." "It sure is." "Can you hear a whistling nois-"BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-Ron Perlman. And now you're caught up.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Of course.

  • Use a trainer to max out hand-to-hand damage. Walk around shirtless with no weapons. Fist of the North Star mode!<br>

    <br>

    AW: You may age well during that slow-ass opening. Try not to get sidetracked by the many villages and their quests.

  • Fake out? I played the PC FF7 back in the day. Perhaps not the best choice.<br>

    <br>

    AW: "That's million bucks" can't be wrong.

  • Now the PC FF8 was the definitive version for sure. You could leave the Chocobo Pocketstation game going on your desktop. Same orphanage but forgot.<br>

    <br>

    AW: People seem to still like it.

  • Picking up pixels in the jungle. Wait, that's Pitfall. No wait, it was Flashback too.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Yeah, it's neat looking. Yahtzee vouches for it.

  • So many fart jokes. From the makers of Leisure Suit Larry? It's the best western-themed game with chemistry puzzles.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Adventure game.

  • Man, this was a well-animated adventure game. Spooky, too. Pity the sequels went all "three CDs needed" FMV.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Absolutely. It's a highlight of the genre.

  • Odd adventure game that depends on timing and reflexes more often than not.<br>

    <br>

    AW: It's tricky as hell, thanks in part to its absurd French sense of humor.

  • Awesome game based on Cinco de Mayo! No wait, the other one.<br>

    <br>

    AW: I'm a fan of this.. dango.

  • Dumbest scientists ever.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Get the Source version. Hope you like trams.

  • Man, do I love the Kickboat Saga. The boat is powered by kicking.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Hopefully it has, otherwise Episode 3 is going to be a wash. Or will continue to just not exist.

  • This is the one where everything looked cartoonish and dorky.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Might be okay to skip it. There's more, and they're all effectively the same.

  • This is the one I probably played the most. I used the black dragon cheat so much. I suck at strategy games.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Sure. If you're cool with rad, rad monster stacks.

  • Don't remember too much about III, but I think it was the best one. Boy, that sure sounded genuine.<br>

    <br>

    AW: See the previous two.

  • True talk: My final year university project was a 10-hour RPG made with the NWN Aurora engine. No, you can't play it.<br>

    <br>

    AW: I guess. D&D games started to dry up at this point. Can't speak for the sequel as of yet.

  • Icewind Dale is to Baldur's Gate as Final Fantasy XIII is to Final Fantasy XII. For a regular person, that means one's slightly more linear than the other. Just a smidge.<br>

    <br>

    AW: It's a damn fine strategic WRPG.

  • More ice, more madness. I don't believe I ever completed it. It's not easy.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Infinity Engine games are all awesome. At spinning brodies around the parking lot.

  • I am selling these fine leather jackets. The whip is not included.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Yes, many times yes. Get yourself the SCUMMVM and give it a whirl. Also a guide for the catacomb and castle parts. Trust me.

  • I tried an Ishar game back in the day. I was very young, so all I can really remember are huge echo-y chambers and sheer boredom. Then I went back to Dungeon Master or Elite or something.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Really doubt it.

  • I've actually played every King's Quest, from the first blocky adventures to that odd action-adventure one from a decade ago. Can't recall shit, but I've done it.<br>

    <br>

    AW: This is a tough call. I mean, Sierra adventure games were never my deal. I liked being able to finish games.

  • Awesome first-person dungeon-crawling adventure thing. It's crazy huge, and has a better story than most.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Patrick Stewart's voice acting says yes.

  • This one is less polished, but it's no slouch.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Well.. if you enjoyed the first one and want more four-armed rock dudes and the Draracle laying down the law, sure.

  • Isometric madness. Seriously weird game.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Probably not. Actually, a lot of people were super-pleased when this hit GOG, so I guess don't take my word for it.

  • I had to put the hamster in the microwave to stop it from screaming at me.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Always pick Bernard. He's canonical!

  • Man, this game is so good. Adventure game magic right here.<br>

    <br>

    AW: I wonder if Hoagie and Eddie Riggs are the same person at different ages? They both time-travel a lot. I'd say Eddie Riggs was a Sub-Hoagie, but that's terrible wordplay.

  • The peasants are asking for a granary and some improved irrigation? Time to summon a hydra to eat them. Wizards!<br>

    <br>

    AW: It's the best PC game ever made, so categorically yes.

  • Anachronismtastic!<br>

    <br>

    AW: It's an interesting evolution-based take on a God Sim, but too slow-paced for its own good at times.

  • More like Mentoberranzan! No wait, that's definitely a Z in there. My bad.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Really probably not. Unless you really like Drizzt. He's like the Alucard of D&D.

  • It's almost like a turn-based Doom. No, seriously. These games play weird.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Oddly, yes.

  • Also like a turn-based Doom. This one has a bizarre plot. Like something out of a Marvel comic.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Play VI or VII first. If you still have a jones for this series afterwards, then certainly.

  • Some polygonal viking nonsense. A weird departure.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Maybe not so much.

  • Confusion. Confusion and boredom.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Perhaps I shouldn't be the one to judge.

  • One of the many isometric RPGs in the wake of Diablo that few people played.<br>

    <br>

    AW: It's not too bad, honestly. But there's so many like it.

  • Oh jeez. Oh jeez, oh jeez, oh jeez. Problematic. The shuttle pilot likes to talk about coitus and a dog gets eaten by an alien.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Lord, no. So much interminable walking.

  • Trippy, atmospheric stuff. There are games like Limbo coming out now that play very similarly.<br>

    <br>

    AW: I guess so, huh.

  • Earth goes up, earth goes down, earth goes up, earth goes down. Peter Molyneaux's finest, before he got obsessed with fart jokes and underwhelming narratives.<br>

    <br>

    AW: It's very single-minded (yo, kill the guys that aren't you) but a neat history lesson on the God sim.

  • Like the first, but slightly more varied. Earth still goes up, still goes down.<br>

    <br>

    AW: If you like the first one, sure.

  • Interesting relaunch, with slightly racist undertones. The guys in Populous never ooga-booga'd.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Probably better than the older ones.

  • This is another series I played to completion (by importing the same character each time no less) but couldn't separate in my head sufficiently. I know it went from typical fantasy to Arabian Nights to Ravenloft during the series.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Yeah, it's my favorite Sierra adventure series. Get the boxset.

  • Yet another Diablo clone. This was all there was in the late 90s. Kind of influenced my full-time switch to consoles. It's not terrible though.<br>

    <br>

    AW: If Torchlight can make a bundle, none of these games are too old to play.

  • I really should play the Telltale games. Distinct lack of lunatic lagomorphs in my life.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Absolutely.

  • Hypnotize quarrelsome rhinoceros. Look at tremendous yak.<br>

    <br>

    AW: If you can tolerate insult grinding, yes.

  • This is where the monkey island mythology starts getting really screwy.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Yup, assuming you enjoyed the first.

  • A graphical update reveals what we've all suspected: Guybrush has a triangle head.<br>

    <br>

    AW: At this point, you're either a fan or you aren't. No point me saying anything.

  • "Look at-" [You have died.] "W-wait, I didn't even do anything yet." [All right, try doing something.] "Press... yellow button?" [You have died.]<br>

    <br>

    AW: It's really quite punishing. So maybe?

  • If I had known that I needed to build so many fire stations I wouldn't have created a city on Volcano Island.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Most people would suggest 2000 or 3000.

  • Like a slightly less witty Discworld game. Still recommended.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Adventure games. I will admit that there's a certain point where adventure games just flat out sucked, but this game was before that dark time.

  • They really ramp up the "Simon is kind of a dick" factor in this one.<br>

    <br>

    AW: If you liked the first?

  • Even I'm not immune to the domestic allure of the Sims. At least for a few hours.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Play the newest one. No reason to get a version which plays the same, but looks worse and has less features.

  • I actually only played Star Control 2 lately and it was amazing. It made me a *happy camper*<br>

    <br>

    AW: What I just said.

  • This game has too much graphics and not enough game in it.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Douglas Adams deserves better. Or we deserve better from him. No, go with the first one, it speaks less ill of the dead.

  • You better believe stormtroopers can shoot straight if they really set their minds to it.<br>

    <br>

    AW: I wouldn't say so for an old FPS game, but I know there are dudes who play anything with the Star Wars name on it. They must've been really tested by the past few years of constant Clone Wars junk.

  • Jedi Knight is a lot of fun, from its Jedi powers and duels to its janky FMV sequences.<br>

    <br>

    AW: It may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid.

  • Taking Canderous and HK47 again. The rest of you can stay on the ship and complain about your problems.<br>

    <br>

    AW: Since it's the same system Dragon Age is still using, I suppose it has.

  • Wahooka! Wahooka! Wahooka!<br>

    <br>

    AW: Not really.

  • How dare you, insect? How dare you lift 70% of this game and put it in your objectivist underwater FPS game? I AM SHODAN!<br>

    <br>

    AW: It's starting to look dated. But..