Events this weekend made me realise just how far we've come in the gaming industry.
Yesterday prompted a step back in time to my gaming past when, while visiting my parents who are packing for a move north, my father told me he'd found my old Atari 520ST computer and did I want it.
"Yes, please," I said - then realised he he hadn't been able to track down the floppy discs that the games were stored on or any video or power cables. Never mind, I thought, it can be a project over the next few months: get the Atari back up and running and see whether it transports me back to my youth. One of my first jobs is to see if it actually works and then try to see if I can track down some games.
I have fond memories of the Atari 520ST. I got it in the mid-80s (yes, mid-80s) after I'd had my Sinclair ZX Spectrum for a while and had loads of fun with it. Strangely, I can't remember many of the games I played on it but definitely remember playing Space Harrier, Speedball and Robocop for hours. I loved Robocop.
The keyboard had a flim of dust from years of being stored in various garage cupboards and some of the letters on the keys were a little faded but still looked good. I have a glimmer of hope that it still works ...
When we got home yesterday, Master Game Junkie, obviously still on this nostalgic roll, asked if we could plug in the Atari Flashback that we had, a plug and play console that connects to a TV and is preloaded with Atari 2600 and 7800 games, such as Centipede, Battlezone, Asteroids, Canyon Bomber and Yar's Revenge.
Master Game Junkie had fun playing games like Centipede and Battlezone for a bit then suddenly said someting like: "Man, games in the olden days were pretty boring," put down the controller and walked off. He'd had enough.
I have to agree with him. While Centipede was still as much fun as it was when I first played it, Battlezone just felt outdated and slow and even Asteroids had lost the charm of when I first played it. Perhaps some games should remain in the past but be a good reminder of just how far we've come in terms of game play and graphics and storytelling.
Now, let's see if I can track down a source for Atari 520ST games ...
How was your gaming this weekend? Did you have any moments of nostalgic gaming - or was it current generation all the way?
Stuff you might also find interesting: Game Junkie is on Twitter and you can email him here. You can also hear him on Kiwi FM every Tuesday chatting about video games with Glenn Williams, and, if that isn't enough, he has another gaming blog here. Check it out sometime. It's updated as often as he remembers.
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