Saturday, September 25, 2010

Games people can't play.

Kids these days... They can't even play Ultima IV!

I'll confess to never having gotten into the Ultima games myself. Richard Garriott's nom de geek ("Lord British") was just too twee for me. I did like the fairly straight forward hack'n'slash of the Wizardry series, but beyond that, computer role-playing games were not much on my gaming radar outside of the SSI gold box AD&D adaptations and the eventual rise of the Baldur's Gate series.


(H/T to Popehat.)

18 comments:

Jim said...

Well, Wiki says it differs from slashers in having "an ethically-nuanced, story-driven approach." Not the best box office.

Yes, I had to look it up. Last computer game I played was "Go to Oregon" on a Mac2e. I usually won because I always said yes when the box asked me if I wanted to stop and buy more ammo.

Bob said...

I liked the Phantasy Star series, myself, didn't know anything about the Ultima games until much later; I was still a subscriber to Ultima Online until recently; if not for the faithful fan base in the Far East, Ultima Online would have died long ago.

Rustmeister said...

I remember playing Wizardry and Bard's Tale II on my IIc back in the day.

I had one of the Ultimas, but lost interest and didn't finish it.

As for online RPGs, Meridian59 is still around. Seeing as it's free, I don't mind the Doom-era graphics.

perlhaqr said...

I think most people don't like them these days because honestly, they aren't very good.

They were certainly great at the time, given the extremely limited resources computers could offer, but frankly, we just have better stuff now.

The very name of the computer says it: Commodore 64. An 8 bit computer with 64 kilobytes of memory. My current computer boasts specs with opposite numbers: a 64 bit processor with 8 gigabytes of memory. Not to mention the roughly 3 million times as much storage capacity on my built in hard drive as one one double sided 5-1/4" floppy.

I played Ultima back in the day, but even my AD&D buddies thought the few of us who did were a bit strange. The rest of them (and me, I admit, the new hardware was pretty awesome) had a lot of fun with the then just released 8-bit NES.

BobG said...

I remember playing Pagan; it was better than most of the others, in my opinion.

Sabra said...

I still miss the original Baldur's Gate...

Laughingdog said...

even after they learn to craft potions, speak to every villager, and take notes on what they say - it isn't much fun for them.

Ultima 4 wasn't a lot of fun for me either, and less so when I tried replaying it recently. The concept is great. But the mechanics make it feel like I'm just bringing my work home.

LabRat said...

As games, they were far too much work. If you want classic old-school computer RPG, go with Nethack, which at least remains somewhat interesting even if you need a bit of a masochistic streak for it.

Robert said...

As I read this, I'm in the process of writing a campaign for NeverwinterNights2, which is basically an advanced Baldurs Gate.

DirtCrashr said...

So let me get this straight - there are teachers of games and students who play them, and the teachers get *paid* and the students think they are actually learning something?
As an over-50 male I feel my life is becoming completely passe and irrelevant, as what passes for reality among the yout' becomes more and more vaporous.
Just shoot me.

D.W. Drang said...

You kids with your computers and your internets. In my day, we played role playing games with pencils, paper, and dice, the way Gary Gygax meant them to be played.

WV: osphtsh. A minor demon in Call Of Cthulu.

Anonymous said...

I haven't ever played the old Ultima titles either. Just doesn't appeal to me that much, and I haven't been alive long enough to have played games like that when they were new. Most of my game nostalgia comes from the familar feeling of an N64 controller in the hand...with a loose creeky analog stick, from the thousands of times I've swung bowser by the tail a little too long, and many small crevices containing the grime of a thousand sweaty late night Perfect Dark shootouts.

And anyway if I want hideous graphics and hours of research and reading just to figure out what the hell to do next...I'll play Dwarf Fortress.

Kristopher said...

Mheh.

Get the real gamer crack out and play Warcraft ...

Dirt Sailor said...

The only game that has been on all the computers I've owned since 2000, has been Baldur's Gate II. It's got totally primitive graphics, but man, it's just so well written, and people keep making nearly professional mods for it. Just awesome. I got it brand new for $49.99(At 15, it seemed a princely sum), and I don't regret it a bit.

Tam said...

Jeeze, it's hard to believe that BG II is that old now...

Brian J. said...

I thought that after the gold box games, they moved away from the feel of the roleplaying games and into the realm of the video games, so although I got the Baldur's Gate series, I didn't get much into them.

Tam said...

Brian J.,

Really?

I think that the original Baldur's Gate was maybe the most authentic recreation of pen & paper 2nd Edition AD&D I've seen yet.

Anonymous said...

to the 50-plus poster -

think of this as the 21st Century version of film school and it might begin to make sense.

film school isn't awful as preparation for working in the movie industry, although you damn well better be doing projects on the side if you actually want to be employed afterward (unlike what happens to the majority of film school students).

computerized gaming is currently a bigger industry in revenue than Hollywood at this point.

there is even a indie/auteur movement within gaming springing up. Yes, sooner or later gaming is going to have it's "Seventh Seal" and similar hipster/elitist/"arteeste" nonsense.

Some would argue this has already happened with games like "Shadow Of The Colossus" and "Alan Wake".

when I started seeing senior centers offering Wii action gaming as a form of light exercise and entertainment for the 70 to 100 year old set, I knew the world had well and truly changed in that regard.