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Classic Games (Games) Games

The Best Video Games On Awful Systems 272

Buffalo55 writes "For the most part, classic games manage to reappear on different systems. Just look at Nintendo. The publisher has done an excellent job bringing NES, SNES, Genesis and even old school Neo Geo titles to the Wii's Virtual Console, while Microsoft's Game Room brings the best of Atari's 2600 into the living room. Of course, not every console was a success. The '90s, in particular, saw quite a few flops from companies like Panasonic, Sega and Atari. Just because a system is a failure, though, doesn't mean all of its games suck. On the contrary, most of these machines have a few gems that fell between the cracks once the console croaked." What overlooked game on a failed platform would you like to see revived?
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The Best Video Games On Awful Systems

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  • Utopia! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aunchaki ( 94514 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @06:47AM (#33447366) Homepage

    I had an Intellivision as a kid. It was awesome. There was a game for it called Utopia [wikipedia.org] that was the first Civ-style resource management game I ever saw. I played it endlessly.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Hodr ( 219920 )

      Also had an intellivision.

      Best game, by far, Truckin.
      http://www.atariguide.com/41/4132.php [atariguide.com]

    • Utopia: "For color TV viewing only"
      :-) ... man, seems like decades ago... oh, wait.
      • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

        I still had a b/w set as late as 1994...

        I was telling my father about a Dr. Who episode one day and he asked which it was and I was, like, "must have been one of the newer ones because it was in color" and then I was all "oh, wait..."

        Supposedly most of your memories and dreams are in b/w anyway, so what difference does it make? :-P

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hairyfeet ( 841228 )
        Anybody remember ColecoVision [wikipedia.org]? I was the envy of the neighborhood thanks to my ColecoVision. Zaxxon, DK JR, Time Pilot, man the graphics on it (compared to what was out at the time) rocked!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by acomj ( 20611 )

      Utopia was great. I liked that it was 2 player.

      I liked AD&D as well. I played that system with my brothers,
      Games we liked I remember:

      NFL football. - 5 players per side although 2 didn't do anything (you could run through the center and snapper)
      Bump N Jump - 2 player driving smash em up
      Star Strike - kinda like the death star trench scene flying scene
      Astrosmash - shoot falling things.. Simple but fun.
      Dreadnaught factor - battle large "star destroyer" type space ships..

      Those controllers disc would hurt y

  • Bungie's Marathon on (Score:5, Informative)

    by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @06:51AM (#33447398) Journal
    • If I had mod points, I'd mod you plus phfor insightful.

      (See, the bad guys in Marathon were called... you know what, never mind)

      Hopefully Bungie, now done with Halo, will go back to the franchise.

    • by petermgreen ( 876956 ) <.plugwash. .at. .p10link.net.> on Thursday September 02, 2010 @08:26AM (#33448008) Homepage

      From the article you linked
      "Bungie released the source code of Marathon 2 in 1999 shortly before being acquired by Microsoft, which led to the advent of the Marathon Open Source Project, more commonly known as Aleph One by fans. The project, which is still active as of 2010[update], is committed to adding enhancements to the Marathon 2 engine. In 2002, a project to port Marathon to the Marathon 2 engine, called M1A1, was completed. Several of the game's music tracks have been remixed and enhanced multiple times by different people. In early 2004, Bungie released the entire Marathon Trilogy as freeware, allowing it to be downloaded free of charge. "

      So it seems that one has already been revived :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mqduck ( 232646 )

      As long as we're talking about brilliant Mac-only games, don't forget Escape Velocity [wikipedia.org]. The best part of the game was the addons:

      The entire series features an open-ended plug-in architecture, allowing new scenarios to be written by users. This technology is based on the Macintosh resource fork format, making it possible to develop plug-ins without using any purpose-designed editors (though several editors exist and are popular since they make the task much easier).

      When I was 12 and the game was still new, I went Computer Camp at Standford University (yes, I'm a nerd). Escape Velocity was the thing that made Windows campers jealous of those of us who used Macs.

  • by ticklemeozmo ( 595926 ) <justin.j.novack@NOsPam.acm.org> on Thursday September 02, 2010 @06:53AM (#33447406) Homepage Journal
    Scorched Earth!!! The mother of all games!!! I would pay to have it multiplayer on Android.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tukz ( 664339 )

      There is a gazillion versions of the "Scorched Earth" recipe.
      There have got to be a version of it for Android.

      Though, not sure if anyone made a complete replica of the original Scorched Earth.

      • by Barny ( 103770 )

        I still have the manual for it around here somewhere, printed on letter tractor feed paper :)

        Seriously, just buy worms.

      • I still have the exe (or was it a COM?) for it somewhere, I just saw it a few weeks ago. It may be on a disk with Karateka.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There's always Scorched3D. http://www.scorched3d.co.uk/

  • The PSP *seriously* let down the game, compare the Epic Citadel tech demo (which you can get from the App Store for yourself right now) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtcLSXKk5To [youtube.com] to the graphics ingame, and its shocking. Much of Peace Walker were jaggy angles, with crappy fog effects, as you ran from loading point to the "end" marker. Long loading times, extremely basic level design...
    • I wouldn't describe the PSP as an awful platform. It's got a pretty decent installed base and quite a large library of very enjoyable games. If there was such a thing as a PSPGo exclusive game, then that might well count, though...

      There is, however, a separate category of games which appeared on one platform when they would blatantly have been a better game on other platforms that were around at the time. This is a category that includes a lot of PSP titles and a huge number of third party Wii titles. Peace

      • by dafing ( 753481 )
        I remember when the PSP came out, it felt like a GODSEND, it was something incredible...it felt like Sony at the top of their game. Its screen was incredible for the time, so bright, and large, it felt slim, it felt powerful. I'm 22, I barely remember when Sony were powerful, what happened?

        Now look at them, an embarrassment. I'd be ashamed to use most Sony products. The PSP has needed a replacement for YEARS now, they should be where Apple is, to be blunt. Instead, they really did go crazy, with dif
        • Yeah, the PSP was incredible at release. I still prefer it to the DS, due to the better graphics, larger library of games I'm actually interested in and lack of reliance on a stylus that's very difficult to use on public transport (a big issue for a lot of commuters).

          But now... you have to worry about it. The PSP Go has been as miserable a failure as any handheld I've seen since the N-Gage. And hey, at least the N-Gage got people talking about it. And with the 3DS on the horizon, the PSP is about to lose it

          • Get the AAA games like God of War, MGS or Syphon Filter, WipeOut Pulse (or Pure) and the fun games like Patapon, LocoRoco, Everybody's Golf and Half-Minute Hero and the PSP has endless fun to offer, you just have to ignore the media obsession of calling a 50-million selling machine always being termed a failure. Throw in some decent minis, and you're laughing
        • With the "Retina Display", the A4 chip, the aluminium/glass construction, App Store... they really have become lightyears ahead of Sony.

          And then you said:

          The PSP always needed a second analogue stick.

          iPhone and iPod Touch don't even have one analog stick, D-pad, or buttons. Unlike those controls, a multitouch screen has no tactile feedback. A touch screen is better for some genres but worse for others, and I can see Sony targeting genres not amenable to touch control.

          Surely its much easier to develop for the iOS (and Android of course) platforms? Why bother with some crappy PSP? What kid would want a PSP Go, when you can get an iTouch, probably for LESS

          So can I get an "Android pod touch", or do I have to buy a cell phone to get Android 2?

    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      Come off it. The PSP is 5 years old. Besides if you're going to compare games, compare like with like. The Citadel demo you refer to is basically a walkthrough of a static landscape. It looks very pretty of course, but then it doesn't have to worry about collision detection, or enemy AI, or animation, or special effects, or physics, or networking or anything else an actual game would. There is no doubt that a modern handheld should be able to do better than a PSP but it is difficult to infer much from that
  • I remember playing "No Man's Land" on my Amiga 600 quite a lot with a few friends over.
    Usually turned into a drinking game, but was fun as hell.

    Don't know if that game have been remade or something similar to that game have been made.

  • Tunnels of Doom (Score:3, Informative)

    by sproketboy ( 608031 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @06:55AM (#33447418)

    On the TI-994a. Excellent game for the time.

    A rebooted version was written a while back which is as good.

    http://www.dreamcodex.com/ [dreamcodex.com]

    • by Xiver ( 13712 )
      I'm really glad that you posted this. The TI was my first computer and this is one of the games that my parents bought for me. This clip of the music [webfeats.com] brings back a flood of childhood memories.
    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      Matt at Armchair Arcade has a video review [armchairarcade.com] of Tunnels of Doom. It's one I'd love to get for my TI-99/4a.

  • Roll Away/Kula World [wikipedia.org] is a really well-done puzzle game for the Playstation 1. It runs in smooth 60 FPS and manages to actually look decent in 3D. The music is really soothing techno. Playing it really exercises one's mind in manipulating 3D objects.
  • Burn : Cycle on CD-i (Score:3, Interesting)

    by johnhp ( 1807490 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @07:06AM (#33447462)
    No game better fits the description of "good game on bad platform" than Burn : Cycle for the CD-i. The atmosphere, soundtrack and "mature" content were amazing.
    • by hal2814 ( 725639 )
      Maybe The Greatest American Hero made me a sucker for Robert Culp, but I was also fond of Voyeur on the CD-i. But both of the titles (as well as a so-so Chaos Control) were eventually released on the PC.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by johnhp ( 1807490 )
        I enjoyed Voyeur too, though I can't remember how much of that was quality and how much was me just hoping for some boobs (of which there are none, but there is some exceptionally lurid dialog).
  • Little gems: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 02, 2010 @07:09AM (#33447480)

    Syndicate Wars
    Theme Hospital
    Z - yes that the title

    All little that I loved playing on the Playstation. Although I cant say I'd wanna have a remake of Theme Hospital that one ca stay there.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I bought all of those games for the PC. Great times, staying up late at night as a kid, playing in a darkened room all night. Syndicate Wars was great, the successor not so much if i remember. Z finally brought some great jump'n'run from the Amiga the PC. I was always jealous in the regard. Loved the humor in Theme Hospital. There is so much that can go wrong in a neglected hospital.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Buggz ( 1187173 )
        Syndicate Wars is the less well received sequel, the predecessor was simply called Syndicate. Z on the other isn't a jump&run, but a strategy game [wikipedia.org] where two teams of robots battle it out.

        I played the hell out of Theme Hospital and tried my best at Syndicate but often failed miserably, mostly because I was both quite young and didn't understand much english (quite necessary to understand the mission objectives.. ). I remember trying the Z demo, but I recall it being incredibly difficult. I probably did
    • Dungeon Keeper. Being the bad guy and crushing the good guys was never so satisfying!
    • Theme Hospital was just re-released on the PSN for $5.99 a couple of days ago. Downloaded it last night and played for about 5 hours straight. Looks like crap, but still really fun.

  • I think one of the best games that was on a very un-productive platform (NeoGeo [wikipedia.org]) is R-type. I grew up playing this on an arcade machine and ultimately wanted to buy it and play it at home. I don't think it was ever made for the console systems I had (NES and Atari-2600, at the time). I don't even know anyone who owned a NeoGeo during the early 90's originally. I think R-type was one of those games that survived via arcade success even though it wasn't ported over to a vastly popular gaming system.
    • by cgenman ( 325138 )

      R-Type had a wonderful Turbo Graphics-16 port, as well as a surprisingly decent Master System port and a poor Game Boy port. It's currently on the Virtual Console (TG-16 & SMS) and Xbox Live Arcade (Arcade).

      Also, it was created by Irem in 1987 on their custom hardware [arcade-history.com], 3 years before the Neo Geo existed.

  • Sonic CD?! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by morari ( 1080535 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @07:23AM (#33447576) Journal

    Sonic CD is still one of the best games in the franchise. I like Sonic & Knuckles (connected to Sonic 3, of course) a little better overall, but that may just be because of the times.

    • by Pojut ( 1027544 )

      Sonic CD is my fave too. The back-and-forth time mechanic, the soundtrack...hell, even the cheesy cutscenes. They all added up to an awesome time

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheCycoONE ( 913189 )

      There was a PC and GameCube port of Sonic CD.

    • by acid06 ( 917409 )

      Sonic CD is really awesome.
      I still have the original CD and a working Sega CD + Mega Drive (Genesis for you Americans).
      I wish it was realeased for a more popular platform as it's relatively unknown thanks to the failure of Sega CD.

  • Acorn (Score:2, Informative)

    by dandart ( 1274360 )
    Pushy II on Acorn. :P
  • As kids we had those cheap Golden China NES knock-offs, this month I've been playing Mario Bros et al. Last night it was Sonic 1, and Splatterhouse 3. Yeehaa!

  • I don't miss any specific so much as the experience. A a kid I always had a much stronger emotional experience when playing games as I do nowdays. My first game on my first PC: Lemmings was great. I don't think I did anything productive for a few days. Duke Nukem, Commander Keen and Monkey Island followed. All the great adventure and RPG games: anything Lucas Arts, Lands of Lore (Westwood), Ultima, Call of the Cthulhu. I always loved great story telling. VF III in the arcades was some of the funest gaming t
  • Shaq Fu (Score:3, Funny)

    by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @08:09AM (#33447854)
    need I say more? Best game ever.
    • Re:Shaq Fu (Score:4, Funny)

      by ProppaT ( 557551 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @08:22AM (#33447984) Homepage

      You got this backwards. We're looking for good games on bad consoles, not bad games on good consoles.

    • On Cheap-Ass Gamer [cheapassgamer.com], a video-game deal discussion forum, their "swear replacement" is the Shaq-Fu symbol. IE: I don't like you. Go SHAQ-FU yourself!

      I've seen it so often that my mind automatically re-substitutes the swears. Browsing through piles of old Genesis games makes for an interesting experience. "NHL 92, Madden 91, Fuck You, Sonic 1..."

  • Immercenary was a cross between a first person shooter and a RPG as you had to build up stats by defeating weaker opponents and absorbing their powers until you were strong enough to take on a boss character. Defeat them and you got a big stats boost and could take on higher level enemies until the confrontation with the big boss, Perfect. It had a great atmosphere and each time you ventured out into the "Garden" (the battleground) you were never sure if you'd be attacked by a stronger character and have t
  • by ProppaT ( 557551 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @08:21AM (#33447974) Homepage

    This is the game that put Hideo Kojima on the map, and rightfully so. It's all but forgotten now except in classic gaming circles, but that game was groundbreaking and did so many things right. It's a shame that very few people will experience it. It seems like Sega systems are riddled with games that fit into the "shame that very few people will experience it" category. I speak as one of the 25k or so owners of Panzer Dragoon Saga. It's a crime against the gaming community that more people can't experience, what amounts to me, as the most awe inspiring RPG ever created.

    • what about night trap on sega cd and cd 32x?

      or the sega channel?

      • by ProppaT ( 557551 )

        The difference is that Snatcher was a fantastic game. When you think of the Sega CD, Night Trap is the first game that comes to mind...but that game sucked even back then. We're talking about good games for bad systems, right (even though I did go off topic and mention the Saturn, which was a fantastic console)?

        I don't see anyone waxing nostalgic over many 32X or Sega Channel games :)

    • It's a shame that very few people will experience it.

      'course, that's a solvable problem. There are many solid Sega CD emulators out there, and the ISO can be... acquired... if one is so inclined.

      Personally, I *owned* a Sega CD back in the day, but had never heard of Snatcher. Fast forward to about two years ago, and I played through it for the very first time. Definitely a solid title, though not terribly challenging (it's basically a choose-your-own-adventure story done digitally).

  • Way of the Warrior (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Hodr ( 219920 )


    Way of The Warrior

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Way_of_the_Warrior_(video_game) [wikipedia.org]

    Programmed in a garage and apartment, with the programmers and friends as the fighters. Ohh yeah, and White Zombie did the soundtrack.
    "Shaky Jake, WIN!"

  • Dark Wizard was the first turn-based tactical war game I ever played. The bad translation from Japanese can be overlooked in light of the awesome soundtrack and fun gameplay. Hex based, it wasn't equalled in my mind until Missionforce:Cyberstorm for Win95 years later.

    • by sorak ( 246725 )

      Dark Wizard was excellent. If only I had mod points.

    • by acid06 ( 917409 )

      Dark Wizard was great. I didn't own it, but I would rent it for a lot of weekends when I was a kid. That game and Warlords II for the PC are probably the best turn-based strategy games I remember playing.

      There were a few gems on the Sega CD. It's a real pity it flopped.

  • I had so much fun playing Virtual On, but with the original on the Sega Saturn and the sequel on the Dream Dast the game series was destined to fail.
  • ... on the Neo Geo.

    I thought they were pretty cool fighting games. I especially liked masturbating over Janne on a regular basis. :-P

  • I bought a used 3DO with a number of games really cheaply. The game I loved the most was Return Fire, mostly for the crazy multi-player matches I had with my friends and/or brothers. I tried the sequel for the PC some years later but it wasn't the same.

    Twisted: The Game Show was fun for parties too, but eventually got old. I still have my lifetime supply of nothing that I won by spinning a zero.

  • I actually sort of miss the paddle controllers
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paddle_(game_controller) [wikipedia.org]

    Were great for playing some of the driving games, as well as pong-like games and especially Clowns (the little seesaw you control on the bottom of the screen while two clowns bounce around on it and collect balloons in the air).

    That's mostly what I miss... maybe I could throw together some similar game for my Logitech G25 wheel >:-D

  • My vote goes to Road Rash on the 3DO. Fantastic game, awesome soundtrack, great console.
  • Atari Jaguar:
    * Tempest 2000

    Atari Lynx:
    * Chips Challenge
    * Klax
    * Slimeworld
    * Electrocop

    * PowerStone

  • I haven't seen anyone mention this one yet. The 3D0 version of Road Rash is one of the greatest games of all time, on one of the biggest flops of all time. If you had a Genesis, you know how awesome Road Rash is. It was perfected on the 3D0. Fast gameplay, fluid graphics, high quality audio. For a system that was known for shitty FMV games, this is arcade style perfection. It's worth buying a 3D0 for Road Rash alone.

    Wouldn't a Road Rash HD be amazing?

  • I loved that game. Probably the best action puzzle game ever IMHO. It would have been nice to have save files instead of passwords, though.

    • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )

      There was a version of this available for PC, circa 1996 or so. I had it. It was, indeed, quite a lot of fun.

      There's a similar action puzzle game, can't recall the name exactly - Tank Wars! I think. It's quite a lot of fun, and it's both challenging enough that I have to restart levels frequently and my 6 year old can get a solution every once in a while.

  • blocky graphics notwithstanding, Adventure on the 2600 was a favourite for me. Even though they looked like penguins. the appearance and subsequent pursuit of the dragons was enough to inspire shrieks of terror!
  • There are a LOT of games out there that most people will never have the opportunity to play, because they're dead. Just because the ROMs are available and there's an emulator or three does not mean people will have the opportunity. They're likely not even aware of them.

  • I think for this discussion to be fruitful, we need to agree on what an awful system is. Consoles that didn't get a lot of mainstream attention, but still have awesome games are not awful systems. This would be things like the TG-16, Sega Saturn, or Neo Geo.

    Then there's the 3D0. Amazing hardware really, but it failed due to marketing issues. There are a few truly amazing games for it, but just a few. Most of it's potential is untapped. Is that an awful system?

    I think we can all agree that things like t

  • They going to present the best video games on Windows?

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!