Back to the 90s

I have many fond memories of games that I played while growing up in the 90s.
I've said that the last few years have been a wave of amazing games, but some of the most memorable games that I've ever played are ones that I played 20 or so years ago.
Or, I suppose, it'd be that these games are the ones that became more ingrained in my mind, because there wasn't such an overwhelming number of games constantly coming out, as we have today. So the good games were better able to stand out. Or just because I was younger and that's just how things work.

Either way, I've been thinking a lot about some old games, and how they still have retained their relevance to this day, and I wanted to write a little bit about them.

First, a big problem I have with older games, is that over time, as I've played newer games, and have become more comfortable with how games function today compared to back then, I've found that it is much harder for me to go back and play those older games (or games that are meant to play like the older games).
I remember really liking Planescape: Torment. Last year, a spiritual successor, Torment: Tides of Numenera, was released. I found that I just couldn't get into it. Similarly, Wasteland 2 came out and I just wasn't able to get into it as much as I would have wanted to.

Fallout 1, 2, and Fallout Tactics were games I really enjoyed in the late 90s, early 2000's. The Fallout series in general has really persisted in my mind ever since I played them. Fallout 4 was released about 2-3 years ago, and I played through that (You can find my Daily Recap of it on my website somewhere). But Fallout 4 was not like Fallout 1/2. Now it is more of a realtime first-person shooter, rather than the turn-based isometric RPG that the older games were. So I suppose it trying to "keep up with the times" allowed the franchise to live on. (Not counting all the legal stuff and change of ownership that happened behind the scenes. It's complicated.) I recall that some fans of the Fallout series were disappointed with the direction that Fallout 3/NV/4 took with the FPS format. Personally, I find it refreshing, and gives a new perspective on the World that the Fallout franchise has built.

I was talking to a friend about old games that influenced me, and the Fallout games came up. I tried playing Fallout Tactics, and I became impatient within 10 minutes of starting it up. Which, maybe I just need to be in a certain mood to give it another try, but I was disappointed that I couldn't force myself to play it. I already beat the game in my younger years, of course, so I wanted to revisit it.

I've been watching a Let's Play of Fallout 4 recently, and it has been very enjoyable. It can be really fun seeing someone else play something you've played, while he adds his own personality and stuff to the action. It's also fun when he discovers things I missed in my playthrough, as well as just general different play style than how I would play.
It just makes me really happy that the Fallout series is able to live on, when it impacted me so much in my younger years.

So, I've covered "Old games that are hard to revisit, even through sequels" and "Old games that have enjoyable modern sequels", now we have one more category. "Games that truly withstand the test of time"

Perhaps my favorite video game franchise of all time would be Myst. Everything about Myst and the sequels and related media, are simply amazing. The games are beautiful, every detail is well thought-out, and and the story is subtle but woven into every fabric of the games.
The original Myst was released 25 years. From it, spawned five games, an MMO, remakes, remasters, re-releases, three books, a comic series, a spiritual successor, and several attempts to make a movie/tv series (Which may one day happen, but… we shall see.)

It's been 25 years, and the Myst name and series retains a strong presence in gaming history, and the ending has not yet been written. A 25th Anniversary collection is planned to be released this year with all the games updated to work on modern computers.
Going back to play a 25-year old game can be a difficult ordeal. But Myst hides its age rather well. Myst's environments were all pre-rendered, with clever interactive bits, so it was able to show off amazing detail, even on such low-spec computers 25 years ago. And remains impressive today. With the upcoming updates this year, it should guarantee that the game can last for another 25 years and beyond.

Myst's gameplay is exploration-driven. You learn by observation. It's all done at a fundamental level that I can enjoy it today just as well as I did 20+ years ago. It's really hard for me to really describe it all. It just kinda "works". And it has stuck with me throughout my entire life. And I am glad that I can still appreciate it today, where other games have eluded me over the relentless march of time.