- My big complaint about the newer consoles is that they've turned video games into movies. I want to play, not watch. A lot of responses to that post on various discussion forums said that the movie comparison was wrong. Of course it's not -- it's obvious that video games are trying to substitute or compete with movies, since the late '90s anyway. In fact, here's the creator of Sony's PlayStation, Ken Kutaragi, on his vision, from a 2001 Wired interview:
My initial goal with the PlayStation was to expand the game experience by expanding the available entertainment content. With PS2, one of my goals is to take entertainment even further, from games to a fusion of games, music, and movies.
So there you have it -- proof that it was the 3-D era that marked the end of video games as games, especially when the graphics became good enough in the late '90s to substitute for passable CGI effects from movies.
- Assuming that you still prefer playing games to watching bad movies, you should get a Game Boy Player for your GameCube. I've put a link to it in the Amazon box at the top, under the video games section. It goes for about $10, and it allows you to play Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games on your TV.
For people like me who tuned out of the video game world in the mid-late '90s when the direction toward movies began, this is a godsend. There are a lot of great games in the non-movie style that came out then, but they were mostly released on the handheld systems, since they didn't have 3-D graphics and therefore didn't even bother to compete with movies. Even better, they all feel fresh because I've never played them before.
Playing Double Dragon II for the thousandth time is still pretty fun, but I already know everything about that game. However, the average video game player probably didn't get around to the Game Boy games since playing them on a tiny screen isn't nearly as exciting as playing on a TV. There are three incredible Zelda games for the Game Boy, all in color (Link's Awakening DX, Oracle of Ages, and Oracle of Seasons), three Castlevania games for Game Boy and three even better ones for the Game Boy Advance, a great color sequel to Bionic Commando, a stunning enhanced remake of the original Metroid on GBA (Metroid Fusion is a lot more boring, though), a string of great Kirby games -- and the most highly rated Metal Gear game is for the Game Boy Color.
So if you're looking for a fresh gameplay experience in the classic non-movie style, you can't go wrong with a Game Boy Player. Most of the games for it are fairly cheap, and the Player itself is only $10. If you don't have a GameCube, it's cheap too -- you can probably find a used one for $20 or $30 now since it wasn't as popular as the PS2.
And of course, you could always buy the full consoles from the golden age -- circa 1992, not 1982 -- but the games can be a bit more expensive for them, at least the great ones. Some are available for download on the Wii's Virtual Console, but not even a good fraction. I'll probably start reviewing some of the ones worth buying, but I want to wait until my TurboGrafx-16 gets here on Monday. Don't think I'll be getting a Neo Geo, though -- how many different Street Fighter clones could you want?