Blast From The Past!

We’ve got a question for you guys, even if you never admit it, what games do you indulge in? A casual simulation game on Facebook like Pet Society, (secretly) hardcore MMORPGs like World of Warcraft or maybe honing your brain power with Apple application puzzle games like Puzzlings? Regardless of which actually tickles your fancy, have you ever wondered what happened to the games from our childhood? The age of catching, hide and seek, Warcraft, Pacman and King of Fighters seem to have long receded into the recesses of our minds, but are they really lost or have they just…put on a veil and evolved along with us? After all, humans are the ones who invented these games and are still constantly evolving and seeking new heights. Lolitalane explores 5 of our favourite childhood games, what they might have become and how they fare. Let the games begin!

MATCH ONE

Everyone who has owned a Tamagotchi (yes, guys too) raise your hands! Released in 1996 by Bandai, the idea of owning a virtual pet was such a niche market that, coupled with the cutest design ever, it caused a worldwide sensation. Every kid just HAD to have one. Now, Tamagotchi has grown to new heights with improved designs, colored screens and multi player functions. Despite the egg shaped sensation progressing with technology, it didn’t remain the most sought after virtual pet game in most parts of the world. It’s kinda sad considering how irresistible Tamagotchi has become. Celebrity blogger Xiaxue’s a fan, check out the Tamagotchi shop in Japan and how much it has evolved in her Tokyo article.

Now, everyone who has a Petz game, raise your hands. -I hear crickets chirping, do you?- Seriously, games that are ‘inspired by’ or are spin offs of popular concepts usually don’t do as well as their original counterparts. Petz, for the most part is quite ingenious, if you were 5 and Mommy and Daddy didn’t want to buy you a puppy or pony or *insert animal name*. We personally think it’s creepy to raise and have a bond with a virtual creature. Think about it, you are cooing to plasma on your flat screen monitor. -_-* We don’t mean to flame the popular game, it’s honestly a good way of developing responsibility in children. Or if you have a deathly allergy reaction to real animals and the mental capacity of a toddler. (Sorry! We couldn’t resist!) Classic games are classic for a reason, they are the marks of originality and remain etched in the minds of people. And in this round, TAMAGOTCHI WINS. Hands down, feet tied and blind folded.

Random fact: Did you know that Tamagotchi’s name is a combination of the Japanese word “たまご ( Tamago which means Egg) and the Katakana of the English word “Watch” ( ウオッチ, pronounced Uocchi). The original romanized name was Tamagotch, but non Japanese pronounced it as what we know as Tamagotchi and led to the romanized name to be changed.

MATCH TWO

The Nintendo Game Boy, it brings back so many memories. Mostly fighting with cousins to get a turn with a game. Released in 1989, it’s as old as Claris. 8 bit, Black and White, 4 buttons, one directional pad and battery operated. The Game Boy revolutionized gaming and games. It’s like a tribute should be given to the (not so) little grey box. Of course, it eventually got replaced by newer and swankier technology, but everyone knows the place of a Game Boy in their hearts.

Sony Play Station Portable, you’re either a fan or a follower. With handheld consoles, you really can’t veer much. You’ve got Nintendo’s DS and you’ve got Sony’s PSP. Stick person and finger person (lol). Pick your poison. Either way, they both share the same concept of a Game Boy except x100∞ more advanced. Oh and in case you haven’t heard, Sony’s new PSP NGP combines Real and Augmented Reality. How geekily sexy. And how can we forget.

  • Quad Core ARM Cortex-A9 processor
  • 5-inch touchscreen OLED display (960 x 544 resolution)
  • Dual analog sticks instead of knobs
  • 3G, WiFi AND GPS
  • Rear mounted touch pad
  • Accelerometer/gyroscope motion sensing (same as the PlayStation Move)
  • Electronic compass
  • And the best bit, TWO cameras. One on the front and one on the back.
  • Uber sleek, slim and light.

Oops, I think the DS lost their footing again. In any case, we’d rather not bother about the consoles’ rivalry since we really, really, really enjoy both, but it’s quite clear that Sony’s come out tops in this round.

MATCH THREE

We’re back to games again, with the game almost all Generation X’s grew up with. Super Mario Bros. developed by Nintendo in 1985 is one of the first few role playing hand held console games that defined cult games. Even today, Super Mario remains the best selling video game of all time, sold on almost every console imaginable. Taking on a character and going on a mission seems to be a concept that reels in players (and payers) and Super Mario Bros. does it in every style imaginable with their insane variety of game styles.

Speaking of role-playing games, with the internet came a whole new type of game play. Massively multiplayer online role-playing games or MMORPGs is the epitome of genre merging in the gaming industry. Combining quests, action, graphics, an interactive and often international community, PvP and a plethora of aspects found on other game genres. Gaming has never seen new heights. Since we’re comparing Super Mario Bros., we’ll keep the competition within the 2D range too. Yes, Super Mario comes in 3D versions now too, but then again so does Maple Story 2. Don’t judge me for even bringing up Maple Story but it’s a fact that it was an incredibly popular game. I had a friend who got grounded and his punishment was to help his Dad level up his character to 75. I’m not even kidding. The problem with MMORPGs is, the unfortunate introduction of Item Malls and ridiculous cash gear and enhancements. Ironically, it does resemble real life, the rich have it easy and the poor have to work their ass off to attain the same result. I guess we can’t really laugh at anti-social gaming nerds anymore, can we?

 You can’t say no to either because everyone loves Mario and yet MMORPGs are so addictive. So what do we have? A TIE.

MATCH FOUR

Here’s something else you guys might have forgotten. FURBYS. or Furbies? They were released in 1998 and achieved the ‘must have’ status up till 2000. Somewhere in between, they got Teletubbies syndrome. Which is to say, people started thinking they were evil, demonic icons out to kill all human kind. Come on, they are toys. You have to be really uneducated and unknowledgeable to not know that Furbys are basically robots programmed with the functions they have. They were discontinued for a couple of years and had a revival in 2005 but they just aren’t the same anymore. For one thing, they are h.u.g.e. Ok, I might exaggerate but they are definitely twice the original size. Another thing that makes a difference? They have a slightly different programming so they don’t interact with other Furbys nor to loud sounds as much anymore. They are ‘smarter’ though, if that gives any cookie points.

The Sony AIBO, was release in 1999 but discontinued in 2006. It basically simulates what a real dog should be and are a substitute to the real deal. The AIBO is really quite a neat piece of work. They can walk, ‘see’, dance, recognize spoken commands and are thought to be autonomous robots (like Transformers!) because they can learn from their environment, owners, other AIBOs and various other external influences. Despite their fame and popularity, sales of AIBOs in any generation was never fantastic, largely due to their pricing. They were approximately $2000.

Since both are already discontinued with new generations of of toys influenced by them, it’s a close tie. AIBOs are expensive, can’t talk and their routines get boring whereas Furbys have the whole evil, demon thing going. I’d still pick Furbys because I used to have it and they weren’t that creepy. I think people have too much of an imagination and besides, the 2005 remakes had less sound sensitivity.

MATCH FIVE

Finally, the PlayStation original VS Kinect for XBOX 360. This last comparison isn’t so much about a match off than a revelation of the progress in gaming technology. Thinking about how we used to covet the PlayStation and marvel at playing games on a TV screen, providing hours of fun and interaction. It’s like a geeky fantasy dream come true that one day, games would be played just by motion sensors. Despite the growth in general I.T progress, it’s only in the last couple of years that motion sensor games hit the main stream with Kinect perfecting and fine tuning it for accurate game play, joining the ranks of touch screen computers, augmented reality and flying cars. Wait, did I say flying cars? I meant a vacation to the moon.

P.S now to wait for MMORPGs played by motion sensor. The age of gamers being depicted with their ass molded into the chair in front of the computer with week old junk food wrappers strewn all around them might actually come to an end.

xoxo, Claris and Emily

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One response to “Blast From The Past!

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