Gear We Like
Relive the past with Retro Games on the road
Something said by old crotchety people, and people that grew up in the 80’s and 90’s.
They don’t make games like they used to.
The fact remains that gaming just isn’t the same as it used to be. 20-30 years ago, it was about playing the same level or sequence 100 mind-numbing times until you got it right. Then you would repeat for the next level. And the next.
Now it’s about carefully designed levels that aren’t too difficult, but just hard enough to make you think like you’re accomplished something. In the end, all you have done is slice some shiny fruit in half, or fling a bird at some pigs behind walls (I mean, really…)
There was something about getting the timing down in Street Fighter II, or getting your high score in Ms. Pac Man that I just don’t get from games these days. And you can forget about hauling your Nintendo around in your bag, where would you plug it in anyways? Would you fly your friends around with you to blow into the cartridge when it didn’t work?
Here are some ways to take your childhood games with you.
Just released for iOS, Midway Games is a collection of classic arcade games. For 99c you get Rampage, Spy Hunter, Defender, and my personal favourite Joust. In game add-on packs run you an additional 99c for 3 more games.
Lucasarts gives a visual facelift and a new score to bump up the old MIDI soundtrack in this classic PC game. If you’re looking for a humorous adventure game made for exploring, start with one of the best.
No room for a game system in your luggage, so double up your gaming gadgetry with Sony’s “Playstation Certified” Xperia Play smartphone. It’s part smartphone & part gaming system. A game controller slides out the bottom, and with it running Android you get access to the whole lot of games released on the OS. A slick combo for about $300. The controller adds a level of control you don’t get with the basic touchscreen controls of today’s smartphone, but the gold for the classic gamer comes out with emulators for Android.
Emulators allow you to play all of your favourite games from the past, and Android has plenty (something iOS doesn’t without a jailbreak). Play your favourites from Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and even Nintendo 64. And that’s only the start of the list. A quick download from Google Play and then a google search for ROMs. Classic gaming is that easy for Android.
Hardcore: Pack a Controller
If dealing with touchscreen controls makes you want to pull your hair out, or you just need to hold a controller to hang on to, we still have options.
Pack a Wii Controller
The lightweight “Wiimote” controller (only $30) packs well, and can connect wirelessly to your Bluetooth ready laptop. Pick an emulator, grab some ROMs above and you’ll be playing Super Mario Bros in no time.
Even your Android smartphone or tablet can connect and control the action of your favourite games with a Wiimote
Custom USB Controller
For the geek who expects nothing but the best, Infinite NES Lives takes real NES, SNES, N64 and Genesis controllers, cleans them up, and mods them to work over USB. They can even stick USB flash memory inside the controller itself to save your emulators, ROMs and game saves on it. I can say, it makes playing Uniracers a dream.
Now you can take your childhood on your next trip.
Note: While emulators are generally considered to be legit from a legal point of view, ROMS may not. Make sure you only download ROMs for games you currently own (have in a box in your basement collecting dust).