This is the first gaming post in a while so I apologise for the wait! I’ll be looking at some of my favourite games which are either now inactive and have “died” or I can no longer play because of compatibility or updates. It’s a continuation from my video game origins post where I looked at the first few games that I really got engaged with, so I recommend checking that out first! It’s also my second post in the “Nostalgia” gaming category and I think it’s quite a good topic to talk about because of the attachment that exists. You may be aware that I’ve already done a review on two of the games, Guild Wars and RuneScape, however this post just focuses on aspects that I miss. Hopefully you’ll have played at least one of these and can share your sorrows with me!
Call of Duty: World at War:
Okay so I hope I don’t get lowered in your opinion of me by including a Call of Duty game but I’ll have to run that risk! World at War is the only Call of Duty game I own, and I think the reason why I’ve never bought another was my computer at the time really struggled with the single player campaign and only ran smoothly on the multiplayer maps, so I feared it would be unable to cope with any newer versions. I’m not sure therefore how this version ranks with the rest but I really did enjoy playing the multiplayer maps from the late 2008 release to around a year later when everyone left to play Modern Warfare 2.
I’ve been thinking back to all the content that I gradually came to master after playing the multiplayer maps for so long, such as learning good spots for sniping, safe areas to hide, what loadouts to use on what map, and learning how to effectively use each weapon, and more, and I do have to wonder how you could put that effort in to a new Call of Duty game every year!
My favourite maps were “Asylum” and “Seelow” where I found a few good sniping spots which would frequently reward me with plenty of kills. In maps with Tanks it would always be really cool to try to evade them and try catching them unaware with a bomb. I also liked how you how to make choices that could prove worthwhile or costly with the Perk system, such as choosing the “Fireproof” perk that’ll reduce fire damage taken, but perhaps you should have taken “Toss Back” which would allow you to throw back a grenade with its timer reset to save you from getting exploded!
I found it very addicting and has influenced me to try out other shooter games since. It was always inevitable that players would leave with the arrival of a new game but it still leaves me saddened how popular online games can just “die” with new releases, making it difficult to find players if you want to continue playing.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas:
I was rather late to the party for this one. San Andreas was released in late 2004 for PS2 however it wasn’t until around 2008 when finally I got myself a copy. While there were a few of my friends who were (somehow!) allowed to play it around its release, I was in my last year at Primary School (about 10 years old) so I’d say it would have been pretty inappropriate for my age! Anyway, I still enjoyed it immensely and the graphics didn’t look too outdated. It must have been a very impressive game at its release, with the amount of content available and size of the map competitive with newer games! A quick google search also reveals it unsurprisingly won lots of awards and I feel sorry for any other games released at the time because they mustn’t have stood a chance!
I really liked how you had to progress through the story before you could explore the map freely. The exit roads off the starting city, Los Santos, were blocked (you could try swimming the borders but you’d always get the police quickly on your tail!) and it sort of made it feel like a kind of reward for following the plot. I also really liked the many types of cars which you could find to store in garages you bought if you needed a quick car to escape in.
So why is this game on my list? With my purchase of a Ps3 it wasn’t until I inserted the disk that I learnt Ps2 games aren’t compatible (you could previously do this with Ps1 games on a Ps2). This was a real blow to me as I had to replace the Ps2 anyway as it had finally died. I’ve done some research for the Ps4, and it looks like it you can play Ps1 and Ps2 games, so I’ll keep San Andreas safe for then!
I think I could talk all day about this game. I must have played it for about six years from when I discovered it with the second campaign release “Factions” in 2006 to the release of its sequel Guild Wars 2 in 2012. I doubt there will ever be a game that has more of an impression on me than the Guild Wars series. It was just everything I wanted in a game. The emphasis on a really interesting story, in-depth character customization, many unique classes to choose from, skills to collect and combine to form powerful builds, lovely graphics and music, encouraged teamwork with other players to complete missions, instanced zones that change with your progression, a personal area to add your achievements… breath! I could go on forever!
The sequel is fun, but it’s only been out for a couple of years and I’m already feeling like I’m done with it. Hopefully there will be expansion packs in the future to boost the content further. Obviously I’m a bit of a hypocrite here but once the much awaited sequel was released, I promptly uninstalled Guild Wars to start my adventure in the new MMO. This left the once heavily populated worlds buzzing with activity now pretty much empty. I really do miss Guild Wars when it was in its prime and it really is a game with so many good memories that makes me deeply saddened when I remember that it’ll never return to how it used to be.
The last game on this list is RuneScape. Possibly the most nostalgic game of all time! Okay okay you can still play it, however with the many updates and the recent name change to RuneScape 3, it’s a very different game to how it was when I first discovered it back in 2005. I think it’s quite unique in the sense that while the textures and models have changed enormously, the actual locations have stayed exactly how they were back when it was first released. I think it’s quite a weird feeling when you realise you’re walking through Lumbridge, Varrock or Falador now in 2014, and almost a decade ago you were crossing that exact same bridge, or walking past that exact same stone circle. It’s like the game has stood still (albeit with many graphic changes) while the outside world has kept moving! A bit deep I know… Well anyway, about those changes.
What makes it so nostalgic for me is those awful graphics, those crowded banks trying trade without the Grand Exchange, “air runs” and mining “ess” to make money, actually having to save up and truly earn money for that “200k rune set”. I feel like the game has become much more easier, with teleporting to each city now available without having to use runes or increase your magic level, new bank chests in highly convenient places, anvil additions to save walking… I probably sound a bit bitter sorry! It’s just how new players can just hop on and breeze past levels which had previously taken me days. I just find it less of a challenge, and therefore less rewarding.
Yes they have brought back the game in its older 2007 state but having been treated to these lovely new high texture qualities and convenient new facilities, I really struggle to go back in time as I’m not that hardcore! I realise that the developers really have needed to improve RuneScape to keep competitive with other MMOs, and of course the changes were always going to be controversial, but I think it’s become too easy.
This is a subject that I have quite strong feelings on, so I apologise for the word length! I think I’m at the age in my life where I am beginning to think back to my younger life with a bit of longing now everything’s starting to get frighteningly serious, and video games are something I can remember very well! Thanks for reading 🙂