Top 5 things missed from past generations of gaming

This site is about acknowledging and remembering where the roots of gaming came from. Along the way, there were certain innovations, perks and characteristics that have either faded away or blended into the current generations of consoles. Back when these gaming extras were present, they could often be ideal to the game or system. Here are some those that either don’t exist anymore, or just have their place in some other technological fashion.

1. Custom soundtracks


When Ridge Racer on PlayStation gave you the ability to play your own CDs during a race… let me tell you, this was a game changer. Sure, it sounds like a novelty to be able to do, but that novelty grew to a really cool perk to look forward too, but not just in racing games, but especially racing games! The original Xbox came fully functional with a harddrive, ready to download tracks from any audio CD you put in it. From there, it could inject those tracks in to compatible games, like Project Gotham Racing 2. I cannot tell you how many playlists I crafted or CDs I burned for specific games that used this functionality. Eventually, this would become a standard for other consoles in the generation past the Xbox one form or another.

2. The hard to find glitches and bugs


Glitches that happened because of hours of experimentation, or even better, by accident. Like the Mega Man pause glitch or the infamous and numerous MissingNo. bugs. Large amounts of QA testing can catch most problems in a game, but when a game has one print run on a cartridge with no possibility of a patch, someone in the public is bound to break it, and those are often the oddest legacies a game can leave behind.

3. Console modding


While this is big in the retro scene now: adding more compatible or better outputting visual signals to an older console… there were times when having a modded console was pretty awesome. Region-locked consoles where particularly susceptible to the temptation of those wanting to play games outside of their console’s region. Modding your console was an answer for a select few. Sure, there were other nefarious reasons to mod your console outside of breaking the region lock… nowadays it’s less about modding the hardware and more about breaking the firmware on consoles.

4. The Vaporware


Remember Starcraft: Ghost? How about Project OverkillYou may not, but these were games that almost came out, or were cancelled during development. Now known as vaporware, some of these games eventually saw the light of day in one form or another. It was always cool reading up on the progress of development of games yet to be released in magazines and now in retrospect, a lot of them never made it or morphed into something completely different.

5. Near perfect games upon release


It is actually kind of annoying to hear people say that games where better “back in my day.” And an argument that stems from that sentiment is that games didn’t need patches when you first start up the game. Day one patches normally do help a game on launch day. Not having to worry about a download is not something I necessarily miss, but there was something magical about slamming a cartridge into your system for the first time. You didn’t have to worry about the game freezing your system, save-eating bugs, or whether or not you had enough storage space to run the damn thing. Among other things that can go wrong with a games these days, patches and hot fixes weren’t one of them. Gaming was easier and simpler, “things just worked.”


Impressions: Black Mesa (PC Mod)

If you’ve been following the Black Mesa PC mod development (a recreation of the original Half-Life using current Source Engine technology) then you might know that version 1.0 was finally released. It’s been a while since I’ve dug my toes into into HL1 but, refreshing my memories with this lets me take in the experience once again. Let me state that the mod isn’t done by any Valve staff but, by a long list of talented volunteers. So far I am having a great time with this and haven’t had any gripes.

Take a look at what the team has done with the upgrade …

Gameplay wise, I can’t detect much of a change, it’s still Half-Life. The Source engine definitely has a lot to do with the changes so if you’ve played Half-Life 2 you’ll be able to tell it’s different. The graphics and sound are the biggest noticeable changes and one of the reasons I think the mod will attract fans and curious newcomers. The Black Mesa development team have taken their time to remake HL1 and things are very polished. The sound effects have been updated as well as a new soundtrack which can be downloaded for free as well here.

I don’t like to review games or products per se but, I will give my opinion on things once I think I have fully grasped the concept. I might post again giving my full impressions on the mod once I have completed it. In the mean time, I cannot give enough praise for this project being completed and I urge anybody with a capable PC to indulge in this as well as any other installments in the Half-Life franchise.

Locked out: Super Mario RPG

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is a great game but, the PAL territories never got to play it. And apparently, it isn’t easy to mod for a PAL system. It doesn’t look like you could use any of the good old fashioned tricks to get it to play. Importing a North American or Japan console is one way to do it, or … you could take apart the cartridge itself and do some rewiring. has the solution if everything you’ve tried has failed.

However, if this is too much trouble or too risky, SMRPG was released to the Virtual Console.