This weekend I was on the phone with my mom, trying to remember the name of a game we used to play almost twenty years ago.
"It was that one, you know, with the knights, and they're running around Spain, and the intro music goes dun duuuun dun dun... we had that giant map that we kept having to look at!"
Fortunately Mom knew exactly what I was talking about since I'm pretty sure most people would have written me off as a raving lunatic at that point.
Thus I set off on my Mission - to find and download Vengeance of Excalibur, a 1991 DOS RPG. My shiny Playstation 3 sat unused and neglected as I curled up on the sofa and took a trip down memory lane. DOSBox, a handy DOS emulator, allowed me to experience old favorites from the early '90s just the way I remembered them. Vengeance of Excalibur, Prophecy of the Shadow, Zork text adventures, King's Quest...
Don't get me wrong - I love our newer video games, with their hyper-realistic graphics, their smooth gameplay and control schemes, their good (and bad) voice acting... but there is definitely something to be said for our old favorites. Sitting in front of a computer typing commands into a text based RPG can be just as satisfying as staring dumbstruck at the latest Final Fantasty CGI cutscenes.
You also tend to notice things about older games that you may not have noticed when you first played them. Like how King's Quest V is really a story about one man's EPIC acid trip.