Retro-Stylie

Written By mista sense on Friday, April 20, 2007 | 4:51 AM

Recently on AV Club Games, excellent reviewer Chris Dahlen assessed a retro-looking PC adventure called The Shivah, which is apparently a Yiddish noir story (yeah, you heard me right). I'd probably take a title like this for a spin if only for the look of it, which (as you can see from the screenshot) puts one strongly in mind of old-school King's Quest title.

I'm as guilty of any (young) Gen X-er of being trapped in the nineties, so I beg your indulgence while I engage in the typical pastime of wistfully sighing, "man, games were awesome back then". Those Sierra on-Line adventure games used to take me months upon months to actually solve-- granted, I was not the fearsome gaming dynamo of greatness that I am today, but even still, these games managed to be damn difficult without being tedious-- is it just me, or is that a rarity today? Seems today that when a game is "hard", it's just "hard to stick with", either due to excessively complicated controls, unfair odds, or massive, static levels.

One of the most difficult games I ever played was another Sierra title, The Colonel's Bequest. It's a satisfying challenge to beat, but the fun part is beating it "right", and solving the entire mystery. This is a game where, when my sister was able to do what I throughout my teens was not-- get into the basement and discover the bodies hidden in the wall-- she actually took a screenshot with her cell phone to email me, lest we ever forget her momentous accomplishment. All this over a mystery-adventure-- now that was a game. They just don't make 'em like they used to. --Or do they? If you've played a recent game that was hard in a good way, I'd love to hear your comments-- and if you yawned your way through Colonel's Bequest and laugh at my youthful ineptitude, I'd like to hear that, too.

Speaking of retro, the good people at Wired's Game | Life bring us what is most likely the complete list of upcoming Virtual Console titles. I'm psyched for Bonk and Wonder Boy in Monster World, especially the latter's fantastic music.

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