This week I’m feeling particularly nostalgic. I’ve been thinking about how my childhood shaped my geeky nature, and started my interest in video games. There are many titles that come to mind, but three stand out to me. I’d like to use the article to share with you the games that I loved growing up, as we throwback to the days of retro gaming.
Well, retro gaming as far as I've been alive that is...
The Ultimate Doom (1995)
Now, you may be thinking that this game was not a suitable one to be playing as a child, and you may be right. But I think I’ve turned out okay. Mostly. Besides, if I hadn’t had the chance to play this game, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you all about it, now would I?
All the monsters in the background have official titles, but myself and my sister would give them nicknames. The pink monster next to the protagonist? We called him 'The Running Bull'. How original.
Known as one of the original shooter games, the Doom series pits you in a post-apocalyptic scenario, as you kill various monsters and demons from a hell dimension. This game had a plethora of weapons to choose from, and awesome boss fights that were nearly always impossible to beat. It's a great challenge for even the pros, packed with action, horror and a splash of sci-fi.
I seem to remember my favourite line from the game being, “You’ve got the Chainsaw, now get some meat!”.
The keenos out there may notice that Doom was originally released in 1993, and they would be correct. Though Doom consisted of three episodes, The Ultimate Doom actually contained a bonus episode to give endless hours of playtime. I’d also like to give a shout out to the two other follow-up games, Doom II: Hell on Earth and Final Doom for being great successors to the iconic original.
Sims Bustin’ Out (2003)
I once made a video about the total amount I’d spent over my lifetime on The Sims series, and I found myself incredibly bashful. I have to admit though, that my obsession with the series started with this game, on my old Game Boy Advanced SP.
I spent far too much time in create-a-sim in this game. Come to think of it, I do that in all Sims games. Hmm...
There were two versions of The Sims Bustin’ Out, the handheld version released on the Game Boy and the N-Gage, and the console version, released on the Xbox, PS2 and GameCube. Note that the console version narrative differs to the handheld, so I won’t be speaking for that game in this piece.
This game sees your title character moving to live the country-style life in SimValley, moving in with the legendary Uncle Hayseed. Perhaps he’s not as iconic in your mind, but this guy was my hero. Your Sim moves into the Uncle’s barn to start out on their adventure, and gradually works their way up through the popularity and economic ranks in the town.
The Sims Bustin' Out featured numerous mini games which were great fun, and interacting with all the quirky citizens was one of my favourite parts. The story line is rammed with numerous quests, as you unlock various neighbourhoods within the town to explore more of the game’s world. These tasks can sometimes depend on you making enemies with certain characters, which is always fun to do. After all, who doesn't love saying petty insults such as "Country Bumpkin" to fictional characters?
No, just me? Okay moving on...
MegaRace 2 (1996)
This one may seem like a slightly left-field choice, but to me, this was one of the best racing games to exist. Ironically, I only ever played the original MegaRace once, and I found it to be much more inferior than its sequel.
If this cover doesn't sell you, I don't know what will
In this game, players are transported to ethereal tracks of all kinds, with twists, turns and traps to make the race that little more challenging. Not only that, but all the cars are equipped with various weapons that drivers can use to take out other NPC drivers and disqualify them from the race.
Now that’s my kind of driving.
This isn’t even going to mention the hosts of the game, Lance Boyle and his assistant with the ever-changing name (pictured above). Flamboyant Lance introduces players to each race, and appears to get more and more manic with each track. This character cause a great stir among audiences, so much so that the actor was actually called back to film some YouTube shorts for a reboot of the game in 2014.
MegaRace is not the only game in this list to receive a refreshed look. Doom was re-released in 2016 for PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Switch. However you can still get the original trilogy on Steam, and it’s as cheap as chips. Sadly, The Sims Bustin’ Out still only exists on the sixth generation consoles. But if you’re a retro gaming fanatic, then I’m sure you’ll already possess at least one of these in your collection.
So there you have it! My top three throwback game recommendations for you to check out. Now tell me, do you have any games in return that you can offer to me? Drop a comment below and I’ll be sure to check em out!
Nothing beats an afternoon with my games, a proper brew and my comfy bed