What defines “old” was up for interpretation; the only criteria was that it must be from the last generation or earlier, so essentially anything that launched prior to the PS5/Xbox Series X is eligible. You submitted a vast range of games, spanning from true classics to some slightly lesser known gems. So without further ado, here is our curated collection of old video game reviews.
“Of all the things you find scattered across the vast oceans in Wind Waker, none are as unique as the sagely named ‘King of Red Lions’. In all honesty, it’s a discredit to call the king a ‘thing’, as although he appears to be just a boat at first glance, he is in fact one of Link’s chief companions during the Wind Waker storyline and an integral part of the unique navigation system. Upon completing a few relatively early quests, The King of Red Lions will bestow upon Link an ancient artifact that lets him quite literally wake the wind and take control of the elements to help sail around the island chains.”
Wind Waker also introduced new abilities for Link in combat, including some fresh sword-based abilities such as a parry, along with some rudimentary stealth sections upon which later entries have expanded. It also ramps up the quality of the dungeons, as Ross explains they range from “easy early levels, to complex and challenging late-game dungeons that require quick thinking and quicker reflexes to clear”, and you’ll have a sense of satisfaction after completing each one. Note the screenshot above is from the HD remake in 2013, not the 2002 original.
“One of the big things which sets FFXIV aside from other MMORPGs is that you can open all jobs on one character, let them be fighter, crafter, or gatherer. The game gives you plenty of different content, both in the open world and in instanced dungeons where you can level up all jobs without getting bored.”
“You are given a fun arsenal of weapons and powers, and you’re dropped into a sandbox with a variety of ways to complete your missions. Do you go in guns blazing? Explore, in order to gain information on your target? Do you complete side missions to earn upgrades? The choice is yours. Taking a lethal approach makes the game harder, while using non-lethal methods gives you the best ending.”
“EVE Online is not just a game; it’s a living, breathing universe. Every ship you see is piloted by a real person, every alliance forged or broken has real consequences, and every skirmish or large-scale battle has stories that players will recount for years. The game’s single-shard universe ensures that all players, regardless of their geographical location, play in the same space, making the political and economic dynamics incredibly intricate and genuinely player-driven.”
“Seven years later, the game is so much more than when released. There have been 26 named content updates which have added cross-platform multiplayer, questlines, bases, exocraft and mechs, new ship types, new weapons, new enemies, improved combat, improved graphics, an improved user interface, and more. All for free.”
“Dark Chronicle has its warts, from aged mechanics to awkward pauses between each line of dialogue, but it’s still years ahead of its time. Don’t think too deeply into its wonky timey-wimey story and you’re treated with a wonderful cast of characters and a variety of engaging gameplay hooks that still stand up by today’s standards, let alone back then.”
“Each level has a walkthrough, which is one of the main aspects that keeps me playing to finish all of the main levels. Ways to think are more varied; fold the floor plan/cut pieces/draw routes/compare permutations and combinations and so on. Each method has many branches depending on levels, so players can bask in the achievement of solving puzzles from different perspectives.”
“Due to a computer virus attack the internet was closed off from the general public. When 'The World’, an in-game MMORPG, is released it sees immense success thanks to it finally allowing interactions with others online. However some players become comatose from playing The World, and this is where the story of .hack//Infection begins. You play as Kite, a new player in The World, whose friend is one of the comatose players, and he starts to investigate the mysterious events happening in-game to save his friend.”
Gameplay takes place within “The World’, and is a mixture of first- and third-person, while combat happens in real-time, though the game pauses whenever you’re selecting an ability via the menus. While you can’t explore the real world outside of the fictional MMO, you can disconnect from 'The World” to browse a computer desktop which includes emails, message boards, and news. Lanah explains that back in 2002, “the level of detail the developers went into with world building was one of a kind”, and that even the “motives behind the events happening in The World are very much relevant today, maybe even more than they were in 2002, as it relates to AI learning and whether an AI will ever be capable of making a decision for itself”.
Want to get involved in this bounty? We may run it again, so have a think about which game you’d review and keep it in your pocket! Let us know in the comments if you end up playing any of these games too - a few are certainly on my radar now.