Old Skool

Until next Tuesday, Steam has a deal on Sega games going on. Remember when Sega made consoles? Feels like forever ago. Anyway, as I was browsing through the catalog, I came across the Sega Genesis Classics Collection, which is about 40 Genesis games for $7.49. Among those pickings, what do I find? Lo and behold, a game of my yesteryears: Shining in the Darkness.

Like finding your old gimp suit in the back of the closet.

I played the hell out of this game for for about two years straight back in the early 90’s, and never did finish it. And right when the topic de jure is the good ole days of challenging content? It must be fate! So yes, Value, thank you for allowing me to make a $0.74 credit card payment for a game by all rights will probably not hold up at all but I’ll slog through anyway out of twenty years of spite.

Your weekend homework assignment is to blog/comment about what game(s) you actually find/found challenging and wish more games were like. This is about challenging games, not necessarily what were your favorite games (see what I did there?). And there is probably a line somewhere in there between challenging and Battletoads, but I’ll leave it up to you to find it.

In the meantime, I need to get some graph paper…

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Posted on September 23, 2011, in Commentary and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Oh snap, Shining in the Darkness, Shining Force I+II, and one of my favorite games ever, Landstalker, all made it out in the last Sega Genesis collection pack! Now if only Phantasy Star 4 were there too… I’m tempted, man.

    Shining in the Darkness was pretty tough. Star Tropics (NES) was pretty tough too, as I recall. I don’t know if any of the console games I played as a kid though (NES, SNES, GEN) were as brutal as god damn Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. My dad beat it once, it was ridiculous. He farmed up extra lives for a few hours, with me and my mother taking turns (my mom used to play games!) helping out, left the whole thing on, and the next day, Dad got through the caves to the Lost Palace, and then finally got through the Lost Palace to defeat Shadow Link. It was a fucking accomplishment and a half, and I remember watching the whole thing and just being amazed. Even going back and emulating it now, cheating with savestates and stuff, it’s pretty brutal. I just can’t do it.

    I always found SC:BW and SC2 to be pretty tough too, playing ladder or whatever, just because I couldn’t macro well, and never bothered forcing myself to learn it. Instead, I’d just get mad and quit for a couple months. Since I’ve left WoW, I’ve been forcing myself to work on SC2, trying to get myself out of Bronze league.

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  2. Final Fantasy Tactics (up until the point where you get the overpowered plot characters that can wipe the board clean by themselves, I’m looking at you Orlandu).

    The game was unique, challenging, and had an interesting plot. I haven’t been able to find anything quite like it since.

    Tactics Ogre is similar, and King’s Bounty: Armored Princess was in the same vein of combat style, but nothing has ever come close to FFT for me.

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    • FFT is in my Top 5. The problem is that after I got stuck in that infamous two-stage battle (losing my save progress as many did), I basically out-leveled the remainder of the game on my 2nd play-through as a hedge against similar shenanigans. The random battles scaled with your level, but the story battles did not. And there was absolutely a sense that being 2-3 levels above an enemy makes you feel like you have 5 Orlandus.

      I remember one specific playthrough I did where I basically leveled up ALL my generic characters to be Ninja/Time Mages (basically for the teleportation ability) before Dorter Trade City, e.g. before the 2nd main story battle. It took an extremely long time, of course, and consisted entirely of throwing rocks at mobs (maximum JP/XP gain) and then healing them with White Mages until my MP ran out… but the rest of the game was hilarious fun. Good times.

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  3. Nethack. Just… Nethack.

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