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Friday, 5 November 2010

Its getting better!

History of games 1980s to 1990s

This period of game history saw the emergence of many different types of genres of games. Fighting games, adventure games, platform and racing games are just some of the types that had begun to form a trend that would continue today.

In 1980, Mystery House was released for the Apple 2, the first graphic adventure game on home computers. The commands were by text, and this continued to be used for games until about 87, until a game called Maniac Mansion, by Lucas Arts, built the SCUMM system to allow a point and click interface. And now point and click is the standard for flash games today.

Donkey Kong was considered to be the first platform game, where the player must jump over obstacles and gaps. These games continued to use and develop scrolling graphics. Jungle King by Taito had scrolling jump and run sequences. Namco took it a step further with Pac-Land in 84, which was the first to feature multi layered parallax scrolling, setting the basics for the Super Mario games.

Games continued to have better 3D graphics and also cinematics were introduced. The survival horror games were a major break through at the time. Haunted House, 81, was first to intentionally have elements of horror fiction. Sweet Home, 89, by Capcom was an influence for there later release of Resident Evil, with gameplay involving terrifying monsters and difficult puzzles, also the opening door loading screens and mansion setting, was a great start for future horror titles. Alone in the Dark, 92, was also another inspiration for Resident Evil, it simulated 3D scenarios by mixing polygons with 2D backgrounds, also introducing a more investigative style to the game play. You were able to click on parts of the environment and read information about what ever it may be. It set the standard for future survival-horror games.

At this time, PCs were developing into better machines. Their graphics were being improved, along with their sound quality. But whenever something new came out, like a better computer with more bit capabilities, it was always quite expensive and most people had to wait a while to buy it.

I had never heard about the video game crashes before, so it was interesting to read about them. In 1983, the game industry completely crashed due to a number of companies going bankrupt and a lot of poor quality games being produced. It brought an end to the second generation of consoles. Supposedly there was a landfill in New Mexico full of E.T games by Atari that were never sold.

During the 90s, graphics transitioned from raster to 3D. Arcade games started to become less popular, as home consoles advanced. Sonic the Hedgehog came out in 91 on the
Sega Mega Drive
. Also online multiplayer games were still becoming popular, leading to the first MMORPGs, including Runescape. The Sims PC games were very successful as well during this time. Id Software’s game Quake was the leading first person shooter game with online multiplayer and new 3D graphics technology.
With 16 and 32 bit consoles, the popularity of arcades began to decline.

In 1995, the Sony Playstation was released, which out sold all its competitors. The Nintendo 64 was released a year later, and it set the standard for 3D game like Super Mario 64. Resident evil came out in 96 and sold over 2 million copies, and is still considered one of the best games on the PS. It was during this 5th generation of consoles that games became mainly 3D, with games like Crash Bandicoot, Tomb Raider and games that were unlike others before such as Golden Eye 007 and Soul Calibur. CDs were more popular, and most games used realistic graphics and large environments for the game world.

So after reviewing this period, I can see how games and consoles had changed throughout. They became more realistic, emphasis was on better graphics, pushing the limits of what could be done with games at the time. They transitioned from cartridges to CDs and from basic raster, 2D graphics to realistic 3D graphics. Also, gaming was focusing more on home entertainment and less on arcade games.

I will next review the games from 2000 and onwards, and also about my own personal history of the games I’ve played.

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