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Pacman, Tetris, Pong
August 14, 2009 11:19 PM   Subscribe

Photos recreating vintage video games and some other stuff.
posted by msalt (16 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Interesting. I've always wondered why Pac-Man (or Hangly Man as I love to call him) never got a major redesign. Oh and it reminded me of this. Which is awesome.
posted by SinisterPurpose at 11:36 PM on August 14, 2009 [8 favorites]


I could never get the sweaty musician to sit down in one of the chairs.
posted by longsleeves at 11:45 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I really like the other stuff.
posted by Balisong at 11:48 PM on August 14, 2009


Some other stuff? It is mostly other stuff.
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:53 PM on August 14, 2009


Oh and it reminded me of this.

Holy crap. I think I love you for that.
posted by Kimothy at 12:10 AM on August 15, 2009


Yeah, SP, that video is awesome. And it is also more evidence for the idea that golfers are unpleasant people with no sense of humor. Did he really need to assault poor Pac-Man?!
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:59 AM on August 15, 2009


Interesting. I've always wondered why Pac-Man (or Hangly Man as I love to call him) never got a major redesign.

They actually did a number of redesigns in the 16-bit era, even going to pseudo-3D in at least one case. But they never sold all that well. The original game is so perfect that there just isn't a lot to improve, and there's a whole hell of a lot to get wrong.

I don't know if people will still be interested in playing it anymore in another twenty years, but if they are, I bet the only changes will be high-resolution renderings of the original game code.

I imagine, though, that folks will find it tedious and boring. Once the original gaming generation dies out, Pac Man will likely be consigned to the dustbin, except as a historical curiosity for ubernerds. But it will still never be successfully improved.
posted by Malor at 1:40 AM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Reminds me of this, too.

Fun stuff!
posted by Askiba at 8:31 AM on August 15, 2009


Why Does the Tetris Interpretive Ballet Company not exist and what can I do to make it exist?
posted by The Whelk at 8:53 AM on August 15, 2009


I didn't do a careful job of reading "and other stuff" so I started to get to pictures and asking myself "what the hell video game is that from?", which ended up being an enjoyable activity of imagining a video game designed around the picture.

Nice photos throughout. I enjoyed.
posted by Edward L at 9:12 AM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm still trying to figure out the game with the two pythonesque lamp cords... Qix? Cobra Strike?

Also, seriously... re: Askiba's Pac-Man link; I would've figured the pool players to get upset, but that golfer - he is one uptight knob.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 10:17 AM on August 15, 2009


Everything I need to know abut golf and golfers I learned from two places: Askiba's video and Falling Down...
posted by benzo8 at 10:40 AM on August 15, 2009


Why Does the Tetris Interpretive Ballet Company not exist and what can I do to make it exist?

Hire this guy?
posted by effbot at 12:08 PM on August 15, 2009


Not much for video games, but these are great, especially the pinball one!
posted by MoreForMad at 4:32 PM on August 15, 2009


In 100 years' time, some "Early Gaming" enthusiasts will play Pacman on lovingly handcrafted cabinets, while others will play in full 3D virtual reality, insisting that this is what the original designers would have used if it were available to them. The debate over "authenticity" willnever be resolved, but one world-famous gamer will make her name with a bold reinterpretation of the garbage stages beyond level 256.
posted by No-sword at 7:41 PM on August 15, 2009


Malor: "
They actually did a number of redesigns in the 16-bit era, even going to pseudo-3D in at least one case. But they never sold all that well. The original game is so perfect that there just isn't a lot to improve, and there's a whole hell of a lot to get wrong.

Redesigning Pac-Man has been the aim of dozens of people since nearly the moment the original came out.

The first (legal) Pac-Man redesign was Ms. Pac-Man, of course. and it could easily be argued that it did improve upon Pac-Man. The multiple mazes and resistance to patterns more than made up for the lack of special spots in the maze (the four ghost one-way passages) and the annoying random fruit after level 7 (which adds a needless element of straight luck that somewhat messes up high-level play).

Ms. Pac-Man wasn't made by Namco, now. It was a hacked version that just happened to attract the notice of Pac-Man's US distributor Bally-Midway, and got picked up by them. While arguably Pac-Man is still better known, Ms. Pac-Man could be argued to be far more popular, now, as an arcade game. There are only two classic-era arcade games that you can still be reasonably certain to find in the field: Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga. I remember reading in Replay once that, for a while, Midway would give away a free Ms. Pac-Man machine with the sale of any other arcade game. That couldn't have hurt its presence.

Both Bally/Midway and Namco made Pac-Man sequels, but only Ms. Pac-Man really took off. Midway made Professor Pac-Man (a quiz game), Baby Pac-Man (a pinball/video game hybrid, of all things, it made sense at the time since Bally made rocking pingames but it's really kind of meh), Pac-Man Plus (crazy Pac-Man with glitchy "features"), and Jr. Pac-Man (Pac-Man with lots of mazes, and huge scrolly ones at that, not a bad game at all if a bit hard, but it was released just after the crash). Ms. Pac-Man was so popular that Namco kind of grudgingly took over the license at first, but they couldn't have complained about the sales of the awesome "20th Anniversary" machine which offers Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga in one cabinet.

Nacmo's own immediate Pac-sequels were Super Pac-Man and Pac-N-Pal, neither of them bad games, but each offering needless complications to the original game. Actually I rather like Super Pac-Man; a simple strategy and sharp reflexes can get you surprisingly far into the game. They also made Pac-Mania, which is also fairly good and a purer game than their previous Pac maze sequels.

Anyway, after that Namco released Pac Land, an important release in the history of video games but not really hugely interesting today. Nearly everything it did was surpassed easily by Super Mario Bros, and it didn't help it out much that it borrowed so much from that strange Hanna-Barbera cartoon show. That lead the way for all kinds of misguided re-imaginings of Pac-Man, many of which having little to do with mazes. The best of these are probably Pac-Man Vs. and Pac-Man Championship Edition.


I don't know if people will still be interested in playing it anymore in another twenty years, but if they are, I bet the only changes will be high-resolution renderings of the original game code.

In fact, as the Pac-Man Dossier notes, there are a couple of fairly significant bugs in the actions of the pink and blue monsters, bugs that went unfound for a long time only because of the general obscurity of the chase logic, that could usefully be fixed in a remake.

I imagine, though, that folks will find it tedious and boring. Once the original gaming generation dies out, Pac Man will likely be consigned to the dustbin, except as a historical curiosity for ubernerds. But it will still never be successfully improved."

I am not sure. It is true that its massive popularity at the time of its release was partially due to it being in the right place at the right time, but the game itself is still fun to play. There are dozens of hyper realistic first-person-shooters that I would never consider playing except to write about, but Pac-Man I can still enjoy. In fact, I find this to be true of many popular classic arcade games, and I didn't really get to play them much when they were first released so I don't think it's nostalgia talking....
posted by JHarris at 7:51 PM on August 15, 2009 [6 favorites]


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