Found: One Giant Rack of Old PC Games

The thing about moving is that sooner or later, everything has to be unpacked, or at least that’s the theory.  Sometimes boxes can sit there, waiting in the back of a closet for years before being unearthed, moved again, dumped in the corner, and, eventually all but forgotten until it’s time to finally free up some space.  I knew there was an old CD tower with a pile of PC games sitting in a stray box, and today it got its turn at being exhumed.  After throwing away a pile of PC Gamer and other demo disks and betas, plus various drivers (Voodoo 3 3000!) and such, this is what’s left.  To keep opinions honest, all comments are from memory with zero research to supplement.

Ultima IX: Ascension.  The deluxe edition.  It seemed like a good idea at the time, and it’s a shame the game was never allowed to be patched into playability.

Blood and Blood 2: The Chosen.  Brutally tough and probably overrated, but the original is still a fun Build-engine FPSes.

Magic Carpet.  Any time someone wants to do a modern-day update is fine by me.

Terminal Velocity.  Third-person fly & shoot.  Super-fun, but I never did do much more than complete the shareware levels before running out of steam.

Grand Theft Auto.  I wanted to like this series, but it wasn’t until GTA3 that I was able to really enjoy it.  Terrible PS2 controls and all.

Comanche.  I’ve never played this.  I don’t even know why I own it.

Might and Magic VII.  This was a fantastic revival for the series, but 3DO proceeded to beat it into the ground with multiple sequels that played identically.

Return Fire 2.  *sigh*  Why couldn’t it have been as pure, simple fun as its prequel?

System Shock.  I really need to play this one of these days, but the controls are just so utterly terrible by today’s standards that I’ve yet to put in the time.  I can live with ugly, but I’d rather not argue when trying to accomplish anything.  Still, for a “rare” game, you used to see these in $5 spinner racks of games on a regular basis.

Treasure Planet: Battle for Procyon.  This had to have been free.

Tzar: Burden of the Crown.  I could research this, find out what it was.  It’s a thing I could do.

Dark Earth.  It’s got a mean-looking guy with a gun and claws on the front, but the anatomically-impossible blow-up doll bimbo with metal nipple-covers over the hyper-inflated balloons attached to her front really sell the pandering.

Quake II.  *sigh*  Happy memories…

Cyberia 2: Resurrection.  I seem to remember this being fairly awful.

MDK.  Such a bizarre little shooter.

Final Doom.  The last Doom I ever played.  This is the one where they really went nuts, loading you down with ammo so they could sic half a dozen cyberdemons on you at once.  Good times!

Descent to Undermountain.  Yes, it was free.  Also, overpriced.

Rollcage.  Kind of nifty little racer where you could flip your vehicle over.  Heavily inspired by Wipeout.

The Sims.  I have never played The Sims beyond 5 minutes.

Bioforge.  I wonder if I’m confusing Bioforge with Cyberia 2.  Possibly.

Dungeon Keeper.  *slap* slap* slap*  Get to work, peons!

Strife.  Basically a Doom .wad pack released as a retail game.  It was a shooter with adventure elements, and I wish I’d put more time into it.  There was probably a good reason I didn’t, though.

Inca.  Remember Myst?  Yeah, just like that except more forgettable.

Thief Gold.  Three CDs of classic sneaky goodness.

Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders.  The sequel, Hexen, went on to be the more popular of the two, but I always loved Heretic more.  I think I ended up playing this as much as Doom II, which is saying something.

Heretic II.  The switch to polygons and third person perspective wasn’t kind.

Hi-Octane.  Futuristic racer with more fog than a very foggy place.  We’re talking N64 Turok levels of fog.

Wing Commander/Ultima IV.  I think it came from another of those $1 spinner racks.

Mech Warrior 2.  Pentium Processor Edition.  You don’t have a Pentium?  No prettier version of Mechwarrior 2 for you.

Discworld.  Point & click Terry Pratchett.  You’d think it would have been better.

Crusader: No Remorse.  Every time I tried to play it, it crashed.  The version is very tempting, if only to finally see if I’d have enjoyed it back in the day.

Dark Colony.  It’s a space game of some sort.  Strategy?  Wing Commander clone?  Like a lot of games in the pile, I got it for $1 and then never played it.

Mob Rule.  Kind of like an RTS where you take over the town with your mob enforcers, if I remember right.

Lords of the Realm.  Not having instructions made figuring this out more of a game than the game itself.

Descent II.  Which is better, Duke or Doom?  The correct answer was always Descent II.

Machines.  Like it says on the spine, 3D Real Time Strategy.  Not particularly engaging, but 3D.

Cybermage: Darklight Awakening.  Judging from the art, somebody wanted to be Rob Liefeld really badly, and then they licensed the Doom engine.

Aliens vs Predator.  For being a ground-breaking FPS, it’s actually kind of bland.

No On Lives Forever, No One Lives Forever 2.  I beat the first one and it was so worth it.  I wonder if the sequel will work on Win7?

Star Control 3.  Another $1 game.  Star Control 2 is so incredibly good (go download Ur-Quan Masters and get playing if you’ve somehow missed it) but this… was not.

Lander.  It’s basically a 3D version of Lunar Lander.  Very tricky, and rewarding for those willing to take time to learn to control it.  I wasn’t that person, but admired it for what it tried to do.

Bleem!  PS1 emulator that suffered the horrible wrath of Sony, and it didn’t help that the company promised the world and delivered a small rock.

Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit.  3DFX version!  Because with only with a 3DFX can you truly appreciate 90s polygonal glory.

And that’s the lot.  I can’t help but wonder where my copy of Battlezone got to, though.  Probably hanging out with Grim Fandango and System Shock 2 somewhere, being appropriately awesome.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to wipe off the inch-thick layer of nostalgia.