Now that video games have been around for two decades, today's teens and 20-somethings can sit around like old folks and reminisce about the "good on' days" of video gaming.
But were those old days really that good?
Sega's Arcade Classics answers that question.
On tap are Ultra Pong, one of the arcade industry's granddaddies; Missile Command, the circa-1980 stand-up that put the rollerball controller to its best use and Centipede, 1982's post-Space Invaders shooter.
While this trio of classic quarter-eaters may not be for everyone-namely, not for those too young to stomach a PG-13 movie-mature gamers will probably enjoy the opportunity to turn their Genesis systems into time machines.
These games will take players back to the mall arcades of the early 1980s: All three games have been re-created on the Genesis in their full 8-Bit, four-color, under-30k glory.
Ultra Pong still has players bouncing blips across the screen. Missile Command's rain of streaking nukes hasn't diminished in the years between the coin-op and Genesis incarnations. Plus, Centipede still keeps players' trigger fingers pounding away at garden-variety pests.
But not satisfied with leaving the games in their mucho fun-albeit primitive-states, Sega has added features that make the trio more than just your father's arcade machines.
Each game can be played in a Sega-enhanced Mode, which pulls the three classics from the early '80s and places them firmly in the late '80s.
The enhancements add nothing to the classics' gameplay; rather, games are spiffed up with more colorful backgrounds and less mono-tonal sound effects.
Funny thing, though...the enhanced version of Ultra Pong is nearly identical to the classic version, with new sound effects being the only addition. Apparently, Sega figured that Ultra Pong had reached the pinnacle of its...er, Pongness, and any further graphic tinkering would only take away from the game.
Other enhancements include multiplayer options for Centipede and varying difficulty levels for all three.
However, the real draw of these games is not the fancy enhancements, but the memories the games evoke. Seeing the old games come to 16-Bit life will satisfy any gamer's appetite for video game nostalgia.