Good ol' Abandonware

Anything else
User avatar
underthedeep
Posts: 1098
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:18 pm
Location: southern california
Contact:

Good ol' Abandonware

Post by underthedeep » Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:36 pm

Classic FREE gaming, what is not to like?

i always enjoy revisiting old games that i used to play when i was a youngin', and thats why i love http://www.abandonia.com. Most of the games that old, are free now. wahoo.

WELL ANYWAYS i thought it might be cool to post up some good ol' favorites to share. and thus so i made this thread.

here is what i've been playing lately.
Flashback: The Quest for Identity
Image

I used to play this on my old powermac desktop when i was like 8. When i was that young i always felt like the game was really hard, but i was just young a stupid and it took me hours to figure out puzzles >.< hahaha. The game is very enjoyable and is more of a thinking mans action game.

In Flashback, you take on the role of Conrad B. Hart, an agent for the Galaxia Bureau of Investigation. After learning of a plot involving aliens disguised as government officials who want to destroy the Earth, Conrad makes a copy of his memory, just in case he's captured and has his memory erased by the aliens (and really, who doesn't do this these days?). As fate would have it, he is indeed captured, has his memory erased, and is left for dead after escaping his captors. And this is where our game begins.

The first thing you'll notice about the Flashback, are the graphics. With backgrounds that are wonderfully detailed, and animation that is very fluid (thanks to the use of rotoscoping technology), the game is quite nice too look at and watch. The cinemas also have a very fluid feel, and look rather good despite being comprised of relatively simple, flat shaded polygonal shapes. The next thing you'll notice, is the lack of music during the levels. There are tunes that play during the cinemas, but for the most part, you just hear the sound effects as you go from scene to scene. This may seem odd at first, but thanks to the sound effects being done well, you become accustomed to the minimalist approach the game designers took with the aural aspect of the game.

The controls for the game appear complicated at first, as there are various commands for you to use with your character. Running, walking, sifting through your inventory, drawing your gun, firing it, jumping, climbing down... they're all needed, and their various buttons are a bit spread out. The game also has buttons that have multiple traits assigned to them. However, because Flashback is more of a “thinking man's” action game, you don't find yourself having to hurry up too much in the beginning. By the time the action starts heating up a bit, you'll have gotten used to the control scheme, and be able to handle them fine. They may seem daunting at first, but they're easily manageable with a little practice. It also helps that they're responsive, and don't fall into the “mushy” or “laggy” trap that some games do with such fluidly animated characters. This is a good thing, considering what awaits you.

The game offers a solid challenge. The puzzles and confrontations in Flashback start off simple and obvious, but they become more complex as you progress, and some will rely on good timing as well. You'll find yourself staring at the screen more than once, studying the scene and trying to figure out the best (or only) way to go about getting past the obstacles and enemies that await you. None of them are nonsensical though, so with a little planning, you'll figure them out. If all else fails, trail and error will be your guide.

If there's a downside to the game, it comes in two small doses. The first one, is that some of the ledges that you'll need to jump down from or up to, don't have clearly defined edges. Just where exactly you're supposed to interact with them doesn't always stand out, and this seems a little sloppy for a game that obviously had a lot of time and care put into its planning. The second one, is that the game uses passwords as its main way of saving progress, which are only given at the end of a level. Granted, there are some temp save points scattered about in the levels, but those temp saves get erased when quit the game. The end result can be many, many replays of easier level sections, and that can get tedious. It's true that these aren't major issues, but it would have been nice to have been given more passwords along the way. And while the ledges in question aren't everywhere, in the heat of the action, they can still lead to an unnecessary demise.

Basically, Flashback is a wonderful game, with a couple of minor flaws. It has an interesting story, a tough (but fair) level of difficulty, gorgeous graphics, good sound, and solid design. You'll work the logic part of your brain on the devious puzzles, and your itchy trigger finger on the enemies, as you unravel what happened to Conrad. This leaves you with a satisfied feeling by the time you reach the end, and that's the mark of a well thought out and executed game..


http://www.abandonia.com/en/games/74/Fl ... OS%29.html

anyone else have any old goodies to share?

User avatar
Glabbit
Posts: 4917
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 8:38 am
Location: A mile away, with your shoes!

Re: Good ol' Abandonware

Post by Glabbit » Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:05 am

Boom? Factory? Torin's Passage? Oni? Or even the best thing Electronic Arts ever did: L.A.P.D. Futurecop?
Greebles, perhaps?
Or a marvellous old game I used to love: Silver?
I doubt many of those are on there.

User avatar
Endoperez
Posts: 5668
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:41 am
Location: cold and dark and lovely Finland

Re: Good ol' Abandonware

Post by Endoperez » Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:51 am

For those uninitiated, abandonware is the pirating of games that have been "abandoned" and are not available through conventional means. It's not legal, but it may or may not be less immoral than pirating games that are sill being sold. As an example, Abandonia has removed many games from their list of downloadable games when copyright holders contacted them through ESA, and again many games have been removed since they've been put for sale on services like steam or GOG.com.
It's mostly games released on or before 1997, although there are some exceptions. That means games like Oni, Futurecop and Silver are too recent.

Most of the games I enjoyed most have since become available through services that automatically make them work on modern computers. It was quite a bother to get them to work, especially with sounds. It could take quite a few hours scouring the net for guides; paying a few bucks for being able to just jump into a game is really nice.

X-Com 1
is great, the athmosphere is just fantastic. There are lots of interesting mechanics, like being able to destroy the terrain. Available through Steam.

Betrayal at Krondor is a fantastic old game, one of the first 3D RPGs. Vector-based mountains! :D The music is nice, and the fantasy writer R. E. Feist had a role in its creation. The plot and characterization is one of the strong features of the game, but I've never got farther that Chapter 3. Available through Good Old Games.

Master of Magic is another fantastic piece. What Alpha Centauri was to Civilization 2, Master of Magic was for Civilization 1. There's surprisingly little competition in the fantasy strategy game genre, so it's worth a try if the idea of might wizards summoning devils to destroy the dragons of their enemies interests you, it's worth a try. Available through Good Old Games.


The games available for download mostly aren't that great. Don't take me wrong, they may have been very good for their time, and they can be quite enjoyable, but I found myself getting bored with them halfway through more often than not.

Albion - a scifi/fantasy RPG where a space ship crash-lands into a fantasy world. Available through Abandonia.

Dark Sun
This is a decent RPG set on a fantastic world. It's a post-apocalyptic fantasy setting set on a wasteland from which careless use of magic has drained the very life-force of the land. An endless desert inhabited by monsters, some of them intelligent. Metal is scarce and extremely valuable, so most weapons are made from flint, obsidian, bone and - surprisingly - wood. I don't know where they get the food. To be honest, I find the world more interesting than these games, and to my knowledge the games never delve too deep into the setting itself.
The games: http://indiesandsproductions.com/downloads.php
The world: http://www.athas.org/

Ultima games
I've tried:
Ultima 4 - a sandbox in which you have to abide by virtues to complete the game, and in which it's very easy to act selfishly. It's almost a meta-game, in that the player has to learn how a messianistic, good person should act in the game's world that hasn't been designed to make it the mechanically best choice. Now, the technical representation of all the choices and their effects isn't that good since this game was released on 1985, but then, to my knowledge nothing of the same moral scale has been done since.
Martian Dreams
Savage Empire - A spinoff in which a world-warping hero warps into a wrong world. The setting is a jungle full of savage tribes and prehistoric monsters, but there are a few other modern men scattered in there. The talking can be a bit cumbersome if you don't guess the right keyword and the isometric graphics are rather outdated, but those are very minor annoyances. The world is so big I ended up being a bit lost and not knowing what to do - I'm not a fan of open-ended games, it seems.
Martian Dreams - Steampunk Jules Verne-esque science adventure, where you go to Mars in 1895 to rescue some historical people or something. Character generation is done through a discussion with Freud, H.G. Wells has trouble with invisible monsters, Georges Melies needs help with his invention, Wyatt Earp has been transformed into a horse, etc. I haven't actually played this game yet, but the engine is the same as on Savage Empire above.

Prince of Persia and Stronghold might also be worth a look, as both names have been used for modern games and it's always fun to be able to confuse your friends by talking about a totally different game.

User avatar
Count Roland
Posts: 2936
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:15 pm
Location: Galapagos Islands, rodeoin some turtles.
Contact:

Re: Good ol' Abandonware

Post by Count Roland » Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:58 am

Ah flashback was always one of my favorites, in almost the same vein, I also always liked Blackthorne, about the only thing I've ever enjoyed that's been made by blizzard. God of Thunder's a good one, so is moonstone: a hard days knight, Descent is great, there are quite a few others I don't remember.

User avatar
Glabbit
Posts: 4917
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 8:38 am
Location: A mile away, with your shoes!

Re: Good ol' Abandonware

Post by Glabbit » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:23 am

Endoperez wrote:
It's mostly games released on or before 1997, although there are some exceptions. That means games like Oni, Futurecop and Silver are too recent.
Are they? Last time I checked, all three of these no longer are supported in the least, in the way that I couldn't find official references to two of them anywhere, and the developers of the third, being Oni, have ceased to exist in the way they did when Oni was made.
But still, yes, I can see how that's possible. It just annoys me a lot.

User avatar
Endoperez
Posts: 5668
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:41 am
Location: cold and dark and lovely Finland

Re: Good ol' Abandonware

Post by Endoperez » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:46 am

Glabbit wrote:
Endoperez wrote:
It's mostly games released on or before 1997, although there are some exceptions. That means games like Oni, Futurecop and Silver are too recent.
Are they? Last time I checked, all three of these no longer are supported in the least, in the way that I couldn't find official references to two of them anywhere, and the developers of the third, being Oni, have ceased to exist in the way they did when Oni was made.
But still, yes, I can see how that's possible. It just annoys me a lot.

ONI
[PROTECTED] until 27.01.2013 by Rpckstar Games

http://www.abandonia.com/vbullet/showth ... 778&page=4
That didn't take long... ("F8 g site:abandonia.com oni")


The thing is, games made on 1998 and later are so close to modern graphics that the people willing to pay something to play them are a major demographic. Games with 8 colors are too outdated for many, but 8-BIT colors and isometric graphics can be quite good already. And on 1998 game companies had gotten used to CDs and could really use them for stuff, having huge dialogue trees and/or lots and/of music and/or vocals and/or speech and/or long high-quality (for the time) cinematics, or whatever else they wanted to focus on.

Even GOG doesn't seem to go for stuff that's very old, unless it's something unique even after all these years.

User avatar
Grayswandir
Short end of the stick
Posts: 3655
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:37 am
Location: Robbing the cradle.

Re: Good ol' Abandonware

Post by Grayswandir » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:58 am

Futurecop: L.A.P.D. is awesome, if you're trying to find the mac version and run it through OS X I can help you get it set up so it runs properly. Yes, I have it...No, go buy it. Why? Because I like watching you squirm.
Image

User avatar
Zhukov
Posts: 1049
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:58 am
Location: Elsewhere.

Post by Zhukov » Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:23 am

Whoa. Flashback and Oni. That was a double-barrelled blast of nostalgia.

Flashback was one of the first games I ever bought. Loved it to bits.

User avatar
underthedeep
Posts: 1098
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:18 pm
Location: southern california
Contact:

Re:

Post by underthedeep » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:33 pm

Zhukov wrote:Whoa. Flashback and Oni. That was a double-barrelled blast of nostalgia.

Flashback was one of the first games I ever bought. Loved it to bits.
just beat it again.

i am mad its not longer.

User avatar
Glabbit
Posts: 4917
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 8:38 am
Location: A mile away, with your shoes!

Re: Good ol' Abandonware

Post by Glabbit » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:27 am

2013, huh? Just because it's got more colours than a SNES?
Oh well. At least it'll be good to nab sometime.

Also Do Want Futurecop to work in Os X.
I can't get my head around this Sheepshaver thing... perhaps I should be starting from scratch rather than having a version half-copied from someone else.
Or do you recommend Basilisk or some such?

User avatar
Grayswandir
Short end of the stick
Posts: 3655
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:37 am
Location: Robbing the cradle.

Re: Good ol' Abandonware

Post by Grayswandir » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:46 am

First off, do you have a PPC or an Intel mac? I'm guessing Intel if you're trying to use Sheepshaver, but I thought I'd ask.

User avatar
Blorx
NOT A FRIGGIN PROGRAMMER
Posts: 3272
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 4:01 pm
Location: South Carolina, United States
Contact:

Re: Good ol' Abandonware

Post by Blorx » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:23 am

Daggerfall! Wasteland! Ultima! Jazz Jackrabbit! Commander Keen! All the classics, lol. :mrgreen:

EDIT: Forgot X-COM :o

User avatar
Renegade_Turner
Gramps
Posts: 6942
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:59 am

Re: Good ol' Abandonware

Post by Renegade_Turner » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:18 am

Curse Of Enchantia. Syndicate. Zool. Lemmings. Rick Dangerous. Enough said.

And...Abuse.

User avatar
Blorx
NOT A FRIGGIN PROGRAMMER
Posts: 3272
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 4:01 pm
Location: South Carolina, United States
Contact:

Re: Good ol' Abandonware

Post by Blorx » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:47 am

Abuse is epic. =D

User avatar
underthedeep
Posts: 1098
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:18 pm
Location: southern california
Contact:

Re: Good ol' Abandonware

Post by underthedeep » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:10 pm

abuse looks "zuuperkewl" that will be next on my list.

i tried playing daggerfall and then i just decided to stop and pop in morrowind.

yeah.. i'm a jerk

Post Reply