First post, by hifidelitygaming

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What kind of old simulator games (anything from driving, flying, submarine, space ship, tank, and any other military vehicle sim along with simulations that aren't military based) still have "redeeming value" today?

I mention simulations specifically because in the striving to be realistic, typically in graphics and physics models, things almost always seem to improve the newer that you get. Unlike a retrogame which may have it's own unique charm of some sort, a Pac Man, Kings Quest, or Need for Speed 3, simulations seem to be judged much harsher - I don't know anyone playing an older Flight Simulator if they have the new one for instance, or an older X-Plane if they have the new one and can run it well, because there's basically nothing the older one does the new one doesn't do far better.

Are there any simulations for which this is NOT the case? Whether it's artificial intelligence, or a game that 'dead ended' and didn't have new versions (there was some microsoft space shuttle simulator in the 486 era that i've heard still has ardent modern fans) or perhaps a game that was in competition with others at the time, say a combat flight simulator, and was superior or at least unique at the time even if they didn't produce any new ones after their dominance at the time.

Which would you still play and why/what's unique about them?

Reply 2 of 6, by Great Hierophant

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Simulations and sport games games tend to age the greatest. Who plays Links when they could play Tiger Woods?

http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/ - Nerdly Pleasures - My Retro Gaming, Computing & Tech Blog

Reply 3 of 6, by hifidelitygaming

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Thats a good way of putting it, some games show their years more than others/age worse. I'll still play Phantasy Star all day beacuse there's nothing like it, but the DOS version of Nascar Racing? Probably not. That's why i'm curious what the exceptions are.

Last I checked there was still a pretty stout Falcon 4.0 community though with patches intended to modernize graphics and fix bugs. Despite much newer jet sims. So I was curious what else was out there.

Games like Hard Drivin' for the arcade i'd still happily play - but it's redeeming feature was the mindblowing accuracy of it's force feedback, and thats a good example of what might keep someone playing the oldies... great AI, better physics simulations, doing things modern ones for some reason still haven't done as well yet.

Reply 4 of 6, by NamelessPlayer

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I still have a strange interest in one particularly obscure flight sim known as JSF: Joint Strike Fighter.

It's relatively simplistic, yet still pretty fun and significantly less daunting BECAUSE you're not expected to memorize lots of complicated subsystems. Falcon 4.0 and Digital Combat Simulator, JSF is not; you won't be doing complicated ramp starts or working complex sensor systems, but it's also not oversimplified to Ace Combat or HAWX levels.

Maybe it's just nostalgia from having played a demo, and witnessing the cool 3D clickable virtual cockpit in action. Never did get around to buying it 'til over a decade later, though, and that was just a second-hand disc-only copy! The only reason I don't play it much these days...well, it keeps crashing even on my retro rig after flying for a certain amount of time in-game, and I can't figure out why that happens.

I've also shown an interest in TFX, but mostly because of the awesome soundtrack and wanting to figure out how that ASP/CSP on some SB16 and AWE32 cards is supposed to work for the QSound effects.

Other than those...well, I find it difficult to get back into older combat flight sims when it feels like my head's on a neck brace again. TrackIR is a godsend, and only more recent sims tend to support it for obvious reasons.

Some of them might have supported the head-trackers on primitive HMDs like the Forte VFX-1 and Virtual I-O i-glasses!, but I don't know of any for sure, especially seeing as 3D cockpits weren't as common back then.

Reply 6 of 6, by tincup

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Just looking at 2D sims I'd still jump on:

Red Baron 1
Aces of the Pacific
Aces Over Europe
1942 Pacific Air War [3D cockpit mode pretty cool]
Harrier Assault
A-10 Cuba!

World Circuit [just!]
Grand Prix II [long live the king!]
Indycar Racing 1
Nascar Racing 1

Throw in a little 3D and I'd add:

Hind [3dfx patch]
Longbow 2
European Air War
Mig Alley
Flying Corps Gold

Indycar Racing 2 [Rendition version!]
Nascar Racing 1999
Grand Prix Legends

The basic criteria here is:
No fatal flaws/bugs
Flight with a fluid and convincing "stick feel" in the cockpit and a sensible view system
Driving with convincing "seat feel" at the wheel, throttle and brakes
Clear enough graphics that the essentials of the situation are apparent
Immersive setting