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The 100 Greatest Console Video Games 1977-1987 Book Review

The 100 Greatest Console Video Games 1977-1987 Book

Longtime gamers will jump for joy over “The 100 Greatest Console Video Games 1977-1987.”

With the local Portland Retro Gaming Expo a few days away, it seems only fitting to be reviewing “The 100 Greatest Console Video Games 1977-1987” hardcover book. Written by Brett Weiss (who also provides a preface), this video game centric list book covers what Weiss believes are the 100 best video games from early console systems such as Atari 2600, Colecovision, Atari 7800, Intellivision, Odyssey 1 and  2, Atari 5200, Arcadia 2001, Sega Master System, Vectrex, Astrocade, and NES.

Each of the 100 game entries are accompanied by cover art (and sometimes game screens and manual pics) and in-depth descriptions of the game’s history, control system/gameplay, sequels (if there are any), difficulty level, graphics, plots, as well as comparisons/differences to arcade or console counterparts. On top of all of that, Weiss writes deeply personal comments as to why he values these games that span a variety of genres such as space shooters, racing, adventure, platformers, maze, side-scrollers, and action.

Aside from the main top 100 list, readers can expect to see a foreword by legendary scorekeeper Walter Day, a bibliography, an index, and, best of all, a honorable mention list that includes another 100 games that didn’t make the cut (such as the beloved Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!).

Whether you’re reading thoroughly researched facts and or press quotes about each game (who knew “Attack of the Timelord” was altered for its European release to tie-in to the “Terrahawaks TV series?) or learning about lesser known titles such as “Turmoil,” “Miner 2049er,” and “Pepper II,” there’s no question that this book is a love letter to classic video games. In reading through the game listings, you can’t help but get swept up in the nostalgic joy of playing challenging, pure, and simplistic games like “Asteroids,” “Centipede,” “Pac-Man,” “Super Mario Bros.,” “Donkey Kong,” and “Robotron 2084.” Sure, games may have evolved a lot since then, but very few modern games will ever be as beloved as the likes of “Castlevania,” “The Legend of Zelda,” or the original “Metroid.” Those games have stood the test of time and have influenced what we see and play today. A lot of people seem to forget that fact.

Overall Thoughts: Like any list book, “The 100 Greatest Console Video Games 1977-1987” will no doubt inspire debate, but that’s what makes reading these books so enjoyable. Anything that can elicit a reaction and spark conversations about a subject has done its job. Hopefully, Weiss will follow this title up with a sequel. The 100 Geatest Console Video Games 1988-1998 perhaps?

October 15, 2014 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , , , , , , ,

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