Lately I’ve been wanting to play a video game. I have an XBox 360 among my systems and haven’t touched it, except as a media center, for a while. The last game I played on it was “Call of Duty 3” which I played for a good long while until I tired of it. I’ve been looking for a new game to get but there hasn’t been anything that has interested me. First off, I don’t want to pay sixty bucks for a brand new game so those automatically don’t interest me.

One of the good things about the XBox 360 is that you can download demos of games. It’s a great feature that allows you to try out a bit of a game before you buy. Unfortunately all this has done is made me realize that I don’t like any of the new games I’ve demoed. I just tried out the latest Madden football game and didn’t like it much. Like a lot of video games these days you can’t even read the in game type if you don’t have an HDTV. I don’t have one. There are other things I didn’t like about the demo but that was most annoying.

I recently got a couple of new games for my hand held systems but haven’t felt like playing on the small screen. One of them is even the latest version of one of my all time favorites: Advance Wars. It’s a turn based war strategy game for the Nintendo DS and I know that I’ll like it once I try it out but haven’t mustered the interest to try it out.

So this week I decided to do a little retro gaming. I dug out a controller for my old Sega Dreamcast and fired it up. I don’t usually keep my old systems but I kept this one around only because it is a good retro gaming console and I could dump all my old consoles.

The Dreamcast has an operating system that is based on some old version of Windows. That means that people were able to put a whole bunch of old games on a blank CD using their Windows computers and those games could be played on the Dreamcast. I’ve always been a Mac guy and wasn’t able to do this but luckily I was in the loop years ago and someone gave me a couple of disks.

I was playing some old games from various old consoles but the ones I was enjoying the most were the oldest ones from the NES. That’s Nintendo’s original eight-bit system. There are all sorts of crappy games that I’ve never heard of on the NES but also some classics from the heyday of home video games.

I’ve always remember liking Super Mario Brothers 2 even though most Mario fans find it weak. It is really not even a Mario game but is a port of another Japanese game that they put the Mario characters into. In playing it again I must say that I still like it. It has some un-Mario like game mechanics but maybe that is why it stands out for me. It’s not typical Mario Brothers. Of course typical Mario Brothers is still fun. I was playing Super Mario Brothers 3 for a while and enjoyed that one too.

Being a football fan I wanted to try out some Techmo football. That was the hot football game back in the late Eighties and my friends and I spent countless hours playing it. You only had four plays to choose from (three if you used the Redskins – that reverse never worked) but that never stopped us from having fun. I had some fun with it again.

The football game I had the most fun with was an even earlier one called “Ten Yard Fight!”. It’s pretty well forgotten now but one friend and I, who were among the first people I knew into the NES, played this game a lot. There was no NFL license, not set plays, no fancy graphics, but it was an admirable try. Capturing the game of American football in such simple terms is really tough. But I played through an entire game this week and had fun.

So that was my retro gaming experience this week. I want to find a new game to buy soon but the way things are going I’m not sure if I will. So many new games are just expensive special effects with very little game to them. But I hold out hope.