How awesome were classic Atari, Nintendo & Sega games? Even with a severely limited number of pixels, colors & midi sounds to work with first & second generation video game designers delivered some pretty incredible games. While their graphics, sound effects and game play wouldn’t measure up to today’s overproduced gaming experiences, those rough 8 & 16bit games paved the way for the polished ones we enjoy today.

Death Animations & Game Over Screens

Classic Death Animations(Nintendo, Sega)

Super NES Death Animations

With classic games death animations were annoying

One of the most frustrating moments of any game, classic & modern alike are the death animations and worse still are the game over screens. Most of today’s games have taken the sting out of death, making it virtually impossible to die to keep you alive longer, or they get you back in the mix quicker with little negative effect from dying – all keeping you progressing in the story. Older games were far less forgiving with deaths costing you all of your upgrades, credits/rubies/coins, and setting you back in progression – and game over, was GAME OVER. Most 8bit games didn’t even have the possibility of saving your place, so game over meant – go back o the start and try again.

As frustrated as a gamer might get today when he/she dies in the middle of a particularly challenging level – the frustration old school gamers felt was often exponentially compacted by the fact that every minute of progression achieved in that sitting had been lost. Forever. So when we saw our health bar falling precariously low or realized we had missed an important power-up on the way to a level boss, there was a palpable angst as we furiously thumbed the control pad maneuvering our pixelated hero to avoid eminent death.

What about you? What are your thoughts? Do today’s games measure up to the intensity of classic games? Are they better? Let us hear your voice in the comments.