As I left the studio after recording this episode, I remarked that I always seem to do the episodes where there’s about 9,000 different examples to discuss. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment — both in trying to tackle the volume, and getting the feedback that always starts with “They forgot…” Well then, pardon me as I gorge on the history of retro game compilations.
My interest in multi-title old game packs is surprisingly strong, thanks to products like Microsoft Arcade and the original Namco Museum series (which we mention on the show, of course). A part of me enjoys seeing what companies will re-release next, though these days, I’m left wanting more bonus content; something that more clearly curates material instead of dumping it. Namco Musuem used to do this well, but now? Eh, as long as the menu works, right? Of course, as a proponent of game preservation, I can’t always expect corporate entities to go digging in the back room if it’s not going to help make money, but I still think all these gatekeepers of classic content could stand to have a little more pride in what got them here. Nevertheless, some compilations have interesting-slash-amusing stories behind them, like the Sega Smash Pack series. And then there’s just the fact that Japan’s M2 does amazing emulation work. It’s an admittedly light topic for Retronauts, but I think that’s a plus — a little meta, what with discussing the history of collections of history, but easygoing.
Our fourth chair this week is the affable Gary Butterfield from Watch Out for Fireballs, lending a reasoned voice to the discussion. He’ll be back next week for Pocket, as well. Listen, enjoy, and keep in mind that as I left the studio, I came up with a handful of other compilations I could’ve mentioned.
This episode’s breakdown:
- 00:00 | Introductions
- 04:58 | Beginnings: Golden Oldies, Microsoft Arcade
- 12:01 | Music: Namco Museum Vol. 5: Museum
- 12:38 | Activision, Mario, Sega Smash Pack series
- 30:32 | Music: Namco Museum Vol. 1: Museum
- 31:02 | Intellivision Lives, Sonic Jam, Namco Museum series, other PlayStation import collections
- 59:04 | Music: Namco Museum Essentials: Menu
- 59:47 | Attack of the NES games, other GBA collections
- 1:11:10 | Capcom Classics Collection
- 1:14:26 | Sega Ages series
- 1:20:20 | More recent compilations (Sega, Capcom, SNK, Vectrex, etc.)
- 1:24:17 | NES Remix and the future of compilations
- 1:32:27 | Plugs and outro (Music: Namco Museum Essentials: Credits)