SGJ Podcast #233 – Can You Go Home Again?

It Sort of Holds Up!

Welcome to this episode of the podcast, my friends! This week, Jim, Hunter, Spaz and I talked nostalgia, thanks to a topic idea from Hunter. Basically, we all went back to the year when we were twenty, which is as follows:

  • Jim = 1990
  • Brian = 1993
  • Spaz = 1999
  • Hunter = 2007

And talked about the games we thought of most when we think back to those specific years, and then tried to play them to see if they held up. It was a really fun trip down memory lane, where we visited some old friends and learned about some new games (at least I did). ;) As you can see from the lists below, we covered a LOT of games.

We also ran a contest wherein listeners wrote in and shared their story, and you can read the winning entry below! Next week on the show, we’ll be talking 4X games, especially the unique ones! :) If you have any questions or comments, hit us up below, email us at or hit us up on the forums. Thanks for listening/watching!

Show Notes

Jim’s Games:

  • Federation of Free Traders
  • Gunship 2000
  • M1 Tank Platoon
  • Falcon 3.0
  • Epic
  • Elite Plus
  • Star Glider
  • Major Motion

Brian’s Games:

  • Wing Commander: Privateer
  • X-Wing
  • Tornado
  • TFX

Spaz’s Games:

  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
  • Hybrid Heaven
  • Star Trek: Birth of the Federation

Hunter’s Games:

  • Day of Defeat: Source
  • Orange Box
  • Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
  • World in Conflict
  • Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
  • BioShock
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Eve Online
  • Supreme Commander

Other Games Mentioned:

  • Wing Commander
  • F/A-18 Interceptor
  • Carrier Command
  • Pioneer Scout Plus
  • Jumpdrive
  • Ooolite
  • Etrian Series
  • Myst
  • Riven
  • Starflight
  • Ultima 3 Exodus
  • Star Rangers
  • Flight of the Intruder
  • Megafortress
  • F-22 Lighting Series
  • F-16
  • Mig-23
  • A-10 Cuba
  • A-10 II silent hunter
  • A-10 Tank Killer
  • iF-22
  • iF-18
  • Battlefield 2
  • Ashes of the Singularity

Winning Contest Entry!

My name is Erik, and I’m a 30-year old family man QA Tester, gamer, and aspiring game developer. When I saw a discussion open up about a game we’ve played from years ago (in my case, 10 years ago) to see if it was still alive and kicking today, I was quite pleased to dive in.

I haven’t approached games the same way my family and friends did. They played for the overarching narrative, like they were participants in some kind of movie book. And for sure, they played some great story-centric games. But I wanted something more from what I participated in. I wanted something that challenged the player’s strategy, exploration, and creativity. Gameplay has always been far more important to me.

I haven’t been a big shooter fan almost ever, but it didn’t stop me from diving into (and thoroughly enjoying) Metroid Prime 1 (MP1) and Metroid Prime 2 (MP2). One thing I don’t enjoy at all is motion controls, and I was quite weary when I heard Nintendo was moving this direction with Metroid Prime III: Corruption (MP3). Still, I was hopeful it would be alright.
And it was very good.

MP3 created a sense of immersion with the motion controls I’d not think I would have. Suddenly, the game world swallowed me whole. I became the Space Pirate Bounty Hunter. I was exploring vast worlds. It was like nothing I would have ever imagined.

And the story, while it had it’s fair share of tropes and strange dialogue exchanges, was actually good. I had spent hours enveloped in the lore of what was going on, learning about the Space Pirates’ experiments with Phazon, trying to create the perfect soldiers to conquer the galaxy.

All of this while exploring living worlds that demanded creative use of my abilities to overcome the many obstacles that lay before me.

I took great care in seeking out every single secret behind every single wall. In some cases it felt tedious, but in all cases it was rewarding. The game honored the intelligence of the player, giving subtle hints as to where new discoveries could be made without blatantly giving it away. In every case, the patient gamer came out ahead. And I’m a patient gamer.

Original Rating: 9.5/10. Holy cow wow.

When Metroid Prime Trilogy (MPT) game came out, it was an immediately must-buy for me because of how it would coat MP1 and MP2 with all the glorious motion controls and widescreen view that MP3 brought to the table. I picked it up early 2010 (I recall it being a hard find) and replayed through all three games.

And it was very good.

So now it’s 2018, it’s been at least 7 years since I played any of the Metroid Prime titles. So, I booted up the WiiU and popped in MPT once again to play through not just MP3, but all three games. And let me tell you: Even with the knowledge of all the secrets and nuances the games have to offer, this is a series that keeps on giving. MP3 changed the least, for sure. (MP2 seemed a bit more problematic when I replayed it, however…but I digress.)

Sure, those tedious segments of collecting certain Missile Expansions or Energy Tanks were still pretty tedious. And some of the enemies were still annoying, just like they were the first time. But in all cases, MP3 continued to be wonderfully rewarding.

The only thing that changed through my experiences was my desire to skip some of the cheesy cutscenes…but even still, I wanted to remember them. So I watched them again. Otherwise, MP3 clamps down hard on solid turf, standing it’s ground quite well.

Metroid Prime III: Corruption is a shooter motion control game that stands the test of time through and through. Even if you don’t like shooters, or motion controls.

Replay Rating: 9.5/10. But oh man, some of those cutscenes.

Thanks for reading.

Author: Brian Rubin

3 thoughts on “SGJ Podcast #233 – Can You Go Home Again?

  1. I turned 20 late in 1987. At the time, all I had was my Commodore 64. I was in college and shy of coin, so I didn’t buy a lot of new games at the time. So, I was still playing the original Elite (from 1985), as well as a handful of other C-64 games like RocketBall (a RollerBall knock-off), M.U.L.E., Lords of Conquest, and Sid Meier’s Pirates (which was a new game). In reality, though, I spent more time playing board games with friends on the weekends.

    I met my wife during that year, and she had a Mac, so I picked up a few Mac games as well.

    I didn’t actually own a PC until 1991 or so, when I was an over-the-hill 23 years old.

    Regarding your discussion of having to write down stuff while playing games, I still have a bunch of notes from older games where I had to draw maps, write down clues, and record quests. That was definitely true of Ultima III (which I think Spaz mentioned) One Mac game that I played during that time was Quarterstaff, and Infocom adventure game. IIRC, that was the first game I played that had a map that was built into the game, and revealed as you played. It felt almost *lazy* to have the game do the mapping for me!

  2. Hi Brian and Company.

    Jumping back on your podcast after, like, 4 years of absence. You may remember me as a guy, who incurred your wrath by putting Star control above Starflight, courtesy of my bad handling of English phrasing (I’m Russian)
    I’m 42 now, so thanks for this trip down the memory lane.
    Personal big thanks for finally nailing the thing that was bothering me for years with the phrase “There are pilot sims and plane sims”. Now I understand, why i had so much fun with F-117, LHX (totally awesome btw) and first A-10 and just cannot get into DCS for all it worth.
    And it is clear to me that i just need to go back to this gaming era for my kicks. Thanks for the list of games, will surely use it. Luckily, i’m not bothered by 90-Th graphics at all, been playing to death Colonization and Master of Magic for the first time just a year ago.

    I’ve tried Gemini Gold before, mebby 10 years ago , but at that time they had a major bug – you cannot swap equipment on ship. Which killed it for me instantly. Maybe will try it now,
    I’ve played original Privateer 3 times in 90-th, must’av been pretty persistent. But on 3rd playthrough i’ve just cheated with save scumming on Mining station. I noticed prices are not saved and are recalculated randomly on reload. So i just bought cheap Plutonium and reloaded till the price was high enough. Rinse and repeat. Somewhere in 1 hour I left the station on very lightly armed Centurion with afterburner. I do not feel bad about it, since there still was enough challenge left, and I do not want to fly Tarsus outside the initial system ever again!

    A small fun fact.
    In 90th there was no legal market in Russia for games. Everything was pirated! Which incidentally means, no manuals. I remember finding all controls for LHX by try-and-see method and writing them down.

    Thanks again for podcast and keep up good work!

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