We at the Archive are infinitely curious about video games. The more we learn, the more we want to learn.
Many of us were poor urchins and only grew up with one or two consoles. A Sega Genesis here, a Nintendo 64 there. We would read gaming magazines and wonder: who in their right mind could afford a Sega CD? A Saturn? A 3DO? Or a Neo-Geo?!
Even when we got older and had spending money of our own, our options were still limited. Would we choose the shoddily made Xbox 360 or the too-expensive PS3? Maybe we chose a Wii and enjoyed ourselves for a couple years before realizing we made a huge mistake. At any rate, most of us have only sampled a small fraction of what gaming has to offer.
ROMs have satiated some of that curiosity, and also, in a way, added to it. What games did the Japanese receive that Americans did not? What about in Europe? There are innumerable translations for games never released outside their native countries, only online. And indeed, you can, for better and for worse, find just about any game available online and download it. It’s not an ideal or even legal option at this point, but since the gaming industry cares very little for its history, we do what we must do.
And so, the Retro Gaming Archive is a project dedicated to the exploration of all video games. These explorations will initially take place in the form of written features. As the Archive grows and expands, we will inevitably launch podcasts, stream, make videos, and produce more content. For now, written features are our wheelhouse.
These features are going to discuss the history of gaming through the lense of the games themselves, and hopefully, the historical context around the games. Provided, of course, that that history is readily available in some form.
Features will eventually include:
ATARI TODAY (Atari History)
NINTENDO IS GREAT (Chronological exploration of every game on a Nintendo console)
SEGA DOES (Chronological exploration of every game on a Sega console)
TURBO ENGINE (NEC/Hudson History)
SNK A-OK (SNK History)
ARCADE WAVE (Arcade History)
COMPUTER WORLD (PC Gaming History)
POLYGON SYMPHONIES (Sony History)
EVERY GAME EVER (Every Game in a Series i.e. every Sonic game, every Kingdom Hearts, etc.)
FORGOTTEN SPIRITS (Highlighting Less Popular Games/Consoles)
ANNIVERSARIES (10, 20, 30, and 40 year anniversaries of iconic games/consoles)
CONTEMPO (Subjective commentary on modern AAA titles)
NEW RETRO (Subjective commentary on new retro-leaning indie/AAA titles)
Two of these features – Nintendo is Great and Sega Does – existed in other forms. Nintendo is Great began life as Questicle, a blog that successfully reviewed every North American NES game, while Sega Does was an ongoing blog dedicated to reviewing every game ever released on a Sega console.
Questicle/Nintendo is Great and Sega Does will continue their journeys in chronological order. Older Sega Does posts will be grafted into the Archive. Nintendo is Great will begin with Nintendo’s Famicom/NES and move on to Game Boy, SNES, etc. The Questicle and Sega Does websites will remain online for the foreseeable future.
We are less picky about the other features. While proceeding through each console’s library in chronological order is worthwhile in providing historical context, it is also a grueling and thankless task; particularly when you run into a stretch of awful games that tests even the most patient among us. We do want to discuss all the games, but for some, if not most of these features, we will do so in a way that doesn’t put a continuous strain on our mental faculties.
Right now, the Archive is limited in resources. This includes money and people. The more money we receive, the more people we can hire to increase our output. If you are interested in this bold, outrageous endeavor, please leave a tip in the tip jar. We might pursue a Patreon at a later date, but at this point, we simply don’t have the manpower to dedicate to extra incentives, in addition to our regular work.
Our goal is to make this website the ultimate history of video games on the Internet. This will take years, if not decades. So be it. Why settle for anything less?
Thank you very much for visiting, and if you like what you read, don’t be shy. Let others know! We know we will grow, but the faster the better.
All the best,
– The Archive
There are a couple amazing sites already available that discuss the history of gaming through the games themselves. Hardcore Gaming 101 already has thousands of articles published about games, entire game series, developers, etc. They are a tremendous influence on us, and we are indebted and grateful to them. Retronauts continues to make fantastic podcasts about the history of games and Jeremy Parish’s video series‘ (NES Works, Game Boy Works, etc.) are fascinating with top-notch production values.
While we at the Archive adore the written word, we acknowledge that many prefer to get their retro gaming fix via the video format. As such, Youtube also has some fantastic video creators, like The Gaming Historian, Splash Wave, Did You Know Gaming?, among many others. Their back catalogs are well worth perusing.