My family used to go to video stores to rent movies pretty much every weekend and I was allowed to rent a game to try. Many games I ended up buying were ones I loved so much that I kept renting them over and over so my parents would get them for me for my BDay or Christmas. That and playing friend's games was the best way to try new stuff.
Other than magazine reviews, friends recs, renting, etc...
Being a regular customer in various stores helped, the store owners/employees would let you try the games before buying them, if they had any copy already opened for display, for example. Buying used games was also a good idea because they were cheaper and since they were already opened, there wasn't any issue if you wanted to try before buying.
>>2915297 Total crapshoot before magazines and rentals. I usual got whatever I liked in the arcades at the time (got burned on NES 1942 and Ghosts N Goblins). Nearly shit myself when I saw a copy of Lifeforce at Walmart and it turned out to be great. Sometimes Walmart would let you return games in the early days. Switched out 1942 for Kid Nikki or some dumb shit.
>>2915380 NES 1942 and Ghost and Goblins are pretty decent ports, in fact most Capcom games were solid. The game that burned me was Double Dragon. I saved my money and bought it the week it released. $50 was a shit load for a 10 year old and that game sucked the most ass.
>>2915504 Capcom was all about quality back then, sans the early stuff. 42 was repetitive whether it was console or arcade. NES GnG was a buggy, infuriating game. Sorry about your experience with Double Dragon NES, lack of co op was a dealbreaker. Luckily the sequel was better.
yep, magazines and rentals. sometimes i'd get impulsive and buy some game that i knew nothing about and usually it'd be crap. sometimes i'd ask for a game for christmas and then change my mind and my parents would have to return it to the store (i presume). sometimes my grandparents or parents would buy/rent me a game that i was convinced was trash, only to play it and be pleasantly surprised. basically, videogames in the 80s were a total crap shoot.
>>2915578 Yeah GnG had some odd flicker and slowdowns but it was GnG, at home, in my living room and on freeplay. I ate that shit up. Honestly 1942 and 1943 were never that good to me in the arcade even. I always thought they were just okay. I picked up a 1943 arcade cabinet a few years ago for $150. It doesn't get much play at my house.
We were flying blind for awhile until video stores started to rent Nintendo "tapes". A big chain drug store called Pharmor opened in my area and they rented Nes and Genesis carts. They were 3 games for two nights all for $1.50. My dad would take me there every weekend and let me rent 6 games. It was some of the best times ever.
>>2915297 Because it's "all there was", you cherished what you had. Since you only got one new game every X months, you played the shit out of it and learned to appreciate aspects that went into it, even it was a bad game by today's standards.
And because of this, games didn't lie to you by having a 5-10 min intro sequence that didn't match the rest of the game in order to 'hook' you, like games do today.
An element of denial. You'd see the totally rad boxart, some screenshots on the back. Blow your saved allowance, get home, pop it in. After a short while you knew it was shit and that you were tricked. But you didn't want to admit you blew several allowances on a dud.
>>2915297 Read the back of the box, hope there's at least one real screenshot of gameplay to tell you what sort of thing you'll be playing, and roll the dice. Used games were even better, since cart-art never depicts anything like what you actually play.
>>2916583 Yeah there was a beauty to being the master of a terrible game that's lost now. It actually made me appreciate the bad games for NES, something that's been lost in the emulation community. Having the whole NES library on tap is cool but not as cool as playing Friday the 13th for 3 months straight because that's all you had at the time.
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