We’ve all been there. Nothing to do all day, a look through your steam library reveals nothing of too much interest despite the huge amount of unplayed titles, you walk over to your multiple consoles, have a look what has actually been installed and is immediately playable and nope… nothing you actually want to play.
So what do you do when this feeling strikes? Contemplate writing about the good old days where you could simply slide a disc into your console and play? Cry? Play a game you don’t really want to play? Do something productive?! Well, I’ve done 2 out of 4 of these today and only now, as the day draws to a close have I found a solution – browser-based game emulation!
That’s right, emulation without all the waiting. Obviously, there is a very limited range of games you can play in this way. Of course, most of them are classic titles, but they’re classic for a reason; they’re incredibly good. And since I’m such a good friend to you all strangers here is a small but curated selection:
1. Streets of Rage 2
A game that can be completed in a few hours, as I have done almost accidentally around a friends house once. This game was one of the first ever beat ’em up I ever played and the one that stands out to me the most when the genre is mentioned. Sure there is Double Dragon which I also enjoyed (which can also be played here), but Streets of Rage 2 stands out. Plus it taught me that eating a whole chicken I found in the garbage will heal me.
Doctors hate it, I love it. Streets of Rage 2 can be found with this emulator here. Coincidentally, by following that link you may lose your entire afternoon.
2. Tomb Raider
Okay, okay, I’m cheating a little bit here. This is not the full version of the ’96 version of Tomb Raider. It is just level two that is available right now but this is a slightly more advanced game than others on this list and with it being on a browser we’ll take what we can! With it being just the one level it will enable you to get a nostalgia hit and an idea of whether you want to jump straight back into a classic Tomb Raider game.
The game can be found here. Just a heads up there are Wolves, I was startled.
3. Sonic the Hedgehog
A classic that needs no introduction. So here it is. A game I remember being introduced to very early, the game was as infuriating then as it is now, but it’s still so satisfying to beat. Many a bad version from this series has varnished the reputation of Sonic, but the first and the follow-up (which can be found here) are undoubtedly classics.
So what you waiting for? Go spin round a bit and go fast.
The above three are either obtained via the impressive collection that Archive.org has put together via their Console Living Room or their Internet Arcade or in the case of Tomb Raider, through an online project. Other classic games are available through Archive.org such as Mortal Kombat, Prince of Persia, Sensible Soccer. The reason I mention this place, in particular, is because I did have two further games added to this list. These games were Nintendo’s 1984 Golf game named simply “Golf” and Nintendo’s 1990 Football Game “Nintendo World Cup”. Both of these games are classics (but only one is available on the virtual console – Golf costing £2.69), however, they are only available through online emulators and not a source such as Archive.org. Now, these games and many, many, many (many) others are available out there through multiple browser based emulators, but I ultimately decided to leave the choice to check them out up to you. Ultimately, it is your call, but the law around it is tricky and Nintendo is Nintendo so here we are.
The above does beg the question in my mind: When a game is inaccessible via reasonable technological means (say in the case of “Nintendo World Cup” which run on the NES & original Game Boy), and are not replicated for a new console (as Nintendo have done for “Golf” on the virtual console), is it morally okay to emulate without a copy?
Legally, the above is pretty black and white, but artistically and morally I believe this to be slightly more grey. Artistically, will the original creators want their work to fade into non-existence due to a corporation neglecting the property? Morally, is it okay that people will miss out on games because the hardware for them is hard to obtain?
Anyway, I’d like to know what you guys think and apologize for the ramble!
As a way to compensate you for having to cut out the extra game suggestions and for adding a ramble here is a really strange website I came across. I don’t know what it is, but the colours remind me of the internet of the early 00’s and that is surely a good thing. Also, I just wasted a good 10-20 minutes scrolling through it and ultimately, that is the spirit of what I was trying to write here – a way to kill some time.