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Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time [Paperback]

Bill Loguidice , Matt Barton
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: £17.99
Price: £12.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

19 Feb 2009
Vintage Games explores the most influential videogames of all time, including Super Mario Bros., Grand Theft Auto III, Doom, The Sims and many more. Drawing on interviews as well as the authors' own lifelong experience with videogames, the book discusses each game's development, predecessors, critical reception, and influence on the industry. It also features hundreds of full-color screenshots and images, including rare photos of game boxes and other materials. Vintage Games is the ideal book for game enthusiasts and professionals who desire a broader understanding of the history of videogames and their evolution from a niche to a global market.

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Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time + The Ultimate History of Video Games + Replay: The History of Video Games
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Product details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press (19 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240811461
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240811468
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 18.7 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"Vintage Games is an impressive and entertaining read if you are interested in the video game industry. Reading about how such an interesting industry came to where it is today is very fun, and seeing how it got here on such specific levels such as genre and mechanics is even better. The easy to read categorization of the information works. Whether you're a new gamer yearning for a history lesson on your favorite hobby or a veteran wanting to read up on your favorite classics, Vintage Games has what you're looking for."--GameIndustry and

"A study on video games - particularly those video games which have had the greatest influence on the market today, whether they were big successes at retail, genre-defining or even genre-creating. Vintage Games has a superb layout - each chapter is accompanied by a variety of screenshots, promotional materials and other paraphenalia, all in full colour. The text is masterfully written; it's sharp, insightful and to-the-point and doesn't suffer from the stuffiness of other academically focused video game publications.. Vintage Games is highly recommended reading. If you are looking to learn more about the origins of some of the most influential video games to date, then Vintage Games' wonderful layout and clear, concise and insightful writing make it a vital resource."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 21 May 2009
By Mantas
I stumbled across this while trawling the game books on this site and decided to buy it. I'll admit that being neither a big fan of Super Mario and GTA I didn't expect too much but boy was I wrong.

The authors have done an excellent job of selecting the games in the book. The expected ones are all accounted for, Pac man, Space Invaders, Super Mario Bros, Tetris and Ultima. But amongst them are games like Alone in The Dark, Dune II, Castle Wolfenstein and Kings Quest not to forget one of the most influential games of all time, Doom. In total there are 25 games in the book plus a host of online bonus chapters like Elite (BBC Micro). It also covers many different genres so there is something for everybody.

All the chapters come with full colour screen shots of the game being discussed which is brilliant.
It describes the various game play elements and contains quotes from the game creators themselves on how they solved a particular problem or how they managed to achieve their vision. It also mentions which games it went on to influence and for those who perhaps aren't as well versed in the history of games, it's interesting to trace a family tree from the original right down to the current big budget production. There are also links to some other excellent books which just goes to show how well researched it is.

I would have liked more discussion on how certain later games borrowed from the original as opposed to just mentioning a list a games with similar game play mechanics. For example, a bit more coverage of Thief - The Dark Project (from the Castle Wolfenstein chapter)would have been nice. However, Resident Evil is discussed in more detail in the Alone in the Dark chapter.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 3 Mar 2009
Just received my copy, features many great stories about many of the classic games from Pacman to Space Invaders to Mario.

As the books american theres no mention of any Sinclair Spectrum/Amstrad type of games from the 80's but the games it does feature are an excellent choice.

A lot of full colour images to remind you of yesteryear for Doom/Street Fighter etc

A very good book
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will bring back lots of great memories 25 May 2009
I thoroughly recommend this book. It is great for a trip down memory lane. Each chapter takes a classic game as it's starting point and then discusses it in historical context including the games that influenced it's creation and later games that used it for inspiration. There are a lot of full colour photos that really add to the experience.

25 classic games are covered in the book (Zork, Diablo, Sim City, Ultima, Doom, Space Invaders, Pac Man etc etc) and the authors also run a brilliant vintage game website where they have posted links to bonus chapters (Defender, Pong, Elite, Tony Hawks).

Check out the book and their website you won't regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Purchase! 31 May 2009
Let me cut to the chase: Everyone who's even remotely interested in interactive entertainment, everyone who currently enjoys videogames or has fond memories of playing one of the classics will thoroughly enjoy this book. I certainly did.

From Pacman and Space Invaders to Super Mario Brothers, Zelda, Tetris, SimCity, Myst, GTA, The Sims (just to name a few), the history of videogames unfolds with every bit of information being thoroughly researched and accurately depicted, with a lot of extra background exposition all done in a great writing style and beautiful page layout; it really was such a pleasure I couldn't put it down, I ended up reading it cover to cover!
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