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Retro games make comeback at E3

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image captionNintendo is reviving N64 classic GoldenEye

There are some video games from the past that still make fans sigh and stare teary-eyed into the distance when they're mentioned.

Nintendo's 1997 GoldenEye has that effect.

3D first person shooters weren't new, but this was the biggest leap forward since Doom.

The N64 console may have had a troubled life, but GoldenEye is remembered fondly.

So-much-so that Nintendo is bringing out an updated version for the Wii.

The announcement received the biggest cheer at their E3 press conference in Los Angeles.

GoldenEye 007 isn't the only title to draw on historic gaming roots.

3D versions

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image captionFan favourite: Ocarina of Time gets the 3D treatment

The 12-year-old Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is to be revived for Nintendo's new 3D version of the DS hand-held.

Nintendo also continues to get more mileage out of the Starfox franchise, first seen on the SNES in 1993.

Starfox 64 is another N64 title being re-worked for the 3DS.

Going ape

What do you do with a 29-year-old monkey? Send him on a banana quest, obviously.

Donkey Kong is getting an extra life, with the release of Donkey Kong Country Returns.

The character has starred in 19 games since the first arcade version in 1981.

The latest version is the second for Wii, after the rehashed Jungle beat for Gamecube.

Electrobikers

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image captionThe original Tron was like snake on electronic bikes.

Another 1980s name, coming back 2010-style is Tron.

The video game, based on a movie, based on a movie, based on a video game, is due out by Christmas.

Its release will coincide with the remake of the 1982 movie about humans racing virtual bikes inside a computer.

Meanwhile, PC gamers of a certain age will likely welcome a re-working of Monkey Island 2.

E3 also gave us a tease of a new Pacman title, proving there's life in the old blob yet.

Classic characters

Some will ask, has the video game industry run out of ideas?

In recent years, it has increasingly adopted a franchise mentality.

Titles such as Call of Duty, Halo, and the Tom Clancy games yield more spin-off than most movies.

But well-loved characters, unlike film stars, never age.

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image captionOlder games are finding new life on handhelds

Mario, Sonic, Kong and Zelda are as iconic as Mickey Mouse and Homer Simpson.

The odd thing would be killing them off after two or three releases.

Meanwhile, expect more retro titles to appear on mobile devices such as the DS.

What was once cutting edge on a home console, can now be run comfortably on a hand-held, or mobile phone.

Plundering the archive is cost effective for the games companies, and keeps the grey-haired gamers happy too.

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