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  • Aaron Dibble

The Issue With Retro Games

Retro gaming can be nostalgic and a fun way to revisit the classics, but is it good? No. And here's why.

 

Nintendo has done an excellent job lately of releasing some fun retro games on the #Switch. It is a cool way to get some classics at your fingertips and to also introduce the games to another generation of people who maybe didn’t get to see them. Something about it feels wrong though... and I think it is this.




A lot of us elder nerds started playing games in the big video game boom following the 80s and into the 90s. Back then, people really didn’t know the potential of video games or the reach. A lot of people thought that it was a passing fad and that before too long it would wind up a relic of the past that no one talked about. Instead, it became its own mega media; used to showcase artwork, sounds and (eventually) high-definition 3-dimensional imagery! So, we began with all these little

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pixelated games, where most of it you had to come up with in your mind. I mean there were images on the screen, but you had to supplement it a bit with your imagination. AND it was thrilling. Beating bowser on the #NES for the first time, telling all your buddies in school about how epic the battle was when really you were a little 2-dimensional sprite just kinda bopping around. It really made you hungry for the next system; if they could do this then what next???


What’s the big deal?.. So the controller rumbles? Who cares??

So when the #N64 was released and we were given the most immersive #3D experience to date (Super Mario 64), the entire gaming industry changed! Before the N64, games were primarily #2D. And then, all of a sudden you had the capability to explore and move the camera and see things

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from the eyes of the hero. It was the future—The future in your living room at 8am in the morning because you woke up before everyone in the house, so it would be quiet, and you could concentrate on figuring it out and really immersing yourself.


NOW, these games which were so monumental, so transformative to our generation, and absolutely essential in the development of the games that exist today, are packaged into a #bundle with 20 other games and thrown out there for some kids to say, “What’s the big deal?.. So the controller rumbles? Who cares??” It feels like someone set the statue of David to your doorstep and your kids say, “Yup, that’s a statue.”


I am not saying that everyone should love these games as hard as us old timers do; but maybe present them with some decorum.

Some of the subtle things that are now taken for granted: rumble packs, save games, ONLINE PLAY; they were transformative to the gaming community back then, but are now such standard features that no gamer can imagine a game without them. Gone are the days where you had to leave your #Sega on for 3 days because you finally made it past the Aquatic Ruins Zone in Sonic for the first time, but had to go on a family trip for the weekend. And yeah, some of these games did not age well and I am not here to defend all of them, but something feels off. Wrong. And I realize that I sound old, I am not saying that everyone should love these games as hard as us old timers do; but maybe present them with some decorum. Or explain why you are relaunching them to the public:


Why this game? Why Goldeneye?

Oh, how about because it pioneered #FPS multiplayer games at home when pc gaming was a fledgling industry and couch gaming was just emerging as mainstream.




Why Ocarina of Time?

I don’t know, how about because open world adventure games were non-existent and don’t forget the rumble pack and the AI monster movement and revolutionary storytelling!



Instead of mass releasing all of these old games, announcing them individually with anything that served as a preface for the game would be nice. Right now, what we’re getting feels very “bargain bin” and that bothers me.


 

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