Guilditorial: The Rebirth of Retro?

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Guild McCommunist, Feb 13, 2010.

Feb 13, 2010
  1. Guild McCommunist
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    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Yay, my first editorial. While this isn't some big opinion piece or anything controversial, it was just a subject easy to collect my thoughts on, compared to what Square Enix is bad or ranking 25 of the best DS/Wii games. More on those soon (not in this thread, though). Anyway, on with the article!

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    Gaming is entering a new age. No longer is it a collective of mostly hardcore gamers, but it's now a past time for families. Consoles are experiencing new innovations we never would've thought of 10 or 15 years ago. Motion control, highly realistic graphics, online gaming, downloadable content and games, all are coming of age. With all these new advancements in games, it's surprising to see one thing coming back: retro.

    This generation of consoles has seen more in the ways of retro gaming then ever, and what do we have to thank for it? Some of the innovations listed above. Ironic, isn't it? Leaps into the future are bringing back steps from the past.

    The big thing to thank for this is downloadable games and content. With a new age of gaming, newer gamers aren't going to buy games that are fifteen, ten, or even five years old. Still, at the same time, a crucial group of aged gamers who still love the olden days want them. There's an audience for these games, just not one large enough to make a reasonable profit out of releasing games like this. However, if I company snips the costs of production (aka making the physical game media as well as capping how much game can be made), there's a profit to be made. Downloadable content and games are a match made in heaven here. First off, it's cheaper. Buying a long dead console and decade old games are expensive, since they're going the way of collectors items. But when you can pay $5 for a game and play it bit by bit like in the olden days, what's not to love? Nintendo and Sony have capitalized on this aspect with the Virtual Console and Playstation Network. Millions of games have been sold through both these services. It's a win-win situation. Nintendo and Sony make tons of money from games that were made decades ago and gamers of age can still take a walk down Nostalgia Lane and play their favorite games. It's a new revolution in gaming that I'm sure we'll see for the future consoles everywhere.

    Still, purchasing older games isn't just the only thing fueling the revival of retro. It's the downloadable stuff. Many franchises that have been long dead are making a comeback through download services. Look at Mega Man 9, for instance. Mega Man has been a franchise long lost. Ever since it ended it's original series of games, it's been a lot of fanservice. Some games are still good, but it's just not Mega Man. It's now flashy anime and "shoop da whoop" lasers. Why? New gamers don't want to buy the older, corny looking Mega Man games. Would your stereotypical otaku gamer buy games that looked like this or that looked like this? However, as I said before, classic Mega Man fans are still out there. With the download service, companies can now cater to those older gamers. Mega Man 9 is practically a reboot of the Mega Man franchise. The true Mega Man, not flashy Mega Man. It's been successful enough to spawn a sequel now, Mega Man 10 (coming in March). Many other franchises have been popping up now, providing new games or remakes of older games. Blaster Master, Gradius, Contra, Castlevania, all have new games or expansions on older games now up and about.

    One of the biggest marks retro revival has done is bring a franchise overseas. I'm talking of course about Sin and Punishment. The original N64 game was considered a classic, but only released in Japan. It seemed like this game was a one-off deal, and the only thing we could settle with were some fan translations. However, Nintendo took the effort of translating the game and releasing it on the Virtual Console. The game finally made it overseas, and became popular enough to make a sequel. A sequel to an almost decade-old game that we'd never expect. Sin and Punishment 2 knocked it out of the park (read my full review here), and it let a franchise breath fresh air. Hopefully other games will follow suit.

    Retro revival can be seen elsewhere. Nintendo has brought back long gone Mario platforming with New Super Mario Bros. Whether those are a truly great successor to the classic Mario platformers is debatable, but they're still a throwback to a series lost. Point and click adventures are making a comeback with thanks to the Wii and the DS. Popular point and click games such as Zack and Wiki, Ace Attorney, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Sam and Max, and Tales of Monkey Island are all popular titles made from the ground-up for this generation. Games are now including older games as unlockables as well. For lack of a better example, Dragon Ball Origins 2 contains the Dragon Ball NES game as an unlockable. There are probably more examples, but they're not coming to mind now. No More Heroes 2 used retro, 8-bit style mini-games that were actually pretty pleasing. Dark Void boasted to be a nice throwback (although according to reviewers, it was not). There's just so many small things that give us throwbacks to a lost age of gaming that together show that age is not dead.

    So, as we enter a new age of gaming, we shouldn't fret about losing what was good about the older ones. We'll still have a vast library of older classics to choose from, as well as continuations of older games in the same gaming vein. It's new technology bringing use old technology, and it's something I love and appreciate, even as a younger gamer.
     
  2. yuyuyup

    Member yuyuyup GBAtemp Psycho!

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  3. Guild McCommunist
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  4. NoSmokingBandit

    Member NoSmokingBandit GBAtemp Fan

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    This is true, but i still cry a little every time i think there wont be any more 2d metroid games.
     
  5. Guild McCommunist
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    I feel your pain, bro. I personally really disliked Metroid Prime. I mean, they weren't horrible games, but they just felt bleak compared to the awesome 2-D Metroid games. I would have at least wanted Nintendo to make some type of "Metroid Rebirth" thing for WiiWare. Maybe pull a Castlevania Rebirth and remake Metroid II and add a bunch of new content.
     
  6. NoSmokingBandit

    Member NoSmokingBandit GBAtemp Fan

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    There were rumors of a 2d metroid on DS a long time ago, but it turned out to be fake. I lost a little faith in humanity that day.
    Metroid is one of my favorite series and its just not the same in 3d. Mario and Link survived the 3d transition fairly well, but Samus just needs to stay 2d.
     
  7. choconado

    Member choconado Doesn't understand a damn thing on here

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    I think metroid could be good as a 3-D game. Making it an FPS is not how you do it, however. It should have been in the same vein as the Ratchet and Clank games instead of say, Halo.

    Would the many "classic compilation" titles that have been released in the last half decade or so be pertinent to this article? I consider myself a classic gamer, and when one of those titles show up in a cheap bin, I usually nab it.

    Interesting article, btw.
     
  8. Guild McCommunist
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    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    I never really thought of putting it in a 3-D realm like as a Ratchet and Clank or Jak and Daxter type of thing. Like a platformer/action hybrid. It could work very well, now that you say it.

    As for the retro compilations, it's mixed. Some are great compilations done right, others are just basically shovelware (since these compilations are dirt cheap to make and can bring in big bucks). I for one played lots of the Konami retro collections and they were excellent. The DS one is my favorite by far. I mean, most of the time if you're a fan of the games on there they can't necessarily fuck it up horribly, but they can be done poorly.
     
  9. choconado

    Member choconado Doesn't understand a damn thing on here

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    well, I agree that some of the retro comps are pretty crappy (Seriously, the Taito one is pretty infuriating, ONLY using the arcade versions of the games, some of which became classic long after home conversion, such as bubble bobble for example). But some are pretty great. (The Midway volume 1 collection is fantastic, complete with cheats, and making of videos available)

    And some are just epic. The Activision collection is almost better than playing them on the Atari. You can even unlock the old school achievement patches that you used to be able to mail order with screenshots back in the day!
     
  10. Rogue Trader

    Member Rogue Trader GBAtemp Regular

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    Interesting article. I must admit I am very partial to retro games (well, retro to me anyway). It's not an uncommon sight to dust off the old snes and pop it on for a few hours when i'm bored. Indeed me and my good friend William spent a couple of weeks last month beating Super Star Wars 3, (except we didn't, the bloody Millienium Falcon thing at the end was just too bloody difficult).

    It's interesting going back to the games and seeing how much more difficult they seem. I breezed through some of them as a child, but struggle with even the early levels now (looking at you Mortal Kombat). Modern 'easy modes' have made me soft. (Although since Demon's Souls I resolved to play on hard mode from the start).
     
  11. choconado

    Member choconado Doesn't understand a damn thing on here

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    I think the gradual decline in general game difficulty started around PS1. I strongly remember noticing such things around the time that say, tomb raider 2 was out, that games started keep getting easier.
     

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