Making a list of what is better, either the new console market or the older one, can be a topic amply discussed. After all, we already have different generations of gamers and each one has different perspectives. So, instead of making a “OMGs retro is way cooler!”-kind of post, I thought of better contrasting some points that make these “styles” (?) different. My way, the retro gaming, is and will be my favourite always, but this does not mean the other is bad.
Thus I will try to fathom this little list with the focus on old games; in other words, taking the pros and cons from my perspective and making thus a list that will talk to both kinds of gamers. I will, this way, defend the two play styles and through this try to give a neutral viewpoint of console gaming in general.
So here is part one, the pro section.
That is a good game!
The first pro is maybe an obvious one. No Superman 64 for you (unless you really want it), just the average to the above. Knowing which game is good by experience, opposite to reviews, can make your gaming experience something exciting. Many times you won’t play something new, but you’ll surely know how good it was. Or you can do what I do, find games you did not have a chance to play way back then, making them feel new. Yes, maybe I will miss the excitement of playing The Last of Us, freshly pre-ordered and out of the box, but quality is easier to obtain than just guessing if I can agree with the respective reviewer. For a a case study of that problem, just check Spoony’s review of Ultima 9 to see how badly media can lie.
Look at that price!
Back in the day the games sold to an equivalent price that we pay today. If you compare the prices time-wise, the there is no real difference. But the beautiful thing is that most old games sell today for relatively cheap prices, which makes getting a “new” game easier, and thus you can have a pretty big library in a short period of time. Specially I, who does not get much money and like to play a lot, getting new games ASAP is important. Getting a more or less good game for a few bucks is thus a huge advantage to getting an older used game for a modern console at 20$. You will enjoy both equally as much, but retro is cheaper (unless you aim for a Chono Trigger).
I plan to expand on this topic one day, but definitely a cartridge is much easier to maintain than a CD/DVD/Blue-Ray. I had many times problems playing a game just because of the scratches. It hit me since PS1 and I will always defend that a CD, despite its capacity, is easily worn off. Few cartridges have failed me, and those are mostly over 20 years old now. 50 points to retro gaming.
Look at those graphics!
Definitely one of my favorite aspects to discuss, it would be insane if I just said that the new graphics are bad. 3D has evolved a lot, and I can’t deny that modern game look better…. ordo they? Even though there are alternate titles and indie games today, I kinda feel that the loom of the games has lately blended together. All is 3D. Period. I also feel that the variation of looms has diminished. All is brown and with green tones, maybe yellow, but popping colors are not favored anymore. When I look at old games, making clear what you were seeing on the screen was extremely important. So you had to be creative. Realism was hard to achieve. Now everything is realistic. Except fora few exceptions, usually all we see is these “real” surroundings. I still remember how many of my friends complained that Wind Waker looked terrible because of its cartoon appearance. I loved it. It felt to me as a try to revert to the old looms, but in the 3rd dimension. The only exception to the rule is maybe the early 3D games. The polygons just weird me out up to now, specially when you see a fairy with pointy breasts that could gouge your eyes easily. But aside of that, we also have to remember that when new graphics were created, they almost always seemed innovative and different. Now it is just a little improvement, a little bit more of HD, whatever that means…
This music rocks!
This specific aspect is a little hard to argument in favor of it. Today’s games have incredible music scores, symphonic, electronic or rock master pieces that can really add a beautiful ambience to your game, a thing that old games did not tend to do. But somehow the old 8-bit, 16-bit and midis back then had a more fitting sound than the modern ones. Who of us old gamers don’t remember the soundtrack to Castlevania and later on to he fourth part? Even today the songs seem creative to me, having in mind the limitations that the creators had back then. This is definitely the most difficult aspect to defend, since the aspect depends too much on taste of music, realism and in certain a way, possibilities of creativeness. Many modern scores are just a delight to listen to. But then there is a reason that some people have resorted to bend the limitations of the old technologies to make new and excellent songs, like the project 8-Bit Weapon. And then there are all those modernizations of the old scores in acapella, rock and whatnot. There is definitely some magic in the old soundtracks that has not subsided in all those years,compared to the new ones. But you feel free to disagree and comment on this.
This was only the pros of retro gaming. As in any topic, there are cons to it, and I plan to make that list later.
May they smile upon your way!