Have you ever heard someone say phrases like "Oh that game didn't age well" or the term "Nostalgia Goggles"? I don't know if I too am afflicted with the dreaded disease of Nostalgia or not, but I don't believe in the word. As you know if you read one of my previous blogs, I own way too many video games. The majority of them are from the classic gaming era. Consoles such as NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis are just a few of many that plague my very existence. But, like most people who enjoy the classic games, they were the highlights of many of our lives.
I can go, right now, and play Goldeneye 64 without even thinking about it. I have NEVER said a game didn't age well because I don't compare games of yesteryear with the games of today. It makes no sense to compare an SNES game to a PS3 game. Remember Toejam and Earl? The game is still fun as hell, at least to me anyway. I play classic games in the same mindset that I played them when I was younger and not as a side by side comparison of how games look today. Every generation of games has their great moments. Does gaming get better? I say no. I say games get DIFFERENT. Video games, much like music, simply change with the times. Why did they make Megaman 9 and 10? If Megaman Legends was so much more amazing due to its 3D platformer graphics why would we have made "throwback" games? Hell, 2D fighting games are STILL bigger than any 3D fighting game franchise. Now granted, some 3D fighters are great. But some games need to stay 2D while others can evolve to 3D and be great like the Super Mario Galaxy series or Prince of Persia.
Still amazing fun after all these years
See, in my youth I played LOTS of video games. As an only child, whenever my friends weren't around, what else was I going to do? Read? Throw a baseball to myself? Jog around the block repeatedly? I had fish growing up so I couldn't go play with the family pet and I was the first grandchild on my mom's side of the family (my dads's side of the family all live further away) until I was 7 so I couldn't even hang with cousins until later in life. I turned to video games as something to do as a child when I couldn't go see my friends which happened often for reasons I don't really know because I was young. I would wake up, go to school, come home around 2pm and play games until 10pm. Then I'd fall asleep watching back to back episodes of Star Trek TNG and Star Trek DS9. But take that example of a day in the life of GrimmTrixX, and make it 5-7 days a week and multiply it numerous times.
My dad would rent games from Major video (then it became Blockbuster video; now it's an Eb Lens...) twice a week. He'd pick a different game for me every time and I would kill the games and move onto the next ones. This happened for years so as a kid I played hundreds of games and every game blockbuster had to offer during the NES-N64 eras of gaming. So looking back on old games and playing them brings back fond memories but they're also insane fun even now.
They remind me of a simpler time in gaming when game companies focused on if a game was good and not if it could make them money. Sure I can go play halo 4 right now or Black Ops 2, but then what? Are they great games? Sure. Will I remember them in 20 years and look back on them fondly? Probably not. Why? Well I am an adult now. I have so much more to think about today then when I was younger that playing games of this generation, while fun, are harder to enjoy because I cannot invest nearly as much time into them as I could in the past. I cannot attach meaningful life experiences to many video games made in the last 5 or so years. But if we play Kickle Cubicle on the NES I remember my friends first cat being hit by a car, because that's the game we were playing when it happened. Go figure.
One reason I love classic games is that they were quick to pick up and play and even beat.I don't even know how many times have defeated Super Mario World? I have beaten and re-beaten that game so many times I lost count. It's still my all time favorite SNES game and I could go play it right now and have as much fun as I did back when it had first come out and beat the game again. Old school games have ultimate re-playability to me. But with Xbox 360/PS3/Wii/WiiU era games, once I beat it, I'm done. You can throw all the alternate endings at me you want, once I beat it, good or bad ending, it's over. The only series this gaming generation that I really replay is any Dead Rising game. Something about that series is just plain enjoyable.
Proximity mines on Facility...best gaming years of my life
All i am saying is, I hate the hate that the term Nostalgia gets. It's used more as a put down than anything else. Do I deny that games today look more realistic? Of course not. But does that mean better? How many lush and vibrant worlds exist in RPGs today, yet some can't hold a candle to greats like Final Fantasy VI or Chrono Trigger? Why do I have more fun playing ANY SNES game over half the things that came out in the last 5 years? I mean sure I must have some kind of bias, since I own over 2500 video games, but keep in mind, I own almost 100 Xbox 360 games. I own 280 PS2 games, etc..etc.. My collection spans the gaming universe from Atari To Wii U. i love all things video games, I'll just always prefer gaming from The 80s-00s over any video game era even when I an a super old man. The difference is, I will keep playing new games and evolving to new consoles, unlike many people who get into their bubble and don't advance. My dad hates movies of today and hates any music made after the 80s unless it was made by an older artist who started in his time. Our generation needs to evolve with technology lest we be defeated by it.
Gaming, in itself, is an opinion. We like what we like and that's that. I won't ever tell someone what they like sucks and is terrible. Believe me I have played and I currently own LOTS of terrible games but if you come to me and say Black Ops is the best game you ever played, and you truly believe it, then enjoy the hell out of it because I am glad you found what you enjoy to play.
I just want everyone to be a gamer. I want everyone for years to come who is just getting into games to feel how I felt all those years ago when I started with Atari and NES back in 1987-88 when I was 4 or 5. I love looking at and playing my old school game collection both as current and past enjoyment. My "Nostalgia Goggles" are forever super glued to my face and I wouldn't ever change that. If I like something now, I like it forever. I don't ever change the things I once enjoyed over time. I don't like rap music... but do I hate rap music I once liked? Hell No! Bone Thugs N Harmony is still my all time favorite rap group and always will be. I still love music from the 80s and 90s, I still love watching classic cartoons and TV shows I once loved and enjoy them just as much today such as: classic TMNT, Star Trek TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY, Power Rangers, He-Man, etc..etc.. hell, I have a large collection of action figures from the 80s-90s and they were all obtained just by buying them in the store as a kid with my parents. I didn't go to ebay and buy them like I had to with my huge gaming collection (namely because buying all these games at full retail would've never happened and would've cost SO much more than obtaining them used or for free by working at a video game store for 5 years and customers would give me classic games for the hell of it or sell them to me dirt cheap).
So to end this somewhat shorter blog than I normally do, I just want to say there's nothing wrong with nostalgia. Without it, how do we know about the history of gaming? I'll someday be that 80 year old man telling his grand children about a man fighting a giant gorilla or about a female bounty hunter Samus. And while they won't get the reference (maybe.. depends on if my game collection lasts that long and if TVs/electricity still works roughly the same in 2063). But if you love old games like me and still enjoy them then feel free to leave a comment. I will forever miss having hours upon hours to play games, but the sad truth about growing up is you truly have less time to do the things you love because 30-40 hrs of week just steal that time and energy away...Now if only I could win the lottery...