You cannot appreciate what we have now until you understand where they came from.
I consider myself a "retro gamer", and I'll tell you why "retro gamers" shouldn't fuck off. Because at the end of the day, THEY'RE the ones making the fucking games you're prematurely idolizing. At times, even the shittiest of retro games can have a single shining moment of clarity for the development of games to come. Think about it. If there weren't games like Jazz Jackrabbit, we'd have no Gears of War today for the simple fact that Cliffy B wouldn't have had a job in the industry.
You say the original Legend of Zelda looks like shit. But you say that because you don't have taste. In your mind, the entire game was cobbled together in an opium frenzy and just had the LUCK of being influential. You have to understand the choices that were made in order to conceptualize a set of colored pixels into a character that would readily identify with a player. It's funny too, as protagonists become more and more exact in their puppetry, how much less likeable they become as a whole ala Samus Aran or Nathan Spencer. "Zelda looks like shit" "terrible pacing." Christ, you sound like an amateur. There was more controlled pacing in Zelda than all of Fable III.
Quick question: Who's the better artist? Bill Watterson or Rob Liefeld?
How can you not appreciate the economy of fun these older games had? I can pick up a cartridge and within seconds be playing the first level of MegaMan 2. Hit the start button on Double Dragon and instantly be punching dudes. Meanwhile I wanted to turn off Red Dead Redemption after 2 hours because nothing was happening.
There's also the matter of community. And by that I mean between player and game maker. Dead Space had great visuals and art style, but that's a team of Europeans I'll never know. Does anyone read credits anyway? Big teams have their place in all industries sure, but you can't argue a poem by Emily Dickinson is inferior to a book written by a committee. In the past years we've seen a surge in popularity for independent game creators who (with a retro styling) have become more involved in personal projects: Dan Paladin, Gaijin Games, Jon Blow, Jason Rohrer, 2d Boy, Playdead Studios, Daisuke Amaya, and more. To argue retro games are shitty is to undersell each of these individual's accomplishments and insult their fans. These games are successes because they are reflective of a more concentrated notion due to a singular vision, and therefore inhabit a simplicity of gameplay that appeals to a wider audience.
We're all retro gamers at heart because the games we decide to champion as classics we depend upon to be the backbone of all games.
What do you do with a degree in English and a growing collection of videogames? Not vastly growing, or unreasonably meek-- the sort of collection a Foodie would have of coffee beans might be the more apropos descriptor. That being said, here's an effort in every progress themed mind to catalogue the things he/she owns. Yes, it's a vain glorious clutch at the incorporeal value of life, but I can't chastise myself for the pride I feel when I look out upon the decent cornucopia of electronic challenges. Maybe one day I'll never pick this blog up again, but for now here we go: to tackle the title destined to either be the only or the first!
I still possess this relic of the wrestling game genre because for me, more than anything else, this was MY "Street Fighter". The commentary is short and repetitive and the wrestler's likenesses are behind in fidelity when compared to Acclaim's previous "Wrestlemania" arcade games. "War Zone" gets a bad page in the library since it came around with more startling company, namely the WCW/NWO series. Make no mistake about it, this title was that ever important bridge to the skills one should develop in a "serious" fighter like Soul Calibur or Street Fighter.
Of course multiplayer was the key component of me spending an entire day over at my friend's house sitting Indian-style in front of a 13" television set. It's hard to say what possesses young children to laugh with unadulterated glee as they repeatedly hammer Rocky Maivia with Stone Cold Stunner after Stone Cold Stunner in a 2 on 1 handicap match. Games didn't have to have set goals where you HAD to win. So many hours spent in cooperative needless violence. Sure, it's lo-fi violence, but the hits sounds somewhat realistic.
This is my first entry to the Great American Game Collection
"Like dominoes," you chortle, slyly switching off the DISASTER toggle in the options menu of Sim City 3000. Now, in one sweeping glorious moment all of those belly-aching citizens will now know how horrible life can be when their mayor (and god) suddenly abandons them. Oh, snap! There's a tornado in the center of town! AND aliens?! Oh my god how can this day get any worse? Honey, I just got paid, too bad the tax rate is at 100%!
I won't call them the Sims because I'm classier than that and frankly I'm talking about ALL of the gibberish spouting perpetual disappointments that populate the land I always call New Seanopolis. You know who I mean, their list of demands, personal as well as gubernatorial, is constantly ringing in your ears. Begging you for more schools or whining about the leftovers, either way they deserve to die. The sim population has bled out into other games not prefixed with a SIM but their disguises fail them.
So my boss is a pedophile. I suspect it at least, but not without a growing number of hints in his behavior. You see, as a worker in video game retail he has much exposure to small children. Made even worse is the fact that, suprise, they share a hobby. Know you now gentle reader the uncomfortable silences that come when your 40 something divorcee balding fat boss asks young Tommy of 10 years for a gamertag.
Working in retail especially with video games has its share of facetime with the stupider generations. Children mug up the store, touching all manner of nooks and crannies then exclaim their dismay when their tagged parent/puppet refuses to buy the only thing in the entire world that matters at that exact moment. Worse still are the abandoned rats. Small patches of offspring scratched off and told to loiter in my store unattended, a store frequented no doubt my many repeat offenders although that is the one bit of history we won't bugger you about on a trade-in. Frequently it occurs to me how easy it would be to kidnap an ignorant brat or two. What stops me is the lack of any positive beyond actually saying to others, "I kidnapped a child before, you know." "Oh for how long?" "I think his mom came back after an hour..."
So you can imagine the tenseness in the store when my boss, The Notorious Baby Bumper, is left alone wiith the discarded sires of parents too involved in their own menial shit to be involved.
I kid in all of this of course. My boss is no pedophile, he has two kids of his own. But my point is simple. My boss is a pedophile, so take your fucking kids with you!
The GamesPlus by my house is my Dyson's Goodwill. Yesterday I found Zoda's Revenge: Star Tropics II (curious side note, can anyone think of another game that's a sequel, where the series name came AFTER the colon?), LIttle Nemo, aaaaaand Earthworm Jim 2. How in the hell do you make a game for kids where one of the levels involves a psychotic crow tossing puppies out of a two story house? And if you miss those adorable little puppies become a pronounced splat. The kicker? Airball too many poochies and papa pound dog chews you up! Does he not see the asshole in the house actively pursuing a canine genocide? Shit! and these aren't even dog/ dogs, we're talking anthropomorphic hounds. That jellied Fido could've grown up to cure Doggie Cancer!
Also been playing a lot of Avalon Code. YOu use a book to rule the world. sweet. This game for the DS is like a valentine to compulsive completers. Practically every page in the book of prophecy has a counter at the bottom so you KNOW just how far you have to go before it's declared "DONE". Every freaking map has a counter, and it's a counter that goes up as you look at things. That's right, press A at that rock and you get a little closer to 100%. Crazily enough this practice fits in the logic of the game. You see, you're recording everything into a big book that will be used to recreate the world after armageddon. Talk about a reading rainbow.