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Good Idea; Bad Idea: Return of the Idea!

Good Idea: Doing retro right

Who remembers the "good old days"? Remember playing a game for hours in order to memorize all of the evil scattered throughout it and finish it unscathed? Mega Man pops into my mind when I think about playing the same level over and over again. Those games were hard man... so why did we love them so much? They were satisfying, that's why. We play through so many games in this day and age that will just hold your hand and usher you through without so much as one lost life. This kind of design has lead to some games that, while fun, were ultimately not satisfying.

How do we remedy this situation? How can we bring back that satisfying feeling? Well, the most obvious answer is to just do some more of what we did before. Let's make a retro game! When this is done correctly, the game turns out wonderfully challenging and satisfying. A good recent example of this is Contra 4. This game has tons of fresh new stuff scattered throughout it like upgradeable weapons, that arm thing, and 4 player co-op. The thing that makes it so damn good though, is it's retro aspects. This game is a sprite based game in a world full of polygons, and it's challenging as hell to boot! When you can finally make it through level one on normal difficulty without dying, you feel like you've really gotten something done. Don't ask me how it feels to make it through the game on normal difficulty. Don't ask anyone for that matter. This game is damn hard!

Bad Idea: Doing retro wrong

The bad comes when someone decides to go back to their roots, and then fucks the roots all up. New Super Mario Bros. is a good example of a great idea that was poorly executed. (So is communism!) How could you possibly go wrong by making a game based on old school mario bros. fundamentals? Well, the lack of satisfaction achieved from playing through this game indicates that something did indeed go wrong.

The biggest problem that I have with the game is it's over all level design. The Super Mario Bros. series of games has been known from the start for (amongst other things) it's excellent level design. Things just feel right when you're playing a Super Mario Bros. game... it's never too easy, nor too hard. However, while playing the "New" Super Mario Bros., I never really had a sense of wow, or a fear of failure. I felt like I could just run straight through the levels, and that's just what I did with the game. I ran through each level hoping to get to some level that would wow me with it's awesome. Unfortunately, that never happened. It's not a retro mario game if it plays just like a modern day platformer... even if it is 2-D. In the end, it's the lack of satsifaction upon completing the game that makes me feel like this game was a misguided attempt at being retro.

So there you have it, some ideas. It's a good idea to not suck. It's a bad idea to suck. Please, in the future, if at all possible, don't suck.
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About Dynamic Sheepone of us since 12:16 PM on 08.28.2007

Hi! I play video games and don't afraid of anything. Well, I am afraid that I might accidentally a whole Jill sandwich... but the chances of that happening are slim! I don't blog as much as I'd like to.

I've had every system I could get my hands on since I first played Super Mario Brothers on the NES, and currently I have a Wii, Dreamcast, PS3, and 360 hooked up to my TV. My all time top 5 favorite games: Super Smash Bros. Melee, LoZ: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Chrono Trigger, Castlevania: SotN.

I don't really have a favorite genre, because I like pretty much all video games. It's easier to just list the genres that I don't like. Simulation sports games (Madden, Tiger Woods, etc.) are no fun at all in my opinion and most FPS games (with few exceptions) bore me.

I wanted to join this community because the front page posts are fantastic, and the cblogs are packed full of win. During my time here, I've met tons of amazing people, and have had an awesome time at the first Mega-NARP in Cincinnati. My favorite thing about Destructoid is the cocks. Long live Destructoid.com!

On a NVGR note, these men are amazing!
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