As a kid, there was one NES game that I completely sucked at but loved to play nonetheless: Bionic Commando
. Sure, I had most of the other classic NES games (Mario 1-3, Zelda, Rad Racer, Duck Hunt, Contra), but the controls for Bionic Commando
were just so fun to play with, that even though I couldn't make it past the first few levels, I always enjoyed what I could do. And up until this recent generation of consoles, I used to bust out the NES while at home over the holidays and play some of those classics from my childhood. So, when I heard about Rearmed
and the 3D sequel, I got pretty amped up. Just knowing that for just a few bucks I would be getting HD graphics, retooled music/levels, challenge rooms, twoplayer co-op, and a chance to actually save my progress excited the hell out of me, because with as many hours as I have put into the NES version of the game, I still haven't beaten it. Since I didn't have a 360 at the time, I got it for the PS3 and didn't think twice about the lack of trophies since they were so new to the system. I bought it the day it was released (after checking the PS Store about 20 times throughout the afternoon for their update), played through it to completion once or twice in the days that followed, and didn't really think about replaying the whole thing again until I heard trophy support had just been added. But, with that patch came some side-effects which some might say ruin the retro experience... they made the game easier.
So, does this patch really take away the Bionic Commando
experience just because you don't have to constantly watch how many lives you have left or restart a level when they're gone? You still die as often as you would have before the update; and that is frustrating in and of itself. The enemies seem to be just as hard/medium/easy as they were before. Challenge room difficulties are exactly the same. And except for limiting the effect of hitting a wall while swinging (on the lower two difficulties), the game feels pretty much the same. All the patch really did was save us from breaking a Dualshock3 by eliminating the need to restart the level after you run out of lives; which is probably a good thing, because I still haven't finished MegaMan 9 thanks to an uncontrollable rage that about gave me a brain aneurysm last time I played it.
As much as I love the new "retro" games, I'd much rather finish a game on a slightly easier setting than leave it unfinished forever because it's too damn frustrating. Maybe that's my completionist/perfectionist nature showing through, or maybe its because I just have a limited attention span and lack of patience. Hell, maybe its just the fact that I'd much rather play something that I enjoy as opposed to something that irritates me to a peak of insatiable rage. Does that mean I'm not a retro gamer, even though I play and enjoy retro games? Hell, I dunno... maybe it does.