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Are Neo-Retro Game Releases a Fad?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the new-starcon-game-please dept.

Classic Games (Games) 266

With modern console technology making it easy to develop and distribute small games, more and more companies are taking advantage of gamers' nostalgia to re-release decades-old hits, and to create entirely new titles in older styles. Gamasutra takes a look at what the retro game fad has become, and where it can go from here. What old games or series do you think would translate well onto today's consoles? "Many gamers who bought Mega Man 9 did so because of the game's inherent nostalgia, or because they never had a chance to enjoy the older games on the Nintendo Entertainment System when they were younger. Mega Man 9 is very much a product of its context. Its gameplay is fantastic, but it too is a product of the time period in which it reigned supreme. It suggests the question: can neo-retro games stand the test of time? Will games that mimic or lampoon the 8-bit era remain relevant and interesting to the masses long after its original audience has disappeared?"

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Nah (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25685415)

I can't imagine it's a fad, it's just that there hasn't been a decent new game in years, aside from maybe Portal and Audiosurf.

Re:Nah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25685449)

Get some fucking priorities! Barack Obama was elected President and you fags want to talk about neo retro games? CHANGE BABY!!! It's time to kick out those washington insiders and replace them with different washington insiders!

Re:Nah (5, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685467)

You know what? This whining that there hasn't been a decent new game in years is getting seriously old. There have been TONS of good new games in the past, say, 5 years. I don't know if gamers like you are jaded, stuck-up, or what, but you are so wrong about this mythical "quality of games has gone down the tubes" bullshit.

Re:Nah (5, Funny)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685563)

It has something to do with walking to school uphill both ways in 16 feet of snow while carrying our siblings in a burlap sack, all with two broken legs and... HEY YOU KIDS! GET OF MY FSCKING LAWN!

Re:Nah (5, Funny)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685653)

Woah, your lawn does that? I always have to check for errors by hand...

Re:Nah (2, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686269)

Woah, your lawn does that? I always have to check for errors by hand...

Hands???? Luxury!!!!

Re:Nah (4, Insightful)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685601)

It's true. Recent games aren't games so much as simulations. Simulations can be fun at times but they don't have the same game play value as a real game. It's the difference between running around in a field with a paintball gun or playing Scrabble. Both are entertainment but only the later is really a game under that meaning of the word.

Most current games aren't designed for gamers - they are designed for people who want to spend a huge amount of time involved in complex simulations. Most of us don't have time or energy for such complex simulations and have satisfying enough lives that we don't need pretend ones so this sort of game doesn't appeal to us. It's just not the same sort of beast that classic video games were.

ie. I have a real wife, a real child, real friends, and a real job so I don't need or want to waste 16 hours a day playing Sims or WoW but I'd still sit down and play a classic platform scroller for 30 minutes every now and then.

Re:Nah (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685641)

Recent games aren't games so much as simulations. Simulations can be fun at times but they don't have the same game play value as a real game.

Bingo. Games used to be fun because of their interesting mechanics, not their realism. We used to have such wonderfully varied genres ranging from platformers, side-scrolling shooters, space combat, point and click adventures, "arcade" games (e.g. QBert/Donkey Kong/Galaga), action-puzzle games, shmups, etc. Once gaming went down a path of realism, the lines between games started to blur more and more. Some of the genres that were once popular got lost in the transition to greater realism. Pretty soon the only genres left were First Person Shooters, Third Person Shooters/Platformers, and Racing.

Some of the newer games are trying to differentiate themselves with interesting mechanics (e.g. Using a cyber-arm to swing around, gymnastics, portals, vertical climbing and gravity effects), which does occasionally make the games more compelling. But at the end of the day a GAME does not need realism any more than Clue or Monopoly need the realism of a hexagonal wargame. It just needs to be fun. That's an aspect of video games that modern gaming is having to rediscover.

Re:Nah (4, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686073)

look at the sheer number of games released in the 80's and 90's, and you'll find that a lot of the ground breaking stuff was released pretty sporatically. Games NEEDED realism, or atleast, better graphics. Comparing the boss fights from Mega Man 1-6 to MegaMan 7 and 8? Or From 1-6 to X, Z, and ZX? Bigger screen real estate, better sprites, and 3D graphics *did* something for gaming. Portal wouldn't be Portal if it was a 2D platformer, Mirror's Edge would be no fun if it was top down. Metal Gear would be no fun if it started with:

"You are on Shadow Moses Island, you are being lifted up to the surface by a cargo elevator. You see several guards and you are armed with a SOCOM Mk.23 pistol."

> Use gun on man"

there is unique flavor with 2D gaming, and while it's gone, it's not gone forever. Braid, LBP, and any number of platformers, fighters, shooters or puzzle games that have come out in the last 12 years since the original PlayStation was launched really prove that. I mean, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix is slated for this month! Street Fighter 4! King of Fighters 12, Raiden 4, Mushihime-sama, and god knows how many other "old school" style games are being released with with modern twists. SSF2THDR is getting a 1080p make over, KOFXII is 1080p and so is SF4(which is also 3D rendered on a 2D plane with 2D game mechanics), etc.

Re:Nah (0, Redundant)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685751)

A good game is one which you will play 5, 10 or even 20 years later.
Not one which has millions of polygons and looks pretty.

That requires superb, original gameplay.
I can only name a handful - Quake, Total Annihilation, Zork and a few more.

Re:Nah (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685795)

Wing Commander, Duke Nukem I & II, BioForge, Command and Conquer, Star Trek TNG: A Final Unity, Secret of Monkey Island, System Shock, Sim City, The Incredible Machine, Where in the [World|Time|Space] is Carmen Sandiego?, California Raisins, Space Quest, Prince of Persia, King's Quest, Myst, Doom, X-Com, Under a Killing Moon

Just to name a few. :-P

I miss Gaming Goodness(TM) and all the pointy sticks that went with it. *sigh*

Re:Nah (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685807)

Ahhh memories. Yes I did miss a few. :)

Re:Nah (2, Interesting)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685939)

Total Annihilation was the best RTS ever for gameplay. Quake still has the best deathmatch environment.

I still play Alpha Centauri, Birth of the Federation, and Ancient Domains of Mystery a couple months a year. Every year. And they can still trap me at 3 am with the obsessive "just one... more... turn..." mindset.

I really miss the Microprose classics like Airborne Ranger and F-19 Stealth fighter. Not to mention Star Control 2 and Stars!

Re:Nah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25686331)

maybe I am dating myself, but I've always been fond of Centipede, and then later Millipede, (the best game Ev3r! Millipede rulez!) Thank goodness for MAME.

WoW? get a life folks. (or learn a language, it doesn't matter which one; just go learn something.).

Re:Nah (1, Troll)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686043)

It is worse then that. A real simulation at least is interesting because it is complex and allows many different ways how things can interact together and most importantly because it gives you plenty of freedom to act, todays games however seldomly go in that direction. Instead most of them go more into the direction of a roller coaster ride, they are flashy and noise, but ultimately they are repetitive and pointless, because the player really doesn't have all that much to do in them. Its always the same: point at enemy, pull trigger, rinse and repeat. There aren't decision to be made, characters to interact with or stories worth to listen to.

Now I don't expect games to be full of deep meaning, but I want at least some descent player involvement, if that means learning boss patterns in a MegaMan or making moral choices in a deep storyline I don't care, at least both of those keep me involved. But the roller coaster rides that most of todays games provide, which are so easy that you never have to remember much of anything, are getting really annoying.

Re:Nah (5, Insightful)

FingerSoup (928761) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686335)

The biggest thing about the whole realism thing, is that people WANTED more realism than the 8-bit eras. There's a reason adventure games don't get made much any more, and it's because of the lack of realism. Realism is the reason why FPS have replaced the adventure game...

What is an adventure game? A maze, or freeform level, where you collect objects, and use them to progress further, and advance the storyline... What's a modern FPS? The exact same thing, but in a first person view.

The problem that FPS are facing now is the same that adventure games dealt with... Puzzles and themes are overdone and repetitive, stories are too thin, or too far-fetched, and interfaces are too cumbersome to do everything that you want/need to do in order to play your game.

So, FPS and adventure games are similar. they both started out with simple controls. Adventure games were Text based games like the infocom games, FPS were really 2 dimensional with Wolfenstein. More realism was needed to keep interest, and people NEVER STOPPED with pushing realism. Adventure games got graphics with "Mystery House", and then Animation with "King's Quest". FPS got Depth with Doom, and 3D with Quake. Plots for both were simple, and linear. People wanted more Drama. Adventure games got more and more story driven, or more and more rediculous with puzzles. FPS did something very similar - More map complexity, and more movement/jumping/physics puzzles. All the while, the focus on making games "Prettier" than the last, was always a driving force, which eventually overtook as the measure of Quality for which the industry stood upon, instead of gameplay. Doom3 Engine versus Source/HL2 was one useless fight, just like Sierra's SCI1+ interpreters versus LucasArts SCUMM interfaces. Simplification was a key point at several points... LucasArts brought point 'n' Click, just as "Quake 3" did away with ladders, secondary attacks, and other extraneous controls such as leaning, etc... We now sit in a market which is flooded with FPS, just as the market used to be flooded with Adventure games... And everybody is looking for the next "Big Thing" to replace the FPS....

Then comes this game, where you can pretend to be a rock star, and all you have to do is mash 3 - 5 buttons, and flick a switch back and forth. Game play is fun and simple to understand. It doesn't require 100 buttons, and has no plot to worry about. "Guitar Hero" makes a bunch of people realize that fun games are more than just pretty graphics, are more than walking around and shooting things, and are more than just puzzles that don't really make sense... And OF COURSE people are going to realize that in all the hype of "who's prettier?" and "Who looks more real?", somewhere we lost the concept of fun and entertainment as the standards of a good game.

Now, we have a resurgence of old games, neo-retro games, and unique new games which really could have been made 15 years ago, had corporations not had their heads up their Wazoos, trying to cash in on previous Intellectual properties, and jumping on bandwagons to create the prettiest FPS to win the FPS war. There's still the old school, such as the Crysis team who pumps out a gorgeous looking game that's as forgettable as most FPS' on the market. The indy-game developer is still at work trying to get their innovations to market, and finally, there's the new crew trying to resurrect the old and market as new, because it really is new to a whole generation. Net result? An new generation and appreciation for old gaming, which will likely last a short period of time before someone tries to out-tech and out-spec the rest.

Already, we are starting the same progression with Guitar Hero vs Rock Band... Who has the more realistic guitar? Hey, lets add drums, and make them more complex... I'm waiting for the day where you need a webcam and you get scored for how close you dressed up like the band you're playing. Imagine - Dressing up like RHCP in their sock-donning glory of the late 80's early 90's... Good ol' Family fun!

Re:Nah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25686367)

You reproduced? You bastard! VHEMT.org

Re:Nah (1)

stonefoz (901011) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685605)

It's a shift in content. Back in days of yor, anyone with a meager budget or some artistic ability could max out the console's video system. In the last five years there's been a real push towards adding as many eye catching extras in game as possible. While the newer games are more interesting to watch, older games forced producers to create content. Who today would build a game watching a plumber bend over to eat mushrooms, now in "High Def". They where strange, unique and had simplicity that seems lost in modern games. I hope flat-land gaming lives on past the nostalgia.

Re:Nah (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685749)

"You know what? This whining that there hasn't been a decent new game in years is getting seriously old."

It's not that there hasn't been a decent new game in years, it's that there hasn't been a decent IMPROVEMENT in the new games in a franchise, in years! I can count MANY games who after their first sequel or two started going downhill and just sputtering around. There are tonnes of games that never live up to their potential and I am not the only one who feels this way. I can name a tonne right off the bat:

-Mario kart Double dash and Wii (not as good as original, MK64 and the one for the DS)
-Zelda's after OOT started going downhill. OoT > Majora's mask, OoT > Twilight princess > Wind waker.
-Mario Sunshine, Mario 64 > Sunshine, Mario Galaxy > Sunshine.
-Final fantasy series FF4, FF6, FF7 > FF8, FF9, FF10
-Streetfighter2+, Street Fighter 2 > many from the SF Alpha series (can't remember all of them)
-Megaman X, Megaman X and X2, > others in the series
-Original Megaman, MM1, MM2, MM3 > most of the rest practically
-Chrono Trigger, Chronot trigger > Chrono Cross (Chrono Cross totally f'd up the chrono universe, I'm not the only one who feels this way AGHHH!!)
-Castlevania after Castlevania IV (SNES) and SOTN (PS1), sputtered out, CS4, SoTN > Most if not all of the 3D castlevania's ... and that is just the beginning of my list, I could go on.

Sometimes I have to wonder how out of touch many people are, and especially some of the people who work at game companies.

Re:Nah (1)

sketerpot (454020) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686237)

Final fantasy series FF4, FF6, FF7 > FF8, FF9, FF10

I almost agree with you, but I thought FF9 was fantastic -- the core gameplay mechanics were better than FF7 or FF8 (mostly due to the dearth of long-ass summons), the art and music were bright and colorful, the cutscenes were spectacular, and the story was acceptable. Now I kind of want to get it back out and play it some more.

Some games can't be 3d (3, Insightful)

MasaMuneCyrus (779918) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685907)

Some games just aren't as good or are totally different games in 3D. Sonic, Mario, Metroid, Secret of Mana, etc... Seriously, who wouldn't want to play a good Super Mario World 3? And let's not forget the atrocities that happened when Capcom brought Mega Man into 3D (X7, X8)...

Re:Some games can't be 3d (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686209)

And plenty of games are much better in 3D than in 2d. Halo comes to mind along with any FPS or over the shoulder. Mario and metroid are clear examples of the opposite of what you're suggesting even though you compensate by saying "totally different." Katamari damancy... The grand theft auto series is by itself a reason to say that all 2d series should at least have one attempt at a 3d incarnation.

2d has it's place, there are definitely some games that need to be 3d, I think we need more 2d platformers, but let's not act like a few franchises that are better in 2d are reasons why games are worse today.

Re:Nah (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686087)

The problem is that a "good game" is something different from a game I care to play. I fully agree that many of todays games are very solid and would be plenty of fun, however most of those games come from the 'been there, done that'-land and feature the same old gameplay that already got boring last year or the year before. I mean, just look at the weapons in a shooter genre, pistol, shotgun, machine gun and rocket launcher. I have already played with those weapons back then 15 years ago in Doom1, I don't care to repeat that experience over and over and over again. It stopped to be interesting long long ago, not because there is anything fundamentally bad with that game mechanic, but simply because it has been done to death before. Games today have become far to stale and far to tightly locked into their genres to be much of an excitement for me any more.

The reason why old games are still fun is not because they are necessarily a better kind of game, but for most part simply because they are something very different from the big titles that dominate todays market.

Re:Nah (1)

shish (588640) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686407)

Has there been a new game in the same genre as Deus Ex with even 90% of its awesomeness?

Nope. (4, Insightful)

Cowclops (630818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685417)

Well they won't keep making recreations of NES era games when nobody remembers NES anymore. They'll make recreations of newer games that people still remember playing as a kid.

Re:Nope. (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685433)

Exactly. There's nothing special about the NES era, as the article insinuates. It's just that gamers who cut their teeth on NES are old enough to be nostalgic now. In the future, gamers will be nostalgic for the games they grew up on. Nostalgia is the driving force here, not something special about the NES.

Re:Nope. (4, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685571)

> There's nothing special about the NES era, as the article insinuates.

You are right there was nothing special about the NES, but there was something special about that time period, across both console, early 8bit PCs and the arcade scene. That was the period when everything was new, the genres were being defined and every month or two some development house was putting out something that was actually new and different.

For example, a lot of good fantasy has been written after J.R.R. Tolkien blew open the genre, but each generation keeps going back to his work. Same thing is games. Donkey Kong might not have been the very first 'platform' game but Mario's enduring legacy traces back to it and because it and the Mario sequels forever left such a stamp on the genre designers still, even unconsiously, follow in Nintendo's footsteps when doing anything that resembles a 'platformer.'

> In the future, gamers will be nostalgic for the games they grew up on.

And will pine away for them in vain. Emulation saved the old 8bit world from oblivion because DRM, even when used, wasn't a serious obstacle. There still hasn't been a proper crack for any of the current generation consoles. Hopefully the proven nostalgia market in this generation will induce teh publishers to do a port to the platforms of 20 years from now, but since the effort will be non-trivial and the die hard fans won't be able to do it themselves.....

Re:Nope. (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685629)

Hopefully the proven nostalgia market in this generation will induce teh publishers to do a port to the platforms of 20 years from now, but since the effort will be non-trivial and the die hard fans won't be able to do it themselves.....

If the current trend continues, in 20 years making a game of today will be trivial compared to making a game of that day.

Re:Nope. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685753)

and the Mario sequels forever left such a stamp on the genre designers still, even unconsiously, follow in Nintendo's footsteps when doing anything that resembles a 'platformer.'

Not really, modern "platformers" resemble something like Quake more than Mario. It seems they're adding more and more guns while removing the jumping parts because jumping in 3d just isn't as much fun.

Re:Nope. (1)

lokedhs (672255) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686333)

Little Big Planet [littlebigplanet.com] disagrees with you.

Re:Nope. (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685801)

people won't buy the NES or SNES era games without the gaming magazines that go along with them. that's not an opinion, it's a fact. i could never have beaten zelda without nintendo power. and i am not alone. in fact there are at least 2.7 million people just like me who can't keep up with classic games without period specific game guides.

i just made the number up, but it sounded cool.

Re:Nope. (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686053)

Now we have Google and Wikipedia to find on-line gaming guides. I don't think you need worry about this lack.

Some of the X-com and Thief games have shown up on Steam, the PC gaming service that includes Half-Life and Darwinia. I'm thrilled: now I don't have to hang onto my old media, and I can play it on any PC I have access to.

Re:Nope. (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686097)

there was always gamefaqs, but text walkthroughs are so much less worth it, even at the price of 'free' pictures which belong to say Nintendo in the case of Nintendo power, make zelda walkthoughs for instance much faster, especially if you have dual screens, one for zelda and one for the walk though magazine.

downloaded pictures of copyrighted materials, is a crime in some countries.

Re:Nope. (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685617)

In the future, gamers will be nostalgic for the games they grew up on.

My games of nostalgia will be SimCity 2000 and Civilization 2

Re:Nope. (1)

Wobble-U (1112077) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685923)

Simcity 2000 was the first game I ever bought, I've still got it next to my computer and it's the game I've played the most out of my whole small collection!

Re:Nope. (2, Interesting)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685683)

There's nothing special about the NES era, as the article insinuates.

Not so. The NES was the first game console with a significant library of non-sucky titles. I tried playing my old Atari 2600 a few years ago and gave up, because it's all crap except for maybe a couple of games (Adventure, Outlaw, ... I can't think of a third title, and I had dozens and dozens of games). On the other hand, there are a ton of great NES game. Tetris had an NES version, and it's still gold. (OK, so the NES version was crap compared to the Game Boy version. But still...) Super Mario Bros. 3 is the best game of all time. MegaMan is still popular as are a number of different platformers from back then. BattleToads and Ninja Turtles were popular beat 'em ups. Bomberman introduced a formula that's still around. The RPGs from the NES were generally crappy, but they laid the groundwork for future games and are decent as the basis for a remake. Most of the game ideas that we like now were previewed in a basically decent form on the NES.

That said, the SNES is still a better console overall because it had the good play mechanics of the NES and combined it with non-ugly graphics. Zelda 3, for example, is great and will never go out of style. The RPGs of the SNES don't need to be remade to be playable.

Re:Nope. (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685829)

Yar's Revenge and Pitfall. And yes I am old. But while I agree on the NES,I always thought Sega Genesis had the better lineup. Sonic,Eternal Champions,Shining in the Darkness,Phantasy Star 3&4,Mutant League Football and General Chaos(not sure if the last 2 were Sega only). But I wholeheartedly agree that the games of the Genesis/SNES era are still enjoyable today just as they are.

Re:Nope. (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685805)

Nostalgia may be part of it,but I also think there is something deeper. When there were serious limits to the hardware the develops HAD to come up with new and interesting things to be noticd. Even the early PC FPS,which at the time would have been "state of the art" seemed to go that extra distance. Like the sheer fun of blasting to the NiN soundtrack in Quake, or the first time I played SoF and actually shot the gun out of the bad guys hand(is there even a game you can do that trick with now?) or of course the big boys- System Shock 2 and Deus Ex. Deus Ex allowed you to play it YOUR way while actually giving you more than go and kill X number of bad guys,and what can you say about SS2,it was just so damned good.

But now,because of the incredible cost to keep up with the Jone's graphics wise,there just doesn't seem to be nearly as many risk takers out there. Instead we get to fight WW2 for the bazillionth time. More and more we just get sequel after sequel after sequel. Yet I still keep finding myself going back to Quake,SoF,Freelancer(best damned mods I've ever played) Deus Ex,etc. Why? Because they were FUN then,and you know what? They still are. Maybe the whole retro thing will hit more and more genres as the little guys see that they can find a market with them. Because I don't care if a game looks like 8-bit Mario,or the first DOOM, or the mitten hands of the Win9X shooter era. All I care about is the FUN,and if it has something different to it,like those games I mentioned,so much the better.

Because I don't know about you guys,but I'm really getting sick of fighting WW2. Of course with some of the nasty DRM that the PC games companies are pushing you'll spend more time fighting it than Japs or Nazis,but fighting DRM isn't my idea of fun either.

Re:Nope. (1)

DreadPiratePizz (803402) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686123)

The reason old games can be so compelling was indeed the lack of spectacle. We couldn't be wowed by a scripted sequence or cinematic effect, so the gameplay had to. This is what's missing from games nowadays: the gameplay being interesting for its own sake, and the game demanding your constant attention and input. Developers now are all about creating this quasi-cinematic experience that doesn't feel like a movie, and doesn't feel like a game either. It's really doing a disservice to the medium, which is ironic because all of it is being done precisely to give games artistic legitimacy.

Re:Nope. (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686261)

I never had a NES, but bought the MegaMan Anniversary collection for my PS2(*), since it was a set of games that looked like fun. (I've only gotten partway through the first, and it is hellishly hard like the reviews talk about.) I had an Atari 2600, I'm of the age that could have had a NES. (One housemate at college in the late 80s did bring one to our apartment.)

(*) Which I actually got only several years ago, after the PS2 had been out a LONG time. (It was free due to Sony credit card points.. but since then I've bought tons of games for it.. and I'm glad to see that there are still new games coming out for the PS2... I think it's sad that none of the currently available PS3s are backward compatible. I'm glad that my PS2 is backward compatible even though I've never actually put a PS1 game in it. Maybe someday I'll find some at a garage sale or eBay that I want.)

Re:Nope. (2, Insightful)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685567)

Well they won't keep making recreations of NES era games when nobody remembers NES anymore. They'll make recreations of newer games that people still remember playing as a kid.

I'm not sure I agree with you. My 5 year old really enjoys Atari 2600 games as well as Pac-man and other old arcade games. There's something to be said about the simplicity of many of the older games. She also loves playing Spore, so it's not like she can only handle simple games.

Er. wait a mo... (3, Interesting)

Fallen Andy (795676) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686041)

Dead wrong. Some of us (and I'm 50 this year) are discovering most of those old console games for the first time!! (Disclaimer: I've been playing games back to c.a. '77 - the original "adven" on a PDP-11 in a research lab). The nice thing is that many of them can be played as casual games so I'll go off and play a little Dragon Warrior IV (NES), Summon Night (GBA) etc. My friend's son in the shop two doors down is probably playing Mario 64 (N64) right now...

Andy

Real neo-retro games (3, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685419)

Making old-fashioned new games is nothing new.

In the '60s Star Trek gave us 3-D Chess.

In the '70s gave us Sudoku, similar to Magic Squares number puzzles.

The 21st century is giving us modern versions of Monopoly, which uses pre-real-estate-market-crash valuations.

Me? I like Pong.

Yes and No. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685429)

The Retro games often have some staying power that newer games lack. When the new video games are more like interactive movies and less like a game, it creates a niche market for people who actually want to play the games, the old way with simple controls and not having to remember hundreds of key combinations to use all the features. But in terms of releasing them using the old 8 bit graphics I see that dying out as the people who plays them die out. Unless they reincarnate them in dirt cheap hardware for budget use, aka Happy Meal games, The fact that it is just as easy if not easier to code for higher end system and do better graphics then it does to do an 8 bit game in assembly would mean the nostalgia effect of the game will die out. However I see Pac Man coming back perhaps slightly updated every generation or so as a classic eat the dot game.

Re:Yes and No. (1)

phulegart (997083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685903)

Just an FYI... anyone with a Wii can be playing NES games. Most of the NES titles are available as extras that can be downloaded to the console with a net connection. Miss that old 3 level Donky Kong? Download it. Have a Yearning for Castlevania? Download it. Then sit back, turn your Wii controller sideways, and play.

Re:Yes and No. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686295)

Niche market? The Wii owns roughly 50% of the market last I checked.

No, something more sinister is at work (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25685437)

Italians. Obama is an Italian agent who wants to destroy all our Hot Dogs and turn them into Salamies. Look out America!!!!!

Re:No, something more sinister is at work (-1, Offtopic)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685483)

which everyone will think is halal because he's muslim! A dasterdly plan, surely!

Neo-retro? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25685493)

I'm not sure of the definition of 'neo-retro.' If this means creating 8-bit games just for the sake of nostalgia, then they'll probably die out. But games that build on and improve old styles of gameplay (here I'm thinking of the Castlevania series for the DS) will, I hope, always have a place in the video game universe.

Here's hoping for Super Paper Metroid.

Of course it's not a fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25685513)

If a game is good people will continue to play it.

Puzzles, chess, checkers, solitaire, cribbage, spades...

Good games stand the test of time.

not really (3, Interesting)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685537)

I for one re-played (in an emulator) Phntasy Star 3 because yeah it has ancient graphics and music but the gameplay kicked so much ass in its time, other games couldn't even come close. Even today it at least ties some modern games when it comes to size of the world and the fight system. Other older games completely beat their modern counterparts in gameplay. Starcraft's online play still beats modern games and that's why it's still sold in stores today. The only usual downfall for older games is AI but that doesn't always affect every game.

Re:not really (2, Insightful)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685823)

I for one re-played (in an emulator) Phntasy Star 3 because yeah it has ancient graphics and music but the gameplay kicked so much ass in its time, other games couldn't even come close.

Opinions, opinions... even back in the day, I thought Phantasy Star 2 and 3 were awful. The original Phantasy Star was a great game that pushed the SMS to its limits; those two sequels had some good writing, but despite the better hardware, they looked worse, sounded worse, and played worse. Luckily, Phantasy Star IV redeemed the series and ended it on a very high note.

This game was cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25686495)

Love to play the retrogames. Always play at http://www.thisgamewascool.com/ [thisgamewascool.com] They have a bunch of very good ones.

Wii Virtual Console is a disappointment (1)

Dracos (107777) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685539)

Does anyone else feel like Nintendo dropped the ball with the Virtual Console? There aren't that many channels, Wii Ware selection is still sparse and uncompelling, and the titles released from old console systems don't interest me, partly because what they have put out is crap that didn't sell in the first place.

I've had 2500 Wii points sitting unspent waiting for the Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior titles from the NES and SNES. The only reason I can think of preventing this is some licensing issue with Square Enix or possibly Sony. Any insight on that?

Re:Wii Virtual Console is a disappointment (1)

PotatoSan (1350933) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685603)

Sony has nothing to do with the Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior titles on the NES and SNES. The reason you haven't seen these series is that Square-Enix is notorious for selling ports and remakes. If they can sell you these titles as $40 DS games, why would they cut into that with a $10 VC release?

Re:Wii Virtual Console is a disappointment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25685713)

SNES Secret of Mana, 800 Wii points, WORTH IT.

Re:Wii Virtual Console is a disappointment (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685763)

Wii Ware selection is still sparse and uncompelling

Are you serious?

- Defend Your Castle
- Toki Tori
- World of Goo
- Mega Man 9
- Alien Crush Returns
- Lost Winds
- Bomberman Blast
- Tetris Party
- Art Style: Orbient
- Dr. Mario RX
- Star Soldier R
- Strong Bad
- Wild West Guns
- Gyrostarr

While a few of the items do not appeal to me personally, I included them because they appeal to a majority of other gamers I've spoken with. However, the super-majority of the list are games I have downloaded and enjoyed. (WiiWare is going to send me to the poor house at this rate! :-P) The games I didn't like on that list are merely a difference in gaming preferences.

So there is certainly more than enough to choose from. If you can't find a bunch of great games on WiiWare, you either are too picky or have already played them all because you've got WAY too much time and money. ;-)

Re:Wii Virtual Console is a disappointment (4, Interesting)

bitrex (859228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685813)

Personally I can't say I miss some of the NES RPGs. A few years back I dusted off my NES console from a closet and fired up Dragon Warrior. Somehow my saved games were still intact from 1989, but first I started a new quest. After 20 minutes I was pretty well bored. These games were the ultimate grindfests; killing slime after slime to get enough gold to upgrade my bamboo stick to a sharpened bamboo stick or whatever comes next without even the social interaction or plot that makes WoW or modern RPGs interesting respectively. Sometimes nostalgia is well placed, in this case old is definitely not better.

I remember that some of the later titles in the Dragon Warrior series were more interesting. I did get a kick out of loading up one of my nearly 2 decade old games, saved right near the end, and killing the Dragonlord once more for good measure.

Re:Wii Virtual Console is a disappointment (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686311)

The WiiWare selection is pretty good IMO and growing at a good rate (less so in Europe, more in the US...).

I think Square Enix just doesn't want VC releases of FF and DQ since they can sell DS remakes that way.

Re:Wii Virtual Console is a disappointment (2, Informative)

atraintocry (1183485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686419)

Can't say I agree. River City Ransom is on there! But you're going to be waiting a long time for FF or DW games. As others have said, Square would rather sell you remake upon remake. Just grab the ROMs.

Hmm. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685547)

One phenomenon that I think we'll see a lot of(aside from simple "Hey, we paid to develop this game in the early 90's, slap an NES emulator on the sucker and any sales are pure profit!" cash ins) is the obsolescence/nostalgia response curve.

New stuff is love or hate: Either it is new, improved, shiny, and exciting, or shoddy crap that ruins the original.
Current stuff is ok: You can see the flaws and have some ideas about what could use fixing; but it is familiar and mostly comfortable.
Old stuff blows: It is largely the same as current stuff; but the flaws that used to be merely niggling are horrific now that you've been using stuff that fixed them for a few years(I got into shooters pre-mouselook; but I'll be damned if I could go back).
Quite old stuff is awesome: It is so far from memories of practicality that its defects are part of the charm, and most of the worst elements(remember all the NES games that aren't timeless classics?) have either been forgotten about or are now old friends.

The above is quite vague, I admit; but it fits my experience of how the desirability of things like tech toys and video games change over time. Cutting edge PCs are cool, and fun to read about/drool over occasionally. My current rig is adequate; but unexciting. The couple before that suck, exactly the same feel as the current one; but slower, louder, and more expensive. My old-school Compaq portable rules, even though it is only really good for doing stupid basic tricks, I don't actually have to get any use out of it, so its limitations are quaint and endearing rather than annoying. Games are similar in many respects.

Now, this is just a general outline. Some things are genuine classics, most things sucked from day one. I think, though, that it fairly well explains the current pattern in retro gaming. 8-bit is big because it has a lot of nostalgia for many of us, and because it is qualitatively different than current games.

A little while back, I gave GoldenEye a try again. It was horrific. I don't know how I ever enjoyed it. The experience was qualitatively equivalent to a modern 3D shooter; but with gaping holes where all the stuff we've improved between now and then should have been. Same thing happened with Dune II. A true classic of the RTS genre; but all I could think about was how Dune II's interface was missing all the refinements that it had picked up by the time Red Alert was released. It's like picking up an old Pentium machine, it's exactly the same deal as whatever beige box is under your desk now, none of the exoticism of an old C-64 or apple or amiga, but it's a zillion times slower, you can't get RAM for it, and you had completely forgotten that it predated ATAPI CDROMS.

Don't forget.... (5, Informative)

carbon 68k (309023) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685587)

Those of us who didn't have consoles as kids, and are enjoying these titles and genres for the first time!

Re:Don't forget.... (1)

lokedhs (672255) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686375)

I agree. I was a Commodore 64 user during the 8-bit era. My first experience with MegaMan was quite recently when I played the Nintendo games on the NES emulator on the PSP. I bought MegaMan 9 for my PS3 the day it came out, and I'm really enjoying it.

I think that we have recently seen a resurrection of 2D gameplay, both in terms of rereleased 8-bit games as well as completely new games (including the amazing Super Stardust HD [wikipedia.org] , Bionic Commando Rearmed [wikipedia.org] and the new king of 2D platformers Little Big Planet [wikipedia.org] ).

The revolution that has happened is that 2D games are no longer considered "old style" but rather a different, but equal, style. It has widened the range of available game types, and I don't see that going away until there is a completely new bandwagon everybody wants to jump on to in the same was as everybody went to 3D back when the PS1 came out.

The X-Wing series (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25685633)

It was a fun simulator. I'd love a copy that would run on one of my current machines.

Re:The X-Wing series (1)

Tomfrh (719891) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686519)

Use DOSBox if you want to run old games on new hardware

I hope not. (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685661)

Especially since they're smaller and faster to develop, that means that, as long as more crap, we're also likely to recieve, on average, more /good/ games than when compared to the multi-year, multi-million dollar mega development 'modern' games.

I'd rather play a new 2d Metroid, Sonic, or even just basic /fun/ 2d game than the latest 'FPS Hero Guy' game any day.

Re:I hope not. (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685779)

http://kayin.pyoko.org/iwbtg/ [pyoko.org]

Just a word of warning: very difficult. Well, not much more so than the old platformers - memorization is key..... pretty sure I found that on Slashdot a while back.

Re:I hope not. (1)

atraintocry (1183485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686447)

IWBTG looks pretty funny. But here's a serious one that may or may not blow your mind: Cave Story [cavestory.org] .

Retro games have been around for 10 year or more. (1)

NerdENerd (660369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685665)

Console downloads are just the latest way for companies to make money from old titles. I have been an emulator junkie for years and playing the games I grew up with in the eighties has been a passion since I first discovered emulators in the late nineties. When I show the old games to friends my age who played those games with me in the arcades they have the same amount of nostalgia I do but when I show them to my nephew I get no interest. He just wants to go play a Halo death match and calls my games budget or pov (his slang for poverty). When I show them to friends my age who don't play games I get comments like, I remember Frogger, do you have Galaga? There are plenty of games that I have fallen in love with from playing emulators that I never played in their time so for me it is not all nostalgia, but it seems that kids who were first exposed to 3D games have no interest in the 80's classics. They will probably be playing Halo or Guitar Hero in 15 years as their retro games.

Keep it simple, stupid (1)

PFritz21 (766949) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685699)

One thing I love about the old school games: their simplicity. You don't need a manual to play them. It's not difficult to pick up the controller and find out what the 2/3/6 buttons do, then proceed to play. There's only two basic functions in a side-scroller: jump and fire. Add a few more buttons, maybe get a couple more ways to attack or move. I miss that in the newer games.

Re:Keep it simple, stupid (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685785)

I actually have the opposite experience. I have no trouble picking up any of the latest FPS shooters and immediately know what each of the 85 key combinations do. I don't know why or how I know this--perhaps I just press keys randomly. Perhaps it's because every key ont the keyboard has a function. But I always seem to know which keys to press to allow me to duck while throwing a grenade and snipering the dude standing on the jeep before I die.

Wonder no more! (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685711)

And people wonder why Hollywood keeps retreading the same old stuff...

AC sez (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25685717)

"retro" = fad

Retro games (1)

etherlad (410990) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685719)

There's always going to be a market for retro games, but the definition of "retro" will change depending on the market.

8-bit games like MegaMan 9 will be big with the set who remember playing them back on the NES. As will parody games, like Strong Bad's Snake Boxer 5 and Alge-bros. (:

I never owned a NES (only console my parents ever sprung for was the Intellivision); I spent my halcyon youth playing Sierra games. So stuff like the VGA remake of Quest for Glory 2 by AGD Interactive [agdinteractive.com] are like gold to me.

As time goes on and gamers grow up, each generation of kids will hearken back to their favourite generation of game console.

professors of late 20th century gaming (3, Funny)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685867)

But there will always be a small minority group of classical gamers who will act akin to Shakespeare lovers. Imagine 100 years from now people are lying back in their Matrix-style brain boxes chatting about the beautiful simplicity of Pac-Man.

Imagine the professors of late 20th century gaming who fight with the professors of early 21st century gaming about how the 21st century was just a dumping ground for mindless copies of the true classics. Mario Tennis is after all just a graphical update for Pong. Fallout 3 is really just a graphical update for Bezerk.

Imagine the angry depressed loners with digital fingernails and LED hair who fight about how ET for Atari was the best game of all time.

And, of course, there will be people like me who still write text adventures for the yearly ifcomp. (If you've forgotten, check out ifcomp.org. This year's contest ends on the 15th of November!)

Memories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25685757)

I downloaded the demo of Mega Man 9, and if there was one memory of the NES days it brought back it was that the old NES Mega Man games were a pain in the arse.

Simply the best one (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25685783)

Galaga

Re:Simply the best one (1)

kandela (835710) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686513)

I so agree with you. Galaga is my favourite game of all time. I could spend hours playing it.

Why? It's about the intensity of concentration. Give me two dimensions, a joystick, and a maximum of two buttons and my attention is completely consumed. With just two things to concentrate on - avoid and shoot - everything else just melts away and it's me and the game.

Gaming has lost its heart (1)

Chrono11901 (901948) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685799)

Simple, the new age of gaming is about making it look nice at the cost of everything else. Its easy to make a game look good (as in its just money + time) which is why its now the industry standard. You cant calculate,graph, or project profits on creativity, so that's out the window.

Fortunately companies like Nintendo,Valve, and Blizzard still do there best to put out games that focus on story and game play.

There'll always be a need for some brainless fun? (1)

a11acce55 (1398319) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685827)

The newest games are great -- but stuff like PacMan and Galaga have timeless appeal to middle-aged/^B/^B/^B/^B/^B/^B/^B/^B/^B/^B^Bwisdom-endowed foks like me imho... on a cell phone you can't beat these games to pass a couple of minutes with some good, brainless fun...

Play (1)

Elsan (914644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685841)

Personally, I just wanna play games I'll have fun playing. I don't care if it's retro or not. Mega Man 9? I like shooting stuff and jumping around, so why not? I'm not gonna spend my time asking if it's fad, I'll load it and have fun, maybe even nostalgia.

Here's a 'retro' game (1)

colourmyeyes (1028804) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685859)

...that was plugged on slashdot recently. It's very 80's-arcade style. I can't even tell that it's about emacs and vi (no, keep reading! seriously!) when I'm playing it.

What I do know is that it has a heavy metal soundtrack, explosions, wireframe graphics, spaceships, lasers, shit blowing up left and right, and MORE.

I haven't been able to get more than, like, a minute into the first level, but just playing it cracks me up. The geekiness of it (e.g. bumping into "kernel space" at the top of the screen) makes it funnier too.

http://wordwarvi.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:Here's a 'retro' game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25686511)

It sounds interesting but it's too much effort to compile. (It has weird dependencies.) The developers should provide a precompiled version and (to be honest) a Windows EXE. It's good that there's source code, but the game needs to work instantly if the developers want mere mortals to play it. Just a suggestion.

Oblig (1)

atuwh (1245444) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685863)

"long after its original audience has disappeared"

I'm part of the original audience, you insensitive clod!

Sweet (1)

rtobyr (846578) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685883)

Oh PLEASE remake Atari 2600's "Adventure" with today's technology. Holy shit! The Red Dragon! Run muthafucka, run!!!!

Re:Sweet (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686047)

Dragon? What Dragon?

Personally, I can't figure out why more games don't have killer ducks. Those mofos were the scariest fowl ever rendered on a low-res display!

SoF ftw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25685899)

As long as I have my Sword of Fargoal, I'm happy.

The problem with nostaligia... (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685973)

I periodically get nostalgic for the old days of gaming, and decide I'll fire up something like Quake II, Fallout, X-Com, Duke Nukem 3d, play for 10 minutes and find only disappointment. Not only is the gameplay simplistic but the graphics are ugly and the sound is rubbish. It has plenty of charm and if your a real gamer you care about the fun factor not the wow factor, but at the end of it a gamers brain today is starved for input by old games.

You is you remember these games better than they really are because a bit part of the thrill of playing these games back in the day was seeing some incremental advancement in technology that made the new game you just bought and dumped into your 4x CD drive freshly immersive compared to what you had been playing previously. That thrill is all but gone when you go back to the old school after playing todays titles. When it comes to remakes even with a spruce up and a modern graphics engine, some how the old game doesn't shine through with that same something it had back in the day. Sure some of the gameplay of old games still holds its own today, you simply do not get what made the game great at the time.

In some cases, taking a nostalgia trip you realise that old games, compared to todays can dreadfully unbearably shit. And retro game fad only serves to prove that the game industry is dangerously close to stagnating on the new ideas front (some would argue it would have). We've gone from seeing revolutionary change, to incremental change, and despite a few leaps forward (Wii etc) the last thing the gaming industry needs to do is go the way of hollywood: Rehash old sure-bet ideas.

Re:The problem with nostaligia... (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686137)

Rehash old sure-bet ideas.

The thing is, old games still provide tons of ideas that you haven't seen in 15 years. They might not be totally new, but they are certainly a lot more interesting then many of the stuff that goes into todays games, since what goes into todays games is mostly the same stuff that went into last years games. And of course also keep in mind that some of those 'old ideas' are older then the gamers that play todays games, so those things will be fresh and new for a newer generation of gamers.

And about the nostalgia thing, its totally different for me. I played X-Com just a few years ago for the first time, back when it was already a well over a decade old and yet it was nothing short of a mind blowing experience where nothing I have played more recently came close and I don't even like turn based games. With Fallout, which I currently play for the first time, it was a little different, since that game has a ton of bugs and issues, but still it was a pretty good experience so far and I had plenty of fun with it, more fun then with many of todays AAA titles. That of course doesn't mean that in the past everything was great, in fact most of the user interfaces of old games are truly terrible and I really wouldn't mind to see those polished up. But some of the core ideas of past games are nothing short of awesome and I would like to see them reused in more modern games. The whole complexity of weapon research, base building, UFO interception, inspection of crash sites, environmental destruction and stuff in XCom was pretty damn cool and I would like to see recycled. I wouldn't even mind if they change the whole thing around from turn-based to something like Full Spectrum Warrior or even something like Gears of War style as long as they keep the scale of the whole thing. Todays games are far to often focused on presenting something from a single point of view, instead of allowing you to see the bigger picture and acting in it.

Re:The problem with nostaligia... (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686361)

With Fallout, which I currently play for the first time, it was a little different, since that game has a ton of bugs and issues, but still it was a pretty good experience so far and I had plenty of fun with it, more fun then with many of todays AAA titles.

Did you install all the official and unofficial patches?

Re:The problem with nostaligia... (1)

atraintocry (1183485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686509)

I get the feeling that if someone really loves FPS-style games, they're going to want the latest, because the better engines allow for more fluid play and better immersion. X-Com doesn't fit into that, I guess.

The games you mention just aren't that old. Still, I think we've all had the experience you mention...I used to love playing Duke Nukem II, but when I fired it up recently I realized that while it has a certain charm, it's pretty annoying as far as platformers go. Pretty much every Genesis/MegaDrive platformer is better than DN2 in terms of gameplay.

Myst was probably the most fun I've ever had playing a game. But it's hard for me to take it seriously now since those renders are so bad by today's standards :D

Some games will always stand out for me. I think of games like Out of this World, Future Wars, and Mindshadow. You'll notice that these are more adventure-style games, though. Maybe they just age better.

Test of Time? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25685983)

Who cares if it stands the test of time? If I enjoy it now, and it is cheap, isn't that a winning combination? It isn't like I'm paying $60 for Mega Man 9 and expecting it to stand up against Gears of War.

what the retro game fad has become (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686121)

What it's become is an easy way to make money. Why make a new Megaman and sell it for $10, rather than emulating a bunch of older, tried and true games? Why doesn't Sony create a way for volunteers to develop retro/homebrew games for the PS3, and then distribute them freely/cheaply over the PSN? It's all about money.

With digital purchasing made easy on the consoles, the potential for an endless profit stream is huge. Realize this, and you'll start seeing that it drives everything the console makers do, especially Sony. I saw them selling a bonus character for Soul Caliber IV (a Mortal Kombat style game) for $5. Paying $60 for the game wasn't enough? Add-on content, online movie rentals, downloadable small games that cost little to develop, all these things are easy money.

Now, I really like my PS3. It can even do some things that don't make money back for Sony, such as web surfing, watching videos (if they're encoded in a certain way), and even running Linux in a sandbox environment. (I don't list playing Blu-Rays because Sony is making money on those discs.) But I'll be watching out to see just how greedy they become.

Different interfaces and priorities (5, Interesting)

Waccoon (1186667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686157)

I think it's backlash against 3D gameplay. I'm not talking about 3D graphics, but rather 3D gameplay and interacting with things in a 3D world.

In 2D, you can do a lot of really cool things because you don't have to think about depth, like how far you have to jump to get to a platform. In 2D, it's obvious. You also don't have to worry about camera angles, which have gotten better in the last 10 years due to improved AI, but they still pretty much suck. I hate backing against a wall in a 3rd-person platform game and seeing the camera go berserk.

I also believe that 2D games, especially platformers, give you more freedom to goof around. If a game has a good "feel", you can go all kinds of cool chain-reaction moves which are pretty much impossible in 3D games. 3D games have usually been more procedural due to the interface complexity. I can jump off a platform, smush rows of goombas, and punch a brick to get a coin in one shot. With a typical 3D platformer, you pretty much do one thing at a time -- walk up to something, jump, move again, pick something up, shoot, walk, talk, then walk some more. That's my theory as to why the Wii's 3D controller is wasted on waggle games. Thinking in 3D is actually very difficult.

Of course, style matters, too. 3D graphics often lacks the color and graphic power of good 2D. I like remakes of old games, but they cannot either be exact replicas of the old games, or use too much technology. Geometry Wars is a real favorite of mind, as it brings back the old arcade feel, but still offers a pretty fireworks show. Games like Mega Man 9 really turn me off. I have fond memories of 8-bit gaming, not 8-bit limitations.

Re:Different interfaces and priorities (1)

atraintocry (1183485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686527)

I feel about the same way. I am a big fan of the more recent 2D Mega Man games, like X4. There's a 2.5D remake of Mega Man X for PSP that's decent.

On the other hand, there's something charming about the limitations themselves, and how developers worked with and against them to make art. Chip tunes, for instance. Some people don't like it but I love the style of the original Mega Man serious music, or Castlevania, etc. Granted, I don't drive around listening to it, but when I play the games it definitely adds a lot.

Fun Games (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686241)

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if a game is fun and challenging it will win no matter how sophisticated (or "unsophisticated") it is.

So if "fun games" is a fad then fuck it I'm on the fad bandwagon.

Re:Fun Games (1)

atraintocry (1183485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686533)

I think the article was talking specifically about Mega Man 9 and Contra 4. Not just about simple games or 2D games, of which there are plenty on the online stores for each console. But actually reviving old franchises and making games in a specific style, down to the palettes and music composition, etc.

What they did with Mega Man 9 was probably more sophisticated than it would have been had they not been trying to artificially recreate an NES-style environment. They went even beyond that, by setting out to make a game resembling, say, Mega Man 2, rather than Mega Man 6 (which has some pretty amazing artwork).

Battletoads (1)

britneys 9th husband (741556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686299)

Saturday night at midnight, they're going to be re-releasing the original Battletoads (ie THE greatest NES game of all time) on the Wii. They signed an exclusivity deal with Gamestop, so be sure and call to reserve your copy before you go since they'll run out fast.

Re:Battletoads (1)

atraintocry (1183485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686539)

Ask for Chris!

Paying twice has reached the game world. (1)

Hannes2000 (1113397) | more than 5 years ago | (#25686521)

Woohoo, now I can even pay twice for my games, along with buying dvds (and nowadays blu-rays, of course) of my old vhs tapes and mp3s of my cd and vinyl collection.
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