As with most things, aficionados of gaming often have a tendency towards an overly strong fondness for the retro. Hence the reason everyone still loves the original “Super Mario Bros”, why people continue to lament the decline of Sonic, and why people still punish themselves with the hideous difficulty of early “Castlevania” games.And I, for one, am most certainly a part of this dewy-eyed nostalgia, although if I’m brutally honest those games were not my personal “golden age”; rather, the N64 and Playstation were my generation’s console of choice. But I was still very familiar with those styles of games as a child, and I’m surprised to see the hangover of that period still having a strong effect on video game design today.
|Admit it, getting a game over screen after getting to the boss of labyrinth zone is a kick in the nuts.|
Given how often (particularly older) gamers lament how gaming has lost its way, and become a charmless,
homogenous corporate predictability, I find it strange how often people forget many of the more annoying aspects of older games. So as a counterpoint to this moaning, I’m going to try and remind people how much gaming has improved.
Firstly, save features and save regularity. Many older games do not have a save feature of any kind; you simply had to complete the game in one run, or if you were lucky got a password system. Do you know what’s great? Autosave. Been playing “Oblivion” for 2 hours without saving and it crashes? Sorted. And on a related note, respawn points in general are a massive plus. If I have proven I can reliable do a section of a game, I probably don’t want to have to play five more times just for another crack at the harder section that follows it. Everyone likes a challenge, and I would not want games to be toned down, but involuntary repetition is not challenge, just boredom. This next one may seem a little petty and irrelevant, but the normalising of wireless controls is criminally underrated. I am as guilty as anyone for taking this for granted, but the jump between Wii and Gamecube becomes painfully clear when I trip up passing dogs with my attempts to sit more than 3 feet away from the TV. Wireless controllers are tidier and simply more convenient, not least when you lose you rag, as you can throw them that much further.
|This wireless gamecube controller fetches $130 dollars these days. I can see why!|