Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What's the deal with Retro-Gaming?

So, I've been noticing a very interesting trends these past few years regarding the Retro-Gaming Scene.

What it looks like to me is that all the gamers of my generation AKA The Cool generation have rejected the new games that are out today. Now your probably going to say "What you talking about Willis? People be buying games like day be hot cakes" and Yes, I know that sales are always good but people have been complaining constantly about the quality and style in which gaming has ......errr....evolved. And I'm being nice here.

Lets just go down the check list shall we of what genre's have been destroyed in the pursuit of quick cash for horribly developed software.

FPS - The First person Shooter Genre has been completely and utterly destroyed by a steady stream of mediocre titles and sequels. Every time you look over your shoulder you see another FPS coming out of the birthing chambers ready to snatch the money from your hand. I will say however that there has been small victories here and there.

Honorable Mentions: BioShock, Call of Duty: World at War

Real Time Strategy - Remember the times playing Command & Conquer: Red Alert over your 56k modem? Remember the wonderful campaign battles you used to have playing Starcraft and Warcraft? Well, Those days are over and they have been over for a long while. The only thing that saved this generations Real Time Strategy fans was Warcraft III and even that got stale "DAM NOOB TEAMMATES!" "STOP HIDING IN YOUR BASE YOU TURTLES!".

We need something new.

Will Starcraft II be our saving grace since the Command and Conquers have gotten so played out that even Jenny McCarthy couldn't save them?

Platformers - Is it me or is Sonic the Hedgehog the last platformer mascot alive? Even with Sega's constant milking of their kiddy cash cow we need a little more variety and I don't mean WereHogs. Give us something new, brightly colored , and simple and give it to us NOW!

Sorry, I just had a Veruca Salt moment.

Survival Horror - back in the good old days you used to be able to be spooked out by one Resident evil game after another. Now a days when you play a surival horror its more like an episode of the A-Team! Whats the deal? Where is the spooky atmosphere? Where is the horrifying enemies? Where is the shock value? Where is the parts in the game where you look at the door your suppose to go through and say to yourself "Man.......I really don't wanna know whats behind there.....Did I save?. .....Oh, we go"

Now its like.....whos got the grenades.....hey man did you see me totally use the chain gun on those slow moving almost identical enemies....ya that was sweet.


We want little or no ammo, a knife that is strictly for decoration and to take up one spot in your very low inventory, Bad guys jumping out of windows, bad guys jumping at you threw walls, impossible bosses, impossible puzzles, cut scenes that make you want to yell "Heck ya!".

Not this RE: 4 clones all over the place. Yes, RE: 4 was great but its over. Time to move on or get back to your roots.

Anyway. My examples are somewhat weak but I'm winging it. It still doesn't change the fact that people in hordes have completely lost all interest in the gaming market. Its almost like they buy a new console now just to have it other than to play the games on it. I mean most of the stuff you can download on XBOXLA and Wii: VC you probably already own and if you don't its your own fault for trading in all your games for the newest system.

Your probably asking yourself. "OK, So? Ya, People like retro games, can't they just buy them on EBAY for a marked up price that will make you have to take out a loan on your house?"

No! There are numerous affordable new and old retro games on the market.
Sega has just officially licensed three new hardware items that are coming out for sale this month!

Sega FireBox - New Sega Genesis console that has 20 games already installed and a new port for downloadable content.

RetroGen - A Nomad clone that is able to play old school Genesis cartridges and downloadable content. May have 20 games included.

Hand Held Plug and play Megadrive - 20 games, can support downloadable content

Amazing right? This is what we call in the industry "blowback" meaning that when you dish out bad quality products (AKA Present day games / consoles) and you receive a backlash from the public.

We see a retreat back into the good old days when games were games and skills were skills. Not a $60 dollar half made movie where you get to play another guy with the over the shoulder view.


  1. My problem with current gen gaming is not so much the quality of games, it's the consoles themselves. In my opinion the Dreamcast was the last true gaming console. The Gamecube, while released after the Dreamcast, basically did everything the Dreamcast did, but failed. Compare the Dreamcast's sleek toploading design to the GC's squarish purple cube (with a handle?), or the Dreamcast's well utilized modem with a variety of online games to the GC's use of the modem.
    As for the PS2, XBOX and their current incarnations... they rely too much on the DVD, Blu-Ray, network-based, harddrive aspects. Pop in a Dreamcast game and your set to play. Pop in a 360 game and you have to set up your XBOX live account, download patches, upgrade firmware, etc. etc.

    Blah. Too much.

  2. Hey there, thanks for commenting.

    You summed it up perfectly. There is just way too much going on just to play a game. Bring back the old school and enough of this fluff.

  3. Upgradeable firmware is just an excuse to be able to release products knowing there's an existing problem.

    GC Did play off of the DC to some extent. But Nintendo really hates online gaming. GC did not include a modem, the modem was sold seperately. And stateside, the only games released that ever supported it were the three PSO games games, all of which are Sega titles.

    PS2 Eventually had a modem/broadband combo adapter that was released, but being the afterthought of an add-on that it was it never garnered all that much support, least of all from Sony.

    And Microsoft didn't play around with their online strategy for Xbox, they made it rather clear from the start that they were going to exclude all non-broadband subscribers from using Xbox Live. Which despite the success of XBL I still believe hurt them badly during the era of the original Xbox game system.

    Download content might generate higher profits per sale than that of physical product sales, but it holds no appeal to someone like myself who requires a physical product to show for the money I spend.

  4. What made the Dreamcasts online function work so well was that to an extent, many of the Online Multiplayer labeled games were pop in the disc, select online and play. PSO was the only one that required more of a process, but even then it was pretty simple. 10 years later, when all of the online games don't go online anymore, they still feature enough content to be fun offline. Alien Front Online being the only exception.