Retro is basically just a cooler sounding word for old. It’s also a title many gamers have been happy to take up to describe their gaming habits.
To describe retro gamers the best, I’ll use a popular comparison — hipsters. Retro gamers cling to their old games and mock any game released post 2008, unless of course it came from an indie studio. The same way a hipster will say no one makes good music anymore except “generic indie band A.”
I mock and poke fun at my retro gaming cousins, but I worry more and more that they might be right. Well not completely.
Great games still come out every year that get me excited and make me pull out my current-generation consoles. But more often than not, I’ve been finding an itch to play the oldies. Slowly my high definition collection of Playstation 2 remakes is starting to encroach on my beautiful, multiplayer-filled and oddly stale current generation games.
I’ve been devouring everything from the original Mario games to the slightly more modern Sly Cooper series, while two unbeaten games that came out just last year sit next to my consoles gathering dust. What is it about these games that is keeping me from my AAA blockbusters? They’re fun.
Take the Sly Cooper game series for example. There is no violence, blood, cursing, nudity, sex or other content that could ruin society. The game is just about a sneaky raccoon who can talk.
But as I replay this childhood gem, I can’t wipe the smile off my face. This game in all its simplicity is fun. It doesn’t try to be dark or gritty, just an animated adventure meant to keep you entertained. And that is what is missing from many games today. Now, every game needs to be edgy and full of violence. While I don’t think either of those things are necessarily bad in video games, I do think some variety is needed.
Along with the latest Call of Duty, give us a silly platformer starring some talking vermin that is made with just as much care.
So take a moment from your killing spree in whatever game you are playing, and pop in an old gem. I guarantee you’ll remember why it is you loved games in the first place.