Monday, September 10, 2012

5 Reasons I Still Play "Old" Games, or Why I Can't Get This Right

I can remember countless times where one of my friends, or my brother, or somebody would ask me whilst playing a game, "Hey, you know the new one is out right? Why are you still playing this?" Some of them would chime in that the graphics are way better, like it's all that matters. I used to play my PS1 games, instead of playing 360 with my brother, who always played Call of Duty: World At War when it came out, and claimed it to be the best game ever made.

If I want to blast Nazis away, I'll stick to Medal of Honor...
I've compiled a list here of why I still play my old games, even today. I still have my ancient PS1 hooked up, and you'll have to pry it from my cold dead fingers!

5. Nostalgia trip - I once watched my mom spend almost 5 dollars on a Pac-Man machine at a hotel we stayed at on a vacation. She saw it in the hall, and it was like watching a child. "Oh I love Pac-Man! Do I have a dollar on me?" she remarked, her eyes wide open with excitement. She proceeded to spend 5 bucks playing Pac-Man, until she had had enough. I now know this feeling she had.

Going through my 360 games the other day, I just could not muster up enough motivation to play any of the 25+ games I have. It's fucking sad really. I just kept going back and forth through my collection. "No, I don't want to play this, or this, or this..."

Goddamn it! Where's all the SNES games???!!
And that's exactly what happened! I wanted to play SNES, like it just came out or something. While I don't have a SNES, I do have emulators, and here's where my nostalgia trip comes in. I'm playing Super Metroid, or Axelay, or some other awesome game that isn't on the 360, and I'm playing it on my LAPTOP, but still it feels like it did when I was little, sitting, staring up at the television. For example, I played Smash TV the other day on SNES, and it made me remember when I had brought my SNES to my grandmothers house, so that when I had to go visit, me and my cousins could play SNES instead. Suddenly I remembered stupid things that shouldn't even be possible, like that where my grandparents' HDTV is now, their old wood stove used to be, and that the room we played SNES in, was actually my uncle Jeremy's room before he moved out.

Just remembering something like that, leads me to other memories from the same time period. Despite being poor growing up, my childhood was filled with moments where I was so engrossed in games, and playing with other people in the same room, NOT ON A FUCKING HEADSET.

You would be SO dead if you were here bitch!

4. Because the graphics are just as good - Yes, you read that right. I'm willing to compare Super Metroid to your stupid Crysis game. Why?

Because to me, Super Metroid encompasses everything that is perfect, in every aspect. Sure Crysis looks realistic and all that, but that's the thing, it's not. To me, it takes more dedication and talent to animate a sprite by hand AND make it look as good as Samus does, especially in this game. Every animation she has is fluid and really makes you appreciate that someone DID all that. I can't believe that in this day and age with computers and 3D modeling being as advanced as they are, that we get shit like this still. That's from Mass Effect, a multi-million dollar selling franchise, while Super Metroid barely broke a million copies sold. As an avid game designer in my day, I know how it feels to make a sprite look interesting, and then draw every individual frame to make it walk. It isn't an easy task.

Also, Super Metroid just oozes atmosphere, and I haven't really gotten that from any game from this era, except for Ninja Gaiden II. Maybe I just love pixels, I don't know. Or, maybe it's because I'm sick of seeing the same damn thing in every fucking game.

Gold Platinum Extended Deluxe Edition: With free online pass!
I'm especially fond of indie games because, it's a lot of small studios and sometimes even a single person creating amazing games. I'm super excited for Retro City Rampage because it looks fun as hell, and is developed by a single person.

And guess what the best fucking part is? It's apparently going to boast over 50+ missions, 25+ weapons, 40+ vehicles, and it's FUCKING 2D. It also costs $15 dollars. Screw your generic games.

Oh holy shit now I'm DEFINITELY buying it!
3. DLC, or lack of it - One of the worst things that happened was when I bought Modern Warfare 3, and discovered that if I didn't pay an extra $50 to have the "Elite" service, that I wouldn't be able to get the new maps once they came out. So, you're telling me, I spent $65 on this game, which looks EXACTLY like it's predecessors, boasts almost no new features, AND requires me to spend an extra $50 just so I can have access to new maps?

GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE. This shit is exactly why I will gladly play any older game. I know plenty of games that boasted more content than MW3, and were released on much older consoles. Also, the DLC system is very flawed in a simple way: it can't be previewed. All those suckers who spent all those points on horse armor in The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion know what I'm talking about.

Whatever happened to beating a game, and unlocking new game modes, and new features? Remember Goldeneye on Nintendo 64? For beating levels in certain time limits on the hardest difficulty, you were rewarded with cheat codes, new characters, and new modes in multiplayer. Donkey Kong 64 was a huge game and even by today's standards, it's a huge game full of things to collect and do. And, everything is ALREADY WITH THE GAME. You don't need to buy additional features that may or may not amount to nothing, such as the horse armor I mentioned earlier. At least in those days, if you took the time to beat a game 100% and were rewarded with something shitty, you didn't have to buy the reward with real cash! You wasted time, and that was about it.

2. They were more original, at least to me - Think about it. How many games did you play back then that actually seemed like somebody put all their effort into making it stand out? You don't see a lot of that now because it almost guarantees financial disaster.

Oh fuck... we need to make another Call of Duty game.
Look at Psychonauts, or Brutal Legend. Both games by Tim Schaffer's Double Fine studio, both considered good games that no one bought. What's sad is Brutal Legend even had Guitar Hero-esque minigames in it, and that still couldn't propel it to the numbers Call of Duty pulled in. Meanwhile, Activision is milking the Guitar Hero franchise, selling millions of each game, even though it's the SAME GAME every time.

Back in the 90s, if a game came off as a knock-off, you knew it first hand, because it didn't have the same quality as the original. That's why you have people who will say they prefer certain shoot em ups, even though there were HUNDREDS of shoot em ups. Same thing with beat em up games, and platformers, and so on. It's mainly because some companies made it better, but also, they had more originality. The Gradius series had it's progressive leveling up system, and even offered players to do it any way they wanted. R-Type let you select which weapon you wanted. Games like Zelda let you do things on the side, like powering up your sword and getting additional items, while still offering a lengthy main quest. Mario games introduced you to new characters and worlds with branching paths.

And even then, the stories were just as epic as they can be today, and they weren't even acted out most of the time. A Link to the Past is all text, no voice actors or super CG cutscenes, and yet it stands out for being one of the best games ever made in the series because of its story and how it plays out. The final showdown with Ganon is one of the best moments in gaming history, and that's coming not only from me, but tons of gamers. That's why I would rather play Kingdom Hearts instead of Kingdom Under Fire, because one merged two seemingly impossible ideas together to form a great game, and the other is just a dungeon crawler clone with generic enemies and worlds.

1. They are still fun - At least I think so anyway. I play through so many SNES, GBA, Arcade, NES and PS1 games that I literally don't dedicate any time to my Xbox 360.

Here's a fun example: I bought 3 months of Xbox Live, and used exactly none of it. I have over 25 games for the damn thing. I have the Kinect, with 3 or 4 games that collect dust. We're talking about a high tech device that's supposed to be leading the industry and it just sits in my living room, staring at nothing, with its dead empty eyes staring at me. I can hear the damn thing in my dreams now, coming to life like some kind of twisted Disney movie character, with its neck all elongated staring down at me shouting, "WHY COREY WHY??!!! WHY WON'T YOU PLAY MY GAMES?!! WHHHHYYYYYYYY!!!!!"

No one ever wants to play with me...
And it's simple. It's boring, and it doesn't work as good as it should. Flame me all you want. Yeah, the Kinect does work, to some degree. But I can only stand maybe two dance games before I just want to sell the fucking thing. Also, I don't have a parking lot for a living room, so the ideal settings for this thing to work as best as it can are impossible. I've even tried the Nyko Zoom thingy, the one that allows normal sized rooms to work, and that still didn't make it work well enough to have fun. It always results in me flailing about like some kind of retarded robot, while my girlfriend watches in awe.

Those old games didn't need some gadgetry to make them work, or make them better. Sure, back in the NES days the console had tons of stupid accessories and toys. The only accessory I recall that was required for a specific game though, a track and field game none the less, was the power pad, and it came with the thing. Other than that, you could use the power pad to play Castlevania for all you wanted.

Fuck yeah I killed Dracula!
But back to what I was originally saying... I can play Splatterhouse on the Turbo Grafx-16 every day. I still make it a goal to play through Super Metroid and Metroid Zero Mission every year. I still do 1 life runs on Gradius III on SNES to see how far I can get. I'll bust out the N64 just to play Star Fox when everyone else is playing 360 in the other room. I JUST DON'T GIVE A FUCK.

Pfft. I've had enough. I'm gonna go play some Streets of Rage.

I apologize for the typos and having a list of 5,4,3,1. :(

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