Looking back on old games is fun, it’s nostalgic and revisiting them can be both a harsh and eye opening experience. I’ve often questioned if it was due to my motor system not being fully developed or that games were for more mature people compared to my 7 year old self but even after 15 years of playing games I still cannot complete Axelay or Asterix on SNES.
Again this could be due to myself being still horrendous at playing videogames but when I can complete most mainstream games in one or two sittings and still not be able to beat the original Super Mario Bros., it got me thinking. Should we reboot classic games to make them more accessible to modern audiences or should they be kept the same as much as possible to ensure future generations would have the same experience as the past.
Both are valid as older gamers wouldn’t like their favorite games changed too much while newer blood wouldn’t quite understand the appeal of grinding and reading waves upon waves of text only dialogue. The advent of Xbox Live Arcade popularising the downloadable market for retro games has show that people are willing to pay to play these classics but will the next generation of consoles be as generous for the vintage? The fact is as new gamers grow up on the more accessible and popular retail titles such as Uncharted and Call of Duty with their relatively low learning curves, it will be very jarring for them when they play a Castlevania or Kid Icarus with their harsher recoveries from mistakes. The appeal for making a reboot of a retro game is that it will be much more accepted in the modern world if the original had aged poorly. The Resident Evil remake on the Gamecube kept the same mechanics as the classic Resident Evil but upped the visuals and changed the game in key areas to keep Resident Evil Alumi on their feet and new gamers the taste of classic survival horror.
Keeping it retro has it advantages in terms of cost since working on a port does require less time than retooling assets and creating UI to fit in with the new theme of the game. Having a retro game on the home system is a novelty that many are willing to indulge in at the right price. I have been a willing customer to PSN to have Sonic 2 and Sonic CD on my PS3 despite not being able to complete any of them for the novelty of being able to play them at any time.
This argument can be easily solved by saying to each his own, if retro gamers want to bask in nostalgia then go for it and newcomers will just have to stick with their modern games if they aren’t tough enough to join them. But I say games are much better being updated then left in the past. I would hate if I was restricted to what games I would like to play but what infuriates me more is not being able to complete a game due to the design. Games ideally should be accessible to all and that also counts for bad design. Updating and retooling games shouldn’t detract from a player’s experience in a bad way, it should allow more players to experience the same feeling players had when they played it years before.
Raymond is an Editor at Default Prime along with being the Manager and Engineer of their weekly podcast the Primecast. A Fighting Game fanatic, he could talk your ear off about Back to the Future, One Piece and Scott Pilgrim.
Currently he is a British bound Pharmacy Undergraduate.
About Default Prime
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Looking back on old games is fun, it’s nostalgic and revisiting them can be both a harsh and eye opening experience. I've often questioned if it was due to my motor system not being fully developed or that games were for more mature people compared to my 7 year old self but even after 15 years of playing games I still cannot complete Axelay