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CheeseNoodle ,

Genz here, there’s this sweet spot from about 1985 to 2010 where games and even movies just peaked for me. (Yes I’m aware most of that is before I was born). For movies special effects were finally good enough to still hold up today if used well but not so insanely cheap as to get the modern michael bay problem where writing has actually become secondary to often pointless spectacle. With games its a similar story, the end of that time range is pretty much the point of highest technical capability before online updates allowed a ‘fix it later’ philosiphy to creep in as well as all the cool secrets (Red levels + star world + extra second secret star world is still unmatched in sheer childhood wonder) becomming paid DLC.

TLDR: Retro stuff doesn’t nickle and dime you and survivorship bias means we can pick from the best of it.

Gradually_Adjusting , avatar

To a dad that regularly shows his kid stuff from this era, this level of validation is alarming

MeaanBeaan ,

I imagine it’s the same reason I like movies and music that came out before I was born. You don’t have to be generationally tied to something to like it. People are going to like good things if they’re good. I don’t feel like it really matters when something came out.

hansl ,

There’s a survival bias too. People rarely will hear about or play the bad stuff from that era, but we keep hearing about the bad stuff happening now because of marketing. People then get nostalgic of a time that didn’t really exist. For every Mario Bros there’s a dozen Bad Street Brawler that no one plays today.

As someone who grew up in the 80s there were a lot of garbage from then too, it just didn’t survive the test of time.

frezik ,

The fact that younger generations are picking it up suggest it’s not just nostalgia. It’s not someone who was there wishing things were still like their childhood. Something has downright broken in the games industry for this to happen.

Something like my generation (elder millennial) listening to Stairway and Dark Side of the Moon. The associated industry was not providing in modern times, so we looked back.

xkforce ,

It seems the zoomers picked up a lot of millenial culture. Which I suspect is because the zoomers were exposed to a lot of our culture from an early age. i.e theyre nostalgic for the same stuff because they also grew up being exposed to that culture when they were little

twig , (edited )

I’ve played a lot of different games in recent years. I’ll be honest and say that I’m pretty easy to please. Also I’d say that for the times I was disappointed, it was usually by an AAA title. So much of the time they’re just so boring, the files are massive, and the stories are whatever.

Some of the best gameplay I’ve experienced is in indie games with hand-drawn 2D or pixel graphics. So much more energy is put into games being enjoyable and interesting in these games.

It’s so obvious that many of the features of larger releases are put in by non-gamers. Why do I need a 10 minute “quest” of getting drunk in a saloon with an NPC in RDR2?

There are some great AAA titles, ones that put less energy into marketing and more into polished gameplay. But I think if you want to have reliable fun, retro and indie games are the best. And the barrier for entry is a lot more manageable.

Tyfud ,

Next we introduce them to the Virtual Boy and make their eyes bleed like ours.

Outtatime , avatar

DEI departments didn’t exist back then. The creative spirit was allowed to flow.

altima_neo , avatar

The philosophies behind game development has changed so much.

Developers used to try and make fun games that they wanted to play, in hopes that fun games will sell well.

Now they have marketing teams with budgets that are greater than twice the development cost. Committees designing games to maximize addiction. And of course, the endless need to monetize everything, micro transactions, games as a service, etc., in order to maximize profits. Is the game any good? Probably not, but they just need a few whales to dump money into it.

fine_sandy_bottom ,

It’s this.

NDS games for example hust have a completely different design language.

Grimpen ,

Still, Indie games continue to be developed. This will be gaming’s salvation when the big studios are fully committed to squeezing every loot box/DLC/microtransaction out of “Live service” forever games.

I don’t think Clash of Candy Shadow Tanks is going anywhere, but there will always be the next Stardew Valley passion project.

On that note, I think Indy’s have embraced a retro aesthetic because you don’t need a whole art team rendering your graphics. Combine this with AAA games being rather formulaic (can’t risk a big studio budget trying unproven ideas) and I think you have an audience willing to accept older graphics in retro games.

callouscomic ,

Maybe they’re sick of bug-filled copy/paste endless cash-grab open worlds.

Holyginz ,

Probably because “AAA” games are almost all cash grabs at this point.

DrownedRats , (edited ) avatar

Not to mention they require high end hardware to run due to lack of optimisation. Many people can’t afford top end shit and with emulators becoming lighter and easier to run, retro games just become super accessible.

Even Wii emulators such as dolphin can run decently well on a bog standard phone and with the state the mobile game market is in, Wii games are just universally a better option.

Holyginz ,

100% agree, too much is being focused on getting games as cutting edge graphic wise as possible without focusing on optimization, size, game play, or even if consumers can reasonably be expected to have the hardware necessary for it. I worry the gaming industry will hit a point where the leeches at the top determine the industry is dead because they’ve ruined it so badly in the never ending pursuit of unrealistic profit. Like no shit not as many people want to buy games riddled with bugs, microtransactions and lacking any attempt at listening to what consumer want to play. I miss when developers were allowed to be creative and work on things they enjoy, because that definitely was represented in the games when playing them.

Blackmist ,

Seeing a Wii Fit Balance Board referred to as a retro gaming accessory…

Just fucking bury me now, why don’t you. 💀

Num10ck ,

what would that make the power glove? or a pong paddle?

Blackmist ,

Elegant weapons for a more civilised age.

I was taken aback when I saw Ape Escape in CEX for about as much as I’d originally paid for it. Didn’t even have the manual.

therealjcdenton ,

JC Denton is eternal

TonyTonyChopper , avatar

why are you locked in the bathroom

Gabu ,

Here’s a total banger that’s simultaneously retro, indie and a cult classic: Cave Story. A remake is available on most digital stores, including Steam for the people interested. It follows the story of “Quote”, a lovable and- you know what? No spoilers, I’ll let people fall in love with the game by themselves ;)

umbrella , (edited ) avatar

are they? much is propagandized about the new generations to older people but it rarely holds true.

just look at the numbers on any mtx ridden mobile game.

webghost0101 ,

Ive been playing duke nukem 3d as of late. Admittedly it was one of the first real video games i played so big nostalgia but looking at all the other games i played and have installed most are nearing 10 years of age or are older.

HollandJim , (edited )

I’ve pretty much put everything aside except for my handheld retro gaming thingie - a Miyoo Mini+ - and honestly, I prefer to spend all my time playing 1980s-90s video games. And the arcades! Let’s not forget the arcades… it’s just simpler and more satisfying, and if I lose in 5 minutes that’s fine - I’ll get hours back to do other things in my life.

Berzerk, Altered Beast, Bubble Bobble, Super Mario world, and of course, Tetris… I’ve got hundreds of games, but these pretty much are my favs. It’s just get in, play a game or two, and get out… I’ve had what I wanted. I don’t really enjoy the games nowadays with there’s too much work involved (but then again, I am of an era…)

EightPieceBox ,

Arcade games are what got me into emulation in the late 90s. I would occasionally search the web for ways to play pacman, until eventually I found a few arcade emulators. Then I found a group on irc and followed every new release of mame for several years. They had a release every week and you could count on at least one big hit added, usually a few. I was barely interested in other emulators until pretty much every arcade game I heard of was in game.

Now I have too many handheld. My current favorite is the Powkiddy RGB30, and I am waiting for the Miyoo Flip to come out.

Varyag , avatar

Ohh I’d love to ask you: which emulation handheld you think provides the best arcade emulation experience for vertical shmups?

EightPieceBox ,

Vertical arcade games are one of the reasons I like the Powkiddy RGB30 so much. It makes good use of the extra screen height. It’s also better for Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Pico8 than anything.

I have never used a handheld that worked well for me sideways for vertical games. There usually isn’t any comfortable way to hold it. The extra height of the RGB30 makes it more comfortable in general even though it’s just a flat slab of plastic. If someone made a more ergonomic version of that layout in the same pricerange, I’d probably buy it.

sexual_tomato ,

I mean, the first person to ever play NES Tetris long enough to make it crash is like 13 right now.

narc0tic_bird ,

I recently started playing Zelda The Minish Cap (GBA) on my PS Vita, and for me the appeal - especially with old handheld games - is the simplicity in terms of game mechanics.

The game only has like a dozen of equippable items, dialog with NPCs is very simple, there’s a lot of puzzles cleverly integrated into the map, a small trading system (forgot what it’s called, these round things where you match your half with an NPCs half), a few different collectibles (heart containers for example) and they pretty much made a very enjoyable game out of that.

Today, a lot of games come with a crafting system, some sort of hunger/food mechanic, complex character progression systems etc. And while I enjoy this a lot of the time, playing a well crafted game based on much simpler (and fewer) mechanics is a welcome change from time to time.

kratoz29 ,

That is why I will always miss these “lesser” versions of the games, AKA as handheld games, and the Switch, or the industry, might have killed that already.

The biggest perk of handheld gaming nowadays is doing the “videogame chores” (like sidequests) more comfortably for your adult life, and not like a quick burst gaming style… Perhaps indies might be the only experience of it that is left.

MacNCheezus , avatar

I’ve been on a bit of a retro gaming bender recently and downloaded a bunch of Nintendo emulators and ROMs, but I found that unless I have specific memories around a certain game, it was a little difficult to enjoy them. Also, perhaps I’m spoiled by all those modern PC games I’ve played.

Then I tried some Switch games, and I gotta say, they honestly struck a great balance between visual effects and gameplay. Lots of games there that are basically just remakes of decades old classics, but with high res 3D graphics and modern effects. Seriously considering buying one now.

narc0tic_bird ,

I’d say it highly depends on the title. Not all games age well, maybe most didn’t. Nostalgia is definitely a factor when it comes to enjoyment of some of these games. I never played Zelda The Minish Cap before and I still enjoy it now, but maybe part of it is generic nostalgia for GameBoy type games. I’d also say GBA games are often more accessible than even older (say NES) games.

And graphically, sure, newer games look quite a lot better. This game didn’t get the remake treatment (yet) though. I disagree that there has to be a “balance” between visual effects and gameplay though (aside from prioritizing development resources). A game can have both amazing graphics and great gameplay mechanics. I also think great graphics and visual design can enhance the gameplay experience.

But I don’t know, I still enjoy the odd “retro” game every now and then.

MacNCheezus , avatar

A game can have both amazing graphics and great gameplay mechanics.

Yes, that’s what I was saying, that I enjoyed playing those games on Switch that are remakes of older games because they generally have both the gameplay mechanics that made the old games great and the graphics to please the modern sense of aesthetics.

Sgt_choke_n_stroke ,

No microtransactions and old websites still have the codes you can type in for goofy play through

RightHandOfIkaros ,

WOMPASTOMPA and JUBJUB burned into the back of my eyeballs lol

Blaster_M ,

L, R, Z, all four C buttons, left on the D-pad, analog stick halfway left until the tone, then halfway right to the tone, then halfway left to the tone.

thisbenzingring ,

I am almost positive that anyone my generation can tell you the Contra NES code without fail

popekingjoe , avatar

Oh yeah we all know the Konami code.

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