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How I Define Retro Gaming

It’s easy to figure out where “Retro Gaming” begins, but where does it end?  Where do we draw the line that defines retro gaming, and gaming outside of the current generation? The definition of “retro” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it in relation to fashion, but says “relating to, reviving, or being the styles and especially the fashions of the past fashionably nostalgic or old-fashioned“.  All this leaves us with is a very vague “of the past” or “nostalgic” to apply towards Retro Gaming.

My Definition

I have a way that I personally define it, but I admit there are some flaws or outliers in my definition too.  I use my classification of “Retro Gaming” as a way to include more games into the definition, and also to simplify things.  My definition is this:  Retro games are games from the generation before last. (Example: PS4 is current generation, PS3 is last generation, PS2 is retro gaming).

The Argument Against My Definition

I’m sure some of you disagree with that definition, and have some good reasons to reject it.  A strong case could be made that something like the Playstation 2 generation can’t be considered retro because they still had releases as recent as 2013 (FIFA 14 and Pro Evolution Soccer 14).  That’s a very good point, but it’s a bit of an outlier, along with some other titles from the PS2.   The vast majority of PS2 games released in 2007 and beyond were released side by side or ported from the PSP and Wii, it’s also a lot of sports games, music games, or multi-platform movie licensed games.  There are a few exceptions though, like 2008’s Persona 4.   Now I’m not trying to say these games don’t count, but the PS2 was a system that sold over 158 million units and that install base was too large to ignore worldwide for soccer games, and too large for developers to not port the weaker PSP games, or equally powered Wii games to.    Those games gave the PS2 releases way past it’s time, that really make it hard to make a case for it as a “Retro Console”.    From that same generation, the GameCube’s final release was Madden ’08 in August 2007, and the XBox’s final release was Madden ’09 in August 2008, both well after the system was dead.   I have a strong feeling that with digital releases being so popular now, and that almost every indie game doesn’t require much tech power, we will see today’s consoles get releases well into the next generation and maybe even the one after that (if there is one).

How Much Time Has to Pass?

Trying to group a console or generation into the Retro classification is just simpler to do.  Games like Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Time Splitters, and Midnight Club launched with the PS2, they’re 18 years old!  Grand Theft Auto 3, Metal Gear Solid 2 and Halo are 17 years old, while games like Eternal Darkness, Super Mario Sunshine and Metroid Prime are 16!    I feel like we’ve been calling NES games “Retro” at least since that era,  Super Mario Bros. was 16 years old in 2001 when Super Mario Sunshine came out.   When did we start classifying the SNES as a “retro console”?  The Super Nintendo released in 1991 in America, and it’s last game (Frogger) came out in 1998…it was widely accepted as “retro” by 2009, right?

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[New Section] Retro Sports


Retro Sports existed before on the past version of this website and I’m bringing it back along with the segments involved in it. This will be a section where I will play various sports games from past systems. I aim to keep things from pre-PS3/360 era, but eventually I may reach into that generation.

Older sports games seem to get forgotten as time passes, each year there are new sports games that out-date the past one. Understandably with each iteration there are improvements and new mechanics that get introduced and further push the older games away. I however like to go back and look at these older sports games, which for the most part are ready to pick up and play. It’s definitely nostalgic to make big plays with the players I grew up watching, especially the non Hall of Famers that people struggle to remember.

The sports genre is practically dead these days, sure we can blame EA and the NFL’s exclusive deal for limiting our football options (even though EA also owns the Blitz and Street series too). We can blame the lawsuits that shut down the NCAA games. But what about other sports games? What about games that lack licensing? We used to get plenty of games without NFL/NBA/NHL licensing. Where are all our arcade sports options?

I created a list (at the bottom) showing the modern sports games vs sports games in previous generations. There’s a huge difference, and I’m sure I missed plenty of retro games in my tally. The Playstation 4 & XBox have 3 different Baseball and Football games, and 4 different Basketball games. Comparatively the PS2, Cube & XBox era from only 2 generations ago had at least 12 different Baseball Games. The N64 & PS1 had at least 14 different Basketball games and the SNES/Genesis had at least 23 different football games between them.

I hope to use Retro Sports to show my appreciation for these old sports games and the variety of choices we used to have.

Sports Shows

As of now, there will be 5 different sports shows focused on 5 different sports. Each show will be streamed live on the homepage and on the twitch, youtube and twitter feeds. Afterwards a highlight reel and re-cap of the game will be edited and uploaded onto the site along with a written re-cap. In most cases a review of the games will follow shortly after.

Before streaming I generally try to spend a few minutes trying out the game to get familiar with the controls, nothing would be more annoying to watch than see me stumble through half (if not the entire) game unaware of how to play. Most of the times I will play with the default settings, and the teams I select will not follow any set rules or formula. I also plan on adding bonus content with highlight reels or mini-games if possible. More details on the specific shows and their formats are listed below

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Has-Been Heroes

Early on, winning battles and progressing through the game feels rewarding, it kept me coming back to the game for more. However I hit a wall early on and still after 10 hours of play, I’m only able to get deep into a battle with the 2nd Boss. The formula and challenge of Rogue-like games is to teach players to master the game through trial and error until they can beat it without dying. After those 10 hours, I no longer felt reward and began to feel I was wasting my time, even if I was slowly improving at the game.

Maybe I’m bad at Has-Been Heroes, but there is still something to appreciate here. I personally however don’t think this game was worth the money or the time. I only picked this up because there wasn’t anything else early on in the Switch’s life. My opinion on this game has gone down as more time has passed.

  • One of my first experiences with a Rogue-like (not a fan)
  • I enjoy strategy games, so that’s why I had some fun with this early on
  • This was one of the first Switch titles, and I only picked it up and gave it a strong chance because I was desperate for Switch games to play. I would’ve never shown interest in this any other time in the Switch’s life. I’ll probably never play it again
  • Has-Been Heroes (Switch) – First Print

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild was well worth the wait. It has managed to reinvent the Zelda series with a new open-world style that brings one of the biggest changes in gameplay the franchise has ever had. The entire game feels very polished and is loaded with content. Exploring the world is fun on it’s own, even when not pursuing a main objective.

I finished the main game, but still come back once in a awhile to drop in and have fun going after the extras, shrines, and seeds I have yet to complete. This game is an absolute must-have for any Zelda fan, any Wii U owner, and Switch owner. It is one of the best games of it’s era.

  • One of my favorite franchises of all-time
  • Played the majority of Zelda games
  • Bought this with the launch of the Switch (Mar 2017) took my time slowly going through it trying to cherish it, didn’t finish it until 10months later (Jan. 2018)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Special Edition (Switch)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U)

What Wii U Ports Could Still Come To Switch? [Updated]

Updated: Was updated to change Super Mario Maker from possible to doubtful after the announcement of Super Mario Maker 2

As many Wii U owners are aware, Nintendo has ported a lot of their Wii U line-up to the Switch.  Besides filling in gaps in the release Switch’s release schedule, these titles have now been introduced to a larger audience (due to Switch being a bigger success) and also have the ability to be played fully portable.   For the most part, these ports are the “definitive” versions of these games.

Looking at what’s already been ported, and what’s left over on the Wii U, I thought it’d be fun to look and see what other Nintendo games might get ported from the Wii U.

There is a Nintendo Direct coming, and I’m sure some of these will pop-up, so I will update this after those announcements happen.


All of these Nintendo published games have already been ported for the Wi U onto the Switch.   Most of them actually sold better on the Switch than their original Wii U release despite not much new content being added to them.   Here is the full list of Nintendo Wii U Ports

  • Bayonetta / Bayonetta 2 – This is mostly the same as the Wii U versions but they’ve added some amiibo support

  • Captain Toad Treasure Tracker – New Super Mario Odyssey themed levels (New Donk City) were added, and the Super Mario 3D World levels were removed.

  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze – The infamouse New Funky Kong Mode was added, this allows something of an “easy mode” by using Funky Kong, who is invincible

  • Hyrule Warriors – 2Player Co-op is now playable in split-screen, where as on the Wii U you had to use the TV and GamePad for different players.

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – This version includes all of the DLC from Mario Kart 8 plus some other additions: 6 new characters, 4 karts, gameplay tweaks and brand new Battle Modes which fills a huge void that was in the Wii U version

  • New Super Mario Bros Deluxe – Mostly the same as the New Super Mario Bros U + New Super Luigi U combo for Wii U but this version adds Toadette / Peachette which make the game easier to play similar to Funk Kong in DKCTF.

  • Pokken Tournament DX – This version adds 5 new characters plus later 2 more were released through DLC

For various reasons that I’ll explain, I think these games have a pretty high chance of getting ported to the Switch.  None of these have been announced for the Switch at this point, but some of them have been rumored.

  • Pikmin 3 – Back in 2015 Miyamoto said the next Pikmin was “near completion”, in a later statement Nintendo confirmed that “Pikmin 4” was in development.  When Miyamoto said the “next” Pikmin, maybe he was referring to Hey! Pikmin for the 3DS which hadn’t been announced yet.  Regardless, I’m sure most agree that Nintendo wouldn’t have referred to that game directly as Pikmin 4 though.    Why does this matter?  Because this likely means Pikmin 4 is coming to the Switch, and if that doesn’t happen in 2019, I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo snuck in a Pikmin 3 port to hold us over another year or too.  In my opinion, Pikmin 3 was at a Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, Metroid level of quality and polish.  If Pikmin 4 is announced for 2019, then I think the chances of a Pikmin 3 port drops to very doubtful.

  • Super Mario 3D World – This was such a great Super Mario game and it goes very under appreciated.  There was an unfortunate cluster of complaints around this game because it wasn’t a “real” 3D Mario, and it wasn’t like Galaxy (or the eventual Odyssey).  I also was part of the group that wanted a Galaxy 3 more than a sequel to 3D Land, but I was wrong.  Super Mario 3D World is my favorite Wii U game and is by far the best co-op Super Mario game out there.  The game’s style allows unique level design you don’t get in the Galaxy/Odyssey types, or in the 2D “New” games. This is sure to sell, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this sometime late 2019.    I’m also hopeful we get a sequel at some point too.

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Expectations, Speculation & Wishes For the Upcoming Direct

I’d like to keep expectations realistic, and the way I conclude what is realistic, is by looking at the content of past directs.   The best comparison would probably be last year’s Nintendo Direct “mini” that happened on January 11th, 2018.   Like the upcoming Direct, the “mini” was used to kick-start a new year and make some big announcements after closing out a successful holiday season.  In the “mini” we ended up getting several new announcements, 3 New Ports, 2 Remake/Remasters, 3 Newly Announced Games,  2 New DLC’s Announced and 2 Updates.   I would be ecstatic to get an equal line-up of announcements this year, and it’s why I keep pointing out this was labeled as a “mini”

When going into 2018 we were pretty much in the dark about the year’s upcoming line-up.  The only confirmed Nintendo published releases at this point were Bayonetta 2/1 (announced only a month before) and Kirby Star Allies.

In 2019 we already know about several Nintendo published games expected for release:

  • Animal Crossing
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3
  • Daemon X Machina
  • Yoshi’s Crafted World
  • Fire Emblem Three Houses
  • Pokemon (Main Game)
  • Yo-Kai Watch 4
  • Town (Tentative Title)
  • New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (already released)
  • Bayonetta 3 – (Maybe not 2019)

This probably means we are less likely to get as many “new” announcements this year, but more likely to receive plenty of new information regarding these previously announced titles.   Most of these games we only know are in development and we don’t know anything else as we’ve never seen footage of them.   Surely through the year we will encounter some other surprises and new games too though, but maybe not as much from Nintendo as last year.

Third parties now have had a good amount of time to gauge the market for the Switch, and surely they’ve seen it’s a huge success.  Studios have also had time to sit down with development kits for about 2 years now, so that also means they’re probably ready to start rolling out more projects now.   I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the “new” announcements we get this year are in regards to third party games.

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Here is a re-cap of last January’s Nintendo Direct, just to see the caliber of titles that were announced.

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  • Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze
  • Hyrule Warrios
  • Y’s VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
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  • The World Ends With You: Final Remix
  • Dark Souls Remastered
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  • Mario Tennis Aces
  • SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy
  • Fe
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  • Kirby Star Allies Release Date Announcement
  • Payday 2 Release Date Announcement (February 27)’
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  • Donkey Kong DLC (Mario + Rabbids)
  • Luigi Balloon Hunt Free (Super Mario Odyssey)

There’s some rumors and speculation about what’s going to be shown/announced in the next Direct.  I’ve put together a list of things that have been circulating as possibly being announced

  • Already Announced Games Get Updates – We already know we’ll get a look at Fire Emblem 3 Houses, but we might also get to see some Luigi’s Mansion 3, Bayonetta 3 or Animal Crossing updates too. Dragon Quest Builders 2 and Dragon Quest X-S will likely get a release date (and maybe a related Smash character reveal). I would expect a release date for Spyro Trilogy remaster, and definitely expect release date/windows on all of the Capcom and Square Remasters/Ports that were announced in the last Nintendo Direct. Another forgotten title I’m expecting updated release info on is Shakedown Hawaii by VBlank (creators of Retro City Rampage), I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s released in the eShop tomorrow.

  • Assassin’s Creed III RemasterThere have already been leaks that this is coming to Switch, and it was already on the Wii U, so it might not be too hard of a port. The funny thing is, I bought this on 360 and sold it later without ever playing it. After that, I bought it on Wii U and sold it without ever playing it. I wonder if I’ll buy it and play it on Switch.

  • Frostbite Engine on Switch – There’s rumors that EA has got the Frostbite Engine running on the Switch, if that’s true, what games become a possibility?  Most likely it means we get a version of FIFA 20 that will be closer to the PS4/XB1 counterparts, but I do not think we’d get that announcement this soon.    It also opens the possibility for Madden 20, but again, I don’t think that announcement is happening this time of the year (maybe some sort of Madden 19 Super Bowl Edition?).  Battlefield V would be an awesome game for the Switch, but it’d have to be severely gimped, and it’d probably run awful on the Nintendo online service.   So what the hell might they announce!?  Maybe we’ll see a Need For Speed, Plants vs Zombies or maybe even some sort of Anthem port is coming later 2019 to the Switch.
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[New Section] Thinking Outloud

Thinking Out Loud is a new section here on the site that will cover content that is mainly based on opinion. I want to emphasis that since this is opinion based, I’m sure plenty of people won’t agree and sometimes what I think might be unpopular. I’m sure there will be plenty of times this content will be completely tied to my own personal experiences.

There will be a variety of posts, some of them might be a prediction list, and I’m by no means claiming a leak or guaranteeing I will be correct, I’m just “thinking out loud” about what I’m speculating. Some posts might explain be a wish list of remasters I’d like to see, or maybe an idea I have for a new game or sequel, but again, it’s just what I”m thinking about in gaming and what I want to share.

I wanted to explain this so readers would be able to understand that while there may be some facts in what I say here, a lot of it will be opinion, speculation, or even “dreaming”. We all have our different tastes, different wish lists, pet peeves, enjoyments and ways of perceiving things. I don’t want to argue, I want to document what I’m thinking, and share it, and if you want to discuss it with me, feel free to comment here, contact me on Twitter or come join the Discord Group. Enjoy!

If you have any suggestions, ideas, etc please contact me on Twitter @TheGamerPad or on the Discord Group

Hard Reset

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I originally started this website back in early 2012, and before that in 2004 I used to run a Nintendo fan-site with a handful of other people. Over the past 7 years on this website I put a lot of work into the content, I explored bunch of different ideas, went a couple different directions and even expanded into a Discord Group that helps connect players for online games. But things weren’t working out, all of the different ideas and sections were getting scattered across the site without enough focus. Over the years, I was never able to post consistently. There were a few periods where a new idea would get worked on and developed, but other new ideas would come along and take priority. Now my latest idea, is to blow it all up and start over.

I’ve learned what ideas worked, which ones deserve more time, and where I should focus my content and attention. With everything previously being a bit of incomplete and jumbled sections, I figured it was best to tear it down and rebuild. I plan to start posting more consistently now to the site, I will be bringing back sections/ideas that worked well before, I’ll be creating new content, and I’ll even re-post revisions of the older stuff.

I have had a passion for video games ever since I was first introduced to them as a young child. As a kid, I wanted to have as many games as possible but it was probably my late teens when I became “collector”. I enjoy sharing my gaming experiences, whether that’s a brand new release, or a game from my child hood. If I come across a game that seems under-appreciated, or a bit unknown, I love being able to champion for it and tell people about it’s greatness. Everyone has different tastes and views, and some change over time, it’s why like to analyze my favorite games, genres, franchises, etc. This site is certainly a lot of opinion, and not much news, but at times I will try to include factual content too. Rarity guides, moments from past gaming generations, different “reports” that are less opinion based. I’ve been trying to find a way to express my gaming interests and opinions for the past 15 years online, but I think I’ve now finally got a format that works. I will unroll content at a steady rate, adding new sections and building off of them as I go.

If nobody else reads this, and nobody enjoys it, I’m glad to just log all of this info for myself as I track my experiences in gaming. Enjoy!

If you have any suggestions, ideas, etc please contact me on Twitter @TheGamerPad or on the Discord Group