Category Archives: Special Features
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.
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 with the PSP and Wii, ported from the PSP, 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! Read the rest of this entry
Nintendo announced a few months ago that their paid online service is going to come with 1 NES or SNES game a month. As an added bonus, those games will include newly added online play. To a retro gamer and Nintendo fan like myself, this is more exciting than the free games offered through PS+ and XBox Gold.
Now as we wait for Nintendo to roll out the details, I have begun imagining what games I want to play online the most. I am currently more interested in competitive multiplayer than co-op or leaderboards. I feel with competitive multiplayer you can get more replay value and varied results than online 2player co-op.
Before we get into the 5 I want to see the most, let me quickly go over a few that I disqualified. The main reasons for disqualifying some titles was because of licensing issues or that there is already an updated equivalent around that won’t want old school competition. So here we go:
- Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers (NES) – Capcom recently released this in the “Disney Afternoon Collection”, it’s doubtful they’d release this again with online play)
- Tetris (NES) – Puyo Puyo Tetris is already out on the Switch and it does a great job of filling the need for online Tetris
- Kirby’s Avalanche (SNES) – This is a Puyo Puyo clone that I used to play on Super Nintendo, it also is not necessary for online additions since the release of Puyo Puyo Tetris
- TMNT 2: The Arcade Game (NES) – I love this game, but I don’t see it coming ever to the Switch as an online NES port. Maybe as a complete remake or an actual arcade port though.
- Street Fighter II (SNES) – With Ultra Street Fighter II on the Switch I don’t see any need for a Street Fighter II online port.
- Killer Instinct (SNES) – I don’t think Nintendo owns the IP anymore as they haven’t released it on Virtual Console before and Microsoft released a newer version on XB1
- NBA Jam (SNES) – I know EA owns the rights to NBA Jam, but I don’t know if they can re-release the originals. Anyhow, this would be better served as an all new release like the XBLA/PS3 “On Fire Edition”
Ok, now onto the 5 (sorry I know Top 5 lists can be a pain in the ass)
Believe it or not, this game used to actually be online for the Super Nintendo through the XBand service. This was my favorite baseball game of the era and possibly my favorite baseball game of all-time. I don’t think most people have as much of a desire to play this online as I do, but I really want to relive the online XBand matches from my childhood.
Ken Griffey is currently on the cover of MLB The Show ’17, so there might be some issues with him being the face of another game at the same time (this might have to wait until 2018). But Nintendo shouldn’t have an issue acquiring the MLB rights since they are not exclusive to Sony, however if Nintendo wants to avoid the licensing they should be able to edit out the MLB and MLBPA properties fairly easily. Read the rest of this entry
Last week Nintendo showcased a bunch of different Indie games that are coming to the Switch, and that is when it dawned on me that the Switch is the perfect system to play indie games on.
While the PC will always have the largest library of games, and does have the functionality or ability to play on a TV, outside of devices like NVidia Shield, it lacks a way to go portable. Even more so, the PC struggles with local multiplayer on one device. PS4 and XBox One both lack the ability to play indies on the go.
The Switch however gives the player the ability to play on the go, and also play local multiplayer with ease, while still having all the functionality of a home console. Indie games rarely ever push the tech boundaries, so the technical limitations of the Switch should not be an issue with indie titles. When playing a multiplayer or co-op game such as Shovel Knight or Towerfall (not announced for Switch), the player is able to go play on the TV with a friend, or go mobile and break off both joycons and play co-op together. This adds amazing potential and opens up a lot more opportunities than all other devices. Without a doubt, the Switch will now be my Indie System of choice.
That’s not all though, the portability of the Switch is also going to make it my HD Remaster device of choice too. So far in this generation we have seen 360 and PS3 games get ported/remastered to the XB1/PS4. The graphical upgrades really haven’t been that noticeable, and in some cases the performance has actually been the same or worse. I, and many others still get sucked into buying these HD remakes even if they seem unnecessary.
However now on the Switch, the added mobile option makes these HD Remakes even more appealing. If Capcom released the past Resident Evil’s on the Switch, or Konami released HD Remakes of the Metal Gear Series, Square-Enix did their Final Fantasy X/X-2 remaster on the Switch, etc I would pick them all up on the Switch over any other system. We’ve seen Final Fantasy X/X-2 Remaster released on the PSVita before, but it was mobile only. The Switch has more game changing functionality for a HD Remake than the PS4/XB1 does. Until we get into the 4K Remasters, or full-on Remakes (like what Sony did with Ratchet & Clank), I don’t see why Switch owners would buy an HD Remake on any other system.
Any downfalls of Indies or HD Remakes on the Switch that I’m missing? Or advantages of the others?
I know it sounds crazy to buy 2 Switches, especially when the Switch itself can function as 2 different gaming devices, a console and a handheld. But in my household both my wife and I play games, and I’m starting to realize that sharing 1 Switch between the 2 of us might not be as easy as it seems.
For all of the consoles we own, we only have one of each. But for all of our Nintendo portables, we each have our own. We share the Playstation 4, but I strongly considered buying a PS4 Pro just so we could both play different PS4 games at the same time. I know, this sounds pretty hardcore and spoiled, but sometimes I want to play Battlefield 1 and she wants to play Dragon Quest Builders, definitely first world problems. We are also known to move the main consoles around the house at times, sometimes we play PS4 and Wii U in our game room, sometimes we move them upstairs to the family room. PS4 has a bit of a universal power cord, so I had an extra that I keep upstairs along with the HDMI cable, this makes moving the PS4 from room to room fairly simple. The Wii U however has it’s own unique power cord, and yes, we did shell out the $40 for it to make moving the Wii U from room to room easy, no need to drag around cords. Now that you might understand my situation, let me explain how this would play out with the Switch.
I’m pretty certain I will buy a second Nintendo Switch Dock, that way I could have one in the family room and one in the game room. Very easy to move from TV to TV, very spoiled, I know. The Switch Dock is $90 when sold separately (pretty ridiculous), so that’s already gonna cost me close to 1/3rd the price of the Switch. I tend to buy multiple controllers for when I have local multiplayer parties and so I don’t put wear on one single controller, by rotating I keep them all relatively fresh (or relatively slightly worn). I was planning on buying another standard-type controller or two. One of those controllers being a Pro (but not included in this equation) the other being another set of Joy-Cons and another Joy-Con grip. An extra pair of Joy-Cons are $79.99 and an extra Joy-Con Grip is $29.99!! I understand all the tech in the Joy-Cons and how it’s essentially 2 controllers, so I’m fine with the $80 price tag.
but the Grip is just a piece of plastic!!! (Edited: Didn’t realize the one that is sold separately is also a charger) Anyhow for the cost of the Dock, the pair of Joy-Cons and the Joy-Con Grip, I’m at $199.97!! At that point I might as well just pony up the extra $100 and get another Switch!!
An extra Switch will come with some added benefits. My wife and I will get all of those extra accessories that I mentioned buying separate. We will Read the rest of this entry
I’m fine with the fact EA has the exclusive rights to the NFL license even though it did kill the NFL 2K series. I’ve accepted that, I’ve moved on. But I do have a problem with EA sitting on other NFL games and doing absolutely nothing with them. EA currently owns the rights to the NFL Blitz series and NFL Street, so why haven’t we seen a NFL Blitz in 5 years or a NFL Street in 10?
Playing through these Retro Sports games lately I realize how much I miss having different choices and options of games to play. When EA locked down the NFL license not only did it kill the competition, but it killed our options. Over a decade ago EA created the NFL Street series, and that gave us an Arcade style outdoor football game, players had special moves, could run on the walls, it was something goofy, but it was different. I personally enjoyed the series and like the option. A little bit later on EA acquired the rights to Blitz and they released NFL Blitz on the XBox Live Arcade and Playstation Network, it went up for $19.99 and was a perfect re-creation of the classic NFL Blitz series, it is currently my preferred choice for a game of NFL Blitz.
I think it’s EA’s duty to gamers and the NFL to make the most out of the NFL license and keep these titles alive and active and I don’t believe that’s very hard or expensive for them to do. Madden understandably needs gameplay tweaks and advancements to continuously progress the franchise and video game football each year, I get that costs money. But a game like NFL Blitz doesn’t require any gameplay tweaks, it doesn’t require much for development or resources on it. When I pick up NFL Blitz ’17 I want it to play like NFL Blitz ’12 and NFL Blitz ’97. There is no need to upgrade or change anything other than a roster, and that’s what I want to see!
I want to see them release a Read the rest of this entry
I was going to write an opinion piece here that Nintendo should run a Switch Commercial during the Super Bowl this weekend, but it turns out Nintendo IS running a Switch Commercial! So now this has become a piece about what they should’ve done with the commercial, or what I think would be the most effective. Sorry, don’t mean to give the impression I’m never satisfied, just wanted to share my vision or idea for the commercial. But before we even get to that, let me point out what is great about the commercial.
The Good: During the Super Bowl we will see ads for movies and such that won’t have specific release dates or something as vague as “Summer 2017”. Nintendo however will be capitalizing on the proximity of the Switch’s release date and Super Bowl LI. Less than 30 Days from the Super Bowl, the Switch has potential to grab and keep people’s attention right up to it’s launch. The ad shows off the functionality of being able to go portable, or to play at home, while also showing off the big launch title, The Legend of Zelda: A Breath of the Wild.
Spreading the Word: Outside of the hardcore gamers that check video game news sites and forums, I doubt most people even know about the Nintendo Switch. Since the release of the Wii U, Nintendo has disappeared from the spot light and has been forgotten by many. The Switch Presentation in January was based out of Japan at 11pm EST with little follow up from Nintendo of America, so it’s likely most people are in the dark about the Switch. The Super Bowl is a perfect time to announce to America and the rest of the world that Nintendo has something big on the horizon.
What was missing: The Super Bowl Ad runs 30seconds, and it is a hard task to introduce the the Switch and all of it’s functionality along with it’s games in that short amount of time. But I think it’s possible for them to have crammed it all in. There were some key things I noticed that were missing during the commercial that I feel should’ve been shown off. One big thing was the ability to play Retro games! Look how huge the success of the Mini NES Classic was! I understand $300 is a completely different ballpark than $60, but there is obviously a nostalgic audience that wants to play the simpler classics. This crowd might be the new “casual” audience that Nintendo can scoop up that nobody has tapped into. The commercial also missed the opportunity to showcase some other Switch games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, 1,2 Switch, Super Bomberman R, Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 2, even if it was done in a very quick montage. I also noticed that the commercial only shows the gamer playing portable within their house, it may make some people believe it’s limited like the Wii U was. Last but not least (and maybe intentional) they never showed the joycon’s and their functionalities. Below is a breakdown of how I would’ve presented the Switch in the 30 seconds. Read the rest of this entry
This generation of systems (not including Wii U) has been going on for a little bit over 3 years now. While the systems have become more powerful, the functionalities have expanded and the ability to share videos has emerged, I am still somewhat disappointed by the games we’ve got over the past 3 years. In no way do I think this generation has “sucked”, I just feel like it’s left me wanting more than what is being offered.
I feel as if the Sony and Microsoft exclusives have been lackluster this generation, a few have fallen flat and most of them have received numerous delays. I also feel like Third Parties have also been a bit disappointing this generation too. Third parties seem to be even more overly cautious, releasing even more generic and predictable copy cat games. There has been a lack of new IPs and new ideas from all major publishers this generation. And of course, as we all know, the cash grabs and schedule fillers known as remaster and re-releases have shown up more than we’d like. While waiting for the new must-have games, I’ve been wondering “When the hell are we gonna get this generation started?”
2016 was by far the best year of this generation, with favorites such as: Uncharted 4, Battlefield 1, Overwatch, Dark Souls III, Titanfall 2, Final Fantasy XV, The Last Guardian and more. But right now as we feel the PS4/XB1 are about to hit their stride, we’re being pushed into upgrading to PS4 Pros and XB1 Scorpios. As of now, these upgrades aren’t required but undoubtedly all of the major titles will take advantage of the extra power. I also won’t be surprised if there ends up being Pro/Scorpio exclusives. We might even see development focus so much on Pro/Scorpio, that the original PS4/XB1 will suffer. I find it a bit concerning that games are being announced and hyped multiple years before release (Death Stranding, Shenmue 3, FF VII Remake, etc) and that by the time they come out, PS4/XB1 will probably be considered old. Read the rest of this entry