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Where Does The Retro Era End?

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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 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

F-Zero X

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EA Sports: I Want More Football

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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!

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NFL Blitz from 2012 on PS3 – It’s time to bring back this goofiness and Arcade fun to NFL Video Games.   EA owns the rights to the NFL License and NFL Blitz, let’s get it done.

I want to see them release a Read the rest of this entry

My Favorites of 2016

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I didn’t play everything this year, I didn’t play every game of every genre on every platform.  I don’t even play PC games.  I know I missed out on some of the highest praised games of the year.  But out of the games that I did play, I had some favorite ones and found some memorable ones.  Some of the games might be leftovers from 2015 that I didn’t play until 2016. Hell, I even included some retro games in My Favorites of 2016.

This is what I played, and this is what I enjoyed. But to get a feel for my taste in gaming, I thought you might be interested in seeing what it is that I liked.  If you enjoy or have interest in the same kind of games, then you might want to keep checking back here on thegamerpad.com or on my twitch channel (twitch.tv/thegamerpad) because I might be covering the exact kind of games that you want to see covered.

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Wayne Gretzky 3D Hockey

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GoldenEye 007

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Nintendo Switch Initial Excitement

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The Nintendo NX is no more, Nintendo has dropped the code name and finally revealed their newest console, AND portable.  It’s called the Nintendo Switch.  It’s a hybrid handheld console and I’m very excited for it. The more I think about it, the better it sounds actually.  But I will be fair, I am a huge Nintendo fan and I have bought 4 of their consoles (including the Wii U) and 3 of their handhelds at launch (not including special editions). The ones I didn’t buy at launch, I got later, and still have it…even the Virtual Boy.  Last but not least, my game collection is probably 70%+ Nintendo.  So yes, I do play favorites to Nintendo, but if you are also a Nintendo fan or even rooting for Nintendo to succeed, then get excited.  If the momentum gets big enough for the Switch, Nintendo might bounce back strong.  The more I think about the system the more potential I can imagine from it.  I just hope Nintendo can capitalize.  Here are some things I’m throwing around in my head.

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Local Multiplayer Possibilities

This could be huge, this could re-invent things like couch co-op, LAN parties, and your traditional ideas of local multiplayer. Even with only one piece of hardware it looks like players could gather around the screen and play a co-op game like Diablo, and Donkey Kong or even multiplayer games of Madden and Mario Kart.  The more this spreads, or the more people that own the Switch, the wider the multiplayer possibilities get.  Battlefield, Splatoon, and other resource heavy titles will start to become a possibility.  With some of my friends, it might actually be easier to play a game together  in person than online.  A good amount of my friends and family have a PS4, if those games we play at home were also portable, we would be playing a lot more together.  Even transporting it to a friend’s house is simple.

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Combining It’s Markets
The biggest roadblock is that this system has to sell, a lot.  If the social aspects and local multiplayer opportunities are really going to flourish, it’s going to need to have a large install base.  The Playstation 4 sold amazingly, in 3 years, it’s already around 44 million, one of the fastest selling consoles of all time.  In 3 years the XBox One has reached 22 million while the Wii U only broke 11 million in 4 years time.  And the 3DS, which is very important here, will most likely hit 60 Million sold in 2017.  The Switch means Nintendo is combining it’s portable market and it’s console market, there is definitely some overlap in there, but it’s actually not too crazy to think that it could put up PS4 numbers.  If it REALLY catches on and reaches a fad-like status, Nintendo could have a Wii/DS combo on it’s hands (Wii sold 101million, DS sold 153million).
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Concerns About Star Fox Zero

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I played a demo of Star Fox Zero at Nintendo World Store during E3 week and from the opening level of Corneria that I played, things seemed pretty good.  The motion controls took a little getting used to at first, but they felt fine by the time I was about halfway through the level.  I’m also a pretty big fan of Platinum Games, so when I found out they were developing it I was pretty excited and hyped for it’s release.

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Then it got delayed out of Holiday 2015 and into 2016.  My first thoughts were about the Wii U and how it wasn’t going to have the “big” title for November.  Sure there was Animal Crossing amiibo Festival and Mario Tennis Ultra Smash but those are not near the level of a big November exclusive I expect (Smash Bros, Mario 3D World, etc).  After that initial reaction, I then started to get more concerned about the game.  Nintendo has earned my trust with delays, they’ve delayed plenty of games that turned out to be excellent in the end.  I figured Star Fox Zero was no different, the footage of Star Fox at E3 2014 and E3 2015 were a huge difference, the game hadn’t been in development for a long time so an extra 6 months will go a long way.

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But then it dawned on me, maybe this isn’t something Platinum Games can handle.  Read the rest of this entry