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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

Shock Troopers

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The Perfect System for Indies & Remasters

 

banner2.jpgLast 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?

Titanfall 2

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Screw it, I’m Getting 2 Switches

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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 chargerAnyhow 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!!

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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

Resident Evil 6

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Watch Dogs 2

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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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Read the rest of this entry

The Last Guardian

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Mafia III

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