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
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