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 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.
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.
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.
But then it dawned on me, maybe this isn’t something Platinum Games can handle. Read the rest of this entry
There hasn’t been many positive things to say about the Wii U. It’s selling horrible and most people have already written it off as a failure. I understand the reasoning for this, but unfortunately a lot of people are missing out on the hidden value of this console. I’m not saying the Wii U is a better console than the Playstation 4 or XBox One, but it offers a unique experience with a long list of exclusive titles. A two-console gamer would be wise to pick up a Wii U as their second console, and a family or apartment of gamers would get possibly the best local/couch multiplayer console ever.
Cost is an issue, especially if you already own another system. To be fair, we’ll compare the typical costs a gamer experiences when they buy the Playstation 4 and XBox One. The usual costs includes the console themselves, one game, and an online subscription.
The costs are detailed as follows:
$400 – Console & One Controller
$60 – Game
$50 – PSN+ Year Subscription
$500 – Console, One Controller & Kinect
$60 – Game
$60 – XBox Live 1 Year Subscription
Let’s meet somewhere around the middle of these total costs and say $530 is the average cost when you buy one of those systems. It’s fair to point out there is a Titanfall Bundle and a Forza 5 Bundle, but they are currently priced at $500 and when you add in the XBox Live subscription you’re up to $560. Its worth noting that the XBox Live subscription works on your XBox 360 too if you still use it.
The Playstation 4 deserves credit for being a pretty good value itself. The PSN+ subscription comes with at least 12 free PS4 games through the year, however the downside is that you have no choice which titles you receive free. PSN+ also carries over to the PS3 or Vita if you own them, and both receive multiple free titles (different from PS4). Plus if you buy some digital games on PS4, they are also available for the PS3 and Vita if it supports cross-play. I personally see more value in the Playstation 4 than the XBox One and it is why I made it my first “next-gen” console. Others might value the TV Functions or Kinect more than I do and that’s understandable.
So I was wondering what would happen if you put this same $530 into purchasing the Wii U? How far could you stretch it, and what could you get out of it? Picking through the Wii U, eShop/Virtual Console, Wii-Backwards compatibility and Wii-Shop, I’m going to see how much value can be squeezed out of the Wii U. I searched online for the best prices of quality games unavailable on the Playstation 4 and XBox One.
Here’s the best value I found online… Read the rest of this entry