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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

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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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).
Read the rest of this entry

Deus Ex Mankind Divided

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Borderlands: The Handsome Collection

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Watch Dogs

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Batman Arkham Knight

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Middle-Earth Shadow of Mordor

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Grand Theft Auto V

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