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
Last 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?
This generation of systems (not including Wii U) has been going on for a little bit over 3 years now. While the systems have become more powerful, the functionalities have expanded and the ability to share videos has emerged, I am still somewhat disappointed by the games we’ve got over the past 3 years. In no way do I think this generation has “sucked”, I just feel like it’s left me wanting more than what is being offered.
I feel as if the Sony and Microsoft exclusives have been lackluster this generation, a few have fallen flat and most of them have received numerous delays. I also feel like Third Parties have also been a bit disappointing this generation too. Third parties seem to be even more overly cautious, releasing even more generic and predictable copy cat games. There has been a lack of new IPs and new ideas from all major publishers this generation. And of course, as we all know, the cash grabs and schedule fillers known as remaster and re-releases have shown up more than we’d like. While waiting for the new must-have games, I’ve been wondering “When the hell are we gonna get this generation started?”
2016 was by far the best year of this generation, with favorites such as: Uncharted 4, Battlefield 1, Overwatch, Dark Souls III, Titanfall 2, Final Fantasy XV, The Last Guardian and more. But right now as we feel the PS4/XB1 are about to hit their stride, we’re being pushed into upgrading to PS4 Pros and XB1 Scorpios. As of now, these upgrades aren’t required but undoubtedly all of the major titles will take advantage of the extra power. I also won’t be surprised if there ends up being Pro/Scorpio exclusives. We might even see development focus so much on Pro/Scorpio, that the original PS4/XB1 will suffer. I find it a bit concerning that games are being announced and hyped multiple years before release (Death Stranding, Shenmue 3, FF VII Remake, etc) and that by the time they come out, PS4/XB1 will probably be considered old. Read the rest of this entry