Why Do We Go Retro?

With E3 going on now, many gamers can’t wait to hear all the news coming out for their favorite console and new games that have peaked their interest. With all these new games and technology being shown, why do so many gamers still go back to retro games and to their roots?

There’s news coming out that Dreamcast games will be released over XBLA and PsN. This is great news for those who haven’t had the chance to play them or for those who would like to play them again. Do playing retro games on a newer console still yield the same feeling if played on their original system? I have bought some old school games via XBLA and I used to play them on the Wii but deep inside, I still enjoy and would rather play them on their original system. Having achievements set for these games over XBLA has given them a new perspective and a challenge that wasn’t there before but even so, nothing beats playing the original Sonic on a Sega Genesis. Achievements are just icing on the cake.

Being said, why do we tend to go back to games that we’ve beaten so many times before and that have been out for ten years or more? We live in an age where we can move to control a game and characters look life-like, yet we tend to go back to the 8-bit days where leaving the system on over night was the way to save progress. Could it simply be that we wish to relive a memory that ties us to a certain game? Or the fact that the game is so good, so much fun that we just want to play it again and again? Do we really need a reason to want to play a game like the original Mario Brothers again? For some, it reminds us of where we’ve been and how far we’ve come in gaming and as gamers.

This brings up another question: is it better to play a retro game on the original system or on a current generation system? As mentioned before, achievements and trophies are a great incentive to playing a retro game on newer system but it’s that nostalgic feeling of playing on an actual NES or Genesis, or whatever your retro console of choice is. For some retro games, playing it on a current gen system is the only way to play it, other than getting a ROM. Many PC games just won’t run on a newer computer and being able to play them again, is a great feeling. Hopefully Steam, XBLA, and PsN will start to release games that were originally released on the PC that cannot be run on the newer models. To be able to play a game like Heroes Quest or Wing Commander on a current generation system and/or Steam and have it untouched by changed gameplay or state of the art graphics would be fantastic.

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