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Friday, April 16, 2021

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To date, the production of games has been put on stream, Igor has long been saved and most gamers are quite happy with the situation. The old games are mainly played by nostalgic old people who always remember their childhood and try to get the same emotions, remind us that it was better before, the princesses were more beautiful and Sonic was running fast. The influx of young people into their community is not too zealous for quite obvious reasons and the future of old games looks somehow vague and pessimistic. Do they even have a chance to recruit a new generation into their fandom, is there gunpowder in the flasks and how can they be better than the new ones? Today we will try to figure it out.

Is it worth playing retro games today?

As you know, video games have been around for a long time, starting with the very first Pong, which appeared back in 1972. Over these 46 years, an incredible number of games have been created, which quite possibly have already exceeded one hundred thousand copies, and every day (primarily thanks to Steam) more and more are released. While the amount of mediocrity is on the rise, good games also come to see us on a regular basis. Just recently, I decided to remember the past: I installed the emulator on Sega and launched Road Rash 2 and it was a big mistake, because I woke up only after a couple of hours. This is not an rpg or a platformer that does not care about time, this is motorcycle racing, a genre of games that is demanding on the quality of the picture and physics. I still remember how I overtook a competitor, hit him in the teeth with a bat, knocked him off a motorcycle, and then jumped on his body and flew over the car rushing towards me and this is not even a scripted scene. Or when you buy the fastest motorcycle, cut in nitro and on the next springboard soar high into the sky and blissfully watch these unfortunate boogers below, who are trying to fight for prizes, at least until a pine tree stands in your way, then you fly everything is also blissful, but already without a motorcycle and you hope to fall behind the finish line.

Road Rush 2. The dream of any racer, anyone who drives better than you can beat with a bat.

Having received a dose of nostalgia and vivid emotions, you begin to think that time has no power over good games. And if so, what if I want to try out all the best games in the history of their creation, how long will it take for me? To do this, I went to the Metacritic website and took all the games up to 84 points, they turned out to be about 2000, and removed half, those that I could not play for technical reasons (I do not have the latest curling iron and Xbox), and at the same time repetitive games type of skyrim, which I even started on the display of the toilet cistern and my unloved sportswear. For you to understand better, 84 metacritics are games like Saints Row: The Third, Fallout: New Vegas and Command & Conquer: Generals, far from the worst representatives and there is a lot to lower the bar. There will be about a thousand of the best of the best, which I will definitely want to play, giving them three hours a day and in the end I will spend 30 years on it (actually 28, but I rounded up for the sake of a nice number). This is taking into account that I will spend 30 hours on each game. Just imagine that the good games that came out during all this time will already be enough for a lifetime, taking into account that they will still be created. So why not give up everything and only play good, why do we play trash in Steam, why do we become lumberjacks in Assassins and saw another tree in the hope that in ten minutes it will kick back? How many people praise Undertale, but ask them if he wants to familiarize himself with his mastermind EarthBound and most likely you will get a negative answer. How many odes did Stardew Valley sing

You can, of course, be angry with people and complain about the fact that they are all stupid and do not understand anything, however, the point here is different. This is how our psychology works, we want and demand what is fresher, and no matter how it looks, plays and feels. Games can be completely identical, but put the year of manufacture 2018 on one of them, and 1997 on the other, and everyone will take only the first one. Therefore, we want and ask for remakes of old games, instead of sitting down and playing the original and we ourselves suffer from their dominance, because there are a lot of old and good games and it is much easier to modernize them than to create a new one. I do not blame anyone for this situation and I assess what is happening as a natural course of history. However, is there any point in sitting down and playing old games for more than just nostalgia? Are they useful, is it necessary to spend time on the classics, if there are modern and colorful blockbusters? Today I will be a stakeholder and advocate for the games of the past and will try to break this dislike for them.

First of all, I would like to mention that grafon, physics and special effects are certainly a plus in many games, but they also have drawbacks, their oversaturation begins to affect the gameplay, interfere with the review and assessment of the situation, more time is devoted to staged scenes, more and more shifting the focus to viewing, rather than the game itself. I suspect that this is one of the reasons why people increasingly prefer mobile games and homemade products from Steam. The most suitable genres here are platformers, beat’em ups, slashers, minigames, etc., which are primarily aimed at the active participation of the player. They are great for killing time or spending it interestingly with friends, you don’t need to closely follow the plot, memorize a complex combat system, just sit down, play and enjoy.

In addition to these genres, jrpg is very popular, and the old model, when the pixels were still large, and the characters were small, when the characters ran after each other, when there was a turn-based system, and grinding was a completely natural thing. Today, the dominance of RPGMaker games is simply off scale, from ingenious to complete trash, their very existence and popularity speaks of the lack of such games on the market and the need for this genre.

In general, jrpg is such a jar of cucumbers that you can store as long as you like, and then open it and get the same impressions as before. It is the least susceptible to criticism, the quality of the graphics is inferior to the style, the gameplay for the most part has long been standardized, and fans expect from these games, first of all, a good story. This is probably one of the main reasons to turn your attention to classics, I doubt that anyone will ever be able to surpass Final fantasy of the times of SNES and PS, Chrono Trigger, Star Ocean, Xenogears, Valkyrie Profile. The list of worthy jrpg is truly bottomless and this is a real paradise for those who value the plot and atmosphere above other qualities. There is such a phenomenon when you passed the game and it turned out to be a real diamond, perfection, at least for you. After the inscription about the end of the game, in addition to a storm of emotions, a certain sadness remains, this adventure is over and it’s time to find a new one, but all games become so gray and inconspicuous that desires simply disappear. This retreat can last for several days and in my entire life no modern game has been able to bring me to such a state. Perhaps this is the magic of old jrpg and another plus in their piggy bank.

Those who played Phantasy Star 2 in Final fantasy VII don’t cry.

However, retro may not be of interest to a single plot. For those who like to stretch their brains, there is also something useful here, tactical games are one of the least resource-dependent genres, all you need is to provide the player with good mechanics and decent AI. Many will argue, they say, why play the old X-COM of the 1993 model, when there is a modern interpretation, but not all series have received remakes and sequels, and in the old version they are played no worse than modern tactics. Such legendary series as Langrisser, Wars, Front Mission, Disgaea, Tactic Ogre, FFT, even after many years are played cheerfully and do not cause rejection, moreover, as in the case of jrpg, many of them are still the best in their category.

Advance Wars is fighting on equal terms for the title of the best tactics with such giants as Fire Emblem and XCOM, and the old woman is already 18 years old.

Finally, I will touch on the minigames. They are now clustered in social media applications and as games for mobile platforms. It seems to be difficult to call them something significant and serious, but nevertheless they are popular, they are played and perhaps even more often than large and serious games. They are full of nerdiness and donation, senseless and merciless, and finding something decent and not trying to look into your pocket is not so easy in our time. And here the classics come to our aid from portable devices, which have never heard of some kind of donation, you immediately get a full-fledged game. Here you have a series of Jewel Master and Puzzle Quest (3 in a row), Zuma, WarioWare, Cooking Mama (about cooking, you can even blow into the microphone to cool it down), Professor Layton (logic tasks), I don’t understand why play on mobile phones at all in the likeness of games created by two schoolchildren, when there are ready-made masterpieces. Eventually, you can install the emulator on your phone.

Professor Layton is just a set of logic puzzles, but a competent presentation, a pleasant visual style and a plot in the style of Sherlock Holmes made the games of this series extremely popular.

Having written so many positive qualities of retro games, I, on the one hand, perfectly understand that all these arguments are nothing compared to the desire to play something new and hype, I myself am like that and I have to force myself to play another cult jrpg. On the other hand, this is only at the beginning, then you get involved and the excitement and desire to continue does not let go until the credits. Many people talk about subjectivity when evaluating games, some may come in and some may not, but not only tastes affect the perception of a game, experience is also important. One glance of an experienced player is enough to determine the true value of the game, what it has adopted, what innovations it received, why it is worthy oaf praise, after all, hype is not yet a sign of success and cult status. The baggage of experience that we carry with us appears for a reason and, in my opinion. In parting, I can only wish: “Do not waste your time on what is not worthy of you, sometimes what can touch the strings of your soul is very close, you just have to turn around.”a

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