As I’ve begun to flesh out what I want this site to really be to me I ‘ve begun writing down all the ideas I want to cover. Talking about games spanning back to the Atari to the ones that came out this very week. In conversation, I bring up titles with friends and we may react back on how much fun we had on Time Splitters or how apparently no one else has ever played through Darkwatch.
Each time the talk gets to the point that I know I have to boot a game up nostalgia loses some of its veils and I start to notice things I didn’t like about the games. What is going on there? Didn’t I just an hour before rant about how much I loved that game?
Now nostalgia is a hell of a drug to the brain, constantly tempting you to want to rewatch a series or pop a game back in. Some of those actually holding up to what you remember. I’ve watched Nightmare Before Christmas countless times at this point, and The Last of Us is good to me every single playthrough. Others have strong graphical handicaps or were once good, but just not the same now.
It gets so frustrating when you do show someone and they have become accustomed to what we have now that they don’t understand that a game you love was outstanding at the time of release. That Final Fantasy 7 wasn’t just a game then, it was an experience. That Mega Man was one of the first games to really let you chose a path to go and that was cool because at the time that was new.
My favorite hack and slash game didn’t hold up well but still kills an afternoon if I have one free. Maybe it is the constant array of games dropping now that make us ignore some of these older titles, or is it just the allure of the newest and shiniest thing. A type of play that makes us miss out on so many good little pieces of art that fall on the wayside. A title like Bastion that sits in my top ten of all time, that only a handful of people I know have played.
Even still, some titles held up so well that people have gathered a cult following of them. I find it rare when someone bashes an old Zelda title or an RPG like Knights of the Old Republic. Still, I see copies sell all the time and people doing playthroughs of them over twitch. For myself, it is the old Fire Emblem games that bring me back time after time with their permadeath gameplay.
I like spending time dusting off the Gamecube and playing through Tales of Symphonia even if I can play the updated version on my PS3. I like check-marking the Ocarina of Time off my list as a game that now has one hundred percent completion. I like being able to make sure my TV can still use AV cables, or that my Donkey Kongo drums aren’t quite tapped out yet.
Nostalgia also can cause a lot of frustration in these ways. I have a tendency to not feel like I completed a game all the way unless I have all the achievements on it. Sure I have ‘beaten” the game before then, but a true completion is different. A topic I want to touch on at a later date. The point being some games you can’t complete at this point with server shutdowns or full games being cut in half. The Guitar Hero Live title is a great example with the Guitar Hero TV option being shut down last year losing you over eight hundred songs to play through. I believe you have about forty left at this point, a sad difference from a once huge playlist.
With all the pros and cons I think if you are playing games you are still having a good time. So this Sunday coming up make it a Sit Down Sunday. A time when you break out a game with real couch co-op and play it. Don’t care if you aren’t progressing through that giant backlog, or better yet, knock it out with someone.
Otherwise, I’ll see you then when I talk about what I played for Sit Down Sunday tomorrow.