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The appeal of retro gaming

in gaming •  last year

Retro games have gotten a lot of praise and appeal in recent years and the reason why is not as simple as you might have thought. I consider myself a retro gamer and I still like to play a lot of games that might be considered retro, old or old fashioned.

What are retro games?

The first thing to answer is what are retro games. For me, there are several definitions of retro games, one of them is old games. What people consider old games will be different from person to person, but for me, old games are the ones from the beginning of the century. The time when I started realizing how much I loved games and when I consider that I became a gamer.

The other definition for what retro games can be are those games made to look as if they were made in those times. This is what most of the indie games go for. It is also a valid definition, as it can fulfill a need that many gamers have.

The third form of retro games is various remastered editions. This is becoming more and more prevalent, with Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, and Homeworld. I expect much more to come, especially with the announcement of Final Fantasy 7. All thou that might not be the same as the ones I mentioned previously. From the looks of it it could be a much closer to an entirely new game.

Why gamers like retro games?

To answer this question I will first explain who are the retro gamers. From my experience, retro gamers are often older games, 28+ or even older. Right now they are becoming older, having families stable income and kids. They see all the changes that are happening faster and faster. These gamers long for the time when they were young. Many of them do not find satisfaction in the newer games as much as they did in the past. Even genres they used to play are not as popular and have no major releases. Even those that come out are not as good as they used to be, not as polished, not as fleshed out.

A lot of large companies still would not like to take chances with projects that are not tested or proven successful in the recent past. This is where indie developer come in. Thanks to Kickstarter and IndieGoGo small teams are able to produce games they always wanted. The trend has made PC games even more interesting. Even if there are some kickstarted project on the consoles, they are still a minority.

The most severe case of retro gaming project is the adventure game Lucious Demake. Lucious is an adventure game made in 2012, not new, but recent enough. Last year a demake was made, turning the game into a style of games made in the 80s and early 90s.

Times to come

I look forward to seeing new games and revitalized old genres. We have got some interesting gems in recent years, it is likely to only get better as times goes on.


Images links: image 1, image 2, image 3


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I can't stand most retro games, because modern games tend to do everything better in terms of story, gameplay, polish and production.

However, I do admit there's one thing that retro games do better: they allow much more in game decisions. Just compare Fallout 1 to Fallout 4 and you'll see what I mean.

Baldur's Gate is also an excellent example of this - tonnes of loot, skills, stats, classes, characters and tonnes of side quests or ways to advance in the story. It's one of the retro games that I still enjoy and I recently finished it on multiplayer.

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I agree that newer games are much more polished and that older games offere much more variaty, that's true. My main problem with the newer games is the lack of ganras I like, RTS games, turn based tactical and strategy games and more. Those are the ones lacking, also complex RPG games.

We do have some interesting newer games recently, but they are few and far between, this is why I like older games, but I do play newer ones as well.

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Okay fair point. I don't play many RTS games so I wouldn't know if there are any good games recently or not.

As for complex RPG and turn based games, I HIGHLY recommend Divinity Original Sin. If you liked Baldur's Gate, you'll certainly like this game + it has online co-op that's a LOT better than Baldur's Gate.

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That's a great game, but for me Pillars of Eternity managed to fill my need for complex RPGs. Both games are fun and amazing in their own way.

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That's also a great game that I was planning on getting! I changed my mind when I saw the reviews saying that they raised the price for Steam Summer Sale...

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I bought it on GOG a while ago it was on one of the sales. I try to buy games on several websites as each have their own benefits.

Games actually were better back then. They used to actually be challenging. These days I could sleepwalk through most games, but when you were on the last boss in Sonic or Streets of Rage you got a real adrenaline rush.

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I agree. Sometimes when I play some of the old games that I used to play as much younger, I find myself suprised how difficult it can get and wonder how did I managed to play and finish this games.

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Half of mine I never did finish, but when you actually beat an old game it was a real feeling of accomplishment.

I played Forza Horizon 3 with my nephew and couldn't believe how you could rewind a crash, as if the big green racing line wasn't enough. What's next, games that play on autopilot? Kids now talk about how difficult Dark Souls is, that would have been seen as easy in 1990.

Oh well, the cinematic elements and amazing graphics make modern games worth playing, they just mostly lack something in the gameplay part.

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It happened to me as well when I compare Disciples 2 to Heroes VII for example. An even better comparison would be Starcraft and Starcraft 2.

maybe thats why so many new games are getting the style of old ones

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Probably one of the reasons. Companies are alwasy looking for a way to cash in on any new market.