With the rise of digital gaming, we now have a bigger variety of video games at our fingertips than ever before.

We've got everything from the smallest bite-size games for smartphones and tablets to the massive $100 million+ AAA productions for consoles and PC. This explosion has prompted a slew of "new/old" titles, in that designers have taken old-school concepts from yesteryear and given them a fresh coat of polish. The result is a game that looks newer but plays very much like those classic titles we remember.

Some don't even bother with the upgraded visuals. Look at Hotline Miami , for instance. There are plenty of examples of games that look like they came from the 16-bit or even 8-bit era. Perhaps surprisingly, many are received extremely well by critics and also sell quite well, too. This week, we get the excellent Dragon's Crown , which uses beautiful 2D visuals and a side-scrolling action mechanic. It's fused with RPG elements to make it deeper and more involving, but the gameplay itself is definitely very retro.

Therefore, it doesn't seem plausible that only older, veteran gamers are buying such games. The titles may have a special appeal for that group, but is the group large enough to support this explosion of retro goodness? I think a lot of younger gamers are trying and loving these titles, which is helping to fuel the revival. Remember, we're not just talking about nostalgia for the sake of our memories; we're talking about gameplay that simply doesn't exist anymore. The simplicity of old-school gaming has been lost in the rapid rise of interactive entertainment.

But doesn't that "old-fashioned" style still have a place? It's not inferior, it's just different . And I think a lot of younger consumers are starting to realize that. I'm not one to complain, either.

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WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
7 years ago

It's a good question, with digital download sales being top secret we will probably never know.

cLoudou
cLoudou
7 years ago

Right now perhaps, but as Indie games rise in popularity so will the appeal and appreciation of retro and retro styled games.

Kryten1029a
Kryten1029a
7 years ago

A good game is a good game. Something like the original Fallout may be dated in terms of design or graphics, but it's still an amazing title. I'm all in favor of reaching to the past to experience (or re-experience) the best of yesteryear and using old-school aesthetics and design concepts in new and interesting ways can only be a good thing.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
7 years ago

I think everyone has the own time within gaming. I for instance cannot stand playing anything before the NES and if I am honest the only NES game I can really enjoy is Super Mario Bros… But then I really only started my interest in gaming with the Sega Megadrive/Genesis. Once your introduced to gaming I think that draws the line between how far back you'll go. Kids today will look at even the PS1 games and think they're prehistoric, which in my perspective is a game as I have so much love for that era of gaming. But I can understand it.

It is a technological gap, I can go back many years in music and film. But even with film you can see the same barriers. Some people just cannot stand to watch silent movies, others cannot stand to watch black and white movies. In the future you may have people who set the barrier on '2D' movies. Seems inconceivable now but it could well happening within 20 years. It is the same with games the limitations of a console is what eventually dates a generation of gaming. Then of course all us old timers get huffy about the conventions which are left behind – The classic JRPG formula being one of the most challenging for me this gen.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
7 years ago

not even Contra?

ethird1
ethird1
7 years ago

There is a game called Dragon Fantasy on the PSN network and for PC. It is an old school rpg made with the same 8 bit graphics as Dragon Warrior from the NES. I had a ball playing this game. It made me go back and play Dragon Warrior 1-4, from the NES, on an emulator. I actually have 1-4 for the Nintendo handheld system,eeer Gameboy advance, forget the name.

God I would just die if I could play Dragon Warrior 1-4 on my PS Vita.

End of line.


Last edited by ethird1 on 8/6/2013 3:50:16 AM

___________
___________
7 years ago

yes only veteran old school people like retro games, thats why kids still go ga ga over pretty much anything nintendo, or old school platformers especially like crash bandicoot, spyro, pandemonium, oddworld, ect, ect.
hell both my godsons are under 10 and every time there over all we do is pull out either my ps1 or SNES and spend all day wishing we could go back in time.

Beamboom
Beamboom
7 years ago

Excellent points in this article. In my not-so-humble opinion, gaming has never, ever been as diverse and wonderful as right now. that's very important to realize.

And I only see this to continue the years ahead. With the major releases becoming ever so much more expensive to make, it only creates an undergrowth of other games, genres and companies that never have a chance of making a AAA title and therefore don't even try – they are forced to find other ways of making their games unique.

That means, for instance, making niche games. As such, I think you guys should start looking at the indie scene to find those turn-based RPGs of yours. That's probably where you'll find'em!

PC_Max
PC_Max
7 years ago

To my thinking, the places I have worked and friends outside of the workplace most who seemed to have gotten on the retro bandwagon have been in the 20's. To be honest, I can't stand playing the old 16 bit games. Its amazing, to say I loved them when I was a kid , but now… not much at all. That includes the retro-like iterations we are seeing today such as Minecraft (sort of) and Scott Pilgrim and other games that have made their way on to mobile devices.

There is a market for it, but personally I have only looked at the old games online via Gametap, etc. over the years purely for research. Mostly looking at gameplay to find out what made the game popular. You can do the same with board games.

As for the more recent retro-like games such as Minecraft, just cannot understand the appeal. For me its tedious and boring, but again it comes down to what you are used to and what grabs you for entertainment. Does not mean they are bad games, just not what works for me or someone else. I tried playing the Scott Pilgrim game.. boring. That said I realize its just not the type of game I am in to. And the retro look does not appeal to me.

I think for me the evolution of the gaming industry spoiled from the beginning when for me, before consoles, it was the arcade. So maybe it works for those that never REALLY experienced the growth. And thats good in the end. Like fashion with each generation, what goes around comes around and others get to experience it for the first time and those of us patient enough re-experience if we so wish.

Regardless… keep playing! and find what you enjoy.

Beamboom
Beamboom
7 years ago

"I can't stand playing the old 16 bit games" – me neither. I totally don't understand this retro-wave at all.
But then again, I'm not supposed to. I'm too old to follow the trends. ūüôā


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/6/2013 10:58:56 AM

PlatformGamerNZ
PlatformGamerNZ
7 years ago

my retro only goes as far back as ps1 the likes of spyro, crass and tony hawks pro skater 2(can't remember exactly which one it was it was one of those games).

thats the sort thing i think about when it comes to retro.

happy gaming =)