“But here I am in July, and why am I thinking about Christmas pudding? Probably because we always pine for what we do not have. The winter seems cozy and romantic in the hell of summer, but hot beaches and sunlight are what we yearn for all winter.”
-Joanna Franklin Bell
NPCs, behold the brilliance of using random internet inhabitants to create post content for me! In all seriousness, thank you to everyone who responded to the polls I posted recently. The polls in question asked participants what they thought were the worst elements for retro gaming and the worst things about modern gaming. We focused specifically on their shortcomings, no mention of their merits allowed. The answers may vary depending on your definition of “retro”. Personally, I reject the idea that any non-current gen games are retro. I personally define the retro era as ending with the fourth generation of consoles right at the rise of 3D, but it’s not a category that’s set in stone somewhere.
I think you know which side of the fence I fall on. As a Classics Gamer, I enjoy a lot of retro gaming but I have enough platforms to also enjoy the modern games of my choice. Feel free to debate these points if you feel so inclined, it won’t hurt my feelings. Some of the results, which I’ve conveniently collected below for your reading pleasure, may actually surprise. Then again, maybe they won’t.
I put the most common complaints at the top of the respective lists:
the Crimes of Retro Games
- Games with severely outdated graphics.
- Collecting them is becoming too expensive.
- Having to find functional hardware that’s still in good condition.
- Over-reliance on nostalgia.
- Too difficult to enjoy.
- Having to write down insanely long passwords.
- Grinding for levels.
- High random encounter rates.
- No online features.
- Games too short.
- Too many games, too little time.
- Unnecessary repetition.
- Having to wait to reach the next save point.
- Poorly implemented or unpolished gameplay.
- Batteries dying.
- Early 3D had very clunky controls.
- Trying to make ROMs and emulators run efficiently.
the Crimes of Modern Games
- Games released too early clearly before they’re finished.
- Over-emphasis on graphics over gameplay.
- Too many updates.
- Games that require online network access but have no “doomsday contingency” that lets you keep playing if the servers shut down.
- Games as a service rather than a product.
- DLC overkill: downloadable content that should’ve been in the original release.
- Over-coverage online and subsequent spoilers.
- DRM issues.
- Some lack of local co-op.
- Dealing with trolls.
- Patronizing tutorials.
- Some horrific voice acting.
- Over-complicated HUD, UI, and gameplay features.
- Enjoying games relies on online connectivity.
- Secrets and add-ons are purchased rather than earned by skill.
- Grinding for loot.
- Hardware breaks and bricks easily.
- Pay-to-win features.
- Every protagonist is a middle-aged white male.
- Long loading times.
- Bland AAA games that take no risks.
- Too many “mature” games, not enough “magic” anymore.
- The rehashed sequels.
So take your pick. What’s most important is being critical even about what you love and laughing at it once in a while. Which era of gaming are you most drawn to? Do all of these crimes make sense, or are some of them infuriatingly misinformed? Did you notice that some of them are shared by both retro and modern gaming?
Hahaha! Anyway, thanks for reading and thanks to those who participated! Anything else you’d add to these lists?
-The Well-Red Mage