Retro video games are a waste of everyone’s time and money – Reader’s Feature

A reader worries that retro gaming is become more mainstream and is encouraging publishers to take less risks in terms of making new games.

I have watched the circus surrounding PS Plus Premium with some amusement for the last few weeks and, like everyone, I’ve been confused as to why it seems so rushed and poorly thought out. I was curious only out of a general interest though and not because I had any intention of paying for it. I realised a long time ago that I have no interest in retro games and I’m genuinely surprised to find anyone else does.

A lot of it is nostalgia, I realise that, but I remember when Microsoft started pushing backwards compatibility and I was excited to put in some of my old OG Xbox discs and see how they looked and… I wish I hadn’t because it killed my sense of nostalgia over them. In short, they looked terrible and, in general, they played worse, even with enhancements.

I’m not surprised that PS Plus Premium has relatively few PlayStation 1 and 2 titles, as games from that era just do not stand up, as far as I’m concerned. I think that’s perfectly understandable, given their age and how quickly the games industry moves on but rather than actually doing that it seems we’re spending more and more time looking backwards and I don’t like it.

One of the arguments I’ve seen is that the industry in general doesn’t take enough care of its old games and the current obsession is making up for lost time. That’s true to a degree but the only reason Microsoft started going on about backwards compatibility is that, especially pre-Game Pass, they had nothing else going on, with most of the Xbox One era devoid of big name games.

And in terms of remasters and remakes, well… it’s obvious why companies do that. Remasters are cheap and remakes have a built-in audience that ensure the game will always be a hit to at least a certain degree.

In other words, retro mean easy money and minimum effort, which is the perfect combination as far as any business is concerned. But I worry that it’s starting to have an increasingly negative effect on gaming, in terms of being able to move onto new ideas and make things that are more than just sequels or rehashes.

Selling a new idea or IP is always more difficult than one that already exists and yet rather than trying to figure out cost effective ways to try new things, publishers are just busy working out ways to rehash existing games even more than they already have.

‘Tradition’ is such a damaging concept to innovation, and I think this came to a head with the Starfield reveal recently, where everyone was let down by how similar the game still seemed to be to the ancient Skyrim.

Rather than making a brand new game Bethesda has made the same old game, just with a new hat on. The excuses are already in place, and I can already predict they’ll be saying things like, ‘We wanted to make sure players still had familiar gameplay they could latch onto’ or something similar.

If you want to collect old SNES cartridges or import obscure Saturn games I totally get that, that’s not really want I’m complaining about (although I still wouldn’t do it personally). What frustrates me is companies spending a significant amount of their time and money bringing back old games that really have nothing to teach us today and are just making it harder and harder to have any new classics.

We’re at the point now where The Last Of Us is getting a remake, less than 10 years since it first came out and despite already having a perfectly good remaster. Just leave it alone! If you want to catch up on the story it’s still perfectly playable and if you’re all about the gameplay (which I can’t imagine is the case with a game like that) The Last Of Us Part 2 is already better.

Many are rightly upset that Naughty Dog is wasting their time on revamps that don’t need to be made, while contemplating making a third game or bringing back Uncharted. Just make something new for heaven’s sake!

Of course, it’s not just Naughty Dog either but every company, from EA going back to games like Dead Space, that weren’t even particularly big the first time round, to Nintendo endlessly recycling old Mario and Zelda games.

It always seems like making something new is the absolute last option, as publishers desperately scrape every barrel they can find until they finally admit they have to do something new. And it is getting worse. The more retro gaming is idolised the less urgency there is to make anything else.

By reader Biofox

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. Just contact us at [email protected] or use our Submit Stuff page and you won’t need to send an email.

Source: Read Full Article