I am a firm believer in the fact, at least a fact to me, that using an emulator or virtual console (i.e. Wii/Wii U) is just the same as playing on the original system. I'll even throw compilation discs, like "The Ultimate Genesis Collection" into the grouping of emulator. These games are typically a 100% copy version of that gem we played on Genesis or Sega CD or NES. The key word in that last sentence was "typically".
PlayStation NOW went live the day of this writing. PS NOW is a subscription-based cloud service from SONY which lets you play a variety of PSOne, PS2, even PS3 games on the PS3 & PS4. The game I played first, both to test the service (free one-week trial,
baby!!) and play the game I've been itching to play was "Sonic CD". Now... now just wait for it...
"Sonic CD" debuted on the Sega CD console in North America on November 19, 1993. For 7,726 days (as of press time) "Sonic CD" was one of the best games in history. IT is certainly the best Sonic game... ever! The graphics were spot on, especially for 1993. The music should of been released as a separate soundtrack. If memory serves me, I think you could play the music from the game on a regular CD player (I may be wrong there. Ahhh the music... the music... the music that is now MISSING from the PlayStation NOW version!!
WHAT THE DEUCE?!? That theme song ("Sonic Boom" by Pastiche. Trust me... YouTube it) was gold! The level songs were dynamite! I start this PS3 version of the game and I get a tune whihc just doesn't sit right with me. Something is off. OK, maybe I just forgot what it sounded like. LEt me start the game and get ready to sing alon... WHAT! WHERE IS THE SONG?
Stupid copyrights, I'm sure, got in the way of allowing the "Sonic CD" music to play and bring a smile to my face. I am so mad at this. Why have to change a great thing? Why change anything?
Pretty much, what I'm trying to say is... I will be hooking up my GameCube to play "Sonic Gems Collection".
I often find myself asking this question whenever I decide to sit down and turn on the system of my choosing (I have 13!!!). In most cases, even when I decide to turn on my Wii U or X-Box 360, I constantly find myself reaching for or downloading a game from the past. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a ton of fun to be had with Mario Kart 8 and The Evil Within, but there’s a certain excitement and satisfaction I get when my HD television blares an 8-bit gem like Super Mario Bros. or the original Legend of Zelda. Call it what you want (nostalgia, old age, DeLorean syndrome), but retro games are where it’s at for me. I say this as I stare at my still unopened Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U that has been sitting on my shelf now for over a month.
This led me to an internal debate of…what exactly is retro gaming, anyway? For that answer, I look to the most trustworthy site on the internet…Wikipedia, of course:
“Retrogaming, also known as classic gaming and old school gaming, is the playing or collecting of older personal computer, console, and arcade video games. Usually based upon systems that are obsolete or discontinued, these games are played either on the original hardware, on modern hardware via emulation, or on modern hardware via ports or compilations.”
So there’s your answer…or is it? The more I think about it, I’m not entirely sure the concept of retro gaming is accurate. Sure, the systems may be obsolete, but the games, particularly the more iconic ones, have stood the test of time and been re-released, updated, and in some cases, completely reimaged. A perfect example of this is Pac-Man. Pac-Man has been around for over thirty years, so by definition you would consider Pac-Man a retro game. However, there have been so many incarnations of Pac-Man, most recently the fantastic Pac-Man Championship Edition in 2007, that brings up the following question: If the formula is tweaked and re-released, is the new release a retro game or a modern game? Does the update eliminate the original game from being a retro game, or will that game always be a retro game because of when it was released?
I can already sense I’m putting way too much thought into this idea, and I’m all for settling in to the current definition of what defines a retro game, but since the advent of cell phone games like Candy Crush and Bejeweled, where the concepts and challenge and eerily similar to games that were created in the 80’s, I find myself redefining what truly is a retro game. Casino Kid? City Connection? MegaMania? To me, those are retro games because they existed on their systems and were never heard from again, whereas Metroid, Pac-Man and X-Men the Arcade Game have reappeared as console downloads in the last ten years. These games are still relevant (to a degree) with gaming audiences and I have a hard time categorizing them into the generalized concept of a retro game.
So, I guess in closing all I can say is I am a retro gamer, but if you ask me what a retro game is, I might not agree with the way you view it. Still, it doesn’t stop me or anyone else having fun.
Happy retro gaming, all!
We are kicking off 2015 in old school fashion here at theretrogamers.com. This blog section, you will get exactly what one would expect… my thoughts, Anthony’s thoughts, guest writers thoughts… all about a common hobby we all grew up with… Retro Games.
Now the debate may occur from time to time. Which is better, playing retro games on retro systems or taking advantage of instant ownership via a virtual console (VC). Either way, the essence of the game is still there.
Most recently Nintendo had a sale on Mega Man games. This sale prompted me to buy Mega Man 1-6 on NES, Mega Man 7 on SNES, and Mega Man 1-5 on GameBoy. Now all these copies are via the Wii U/Nintendo 3DS. I have the games on GameBoy already, but, in my opinion, something about the clarity and freshness of the VC copies makes me want to replay the games. I don’t have to fight for the proper lighting to see my GameBoy (especially since I lost the lamp I had for it about 10 years ago).
Between having to sell my games years ago (not forseeing this “retro craze”) or losing all my old systems in Hurricane Sandy… I personally enjoy the VC because it allows me to own and replay the games I grew up with. And how quickly I learned how much of a pain in the @$$ Mega Man games are.