It’s come to light in recent times for me that I’m being drawn into the nostalgia of what we now call retro gaming. When I was younger, I didn’t title myself as a gamer. It was more of something used for quick entertainment purposes rather than completing goals and the gaming experience.
I remember playing Zelda around my friends on the SNES, I remember playing streets of rage on the game gear and sonic on the Megadrive and also endless hours playing doom on the PS1, but I wasn’t a massive gamer and didn’t pay much attention to consoles and gaming until I played the Xbox 360 when it came with built-in wi-fi.
Now I title myself as a gamer and find myself engaged in endless hours of gameplay on titles such Skyrim, Fallout 4 and Diablo 3, BUT there’s a problem I’ve found bugging me in recent times.
ONLINE GAMING. I love the interaction on certain games with my mates like the odd game of Fifa online or teaming up in shoot em’ up team death matches, but too many titles these days require you to have internet in order to get access to a large majority of game.
I’m getting fed up with games that I like the idea of, but then pushed away by the fact that it’s all online content. The Division for example; I rushed out to buy it thinking ‘this could be the title that draws me into online interaction once more’, only to find it pushing me further away into the abyss.
I wondered to myself after years of terrible COD titles and other online experiences, “where do I go now”?
Ta da, now I’m onto the answer to the ramble above. Retro classic consoles. Whether they’re the original consoles, saved from the clutches of death at a local bootsale, or a bargain on the sea of sales on eBay. Classic titles such as Zelda: Ocarina Of Time, Goldeneye, Sonic The Hedgehog, and so many more cult classics that don’t require internet access. I remember inviting my best friends around and then having to look on the backs of cases just to see if they were compatible for 2 or more players. The question of “mum can such and such come round and play Mario Kart?” frequently popping up each day.
After speaking to a few friends recently and telling them about me purchasing a Sega Megadrive again, they turned around and said if you get this game for it I will definitely have to come round and play it. I never get that interaction face to face with today’s consoles because everything’s done through the internet. I love the social interaction that retro gaming brings. Two people from my partner’s work said if I get an N64 and Mario Kart/Goldeneye they will have to come round for a gaming night. Another win for retro gaming. It’s definitely making a comeback and with the likes of Nintendo jumping on the bandwagon and releasing the classic NES mini and soon to be released SNES Mini, retro gaming with a modern touch will have gamers oozing with joy at the opportunities to play some absolute classics in gaming history, that laid the foundations of where we are today in the industry.
Nintendo recently released the details of a SNES Mini Classic being released in the next few months, and I was jumping with joy. Pre loaded with 21 games, including titles from Zelda and Super Mario, there was my saviour. I was one of the lucky souls who managed to get one on pre-order to my front door on the day of release.
Many friends of mine and other gamers I have spoken to have been drawn into retro gaming because of releases of console hybrids like this. Adults chasing those childhood memories and getting the chance to show their children a different side to gaming. It’s now a mission of mine to bring back classic consoles from the brink of death and bring family gaming back. I believe too many children and adults spend too much time on online games for the sake of it. Repetition upon repetition, no point to or end goal to what they’re playing and the games being too easy too complete. The old consoles and games gave you a challenge, a purpose to pursue, that level you and your friends have been stuck on for weeks.
In my experience, my fondest memories are from the Sega Megadrive and not the newest hardware in the present day. I want the people of today who haven’t experienced this fun that 16-32 megabit gaming can bring, and not worry about a poor internet connection, but I also want people to enjoy that taste of nostalgia and grab the consoles that have been up in the loft for years, dust them off and play.
So as a summary, it doesn’t matter when you started gaming, whether the first controller you picked up was a NES controller, a PC keyboard or a PS4 controller, there is something out there in the gaming world for everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor, whether you own the oldest or the newest of consoles or hardware, as long as the experience is one you enjoy and remember for years to come.