: Editorial: Does Simplicity Equal Purity?

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Editorial: Does Simplicity Equal Purity?

I usually hate to alienate anyone with my editorials but in this particular case, I'm afraid I'll only be catering to the gaming veterans; i.e., those who were around to enjoy the 8-bit - and perhaps even 2-bit - days. You guys know who you are; I've come to know so many members over the past few years, I can almost predict the names who will reply. ;)

Anyway, the question in the title means this: as most of you know, some gamers like to be called "purists," in that they believe the '80s and perhaps even most of the '90s could be considered the "golden age" of gaming and that despite all the industry's advances, nothing we have now is quite as memorable. Obviously, as I've written about before, nostalgia is a powerful weakness (yes, it's a weakness; admit it), which is why we can still place Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda at the top of "Greatest Games of All Time" lists. Logically speaking, anybody outside the industry would look at something like the original Donkey Kong, compare it to Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and then look at you with climbing eyebrows when you say it's "tough to choose between the two." Heck, to them, one isn't even a video game, anymore.

So yes, nostalgia plays a role. But now I'm starting to wonder... Here's the thing: I've always said that today's great games will be tomorrow's classics. Sure, I always said I've gone back to sample old-school greats like Super Mario Kart and even games on my old GameBoy (original, baby!) from time to time. And of course, I've played many of my beloved collection of PS1 RPGs multiple times, including my all time favorite, Final Fantasy Tactics. Now, if my previous theory was correct, shouldn't I be starting to get the urge to play some PS2 games...? After all, I've got about 60 and I only have 40 PS1 games and maybe 15 SNES titles, and the PS2 generation is rapidly dwindling into the past. How could I possibly be playing older systems more when the PS2 is now considered "old?" Shouldn't those PS2 greats be classics now? Why do I have no inclination at all to go back and play some of them?

There are exceptions. I've always wanted to go back through FFX, for example, but when it comes to RPGs, that's a different thing for me. But I keep going back to older systems and "simpler" games, so perhaps there's something to this "purity comes from simplicity" in the video game industry. Granted, FFT isn't exactly "simple," but...well yeah, in a way, it certainly is. Maybe it's just because what we have on the PS3 now can simply be considered upgrades of the PS2 titles. Why should I play God of War again when I've got God of War III? Why should I play GT4 again when I've got Gran Turismo 5? I suppose one can't make the same argument for franchises where the story is always a focal point - see MGS - but when it comes to certain titles and genres, I just think the PS2 mostly has lesser versions of games we've already got this generation.

And in addition, the separation between the PS1 and PS3 is much greater, thereby making the experiences even more drastically different. I mean, in all honesty, what's the difference between racing and sports games on the PS2 and PS3? Uh...the PS3 ones are usually just better the whole way 'round. But I could have difficulty choosing between good ol' RBI Baseball and MLB: The Show, and perhaps that's the answer. Maybe it's just that we crave something different along with the nostalgic glow, and many PS2 "classics" aren't really "different;" they're merely the start of what we've begun to accomplish on the PS3. Well, that's how I see it, at any rate. And now, back to FFT... ;)

12/18/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (70 posts)

SubjectiveTruth
Friday, December 18, 2009 @ 10:10:19 PM
Reply

In response to the second paragraph:

Sorry I'm not part of your age group but I think I have something worth saying.
The reason you feel that donkey-kong can be compared too U2 is because both were great experiences at the time, and what your comparing is the feelings you had at the time you first played each game. If you had never played any game, ever, and one day you tried both games, it is obvious which you would prefer. You see, people become used to a certain level of quality over a period of time which is why developers have to always raise the bar and include innovation.

I have felt the same way as I can imagine you do when writing this. When I think about it now, I remember having a lot more fun with MGS2 than I remember having with MGS4. Even though an obviously a comparison between those two games is no competition. This is because at the time, I had never played a metal gear before, and I found the game hard to get into at first, then BAM I got sucked in...Probably one of my greatest experiences with a game. I had never experienced a mixture between a story and gameplay that I liked before that was anywhere near what I found it MGS2, which may seem stupid to some people, and I can see why.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, December 18, 2009 @ 11:05:17 PM

It's true that what we remember most of all is the experience, not the game itself. It's the feelings a game invokes in us; it's why I'll always remember the death of Aeris in FFVII as one of the most poignant moments in gaming, even though graphically speaking, it's severely outdated today.

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Kiwi of DOOM
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 10:59:19 AM

If i started FFX up right now it'd be my 6th playthrough and i'm certain i'd still cry.

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Alienange
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 1:54:14 PM

@ dr-GerOme NimZO - very nice comment and I almost %100 agree with what you're saying. I just don't know about your statement: "it is obvious which you would prefer." Some people just enjoy a simple silly time. There's just no telling what the reaction to DK would be if it had not been released until now. In fact I think that's your entire point. It's not when the GAME came out that makes it great. It's when the GAMER started playing, that makes it great for them.

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to_far_apart
Friday, December 18, 2009 @ 10:43:40 PM
Reply

You know, you made a very clear point Ben. If you think about it actually, it's hard to compare and hard to really compare any 2 games for different generations. I think the best we could do is how these games made you feel and what they offered to you.

It's funny you discuss this topic because i was looking through some old games a few weeks ago and i was holding a PS1 game then grabbed out an old NES game. For some reason i went with the ever satisfying and fun Mario. I don't know, there's just something to it that draws me too it. It's so simple, to clean, catchy tunes, i mean it is just to much fun.

I honestly think that the reason a person gets the urge to play a certain game, whether it be an older game or a more modern game, i feel that the reason why we go back is because of how it impacted it us during a certain time. You know, I remember the first time i ever laid eyes on a video game, was when i use to watch my dad play Super Mario Bros on the N64 along with Donkey, boy was it fun to watch. Once i got older i started to play these games, and they always provided me with such a fun time and unforgettable experiences. I think it's these experiences i gained from watching my dad play to playing it myself is what always draws me back, to the pure fun, nothing else but fun.

It might even have to do with age. I mean when you're 7 - 12 (just throwing out a range) there was never responsibility, stress, or things to worry about like now. As you get older you seem to get distracted more, whether it be school, work, a relationship, it's just the overall idea that life is hitting you in the face and you're growing up. In essence, i feel that the reason one is drawn back to these games, is because of the time we had when we did play and experience them.

Look, I'm no avid gamer like most of you, but i do appreciate a lot of games, and do know a thing or two about them as well, but to me it was that experience that drew me back. Now, I'm not sure this is how it is for everyone, but this is how it is for me, and for me there will still be no other Mario or Donkey Kong.

I'll even be vague (you can all criticize me if you like), but there is something about games then, from the simplicity to the immeasurable fun. I think a lot of kids now you try out some of these older games realize just how fun much of the older games have been. To me i think the industry has just changed so much do to these amazing innovations taking place, and you have to love it if you're an avid gamer, like most of you all here. But i feel that there will not be many other games like a Mario, the game alone which saved this industry. It showed that simplicity and be the most unique of all.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, December 18, 2009 @ 11:00:16 PM

I think all that is true, but you have to remember that when I was playing FFT for the first time, I was already in college. So while I absolutely agree that our carefree youths were certainly ripe for great memories, maybe it's more about time passed than age. I mean, my grandmother can't even remember when she was in that 7-12 range, but she certainly remembers her 20s and 30s with wistful happiness.

But yeah, it really is all about how we feel at the time and what we carry with us. It can also be directly related to something that's happening to us in our lives; like if a game maybe helped us through a difficult time, for instance.

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to_far_apart
Friday, December 18, 2009 @ 11:26:19 PM

I agree with you Ben, it's not solely based on when, where, how old you were, etc. Rather how significant the impact you received from playing that game(s).

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Highlander
Friday, December 18, 2009 @ 10:47:25 PM
Reply

Hmmm....do I count as one of the usual suspects? Ah well, that's a very interesting article/editorial Ben, and a great question.

I think the (my?) answer may lie in games, sequels clones and mechanic. Yeah, that sounds like a lot, but I will give an explanation. Let's take a look at a very simple game - Pac-Man. The original arcade version is to me the absolute best execution of this game on any platform including a modern PC running MAME and the original Pac-Man ROMs. Sure there have been other versions ranging from those on the Atari 2600 through just about every iteration on every game platform it's appeared on. There have been isometric views, 3D versions, versions with fancier graphics, fancier sound, extra features and options, different characters, there have been clones and variants and clones and copies. But, it all comes back to that one definitive version, the original classic execution. The original had simple graphics, deceptively simple game play, but the controls were perfect - for the game.

I don't think it has to do with which platform the game is on, I think it has more to do with which platform has the definitive version of a game done. Perhaps the definitive game within a sub-genre effectively does the same thing. For example, FFVII and FFVIII have become something of a benchmark for RPG players. The turn based combat, the style of exploration, the modern turn based RPG mechanic is virtually defined in these games. They are not the sprite driven games of old, although those older style adventures have their own classic executions too. The Xenosaga RPGs on the PS2 in my personal opinion are definitive executions of a turn based RPG with full 3D character, environment and exploration. They are a different sub-genre of RPG and I can think of no better examples. I have gone back and re-played them on my PS3 several times now.

As another example, take Soul Calibur 3. I think it's the best, most complete, definitive execution of Soul Calibur. The game play mechanic is right there, along with the create a soul mode and even a pseudo-RPG campaign mode for custom characters. Again I have gone back to this game despite having SC4 and SC2 around to play as well.

The point being I don't think it's nostalgia, and I don't think it's just that old games are simpler and better. I think it comes down to the experience of the gamer, which version of a game or genre did you experience that defines that game or genre for you - personally.

Personally my favorite game of all time is the sit-in version of the original Star Wars arcade game, the one with the vector graphics, and the digitized samples of dialog from the movie, where you fight the Tie fighters, destroy towers and bunkers on the surface of the death star before navigating the trench and using the proton torpedoes to destroy the death star at the end. The controls, the game play, everything about that game was wonderfully done, and addictive. However if the same game came out today, I don't think that today's gamers would be all that interested in it. Not only that but I have played the Jedi Starfighter games, the Rogue Squadron games and the X-wing and Tie Fighter games (on PC), yet for me personally, that old arcade classic remains the best. Although I know that many of the other games were excellent games in their own right.

Lastly, each of the games that are definitive require no embellishment. Yet each sequel, or clone, or variant expands upon or extends the concept and game play, often unbalancing or confusing the mechanic that was perfected in the original. Nostalgia has nothing to do with this, in many cases the newer versions of a game simply don't work as well as the original.

Last edited by Highlander on 12/18/2009 10:48:22 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, December 18, 2009 @ 11:04:18 PM

Oh, I think you're always one of the usual suspects 'round here. ;)

The "definitive" idea is an interesting one. If I really look at it, I suppose one can easily make the argument that FFT was the definitive strat/RPG of its time; the best of the best in that genre (or sub-genre). But then again, "definitive" can be subjective; it depends on the elements you take into account. One could argue that Modern Warfare 2 is the "definitive" game in terms of popularity this generation, for example.

If we're going by quality, we again have to take in some outside influences, like innovation. Perhaps in order to be the definitive title of the time, it needs to both be something new AND something memorable. Future iterations will build upon it, but there's a reason why the first will always be seen as a step above...

And you know, I don't remember that Star Wars game at all. I really wasn't into the arcades, though. :)

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Highlander
Friday, December 18, 2009 @ 11:33:34 PM

Ah....Ben, youth is wasted on the young!

The StarWars game was an odd one because when it was around most of the arcade games were already doing fairly decent bitmap graphics. It was a throwback to the early days of arcade games like Battlezone, Asteroids and Tempest with their vector graphics.

But I take your point. I think the idea of the definitive execution may be partly based in nostalgia because judgments like this are always subjective. I also think that the definitive execution is based on the more objective elements of the game, game play, character, story, visuals, sound and so forth. As an example, there have been RPGs series where each further version would 'refine' the combat, or skill system, or game economy. But in most cases the majority of players feel that one particular version just got it right, that's the definitive version.

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tes37
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 12:42:58 AM

Highlander I couldn't agree more. Arcade games were the best experience in comparison to what you got to play at home. Pac-man being a great example of providing an unparalleled feeling that just couldn't be duplicated on a console at the time. It delivered a level of excitement and fun that you never dreamed could be brought into your home. When it became possible to duplicate any of the older arcade games on a console it seems developers were slow to deliver the goods as if they had forgotten that those gamers were still very much a part of gaming.

I remember being upset the first time I saw an arcade game that you climbed into like racing, where you got to sit down, steer, use the gas and brake and then realize to play it would cost you 2 quarters instead of 1. It would cut your gaming time in half.

Last edited by tes37 on 12/19/2009 12:48:48 AM

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Highlander
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 1:15:48 AM

@tes

Yeah, I do not want to know how many quarters (or the UK equivalent) I put into those old Star Wars, Bomb Jack, Gauntlet, Sinistar, Outrun, R-Type, Asteroids, Phoenix, Moon Cresta, Galaxians, Gorf and all the other arcade machines...Ah...those were the days...

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eLLeJuss
Friday, December 18, 2009 @ 10:51:00 PM
Reply

Well, imo the ps2 has the same feel as the games i play on the ps3. It's just that the ps3 has way better graphics and alot more smoother. Like the GTA series, its just like better graphics and more flexibilty and so on.
And yeah, what Ben said. lol

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eLLeJuss
Friday, December 18, 2009 @ 10:52:31 PM

Omg. i like, broke the pattern, u can see on the first three who posted their comments seem to get longer and longer.lol. but i have 2 comments! Ha! take that.

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StevieRV
Friday, December 18, 2009 @ 10:52:48 PM
Reply

my fav game for nostalgia is Hercules back on the PS1, havent played it in years and i dont want to ruin all the good memories

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___________
Friday, December 18, 2009 @ 11:15:57 PM
Reply

bloody oath they are!
ive said this many times.
games back in the PS1 days were better than games released now.
like crash bandicoot is much much much better than uncharted 2.
wolfenstine 3D or half life are much much much better than KZ2 or some later FPS.
games like resident evil or silent hill are much much much better than their recent entries.
ill even argue that about movies and music.
especially comedy movies.
revenge of the pink panther is the funniest movie i have ever seen, no recent film can come close to that.
ill take Eddy Murphy over Carl Barron any day.
ill take metalica, ACDC or so over the crap RMB, rap and whatever other crap they call music these days.
take all the popular series, like COD, medal of honor, resident evil, toom raider, sonic, mario, halo, pokemon, crash bandicoot, syphon filter.
almost every popular title now days thats a sequel, had a better back in the late 90s or so.
if i had to pick a best game of all time it would be a close race between pandemonium, oddworld or crash bandicoot.
not only games, everything was better back in the day.
maybe even cars, i was watching a topgear special today and they put the Mclaren F1 up against the Mclaren AMG mercadies, porche carrera Gt and other cars.
and guess who won?
thats right, the Mclaren F1, the oldest car there.
just goes to show aerodynamics and weight are much more important than power.
whats the point of 1000BHP if you cant put it on the road?
ive always had a thing for the ford mustang, always wanted to buy one of those.
that will be the first car i get once ive got the cash.
PC games > PS1 games > PS3 games.

Last edited by ___________ on 12/18/2009 11:19:19 PM

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Highlander
Friday, December 18, 2009 @ 11:35:18 PM

Yeah, but that's the thing, I don't think you can really compare Crash to Uncharted, they're just too different. Compare Uncharted to Tomb Raider (if you must) but Crash Bandicoot is an on-the-rails 3D platformer, Uncharted is not.

Last edited by Highlander on 12/18/2009 11:35:28 PM

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Banky A
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 2:37:52 AM

Music is so very subjective and one of the most universal factors of daily life for me and many others I'm sure. I never try bring up certain comparisons of music in conversations because it's just too touchy and personal.

I've been getting myself to enjoy rap a lot more, as an aspiring musician (player, singer?) I look forward to days when I listen to songs that I'm not fond of. And the Rap hurdle for me is very close to being jumped over.

I appreciate and am interested in basically all different genres (totally trying to boast but I swear it's true haha), you just have to find the right songs before hating.

I mean, why not 'love' more things? What's the point of hating any more music (or in general- more things) right?
;)

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Banky A
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 2:39:05 AM

Oh I like the part about the McLaren =]
Loves it

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___________
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 7:26:01 AM

yea but everything is subjective.
like me personally think crash bandicoot is the best game ever released full stop.
i just enjoy it the most out of everything ive ever played.
that does not mean thats fact, everyone has to believe that.
same goes for music, cars, videos, everything its just a base of personal preference.
like me i cant stand boy bands, rap, and girl music like kylie and such.
but than theres people who love that stuff, and hate the stuff i like.
its just a matter of personal preference.

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Banky A
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 2:21:18 PM

But everyyybody loves music and sound.
Yeah but I don't call something I personally don't like 'crap'. I just say I don't like it.

It's pretty easy to offend people.

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mykjessnjr
Friday, December 18, 2009 @ 11:27:13 PM
Reply

So many memories back when I was a young buck.. I remember going to the local convenient store on the weekends and stay there all day and half the night, playing Pac-Man. And then Super Mario Bros. came out- I lived there!
I also remember pullin all nighters playin Tecmo Bowl on the NES- or was it the SNES- can't quite recall. I just remember Bo Jackson was a bad man in that game. But I remained stoned during those years so everything beyond that gets fuzzy. Don't do drugs, kids.

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Scarecrow
Friday, December 18, 2009 @ 11:35:23 PM
Reply

I think every console generation has its own place in history. To say that Super Mario World is better than Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time is tough.

One can't judge games between different generations (specially when they're too far apart) int the same sentence.

You can judge Super Mario Bros. 3 with Super Mario World

But when you start getting into Mario 64 it all changes.

You can actually compare ps1 games and SNES games

And you can even compare ps1 games and ps2 games.

But when going towards the ps3 era, you can only compare it to the ps2 since the ps1 would be too far into its own.

NES/SNES, SNES/ps1, ps1/ps2, ps2/ps3, ps3/ps4

^That's the only way to compare games between generations

By the time ps4 is here you will all see how the ps2 era will differentiate itself so well that people will be like "maaan, remember Silent Hill 2, 3, and 4? How 'bout GT3? and GTAIII?"

This is my take on it any way.

Though, I agree, even during the ps2 days you could always go back and say "wow those ps1 days were magical. Stuff like Crash Bandicoot, SFAlpha, Tekken, MGS, Gran Turismo, Resident Evil, etc. etc. were amazing."

^This points towards Ben's point that consoles are becoming too alike (the level of complexity isn't too different anymore)

By the way, for me the 1990s were the golden age of gaming. Wasn't there in the 80s, but I hear Capcom had a big impact in the industry: Ghosts n Ghouls, Megaman, Final Fight, etc. so I can see how beautiful it must have been

Last edited by Scarecrow on 12/18/2009 11:38:43 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 12:29:44 AM

Ah, the '80s...trust me, it can be argued either way which decade was best. :)

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to_far_apart
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 12:42:18 AM

Wish i could say i was part of that generation...I've always thought i was born in the wrong time haha

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jaybiv
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 3:42:01 AM

I partly disagree. Many older games are more complex and entertaining than todays snazzy games. MLB '09 was an excellent game, but RBI Baseball tears the cover off that game when playing with friends. Or take Super Mario Bros., that game can hold its own with many action games out now, because it is fun to play. The old games cannot compare graphically and computer wizardry, but based on pure fun and entertainment, they most certainly can.

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piratedrunk
Friday, December 18, 2009 @ 11:42:44 PM
Reply

I often go back into my catalogue and play through my old games (I still have a working NES) and while they definitely offer the fun and nostalgia I expect they also make me want to play the sequals or updated versions of the games as well.

It seems like every time I throw in A Link to the Past I get a craving for Wind Waker, and when I throw in GT2 I immediately want to play GT3.

I think "purity" is fairly subjective in the players idea of what a game of that type or genre should be. I personally tend to prefer the level of refinement current games offer as my expectations have grown along with the industry.

The older games I usually have the most fun going back to are the ones that could hardly be improved from a gameplay standpoint by newer technology. Games like Super Mario World or Chrono Cross are amazing games each and every time I play them simply because they played so well.

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rogers71
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 12:09:41 AM
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Does anyone remember 'Shadowgate' for the NES(I could possibly be dating myself). I loved that game and can remember how incredible I felt once I got through it. Maybe it is just me though.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 12:28:43 AM

I vaguely remember it. But it's a good vague memory. :)

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tes37
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 12:12:31 AM
Reply

I'd really like to see a lot of the old games from my childhood be reworked to allow game saves for advancement to levels I could not reach before, without touching any of the original gameplay or graphics. No one in my immediate family has a love for games like I do. I could play some of the old stuff for hours on end, but I want to beat them while I'm at it.

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Gordo
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 12:25:58 AM
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Jeez, I can remember playing Gauntlet on the Spectrum 48K co-op with my brother (he took the keys at the left of the keyboard and me the right). We played that game for days.

Also remember the outrage when Barbarian came out and you could decapitate someone and kick the head along the floor. Controversial stuff for a 12 year old!

Also at University I remember losing a week playing Elite continiously and also days playing Indiana Jones and the Quest for Atlantis. I had an Amstrad and this game came on 11 disks! One player to move the mouse and one to load the disks everytime you moved somewhere different!

Obviously our expectations have risen with the graphical power and memory. You could probably fit the entire catalogue of Spectrum 48K games on one Blu Ray disk!

But as you say are we experiencing a better level of gaming? As someone who could spend an afternoon just trying to get a game to load and then losing my saved games as my brother taped over them.
I think yes!

I have loved every incremental increase in graphical power and gameplay. Are the gamers of today spoilt?
Well compared with the 80's/90's yes but maybe there was more of a pioneering spirit that gave us more variation.
Would I want to go back to tapes, musical bleeps and colour clash (wiki it youngsters!) no way!!!

Goldeneye and Wave Racer on the N64 with a mate and a few beers was magical. Whole weekends could pass.

It's just becoming more of a global enterprise now which increases the investment and graphical prowess but probably reduces the risks...

Will the current gamers of today be moaning about the golden years in 2030 when they are plugging themselves into their gaming capsules? Probably...

Just spent 25 hours completing Assassins Creed 2 so I think it was as good as completing Goldeneye.
The best thing about hindsite is that you never had it at the time!

Every age is a golden age in gaming!

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BikerSaint
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 12:32:54 AM
Reply

Ya know I just had to chime in, LOL

Owning the 13 systems I have dating back to the SNES, I love the games now because of having such fantastic looking graphics or innovative gameplay that put everyone of my older consoles to shame, but I still love to go back & play them all
Matter of fact I just played around on my Genesis last week revisiting that good old "Strike" series(Jungle Strike, Urban Strike & Desert Strike).

Yet I still have this extreme craving for the 2 consoles I don't own anymore!!!!!!!!

I think I need to go and re-buy an old Intellivision & Colecovision just so I can replay those old favorites that I've always held so dear to my heart throughout the decades.
Just a few off the top of my wrinkled graying matter.........Dungeons & Dragons, Donkey Kong, Pitfall, Stampede, and Burgertime.

Ahhh, "Thanks for the stroll down Memory Lane"!!!!!

Last edited by BikerSaint on 12/19/2009 12:38:42 AM

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Hezzron
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 12:58:36 AM

Stampede.....wow, you sent me on a time warp.

Those black stationary calves were money!

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tes37
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 12:58:45 AM

I used to play a tank game on intellivision with a friend of mine's stepdad. I don't remember what it was called. When I got good enough to beat him, he stopped playing altogether. It was kind of disappointing because I had nobody else that played games with me. He did let me play Pitfall though, so it wasn't entirely bad I guess.

Last edited by tes37 on 12/19/2009 12:59:42 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 12:59:43 AM

Oh, I'm always good for that kind of stroll. ;)

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Alienange
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 1:32:45 PM

LMAO! Stampede... I got the damn badge for that game here somewhere. That's right, back when you got bonus stuff in the mail for accomplishing something in a game. Looooong before Activision started fleecing people.

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Hezzron
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 4:04:28 PM

@ Alienange -- I remember that. I think you had to take a picture of the screen and send it to Activision, showing you had reached a certain score. The big reward was an iron-on Stampede patch. That's what you call a throwback Trophy/Achievement.

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Kangasfwa
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 1:16:09 AM
Reply

I think... simple games are harder for me to enjoy. (I'm really not sure how to explain that, but here you go...)

I have never really liked Mario games. Running through a 2D level dodging obstacles--like Goombas--never really gave me much enjoyment. Getting through the level feels like a task to be done, instead of something to be beaten. The original Tetris feels the same way. Line up and erase 'x' number of lines to progress to the next level.

I played--and enjoyed--Insomniac's Spyro far more than I did Super Mario 64. Both games have open levels, but Sypro felt... alive. I felt I was doing something more than solving a puzzle, somehow. Super Metroid would give me this same feeling as well. It was more than passing through that blue door and shooting whatever was on the other side. It was fun.

My point being that a "simple" game is not always "better," or "pure." Do these gaming "purists" recognize the advancements games have made? Or have they simply let the nostalgia of "when death meant something in games" take over their brain?

Last edited by Kangasfwa on 12/19/2009 1:20:51 AM

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Scarecrow
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 1:34:12 AM

I have a feeling you're more of a mid 1990s person, which is cool

But seriously, to understand the LOVE and appeal for 2D Mario you really had to be there............... (not saying you weren't, just saying lol)

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BikerSaint
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 12:42:14 PM

@hezzron73,
Yeah they were the good ole day & I can remember playing "Tron" on my Intellivision too.

Speaking about the Intellivison days, how many more on this list below will take you down memory lane???

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intellivision_games

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piratedrunk
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 1:59:51 AM
Reply

By the way I forgot to mention in my earlier post this has been my favorite editorial of yours Ben not only for the great points you brought up but also the conversation that has been the result. I think this is the first time I have thoroughly read every comment made.

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Banky A
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 2:25:29 AM
Reply

Disney's Tarzan on PSOne was the first video-game I had played (moving to NZ). But for some reason I sold it around my PS2 days. And then when I saw the banner for the game on the PSN Store... Ya' know..
I went into my bed and cried.

Can't wait to buy it, FFVII and FFVIII from the store all at the same time.

P.S.
The poor 'gaming system' thingies' from Thailand sooo don't count.

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Banky A
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 2:40:55 AM

But alas, I am not smart enough at the moment to make a truly worthwhile contribution to this editorial.

*Oh look at the time, work out soon!*
See what I did thurrr?

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jaybiv
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 3:33:11 AM
Reply

I'd like to take a different point of view on this. The old games still captivate us veterans because it was state of the art at that time. Also, many of the older classics, didn't have the same influences, expectations and pressures of today's games. A lot of the early games never ended until you lost all of your men; you just kept going with faster/more enemies.

We didn't have a constant stream of information about games. There were a handful of magazines and that was it. Half the time, we didn't have a release date. You waited until you saw the game in the store. I guess what I'm saying is that the industry was pure and innocent back then, and all that mattered was creating a fun game.

Sometimes, I feel sorry for the younger gamers who do not have an older relative/friend who can show them what gaming used to be. Then again, sometimes I shake me head in disbelief until I realize that the last two generations of gaming systems are all they know. Us old school gamers are the "we had to walk a mile in the snow back in my days" people. We loved all the blocky pixels and repetitive game play, because we had no alternative. There was no Internet, or iPod, or any of today's conveniences. All we had were very simple 1's and 0's.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 10:28:23 AM

I kind of agree, and for the record, I can live in a world of general tech-free simplicity in comparison to others. I really don't like cell phones, I don't care about other gadgets like iPods...I find the entire gadget explosion worthless and annoying.

So maybe that's just my age talking. Like you said, we didn't have the constant info rush and when it came to games, we kinda knew what we'd be getting...but we still knew we'd love it. ;)

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BikerSaint
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 12:52:13 PM

@Jaybiv,
<<<A lot of the early games never ended until you lost all of your men; you just kept going with faster/more enemies. We didn't have a constant stream of information about games.>>>>

YES, yes, yes, right on!

(but I have to mention that I still do have a few Game Shark Cheat Codes cartridges for 1/2 of those old systems lying around here somewhere too, LOL)

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www
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 5:11:48 AM
Reply

Don't you guys think we're not feeling the same way about the PS3 like we felt with the older systems simply cause we're getting old?

The same way you felt MGS1 was epic back in the day is the same way some teenager is also saying MGS4 is a classic today. And before MGS1, heard MGS actually originated from handheld gaming yet we didn't give 2 s**ts about that one, in our eyes MGS1 was the greatest. So I'm thinking there are some kids out there who are been blown away by Uncharted 2 and will be saying the same thing we are saying today in the near future.
I bought SFIV just for the sake of nostalgia cause I missed exchanging infinite hadokens with my big bro in SFII. I played the hell out of it and though I felt the nostalgia, I also felt fighting games had moved too far on and this was old. After seeing about 7 or more characters having the same ol' moves it just got boring, surprisingly my big bro never even tried to play it, so we decided to wait for Tekken 6 and I must say I'm playing T6 more than SFIV.

I think sports games have taken a huge leap from PS2, NHL 09 & 10 basically revived the NHL franchise. FIFA 08 - FIFA 10 are far better than any other FIFAs on the PS2, the graphics, gameplay and everything else is much much better.

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BikerSaint
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 1:03:58 PM

@WWW,
Yes, I also agree that most of the younger gen gamers have no clue that Metal Gear series actually originated with Hand-held systems.

Just 1 FYI though, the original game started out with "Metal Gear" games and not any "Metal Gear Solid" game.
The Metal Gear "Solid" games came later on.

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Vivi_Gamer
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 7:33:12 AM
Reply

This is why the platform genre is dying the only we dont have any platform games that dont involve shooting. Truth is we proably do demand to much nowadays, this is why Teken 6 was receieved very well as it was sort of the same, but a simular henancement comparision from tkeen 2 to T3 when you think about it. Also nowadays games must succeed in every catagory, visuals,gameplay,story, soundtrack. Online multiplayer is usually considered as a must nowadays.

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JackC8
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 8:34:38 AM
Reply

I remember the good old days just like everybody else. Going to the video arcades in 1982, hanging out with friends, meeting girls, oh, and the video games. I've got most of my favorites on the PS1 - Defender, Battle Zone, Tempest, Robotron, etc. I'm afraid I'm not terribly nostalgic about them though; moreso about the girls :) You still see the basic gameplay today - I downloaded Zombie Apocalypse and it's just like Robotron or Smash TV, just with current gen graphics. and that Star Trek DAC is just Asteroids with pretty graphics.

I have a hard time getting into PS1 games. Using the arrow buttons to move around is just too primitive for me. The analog sticks were a huge leap forward. I still play PS2 games a lot. What can I say, I just bought Ford Racing 3 for one cent plus $3.99 shipping the other day. PS2 graphics are really good enough to allow a person to fully enjoy the story, characters and action. Hi-def graphics make the experience more immersive (assuming the game is really good), but it's more like icing on the cake.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 10:29:34 AM

I remember the day analogs showed up on the PS controller. I was like, "who the hell wants THOSE?" I hated them at first. :)

And I hate to say this, but I can be more nostalgic about games than girls. LOL

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jaybiv
Sunday, December 20, 2009 @ 1:47:34 AM

Man, how about walking/riding to the arcade with a pocket full of quarters or a few bills. The excitment on the way there and the disappointment on the way home when you dropped your last quarter in the machine instead of buying a soda for the longer feeling return trip. Ahhhh, those were the days!!!!

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FlyingKickPunch
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 11:53:39 AM
Reply

the best gaming experiences i've ever had have come from the NES, SNES, Genesis, PSOne and to some extent, the PS2. back then, playing nes for hours and hours on end, till the whole console became hot...every game was an epic adventure. every screen held something new, something wonderful. take legend of zelda; the first time i found out you could burn a tree, or bomb a wall, i went throughout hyrule, burning and bombing every tree and wall i could find! and the sense of wondrous discovery was amazing...games to me just dont have that anymore. the last time a game shook me to the core was in Final Fantasy 7 when aeris died...i kinda sat there in disbelief, then a tear came down my cheek and i shut the Playstation off. i came back a day or two later and finished the game(thanks knights of the round!:) i've replayed ff7 at least ten times and that part is still the most powerful moment in gaming to me.
so i agree games now don't hold the same sense of wonder and discovery, or the same intangible magic that made games so amazing to me (us?) back in the day...maybe age (i'm 26)has something to do with why i'm more jaded...or maybe it's something in the games themselves.


Last edited by FlyingKickPunch on 12/19/2009 11:59:09 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 2:28:47 PM

"Intangible magic" is exactly the thing that keeps me playing games, I think. I can review all the games in the world but I can never assign a score to what may be most important. But then again, something like "intangible magic" is 100% subjective, so...

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 12/19/2009 2:28:57 PM

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BikerSaint
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 1:09:48 PM
Reply

@Ben,
<<<<I remember the day analogs showed up on the PS controller. I was like, "who the hell wants THOSE?" I hated them at first. And I hate to say this, but I can be more nostalgic about games than girls. LOL>>>>

And that's probably because all girls came with analog nubs, but not all games did! LOL

Last edited by BikerSaint on 12/19/2009 1:10:08 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 2:27:32 PM

More because games had more to be nostalgic ABOUT. ;)

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Alienange
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 2:48:35 PM

Don't forget, some came with snubs too.

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BikerSaint
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 1:47:01 PM
Reply

A great video about both, gaming & nostalgia.

Check out this user-made video on YouTube on gaming.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUbyM...layer_embedded

I think you'll all agree, "It says all there is to say"......

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Alienange
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 2:47:48 PM
Reply

I think it is the vets who have demanded all these sequels. Gamers have fallen in love with FF, GoW, GT and many others. They demand that those franchises keep up with the times and not fade off into memory. So the developers put out.

The problem lies in the fact that the original game is often the brain child of a person with real creativity. The sequels are either just more of the same, which is not a bad thing, or they suffer from lack of inspiration, which IS a bad thing.

In this way I feel that games are a lot like music. The classics will always be great, but we still want to hear something new as well. Remakes can be interesting, but usually they're hit or miss. The PS2 is like the hits from five years ago. The market was saturated with everything and anything. It's still good stuff, it's just not yet old enough for anyone to feel nostalgic about.

Last edited by Alienange on 12/19/2009 2:49:13 PM

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Scarecrow
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 7:44:35 PM

I disagree

It only happens if each sequel doesn't evolve enough (GT, MGS4)

OR

If it's not something new altogether (Final Fantasy)

Example of something that doesn't evolve:

Call of Duty and Halo

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Fane1024
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 4:18:29 PM
Reply

I bring a different perspective, possibly unique on this site. I'm old enough to have seen the beginnings of the industry. I remember when the first arcade machines started to appear. I own a Pong machine and a 2600.

However, I never really found that old-school type of gaming very interesting or fun. It takes a certain amount of masochism to play the same "screen" over and over and over again...and I don't have that gene.

So, I visited the arcades from time to time and played some PC games (Wolf 3D, Doom, etc.), but I never got "into" either and I didn't buy another console for many years. Meanwhile, I played true ("pen and paper") RPGs, which I found a more engrossing and fulfilling experience than anything digital.

Until the PS2 appeared. PS2 games seemed to offer the sort of immersive experience that earlier games did not. 3D open worlds. Characters who could perform a variety of different actions. Full voice and animation, not just in FMV cut scenes, but during gameplay.

I'm not saying that games before PS2 couldn't be immersive, only that I didn't see anything that made me believe that they would be.

I have since bought and played a number of the best PS1 games and most seemed lacking, though I could recognize what was special about them. Silent Hill, for instance, seemed really clunky and cheesy compared to SH2, but it was still fun.

FFTactics, on the other hand, is one of favorite games. Despite all its many flaws, I love it to death, more than more recent Strategy RPGs like Jeanne D'Arc (which is also awesome).

So, I don't have any nostalgia for older generations or for the IPs/characters from those generations.

For me, the golden age is now.



Last edited by Fane1024 on 12/19/2009 4:26:07 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, December 19, 2009 @ 8:38:53 PM

Interesting take. And so long as you love FFT, I have nothing else to say. ;)

Edit: You know what's annoying? The fact that Orlandu doesn't have Accumulate. Grr...

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 12/19/2009 8:39:17 PM

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NetheRealm
Sunday, December 20, 2009 @ 12:07:12 AM
Reply

Why is RoadRash 3D & RoadRash JailBreak more fun than any racing game on PS2 or PS3? Is it because unlike the sharp turn, slippery control new racers you could actually make it around a corner at high speed? Is it because you had precise control of your acceleration with up down movements of the right analog stick before acceleration in every new race game was moved to the full on or full off imprecise R2 button? Is it because in the quest for today's realism they've lost a lot of the skillful playability? Or is it because of numerous other factors? I don't know. All I know is that if RoadRash on the PS1 had Burnout Paradise quality graphics & customizeable soundtracks it would still be the only racing game I'd play & if it had online multiplayer then it would be unbeatable.

Last edited by NetheRealm on 12/20/2009 12:36:55 AM

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Highlander
Sunday, December 20, 2009 @ 1:46:02 AM

The shoulder buttons on the Dual Shock 3 and the Sixaxis are analog buttons, that are pressure sensitive. So, you can feather the accelerator if you want to.

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just2skillf00l
Sunday, December 20, 2009 @ 4:07:53 AM
Reply

This takes me back! Not as far as some of you, I'm sure, Lol. But my favorite and most memorable game ever that nothing will ever contest is Azure Dreams. It is a turn-based RPG. This was my first turned-based RPG and I loved it to death. The charm of the tiny characters on screen. Going into the tower finding eggs and items to upgrade and make more powerful. I'll never forget the day I used truth glasses on an vermilion egg and it turned out to be a dragon egg! I was overflowing with joy and tears! I remember having the roche fruit (throw this fruit at a monster to turn the monster into an egg) too but I refused to use it on a dragon in the dungeon because I wanted to find the egg myself (foolish pride)! Then you could build up your city (Monsbaiya) and get girlfriends. There were mini games as well!

This game will always remain incomparable and my favorite game of all time. There was something about the simplicity of it; the catchy music and tunes, the memories I had with it, the fact that you the player lose your level when you leave the tower while your familiars maintain their levels, the randomly generated dungeon floors, all which molded together and formed an experience I loved and a game I will never ever forget. Til this day I can pick it up and have a blast with it, more fun than any of my PS3 games! 1080p/HD experience, I would give it up any day to play Azure Dreams!

Final Fantasy Tactics is second on the list, only because this was my second turn-based RPG. My second best game of all time also boasting the best genre ever invented. Turned-based RPG's FTW!

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Lotusflow3r
Sunday, December 20, 2009 @ 8:26:17 AM
Reply

LBP

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DeathOfChaos
Sunday, December 20, 2009 @ 4:17:18 PM
Reply

This was a very interesting article, I just really enjoyed reading it for the fact it actually made me think of my days as a child when I was on the NES. I was playing one of the Megaman games on the original NES and I couldn't get over this bottomless pit, and I was cursing that game out every time I fell in the pit, lol.

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SnipeySnake
Sunday, December 20, 2009 @ 8:43:05 PM
Reply

Why is everyone making huge comments, this could take hours to read.

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swapnilgyani
Sunday, December 20, 2009 @ 11:14:23 PM
Reply

I have just finished through my first playthrough of Uncharted 2.

That, right after I finished the single player campaign of Killzone 2 for the first time (yeah, I was late for that party).

I've not yet opened my copy of Dragon Age: Origins, coz I have a brand new water level idea for Little Big Planet that I want to conceptualize first.

For me, gaming has never been better :)

Last edited by swapnilgyani on 12/20/2009 11:15:02 PM

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telly
Monday, December 21, 2009 @ 10:33:03 AM
Reply

Interesting editorial Ben. It's strange -- PS1 brought me SO much happiness in its heyday in the late mid- to late-nineties, but for reasons I never really thought about I haven't played a single PS1 game in years. I even downloaded MGS from the PlayStation Store a while back and never even powered it up. For me, I'm a lot more likely to play through a trusted PS2 classic -- I revisit the God of War games regularly, I just played through MGS 3 (Subsistence version) a few months ago, etc. -- and I'm amazed at how well those games have held up.

While the "dated" graphics of PS1 aren't really a disincentive for me, the load times of those games are. Good LORD! I messed around Final Fantasy VIII maybe three years ago for the first time in ages, and I could not BELIEVE how patient we all must have been to deal with those bloody load times between pretty much EVERY room!

For me -- and, just in case there was any doubt, I'm not hatin' on anyone who disagrees, just sharing my opinion -- my appreciation for PS1 games is pretty much solely based on nostalgia. PS2 games trounced its predecessor in terms of graphics, presentation, LOAD TIMES!!!, and in my humble opinion, gameplay as well. PS1 games pioneered a lot of new ground, and for that they should be commended. But the PS2 vastly improved the execution of those new ideas, and for that reason I keep my trusty PS2 hooked up to my TV alongside the current generation consoles to this day.

Oh, one BIG exception I just realized -- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is as perfect a game as I've ever played and I revisit it at least once a year. That game was game of the decade, as far as I'm concerned!!! :)

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