PSXE Trenders: The 80s Are Still Radical Here
I had the pleasure of being born in an interesting time.
I made my debut in the world the same year that Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Evil Dead, and Escape from New York hit theatres. Even as a youngster I took full advantage of those colorful, vibrant, and exciting trends. Later on I thought it was all pretty lame (perhaps Zubas should never have existed) but life has a way of endearing the past to us as the years keep passing.
Throughout the 1980s gaming was still finding its identity, it was still more of an amusement or toy than a hobby. Even so, the classics that came out of that time have helped shape the industry today. And just as the weird hairstyles, tight jeans, and square plastic sunglasses have enjoyed a resurgence, so too have 80s inspired trends in gaming returned.
Not everyone gets the appeal of cheesiness, but a lot of folks at PSXE are a little older and a lot nostalgic about these kinds of things. I got the idea for this segment today during a most excellent bit of retro gaming with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade, an endeavor that would have cost me about $20 had I been using quarters at one of those outdated places called an arcade. It just made me think of some titles that deserve an extra thought for anyone who hasn't made the time yet this generation and anyone who wants to recommend their own experiences to others in the community.
Double Dragon was the epitome of NES co-op, well right after Contra maybe, and nothing quite drew a pair of friends or brothers together like an afternoon of hair-pull-kicking your way to victory and saving poor Marian. So I think a good chunk of people were pleased in 2012 to see that Wayforward Technologies (LOL, who?) and Majesco Entertainment (..uhhhh?) were releasing Double Dragon Neon. I had the pleasure of getting this one for free with PS Plus and it really did scratch a nostalgic side scrolling itch for yours truly. I'm planning to play it again soon if I can find the time. FYI: It pulled an 8.0 from PSXE with plenty of favorables.
My personal favorite throwback title was Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. That is a game that is so full of fan service that the term “love letter to fans” fits better there than anywhere else. But fans of what? It's the 80s man. With Michael Biehn, cyborgs, neon skies, synthesized music, cheesy one-liners and as many references to old movies as possible there was just no way to get this game wrong. Some of the best news I've heard is that it could become a franchise in its own right. Well it was more scuttlebutt than news but you can understand my excitement. Blood Dragon scored a tidy 8.3 right here.
Ten or twenty years from now I'll bet some of you will have a twinge of nostalgia for 2013 when you think of your time with Dragon's Crown. It took the good old days of swords and sorcery co-op beat 'em ups and deepened everything into what darn near qualifies as an RPG. Without the paths tread by games like Golden Axe there wouldn't be a basis for such a rousing 2D experience in a 3D age. Dragon's Crown grabbed a very deserving 9.0 right here at PSXE.
There are plenty of other games out there carrying the torch, and I for one am looking forward to the new iteration of Strider. Tell us about some of your favorite 80s games or current games carrying the trend.
Extra points for the first person who identifies the scene in this article's picture and the characters in it.
11/6/2013 David D. Nelson