Do Retro Games Only Appeal To Veteran, Old-School Peeps?
With the rise of digital gaming, we now have a bigger variety of video games at our fingertips than ever before.
We've got everything from the smallest bite-size games for smartphones and tablets to the massive $100 million+ AAA productions for consoles and PC. This explosion has prompted a slew of "new/old" titles, in that designers have taken old-school concepts from yesteryear and given them a fresh coat of polish. The result is a game that looks newer but plays very much like those classic titles we remember.
Some don't even bother with the upgraded visuals. Look at Hotline Miami, for instance. There are plenty of examples of games that look like they came from the 16-bit or even 8-bit era. Perhaps surprisingly, many are received extremely well by critics and also sell quite well, too. This week, we get the excellent Dragon's Crown, which uses beautiful 2D visuals and a side-scrolling action mechanic. It's fused with RPG elements to make it deeper and more involving, but the gameplay itself is definitely very retro.
Therefore, it doesn't seem plausible that only older, veteran gamers are buying such games. The titles may have a special appeal for that group, but is the group large enough to support this explosion of retro goodness? I think a lot of younger gamers are trying and loving these titles, which is helping to fuel the revival. Remember, we're not just talking about nostalgia for the sake of our memories; we're talking about gameplay that simply doesn't exist anymore. The simplicity of old-school gaming has been lost in the rapid rise of interactive entertainment.
But doesn't that "old-fashioned" style still have a place? It's not inferior, it's just different. And I think a lot of younger consumers are starting to realize that. I'm not one to complain, either.
8/5/2013 9:53:18 PM Ben Dutka