April 29, 2013

Respect The Classics

There's a lot of value in some of the older titles. It's not always just about the newest game on the block. It's easy to get overwhelmed with endless new titles to the point you hardly ever finish a game any more and it's true both as a player and an indie developer. Take some time this week to go back and play a game from a few years ago, maybe something you've been meaning to get around to. Then go back further and play a real classic, it doesn't have to be some grand award winner everyone remembers.

I recently broke out an old copy of my original final fantasy tactics on the PSX and was surprised at what an amazingly good game it still is. It really made me sit back and look at my archive to wonder what other gaming gems might deserve another play through.  If your collection is pretty sparse feel free to borrow a friends or if you don't have any try to find a store around you other than gamestop that might still sell the classics and try to pick up a SNES and Zelda for it, or an n64 and Zelda, really most zelda titles hold up pretty well I've found. If you simply can't find anything in it's original form cheat and play it with an emulator or even modern day replicas like tetris on facebook.

Emulators can give old games new life in very creative ways as well, imagine playing super mario bros with link from zelda or with samus from metroid, there are emulators out there that do exactly this. There are also rom mods that completely change the game one in particular practically turns super mario bros into I Want To Be The Guy.

Note while you play the kinds of struggles developers had making these games and how things have really changed. For example cartridge games never had loading screens because of the overall small file sizes and fast transfer rates provided by working with rom chips, something which went away with the invent of compact discs. Note how even though the music is simplistic it sticks with you so well. More accurately you probably remember the music because it's simplistic but it also came out of necessity as full orchestral pieces weren't possible on older hardware.

Back in the day the lack of graphical power necessitated powerful and innovative gameplay. That's not to say creativity has been lost merely shifted around to adapt. Consider how you would make a game today under the same restrictions and see where it takes you.

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