Retro gaming has made a comeback! With Nintendo releasing mini versions of its old consoles every year, and all of them selling out in minutes, it’s clear that people love a bit of nostalgia. You just can’t beat the games you grew up with as a child. Even if they have bad controls (and even worse graphics), they hold a special place in your heart. What about if you missed out on the retro gaming period, though?
Games from the ‘90s might look prehistoric compared to what we have now, but opinions were a lot different back in the day. Titles like “Super Mario 64” were seen as exemplary, especially when you considered where they’d come from. It was only in the ‘70s that video games started being a thing after the invention Pong, the very basic tennis simulation.
The available technology was much more inferior a few decades ago, to the point that all developers could get on the screen was two lines and a moving dot. Would you give up games like “Fortnite” and “Fifa” for that? Probably not, but it’s thanks to things like Pong that these titles even exist. Everything has to start somewhere.
Size doesn’t matter
When it came to retro games, developers had to know how to make the most of every byte possible. Consoles back then were extremely limited in size, with cartridges or discs barely able to hold any data. A SNES cartridge had a capacity of around 4MB, which is several dozen gigabytes smaller than the size of most games now. That’s an incredible difference, and it explains why the quality was so poor for many older titles. However, considering how much was packed into these games, what the developers managed was actually phenomenal.
Lower graphics were a welcome compromise for compelling characters and captivating stories which kept children buying releases in their millions. The gameplay may have been more basic because the consoles couldn’t handle anything overly complicated, but a bit of simplicity never did anyone harm. Video games were still relatively new, so the easier they were to understand, the better.
Nothing is ever easy
While things might have been more simplistic with retro games, though, they were far from easy. It’s a common misconception that the older a game is, the easier it is to play, but that’s not the case. Classics like “Donkey Kong” can easily trip up a gamer, even the ones that consider themselves experienced platformers. Players are quick to underestimate these games because they believe it’s nothing more than a bit of running and jumping, but it’s the arrogant ones who usually fail. Considering developers were just as passionate about creating great games in the ‘80s and ‘90s as they are now, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t make their releases challenging.
It’s always important to acknowledge where things have come from. The early years of gaming were essential for getting to where we are now, and they ought to be appreciated whether you lived through them or not. If you’ve never played a game from before the 21st century, then it’d be worth your while to give one a try. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy it.