Sunday, 20 October 2019

Where's the retro gaming content?


Anyone reading this blog will have noticed that it's a bit heavy on the Playstation 4 content for the moment. Well, as heavy as a blog with only a handful of posts can be. This is mainly due to the fact that I've had my PS4 for a few years now, but I've never really gotten on with it very well. So, I thought I'd use that machine as the platform to try and get myself back into modern gaming.

My main gaming focus is really retro gaming. This is why I've spent the last few years making new games with retro-themed ideas, like Hyper-Galactic Spiders from Mars that you can see above. I'm hoping to bring a nice mixture of old and new gaming to the blog, so that I can use it to talk about my love of older games and chronicle my experiences with getting back in touch with newer games at the same time.

As I've mentioned previously, I started to fall out of love with modern AAA titles when I had my Xbox 360. At first I thought it was great, and I can remember how eager I was to get it home and set it up on the day that I bought it. But the novelty and the excitement wore off after around six months of owning it, when I started to realise that I wasn't really enjoying the games that much.

Everything just seemed a bit beige, and I'm not just talking about how most of the colour palettes for the games made everything look really muddy back then. Most games I bought because they got good reviews, but I was getting it home and wondering how people were raving about this stuff. To me it all just felt a bit flat.

Maybe it was age combined with gaming fatigue. I'd been a gamer since around 1979/1980 and I'd kind of read the book, seen the movie and bought the t-shirt... By this point I'd owned a Binatone console, Sinclair ZX81, Atari 2600, 3 Commodore 64's, a Mega Drive, 4 Amiga's, Panasonic 3DO, Atari Jaguar, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, at least 5 Game Boy's, 2 Playstation 1's, 3 Playstation 2's, an Xbox, 2 Xbox 360's, a couple of Nintendo DS's, Nintendo Wii, innumerable PC's and laptops, a Nintendo Switch and my current Playstation 4. Maybe I was suffering from gaming overload? The funny thing is, though, I was still enjoying retro gaming, and not just for the games I'd played previously and enjoyed, but for other games that I'd missed the first time around but was getting to play now.

So, you might be wondering why I bought the PS4 after having such a downer on the Xbox 360? Well, the answer is that my PC is a few years old now, and it's not that great for AAA gaming. I mean, it's fine for stuff like Elite Dangerous on medium settings, but I use it mostly to develop 2d arcade action games, and play some indie games, so it doesn't really need to be all that powerful.

When it came to wanting to play the mainstream AAA blockbusters, I thought I'd try the new Playstation. However, it seems that my displeasure with the Xbox 360 and it's games has been projected onto my newer console. I've not been getting on with it too well, and most of the time it's been sitting around collecting dust. This eventually led me to the realisation that it's probably not entirely the console or the games fault, but it's more down to me being a right miserable old git.

I'll admit that I'm not always that great at playing some of the newer games, and I tend to get a bit frustrated with them. I grew up in an era where you had a joystick and one button to play a game, and that's all you needed, but a lot of games these days make you hold down LB while pushing up on the d-pad, right on the right analog stick and stand on your head while farting The Star Spangled Banner just to open a bloody menu... Okay, maybe it's not quite that bad, but that's how it feels sometimes.

To get back into gaming, I got to thinking about what sort of games I used to play on my original Playstation. Mostly it was racing games and sports titles, with stuff like Resident Evil as an occasional addition. So, I decided to buy Fifa 20, Madden 20, MLB The Show 19, The Golf Club 19, F1 2019 and Dirt Rally 2.0.

All these games are fine. Sure, there are people who play them every year and complain that they're just the same thing recycled with a new number added to the title every twelve months, but for someone who's not really played a sports title since 2000, I think they're okay and certainly no worse than their PS1 counterparts. I'm enjoying playing them.

Since I was enjoying the sports games, I started to branch out into games of a different kind, starting with Resident Evil VII - which I didn't enjoy - and going on to Hitman 2, the Resident Evil 2 remake and the newer Crystal Dynamics Tomb Raider games. I'm enjoying these a lot more. Sure, there's been a couple of times when I've gotten frustrated and switched off the console in annoyance, but overall I've had positive experiences with these games. So, hopefully this means that I'm starting to rediscover my passion for games.

Anyway, this is a long-winded way for me to tell any readers who are looking for the retro gaming content that it's on it's way. I have some ideas for retro gaming posts, it'll just be mixed in with posts about my experiences with some newer stuff. The new direction for the blog is still in it's early stages, so it may be a while before it really gets going.

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