I’ve had a lot of discussions with people asking me why I keep playing retro games when there are newer games that are visually better on the market. Why am I still interested in playing old arcade classics like Donkey Kong or Mr. Do? Why have I spent so much time tracking games that I used to play on systems like Atari St, Spectrum, and Amiga when I can buy a PS4 and play these amazing games with fancy graphics and effects? What do older games and systems have that the latest consoles don’t have?
The world has programmed us to keep up by replacing the old with the new. I replaced my Atari 2600 with a Spectrum, then an Atari ST, then an Amiga, and finally several PCs, each one more powerful than the last. Outside the old and the new is how we live our lives. Why go back to something inferior when you have something much better?
I have happy memories of discovering these systems for the first time. Playing classic adventure games like The Secret of ST Brides and Twin Kingdom Valley on the Spectrum gives me a warm sense of confusion when I remember them. Thinking back to the many happy hours in my room playing Chuckie Egg and trying to get past the almost impossible Level 40 to complete the game. Upgrade to an Atari ST and be surprised to hear sampled sounds in game for the first time. I firmly believe that a game doesn’t necessarily need amazing graphics and effects. It is the pleasure you get from a game that counts.
HIGH SCORE TABLES
Once you have completed certain games on the newer systems, you may find that it is something that you will not play again for a while. After all, you know the story and you have completed the missions. Some older games tend to last forever, each level getting harder and more challenging and they have the benefit of recording your score each time you play. Therefore, you get more out of a game when you try to get your name on the high score table, especially if you compete against a friend. People would score high in an arcade game and then come back later to see if another player beat it.
EASIER CONTROL SYSTEM
Older control systems would consist of a joystick that could be moved in eight directions and a single fire button. You even have the option to define your own keys. These appeared on systems from the Atari 2600 to the Amiga. Later systems, such as Megadrive and Nintendo, offered more buttons, but still made the game easier. An easier control system allowed you to get into the game faster and it was the same for all games for that system. The main control system was up, down, left, right, and shoot / jump. Later systems, such as PlayStation 3, began to introduce many different combinations that would be shown in tutorials as you progress through the game.
GREATER VARIETY OF GAMES
The average price of a game on the PS4 can range from £ 40 to £ 70, so developers need to provide a lot for that money. It consists of hours of movie footage, huge maps that take forever to explore, and lots of sophisticated visual effects. In older systems, there was a wider variety of games ranging from free to inexpensive to full commercial prices. You could get games like static screen platformers, text adventure games, bounce games, and just shoot em ups that would never see the light of day on a more modern system unless it was part of a bundle or subscription service.
NO MORE TO PAY
Once you bought a game in the old days, there was nothing else to pay for. Today’s games have become a money magnet where people spend a fortune buying packs for extras in games where older games can be won by completing certain tasks. Although it is possible to win things by playing, you usually find that paying for something saves you many hours of effort.
The most important thing about a game is what you get out of it. You don’t need to think that you just have to play the latest games like everyone else. There are plenty of retro fans on Facebook who still play on older systems, but still enjoy the odd modern game on the PS4. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to take Mario beyond the castle to rescue the princess.