Old School Graphics: Charmingly Nostalgic or Agonizingly Antiquated?

Recently I visited a classic video game store, that sold everything from the Sega Genesis to more recent Playstation 3 games. After spending time browsing original Gameboy titles and SNES favorites, I gravitated towards the Nintendo 64 and Gamecube. This gave me the idea: do all of these classic games hold up? Or do the antiquated graphics get in the way of gameplay? After buying some games that haven’t been on my radar in years, and revisiting some of the classics I still have lying around, I have found that whether or not aged graphics make older games feel outdated varies from game to game.


This Zelda classic is often perceived to be one of the best games in the series, and sometimes considered one of the best games ever made. But does the controller for the N64 get in the way? In fact, one website rated the N64 as the worst Nintendo controller. Some may find the three handles difficult to return to, especially after modern controllers have been adapted to be more comfortable to hold. However, nintendo recently re-released the game on the 3DS, and, according to IGN, the game is even an improvement upon the original.


Arguably one of Mario’s best adventures, Sunshine expanded on Mario in a three-dimensional universe. The graphics, though perhaps slightly outdated, still hold up very strongly. The only difficulty comes from the sensitivity of the joystick. I often found myself falling off the edge of a building or roof, after spending a long time getting up there in the first place.


I had only played the sequel for the wii, so when I found the original for the Gamecube, I wanted to compare the two. I found the second, Strikers Charged, to have more detail and more in depth game modes. On the Super Mario Board, people chose the second game overwhelmingly as better. That being said, I find the simplicity of the first game endearing – it even plays like a FIFA Street game.


Especially with the recent online release of Gen. 1 for the 3DS, and the release dates of Pokemon Go, Sun, and Moon, it’s interesting to take a look back at the originals. The first region still holds up. On GAMEFAQs a number of people discussed the change of pokemon over the years. Many people seemed to think that the only reason the games don’t seem to age well because of how the “speed of the game” gets faster and faster. This may be why the remakes (FireRed, LeafGreen, HeartGold, SoulSilver, OmegaRuby, and AlphaSapphire) are successful. On the other hand, gameplay has changed so drastically that the original pokemon games have their own styles of play, making them unique sources of entertainment within the franchise. If nothing else, the music is still timeless.


The classic series originally debuted on the PlayStation 2, but someone had the foresight to rerelease the games in the Sly Collection on the PS3. The original games remain in their first form, graphics and gameplay unchanged. This allowed gamers to play the games on an updated controller as they remembered them, without altering the memory.

Video game stores like the one I visited may become more common, as long as people continue taking care of their games and understand the value they continue to hold. Regardless, the memories of the games seem just as valuable as the copies themselves.





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