From VHS to Netflix, there are a growing number of ways to watch classic movies. The same is true for a number of video games. Nintendo’s virtual console platform the launched on Wii allowed fans to buy classic games that were only previously available on way outdated consoles like the NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis. Instant access to some of the best games ever designed is awesome, but is the experience just as good as playing the same games on the console they were originally released on? That’s what we discussed this week when asked:
Generally, I like going back to a game’s original console. There’s something about holding a classic controller like the PS2’s or Super Nintendo’s that just connects me to the experience more. That being said, jumping back into standard definition graphics can really put a strain on the eyes. I love seeing older games given the full HD remake treatment like Shadow of the Colossus and Halo 2 Anniversary. I just love finding an excuse to dig out my old N64 though. Wiping the dust off of it is almost ritualistic at this point, and no matter how great graphics become my vision of Hyrule will always be the blocky, blurry, beautiful world of Ocarina of Time on that console.
For 16 bit games or earlier, I kind of like the idea of playing on their original systems (good luck digging an old CRT out of a dumpster to play on!). For anything beyond that, I look at things like what Xbox One is doing with enhancing backwards compatible games and it’s really cool (the one reason I have a vague interest in an Xbox One is because of it’s backwards compatibility enhancements). I loved my PS2 and my Xbox 360, but going back to a lot of games on those platforms can be pretty rough.
The most important thing for me about replaying older games is that they make me feel like I did when I first played them, with the exception of feeling frustrated. I never want to use an N64 controller again and some games are really held back by hardware limitations or game design methodologies of the day. That’s why I love me a good port or remaster. Give me the best looking version of one of my favorite games that work like modern gamers expect them to. As much nostalgia as I have for Spyro the Dragon, the original doesn’t look great and you have to control the camera with the bumpers. THE BUMPERS! Bump that. I won’t play Spyro again until I can get my hands on the Reignited Trilogy.