Friday, June 27, 2014

Retro Games As a Way of Avoiding Quality Standards

IGN's video review of the game, Shovel Knight calls it [the reviewer's] favorite game of 2014 so far.  How can that be, with games like Titanfall and Watch Dogs coming out this year?  And if someone really likes retro games, what about Strider HD or Trials Fusion?

Now, I haven't played Shovel Knight and don't want to.  It looks fun enough, but I played so many games like that in the 8-bit and 16-bit era, and I've moved on.  If I'm going to play a game with old school controls, it's going to be a game that at least attempts to meet modern presentation standards.

Shovel Knight does not look good to me.  It wouldn't have looked to me in the 16-bit era.  Okay, fine, it's supposed to represent an 8-bit game and not a 16-bit game.  But back then I always wanted games to look better than they did.  The developers were always trying to make their games look better.  That's what I don't understand about the more recent Megaman games.  They released better-looking Megaman games on the SNES than Megaman 10 looks on PS3 and Xbox.  Why go backwards?

Is Shovel Knight really better than Strider HD?  I wonder how many people who are exited about Shovel Knight gave Strider HD a chance.  Strider HD (like the amazing Bionic Commando: Rearmed), shows that you can take an old game, preserve everything that was good about it, improve on its weaknesses, and make it look great by today's standards.

Shovel Knight doesn't try to meet today's standards, of course.  I'm guessing that retro-looking games sell better than retro-style games that don't look retro.  So I can excuse the developers. But gamers should demand better.  I understand wanting the retro experience.  I understand wanted a change of pace with simpler controls.  But you can get those things without dated graphics and sound.

I'm open to the arguments of retro gamers who prefer games that look and sound old.  Why do you prefer that?  Have you played Bionic Command:  Rearmed, Strider HD, Contra Hard Corps, the remake of Castle of Illusion, etc.?  If you have, and you still prefer Shovel Knight, tell me why.

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