Please, for the Love of God, Leave Retro in the Past

Space Invaders, copyright Atari

My apologies in advance. I don’t rant often, but I’m about to:

Okay, let me start off this blog post by saying I’m not trashing retro-gaming. Not at all. In fact, I play older games when I’m feeling nostalgic. And let me remind y’all that I’ll be 50 in August. My first gaming “console” was Pong. You hooked that machine and paddles up to a 20″ vacuum tube TV and batted a pixel ball across the screen. Then, one miraculous day when I was about 9 or 10, my dad brought home an Atari. I cut my gamer teeth on titles like Pac-Man, Frogger, Space Invaders, and Donkey Kong. So trust me when I say, I have love for what y’all call retro…it’s what I call my childhood.

But there’s this new fangled stuff called 60fps (even higher if you have a monitor that can handle it), UHD, 4K, HDR and games that are filmed with motion capture. So why…why why why why put out a new game with a brilliant concept with old school mechanics? I’m looking at you Weird West.

When I saw the trailer for this game, I wanted it. The concept is brilliant and I’m a sucker for Old West games. C’mon,  my favorite game is RDR2. I was even willing to overlook the top-down view. (Seriously, no one but a bird or a bat or flying f@#king squirrel sees the world that way?!) And I think I could love Weird West, except for the wonky twin stick aiming system. Even with the option of free camera the stupid POV gets in your way. WTF? The game was released on 03/31/2022. There’s no f@#king reason to put out a clunky a$$ game like this in 2022! No reason at all except perhaps the devs thought it would be cool.

Perhaps the devs never suffered though the old days of gaming when we didn’t have a choice, when the technology lagged behind our dreams of what we could do. It’s 2023, y’all. And stop romanticizing gaming of the past. It was hard, it was unforgiving and that didn’t make it more fun. It was what we had to deal with at the time so we made do. We didn’t know anything different. No autosave, no aim assist, no graphics so gorgeous they’d evoke a tear. It was slogging through pixelated madness, failing more times than not, until you got it right. That’s doesn’t add to the fun. That’s damn near the definition of insanity. I think that’s why you see so few hard-core gamers over the age of 40. Only those of us with OCD issues stuck with it!

And yes, I know I’m gonna get a lot of flack for the way I feel about it, but I’ve earned my stripes. I grew up with the games that restarted you at level 1 if you were unlucky or unskilled enough to die three times (or perhaps four if you’d jumped through enough hoops to earn an extra life). But I guarantee you, the vast majority of “retro” gamers are under the age of 40. I’d bet my left ovary (and that’s the good one) that even 30 is the cut off age for most of them. Why? Because while they think retro games are cool and funky and fun (and they can be: I still play Galaga and Pac-Man from time to time), gamers today have a choice. Should dying over and over and over and over and starting over piss them off to no end, they can play a newer game that doesn’t subject them to that $h!t. That’s not the way it was for those of us who weathered gaming in its infancy.

And for the devs out there, please…please, please, please stop making new games with old gaming features. It’s like trying to cure syphilis with mercury. It’s maddening. When I spend the money on a new title, I want new freaking tech, new combat systems, new ways to interact with the world. Don’t slap old school elements on it and call it art, because it’s not. No more than every black and white movie is art. It’s 2023. Conduct yourselves accordingly.

//End rant.

If I’ve entertained you or added some value to your day, wonderful! Please feel free to leave your thoughts, subscribe to my blog or hit me up on Twitter @cindyjacks. If you’d like to support my blog with donations you can do so at ko-fi or cash app $cindyjacksbooks. All donations to my online content are much appreciated, but definitely not required to keep coming back to visit! Game on, my friends!

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