Five Reasons Why It's Hard to Play Old Video Games

Some of us never had the chance to experience some of gaming's classic titles from the past. Here are reasons why it's not so easy to enjoy these titles.

by on 12th Nov, 2013

Have you ever been told by someone that you weren't a "real" gamer? Well, I have and it's mostly because I told them that I never really played a Mario, Pokemon, or Mike Tyson's Punch Out game. This also applies to moderately recent titles like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Shadow of the Colossus

Not everyone is born in the 1980's or even has the time to play every game out there. So, some of us might try to take some time to play some of the most revered games we missed by more or less a decade. 

Unfortunately, most of the time I didn't feel the same appreciation or astonishment as the friends who recommended it. I found out that I wasn't alone since my friends shared the same thing.  

Like films or television show, a video game's age does influence how much you will enjoy a game especially if you were born into a later generation with more advanced technology.

Read on for more...

1.) Outdated graphics make it difficult to stomach

There was a time when I was astonished with games in the PS1, but it's interesting how some of us find it hard to play through old games anymore since we've been spoiled with graphics close to photorealism. 

We used to rely on our imagination to make up for the blocks of pixels. However, our brain sort of raised the standard of what we want to see as technology innovates. Certain people can get past this especially if they have played the game before, but it's different if it's something you've never even touched.

For example, I grew up with the PlayStation console and I will gladly play Final Fantasy VIII and Resident Evil 3 again because nostalgia makes it easier to bear it. However, it'll be harder to convince me to play a game I don't know or from a generation I never got to be a part of. 

Heck, I'm already starting to feel the age of the PS2.

2.) People probably spoiled it for you anyway

I published a post a few days ago detailing how popular games tend to be ruined because of how well-known their plot-twists are. Well, that's another reason why it's difficult to play old games. I presume that one would play an old game because friends would often gush and recommend it right?

Chances are everyone else on the Internet is too, and you will be spoiled regardless if you were actively searching for a particular game or not. Check out my previous article to know more about how knowing plot-twists or even the story itself affect how you perceive a game. 

3.) When you play it matters

When Final Fantasy VIII came out, I was impressed by how the characters actually looked the right size and the fact that they weren't pixelated blocks anymore. I thought that it was such a beautiful game and I still do. However, I bet I'll get a different reaction if I show it to my nephew who never even touched the first PlayStation.

It's hard for him to appreciate it since he didn't experience the leap firsthand. All he knows is photorealistic graphics, so FFVIII is pretty much crap to him.

It's the same thing when you look at games that were lauded as the "first of it's kind" or "innovative." I'm sure that people won't describe those games with those labels if you show it to them now, but back then they were a big deal. Therefore, when you play the game bears a significant amount of weight too. 

4.) Gameplay isn't as polished

Not all old games have bad gameplay, but generally it's not just because of the developer's fault. The tecnology's limitations at the time also play a role in what can be done. Perhaps, the A.I can't be programmed to do things that our enemies can do now. 

I'm sure that it took years of trying and observing to master the perfect inventory system or combat. Great games don't just come out of thin air. They are a product of improvements and inspired by other games that came before it.

5.) You might not have the platforms to play it

Not all of us have access to our old consoles. Perhaps our parents hid or threw them some place where we can never get them. Some of the old systems are even more expensive since they are now considered "vintage."

Old PlayStation classics can be played on newer devices, but not all of the video games have been remastered. You can also play old titles through emulators if you are familiar with the software. 

This concept reminds me of "dead media" from one of my Mediated Communication classes. Old data becomes inaccessible because of rapid innovations that change the mediums we use. Who's to say that the dominating video game console manufacturer will still be on top for after several years? If that happens, not all of its titles might be playable in the future.

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