Old game nostalgia

As I have been traveling, I’ve taken some time to replay some old classics on my Nintendo 3DS, specifically Zelda: Ocarina of time and Majoras Mask.

It’s a strange feeling, to play a game you first discovered when you were a child, especially one that really started your journey into being a bit of a gamer geek.

That nostalgia drives many gamers I believe, even though we enjoy experiencing new games and stories, challenging our selves to new forms of gameplay, many gamers I know will replay old games they love again and again. It’s similar to reading a book over and over, orĀ  watching a film 20 times, there is something utterly blissful about experiencing something you adore and noticing little bits and pieces of newness you didn’t before.

This brings us to the concept of re-makes. There are obviously various forms, some we would consider more remastered versions, such as Zelda on 3DS, which is simply some crisper graphics and tiny modifications to the system. Some though, such as the upcoming Final Fantasy 7 remake, are complete overhauls of the graphics and system as well as what looks like a modification of the storyline as well.

Now this could be cause for concern, as older games, like older movies, sometimes do not lend themselves to being changed at all, but I hold out hope that square enix finds their mojo again and makes an even better FF7 than the original, as I do believe that it lacked many things.

Unfortunately if one remake does very well, then it opens the door to other older games as well. I say unfortunately more so because some of us may want specific titles to be remade( The Legend of Dragoon *cough*) only for them not to be and cause a wave of depression among fans.

There is obviously a lot of complexity when thinking about any sort of remake, juggling the happiness of old fans while reaching out to a new generation of possible fans is a thin line and very difficult to pull off and I hope that any company that attempts it is ready for some backlash as there will always be some unhappy campers in any endeavor.

Let’s all cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Until then, I will sit back and zen out to the sound of Links irritating Hiyyaa noise being repeated 10,000 times an hour. I might be a little addicted to rolling, who knows.


The evolving landscape of gaming

As the years roll by and gaming becomes more mainstream, it’s quite surprising to look at how much things have changed in the last 20 years.

When I was young, game tournaments were a rarity, usually being held in cramped little venues with a few dozen spectators, really only the most hardcore enthusiasts in attendance.

Nowadays, entire weekends are taken as thousands go in to watch professional gamers compete for million dollar prizes whilst hundreds of thousands more watch from the comfort of their homes.

Counter strike, league of legends, fortnite, overwatch and a host of other games have captured the mainstreams attention, creating a multitude of celebrities overnight through platforms like Twitch and Youtube, making rock stars out of what used to be the uncool geeks hiding in their parents house.

It really is fascinating to see this evolution, and the future of gaming will probably create an even greater disconnect from the past as technology advances towards full immersion gaming where people basically live within the online worlds companies create.

The popularity of anime such as sword art online goes to show the desire people have to be able to really live in these games, really experience what it is like to be a military sniper or a sword wielding faerie flying across a fantasy landscape.

I know many people who still consider games to be for children, and personally I try to create a certain distance between myself and games due to the health repercussions of spending all my free time playing, but the amazing stories and stimulating challenges offered by well done games are definitely worth it in many cases, and for those who feel these things are childish, I believe simply lack the perspective to understand that difficult games are just as or more complex than a game of chess, and I doubt you’ll find anyone saying chess is bad for you or a waste of time.

I am truly looking forward to the future of gaming, and I hope companies really draw back and focus on quality and storyline and not waste time with cash grabs, forsaking that which makes games truly great.

After all, a great game is as inspiring as a great book, and we all need a little inspiration from time to time.

Initial thoughts on God of War

I know I am quite a bit late on speaking about this game as it has garnered so much attention since its release and been reviewed 9 million times so I will make this short and sweet.

Ever since I was young the biggest draw of gaming for me was the ability to be drawn into a good story while also being able to interact with that story through gameplay, nothing else added that sort of depth. Unfortunately not many games put the same amount of effort into their storyline development as they do their game mechanics.

God of War is a breath of fresh air, combining solid mechanics and a visually stunning world while simultaneously fleshing out the worlds lore. But what really does it for me is the interaction between Kratos and his son and seeing them both develop as people as the story goes on, it has been so long since I have been really emotionally involved in a character as I am with Kratos and his son Atreus.

Atreus desperately wants his Fathers approval and to prove his worth as an independant man, while Kratos struggles with being both a tough guide for his Son and also there for him emotionally through his development. It is really great and so far the game has me hooked and really hoping they both succeed as a family.

I truly hope the gaming industry uses God of War as a springboard to creating more games which actually flesh out their characters and create that intimacy that has been sorely lacking in most games for the past decade.

For now I will cross my fingers and pray to Kratos.