A retro-gamer enters the modern age

As I was growing up, I was pretty into gaming. My family didn't have a lot of money, so we were usually behind--we got an NES in 1991, and only had a few games for it. The ones I had, I played to death. I can still sit down and beat every level in Super Mario Bros 3, without warp whistles, over the course of several hours. Same with Crystalis; few have even heard of this game, but I know it inside and out.

When I got to university in 2000, I mostly stopped gaming. I think the last new game I really played through was Neverwinter Nights. But I kept that sort of retrogamer identity. I still have the White Mage robes I sewed during my brief flirtation with cosplaying.

I have a 3DS and a 360 now, acquired over the last year. I'm starting to discover what the world of games is. I think I might try to write about it all a bit more here, since it allows me to talk about experiences in gaming without boring my non-gamer friends on my other blog/social media stuff.

So, what have I been playing in this brave new world?

  • Dark Souls. Oh wow, this game is fantastic. I get that it's not for everyone, but once I found my groove in it, I am loving it. Such a beautiful world to look at, too. I love getting to a new area, standing on a ledge, and just staring out at the landscape. (And then usually getting stabbed in the back, of course.)
  • Assassin's Creed. The original. I'm told I should skip to a later one, but I also have a real love of the medieval Middle East, so just running around Jerusalem is fun. I do hope that the developers who worked on the combat system in this game were fired and blacklisted from the industry, though.
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. S-ranked it. Loved it. It's that kind of fantasy that I used to read when I was a kid--I still have a couple of my old DragonLance novels, and I read a ridiculous number of R.A. Salvatore's books. It's that fantasy where everything is still brightly coloured and shiny, rather than the pointless, neverending darkness of modern fantasy. Like Dark Souls, it's just such a pleasure to run around and look at things.
  • Dragon Age: Origins. S-ranked it, too. I love the story, and have a bit too much fondness for Leliana. Gameplay not so great; at times it got rage-inducing, in fact, but the story drove me through.
  • Blur! I never thought I would actually have fun with on-line multiplayer, and I certainly never thought I'd have this much fun losing over and over again.
  • A whole pile of downloadable titles. Loved Costume Quest. Enjoying Super Meat Boy, although I'm not done with it yet. Braid was clever. Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet was beautiful.

I've also got a stack of games I haven't started yet: SSX, LA Noire, and Fable 2 come to mind.

One of the nice things with being this many years behind is there are so many awesome games I can pick up for like $4.99. And yes, I do buy new games new, but the old games are still awesome, too.

14 Comments
14 Comments
Posted by criacow

As I was growing up, I was pretty into gaming. My family didn't have a lot of money, so we were usually behind--we got an NES in 1991, and only had a few games for it. The ones I had, I played to death. I can still sit down and beat every level in Super Mario Bros 3, without warp whistles, over the course of several hours. Same with Crystalis; few have even heard of this game, but I know it inside and out.

When I got to university in 2000, I mostly stopped gaming. I think the last new game I really played through was Neverwinter Nights. But I kept that sort of retrogamer identity. I still have the White Mage robes I sewed during my brief flirtation with cosplaying.

I have a 3DS and a 360 now, acquired over the last year. I'm starting to discover what the world of games is. I think I might try to write about it all a bit more here, since it allows me to talk about experiences in gaming without boring my non-gamer friends on my other blog/social media stuff.

So, what have I been playing in this brave new world?

  • Dark Souls. Oh wow, this game is fantastic. I get that it's not for everyone, but once I found my groove in it, I am loving it. Such a beautiful world to look at, too. I love getting to a new area, standing on a ledge, and just staring out at the landscape. (And then usually getting stabbed in the back, of course.)
  • Assassin's Creed. The original. I'm told I should skip to a later one, but I also have a real love of the medieval Middle East, so just running around Jerusalem is fun. I do hope that the developers who worked on the combat system in this game were fired and blacklisted from the industry, though.
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. S-ranked it. Loved it. It's that kind of fantasy that I used to read when I was a kid--I still have a couple of my old DragonLance novels, and I read a ridiculous number of R.A. Salvatore's books. It's that fantasy where everything is still brightly coloured and shiny, rather than the pointless, neverending darkness of modern fantasy. Like Dark Souls, it's just such a pleasure to run around and look at things.
  • Dragon Age: Origins. S-ranked it, too. I love the story, and have a bit too much fondness for Leliana. Gameplay not so great; at times it got rage-inducing, in fact, but the story drove me through.
  • Blur! I never thought I would actually have fun with on-line multiplayer, and I certainly never thought I'd have this much fun losing over and over again.
  • A whole pile of downloadable titles. Loved Costume Quest. Enjoying Super Meat Boy, although I'm not done with it yet. Braid was clever. Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet was beautiful.

I've also got a stack of games I haven't started yet: SSX, LA Noire, and Fable 2 come to mind.

One of the nice things with being this many years behind is there are so many awesome games I can pick up for like $4.99. And yes, I do buy new games new, but the old games are still awesome, too.

Posted by Ravenlight

Check out Bastion if you get a chance. It's a great game on its own but the style might appeal to your retro-gaming sensibilities.

Edited by believer258

@Ravenlight said:

Check out Bastion if you get a chance. It's a great game on its own but the style might appeal to your retro-gaming sensibilities.

Not only this, if you were and still are a big retro gamer then there are some things on the Xbox Live marketplace that you'll love. Trials Evolution, Outland, Braid, Super Meat Boy, Hard Corps Uprising, etc.

EDIT: Ooops, I didn't see your last point. Sorry.

Posted by norenewalfee

you should definitely check out Shadow Complex too.

Posted by InternetCrab

Bastion, Skyrim, Arkham City, and Saints Row 3 are a few. And you will love LA Noire, by the way.

Posted by mandude

Your taste in games is pretty close to my own it seems. In that case you should love LA Noire. Especially as a throwback to classic mystery puzzle type games.

Posted by Pepsiman

Out of curiosity, was your time with Blur's multiplayer recent? I'd have thought the multiplayer community for it would be all but dead at this point, especially with the closure of Bizzare, but perhaps I'm mistaken.

Posted by nail1080

@criacow: Yeah dude your profile pic reeks of 'retro gamer'....*cough*

Posted by Flawed_System

@believer258 said:

@Ravenlight said:

Check out Bastion if you get a chance. It's a great game on its own but the style might appeal to your retro-gaming sensibilities.

Not only this, if you were and still are a big retro gamer then there are some things on the Xbox Live marketplace that you'll love. Trials Evolution, Outland, Braid, Super Meat Boy, Hard Corps Uprising, etc.

EDIT: Ooops, I didn't see your last point. Sorry.

Don't forget Fez!

Posted by MechaKirby

Gonna add another game to the top of the pile everyone else is suggesting - Rayman Origins. If you're a "retro" gamer, you should absolutely play this game.

Posted by criacow

@Pepsiman: It's pretty recent--I haven't logged into it in about a month, but yeah. I would call it 'mostly dead but not entirely'. There's usually about 100 people on the system, and you can still get 10-20 player matches going.

The main problem it suffers from is that just about everyone who still plays is rank 50, so coming in as a noob is .. challenging. You have to love the game and not care about winning. I think the best I ever did was 7th out of 20; I have exactly zero multiplayer wins.

Posted by criacow

Thanks for your suggestions, everyone; I really appreciate them and will check all of those out! I actually have Bastion sitting around waiting to be played, but I'll bump it up the queue. And LA Noire might be next, then, given what y'all have said.

Edited by Jeust

Check out Alan Wake, and Nier. They are great titles. And the best of experiences with both 3DS and Xbox 360 to you!

Posted by zombiepenguin9

@criacow: I've actually had a very similar experience. I got out of gaming around 2000 and came back to it about a year or so ago. Just got my first 360 as well.

I'll second Rayman Origins, and also throw Darksiders out there.