Retro Gaming Week

This week has been a blast from the past for gamers. Last Sunday, Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver was released in North America, and on Wednesday, Perfect Dark was released on Xbox Live Arcade (can you guess what I was doing all week?). Both of the games have different philosophies on how to update though, and both lead to two different nostalgic experiences.

First, I’ll start with HG/SS. I played the hell out of this game when I was a kid (before I rejected Pokemon for a while before starting to play it again). Since I knew they were going to use the D/P battle style, I was looking forward to it. Seeing an improved Johto was going to be awesome as well. I was preparing for nostalgia to hydro pump out of my behind.

Champion Badass, more like it.

Hard to get a more badass team.

Someone once said to expect things to be less than what you want so you don’t get disappointed. While I wasn’t disappointed, I wasn’t really impressed, either. Don’t get me wrong; it still is, in my opinion, the best Pokemon game ever made, yet the nostalgia doesn’t seem to still be there. Maybe it’s the lack of 8-bit graphics, maybe I’m getting old, but some changes weren’t for the better. Rather than making you “work” for some HMs, they’re pretty much given to you. As well, I really don’t care about legendaries, so you can imagine how annoyed I was when I was told I’d have to go meet Lugia before even being able to go to the Elite Four. There were a few other little things that took away from exploration, and prevented me from doing things I’d usually do.

Then again, nostalgia is way too blinding, and I could just be complaining that it isn’t the exact same as the old game I knew and loved. Yet I still will be willing to love this, just not as the same being.

That being said, I didn’t really know what to expect from Perfect Dark’s remastered version. I didn’t play the game much at all, but I do remember playing multiplayer a few times, and knowing that it basically was the same thing as GoldenEye at the core. So I was expecting a good game.

Unlike SS, this immediately smashed expectations. The “less is more” style of ten years past was a great change from the current FPSes, trying to fix itself on visceral combat and perks and stats to bring you to complication. The single player is fun, if short, but has a great deal of replayability, unlike many current single player games. Difficulty can rival many current games as well. Beating it is one thing; unlocking cheats, speed runs and all that additional meat will really add on to a game that will last a long time. Throw on co-op and the very unique counter-op (show the henchmen how it’s done, damnit!), and single player will last you ages.

I haven’t even mentioned the Combat Simulator, better known as multiplayer mode, yet. The ridiculous amount of options given to you with bots and scenarios nearly rival Halo 3. You also are giving challenges to unlock other bots, ranging from hairbrained to holyfuckingshit-this-thing-is-not-human difficulty. Even better, there is one great addition; online.

All of this, and yet, it’s basically the same game from the past with a bit of a face lift. Nostalgia be damned, it has held up with the big boys. Something it also has on the big boys (and even HG/SS) is the price tag: $10, which is basically letting you bite off more than you can chew (or throw in a wood chipper even).


Some inspiration before you tackle Perfect Agent or a DarkSim.

Whichever game you choose, you’ll be in for a blast from the past, and although the experiences may be different as far as nostalgia goes, they’re both pretty damn good.

~ by The Slurpee Man on March 20, 2010.

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