Old-School/New-School – When Worlds Collide

I’ve been a gamer ever since I can remember standing up. I know we got an Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) when I was really little, and even though I couldn’t comprehend why I was killing a giant fire breathing turtle, it started a new passion that is still strong to this day. I think a lot of people my age have that same introduction to games, where we just all played our older siblings/friends NES’s and been hooked ever since. I started getting pretty hardcore about gaming when the Super Nintendo (SNES) released and I got hooked on games like Super Mario World and Mega Man X.

Back in the days, platformers were king. Moving from the left part of the screen to the right was really the only goal to most games. Gamers back then, we ate it up, we liked it simple, and simple is what was delivered. However, the gameplay may have been simple, but it was very good and very addictive. Games today are much less about being one genre, and focus more on sandbox-gameplay, and making your own adventure. Its seems like many games today are there for a bit, and then quickly forgotten…nothing really quite sticks to our minds like the games of yesteryear. Although, with the advances in technology, many games today such as Mass Effect, Bioshock, and Grand Theft Auto IV, they can really suck the player in with a cinematic feel never even dreamed of years ago.

For me, what divides new and old-school gamers is that most old-schoolers were introduced with cartridges, and the new guys came in with the Sega Dreamcast and Playstation. The new-schoolers care a lot more about production value and graphics. I have been friends with many gamers in the past that would play some horrible games, but defend it by saying, “But it looks pretty!”. That’s the reason I give mad respect to other OS (old-school) gamers, because they know what its like to play an 8-bit game and still have a blast.

For many of us, we get our jollies from nostalgia. Luckily, today with the Wii’s virtual console, NS (new-school) gamers, can see where gaming sort of got its roots and how the franchises they love today once were. Something else that is quite interesting, is what an influence old games have on the new games released these days. Nothing is more satisfying then hearing songs from Super Mario Bros. 3 (my favorite NES game next to Kirbys Adventure), when you pop in Super Mario Galaxy. Super Smash Bros. Brawl is basically a part of every Nintendo fanboy’s wet dream, solely because of nostalgia.

This blend of old and new-school games, is really going to appeal to a larger audience. It will suck in old gamers, and introduce the new gamers into a world of games they probably would of never gave a crap about. Sorry if I seemed a bit biased, but the old NES and SNES days really hold a place in my heart, since they are what made me so passionate about gaming. Hopefully, developers and publishers start worrying more about quality over quantity with games, and they can make totally new classics. Who knows, maybe in twenty years we will look back and say, “I still enjoy Grand Theft Auto IV…I’m old-school.”