The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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alienjesus
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Re: Do you think the PS2 is retro?

by alienjesus Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:48 pm

o.pwuaioc wrote:
alienjesus wrote:People regarded the Dreamcast as retro when I joined the site. Despite that being 6 years ago, they don't seem to have moved the line. They'll probably continue to regard Dreamcast as the last retro console forever at this point.

People consider playing Dreamcast retro because being a "Dreamcast gamer" is a very different kind of beast than being a "PlayStation gamer", with one not just out-dated in technical capabilities, but in gameplay (as Jagosaurus said) which is more action-oriented, more similar to an arcade. PlayStation, PS2, and later represent a shift in era.

To put it another way, let's think about modern games. If a game comes out today that plays like God of War, it doesn't feel out of place in the modern gaming world. If it has polygons and 3D graphics, it doesn't feel out of place. If it has CD-quality music, it doesn't feel out of place.

If the graphics look like it's made up of pixels, the gameplay is a side-scrolling platformer/shooter/beat-em-up, and uses music even vaguely reminiscent of 8-bit sound chips, it feels like it belongs in another time. VVVVVV is retro. God of War is modern.

The answer to this question shouldn't focus on how old the tech is or whether it pales in comparison to newer tech, but whether it deliberately chooses an aesthetic that hearkens back an older, by-gone era.

When flares came back in around 1997, they weren't retro because no one wore flare pants anymore, they were retro because they symbolized the hippy movement and disco, an era (or two eras) that had completely ceased to exist because of the gritty 80s and grungy 90s.

Similarly, the Dreamcast represents the Sega ages, the arcade era. Playing it, especially playing it for games like Crazy Taxi, MvC, and Bust-a-Move 4, is making a statement that you think those kind of games are cool. You might also think that God War and Devil May Cry are cool, but you're not hearkening back to an earlier era by doing so.

It's funny that this forum is fully aware of this, and yet many here deny it when it comes to the PS2. For example, the thread Favorite Modern Retro Games would make no sense at all if the age of a game was the defining criterion for retro/modern. Look at the suggestions there. Most of the suggestions are very much reminiscent of the 8-bit/16-bit era.


By your definition the entire premise of this thread is stupid then. Your comment about the Dreamcast being arcadey is somewhat invalid if the dreamcast games you're talking about are Shenmue, Sonic Adventure 2 and Skies of Arcadia. Likewise, surely by your standards Playstation 2 versions of 2D fighting games are retro?

Also, the idea that those type of games from the early 90s have ever died out ignores the gaming ecosystem a whole - they have been entirely contemporary on portable systems right up through the DS, and they are a dime a dozen on mobile phones too. Basing an entire idea of what counts as 'retro gaming' based only on the home console market is overly narrow, particularly considering the impact of the handheld scene over the past 25 years.
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Re: Do you think the PS2 is retro?

by o.pwuaioc Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:58 pm

alienjesus wrote:Your comment about the Dreamcast being arcadey is somewhat invalid if the dreamcast games you're talking about are Shenmue, Sonic Adventure 2 and Skies of Arcadia.

I'm wondering if 3D platformers like Sonic Adventure 2 will soon be included in the retro camp. Not yet, though, so yes.

Likewise, surely by your standards Playstation 2 versions of 2D fighting games are retro?

I'd say so, to an extent, but I'm not really that familiar with the fighting game scene post-Dreamcast. The only fighting game (or rather compilation) I own on the PS2 is SNK Arcade Classics. I briefly had Capcom vs. Tatsunoko on the Wii, but couldn't get into it.

Also, the idea that those type of games from the early 90s have ever died out ignores the gaming ecosystem a whole - they have been entirely contemporary on portable systems right up through the DS, and they are a dime a dozen on mobile phones too.

Yes, on portable systems, which really isn't in the same category as console gaming. They died on console gaming (even if you can still find a couple physical releases here and there). Grunge music died in the mid-90s, but I'm sure you can find a grunge-rock band here and there.

Basing an entire idea of what counts as 'retro gaming' based only on the home console market is overly narrow, particularly considering the impact of the handheld scene over the past 25 years.

Not if we're considering the PS2, which is the question at hand. People expected different things from their consoles, their PCs, and their handhelds, and perhaps they still do.
Last edited by o.pwuaioc on Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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pepharytheworm
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Re: Do you think the PS2 is retro?

by pepharytheworm Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:58 pm

o.pwuaioc wrote:
alienjesus wrote:Similarly, the Dreamcast represents the Sega ages, the arcade era. Playing it, especially playing it for games like Crazy Taxi, MvC, and Bust-a-Move 4, is making a statement that you think those kind of games are cool. You might also think that God War and Devil May Cry are cool, but you're not hearkening back to an earlier era by doing so..

Weren't all those games on PS2 also? I could easily have a PS2 collection without games like God of War and in fact I do; shoot'em'ups, jrpgs, 2D fighters, arcade puzzle games. 2.5D sidescrolling platformers, arcade racers and 3D platformers and survival horror games with more in common with game play mechanics from the ps1/n64 era than modernly.

The ps2 was a odd machine in that it had such a large variety of games. The ps3/xb360 which has a lot of the above genres too, are more hidden and the games like cinematic action, cover shooter, FPS, racing simulators and wrpgs are more in the forefront. Those types of games seem to define modern gaming. And yes I know ps2 had all those types of games too, they just didn't seem as much of the consoles focus in comparison.

I guess it really comes down to games people owned on the ps2 that might shape their views.
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Re: Do you think the PS2 is retro?

by Exhuminator Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:29 pm

Alright o.pwuaioc, since you refuse to meet me on my own ground, I will just meet you on yours.

Merriam-Webster:

Retro - looking like or relating to styles or fashions from the past, relating to, reviving, or being the styles and especially the fashions of the past : fashionably nostalgic or old-fashioned

Dictionary.com:

Retro - 1. retroactive: retro pay., 2. of or designating the style of an earlier time


The Free Dictionary:

Retro - 1. Retroactive: retro pay. 2. Involving, relating to, or reminiscent of an earlier time; retrospective. 3. Fashion or style, as in music, reminiscent of an earlier time.


Based on those specific definitions, it does not make sense to call something that is old "retro". It's just "old". However, to engage with something old willfully when a newer replacement exists, now that is a retro behavior.

Considering the PS2 is no longer produced or supported by Sony, and has been surpassed by not only the PS3 but also the PS4, it only makes sense to call the PS2 outdated. The PS2 is old. It is no longer directly supported by its manufacturer in the market place, and its hardware is absolutely archaic compared to its successors. Thus from a technical perspective, the PS2 is objectively outmoded.

So to address the original question of this crazy thread; "Do you think the PS2 is retro?" My answer after much rumination is NO, I don't think the PS2 is retro in the literal dictionary sense of the word. But at this point in time playing the PS2 for video gaming pleasure, that is indeed a retro endeavor. It is absolutely true if one has access to a PS4 but chooses to play a PS2 instead, that gamer is indulging in a retro pastime.

Do you agree o.pwuaioc?
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Re: Do you think the PS2 is retro?

by o.pwuaioc Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:45 pm

Exhuminator wrote:Alright o.pwuaioc, since you refuse to meet me on my own ground, I will just meet you on yours.

Merriam-Webster:

Retro - looking like or relating to styles or fashions from the past, relating to, reviving, or being the styles and especially the fashions of the past : fashionably nostalgic or old-fashioned

Dictionary.com:

Retro - 1. retroactive: retro pay., 2. of or designating the style of an earlier time


The Free Dictionary:

Retro - 1. Retroactive: retro pay. 2. Involving, relating to, or reminiscent of an earlier time; retrospective. 3. Fashion or style, as in music, reminiscent of an earlier time.


Based on those specific definitions, it does not make sense to call something that is old "retro". It's just "old". However, to engage with something old willfully when a newer replacement exists, now that is a retro behavior.

Considering the PS2 is no longer produced or supported by Sony, and has been surpassed by not only the PS3 but also the PS4, it only makes sense to call the PS2 outdated. The PS2 is old. It is no longer directly supported by its manufacturer in the market place, and its hardware is absolutely archaic compared to its successors. Thus from a technical perspective, the PS2 is objectively outmoded.

So to address the original question of this crazy thread; "Do you think the PS2 is retro?" My answer after much rumination is NO, I don't think the PS2 is retro in the literal dictionary sense of the word. But at this point in time playing the PS2 for video gaming pleasure, that is indeed a retro endeavor. It is absolutely true if one has access to a PS4 but chooses to play a PS2 instead, that gamer is indulging in a retro pastime.

Do you agree o.pwuaioc?

Since you can play PS2 games on the PS4, since many PS2 games are very similar to PS4 games, since the PS2 is not substantially different graphically from the PS4 (as the PS2 was from the PS1, or the PS1 from 16 bit systems),I fail to see how playing PS2 games fits the M-W dictionary, but perhaps as Bone said earlier, maybe because I was too old when playing it. I don't get nostalgic for PS2 games, they feel too modern. Must be different for you. /me shrugs

Glad we finally ended the silly "is the PS2 retro" question.
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Re: Do you think the PS2 is retro?

by BogusMeatFactory Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:42 pm

You say potato, I say potato. That saying doesn't look right when typed does it?

I could go on ad nauseam about how the Playstation 2 differs from the more current generations in terms of game design, graphical styles and pacing, but that is irrelevant.

Things in the 80's were retro in the 90's. Things in the 2000's are retro in the 2010's. Both Merriam and Webster can suck it.
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Re: Do you think the PS2 is retro?

by Markies Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:22 pm

Retro, by nature, is subjective. It's all in how the person looks at it. A child born in this year is going to view the PS4 as a retro console. A child born this year is going to see a PS6 as a modern console.

It's all in what was your first system. There is a fine line between modern and retro. That line is forever shifting and forever changing and always different between each individual person. There is also a point when a console no longer becomes retro and just moves onto old or antiquated technology. Is Pong still considered Retro? Would Pong and a PS1 game both be considered Retro? It all depends.

For me, I had to draw the line somewhere. And I drew the line after the PS2. The PS2 generation is the last retro generation. That is the generation that I really stopped looking forward to new games and began only considering old games. And since that was over a decade ago, I now consider the PS2 to be retro.

One day, I might consider the 360/Wii/PS3 Retro, but considering I never grew up with it and got much into it during its initial run, it won't feel retro to me. It'll feel like a whole new game and system.
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Re: Do you think the PS2 is retro?

by Exhuminator Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:33 am

o.pwuaioc wrote:Since you can play PS2 games on the PS4

Well I can play Atari 2600 games on my 2015 smartphone, so what's your point there? My line of thinking is in keeping the platforms distinctive to their inherent selves. If you start throwing retro-compatibility into the equation it changes the discussion dramatically and dilutes the original point. The point being that the PS2 itself is an outdated system, and the games which were designed for it inherently equate to being outdated as well, at least technically speaking. Therefore the act of playing PS2 games no matter the conduit equates to an act of deliberate retro sensibility.
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Re: Do you think the PS2 is retro?

by o.pwuaioc Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:37 am

Exhuminator wrote:
o.pwuaioc wrote:Since you can play PS2 games on the PS4

Well I can play Atari 2600 games on my 2015 smartphone, so what's your point there? My line of thinking is in keeping the platforms distinctive to their inherent selves. If you start throwing retro-compatibility into the equation it changes the discussion dramatically and dilutes the original point. The point being that the PS2 itself is an outdated system, and the games which were designed for it inherently equate to being outdated as well, at least technically speaking. Therefore the act of playing PS2 games no matter the conduit equates to an act of deliberate retro sensibility.

Granted. Let's strike that one from the debate. I was thinking of official compatibility, but perhaps that's still too contentious.
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Re: Do you think the PS2 is retro?

by alienjesus Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:28 am

o.pwuaioc wrote:
Exhuminator wrote:
o.pwuaioc wrote:Since you can play PS2 games on the PS4

Well I can play Atari 2600 games on my 2015 smartphone, so what's your point there? My line of thinking is in keeping the platforms distinctive to their inherent selves. If you start throwing retro-compatibility into the equation it changes the discussion dramatically and dilutes the original point. The point being that the PS2 itself is an outdated system, and the games which were designed for it inherently equate to being outdated as well, at least technically speaking. Therefore the act of playing PS2 games no matter the conduit equates to an act of deliberate retro sensibility.

Granted. Let's strike that one from the debate. I was thinking of official compatibility, but perhaps that's still too contentious.


Yeah, this really didn't make much sense. You can play Atari and Intellivision on PS2, NES on Wii U and ZX Spectrum games on tablet and in browser. I wouldn't deny any of them are retro, so modern compatability is a bit of a moot point.
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