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the retro blahs

by dsheinem Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:34 am

So I don't know if this is someone anyone else has experienced, especially if they've been a "retro gamer" (either exclusively or in part) for a fairly long period of time, but lately I have been finding it difficult to find the energy and enthusiasm for playing older games. There's a couple of reasons for this, and I don't know that I mind that I am not playing retro stuff much lately...but I am a bit surprised by the shift in my own sentiment. I think I have a case of the "retro blahs".

More to the point, if I look back at the games I've played through this year and last, I've only completed just a few (usually short) retro games over a little more than a year. I have been playing new/newer games pretty regularly during this same period, so it isn't that my general gaming has fallen off...just that the retro part of it has. Reasons that I can think of for my malaise include:

-too many interesting new games coming out competing for my time and attention
-too many years spent mining/playing the vast majority of classics I think I might be interested in across both mainstream and very niche systems
-growing lack of interest in collecting older games/maintaining a collection (the "thrill of the hunt" is gone, too, in part because older/interesting stuff has largely dried up in the "wild")
-too many newer games that borrow the same aesthetic and gameplay conventions of older titles, scratching itches for pixels, chiptunes, etc.

So, I am curious if anyone else on this site - especially long time members - have experienced a similar "falling out" (or at least a "cooling off" with retro games). I am not saying that I am going to "give up" retro games, but ---for now--- the thrill is gone.
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Re: the retro blahs

by Stark Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:47 am

I definitely have this, although I don't know if I have anything meaningful to say beyond what you did. Game time for me is limited, due to family obligations or other social things. I'm lucky in that I have a wife, who often likes to watch me play games, but that limits the scope somewhat, as she likes ones with a storyline that she is interested in, which seems to be newer games (6th gen >). I should expand on that and say, that means my retro games that I have played usually have been on handhelds that I can play at work during breaks.
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Re: the retro blahs

by Exhuminator Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:26 pm

For me, no. Looking at the range of games I've beaten so far this year, the oldest one was from 1986 (and the newest from 2017). There are still tons of retro classics and obscurities I fully intend to play / am still interested in. If anything, I find myself perturbed with this forum's gaming proclivities in general, as regarding the supposed "retro" element. The large majority of members here favor playing modern games by a wide margin. Which is perfectly fine, nothing wrong with that necessarily. It's just kind of disingenuous to the original intent of this website is all. :| (Sometimes I think about making a gaming forum where you're only allowed to discuss games that are at least ten years old. :lol: But I digress.)

All that said, it might just be a cyclic thing for us old timers. I've noticed over the years in the games beaten thread, that members will sometimes get on retro kicks and beat five or six old games in a row. Then they'll go back to modern stuff for a bit, and play those sorts of games for a while. It may be that you are just burned out on true classic gaming, and that might last a good while, and then suddenly out of the blue the retro itch will strike once again.

One last thought; I know there are buttloads of indie PC games now that are designed with a retro-aesthetic. Some of them are quite convincing in their execution and fun to boot. But of the ones I've played, although I found them enjoyable, I did not truly feel the authentic joy of classic gaming in and of itself. It might just be a mind block, but there's something wholly bonafide about the real deal. I for one haven't experienced the true classic feel with even the most dedicated retro-leaning indies. I simply prefer the legit thing. That's not a knock against retro-aping indie games though. Not at all! They're good fun and the more the merrier.

As a caveat; I may be a total outlier in that I don't get immediately excited about new technology or ever-fancier graphics (hence it takes me so long to get around to buying a new platform). I guess it's easy to become addicted to spectacle and the feeling of "new", but I just don't have that. I'm in no hurry to play new games when I have such a huge library of as-yet-unplayed older ones already competing for my attention. Outside the most common retro consoles, there's a world of untranslated classic Japanese PC games I still want to play (action oriented stuff).

Re: the retro blahs

by AppleQueso Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:08 pm

Honestly it wasn't until I stopped collecting entirely and fully embraced emulation/etc that I realized how much a lot of the whole collecting things actively hampered some of my personal enjoyment. A task like "complete your 500+ game backlog between maintaining your life and other hobbies" just made me not want to play, and the immense money and time investment just made me feel guilty for not playing them more.

But now idk, when you have access to everything easily it feels utterly silly to worry about huge backlogs or whatever. You didn't make as much of a material investment so it's less pressure. least that's how it's been to me idk. I still see tons of merit in using real hardware when you can but it's no longer a major concern for me. Emulation opened me up to trying a lot of games on a lot of systems that were just out of reach when I was insistent on collecting anything I wanted to sit down and really play. Plus rom hacks, there are some fun, creative, and really awesome ones peppered among the garbage "mega man is gay lol hes pink" type stuff.

So yeah idk. I was in a slump like that for a while, much less so now.
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Re: the retro blahs

by BogusMeatFactory Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:13 pm

My moods ebb and flow a lot. I always shift back and forth from heavy console play to PC... from retro to modern. The truth is, I play what I want and that changes all the time. Right now I am in a huge adventure game kick that spans the 80s to 2016. Also with the huge influx of GOTY candidates, I can totally understand why folks are focusing on the now. Current gen systems are in their biggest heyday and the Switch is a fun new piece of hardware.

Nothing wrong with enjoying games of the modern era as long as you are enjoying games period.
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Re: the retro blahs

by AppleQueso Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:14 pm

oh right I also try not to mentally separate retro and modern stuff much if at all
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Re: the retro blahs

by Ziggy587 Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:37 pm

I don't distinguish retro games from modern games. They're all just video games to me. I never stopped playing my old games and consoles, so I never had that 10-20 year gap where I "discovered" retro gaming. For me, the thrill for retro gaming can't be gone because there was never a thrill for solely retro gaming. Just an enthusiasm for gaming in general.

That said, I guess I do have stretches where I don't play any retro games but I don't think about it like that. I might have a month where I'm playing a new game or two, and that eats up my gaming time so it prevents me from playing retro stuff. It's not that I don't feel like playing retro, per se, it's just a lack of time more than anything else. If I'm playing Breath of the Wild this month, it's not that I don't feel like playing retro, it's just that I can only play one game at a time.

That and I just allow myself to play whatever I feel like and whenever I feel like it. So I tend not to think about how much or how little retro gaming I'm doing, versus modern gaming. Whenever I start to think about if I'm spending too much time on X game, or I haven't played X console in so long, it just sucks the fun out of gaming for me. I guess that explains why I've never been active in the gaming goals or games beaten threads. There were a couple of years that I tried participating in the games beaten thread but I always abandoned it. I need my gaming to be completely unstructured.

Does anyone else feel like putting too much thought or planning into your gaming makes the activity less fun?
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Re: the retro blahs

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:42 pm

If anything I've been getting deeper into the retro scene. There's so much stuff out there and I'm just scratching the surface of systems like the MSX, SG-1000, and Famicom Disk System. This type of exploration and discovery excites me way more than any modern game.

Though, I am something of a "retro purist" taste-wise. And I tend to eschew modern stuff unless it's specifically designed in the style of a retro game.

I abandoned concepts like "game collecting" and "backlogs" a long time ago. To me these types of things introduce undue levels of stress into a hobby that is designed for fun and leisure.

Exhuminator wrote:If anything, I find myself perturbed with this forum's gaming proclivities in general, as regarding the supposed "retro" element. The large majority of members here favor playing modern games by a wide margin. Which is perfectly fine, nothing wrong with that necessarily. It's just kind of disingenuous to the original intent of this website is all. :|

It's no secret that I'm kinda salty about this myself. I, of course, do not and should not have any say regarding what's "allowed" to be discussed but I'll admit that it's a tad frustrating to see many of my retro gaming themed posts immediately swallowed up by discussions of whatever 8th gen title is the flavor of the month. On a "retro gaming forum" no less. There's been talk about how to improve the website and whatnot. In addition to (much more) front page content I think a re-branding of sorts is in order. Calling this a "retro gaming site/forum" is disingenuous at this juncture; I tend to think of this as more of a gather of gaming connoisseurs (pardon the silly term, best I could do on the fly) akin to HG101 and others.
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Re: the retro blahs

by noiseredux Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:47 pm

if it makes you guys feel better, plenty of modern games I try to talk about get ignored as well. Shrug.
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Re: the retro blahs

by Sarge Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:51 pm

I do go through cycles. I still love retro games, but many times, I'm mining more esoteric titles for new stuff to play, and they just don't hold up as well as the absolute classics. That being said, you can tell I go back to the classics a lot from my beaten games list, and they don't require the sort of time investment that RPGs do. It's a bit ironic, me being such an RPG guy as a kid, and now I'm more about the immediate gratification a lot of times.

There's also the fact that indie gaming is keeping the retro dream alive. The best of those gives me the same sort of feeling as I had in the 8- and 16-bit eras, so I'm going to gravitate to the best of them.

I have been playing a lot of modern stuff recently, but I think I've always slid back and forth between the two. I don't discriminate, give me a good game and I'll enjoy it.
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