Sunday, March 28, 2010

Retro Nouveau - Why Greatness Never Gets Old

So, if you keep up with the forums (and why wouldn't you?), you'd know that I just got Cave Story on Wednesday but am already well into my fourth play-through of the game.

I've already gotten all the endings. I've already gotten all the items/weapons that I care about. I've already tried all the modes. So why am I playing? Cuz it's a damn fun game! That's why!

This game really got me thinking: unlike MegaMan 9, 10 and Sonic 4, Cave Story's "retro" style isn't actually retro. That's just what Cave Story is. We're not revisiting something from 20+ years ago.

Is this revival in "classic" gameplay just a byproduct of downloadable games have file size restraints? Or are people's tastes in gaming just as cyclical as anything else? (Swing dance and boy bands made a come back in the late 90s, 3D movies are back in fashion, the list goes on ...)

Or has gaming just gotten so bloated that a void emerged for simple, fun games to fill?

I don't have the answer for you. I only know how I feel.

So how do I feel? I feel like I love Cave Story, I loved MegaMan 9, I'll probably love MM10 when I get around to it, I loved NSMBWii, and I'm incredibly excited for some 2D elements in Metroid Other M. Of course, I'm still looking forward to the big budget, online-driven release like Monster Hunter Tri and ZengekiNR.

But that's just it - I want both. I don't think retro has to be "retro." Yes, as a style it is firmly rooted in a time long since past. But as an aesthetic? I think if the content is fresh, the game will be too.

8bit or 1080p? I'm diggin' it either way.

What about you?

1 comment:

Spiracy said...

I think it's pretty much the fact that there's a void that seriously needs to be filled in gaming, and Cave Story successfully fills that void.

Personally I'm wondering if the success of this game is just a precursor to fans in droves craving more games that are simple to learn, hard to master and just outright fun!