Tuesday, 26 February 2008

The Contemporary Veteran

Well, here’s an interesting one. Not all that long ago, in a pre-redesign post, I mentioned that the Gizmondo should be re-invented, become a public-domain handheld games console due to it’s flexibility and homebrew. Well, it seems that someone was listening. And that someone just happens to be one of the original founders of the old Giz. Now I do realise that there is a little inflated self-importance here. I must be honest, I do not think for one minute that it was my efforts that brought on this turn of events… but I can pretend.

I happened upon an interesting topic on one of my regular haunts recently. The question was raised – which games are better, old or new? A lot of people will automatically jump onto one band wagon or the other, as was obvious in the thread. A few would pull out very specific titles from their own personal games-playing past, and others seem to enjoy exhaustively demolishing games that have already been dissected due to substandard ness previously. I however, did my usual trick and read far too deeply into the subject matter.

It seems to me that what we have here is a paradox. Because without new games, there would be no old ones. As with everything in life, if you do not experience the new, then there can be no old. A lot of people were saying that older games lack the graphics, gameplay or quality of new titles. This surely goes without saying, as games are forever improving. On the other hand, I do believe that new games are subject to such stringent rules and expectations from the industry and the players that in some ways, they over-improve. GTA Vice City was great, and is already on the way to becoming a modern-day classic. San Andreas? Yes. Good game. But does it really need to be that complicated and big? Final Fight will always be one of my own personal favourites. But Final Fight: Streetwise seems to have been on the receiving end of a lot of effort to disassociate it from the original. Yet it is a good game. Strike me down if it fails to entertain. No! Not with a Dragon Punch, thank you!

We love new games. We get to sample some of the most cutting edge design and technology. We get to marvel at the fantastic graphics, the fluid and engaging gameplay. Explore massive new worlds and tailor our avatars. Feast on all the extras. Yet we love old games. The quirkiness of the controls, the glitches. The nonsensical or complete lack of storylines. Yet the feeling that we belong within the universes of both old and new games.

Which is better, old or new games? That, is a very good question.

- Galford.

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