I know with certainty that I have most definitely written my personal gaming history down on this blog somewhere, but can’t seem to find it. I was going to link to that and then tell you all to peruse my archives for my more recent history. Seeing as how I can’t find that definitive gaming history post, here’s the TLDR version:
I was born in the 80s. Early memories of Nintendo, Atari, Colecovision, and the Atari ST. I owned a Sega Genesis, Game Gear, and Saturn before jumping ship to Sony’s Playstation and have owned all 4. Have owned a PC since the late 90’s. I’m not a Master Race-r, and enjoy consoles as much as I do my $1500 computer. I just happen to be able to do a bunch more with my PC, and I recognize the pitfalls and advantages of both. Either way, I’m a gamer through and through, and an opinionated one at that. Both of these things will likely continue until I’m old and grey.
This week’s writing prompt had to do with favorite gaming memories, our gaming histories, and all of that. Rather than sounding like a broken record, you got my gaming history above. Below, is going to be a sort of mash up with the writing prompt and the screenshot challenge, because the following picture brings so many things to the foreground in my mind.
Those of you not familiar with the game pictured above might mistake it for an old PC/Atari/Amiga classic, but it actually released this year. Despite that fact, this screenshot makes me feel like I’m looking at something from the late 80’s era of computer games, due to the pixellated graphics and limited color palette. For some, graphics are the thing that will interest them in a game more than anything else. Some would refuse to play a game from the 80’s because of this art style, though in the 80’s it was the best you could hope for, whereas today it is more of a stylistic choice to make a game with pixel art. To me this picture and the game in question, melds the best of both worlds. There is simultaneous nostalgia and hype. There are modern mechanics and frame rates mixed with the styling of old.
The game is Hyper Light Drifter.
It’s on Steam. It’s an indie game. It’s inexpensive. It’s easy to learn and hard to master. And it’s beautiful. It plays like we wished King’s Quest would have played. As a matter of fact, I’d take a new pixel art version of King’s Quest that had a little more focus on action combat and a little less focus on puzzles. But that’s me. Your mileage may vary. Still, I feel like we must remember the past as fondly as we enjoy the here and now. Yes, games like Uncharted 4 or DOOM are a hell of a lot better looking, and more immersive to boot. But damn it if games don’t have roots, and damn it if you haven’t played some of the incredible titles from the 80’s and 90’s you should really do yourself a favor. Get over the graphical snobbery, and appreciate what was done with limited capabilities. You might come to discover that games have always been good, despite sometimes looking like shit.
In other words, know your history.
At least, I feel better about making generalized or blanket statements and having opinions, because I’ve been there, and I’ve done that.