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I’m In a Nostalgic State of Mind May 7, 2010

Posted by maxfreund in General.
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1 comment so far

This spring has brought us an influx of games that would rival most fall release schedules.

Triple A titles like God of War III, Final Fantasy XIII and Mass Effect 2 have already hit the market this year. And May looks like it could be the best month yet, with Red Dead Redemption, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Alan Wake, and Mod Nation Racers slated to be released.

So which one of these great games do I have spinning in my disk tray?

None of them.

Do not get me wrong, I have played, and will play many of the great releases this year. I have not all of a sudden gone into a starving-college-student shell and realized there are more important things to spend my money on then games. Trust me that will never happen.

But I have recently found myself dusting off a certain cartridge, my 1999 N64 copy of NBA ShowTime.

Why you ask?

Well that is a question I would love to have a concrete answer to. For most life-long gamers, their childhood games hold a special place in their heart. Going back to historic titles like The Legend of Zelda or Super Mario 64 provide us with a way to reconnect with what made us fall in love with gaming in the first place.

I guess Showtime is the game that can scratch that itch for me.

Yeah it may be ugly, but there is nothing like draining a buzzer beating three-pointer in NBA Showtime.

Never mind the blatant graphical shortcomings or simplistic game play. For me, the high-paced, frenetic 2 vs. 2 action that Showtime provides is giving me a way to reconnect with my younger days in gaming.

I suppose that a similar sensation can occur when a person goes back and reads a favorite book, or watches a beloved film, but no other medium has the same technical growth that games do.

Games rely so heavily on the graphical capabilities of engines and consoles, that so many past releases become outdated, even if they were considered great games in their day.

Showtime is ugly and simplistic, but it still created a gaming experience I want to remember 10 years later.

It may just be nostalgia. I may just be craving a piece of my childhood, and Showtime is there to fill that void.

But playing old games provides me with a way to reconnect with what made gaming great. Old games didn’t have the graphical “wow” factor to help carry them. Back in the day if a game was boring, it wasn’t going to get played. And I feel that being able to reconnect with the core values of gaming allows me to better enjoy the newer releases that are not only beautiful, but also fun.

There is no arguing that gaming as a whole is the most advanced and varied it has ever been.  But when that need for a blast from the past comes, my old N64 cartridges will always be there for me.