Nostalgia is a subject that often comes up when talking about video games and it’s something that’s been on my mind lately. It certainly has a power over games, but what exactly does it do to them? I’ve touched on the subject before and think the discussion is worth continuing. So I thought why not return to the subject by way of a nostalgic post?
To view the original post on UWG from Dec 8, 2013, click here.
Something I like to do from time to time is read a retro review from one blog or another, or even in Game Informer back when they used to do those. It’s fun to see if an old game you love holds up in the modern age. Whether they do or not varies from writer to writer, but most of the always say in way way or another is that they’re attempting to review the game while putting aside nostalgic feelings. I agree that a game should be weighed on it’s actual merits rather than our feelings about it, but recently that qualifier has gotten me wondering: what exactly does nostalgia do to our games? Continue reading [REVISITED] What Does Nostalgia Do To Your Games?→
Nostalgia can be a funny thing sometimes. Sometimes it keeps us from seeing a old favorite’s shortcomings, but other times…other times it can do the opposite. It’s effect of making us simply accept everything in an old game can also blind us towards the nature of its strengths, and even that which sets it apart from the new. Nostalgia discourages questioning, which is exactly what we need to do if we’re to appreciate a favorite for everything that it is, as well as everything that it does. Continue reading Nostalgia and Crash Bandicoot→
When it comes to RPG’s I’m what you would call a hoarder. My character’s house in Skyrim is filled with old armor, weapons, potions that I’ll never use, and gem I will never sell. In traditional RPGs like Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Trigger or Mario RPG, I never use the best items, even as they take up more and more of my inventory. I’ve gone whole games without using any of the items I’ve stockpiled, and why?
“Have you played Bioshock Infinite?” my co-worker excitedly asked me the other day.
“No, not yet.” I responded, “It looks great, though I’ve never played a Bioshock game.”
He looked confused. “You’ve…what?! They’re great games, well, maybe not the second one…but you should really give them a shot, especially Infinite.”
Yeah, well…” my gaze turned to the floor, “maybe someday.”
Later that day, at my computer, I sat and stared at a list of upcoming game releases, and I sighed. Some were games that knew I had to play; others I knew I’d pass on. I moved to another site to read a few current games reviews, and I sighed again.
Will I ever play these games, I wonder? Maybe someday…some…day…[SIGH]
Argh! My melancholy turned to sudden anger. Why did this even bother me??
As gamers we’ve all, at one point or another, come across this type of character. They’re often stoic and mysterious, mostly keeping their thoughts and opinions to themselves; in fact you don’t recall them saying much of anything at all even though the NPC’s react as if they had. This is the silent protagonist, a character ranging from a blank slate to one with their own back story but whose words and motivations are determined by the player. It’s a character type that’s existed ever since gaming’s inception, something that’s successfully spawned several iconic, well known characters like “Gordon Freeman” (Half-Life), the “Vault-Dweller” (Fallout), “Link” (Legend of Zelda), and until recently “Samus Aran” (Metroid). Most of us recognize this type of character when we see them, but do we really know what they are? Do we understand the reason for their silence? Haven’t we all wondered what the game would be like if they were able to speak? Interesting questions to be sure, so let’s take a look under the hood and see what makes these characters tick. Continue reading The Silent Protagonist→