Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Link Gives Me Growing Pains

This weekend, I started playing Legend of Zelda on the Wii.  This original title, available for download, was a staple in my childhood.  But now, I play the game and I am not filled with the same sense of joy and excitement as before.  When expressing my dislike for what was once my favorite game, I was met with heavy criticism.
I was reminded of the origins of video games.  A lot of what games are today is all in thanks to titles like the Legend of Zelda.  How dare I blaspheme such an iconic character and his noble quest?  “Easy”, I said, “compared to games today, it sucks”.  

Why hang out in a black and white dungeon when I can get busy on the deck of the Normandy?
Now by this point, I’m sure that someone is having a fevered rage-gasm over what I’m saying.  But when you line up a game that is 25 years old next to the games available today, the new games win hands down.  Of course, there are some horrible games now, (I’m looking at you Transformers).  But there were shitty games back then too.  Remember ET the video game?  If you don’t, consider yourself lucky.  Remove nostalgia.  Take away your childhood memories of the NES and beyond.  Walk up to Legend of Zelda like you have never seen it before.  Then walk up to Mass Effect.  Tell me which one is a better game.  I like new controls better.  I appreciate the modern character development with its near infinite detail.  And I won’t even talk about how far the graphics have progressed.  I also realize this is unfair.  Mass Effect has 25 years of gaming evolution behind it.  

But some gamers get so stuck in those long gone years.  It’s like being thirty and listening to Raffi because you thought he was awesome when you were five.  If you roll up to me and insist that we listen to the Sherry, Lois, and Bram’s Elephant Show because it was awesome in 1984, you should expect to enjoy that shit alone.  Same goes with video games.  If you want me to play Mike Tyson’s Punch Out every single weekend, we aren’t going to be friends for long.

Do want this man in your ear all day?
There is nothing wrong with playing old games.  But there is nothing wrong with moving forward and seeing what’s new.  Let’s not be nostalgic for the sole purpose of being nostalgic.  If there is one thing you should take away from playing the classics, it should be an appreciation for how far the industry has come.

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