The worst part about being a gamer in his late twenties, has to be the constant nostalgic exaggerations that come from my generation about the quote on quote, “heyday of gaming.” In the mid-nineties.
Now there may be a point. MAY BE a point, to the content that was released of the era, but what really confuses me, are the people who can look at a Nintendo 64 and say it was the best shit in the whole wide world. What, are they nuts?
They’re high on the nostalgia, because things are way better now. I know, I lived it and I live it now.
Sometimes, a fellow gamer will come up to me and tell a story about how the newer generation is a loss cause because they’ll never appreciate the Nintendo 64 like their Xbox 360, because of course, the 64 is the greatest that gaming as ever been. Well, I don’t think so.
Growing up in the 90s has to be some of the most exaggerated hearsay on the planet. It’s SO much better now to be a gamer. I don’t understand how people can’t move past their romantism and bliss when they were a kid. I guess its a lot like someone who’s passed away, we tend to only remember to the good things. Well, luckily for you I’m here to give you a reality check because in your 90s frolic you’ve clearly forgot somethings that absolutely sucked back then. There are just so many things I would never go back to.
First off, not so much in the 2D gaming space but 3D graphics were fucking terrible. Not that it makes a difference, and it really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Honestly though, why not have the capability? I mean, it looked bad in 95-96. And I think everyone saw it when it was brand new; everything was made from bricks and it was totally crappy looking. Nah, give me nice looking shit if possible. Sure, it’s not necessary but if it’s there in 2016 I’ll take it.
Here’s another thing, say you’ve bumped into your second cousin from out of town and you want to keep in touch with him or her, and he or she happens to be a huge gamer. The whole day you talk about gaming and your favorite moments from games etc etc. Well, if it’s 1992 you better enjoy your two player SNES trip while it last because the moment the second cousin gets on that bus , you’re probably not going to be gaming like that in a very long time. Welcome to the 90s folks, no gaming headsets and/or Xbox Live. But of course some will say, “But Bradshaw, isn’t that better in a way, because it encourages real face to face communication?” No, if you want to see someone, get off your ass and see them.
Not to make things too real, but also isn’t great that we have technology now to have children in the Americas to play and communicate with their parents serving overseas? Just saying.
Another thing, game pricing: not even close. See children, back in my day there was no “Summer Sale” or steam or digital in general, so holy shit did we have to wait for a price drop. Now, it takes maybe two-three years before the game get released on a Games for Gold or a PS Plus catalogue for practically nothing. Gaming is SO much more affordable, it’s not even fucking close. This point right here may be the most important; affordability. You can say whatever you want about gaming designed around micro-tractions but the affordability of gaming is SO much better.
On that same note, one thing that really pissed me off was a lack of backwards compatibility. If you missed a classic, like a masterpiece, get ready to pay up. Story of my life right there in the late 90s. Wanna play, Chrono Trigger, Tales of Destiny, Final Fantasy VI, Skies of Arcadia, Lufia, Lunar, Earthbound or Ikaruga? You better have some fucking money. For the most part, a lot of this shit has been ported over and at very reasonable prices in my opinion nowadays. Earthbound for example, I’d rather pay 8 bucks on Wii U than 120 bucks any day of the week.
Also I know people aren’t really happy about developer patching shit up after release but it certainly can’t hurt to have the feature. The fact of the matter is this: I’d rather have a good game with patches all over the place than one that stays broken without them. In some cases in the early generation, if the game was broken, well you’re simply shit outta luck. Also nowadays, if a developer wants to add features after release, they can do that too. Like this, they can respect the publisher’s launch schedule and keep the original vision of the game intact. In the 90s, it was quick quick, get it out, fuck it. Especially on the Nintendo 64.
Also, I don’t miss the shitty controllers we had one bit- we had no idea what we were doing back there. Whether it’s the Dual Shock 4, the Wii U Pro Controller or the Xbox One Controller, this facet of gaming is sky high above where we were. What were we doing back there? Basically everything from Sega, with the exception of Dreamcast was nonsense. And what was going on with the Nintendo 64? Was I the only one who got blisters playing Mario Party on that joystick? What were we thinking? No thank you, I’ll take one of our present day controllers any day of the week. Fuck nostalgia.
Wires. Wanna fuck shit up? Try tripping on a controller wire in the 90s, guaranteed you game is ruined. And if you managed to trip on an NES controller wire and move the console by an inch, all your progress 100% fucked, guaranteed. I don’t miss that shit for a second.
Here’s another thing that’s comes to mind. When did playing Gameboy with a lamp at 1AM become cherished? I for one couldn’t stand that shit. No, I’m good, I’ll take the backlight and the beautiful large screens that don’t ghost all over the place. So much better!
And I certainly don’t like burning a retarded amount of batteries in order to beat some Gameboy game, thank you rechargeable ion lithium batteries. The amount of batteries I went through, I probably could have bought another Gameboy Pocket all together.
We didn’t have gamefaqs or Youtube videos, at best we were sold some magazine or had to go off some hearsay from school. There were no regular Youtube gaming shows either, sometime you wouldn’t even know a new sequel to the game you were playing would come out until you saw it randomly in a Target flyer. Nah, don’t miss that one bit.
This shit was all we had.
We gotta leave the nostalgia behind folks. Almost everything is better now. The more I write and reflect the most grateful I am that we don’t have to deal with this shit anymore. I appreciate all the great things that came out in the nineties as much as the next guy in his late twenties/early to mid-thirties but it’s not like all these great things have disappeared and I would argue that present technologies have actually kept the gaming industry archived and preserved. I think people who talk like this are forgetting the great conveniences they take for granted around them.
But I’ll leave you with one more thing.
Just to be completely gay about it and this is the most important, we didn’t have fucking Destructoid folks. We didn’t even have a unified online gaming community and we were living in our own worlds for the most part. Most of us obsessed with gaming, were niche before the development of our gaming sites. We were even taboo as whole class of people and all we ever spoke about was video games and looked weird doing it. I for one, don’t miss this one bit. No doubt, some of my best gaming memories were in the 90s, but have you considered how we had almost no one to talk to and appreciate the medium of gaming? All I wanted to do as a kid was talk about video games, but without the environments and the developments we have now as a gaming community, we’d all not know each other and I wouldn’t go back there for a second.
That being said, I do like cartridges.