Retro Games Are Way More Fun Now Than They Used To Be
I remember it like yesterday: lime green grass fields, beautiful blue waterfalls, red fish with teeth, loops to run through and a hedgehog that’s radically fast! Green Hill Zone is an iconic stage, to be sure, but after the Marble Zone, do you remember much more of Sonic the Hedgehog as a kid? We didn’t see much of the retro games we grew up with, especially if you’re like me, but as technology has progressed, they have been much easier to play and enjoy.
The rewind feature/Quick Save feature
This will be a controversial article, I’m sure, for purists, but with the recent collections of classic games that have been released on modern platforms, the rewind feature is a godsend. Retro games don’t have to be so much of a challenge now. You don’t have to lose a life or go ALL THE WAY BACK to the start of the level again. For example, the brutally hard Castlevania on the NES can be rewound in the recent collection of games during a tough boss battle, or a tricky (and perhaps cheap) platforming section. There is no way a mere mortal can triumph over Dracula without having to spend hours and hours of game time, playing the same levels over and over again.
And with Sonic the Hedgehog, the rewind/quick save features have allowed me to finally see all the wonderful levels and hear all the righteous songs I’ve missed! I’ve even been able to beat Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic CD because of the quick save feature.
Recent indie titles inspired by the classics— like Shovel Knight, The Messenger, Super Meat Boy, and many others — have learned to modernize the platforming genre with multiple checkpoints that can get you right back into the action. We don’t need the rewind in these games, but the classic games from the SNES era and before direly needed it. We don’t need that repetitive gameplay in our busy, modern lives!
Different features that weren’t even thought about before
Nighthawk Interactive and Disney released the Aladdin/The Lion King collection to modern platforms last year, and it went above and beyond what other collections have done before. Firstly, it had almost every version of the games with different regions and even the Game Boy titles available to play. Second, Nighthawk added the feature of having a perfect run playing on your screen and then at any time, the player can jump in at any moment. Want to get through that tricky giraffe section in The Lion King? You don’t have to! Third, are the bonus features included, like having the E3 demo of Aladdin, and the documentaries to watch in the same package.
With the SEGA Genesis Collection on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch, you can even play online through matchmaking or with a friend. Struggling to beat Streets of Rage II by yourself? Get a buddy! That’s an amazing feature. You can also play these games in VR and have a CRT television playing the titles with upscaling filters or none at all.
Other examples would be the Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 collections with the improved orchestral music, up to 4K upscaling, and new boss battles from the Final Mix releases in Japan, and Final Fantasy VII had character boosters, which gave you the option to have more Gil, HP, and MP.
Whatever the game is, it’s all that and a bag of chips to have the option to play with rewind, boosters, new music, quick saves, and even online multiplayer. I find it easier and much more enjoyable to play these retro games with quick save and the rewind functions over having to go through the same levels over and over again. If you play it old-school, I won’t judge.
What are your thoughts? Do you think I’m a fool? Or are you with me? Let me know in the comments! If you want to get the 411 on the retro-inspired indies, stick around Sip Read Repeat! We recently covered Tower of Shades, a cool 2D turn-based RPG on Steam!
Ever since playing Sonic the Hedgehog on the SEGA Mega Drive (that’s right, Americans!), Chris has had a love of the gaming medium. He may write too much about Kingdom Hearts, but he also likes to play first person shooters, platformers, Japanese RPGs, walking experiences, and more! You can check him out on the Active Quest podcast every week with Joseph Yaden and Josh Nichols.