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Retro gaming is the only thing I enjoy about video games now – Reader’s Feature

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Retro gaming is the only thing I enjoy about video games now – Reader’s Feature

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The London Gaming Market is a treasure trove for retro gamers (Picture: Metro)

A reader reveals why he plays almost nothing but retro video games, after realising that modern titles are no longer for him.

I read with interest the recent articles about the London Games Market and now intend to visit the one in Birmingham when it’s on. I’ve always enjoyed replaying older games and have several retro consoles and computers (some of them ‘mini’ versions) but I never thought of myself as a retro gamer in particular. That has started to change over the course of this generation though, when I realised that new games were no longer appealing to me.

I’m not completely against new games, as I enjoyed Elden Ring and most of Nintendo’s output, but I have no intention of ever playing anything online, least of a live service game, and I am increasingly tired of 50 hour long narrative adventures with very limited gameplay and, often, not even that good stories.

I’m a father of three and I don’t have much time for games, so older, shorter titles are immediately more appealing on that level alone. But it’s more than just that. The simplicity of older games, and the lack of padding, means they can fit much more easily into my modern lifestyle. There’s also a nostalgia factor but for me that’s a relatively minor part of it, especially as I enjoy seeking out games I’ve never played before.

There is a certain collector mentality involved with retro gaming that I also enjoy. Picking up rare imports from Japan (I just got a copy of Soukyugurentai on the Saturn) or games that only had a limited release in the West (one of my holy grails at the moment is Ninja Cop on the Game Boy Advance) is expensive and difficult, but there’s an enjoyment to the research that I find makes you appreciate the games more and understand more about the developer and the format.

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Owning actual physical products is also a pleasure, as far as I’m concerned. I’m not one for merchandise and action figures but I do get a very satisfied feeling looking at my gaming collection in my bookcases, and I’m sure that’s going to be impossible in the near future – it already is with many digital-only games.

Compared to just sitting playing EA Sports FC forever I find retro gaming far more stimulating and varied, as I look for new games I haven’t tried yet or read through guides to see what I may have missed on games I already own and thought I knew well. There’s always something, because back then everything worked and nothing was held back as DLC.

I worry that I sound like an old fuddy-duddy when I say this, but I truly think that older games are basically an entirely different form of entertainment than modern games. At least the kind of stuff pushed by most big publishers, except for Nintendo.

It’s been a fairly slow evolution from the Xbox 360 era, but I see that as the dividing line between the retro and modern era, and it’s definitely everything before that which interests me the most.

I do make an exception for indie games, despite them being digital only, but most of them are just homages and in those cases I usually enjoy playing the original. If indie games were the sort of thing that major publishers were putting out though I would definitely be interested in their output, but clearly it isn’t.

I’m not bitter about any of this. I’m not angry that mainstream gaming isn’t catering to my preferences anymore, but they’re definitely not. Luckily though that’s not a problem, not if I just stick with retro games.

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By reader Rosebud

The reader’s features do not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. Just contact us at gamecentral@metro.co.uk or use our Submit Stuff page and you won’t need to send an email.


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