Friday, 15 May 2015

Rise and shine, Mr Freeman. Rise. And. Shine.

We've covered some fun topics on our little pixel blog, and our favourite was regarding the difficulty of gaming now vs the good old days . We've recently gone back through Tomb Raider II and seem to spend most of out time saving the game. We know games these days are easy but are we getting more for our money? Today's Soundtrack, Grand Prix Simulator, by The Oliver Twins.

It's something that even we can fall foul of these days. Nostalgia is a wonderful thing, it lets us forget the hours we spent grinding away on games we'd end up hating and just remembering the good times, but we mustn't forget that gaming hasn't always been roses and kittens. These days there are a number of complaints surrounding the gaming industry, and while some are fair (Paying for content already on discs or the lack of originality) it's important to remember that rubbish games and publishers looking to make a quick buck are not entirely new developments.

It's easy to point at E.T. and laugh, blaming it for the demise of Atari and the downfall of the gaming industry, as it caused the crash of '83. Again though, memories have been blurred over the years, and plenty of bandwagons have been jumped on. E.T. the game, actually sold more copies than Space Invaders (by around 500,000). Yes it was a poor game, and a perfect example of a publisher rushing a game to hit the market, but financially it didn't do too badly for Atari.

So yes, E.T. was far from stellar (and let's not blame the developer who programmed it all in 5 weeks, he was just doing what he was told) but are we really any better off with today's industry? There's plenty wrong with it for a start, but did we really get more for our money in the days of the Playstation 1 for example.

That little grey box gave us many a year of happiness, but forget games being cheap. In fact not, if we take inflation into account, that £49.99 PS1 game would now be around £90, if a game set you back $70 in 1994 you would be looking today at around $127. So even if we think games are getting more expensive, actually it's quite the opposite. And that's without even looking at consoles...

If we take a look at the elegant and fantastic spreadsheet I knocked up recently, going back over the prices of some notable consoles through the ages, we can see that if anything, costs have gone down slightly so we can definitely say that the games themselves aren't costing more to buy

But what about gameplay, games used to be long, epic adventures and now they are 2 hour affairs on rails, right? Again, nostalgia tells us this but not every game is Call of Duty. Sure it only takes you a couple of hours to complete the main storyline even on the hardest difficulty but it's not the be all and end all of gaming.

In the next week or so we're going to have the third installment of the Witcher series and if it's brethren are anything to go by, you're going to need to sink a few hours in to get everything the game has to offer, and the same can be said for a number of titles. Whether it's Skyrim, Black Flag, or Shadow of Mordor, even looking back to some 360 and PS3 releases such as Fallout or Lost Odyssey there have constantly been titles which give you a good solid lump of gaming even without DLC.

Not just decent main single player modes, not even just DLC but also all the little bits to go back and get. Completionists everywhere rejoice, because we really can have it all, as long as we pick the right games.

We like to think that games were always better, and being a retro gaming channel I'll point out that this doesn't mean that we don't love  Retro games with all our hearts. We just think maybe modern gaming isn't as bad as we sometimes make it out to be... And we're guilty of that too.

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