If you’re a ‘70s, ‘80s, or ‘90s kid you’ll remember the humble and nostalgic beginning of video games.
We’re talking Pong, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong – all games that were available in arcades before getting adapted to home consoles.
Technology has come a long way since then. Games from the last decade or so, such as the immensely popular Assassin’s Creed, Silent Hill, Bioshock, and even Batman, are focused on realism. Characters, locations, and situations are created to be as realistic as possible to draw players in and usually terrify them. It’s easy to get swept into the action when you’re emotionally invested in a realistic character. But that doesn’t mean that retro video games don’t hold a special place in the hearts of anyone who ever got their hands on an old Nintendo.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane…
Do you remember having to take the cassette out and blow into it? That start up screen, and the easily recognizable theme music. Even the bulky controllers, replaced recently by devices such as the Nintendo Switch, which has detachable controllers that can be used with the hand-held screen or with the console.
It’s all a great throw-back, and luckily, there are many manufacturers trying to keep the nostalgia alive.
Here’s a short list of the best retro re-makes to relive your younger days – perhaps with the addition of better graphics and a more reliable console!
Originally released in 1998 for PlayStation, the Spyro series follows the adventures of a young dragon with an attitude (check out those eyebrows!). With fourteen total games released since the original, Spyro has captured the hearts of gamers of all ages.
The latest release, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, is now available for almost any gaming platform and comes with many remastered adventures based off the original. The graphics may be updated and the world of Spyro expanded, but we’re still all relying on the same scrappy dragon to glide wherever he’s needed and save the realm.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D was released for the Nintendo 3DS. With updated graphics and stereoscopic effects (that awesome sense of depth you get in Zelda games), this remaster is hooking Zelda fans with its realism as well as the addictive quests and more navigable upgrades.
Ocarina of Time 3D has been called one of the best remakes of all time by critics of the genre. Following the original version closely, the new release comes with touch screen options for switching out items and clothing as well as gyroscopic technology to play more realistically in first person mode.
This much-loved game has had many releases, so remakes are either welcomed enthusiastically by die-hard fans, or shunned by followers of the original.
A product of Japan, Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green came out for the Gameboy in 1996. Since then the two most recent additions have been Pokémon Go! and Pokémon for the Nintendo Switch. There has been controversy over the fact that the former is unsafe for players who wander as they keep their eyes on their phones, in some extreme cases even wandering into mine fields in Bosnia (2016). Supporters of Go! insist that it brings people who are normally introverts together in society, and gets them talking about where hotspots are.
Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu for Nintendo Switch was released in November 2018, and it’s going to be followed by three additional Pokémon Switch games coming out in 2019. Keep an eye out for the upcoming graphics and additions; this world is constantly expanding, and is a far cry from the original, boxy graphics we all grew up on.
Final Fantasy VII
The Final Fantasy series, initially released in 1994, has retained a devoted following of gamers, and it’s not surprising.
Both critically and commercially successful, the games focus on photorealism and creative storylines. The short videos in between quests and introductions aren’t just informative, but beautiful – they’re hard to skip.
There’s no official release date for Final Fantasy VII, but fans are speculating that it’s closer to being finished than any of us would expect. It should arrive sometime in 2019, and as always, it’ll set the bar high for other games on the market.
Another beloved game from a previous era, Crash Bandicoot follows Crash, who’s creator, Doctor Neo Cortex, is after him.
Crash Bandicoot has been re-designed and put on hiatus a few times in the past two decades, but it seems to finally be making a comeback. With the recent release of the N. Sane Trilogy, creators met the high expectations of fans – and everyone seems to be looking forward to the newest release coming in 2019.
No matter what your poison when it comes to gaming, the tech world has expanded and welcomed video games with open arms since their early advent.
Reboots and upgrades are a way to keep the nostalgia alive, and to pass on games you loved as a child to your own kids. All while whooping them on the race track or expeditions.
Keep an eye out for more upcoming reboots to be released in 2019 – with gaming consoles getting quite a few upgrades as well, gaming has become easier and more enjoyable for those who love to play.