I bring this up because I started thinking about how and why we like to divide ourselves into categories like retro vs. modern games. In 20 years we’re going to refer to the 360 as a retro console and all the games that get crapped on now will get this new “appreciation” in the future. To ask what the major differences are between retro and modern games would produce a list too long to go over. So I’m going to mention the brilliant invention of the save game function.
Let me start off by saying, I am aware that some retro games did allow you to save games, but for the most part, that was based on a password system and you didn’t always start in the exact same spot as where you left off, unlike a modern game such as Skyrim. I can show up at a random town, save the game, then unleash my lightening bolt fury on anyone who dares cross my path! …then once I’m done having fun, I’ll just reload it and get back to my original quest.
When we look at most NES games that allow you to save, it saves the brunt of your journey, but it won’t let you pick up at the exact spot that you finished at. Is this a big deal? To most of us, it might not seem like it, but if you have played any modern games, the save function has turned into this safety net. We don’t know what’s around the corner, so lets save it just in case. May I just add, I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t admit to non-stop saving myself and I’m sure we all do to some degree. After reaching save # 321 in 2 hours, you can say that a little bit of adventure has been lost.
As a kid, when I went to school and said, “I just beat Contra!,” I was the talk of the town. With the walk throughs, tips and cheats you can find on the internet now a days, not many care if you beat a game. There is a certain satisfaction from beating an NES game that you won’t get from beating a modern game. I was quite happy when I beat Skyrim, Red Dead Redemption, and so on, but when I sit down and beat a retro game, it becomes more than a completion, it becomes an accomplishment!