Sunday, May 29, 2011

Retro(spective) Gamer, Part I

Though I grew up on the Atari 2600, Nintendo systems are almost all I've ever known of modern gaming at the time when it was still fairly modern. I play my fair share of PC games, and I dabble around with the likes of PlayStation and Xbox when I'm visiting friends, but the vast majority of my gaming knowledge and experience comes from what Nintendo has had to offer over the years.

I haven't always been pleased with The Next Big Thing From Nintendo. However, I rarely acquire a new system until the price has dropped significantly, at which point it's just A Thing From Nintendo. I might let my fanboyism get the better of me by springing for the latest Mega Man or Metroid game on its release day (or purchasing a system before the price drops sufficiently for the sole purpose of playing said Mega Man or Metroid game), but just about everything else has to wait until it's 30% off, in the bargain bin, or at a garage sale.

In fact, it's usually not until a system is headed into retirement that I start to fully appreciate what it has to offer. The GameCube is a perfect example of this: approximately 60% of the GameCube games I own were purchased after games were no longer being released for the system. With my library now containing games from Burnout to Karaoke Revolution to Metal Gear Solid, the bargain bin has helped me to realize just how versatile a system the GameCube is.

Though I may miss out on some memes and plot twists and groundbreaking innovations, I think I ultimately get the better end of the deal as a retro gamer. Honest opinions are more readily available than superficial hype; choosing from a well-developed catalog of games keeps me focused on what I truly want to play instead of only what's available, and it's cheaper for me to be a collector.

I've already talked a little about why I'm a strictly Nintendo guy when it comes to consoles and handhelds, but I haven't said too much about the consoles and handhelds themselves, except to occasionally complain about them. I think it's time to fix that.

...Next time.

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