In lieu of next weeks Throwback Thursday i thought i would post a couple of thoughts on retro gaming. I love retro games and have fond memories of playing games like Rainbow Islands, Shadow of the Beast and Pang to name a but a few. Recently i have found myself playing a few retro classics on XBLA namely Gauntlet and Gunstar Heros and i have a major problem. It’s not that these games are bad and i have viewed them through rose tinted glasses for all these years it’s that they are very very hard.

Take Gauntlet for example, my friend and myself in our younger years were kings of Gauntlet. He left his ZX Spectrum on for three days straight so we could keep bashing through the levels as there was no saves in those days. I can’t remember what level we got to in the end but it was very high. All the while playing on the tiny rubber keyed keyboard because we had broken all his Atari joysticks playing Track and Field. The other day Strybe and myself decided to have a bit of a go at Gauntlet, all i can say really is that it was a very brief session. We didn’t even get off the first dungeon and quickly opted to play something else. I thought to myself how did i ever get so far in the game with it being so tough. Unfortunately this isn’t the only game i’ve had trouble with over the years. I owned an arcade compilation on the original Xbox with Rainbow Islands on it. Great i thought, one of my alltime favourite games to play. This also ended far to abruptly, a game i had played from start to finish many many times before had just shown me up for a n00b.

In these days of highly complex games where there is more than one button to push, how come i have lost the ability to play these games to the standard i used to. Strybe would be quick to point out that it is because i’m getting old. Maybe he has a point and just maybe my hand eye co-ordination isn’t what it used to be. I don’t think that is true however as i can still hold my own in fast paced shooters like World at War and Rocket Riot. All this does though is leave me perplexed as to what i have lost over the years. Maybe some of you have some ideas as to how i lost my Retro Mojo and i would be very interested if you have had similar experiences.

    • purplesteve
    • July 1st, 2009

    I agree with you mate, its something that I have lost too. I was not amazing at the old school games but I was a damn site better than I am now. I think they just require TONS of practice and now, with the variety there is in gaming, you dont sit and play the same game over and over. My gf plays arcade games on the PC and she gets really really good at them, shes a wizard on Helicopter and Five Plus for anyone who knows them.

    • Andy Marsh
    • July 3rd, 2009

    Mmmm good point. I did used to play those games an awful lot. I think an experiment may be in order to prove this 🙂

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