Gaming is in the most advanced stage in its history. But still, players are becoming increasingly keen to play the old school games that kick-started it all. There has been a recent rise in porting old games to newer consoles, rereleasing classic devices, and social settings bringing back features of the classic arcades of old. The rise of retro video games has brought about a new, modern style of game which incorporates retro elements. And this suggests that the future of gaming will also look to pay homage to the past.
The sales of the NES Classic Edition show just how hungry the gaming population is for old school games. Between November 2016 and April 2017, Nintendo made 2.3 million models of the console which emulated its landmark 1983 device. The units sold out rapidly, which led the Japanese developer to bring out the Super NES Classic Edition later in 2017.
This has inspired other developers including rivals Sega to make their old games available again. For instance, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch players can enjoy Sonic Mania, a game which pays tribute to all the Sega Genesis Sonic games from the 1990s.
The increase in the number of gaming bars across the US has helped these retro games come to the fore. Retro gaming bars are in fashion, and they provide drinkers with the opportunity to socialize over old school video games and console classics. The fact that the games provide players with feelings of nostalgia helps add to their appeal.
A lot of people would consider retro to be simply something that is old. Retro gaming in its most basic definition refers to the first major games, which were on huge arcade machines. Some of the most notable offerings were Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Asteroids. But around that time, gaming was making huge leaps forward and a whole new industry began to emerge.
Retro RPG games and retro PC games like Dragon Warrior and Wasteland followed. Then came the retro video games for console that everyone remembers, including Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario Bros.
The concept of retro does have a lot to do with when you were born. It normally relates to the games which were around during your childhood and the offerings which stir up feelings of nostalgia within you now. They also use elements of technology which have long been surpassed by innovations. In another thirty years’ time, modern games like GTA V and Fallout 4 will be considered retro.
But retro can also mean a modern game that looks back at and includes elements of the past. Pokémon Go is a prime example of this and represents one of the best retro games online. The mobile offering from Niantic was a state of the art game in that it made use of brand new augmented reality technology. However, it was a retro game because it used the collectible monster characters initially introduced in the original Pokémon games for the Nintendo Game Boy.
Pokémon Go is one of the most obvious modern games to feature retro elements. But a lot of other games do it more subtly. They use retro gameplay elements and themes and draw on players’ nostalgia in this way.
Raid: Shadow Legends is a good example of a modern game which uses retro elements and themes as a way to attract players. The mobile game takes inspiration from retro role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, and the fantasy world of Teleria is reminiscent of other well-known fictional realms.
The main antagonist in the epic MMO is the Dark Lord Siroth. The evil ruler will fill players with nostalgia as they remember other great dark lords like Darth Vader from Star Wars or Sauron from The Lord of the Rings. The single-player mode in the game features several stages with increasing difficulty levels. This is another classic facet of retro games. Stormfall: Age of War is another popular retro game online which we could consider a new retro game. This game takes inspiration from the early James Cameron movies, but features modern elements to attract younger generations. Both now available on Plarium new Desktop Game Launcher Plarium Play.
Modern games that use retro ideas, themes, and gameplay are likely to continue because this has proven to be a surefire way to bring in a high number of players.
Pokémon Go grossed more than $3 billion worldwide, and other developers want to try and replicate that success. For this reason, it would be fair to assume that a lot of future retro games will bring back other classic characters from the early days of gaming. This will be combined with modern gaming technology like AR and VR. An example could be a virtual reality game in which players find themselves in the levels from the original 1991 version of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Other games could follow in the footsteps of the likes of Raid: Shadow Legends, and use retro ideas to build brand new and unique gaming universes. There will also be the inclusion of retro games within open-world offerings. This has been seen already in GTA V, where the player is able to play arcade-style games.
Because the definition of a retro video game changes as time moves forward, retro games are likely to stay at the forefront of mainstream gaming for many years to come. New technological innovations coupled with nostalgic elements will be abundant in future games.