Monday, 17 October 2011

Back to Basics

Lately, I’ve been enjoying all my new Xbox games (many of which I still need to review),but on Sunday morning the unthinkable happened.

I woke up to find that my TV had given up the ghost. I tried several times to switch it on…..but….no power….nothing.

Of course, it’s not the end of the world, but this is where my Xbox 360 is connected, so it meant that my day of gaming was about to be horribly ruined.

Rage, Gears of War 3, Forza 4, Rise of Nightmares, Monkey Island and Gunstringer would have to gather dust for a few days and I didn’t like that idea one bit. There was still so much to do.
Oh well, you make do with what you’re dealt. Such is life. I'll still be doing reviews on these games soon, but it'll have to wait.

I guess I could have played on my PC, but I decided instead to pick up my Nintendo 3DS and give it some much needed attention. I had left it sitting Idle for a week or two and it was time to spend some quality time playing it.

It’s times like this when having a portable console is very useful.

Over the last few months I’ve accumulated the occasional game off the Nintendo E-shop, and there were a few DS games that were begging to be played, so I picked the most comfortable spot I could find and proceeded to take a trip down memory lane.

Even though at the time I would rather have been playing Rage or Gears of War, the fun factor of these old-school games made for a nice change and a surprisingly fun-filled day.

I’m not sure why, but I started out by playing Tetris. (don’t judge me, ok.)

Then I played a few hours of Mario Bros (The original) and was transported back to my earliest days of gaming where once upon a time gameplay took precedence over graphics.

I was reminded again why I started playing games in the first place. It wasn’t realism, graphics or explosive action. Nor was it levelling up or acquiring massive guns to shoot things with.

It was the pure unadulterated fun of jumping on a Goomba’s head or shooting a tiny fireball that bounces around.

After an hour or two of this, I started to play “Luminous Arc”. This game is structured on the same lines of one my first, and also my favourite original Playstation game – Final Fantasy Tactics.

A few hours of playing, and I had successfully turned back the clock. I was steadily progressing through my gaming years again, slowly but surely, and loving every minute of it.

I played a few other games, none of which would be considered a hardcore game by any means.
This led me to think about the current gaming market. Although there are many games that we spend hours on, much of the fun we had when we first started gaming has fallen by the wayside.

This is not really the fault of the developers, or the console manufacturers, because those types of games are still being released. (There has been a massive resurgence of platform games and Puzzle games over the last few years - Particularly as downloadable content on the different consoles and on the Apple store.)

In truth, the fault lies with us as gamers. We’re so concerned with playing the hyped up sequels and graphically beautiful games that we sometimes forget about the simple joys we used to experience.

Nintendo’s focus has always been fun, and if you ever played any of the Super Mario Galaxy games, then you’ll know exactly what I mean.

With this perspective in mind, Nintendo can almost be forgiven for mostly releasing games like this. Perhaps they’re not catering for mostly children only, as you might have thought.

They could be trying their best to keep us playing games that are fun, and not overcomplicate them giving us a nostalgic trip back in time.

Maybe….just maybe….their target market is the child in all of us.

That's definitely something to think about before writing Nintendo off entirely.

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