Discuss 136: What do you consider "retro"?

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Discuss 136: What do you consider "retro"?

Post by NickThorpe » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:15 pm

It's the Discuss topic for the month! As ever, interesting responses stand a chance of going into the mag.

Topic: What does a game need to be for you to consider it retro? Is it a certain age, a certain style, or something else entirely?

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Re: Discuss 136: What do you consider "retro"?

Post by The Laird » Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:19 pm

Anything up to and including the Dreamcast really, but even that is a push as we saw the style of games change dramatically from 2D to 3D when the PS1 came along. There is really very little to separate the style of games we saw on the PS1 to the ones on the PS3 and PS4 other than the uglier graphics.

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Re: Discuss 136: What do you consider "retro"?

Post by koopa42 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:44 pm

Anything before the (J)aguar and it's hideous graphics

edited for spelling

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Re: Discuss 136: What do you consider "retro"?

Post by ncf1 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:23 pm

There's no straight answer for this is there, it's quite subjective.. so my own personal opinion would (probably) be anything pre last-gen! But this is in all likelihood due to my poor memory, so when I play a game that is even around 5 years old I tend to get all wistful and teary-eyed, it's just like seeing an old schoolfriend. That is, of course, if the game is a good one.

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Re: Discuss 136: What do you consider "retro"?

Post by Morkin » Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:00 pm

I immediately think of the Spectrum era as I was born in the early seventies & it was my first real taste of gaming. However, after a bit of navel gazing, I'd have to say right up to the Dreamcast time period.

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Re: Discuss 136: What do you consider "retro"?

Post by Hiro » Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:20 pm

I have a hard time stretching the idea of "retro". To me, retro will always be the games and the systems that were around when I was a kid, or a teenager, up to the mid-90s then. I'll always be reluctant to consider "retro" games from the PS1 onward, let alone the PS2 era.

While I find reasonable that the mag starts covering the machines that are three or two generations old, for me "true" retro will always be 8 and 16 bit.

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Re: Discuss 136: What do you consider "retro"?

Post by NorthWay » Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:43 pm

(I reserve my right to opinionate on this more than once, but)
If the design, the platform, the tools, the thinking are all 3D then I'd flip the coin and say it is not retro.
The logical conclusion from that would probably be
a) Any platform can have a retro game on it
b) Any game on an old enough platform becomes retro by default

But for the "you" part it is a movable line drawn in the sand which as of now probably catches the Jaguar, though not the 3DO.
Last edited by NorthWay on Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Discuss 136: What do you consider "retro"?

Post by NorthWay » Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:50 pm

(For a second try)
Another test to know if something is retro is asking "was this a one wo/man job?".
If yes, then it should be (for some value of "old").
If no, then some more pondering will be required.

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Re: Discuss 136: What do you consider "retro"?

Post by clarance » Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:50 pm

Anything after 8bit isn't really retro - maybe modern-retro at a pinch - anything Playstation and afterwards are simply modern games, some of them are older than others, but they are still modern games.
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Re: Discuss 136: What do you consider "retro"?

Post by Nikolai » Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:17 pm

If a game or a system is two generations behind, it's old enough to be part of a young man or woman's childhood. Retro after all is much about our youth, at least for most of us. So the two generation rule, which would set the limit ca 10-12 years back with generations generally being 5-6 years sounds good as a rule for me. I'm 28, and grew up with NES and SNES. To a smaller degree PS1(as I went for PC after SNES). For my 20 year old brother, PS2 definitely would be retro, as it would give him the same trips down memory lane as NES or SNES would for me.

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Re: Discuss 136: What do you consider "retro"?

Post by Megamixer » Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:36 pm

I personally see 'retro' as the 32bit era and previous though I don't really have any problem with RG classing the DC as retro. I think the question of what is and what isn't retro will all depend on personal opinion as some people have a set definition and don't alter the their boundaries no matter how many new generations of gaming are released.

In my case, I really don't care as I'm interested in good games whatever the age. As somebody on this very forum once said, "retro is a state of mind that cares not for your puny concepts of time and dates".
Retro is a state of mind, and cares not for your puny concepts like dates and calendars.

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Re: Discuss 136: What do you consider "retro"?

Post by smilertoo » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:18 pm

Around 20 years+.
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Re: Discuss 136: What do you consider "retro"?

Post by markopoloman » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:00 pm

After sitting here for literally minutes thinking about this, I came up with this:
8-bit = retro
16-bit = retro
32-bit = retro
64-bit = retro

Then I got stuck. What is the Playstation in bits? Then I thought about the PS2 we had just to cheer the kids up years ago - and the games on that are simply retro. They are as retro as some of the old 90's and early 2000's PC games.

So for me, retro is 8-bit to PS2. Although as long as the mag NEVER leaves the 8-bit era completely I'll be a happy man.
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Re: Discuss 136: What do you consider "retro"?

Post by ArchaicKoala » Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:39 am

It's a bit of a cop out answer but in my opinion Retro is what ever you make it. Age of the person makes a big difference to the answer.

Slightly elaborated answer...
I was involved in a Retro Gaming based enrichment lesson at the High School that I work at and when I put the question forward over what they considered Retro the answers would certainly annoy many readers of this magazine :lol: Long story short, to these 13-15 year olds they all agreed that the Playstation 2 was Retro with a rough 60/40 split on the Nintendo DS being Retro.

I won't argue that the PS2 should be considered retro these days but I was stunned to hear the kids call the DS retro :shock: It was definitely interesting hear this answer from the kids especially given how much debate the topic raises between fellow Retro Gamer readers.

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Re: Discuss 136: What do you consider "retro"?

Post by kiwimike » Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:14 am

This will end well... :lol:

It is extremely subjective, and almost everyone has their own individual criteria for what defines retro. For me personally, I consider retro to be two generations previous. So to use Playstations for a simple example, PS4 is current, PS3 is now last gen, PS2 and previous is now retro.
Of course, many would disagree and suggest PS2 too recent for retro. And it is a fair point in many ways- But I find this model a convenient term of reference. :)

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