What Is Retro?

Discuss and discover all the great games of yesteryear!

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Ash
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Post by Ash » Thu Dec 08, 2005 5:15 pm

Shane R. Monroe wrote:As I've mentioned on the RGR forums with regards to classic vs retro gaming ... Note - I speak in absolutes, but this is my opinion only.

Classic Gaming is an ERA, not a relative time frame.
Retro Gaming is a time frame that is relative to your own experience and existance.

Pac-Man is part of the Classic Gaming era. It has been, and always shall be a CLASSIC GAME.

Halo is not a Classic Game. Nor shall it EVER be, no matter how much time passes between its induction and the present. However, it can be considered a RETRO game, based on your age, involvement with the title. Is Halo RETRO gaming for someone that's picked it up TODAY for the first time?

The era that began video games - that fashioned them into the molds we have today ... that created the marketplace, that showed the way ... that inspired and dare I say practically RAISED the first generation of people with access to them. THAT is the Classic Gaming era. And while I can't tell you EXACTLY when the cut off date is, its something that doesn't shift year to year.

You aren't going to see Halo in the Smithsonian next to Pac-Man and Dragon's Lair.
I like those definitions. I'd say the cut off point for the "Classic" era would have to be 1985 then. That's when the Amiga came out and really changed the dynamic of home gaming. Before that period most games were very simple and in a formative stage. This is just my opinion mind and is in no way meant to be a definitive answer.
Last edited by Ash on Thu Dec 08, 2005 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by CraigGrannell » Thu Dec 08, 2005 5:19 pm

I think Darran's point about "balance" is the most important. It doesn't really matter if there's PSX or DC stuff in Retro Gamer, as long as it doesn't take over. However, the same is true even for the 2600, the C64 or the Speccy—I don't really want to see an entire issue devoted to anything.

From my point of view, I don't really care what's covered as long as the mag is interesting and entertaining (the latter of which many magazines seem to wilfully ignore these days...)
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Post by LeeT » Fri Dec 09, 2005 6:44 am

A mix of console/computer features is the best thing. People learn new info and theres always the odd familiar feature.

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Post by Kaede » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:18 am

Man, this thread has been done so many times. :lol:


Just to disagree with everyone, I consider games like Outrun 2 & Ikaruga to be retro. If you only collect and play games just because of when they were released, well thats just stupid IMO and smacks of trying to be elitist. I don't like playing games purely for nostalgia either, most older games turn out to be nowhere near as good as you remember them.

"How can Outrun 2 & Ikaruga be retro ?!?!?11one" I hear you say.

Outrun 2 is exactly the same as the 1986 game, only with better drifiting and better graphics. The gameplay is near enough identical. Pelt down the road to reach the next checkpoint.

Ikaruga I'd class as retro style 'cos it's still a top down shooter that contains nothing that couldn't be done in the late 80's early 90's (although obviously with much worse graphics.)

I tend to enjoy arcade style games the most and that's why I hang around all these forums. But I'm not a retro gamer or collector by any means.

I think it would be class if RG did include small snippets about upcoming PS2 games that are eithe compilations of older games or feature what most of the people on here would consider a link to being retro. For example a quick review of Raiden 3 when it gets released over here would be good.

Anyway, I guess retro gaming is what you want it to be.

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Post by CraigGrannell » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:41 am

hand_solo wrote:Outrun 2 is exactly the same as the 1986 game, only with better drifiting and better graphics. The gameplay is near enough identical. Pelt down the road to reach the next checkpoint.
I suppose it's splitting hairs, but... I don't consider OutRun 2 to be retro, but it is undoubtedly of interest to retro gamers. It's a modern arcade game, which borrows somewhat from the old release, but the gameplay dynamics and controls are totally different (it's not a case of the drifting being better—there was no drifting in OutRun). The gameplay is superficially the same (drive as fast as you can to the checkpoint, choosing your route along the way), but its as different from the original as the most modern FPS is from Wolfenstein.
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Post by Kaede » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:48 am

CraigGrannell wrote:
hand_solo wrote:Outrun 2 is exactly the same as the 1986 game, only with better drifiting and better graphics. The gameplay is near enough identical. Pelt down the road to reach the next checkpoint.
I suppose it's splitting hairs, but... I don't consider OutRun 2 to be retro, but it is undoubtedly of interest to retro gamers. It's a modern arcade game, which borrows somewhat from the old release, but the gameplay dynamics and controls are totally different (it's not a case of the drifting being better—there was no drifting in OutRun). The gameplay is superficially the same (drive as fast as you can to the checkpoint, choosing your route along the way), but its as different from the original as the most modern FPS is from Wolfenstein.
The original had drifting of sorts, when you turn the corner at top speed and the car kind of 'locks' into the turn and the dust starts coming out. (Note the dust billowing down the road in OR2, which I thought straight away was a bit of a homage). :?

Anyway, yes we are splitting hairs here! :lol:

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Post by koopa42 » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:49 am

Retro is fluid simple as that (unless you own a modded DeLorean :wink: )

As time goes by things become retro so this time next decade PGR3 on the 360 will be retro, and when you say to your kids I remember outrun2 they'll look at you and say 'thats like a babies toy' as they play PGR8745 on the xbox 3482736548 using integral virtual steering wheel :lol:

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Post by CraigGrannell » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:59 am

Anyway, yes we are splitting hairs here! :lol:
The interesting thing, though, is that while many here disagree on the definition of what it "retro", most seem to be in agreement regarding what a magazine such as Retro Gamer should cover.
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Post by Kaede » Fri Dec 09, 2005 8:11 am

CraigGrannell wrote:
Anyway, yes we are splitting hairs here! :lol:
The interesting thing, though, is that while many here disagree on the definition of what it "retro", most seem to be in agreement regarding what a magazine such as Retro Gamer should cover.
Yeah, less Amstrad and more Neo Geo. :roll: :lol:

http://www.retrogamer.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=53

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Post by planetmatt » Fri Dec 09, 2005 8:30 am

If classic gaming is an era would that be early 80's and if so do we have vintage gaming in the same vane as there are vintage and classic cars. Would vintage be pre Invaders??

Also would the advent of the NES signal the Renaisance period after the Dark Ages of the video game crash or have I played too much Age of Empires? :)

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Post by CraigGrannell » Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:53 am

I think a lot of that has to do with the country you lived in at the time. The video game crash was largely an American console-based thing—it's not like such a crash affected Europe so much, what with its reliance on home computers.
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Post by Rev » Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:42 pm

Hmm. I'm going to throw out another viewpoint.

I don't think retro has a close-off point. I think you could make a fair arguement for games that were released last week being included.

I think of Retro games as something timeless - something that gives pleasure when it is released and continues to give pleasure into the future. Take a look at something like Shadow of the Colossus. It's a game that you can see is going to be fun for years to come - something that people will look back on. The same with Rez and Ico. They aren't going to go away, they're just going to get older.

Hop back a generation and it was the same - to pluck a couple at random - Abe's Oddysee and Virtual On. From the first time you played them you knew they were going to be memorable games that you would enjoy in a months time, a years time, ten years time. You can keep hopping backwards too - Elite, Duck Hunt, Pac Man. They're all games that you could instantly tell were going to be memorable in the years to follow.

Asking what should be written about in the magazine though is a different matter. I think that if the editor does his job well, plotting a frequency graph of the years covered in articles should give a steady curve with a peak around the late eighties - meaning that the mid eighties and mid nineties both get covered roughly equally.

There shouldn't be a rule against featuring anything from the last year - but they should make up a very, very small percentage of the articles.

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Post by superstarbeejay » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:24 am

Surely what's covered in any publication is driven by target audience. Hopefully the team will know who buys these kind of mags and what they want to see.

The question is wether the mag is aiming at gamers or ex-gamers. Yes, my brother played an loved the mid 80s games, home and arcade, but does he buy games magazines? No, and he will never.

Aiming the mag at him is pointless. Retro gamers are still gamers and that can't be forgotten. gamers that have been gaming for 15 years plus like myself have seen more articles about the pac-man era games than the 32 bit era.

I love going through my edge back catalogue from the early to mid nineties as there are still loads of games from then that I haven't played, loved, or just didn't realise existed. I'm still buying magazines and posting on retro forums today.

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Post by merman » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:39 am

superstarbeejay wrote:Surely what's covered in any publication is driven by target audience. Hopefully the team will know who buys these kind of mags and what they want to see.

The question is wether the mag is aiming at gamers or ex-gamers. Yes, my brother played an loved the mid 80s games, home and arcade, but does he buy games magazines? No, and he will never.

Aiming the mag at him is pointless. Retro gamers are still gamers and that can't be forgotten. gamers that have been gaming for 15 years plus like myself have seen more articles about the pac-man era games than the 32 bit era.

I love going through my edge back catalogue from the early to mid nineties as there are still loads of games from then that I haven't played, loved, or just didn't realise existed. I'm still buying magazines and posting on retro forums today.
Retro Gamer has, in the past, listened to its readers a lot in comparison to other magazines. Readers have suggested articles, even appeared in the magazine, and the letters page was more than just a dry "I like/don't like" section.

(Which reminds me... are we going to continue the tradition of asking a question on the forum to be included in the letters page?)

This year I've discovered the joys of Dreamcast - now I know some people don't consider it retro (yet) but I'm having great fun playing games I'd only heard of... and spending too many hours on Soul Calibur :)

Again, it comes back to this point of "balance" - for example, the retro compilation reviews were interesting to a lot of gamers who may have been dubious about buying a compilation of retro games (and it's good to know how well/badly the old games have been emulated). And not everyone wants to read an(other) article about the Spectrum, but does want to hear about the story behind Leisure Suit Larry...

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Post by CraigGrannell » Wed Dec 14, 2005 6:27 am

merman wrote:Retro Gamer has, in the past, listened to its readers a lot in comparison to other magazines.
And seeing as Darran and Markie both frequent this forum, there's no reason to suspect that the magazine has changed in that regard.
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