I Went Old-School Gaming: Now I Miss the Old Days

I had some free time over the weekend last week, and decided that rather than read that book I've been trying to finish or go out for a walk, I'd sit down on my couch, put up my feet, and play some games.As I've said here before, I'm a long-time gamer with a true love for all types of video games. That's probably why I've kept all the old consoles I owned – even the 3DO! – and all the titles that went with them. You never know when the urge might strike you to play some old games.

When I sat down on Saturday, the gaming world was at my fingertips. I could pick up my PlayStation 4 controller and play NBA 2K14, head over to my Xbox One to play Call of Duty, or pick up the Wii U and play, well, whatever it is that thing has on it nowadays. But as I sat there thinking about what I should play, one thought kept coming back: it's time to play some old-school games.

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So, I went over to my closet, picked up some of my favorite old consoles and got to work. I played several games on my Dreamcast, including Hydro Thunder and yes, even Shenmue. I then went to the Nintendo 64 and played some Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, as well as GoldenEye and Donkey Kong.

But that wasn't enough. I played Panzer Dragoon on my Saturn, Captain Quasar on my 3DO, and Final Fantasy VII on my PlayStation. I was in a craze, playing one title after another, reliving the feelings of old, and loving every minute of it.

And then, as I started to tire and my all-day marathon came to a close, I realized something: the old days might have been more entertaining than today.

Now, I know that might ruffle the feathers of those who love playing first-person shooters online and like the idea of motion gaming, but as I went through my library of old titles, I kept coming across truly innovative and interesting games that in today's money-driven industry would never get made. The game industry today is all about profit-taking. And that means that we're stuck with one Madden after another, and half-baked Call of Duty remakes.

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As I went through my old games, the sheer number of games that weren't remakes or sequels shocked me; they were new ideas that delivered something fresh or exciting for that time. Granted, some of them never were hits, but does that make them any less appealing?

So then I turned off all the consoles, put away the games, stuffed the hardware back into the closet and turned on my Xbox One. I figured I should end the note on what should be a high note. But the more I played, the more I realized just how boring today's gaming is. Sure, the graphics look better and the games have more features, but I didn't get the same fun factor. I also failed to get into many of the games I've played in the last couple of generations.

Maybe I'm getting old or I'm losing my zest for gaming, but I'd give up today's new consoles for old stuff any day.

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IMAGES: Wolf Peterson; Great Beyond