Within the past five years or so, there has been a gigantic surge in companies paying tribute to their past in every way possible: You’ve got companies like Capcom doing Ducktales: Remastered, which is basically a love letter to the fans of the original game. Capcom also recently announced a new entry into the Strider series, which looks to be taking cues from Metroidvania games.
Hell, Nintendo is making a ton of cash on games that are more or less straight re-releases, be it with their Virtual Console offerings (Earthbound, hell yeah!) or their 3D updates of Starfox 64 and Zelda: Ocarina Of Time.
As awesome as these re-releases are, sometimes you just need to play a classic game on the original console.
Emulators are great (especially for capturing footage of games that happen to be on handhelds with nigh-opaque screens), but they’re not the real thing. They never will be.
Sure, emulators are playing the same games as the consoles did, but there is something magical about playing Super Mario World on my original console that my dad got me as a birthday gift over 20 years ago.
Nostalgia is a powerful thing. It’s comforting, and it allows us to think back to a time where things didn’t seem complicated, or depressing. It’s our own little happy place. And that’s not a bad thing at all.
Unfortunately, people like to take advantage of this.
Right now, all of those kids who grew up in Nintendo’s golden age are just leaving school and getting into the “real world.” The oldest of them have probably settled down right now. A lot of them probably gave up their old video games in garage sales or they traded them in at a game store to pay for something expensive. After months and years of working towards a degree or towards a promotion, those childhood memories of all of the stuff that we gave up or gave away start to creep back into our minds. It’s inevitable.
Picture it, if you will: After a particularly grueling Friday at the office, answering phone calls that never seem to end, you’re looking to spend time with a video game that you absolutely love. What better way to kick back and unwind from the personal hell that is your life than with a few hours of Mega Man X2?
“Hell yeah!” says your sub-conscience, “Mega Man X2 was amazing! A real product of its’ time! Nothing like it!”
Indeed, my friend.
You know that your SNES is still locked away in your closet. After a dusting and some TLC, your console will be up and running. Only one fairly important problem: Your mom and dad made you trade in your SNES games so you could buy a PS2 and a copy of Smuggler’s Run.
eBay’s pretty much your only choice for SNES games.
So, you rush to your computer, which you can barely see because your eyes don’t want to see another goddamn computer screen for the rest of the weekend. As you type in “SNES Mega Man X2” or something similar, you’re stunned to find that you’re gonna have to cough up some serious dough to relive your childhood.
In the immortal words of Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“Man, nostalgia is expensive as shit, yo.”