The spirit of classic games
I’ve been posting to The Retro Review Project a little less lately, and that’s mainly because I’ve been playing fewer classic games, so I had less to say. My game playing goes in cycles, I guess you could say. Sometimes I buy and play a lot of games, sometimes I don’t buy or play any. But anyway, what I’m getting at is that I’ve been playing some newer games lately that don’t directly relate to the site. At least, that’s what I thought at first.
Specifically, I’ve been playing through Killer 7 on the GameCube, and I realized today that it reminds me a lot of classic games. Sure, the puzzle-solving aspect hearkens back to old adventure games, but it’s not just that. It’s mostly that it left me with the thought of “I have never played anything like this ever before.” I realized that’s something I don’t get to say very often anymore. But years ago, when I was new to games and the industry itself was still young, that’s something I was able to say a lot. It seems that genres and gameplay mechanics were being created on a much more frequent basis in those days. So in that regard, Killer 7 has captured an important element of classic games — it’s doing something different.
So I got to thinking. What other recent games have captured the spirit of classic games? I think Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are both similar to Killer 7 in that they give you that “Wow, this is different” feeling. Psychonauts has an undeniable classic game feel — not surprising, since it was created by Tim Schafer (of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango fame). What else? Maybe Hotel Dusk? Or Geometry Wars? Chime in if you’ve got other suggestions.