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Category 1: Graphics and Gameplay
I suppose before we get to the real hardcore topics, I should first define what I mean by classic gaming. For me, this more or less hits on anything that is not in the 3D polygon era. That means, I’m stretching somewhere between the Atari and the Super Nintendo-Genesis battles to make my decision. Obviously a case can be made that more systems could be included by now, but we’ll try and keep things simple. With regards to the graphics and gameplay of these titles. One thing I will say is that for each generation they more or less looked the same across the board graphically. Obviously you had stand outs every now and again, but in the scope of things what you were able to do with graphics and hardware was really somewhat limited. That’s why you had new hardware coming out more often back in the day. Today, in terms of presentation, the current console lineup has been on the market for about seven years and people are still managing to push consoles to their limits and new heights.
In terms of gameplay, I think it’s really more a matter of which style you personally prefer because both essentially get the job done. If simplicity is what you’re after, then run and jump mechanics from classic games are going to win your heart over quite quickly. If you want something more intricate, then games today will probably satisfy your urge. I think one of the major issues with today’s games though is that when titles become more expansive there’s more things that can go wrong with regards to camera and stuff like that. Classic games more or less had the basic movements nailed down, and it was more about getting those basic functions implemented well to an attractive premise that helped them succeed.
Overall, this is in a way an Apple/Orange issue, but I think the fact that you can do more with modern SDKs gives today’s games just a very slight edge here, but I certainly don’t want to say the old games are bad either.
Winner: Modern Games
Next up we’ll see which era had the best in game music!