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The 80's Generation of Gamers Will Be The Best In The History Books

On 05/29/2013 at 01:57 PM by Ryan Bunting

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My my it has been a long time, and so I’d like to apologize to all of you PixlBitters/1Uppers that I’ve inadvertently been ignoring due to work, filming, and the small bits of life in between – I always come back! With that said, earlier, I tweeted something that when I first typed it, didn’t realize how much weight it held. See below:


Then PixlBit’s own Angelo Grant made this Tweet, and I didn’t realize the reference at first, but I then saw it.


I thought “You’re probably correct, but I wonder why?” So I kept it short and sweet:


When I read this, I was both flattered and surprised, because the reality is – the people who grew up during the 8-bit and 16-bit eras have an entirely different outlook on the world of gaming, which isn’t what one outside of that realm would normally expect. If you ask someone who prefers, say, Call of Duty to an obscure 16-bit jRPG, about what they think about retro gamers, you’re surely to get something in the vein of “Oh they play those old shitty games because they can’t afford an Xbox 360/PS3” or “They’re too shitty at modern games so they go play those awful old games lol their graphics are so bad they don’t even have 3D models.” The reality of it is, many retro gamers not only are aware of modern games, but many of them play multiple modern games on top of the classics – myself included. If you’ve read any of my past articles, I most certainly, and admittedly, have a preference for retro games, and often I’m very jaded towards modern games, but this isn’t because I can’t afford them (own a 360), nor is it because I’m bad at them (played CoD 4 once, went 25 and 5, laughed at it, and turned it off), but my reasoning is also not because of nostalgia. While reliving the better parts of my childhood through classic games is definitely a plus, it’s not the sole deciding factor for my gaming preference – it’s the community.

The retro gaming community is something of an enigma to those that aren’t within its ranks, because as mentioned above, people find it hard to believe that we play Super Nintendo over our Xboxes and Playstations, but this community that we have is one that’s strong, supportive, and inclusive to those who wish to learn more. If you decided today that you wanted to try League of Legends, there is a 99% chance that you will be met with vulgarity, judgment, exclusion, and degradation, yet, if someone approached me and said “Hey, I hear you’re into retro games, I was looking to get started, what should I get first?” I wouldn’t respond with “LOL you fucking idiot, you mean you haven’t already played ____ and ____?! You’re hopeless, don’t even bother” because that’s not the way the retro community works.

Part of what makes this formula for inclusion and enjoyment so successful is that at the end of the day, we’re not just playing old games for the nostalgia factor, but we’re preserving one of the, if not THE best time in gaming history. Games were new and exciting, there weren’t full YouTube videos of the entire game on day one of a game’s release – all we had were magazine articles with screenshots, or even less so, word of mouth from a friend at school. This was a time when almost everyone had a Nintendo or a Sega, and you’d argue which was better, and you’d trade tips and tricks, spread rumors about being able to resurrect General Leo in Final Fantasy 3/6. Our enthusiasm as a gaming community was always a driving force in how games were made, how they’ve changed, improved, or even how they were distributed.

I’ve noticed something with the current generation of gamers – the idea of instant gratification is their pure driving force, it’s not longevity or replayability, they want instant satisfaction, and then they want to move on to the next title. I remember a friend of mine was very heavily into Modern Warfare, and when it first came out, all I heard was “This game is the best thing ever, it’s so good, you have to try it, it’s amazing, the graphics, the story, oh my god.” Shortly after when Modern Warfare 2 was announced, I asked him about the first MW game, and all I got was “That game was shit, MW2 is going to be so much better, no lag, better guns” blah blah blah. How could his opinion have changed so much? In the retro gaming world, if a sequel gets bashed for being bad, chances are it’s bad, not just because it’s the older version of that game. Take the Tales series for example, if you ask someone whether Tales of Symphonia is better than Tales of Phantasia, chances are they’ll say something along the lines of “I enjoyed Phantasia very much, and when Symphonia came out for the Gamecube, I loved it! I like them both a ton, and while Symphonia has improvements over Phantasia because of obvious hardware gaps, they’re still great games.” That’s because retro gamers don’t read too much into graphics, storyline, or even controls. Sometimes, even if a game has nightmarish controls or cheap gameplay mechanics, the game can still be a lot of fun! Even if a game doesn’t look truer-than-life-photorealistic-incredible-12D, they can appreciate the gorgeous, huge sprites and hand crafted worlds within that limited color palette.

The reason that our generation of gamers will be looked at in history books as the golden age of gamers is that we have a sense of community, and our will to preserve, analyze, and appreciate the rich history we’re so lucky to have been a part of. Joey and I started Retro Rampage not because we’re seeking fame and glory, but because we’re passionate about these games, they’re a part of our lives, our childhoods, and our present day, and we want to spread the word of these games to the world, and if we can convince even just one person to try a game that they maybe missed growing up, then our mission is complete. Sure we like to get a couple laughs and poke some fun at the games we play, or hell even ourselves, but we really just enjoy the fact that we’ve taken something that we’re passionate about, turned it into a form of entertainment that also doubles as a source of reliable information. This is why we try to give price guidelines and availability at the end of our videos, because chances are if you’re into classic games, you’ve got a small collection going, or you’re planning to start one, so we give that information so that people can prioritize which games they want to get, what they should start off with, and how to go about it.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certain modern games that blew me away (Bayonetta and Catherine to say the least) and I have physical copies of those as well, but they don’t appreciate in value the way my NES and SNES carts/boxes do, and the value that these games hold aren’t just financial, there’s an emotional attachment as well, because these games represent all of us as a generation, and what we enjoyed, what we stand for. I love running into old heads that started off with things like the Amiga, or the Commodore, or Intellivision and Colecovision, because these guys are able to educate me on topics that even I haven’t delved into, and can show me which games are worthwhile, which ones are the most fun. In the end, it’s like a story being passed on from generation to generation in a family, but instead it’s not just a few people, there are tons of us out there. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some fantastic people through social media from the U.K., Australia, and even Spain and parts of South America, these people, while worlds away, share this bond.

All of these things culminate together, and they’re visible, tangible, and measurable. This combination is what will lead future historians to look back and declare that our generation was the golden age of gamers. Sure, we had our console wars, but everything was new, innovative, and creativity was pouring out of every orifice (Dynamite Headdy, seriously, he’s a puppet that can hurl his head in various directions), and all of that is the standard of a generation, one that may be over, but sure as hell isn’t gone.




05/29/2013 at 02:09 PM

Whats up stranger havent seen you on here for a while and im a true 80s gamer and stargate and sinnagod were two of my all time favs of course a wasted alot of quarters on Qbert to lol, and i live retro games even better then modern games back then it took skill now it just reflexes lol.

Super Step Contributing Writer

05/29/2013 at 02:23 PM

I agree with the idea that instant gratification and general internet douchebaggery are downfalls of the current generation of ... frankly, people, it just happens to apply to games and online communities in an obvious way, but I think these games too will become nostalgic and increase in value, despite their losses now.

After all, when NES games got old at first, unless they were rare, they were sold at garage sales for very little, especially compared to what you might be able to get for certain titles now; and leeradical42 is fond of pointing out the appreciation in value of a lot of PS2 games, and those have been around for far less time.

I will agree again though, that 8 and 16 bit are a very golden time for gaming, and they are awesome. And yes, physical copies are much better than something that can be deleted off a server.

Great post, sometimes it's nice to just read a good bit of interesting text.

Ryan Bunting Staff Alumnus

05/30/2013 at 09:27 AM

Thank you much! I totally agree - it's a good thing that the retro community is still going strong, because SOMEONE has to chronicle and preserve the rich history that the 80's and 90's gaming scene had to offer!


05/29/2013 at 02:31 PM

I was running into gaming fatigue last week.  Having just finished crysis, crysis 2 just was not doing it for me.  I did a little digging in my box of haldhelds and pulled out metroid: zero mission.  I played through and beat the original Metroid.  My desire to play games has been reinvigorated, except I have decided to take a break from the 360.  Once, I finish Metroid Other M, I expect to boot up my VC games.  

Ryan Bunting Staff Alumnus

05/30/2013 at 09:28 AM

Definitely a wise choice, and plus, Super Metroid is on the Wii U eShop for like 30 cents. Super Metroid is always a good time :)


05/29/2013 at 02:51 PM

You know thats what iys all about,i was online playing CoD4 and these guys were just ruining the game cause they had modded controllers play 24/7 then have the nerve to say i suck, its like if i had a pistol like you that shoots like an ak47 and lived on this game 24/7 i wouldnt suck either but put them on a arcade title like pac man or stargate or something along thoughs lines not only would they get there asses kicked but they would be crying about graphics etc whrn in reality these games are more challenging and require more skill then anything out today.


05/29/2013 at 03:01 PM

I'm playing Ninja Gaiden right now, and I'm sure you know how cheap that game can be lol. Damn birds and 6-2 is a nightmare! I don't mind though. I've been trying to beat that game for over 20 years, and it's gonna be glorious when that day comes. I don't  get much satisfaction from modern games anymore, but I do still play them. The way the industry is headed makes me sick. Always online DRM bullshit, used games are in trouble, and what not. I don't plan on buying a next gen console. Especially not after all the crap surrounding the Xbox 1.

The Last Ninja

05/29/2013 at 04:45 PM

I think the first Ninja Gaiden is the hardest game ever made. I've played it, but y'know. . . that's retro gaming for ya. 


05/29/2013 at 05:09 PM

It's utterly insane lol. The worst part is that I read somewhere if you die at any of the 2 or 3 bosses after 6-2, it starts you all the way back at 6-1. I guess a flawless run is necessary if you want to finish it.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

05/29/2013 at 03:26 PM

I'm the greatest generation!  Smile


05/29/2013 at 04:29 PM

What I'm afraid is the younger generation will grow up accepting online only consoles, account locked games, and rip off dlc because that is all they will know. We personally get angry on account we remember the "golden days" thus we have been around to actually live through gaming's decline.

It's going to sadden me to see so many young naive kids defending douchebag publishers and big companies simply because they don't realize gaming was once much better.

Ryan Bunting Staff Alumnus

05/30/2013 at 09:30 AM

And this is why we need to make it known that that shit won't fly! Give us physical copies or nothing at all! Gamer extremism - it's going to be a thing.

The Last Ninja

05/29/2013 at 04:49 PM

I'm definitely a retro gamer. I do a review of a retro game every week for you guys, but it's also so I can enjoy as many classic games as possible. I have a growing library of NES, SNES, Genesis, Playstation, and N64 games. Honestly, I can't keep up with all the new-fangled gaming devices today; just give me my Super Nintendo! 


05/29/2013 at 04:56 PM

supe metroid, chrono trigger, mario kart, yoshi's island, donkey kong country, final fantasy iv/vi, contra iii, a link to the past, earthbound, super mario rpg...  who needs another console?


05/29/2013 at 08:51 PM

There are lots of reasons to feel sorry for the millinials and up coming generation, but missing out of the golden age of video games, or at the very least not understanding it is at the top of the list. I got my friends kid a copy of Chronotrigger for his DS, and he just can't figure it out. The concept of strategy, following clues in the story to know where to go next, it goes right over his head. I figure when he gets a little older maybe he will come to appretiate it.

 I like a lot of my PS3 games, but none of them have made an impression on me the way say tmnt 2 arcade , super castlevania IV, or final fantasy VI have.   

Ryan Bunting Staff Alumnus

05/30/2013 at 09:32 AM

That's a very saddening thing, but it's so incredibly true.  Trying to explain a jRPG to someone that just really doesn't get it, it's tough. Kids expect the game to just hold their hand and tell them exactly where they need to go next - they don't bother reading the text in game to try and figure it out. Hell, Chrono Trigger gives you hints on your next destination in the dialog AND the chapter name on your Save file!


05/30/2013 at 09:55 AM

Yeah its all pretty straight forward, it never really gets too cryptic.


05/30/2013 at 06:31 PM

Case in point: I'm playing a Super Mario World hack right now called Return to Dinosaur Land. It's pretty awesome. The PS360 really can't compete with my childhood memories. Laughing


05/31/2013 at 08:42 PM

Let's not give up too quickly though! We can still teach our kids to love games in the ways that we have.

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