Just asking as an observation.
Recently I have been playing far more games that would be considered "retro" by today's standards, and I am having more fun gaming than I have in quite some time.
I am in my early 30s so I did grow up playing NES/SNES, and with the NES and SNES Online available on the Nintendo Switch, I have been immensely enjoying not only playing all of the Mario games I was obsessed with as a child, but experiencing classics I missed out on, notably Super Metroid and the Legend of Zelda series.
Now, I had never experienced those games before, but after finishing Super Metroid, it had a far greater impact on me than any other current generation titles I have recently played. The fear, the desolation, the feeling of hopelessness, the "a-ha" moment figuring out where to go, obviously I can understand why it is considered one of the greatest games of all time.
Next I wanted to replay every Zelda title, as previously the only Zelda games I had completed were the original Link's Awakening (and the remake later on) and Breath of the Wild.
I began with Legend of Zelda, which was an absolute treat, but then came Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Obviously I was coming from the context of the original Zelda, but the game just felt truly "epic" in a sense, I was exploring all parts of this larger world, finding secrets, and some of the battles and palaces were so intense that I felt so incredibly immersed fighting for me life (and it helps that the combat is surprisingly complex and the gameplay itself is phenomenal). It is a brutally hard game but I felt extremely pulled in, and beating it was an absolute treat and accomplishment.
And the funny thing is, I played Zelda II right after completing Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice on my Xbox One X, where I with enhanced graphics on a 65 inch 4k Television with headphones on the whole time…yet somehow that game wasn't nearly as "epic" as something like Zelda II was.
Let me first note that Hellblade is a phenomenal game and I am not disparaging it, I would recommend it to anyone, and the fact that it was developed by a team of 15 people and how it portrays the story and main character is extremely unique and wonderful.
Yet even with jaw dropping graphics, more gameplay options, combat moves, fully 3D realized worlds, some of the most impressive audio I have ever heard in a game….I was so much more "immersed" in games like Zelda II and Super Metroid. With Hellblade I was always aware I was simply playing a game, yet with the other titles mentioned it was so easy to lose myself in them and get that sense of epic storytelling.
I am curious if anyone else ever feels this way, and I am not sure if it is because I am going back and playing games that are fairly acclaimed that just hold up extremely well, or there is something inherently different about game design in large current releases.
Maybe it is simply because these games remind me of being a child and is easier for me to let my imagination run with them, but I am wondering why I feel such a sense of wonder and immersion playing games like Zelda II, Donkey Kong Country, and Rygar compared to other games I have played recently like Witcher 3, Hellblade, and Doom Eternal (which again, are 3 really excellent games and I would rate them all highly).
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