Mario. Metroid. The Legend of Zelda. When talking about retro/classic games, these series are often mentioned, as well as Street Fighter, Castlevania and Contra. They are remembered fondly despite the ridiculous difficulty present in them.

       I started gaming at the age of four. My first videogame was Mortal Kombat, and I played it on my cousin’s Game Gear. Interestingly, the way I played games as a child consisted of starting with newer consoles and handhelds, and then go back in time.

       My mother bought my father the original Game Boy in all its fat, clunky and green glory.
He bought himself Gauntlet II and ma bought him Super Mario Land. He bought me Home Alone, but in the end, I would always play either Mario or Gauntlet. I almost finished Mario, and pa mostly played and completed Home Alone.

        When I was seven  and my older brother was ten, he got a Virtual Boy. The only games we had on that console(if you would refer to it as such!)were Red Alarm and Mario’s Tennis.

          My cousins keep their consoles unless they really hate them, so it wasn’t unusual to find somebody with the original NES, Super NES, AND a Sega Genesis and Saturn all at the same time. As a result, I quickly became attached to Mario, Street Fighter, and the Donkey Kong series.

           I didn’t actually get into The Legend of Zelda until Ocarina of Time, and unfortunately had not heard of Catslevania until Castlevania 64. While most agree that the two for the Nintendo 64 were abysmal, I found them interesting, and I still love finding out about new games in the series(until they said that Kojima Hideo would be working on the new one, that is. Man!)

        The game I most love in the series thus far is Aria of Sorrow, pretty much for the same reason people adore Symphony of the Night, a game I wouldn’t be able to play until The Dracula X Chronicles came out.

         I had never heard of Final Fantasy until the eighth game, and I actually liked it(people, it said on the back of the box that it’s a game based on the theme of love! If you don’t like it, you should have read the box).

          Despite the Final Fantasy craze, my favorite RPG and perhaps favorite game period is actually Grandia II( although Shadow of the Colossus is gripping it by the ankles).

          Generally speaking, those days were more about the fun you had playing the game, and more thought and effort was put into that. The soundtracks seemed more elaborate, considering what they had to work with at the time. The controls might not have been the greatest, but they weren’t as bad as many say they were(an opinion based on today’s controls, and forgetting what a pain it was).

Those of us gaming at the time had fun. Isn’t that what really matters?

      We knew what we were looking at, despite the fact that it wasn’t as good looking as the stuff out now. Why are graphics so important all of a sudden? A 1up member going by the name of Sharkman! stated,”I didn’t start playing videogames because I wanted them to be like movies, I play because I like videogames”.

       I’m in total agreement. To me, the most important things in a game are the story, save system, controls, and music. Graphics are not important as long as I recognize what I’m looking at, and for those about to go off about how Gears of War and BioShock are so pretty, I agree, but look at how popular Braid and Plants Vs Zombies are, and look at the graphics.

      Obviously extravagant graphics are unnecessary. For those of us that own PSPs(that haven’t been hacked!), one of the reasons we still have them is because of the PSX releases on the PSN. Remember how everybody went insane at the announcement of Final Fantasy VII on the PSN? Finding PSN cards after the game was re-released was very difficult.

   The game was groundbreaking, and while the graphics were pretty good at the time the game was originally released, try showing it to kids who weren’t alive when this hobby of ours had just begun(you know, the ones who think the PS2 is responsible for online multiplayer on consoles when it was actually the Dreamcast?). They’ll use all kinds of interesting vocabulary for it based on graphics alone. If they look past the graphics, however, they’ll find a pretty deep game with an amazing story.

     The same could be said for Symphony of the Night. While it had a few 3-d things, the majority of it was 2-D, but that did not impede it from being revered by many.

       These games are being re-released for a reason. Yes, the companies will make a profit, but that’s because the people purchasing it know what they are getting, and to us, the games are worth more than just $5-10. Their greatness and our subsequent love for them is what makes them so profitable.