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Some time ago, I found this great story, which tells the tale of a father playing video games with his kids, and how each generation of gamers will have their own perceptions as to what is a good game to them. Each generation of gamers will have their own classics and standards that they use, and the games that defined said standards. The dictionary defines â€œclassicâ€ as: 1. of the first or highest quality, class, or rank, 2. serving as a standard, model, or guide, 3. of or adhering to an established set of artistic or scientific standards or methods I started gaming during the SNES and Genesis days, when side scrolling beat em ups was the big thing, and those have really had an impact on me. Not only that, but 2D games and art in general. Those games are the â€œclassicsâ€ for me. Gunstar Heroes, Streets of Rage, Shinobi III, Final Fantasy VI, Yoshi“s Island, and many more are the games that left a strong impact on me. Because of those games, I very much love the game Viewtiful Joe, and am glad that 2D has made its come back, such as Dragon“s Crown. While games have become more complex and much more expensive to develop, I have also found that there are times where I really like the simplicity of games like Streets of Rage, and Double Dragon. I don“t need the complexities of today's standards to have fun, or to be immersed in the game. The Past... ...and the Present "The gap between my gaming knowledge and that my of sons“ is vast. My oldest son recently asked me what a Dreamcast is. My kids don“t really know why Mike Tyson“s Punch Out!! is significant in gaming history.â€ Just like how VHS tapes are no longer around, some people nowadays don“t know what a Dreamcast is. Time and technology keeps moving forward. The new generation is out now. The Playstation 2 is 2 generations ago, and is considered old. Some PS2, Xbox and Gamecube titles are considered â€œclassicsâ€ now, even if they weren“t franchise starters. I consider RPGs like Final Fantasy VI and Lufia II to be classics, as they were my early exposures to RPGs. Final Fantasy VI showed a rag tag team with no â€œtrueâ€ main character, while Lufia II took a simple story, made it great, and combined it with a powerful, yet sad ending. When will Final Fantasy X be considered a classic, and to whom? Final Fantasy X already has an HD remake. For better or for worse (ok, mostly better), gaming is being taken seriously on various fronts: Narrative, cinematography, voice acting, elements that were only considered for certain types of games during the early life of gaming. Now almost every game has movie like cutscenes. The option to use 2D or 3D is available, thus providing more flexibility in choices. It“s astounding how much the gaming industry has grown in such a short time. Everyone is going to have his or her own opinion on what makes a game so great. It is all a matter of timing. Is Halo a classic, or Goldeneye on N64? I can“t really give you the answer to that, but both are certainly some fun games that set their own standards. So I guess the author of the piece was right. Everyone will have their own standards as to what is a classic to them, because there is just so much variety now. The newer generation of gamers also has history on their side to make an impact on them as well as the new generation of games. They (everyone does actually) have the option of playing the new games and going back to see how things started. Good games will always come back and stand out through the test of time. My first RPG, and an amazing one.
I was lucky enough to go to Distant Worlds this year, on October 6th! It is a concert of just Final Fantasy music. You read that right, just Final Fantasy music, but completely performed by an orchestra! I was rather surprised at how excited I was to go to this concert, because I“m usually not one to go to them. Since this was an orchestra, people showed up in various levels of dress. Some were dressed formally, others were dressed in a business style, some more casual, and I even spotted one person in full blown cosplay as Yuna! But this concert was a blast! As my brother put it, it was a giant nostalgia trip. There were plenty of songs I recognized and quite a few that I didn“t. There were some medleys that were played, where songs from a few games transitioned very well into one another. There was also a special 25th anniversary song that was played. The conductor noted that the team tries to make the songs as close to the games as possible. I had forgotten how great the Final Fantasy VIII battle theme was, and loved it when the main theme played. I wish Dancing Mad (Kefka“s theme), the Final Fantasy VI boss theme, or the World of Balance Map theme played, but you can't have everything. However, they did play the opera! Specific singers were brought in to play Maria and Draco, and there was a narrator too! The 25th anniversary special was a great original, and the choir/chorus ended up spelling the word â€œchocoboâ€ during the end of the song. The man, the myth, the legend, Nobuo Uematsu was there! This is the second time I've seen him, (the first was at PAX East 2011) and he even played a song! It was the introduction music from Final Fantasy VI, and he played on a keyboard. It was pretty cool, to see him play live. The conductor, Arnie Roth told the story about how Nobuo Uematsu would play in the concertâ€¦and that was if Arnie Roth agreed to play violin! Now I“ve never seen the conductor decide to play an instrument during the concert he himself is conducting, but I thought it was one of the best aspects of the show. The concert ended with the ever so popular , and Nobuo Uematsu joined the chorus and sang along! I very much enjoyed the aspect of original medleys and songs combined with the orchestral sounds of the game music. See if you can spot Nobuo Uematsu! All in all, it was a great show!
I had brought this topic up in chat but want to post it here to get some thoughtful discussion out of it. These days instant communication, especially the internet, is ingrained in our daily lives. We are constantly being tweeted,emailed or otherwise updated. While this is definitely a good thing, I have noticed that over the years my appreciation for things has dropped considerably. I'd get a gaming magazine in the mail, and look at well-written and interesting reviews and previews for upcoming games. I say well-written because this packet of information was always something I looked forward to getting in the mail every month (well several, as I had subscriptions to EGM, Game Informer, Nintendo Power, GamePro and a few others). Nowadays the moment something gets announced for game we hear about it. We get overloaded with so much info for so many games I no longer finish games before getting more, or at the very least already looking forward to whats next. And this doesn't just apply to gaming, indeed anime feels very much the same to me, if not MORE SO. The early to mid 2000's were a great time for anime, interest in the medium was up, we had multiple companies bringing out great releases (Geneon, ADV, CPM...to name a few.) Anime was more of a social thing, as most people were usually watching whatever was on Toonami, or had just been released on DVD. Streaming and downloads were no were near as prevalent as they are today. Nowadays you can practically stream any anime, ever. To me, this instant gratification, this constant inundation of information is a good thing, but has devalued my hobbies. I still enjoy anime, but no longer feel that excitement at finding a new show to watch. I still enjoy gaming, but the time I spend on individual games has decreased in contrast to my purchasing habits which have skyrocketed. RPG's especially have taken a hit, In the past I could devote months to one game, no longer. I'm not sure if I'm getting burned out by my hobbies, or if I'm just developing different tastes or ways of enjoying them. What I am sure of, is that I sound like an old man And now to you guys, how have your tastes and interests changed over the last decade or so?