Weekly Discussion Wrap-Up: Faux Retro

I was really interested in the results of this week’s discussion. It’s always nice to know that you aren’t a complete outsider in your opinions, particularly when you made up a term to describe the phenomenon. For once I really had no idea how people would react to the topic, so the comments were an interesting read.

Given all that I’m still going to pick a comment that looked at the topic in a negative light first. That’s right it seems gideon1451 doesn’t really like the new trend of retro styled games.

I don’t think they add a great deal to today’s games really. It seems they’re going backwards a bit, to me. The old games still exist & play perfectly fine, if I want to play retro, I’ll just go & play those, rather than buying something new which is meant to be old.

However, this seemed to be the outlier in terms of opinion. Most commentators seemed to be in favour of the trend of faux retro titles to some extent. In particular people liked the freedom that going with simpler graphics allows developers. For example jonny_bolton had the following to say.

I share the view that often games with lesser graphics will have to up the ante when it comes to gameplay, as with Braid. What a superb game that was.

He’s right too, Braid was an amazing title.

Straying slightly from just faux retro TSBonyman did bring up an interesting point about retro re-releases, and how they don’t add anything new to the titles themselves.

I like to see a few brand new IPs using retro/8 bit graphics but some retro classics have been released each generation with little or no upgrading visually and i’m tired of paying for the exact same game each generation.

Finally, perhaps my favourite comment for its amusing simplicity came from Bladesteel who broke the basic issue about the cost of graphically advanced titles down into three simple equations.

Looking polished = expensive to make
Expensive to make = not willing to take a risk
Not willing to take a risk = unoriginal


  1. From my perspective I love the diversity of visual styles we’re seeing. From futuristic to craft (LBP) to realistic environments (Uncharted) to retro/8-bit. The last one, sadly, seems to be sometimes used as an excuse to get the old crowd whipped up into a halcyon frenzy when we suddenly realise they’ve added very little else to a game-type we loved and moved on from twenty years ago.

    It’s these titles that bore the shit out of me. Retro style works well, visually, but for god’s sake, bring something fresh to the game-play or I’ll be doing the same as that woman did with the cat. Throwing it in the bin*.

    *Obviously that’s a stupid thing to do when people are going hungry around the world and jiffy bags come in all sizes. :-p

  2. I have to say, that gideon1451 chap has it spot on ;)

  3. just another point: it’s probably why I liked Super Stardust HD so much, a retro game brought into modern graphics.

  4. retro is just another art style really, the gameplay is usually modern, but they tap into that nostalgic feel with the graphics.
    no bad thing in my book.

    now if they’d just add an online multiplayer mode to the scott pilgrim game.

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