Monday, June 27, 2011

Photos - Gunstar Heroes #1

This weekend, I found a copy of Gunstar Heroes for the Sega Genesis at one of the local shops.  They were asking $15, which is a bit pricey for my liking, but I'll probably be back next weekend with money in tow.  It's just about the best Genesis game ever made, blazing fast, explosions everywhere, always challenging, visually stunning.  Treasure struck the perfect tone in gameplay, technical effects, and outright weirdness.

Back in 1994, I didn't expect that I'd still be playing these games 15-20 years later; I probably expected that I'd have grown up and embraced a better hobby, or I assumed that video games would continue to grow and evolve.  Unfortunately, the shift to 3D polygon graphics meant abandoning the classic arcade paradigm, and embracing, well...something different.  Mostly cinematics.  Snore.  For all this technological greatness, video game design seems hopelessly stuck in the Playstation 1 era.

Thankfully, we have seen a revival of 2D video games in recent years, and there has been a decent attempt by some parties to return to the old-school arcade paradigm.  It's sobering to realize how most of those design skills have just vanished.  Designers and programmers honestly can't remember how to create a great arcade video game.  Strange.

And so I find myself returning to Sega's magnificent old consoles.  The best deal in videogames today is a Sega Genesis and a stack of cartridges, all of which could be had for the price of a single modern game.  Now that is a bargain, friends.  Show me a PS360 or Wii title that can compete with Revenge of Shinobi or Thunder Force III or Gunstar Heroes.  Nothing on the current scene holds my interest, apart from Minecraft and the Just Dance series.  Seriously, if you love video games, get yourself a (model 1) Genesis.

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