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October 2015 Retro Gaming Article

October 11, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Even retro games seem to require downloading updates and bug fixes

Sony's original Playstation was my introduction to the notion of compilation games. Wonders like Williams Greatest Hits and Namco Museum were the kind of titles that really excited me. I enjoyed the new aspects of disc-based games and the epic gameplay they offered, but the idea of having a handfull of my favorite arcade games at my disposal was king!

Releasing buggy games on carts in the 80s & 90s would have ruined a developer's reputation.
These compilation discs contained games I'd seen ported to previous Atari and Nintendo platforms, but to have the true arcade versions was mind-blowing for me.! Even the discs dedicated to older console games like Activision Classic Games for the Atari 2600 were pretty cool on the PlayStation. It was likely the combination of the new games along with favored classics that made the platform very exciting to me.

These gems were released long before the "fix it with DLC" model arrived on store shelves in the digital age. In the cartridge days, we knew there was no such thing as perfection, but anyone who tried to sell us the un-finished bug-ridden games we buy today, would have gone out of business. Games were simpler in the cart days, but they were also rigorously tested. Developers knew their reputation was on the line with every new game shipped to stores. In present time, everything is correctable via download - they let customers do the testing. Shameful!

Rare Replay Is Still Releasing Bug Fixes

We declared Rare Replay as the only game that would likely get us to buy an Xbox One. 30 classic video games for $30 seems too good to be true. I read a short Destructoid article about recent updates and fixes for Rare Replay. The author was glad to see the game was still being upgraded and fixed - being given attention by the developer. This got me thinking...

Rare Replay seclection screen How can a title containing games that are in some cases decades old require fixes!?! It's only fair to mention that the fixes were not to the individual games, but to the ancillary aspects surrounding them. None the less, it makes an interesting statement when a compilation title was released and still needed multiple releases of new bug fixes.

Rare Replay seclection screen Even though most of the fixes were to the leader boards and the user interface, it stuns me that even a game like this requires fixing. If you loved the Tony Hawk Pro Skater franchise (THPS), the attempt to reboot it and bring it to current generation consoles failed miserably due to an incomplete game being released. Bugs are still present after a huge downloadable fix. Most reviews warn gamers not to even buy the game! What does that say about the gaming industry and the crap they try to get away with?

I love skateboarding and the THPS series of games. It's the sort of game I would simply buy without hesitation. Had I not read so many articles questioning how such an shoddy product was even released, I might have been stuck with that $60 dud.

Next time you go to play your favorite game and have to wait 30 minutes for a patch to download, you should be thankful that anyone cares enough to bother fixing anything. You should also wonder why a completed game needs fixing. Some games are expanded and enhanced by downloads, but too often bug-fixes are included there as well... hoping you won't notice.

Don't forget that the cartridge era held developers to much higher standards. A buggy game could easily been their ruin. Today, a buggy game is the standard. Why? Because we continue to buy their unfinished games.
  • Never buy a game on release day
  • Never buy a game without reading multiple reviews
  • Never buy a game without knowing it's development history
  • Never buy a game until gamers/consumers have played it
Good luck out there!

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