Published on March 9th, 2012 | by PJ Douglas


Blog: Just… Leave it.

“Natural as the way we came to be,
 Second time won’t live up to the dream
Natural as the way we came to be, Second time is not quite what it seemed”
– Sade

You may have heard recently that a company called ‘Double Fine’ Founded in 2000 by industry veteran Tim Schafer (Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango) and maker of many fine games since, such as Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, Costume Quest and Stacking have started a ‘Kickstarter’ funding programme where the public can fund their next game and watch it progress / receive bonuses for what they put in.

It was a huge success and achieved it’s target $400,000 in just eight hours, with the total climbing since up to $2,500,000ish.

So natually this idea set the gaming word alight, “RE-RELEASE SHENMUE!” “LETS GET EVERY GTA BACK TO BACK IN A HD COLLECTION” and mainly “WE CAN FUND SHENMUE 3!!!!!1111!!!” Came the twitter cry, “I’ll sell a kidney and my left arm if you tell me what happened to Ryo Hazuki and his leather jacket!”

Style, You has it.

But recently i’ve had a realisation, the same realisation that has saved my relationship countless arguments and saved me from many, many fights…

“Just… Leave it”
Now before the fanboys (and girls, not sexist, so calm down… sweetheart) of the internet sharpen up their keyboards and hunt down my IP before changing my screensaver to Cloud and Zelda high fiving over the sega saturn let me defend my statement…

When I was young I had almost every console you can imagine and a bundle of games to match. As this made up a large portion of my childhood I have great memories of Sonic CD, Guardian Heroes on the sega saturn, and playing the simpsons arcade game on the arcade cabinet in the leisure centre.

So much wasted youth

And so when I hear they are being re-released I beat my chest and join up with everyone else online debating what achievements will / should be tacked on and how I would pay any price asked (As long as they include the original soundtrack).

Then they come out, and I buy them, on day one.

And I feel a bit sad.

Fighting the same four types on enemies screen after screen in the simpsons suddenly seems boring by level two, when I remember pumping pound after pound into the arcade machine because “LEVEL TWO IS AMAZING!!!” The gameplay of Sonic CD starts to irritate me, why am I going back and foward in time? If I don’t have a delorean this is pointless. And dammit if the music of streets of rage isn’t starting to annoy me… Etc.

So what’s changed?

Is it me? Have I become old and jaded and am now only impressed by a plasma rifle that looks so nice it leaves scorch marks in my eyes when it fires? Do I need huge expansive wildernesses to travel via any mode of transport I like? Can I now only appreciate game soundtracks performed by a multi cultural muti talented orchestra?

Nope that aint it…

Is it the way I play games? Having to play simpsons arcade with random people I don’t know with names like ‘XhaXOr345’ and ‘Peni5PvmP’ from Texas and Switzerland and not my mates in the same room means you can’t clock them one round the head when they steal all the power ups or “Stop playing to grab a coke” without warning.

Nope still not right…

Scientifically (No stay awake, it’s cool!) when we are children Sights and sounds cause us an initial burst of sensitivity and then rapidly decay into dullness as we experience them over and over again. As Children, we believe that we can be or do anything. How many of us walked out of the Karate Kid film highkicking and asking our mum to sign us up for Judo lessons? (The closest thing Swindon Community centre had to helping me become a Karate Master) The world is larger-than-life to a child, they do not have the adult realistation of what is actually possible. So the first time you sprinted through the green hill zone you were there with sonic, avoiding the spikes, zooming upside down through mobius strips, wiggling to get out of ice blocks.

Sadly the more we play as adults the more we are told:
“Stop wasting your money on those childish / geeky / stupid games”
“It’s just a game don’t get so worked up” (The girlfriend is a key culprit here)

or the classic:
“That would never happen”

Do you think as a child I ever cared that Dr Robotnik, in theory the smartest man on Mobius who could robotocize animals would really build 32 different boss machines all with obvious weaknesses? Nope. Did I not think that one volly of machine gun fire from Mr X at the end of streets of rage 2 would have ended my noble quest? Nuh uh. My suspension of real world knowledge
(or worrying lack of it) made these games true heart in mouth adventures.

Not scared, got two lives left.

And that is why I want them to ‘Just Leave It‘ and stop re-releasing old games. Surely we’re not out of ideas or sequels yet? Whatever treasured childhood racing game you play in a re-released HD version in a weeks time, you’ve been using as an example to mates or customers of “perfect racing gaming” for the past ten years as your mind associates it with the speed and style you saw when you first played it, and glossed over the ugly bits so of course it can’t stand up to your perception now.

Some games deserve to stay in the past, unless, if you can manage it, played as if it’s the first time you’ve ever seen or done such things. Remember how amazing bullet time was in Max Payne? The moment you saw Aerith die in FF7? Freezing then kicking an enemy to bits in Duke Nukem 3D?

So next time you pick up a game, old or new, try and remember that and see if anything changes.

Anyway i’m off to play Final Fantasy Xiii-2… Where I travel in time… Without a delorean… Hey wait a minute!

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About the Author

Raised in the late 80s on a steady diet of Sonic the Hedgehog and Cherry Coke /// World traveller, Rum baron, Situation Defuser and All Round Good Guy /// “A lot of things that happened [in the past] would have broken anybody else. I was able to survive. That's all that really matters.”

5 Responses to Blog: Just… Leave it.

  1. Glidding says:

    Hmmm… I personally love all the re-releases, although I share you lamenting over whAt was.. *sob* WHERE DID THE TIME GO?????

  2. steelshox says:

    *Sitting at the back of the bar in a darkened corner of the room is the battle scarred grizzly veteran who has been to the darkest corners and fought the fuzziest of animals.*

    We live in an age where every developer and studio is pushing the envelope for stunning visuals, new perspectives, shocking twists and bigger baddies.

    Has this caused gamers today to be desensitised?

    I loved the visuals of the original Mortal Kombat. It was slow and sluggish with limited movement but it brought gore to the forefront of a commercial game and i loved the competitive elements. In the most up to date Mortal Kombat we now have X-ray moves which highlight the most extreme bodily damage in the most graphic way possible. Now does this mean when i go back to playing the original MK on my Sega Mega drive that i will have a less enjoyable experience playing it?……maybe.

    By giving the modern gamer the chance to relive their childhood in some way is a nice little nod to those of us who have invested small fortunes in games and consoles over the years as well as giving younger gamers the chance to learn the origins of many features which are common in modern games.

    Personally i cant wait until they re-release James Pond: Robocod.

    • Robert Young says:

      Nice points – I personally don’t mind remakes as long as they are beneficial to both new and old gamers alike… for instance Halo Combat Evolved AE – that was a nice remake as it had the option to play both old graphics and HD graphics… if done right they are worth the investment, but most of the time they are cack.

      BUT James Pond… ROBODCOD – that is my childhood – that could be epic haha!

  3. Tony Winkett says:

    I was talking about James Pond the other day, as back in the day I would babysit for my sisters kids, and of course I brought them into the gaming world. James Pond, Spyro, Croc, Rock and Roll Racing, you name it I made them play it.

  4. David Guild says:

    Big retro gamer, so any remakes or whats nots done correctly is always a plus. I’m usually the first person to by the remakes that get released on XBLA.

    Games like Chopperlift, BouderDash, Lode Runner and TMNT OH! Don’t forget the recently announced Ducktales are all big wins for me. The game still pretty much has the same gameplay as the original just been updated visually and most the time its looks great! Lode Runner wasn’t the best one done but the game itself is still pretty damn awesome.

    Remakes aren’t the problem, its reboots that can be a hit or miss. Tomb Raider … good, Syndicate, baaaad. lol

    But year playing the Amiga recently I keep opening to hear more classics to be released. I can dream 😀

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