Gaming

Backlog Quest: The Sad Decay of Nostalgia

Oh man, this one hurt. I consider this one part of my backlog because I didn’t own a Saturn until the games had become collector’s items. I must exemplify, however, the sheer magnitude of “Holy Shit.” I felt the first time I saw Panzer Dragoon on my friend’s shiny new Sega Saturn. It had visuals that had truly signified the home console’s newfound dominance over the arcade. For the first time in home gaming history, this generation of consoles could do what the arcade machines could do, and more. This and Virtua Fighter made me question whether arcades would begin to phase out, which turned out to come depressingly true, but I digress as the train of thought had derailed.

I hope someone wants to make ME pretty when I’M old. (Screenshot taken by me.)

The point is, the game blew my tiny face right off. It sounded and looked better than almost any game I had ever seen, and it wasn’t shitty by virtue of being a “home version”. I was enthralled, but my time with it was short. My homie had rented it and had to return it to the local “Video World”, where it was certainly awaited by the four other salivating, spoiled little shits in town with Saturns. Remember renting games? Good times, right?

(image from Wikipedia)

When it was announced that Panzer Dragoon would be getting gussied up with an HD makeover, I got a little excited. It awoke the tiny fragment of my childhood that I imprison within my gelid busom, refusing it the release of death.

But they wanted THIRTY DOLLARS for it! That equated to 30 Double Cheeses; 60 if you dismantle them into separate, individual “Cheeses”! That’s quite a bit to ask of a game that I knew played kinda like StarFox if it was waking up from oral surgery. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, and so are sales. In a streak of luck, PDHD went on sale for under seven bucks. I looked at it in the eShop every day for the entirety of its sale time Something I couldn’t put a finger on made me hesitant. In the interest of science and with a pair of proverbial way-back-shades, I ventured back in time to a game I once loved.

I bet there is a clever metaphor about getting back with an Ex that I could make here. This game has disappointed me in a way that sent me on an analytical downward spiral, dissecting the 90’s with a cold, unfeeling hand. I know I usually take you, dear reader, along for my journey into my replay, hijinks, and all that, but not this time. The game feels and looks dated. It’s not a terrible game. They polished up what they had well enough to add a neat photo mode, and for its time, it truly was an arcade experience in your house. There’s still no denying we have come far in the on-rails shooter genre. With its frequent stretches of “duhhh” flying devoid of enemies combined with incredibly limited movement and abilities, one can end up doing nothing for interspersed moments of frequency.

Lots of this. (Screenshot by me)

It differs because it caused me to think of dumb shit that I thought was cool as a kid. Eventually, everything twisted into a singularity like water in a drain. I remembered…Grizzly Chomps. Do you remember these? Are you younger than 35 and have no idea what I’m smoking? Here. Drink it in:

These piss adult me off so much. The way I can see the cringe attempt for some marketing suits to appeal to that “cool” thing all the kids are into. My poor goddamn parents. They looked at these stupid things and still paid money they sold hours of their life for. It’s missing like ⅛ of it! They were more expensive than the normal chocolate cupcakes, which were sold in their entirety. Man, my childhood was full of this stuff.

Actual footage of shitty game console “Virtual Boy” attacking a child with neck pain and headaches so it can consume its hourly meal of 70$ worth of batteries. ( Actually a clip of Virtual Boy TV spot, rights of Nintendo of America)

My point is that not everything on the Nostalgia shelf has an infinite shelf life. Sadly, some things don’t stand the test of time. For every Chrono Trigger, there may be a Panzer Dragoon skulking in the back of the cabinet like a doppelganger. Time is not kind to all. Not all tales are meant to be happy ones, and my backlog is vast. Until next time!

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