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Five Reasons Why 2016 is the Year of the Retro

Five Reasons Why 2016 is the Year of the Retro

Everything is coming up retro, from miniature consoles to the games releasing on store shelves. It’s 2016 and we’re seeing officially-sanctioned emulators, retro 8-bit graphics taking over, and services springing up everywhere to bring gamers what they really want: retro-inspired gems and cult classics. 2016 is the year of the throwback. Don’t act like you aren’t gleefully soaking it all in, we see you over there jumping for joy over that miniature NES! Here are five reason why this is the most retro time ever.

Retro consoles are making a huge comeback.


You’ve got the NES Classic Edition from Nintendo, Sega’s Mega Drive, and the Retro-Bit Generations console. Nintendo went the most direct route to prey on gamers’ nostalgia, with a micro-sized Nintendo Entertainment System that you could carry around in your pocket if you so desired. Just a few short years ago, if you were looking to play classic games like Super Mario Bros. or Sonic the Hedgehog, you’d have to play the originals, pick up a re-release on a current console, or emulate them. Companies are making it super simple for you to pick up and play your favorite game, no matter what kind of display or equipment you have, because that’s what’s hot and in demand right now. You don’t have to be a retro connoisseur to see that.

The indie movement is relying on retro-chic games to appeal to nostalgic millennials and gamers.

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When you see an independent game these days, what’s its aesthetic? From greats like VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action to Starr Mazer, we’re up to our eyes in pixels. Sure, they have a distinctive look, but these games aren’t always made utilizing this art style because of developer preference. In several cases, they keep production costs low. Most importantly, they rekindle memories of childhood. They look familiar, just like they could have been ripped straight from the pages of a magazine from the ’80s or ’90s. They hearken back to a simpler time, from their graphics to their chiptune soundtracks and stripped-down concepts.

Older licenses are being revived like Phoenix Downs ain’t no big thing.


There’s a brand new ToeJam & Earl game on the horizon. Let that sink in for a second. Not just that, but System Shock is being given both a remake and a sequel. From HD updates to complete, from-the-ground-up recreations, old is becoming new again, because everyone has a tendency to ache for things that are familiar.

It’s easier than ever to play your old favorites.


You don’t have to sift through stacks and stacks of titles in your closet to kick off a weekend session of Creatures or Nox. It’s all right at your fingertips, thanks to additions to Steam, Desura,, and other digital providers. Whether you’re looking for those classic computer games or those first or second gen console gems, you can find most titles online by the grace of their publishers.

People are tired of getting the run around from triple-A titles.


We tend to view classic games through rose-tinted glasses, so it’s easier to feel frustrated with modern titles and games that don’t seem to deliver what we think they should. But in many cases, there are definite reasons to become disgruntled. Pre-order snafus, features promised or rumored to be included with games that aren’t, and even extended development times are only some of the reasons gamers clamor for classics instead of new releases. It’s a lot easier to look to the past for comfort and security when you already know what you’re getting without the risks of projects like Kickstarters or overarching ideas that never come to fruition.

What retro comebacks or new products are you gleefully partaking in?

Featured image credit: Pixabay

Image credits: Nintendo, Imagos Software, Humanature Studios, Creature Labs 

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