Nostalgia for nostalgia sake – Pixel Graphics

So the indie game world seems to be the sole place of residence for games that rely entirely on nostalgia for their appeal. And one of the biggest communities of this world is the pixel-graphic games which have become a little over-used. The main reason behind this opinion is that I don’t really enjoy pixel graphics, especially now that the fax machine is being phased out. I have tasted Skyrim and The Witcher and pixel graphics now leave me wanting.

piq_26282_400x400
Yeah… not quite the same.

I feel in this day and age, having games with pixel graphics to re-live the glory days is a little short-sighted. While you might have great memories of playing these games, they weren’t necessarily amazing games. The best example I can think of a modern games taking on pixel graphics for potentially nostalgic reasons are the point and click adventures. So many of them use pixel graphics similar to the original Monkey Islands or Day of the Tentacle. I’m not saying they’re bad games, but I’m not re-living the heydays by experiencing them in pixel graphics. If anything, I’m getting annoyed at not being able to pick up the case files because I mistook them for a pressed shirt.

This all being said, I don’t out-rule playing games with pixel graphics, or even games that aim for a nostalgic feel. I find that some of the games I enjoy the most at the moment are those taking an old-style of game-play and doing something new with them. For example, Rogue Legacy is an action, side-scrolling, dungeon crawler with pixel graphics. But then it adds a rogue-like element with a family lineage. And speaking of rogue-like, I feel FTL can pull it off just because it’s interesting enough regardless of graphics. Another one is Enemy Mind today which I started playing today. It’s a side-scrolling space shooter with pixel graphics, like an old arcade game. What makes it interesting? You’re a creature that takes over other ships in the game. That’s such an awesome concept that once again, graphics are irrelevant.

So what I am getting at here? Well I guess that if a game wants to pull off pixel graphics, it better be a good game (no pressure). That being said, I’m not a game developer. I’m sure there’s often time/money/developmental reasons as to why someone would choose to use pixel graphics. Not to mention that my dislike of them is mainly aesthetics and that there are plenty of people like pixel art.

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