I recently finished my first play through of System Shock 2, a game that made me think a lot about the state of classic gaming today. Digital marketplaces, as well as the ease of online shopping, have made classic games easier to get than ever. Add to that the abundance of HD remakes, and we are living in a veritable golden age for gamers who love classic games.
It's the latter group that got me to thinking. Are you truly playing the game that everyone knows and loves if you're playing an upgraded version? Is it worth it to slog through an outdated game that was limited by archaic hardware simply for the sake of experiencing it as it was intended?
I fall into the category that wants to play a game as close to the way it was released on my initial run through. Playing a game in its original form (or as close as I can get to it) allows the player to step back in time and see what made a game a classic in the first place. They will show their age, particularly anything from the early 3D era of gaming, but it makes modern games seem that much better because of it.
As I said at the onset, I recently finished up System Shock 2. I had picked up the game in a Humble Bundle some time before, but never had the drive to start it. After finishing Bioshock Infinite, and seeing how the series evolved from Bioshock, I wanted to go back and experience the unofficial first game in the series. Before I installed, I wanted to check out some of the best ways to go about tackling the game. The most common idea I came across in this research, was that I should download any number of mods to make the game more modern. While these mods would likely have helped m enjoyment of the game in the early stages, I wouldn't have fully experienced the evolution of the series with mods. I'd like to play through the game again one day with some of these mods, but I'm glad that my first playthrough was with an unmodified game.
I don't mean to say that remakes and upgrades are bad. I love them. I just want to sing the praises of playing a game in its original state, warts and all. Without these kinds of experiences, we can't really see how far game design has come in just a few decades. So next time you're considering playing a classic game, opt for the original version instead of the remake. Sure the graphics will be blocky and the gameplay won't be as smooth, but the experience will let you appreciate the games you're playing now that much more.
P.S. I'm looking for someone to make me a graphic for my Captain's Log posts. Nothing fancy, just something that looks an old parchment scroll that says Captain's Log at the top. Any help would be greatly appreciated.