Many words and terms are frequently thrown around in relation to classic gaming: retro, old school, and so forth. Often, games will be referred to as throwbacks, praised for their ability to induce nostalgia and capture the magic of the golden era of gaming. But really, what does “retro,” or any of those terms for that matter, really mean in reference to a game?
That the game manages to accurately capture the look of a classic title or genre? The sound? The feel? Does it more effectively evoke memories of childhood for the gamer than other games? Does it shun complexity in favor of simplicity?
We ask the question because it’s at the heart of our latest game (we’re Atlus, by the way, publishers of SMT: Nocturne, SMT: Persona 4, and the sleeper hit of 2009, Demon’s Souls). 3D Dot Game Heroes for PlayStation 3 is the ultimate love-letter to retro gamers, the definitive homage to the action-adventure legends we all grew up with. This is in part because of all the tangible things it does right, like the gorgeous next-gen visuals that retain that 8-bit pixel sprite charm, and the irresistible 8-bit music and sound effects. Still, we think that sometimes it’s what you can’t really put your finger on that makes a game “retro.”
You’re an adventurer in a kingdom troubled by a powerful evil demon, and you’re living in the shadow of a hero of old who, long ago, used a legendary sword to save the land from a similar threat. Already whisked back to your youth? We thought as much. Moreover, your quest, at the behest of the king, will take you across a vast, varied, and beautiful landscape, littered with secret caves to uncover and explore, interesting NPCs to chat with, and puzzle-filled dungeons to master.
Is 3DDGH “retro” because it gets that flawless 8-bit aesthetic just right? In part, yes. Is it “old school” because it doesn’t drown you in tutorials, quick tips, and hints? Definitely. But there’s also that intangible, ungraspable magic. It’s what made those 8- and 16-bit gems so memorable, so able to stand the test of time. It’s how smartly the levels are designed, how original the puzzles are. It’s that easy-to-pick-up, impossible-to-put-down addictiveness. 3D Dot Game Heroes is a game that pays tribute to a number of all-time classic games, but it also manages to blaze a trail all its own, with its unique sense of humor and tongue-in-cheek pizzazz.
Launching on May 11th and priced at an enticing $39.99, 3D Dot Game Heroes for PS3 system brings a bold mix of old and new to the table. When retro chic and modern sleek collide, the end result is oodles of fun for gamers of all ages. Also, it is confirmed: your childhood memories fit on a single Blu-ray disc.