With the 20th February seeing the release of both Street Fighter IV and the SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection on both the XBOX 360 and the Playstation 3, it made me realize the sudden rise in what seems to be a Retro Revival.
First of all let’s look at the obvious parts of the sudden revival in the two cases mentioned in the prior paragraph; with the release of a new game in the Street Fighter franchise and also the release of a collection of Mega Drive classics.
The word on the street
Over the last few months it has been a popular time for the Street Fighter franchise, with the release of Super Street Fighter II HD Remix and Street Fighter IV on both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Super Street Fighter II HD Remix hit the XboxLive marketplace on the 26th November 2008 giving the 360 owners plenty of time to play it before the release of Street Fighter IV, unfortunately the wait was a bit longer for Playstation 3 users (especially the users in Europe, which had to wait until the 19th February).
This game had developed a lot of interest up until it release, which you could say was possibly aided by the release of more information about Street Fighter IV being released adding to the build up; creating the extra hype that is needed to make a game sell. But, that’s not to say the game needed among the Street Fighter addicts out there.
Just after the hype and revival of the series that were planned with the release of Super Street Fighter II HD Remix, Capcom gave the world the latest offering in the franchise by releasing Street Fighter IV.
Now, this might not be seen as retro revival as it is a brand new installment designed for the current generation of games consoles, but they did return the game back to the style of play, that players enjoyed in the earlier installments, so although the game looked great it gameplay dynamics were returned to the style of Street Fighter II. This did rope in the older generation who originally played the series back in the days of the earlier installments, bringing a retro revival in a whole new way.
Ultimate you say?
On the same day that Street Fighter IV was released, the retro revival continued with SEGA also releasing the SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection, which basically provided buyers with over forty Mega Drive favorites. To sweeten the deal for the people interested in playing the games of their childhood SEGA gave it and MSRP of £24.99. The wide range of titles that SEGA included meant that anyone of the Mega Drive generation would enjoy the collection. But’ obviously there were the titles you would come to expect from any SEGA collection; these come in the form of Sonic and Streets of Rage.
Streets of Revival
Like mentioned previously many people would expect this game series to appear on the any Ultimate collection release by SEGA. If you ask many of the gamers who spent their childhood playing the Mega Drive to name some games, Streets of Rage would be mentioned quite early.
This game series is one the most memorable games on this generation of games, the side scrolling violence was addictive and was a great multiplayer experience, you just could not get enough of bashing some punks skull in with a drain pipe, and people who originally played the game are always itching for more of this when the title is mentioned.
This series alone could persuade people to buy the Mega Drive Ultimate Collection and contribute to this sudden retro revival.
Sonic the Icon-hog
Well as expected as soon as you mention SEGA to anyone for the Mega Drive generation or even this generation the first thing that comes to mind is Sonic. Sonic has always been around and will be a major part in any sort of retro revival in the years to come, so this obviously had a place in the Ultimate Collection.
The Ultimate Collection brings you all the installments of the Sonic franchise released on Mega Drive, meaning buyers can revisit those many hours of gaming from their childhood, be it frustrating hours with the lack of a save feature, that is ever present in this generation. This also gives you chance to revisit that lovely paradise known as Green Hill.
The one thing that gives Sonic that selling appeal for both SEGA and a retro revival is, even the new gamers of this generation want to play the original versions of this game, because to be honest the current generations of the games have failed to live up to the standards and enjoyment factor of the game predeceases.
Now, add to these two big titles from the 16-bit generation the likes of Alex the Kidd, Golden Axe, Columns and Ecco the Dolphin, just to name a few. The collection suddenly becomes that more tempting to the people who want to rekindle the love for the games from their childhood.
On a personal note, a lot of the older friends on my Xbox 360 friends list were playing this at some point of the day of its release, and I could not help but sample some of the great games of my childhood and got it the following day.
The Download Scene
Ever since the launch of the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii, there has been a high request for on the retro scene, and all three consoles offered the consumers the chance to re-live their childhood via download.
Some of the games released across the all the networks offered by these consoles have hit a lot sales, which showed although last week saw the chance of the retro scene hitting it big again, there has always been a demand for some retro action. Some of the games released across the networks have even caused hype themselves over the re-release.
Some of the games that SEGA chose to include on the Ultimate Collection have contributed to the sales on all the networks and had a helping hand in the virtual network revival.
Old Name, New Game
Part of this article concentrated on Street Fighter IV, this was one of many games that have recreated itself on current generation from the 16-bit era, and undoubtedly Street Fight was also the most successful.
On of the other most popular games, that has had the this generation treatment and not been so successful is Sonic, the big difference being is that Sonic has had two outings on the Xbox 360 and PS3 to date, in the form of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Unleashed. Both games came nowhere near the standard or were half as enjoyable as the retro versions, maybe making a case that the current retro revival is not that much of a surprise.
Another SEGA classic recently given the current generation treatment was Golden Axe, this was a great title back in the Mega Drive’s time, but once again it failed to take off on the current generation. Again, making a case for the retro titles to be released in both collection format via disk, or as single games via download over the consoles network.
The failure of many old titles making a come back in this generations form so far has not made developers give up. Recently it was announced that the old classic Splatterhouse was being primed to make its come back with the current generation look.
Time will only tell if any game re-make, other than Street Fighter, can really perform as well as its predecessor. My opinion is it is highly unlikely and the retro revival will only be carried out by games like the SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection and downloads being released in the future.
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