Retro Reviews Are Coming

It’s time to start dissecting the Nintendo Switch Online NES and SNES libraries of games!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 10/22/2020 02:09 Comment on this     ShareThis

Retro video games are as integral a part of the industry’s landscape as anything new being released on current gen hardware. Nintendo Switch Online is Nintendo’s first crack at monetizing its back catalog of software via a subscription-based model, and while feelings are mixed about attaching such beloved games to a monthly service fee, there’s no denying the allure of dipping a toe back into the waters of gaming’s past. For some it’s a return after many years away, and for others it’s an opportunity to play classics that they’ve never had the chance to experience. As such, it makes reviews of these older titles an important resource for these fans, but appraising retro classics can be tricky.

One of the more contentious aspects of video game journalism is the relative lack of universal standards and criteria when it comes to evaluating past works. Some writers are of a mind that classic games cease to be playable in comparison to later sequels and revisions, while others can see these works for their historical significance as well as pinpoint what makes these classics still worth playing today in their original forms. At this point there isn’t any sort of consensus, whereas in other genres of art and entertainment such standards have existed for years. Film is what springs to mind most readily for me; imagine a world where critics tried to undermine the importance of a film like Citizen Kane using the cinematic and storytelling advancements of contemporary movies as a justification. Citizen Kane would violently oscillate between being dubbed a masterpiece and a relic of the past if it was treated with the same lack of care that classic video games tend to get.

That’s why Nintendojo is going to start brining you all Retro Reviews. The criteria is the same as our regular reviews for new games—while we will be looking at the historical significance of retro software like The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, we will also be providing insights into why these games are every bit as playable today… unless they’re not! The goal is honesty. The goal is to offer the player’s of today some insight into what makes these games tick or fall apart without leaning into comparisons with sequels and spinoffs. If you were playing games in 1992 or 2001, you know that there have always been titles that rise above or crash in a spectacular ball of flames. Age itself can impact the experience, but too many a pundit relies on filtering their analyses of old video games through the lens of nostalgia.

So, please look forward to seeing us tackle the library of NES and SNES Nintendo Switch Online games. Hopefully, we can all share the journey of experiencing these games together. We will also try to release the occasional tip and/or trick for these classics, so keep you your eyes open for that, as well. Our first such article is already out and explains how to earn 75 Kremkoins right at the beginning of Donkey Kong Country 2!

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