By: Richard Wilcox
This past Tuesday, the world saw the release of yet another remastered version of a 'classic' game, and in this context I use the term classic lightly, because God of War 3 is far from that. The brutal and bloody beat em up, with its borderline atrocious voice acting and extremely unlikeable protagonist, is living proof that nostalgia can sometimes be dangerous. All week I had friends and coworkers tell me "God of War is awesome" and "dude you haven't lived till you have played God of War" and after spending this past week with it I ask myself one question: Why?
“Who knew hell could be so beautiful”
I understand why 5 years ago this game was cool. It's bloody, violent, and has some nudity in it; a 13 year old's greatest dream come true. I'm sure 13 year old me would have loved this, coming at a time before I played games with amazing stories and voice acting like The Last of Us, Gone Home, and Spec Ops: The Line. I'll give it to God of War 3 Remastered though, it is quite beautiful and very nice to look at, so that makes playing for me a little easier, because you have these amazing back drops and colossal boss battles that are amazing to me could have even run on PS3, even at a lower graphical level. I'm not trying to tell you you're wrong if you enjoy God of War, more power to you, it unfortunately is not a game for my new preferences as I mature as a gamer.
The main thing I think GoW3 suffers is the killer that is nostalgia hype. As gamers grow older, they sometimes remember games more fondly than they should, because it was a game at the right place and right time in their life. For example, battletoads was one of my favorite games growing up, my brother showed me how to emulate it on a computer and I played the hell out of it. With the announce of the rare replay pack I thought "Yes now is the perfect time to go back and play the game that was my childhood". Long story short, I came to the conclusion that Battletoads was not nearly as good as I fondly remembered it; in fact, it's pretty awful, and I wish I never went back to play it. Now all those amazing memories I had as a kid are tainted with the fact that it's not as good of a game as I remember it to be. I'll always have those great memories and I will cherish them for a lifetime, but I could never recommend the game I once loved, for I know how it truly is now.
“Anybody who has gone through the struggle of Battletoads knows this dreaded level”
I don't want to say all nostalgia is a bad thing though, because going back to things you loved as a kid could ultimately prevail, giving you that pure ecstasy and rush you were searching for. To this day I still go back from time to time and play Super Mario 3 and love it more and more. I still have not found something as rewarding as jumping from flying turtle to flying turtle crossing the finish line. In fact Super Mario Maker is feeding completely on the nostalgia of Nintendo lovers and it's working.
A hard fact for many gamers to accept is that their beloved games of the past should probably stay there. Every day on social media and in the comment sections of many websites, I see gamers constantly begging for another remake or remaster. A lot of games may have been good in their time. I respect all games and their original vision but that doesn't mean I think all "classic" games deserve to be remade or remastered
Nostalgia hype is something that will constantly accompany games long after I'm gone and that's okay. Not all nostalgia is a bad thing. Many games will indeed be timeless, but in the end some games are better left in the past.