The Mrs. and I have a long standing relationship with Co-op games. Every time we play a new game, we look back on our 1st foray into gaming together: TimeSplitters 2. Some games remind us of how much fun that game was (Borderlands), some games make us wish we were playing that instead (Sacred 2). What I have learned over the past few years is that Nostalgia breaks down into distinct flavors: The sweet nostalgia and the bitter nostalgia, which I hereby dub, “Nastolgia.”
The Good Nostalgia:
Remember when you first picked up a controller? For some of you it was the square controller of the NES, and its thumb cutting D-pad. For others it was the single button mashing sensation of Atari. Whatever your fondness of the old days of gaming, chances are that you have often found your mind wandering to the games of yesteryear. With the (de)makes of Mega Man these days, it is hard not to remember a time when all you needed was one button to jump, and one button to shoot. You smile, you sigh, and you continue playing your Battlefield, or your Mass Effect. No harm done. With the Good nostalgia, you have a better appreciation of how far games have come and it enhances the current games you play.
Then there is the dark side of the nastalgia force. This is the poison that gets in your gaming grit and never lets go. These are the memories that stick to you, and tell you that gaming will never be as good as it was. Some hardcore Halo fans will say that just because a game isn’t Halo, it sucks, and that any other game is just trying to be Halo. With the recent announcement of Marvel Vs Capcom 3(!) I have a feeling that the nastalgia will creep into just about everyone who has heard there will only be (only) 30 characters in the new game. Over the past 10 years MVC2 has reached legendary proportions, and there are not enough Rocket-Punches or Viper-Beams to calm the mind of the Nastalgia gamer. Many will dismiss it as a sell out because their favorite character isn’t in it, or a combo they relied on so heavily before has changed, but if you live our hobby like this you are going to miss out on some choice games.
Nostalgia is meant to occupy your mind for only a little while. If you let it sit, it will cloud your vision. We are all guilty of never moving on from games that we have loved, but I assure you that a different gaming experience will be your newest fond memory of gaming just around the corner. You just have to look for it and keep and open mind.