Waking up at a friend’s apartment I found myself on the verge of tears upon hearing the catchy 16 bit theme made popular by Nintendo’s Super Mario World.
I’m still not sure if these tears stemmed totally from sadness or joy but one thing I’m certain of was the profound sense of loss that surged through me as I watched her navigate through the game’s overhead world map. As she moved through the map’s various worlds I found myself bobbing my head in rhythm as the game’s map music seamlessly switched genres and tempo in conjunction with its topographical changes.
After drying my eyes and collecting myself I came to understand how this emotion called nostalgia is a big asset for companies trying to sell retro shit; perhaps it is the only asset worth mentioning.
Reflecting back on the days in which my Wii was used for something other than collecting dust, I remember going to its marketplace and immediately purchasing A Link to the Past; an ancient Zelda game for Super Nintendo. I don’t remember the price I paid for it but it wasn’t free and that’s pretty much the going rate for any game released before the PlayStation.
What else could force me to buy such an antiquated, obsolete and clearly overpriced product if not nostalgia?
Every game within my virtual console cache are games that I’ve owned at some point in my life. I cannot fathom buying a Super Nintendo title for 5-10 dollars in 2012 that does not give me the pseudo catharsis gained from nostalgic gaming.
Gaming companies also capitalize on this failure of the human design by creating a collection of antiquated games and their sequels and releasing them for a price that screams joke. They may sometimes attempt to validate the potential purchase by using key words that precede the word Edition, such as HD or Collector’s.
It’s all bullshit.
I am a fan of the Devil May Cry series so when I first heard of Capcom’s cash grab attempt known as the the Devil May Cry HD Collection, I became curious to see how Capcom would legitimize such a woeful waste of money. In my experience, these kinds of things are always marketed towards fans of a series and never at individuals who are unfamiliar with the series, despite it being more likely that someone with limited or no experience with the series is more likely to purchase a collection than someone who is an avid fan. At least, when it comes to a series that is not necessarily that old.
I’m a pretty big nerd at heart but even I can’t imagine a fan of a series buying a collection at an exorbitant price despite having every component of that collection existing separately. Even if it does happen, I doubt it’s frequency of occurrence would legitimize companies’ current marketing strategies.
I could be completely wrong and I’m sure someone will be swift to correct me by belching up stats and charts.
I’m not saying I have never bought a revamped collection of an “old” game. The God of War Collection is what introduced me to, and made me a fan of, the series but I doubt anyone who had the two titles still went and bought the Collection.
Although I hate the Tony Hawk series for what it ultimately turned into; I absolutely loved the series’ first four titles. I remember showing up late constantly for class in seventh and eighth grade, having played Tony Hawk until the birds started chirping by my bedroom window signaling it was time to get the fuck off.
Nostalgia is the sole reason I will be purchasing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD, not because I support Activision or necessarily the series as a whole.
I will still be purchasing it despite recognizing the release as a shameless attempt to cash in on a long dead franchise.
Because nostalgia is more powerful than common sense.