Retro Rampage vs. Laid-Back Logic
- 16 Feb, 2022
Writing for Retro Game shop UK 8BitBeyond I get asked a lot….. ‘How do you complete old games when they’re rock solid’….. The short answer is I don’t…. (not always anyway) anyhoo, for me that’s not the point. Retro gaming is about having fun with the family and giving people like me and my son (autistic and awesome), the chance to shine. Lets not forget that the games of yesteryear weren’t just about smelling your own farts in your bedroom while you try to beat the big boss on the last level but coming together as a family and working as a team (if you don’t trust me, just look at the old Nintendo adverts with those cheesy and maybe a bit creepy, group smiles).
So, with that in mind, I thought we could revisit a few old classics that with a bit of teamwork and autistic driven logic, can turn Retro Rampage (see Super Metriod…) into the Retro Ritz (celebrating Super Metroid without the tears of anguish…).
Super Star Wars (Snes):
Enter 12 year old me crying as the Sand Crawler crushed me for the millionth time. Fast-forward to now; me and my 8 year-old counterpart can ace this tricky-level. How do you ask? No, not by shouting at the screen until it melts… by keeping calm and taking-turns. Sure, it’s not as easy as it sounds but calmly pointing out where the player should jump next (I know a few a children with autism who are absolute masters at good timing) followed by some words of encouragement (and maybe a little bit of consoling….) can get you through this tough’un and get down to some embarrassing dad dancing…..
Mohawk and Headphone Jack (Snes):
Me and my lad are very lucky duckies considering David at 8BitBeyond has this forgotten classic in his collection. The word unique get’s thrown around a lot but this game really does have something different; enter crazy rotational platform chaos! This is where fixations (complete focus on the task in-hand) that are common in autism, can come in real handy. My son is pretty sharp at pointing out what’s happening ahead whilst I’m busy battling an enemy so I don’t fall foul to that quick as Sonic after an energy drink, rotation. This co-op style play is frantic fun and the cause of many a belly laugh.Find more snes games for sale uk
Dungeons and Dragons - Warriors of the Eternal Sun (Mega drive):
Based on the role-play board games this game is a bit of a hidden gem. Especially, if like me you’d love to give the board game a go but are a little bit hesitant about spending a pretty penny on getting going. The good thing is that the Mega Drive version has a lot of the charm and logic that made the board games so popular. As I mentioned before, as my son and me are autistic we love to follow some guidelines that make sense and are fun (unlike the circumference of a circle); anyway, this title caters for our needs. Sure, it can be a bit of a slog at first (see the long old journey to the swamp…) but that gets easier with a bit of caravan travel. Although you can’t get to Rhyl you can get to any cave in the valley (nope, not in Wales….) in an instant. Besides, the long walks in this game provide you with the opportunity to tag-team with another player and see things from another perspective.
Home Alone (Mega Drive, Snes, Game Boy, Amiga):
When I played this one as a kid (after binge watching the film and trying to make my sister fall down the stairs with a badly placed slinky), I was raring to give the game a go. To be honest, I couldn’t get to grips with this platformer however, thanks to my son’s very logical brain I’ve really enjoyed a revisit to this cheeky charming title (although Harry with a crowbar is still a bit terrifying to this day). If you fancy a platformer with clever added elements such as knocking bowling balls off shelves to squish intruders then I think you’ll find this one fun; especially if you take terms to collect all the swish swag.
Super Metriod (Snes):
Take a deep breath; Metroid is a tough cookie but well worth the stress (as I’ve found out, including the potential hair loss). My son was hooked as soon as the music hit and the intro began to this game. Sure, we had some wanting to hit our heads on the controller moments but this is where tag teaming comes into play. Having someone with fresh eyes look at each puzzle with cool calm logic can make this adventure platformer in space one of the most satisfying experiences of all time (maybe the caravan in Rhyl can take a close second….). So there you have it; a way of celebrating logic and teamwork in a safe, calm environment (if the adults can stay away from the coffee…). If anyone out there in the retro universe has any more suggestions for my son and me we would love to here them and get down to the business of sore thumbs and problem- solving like a mad scientist.