A while back, I picked up the Rare Retro Collection for Xbox One. You know, the one with all those great Rare Games on one disc. I was playing Snake, Rattle and Roll, and realising just how unforgiving that game was. It's isometric perspective was absolutely brutal, and I kept falling to my doom. It was so difficult. It was so punishing. It was great.
But more than anything, this game brought childhood memories flooding back. But it wasn't quite right. The controller wasn't correct, I didn't have to blow on a cartridge. Notifications kept popping up.
Suddenly, it all made sense. All these times I'd tried to play old games, on an emulator or through compilations, it just wasn't the same experience. When all the conditions weren't the same, it just felt too artificial. Like I was playing it for gameplay's sake rather than nostalgia. And with old games, for me, it's all about nostalgia. When I realised that I had to recreate the experience as faithfully as I could, I started making decisions about what I needed.
But I also still wanted convenience. I wasn't going to Schlep about find a co-axial cable and old TV and tune it in, and then unplug if I ever want to change consoles. I do still have my old consoles, but this felt far too clumsy to me. It was about this time that I learnt of the Retron 5. A games console that plays 5 cartridges from 5 different systems? All Through HDMI? With the original Controllers? I knew I had found the answer.