Say No to Next-Gen: Old Video Games Are Still Worthwhile

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I’ve never been one to follow the latest trends. MTV is never on my in my home and I couldn’t begin to tell you one song on the Billboard Top 20. Many of the shirts in my closet are older than some of your children. I still have an mp3 player instead of an Ipod (gasp). In short, I just ain’t a hip hippie.

I’m no different when it comes to video games.

I was the last of my friends to get a Nintendo 64 and Ocarina of Time. Most people I knew had the Xbox about 16 months before I bothered to get mine. Now, in July of 2008, I have to confess that I was still living in the past.

Every time I wish to play a video game, I bend over to the bottom shelf of my TV stand and turn on my gaming system; the original Xbox. This is probably why I got into GameStop and promote and review rental services like Gamefly. It’s to keep the nostalgia of the “golden age” of gaming going.

This concept alone is like a foreign language to most gamers out there these days. How could anybody in their right mind have the Xbox, a system which doesn’t even see (99.9 percent of) new games, as his primary video game system? It’s seen as “cool” to play the NES, SNES and Sega Genesis on your computer.

To have an outdated system as your main one, however, makes you an outcast in the video game world. You should see the way people look at me when I head into Gamestop inquiring about Xbox games. The shock on the faces of those behind the counter would make you think that I’m not living “Green” or that I had no idea why Scarlett Johansson is famous (I don’t).

Regardless, I believe, no, I know that there are those of you out there still living in the past. Peer pressure tells us that we must move on and buy at least a Wii, Xbox 360 or PS3. I say “NO!” to these individuals. I’m more than happy with my antiquated system and the 125 pound controllers that came with it and those like me should feel the same way. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t upgrade to the Wii, Xbox 360 or PS3.

Reason #1 Why You Shouldn’t Upgrade to the Wii, Xbox 360 or PS3: You don’t have 400 bucks to throw away on video games

I’m not going to patronize my faithful readers by pretending that I’ve never considered purchasing a new system. Even last weekend the wife and I were at the mall and I ventured into a video game store while she was buying some girly products at Bath and Body Works.

Quick aside: Never leave your wife/girlfriend in Bath and Body Works alone. Ever.

Anyway; heading into the store, I was hoping to find that the prices of the “Big Three” systems would have dropped since the last time I checked. They haven’t. As anybody who’s ever read any of my AC content could guess, sports video games are the focus of my gaming life. In order to play the newest NHL game on either XBOX 360 or PS3, I would have to spend at least $400 on the system, the game and an extra controller.

Every time I bring up the price of newer video game systems, one of my friend conveniently reminds me that the Wii is “much cheaper.” Why, I could have my own Wii for only $250! Of course, that also includes the ever-riveting Wii Sports title, the game that I’m sure gets old after about three days. As with the other systems, any game worth buying for the Wii costs at least $50. I’m sorry, but for $50 my video game better turn itself on and actually give me the Stanley Cup after beating Detroit in the Final (keep all Penguins jokes to yourselves).

Reason #2 Why You Shouldn’t Upgrade to the Wii, Xbox 360 or PS3: Sports games I own update themselves!

Back in the good ol’ days of the NES, sports games were one-and-done. That is, you played a season and you either won that season or you had to try again with the same exact rosters and schedule. Needless to say, this got old in a hurry. Thankfully for gamers, those days went out with 32X.

Sports video games for the original XBOX or PS2 now create their own little world for gamers. Take, for example, my current NHL 2k7 season. Currently, I am a few games away from beginning the Stanley Cup Playoffs. After the season comes to a conclusion, I will have the ability to sign free agents and participate in the NHL Draft. Granted, the players created by the game will not be the same as those drafted in the June 2008 NHL Draft.

Big deal. The game not only gives me young talent for my team but it also creates a brand new schedule and alters the rosters of all NHL teams. It’s literally a new season every year, just like in real life. Besides, if you’re one of those sports gamers that needs to have updated rosters, check out websites such as Operation Sports. This website is a must regardless of what game system you have. Users upload rosters and schedules for practically every “newer” sports game, whether it is football, basketball, baseball or hockey.

Reason #3 Why You Shouldn’t Upgrade to the Wii, Xbox 360 or PS3: Newer games really aren’t that much better than the older versions

Is the Xbox 360 version of NHL 2k8 better than the NHL 2k7 title I own for the original Xbox? Of course. Is it 30 dollars better, though? Not even close. Sports games aren’t the only genre where this is the case. I’m surprised by how many video game enthusiasts were truthful about Halo 3 and how it was a letdown considering all the hype the game received.

GTA: Liberty City is a fantastic video game. All things considered, though, it’s not all that better than San Andreas. The best Zelda game ever created is still Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64 and anybody who says differently is just lying to himself.

This actually isn’t the fault of game makers. There’s only so much you can do when it comes to upgrading graphics. Fact is manufacturers know this is true themselves. Why else would they add a Blu-ray player to a machine that’s supposed to play video games? Even though I own one, you should never have to buy an HD TV in order to enjoy your favorite video games.

Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Reason #4 Why You Shouldn’t Upgrade to the Wii, Xbox 360 or PS3: I couldn’t care less about online gaming

There isn’t a single video game review that comes out anymore which doesn’t mention how “great” or “updated” the online play is. There’s no nice way to say this so I’m just going to blurt out what I believe half of video game players want to say themselves.

If I wanted to play a football game against a human opponent, I’d invite my friends over.

God bless those of you who have hours to sit in front of your TV set, turn on Halo 3 and blow away some 16-year old kid from Portugal. I just don’t have that kind of time on my hands. I play one half-hour game at a time and, if I’m lucky, have some spare time to throw in another late at night while the wife is sleeping. The fact remains that if you are one of those people that can’t get enough of seeing your ridiculously lame video game handle on some online message board, you can still do this with the PS2 or Xbox without having to shell out loads of money.

Reason #5 Why You Shouldn’t Upgrade to the Wii, Xbox 360 or PS3: There are still oh so many games I haven’t played, including some NEW titles!

I cannot even begin to imagine how many sports, fighting and racing games for the Xbox I haven’t even heard of let alone played. What’s great about this is that the longer I wait, the cheaper these games will eventually be. Pretty soon I’ll be able to buy FIFA ’07 for five bucks. Awesome.

Besides, as most gamers already know, Madden ’09 is going to be released for both the original Xbox and PS2. Why is this happening? Because EA knows that there are people like me and plenty of them who aren’t willing to shell out 60 dollars after throwing down $400 for a new system, all for a video game which is almost identical to the one from last year.

In the end, I will probably have to spend a little bit of dough to pick up the PS2. While I don’t enjoy the sports games on the PS2 nearly as much as I do while playing them on my Xbox, updated sports games will still be made for the PS2 for at least another year (probably two).

Nevertheless, I can get a PS2 at my local Gamestop for $75 (or take advantage of a Gamefly free trial offer). Not too bad for living in the past. Darn kids and your new video games; don’t even value a dollar, anymore.