2.21.2007

Portable Ports are Important

Often times, you will see a game editor go off on a rant about how a developer has ported over a slightly old game from an old console onto a handheld system to make a quick buck. Well, Mr. Game Editor, you're probably right, BUT that doesn't mean that we shouldn't appreciate getting the port. In fact, I say "Bring on the ports!" Really, I just said that out loud.Remember your favorite games from 5 years ago? 10 years ago? They were so much fun! Goldeneye rocked (just so long as no one played as Odd Job, who was too damn short to shoot). Final Fantasy VI? Such a fantastic story! Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but have you ever popped one of those games back in to re-experience the magic? The magic is dead... dead and gone... so gone. Why? The graphics and sound, by today's standards, are just punch-me-in-the-neck painful. It doesn't matter how revolutionary they were for their time; it's simply too hard for a lot of us to get over. However, these games are still classic, so how can one get over this distaste for the outdated? Play the game on a handheld, that's how!

Sure, playing Road Rash on your 42" Plasma TV with 6.1 Dolby Surround Sound and rumbling theater seats is less-than-satisfying (though, if you're playing with that, you should be satisfied, period), but on a Game Boy, it's brilliant. We don't expect the same graphical quality out of handhelds, because we don't play games on-the-go for a sensory overload experience, we play them for quality game time during trips or commutes. Yes, the PSP has incredible visual quality for a handheld, but is that really necessary? While we should definitely embrace higher quality on the handhelds, I don't think I will ever have an attitude towards them that I have towards a console. Sometimes, when I'm playing on a shaky subway train with flickering lights, I don't really care how clean the edges of my polygon models are; I just want to be able to control the game and see it well enough to play.

One day, Gran Turismo 5's graphics will be far outdated, and we'll look at them and laugh. Not a "That was a hilarious joke, Bobby" laugh. No, more like a "Silly squirrel, you shouldn't eat bird food" laugh. Fortunately, we'll be able to continue to enjoy the game on our cell phones, which at that point will naturally be implanted into our brains. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to have Wii Sports in my brain...

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