I think about nostalgia in gaming a lot. As to whether it clouds our judgment of games we enjoyed in the past and similar but recently released games.
In my case the biggest series to invoke a large sense of nostalgia is The Legend of Zelda. I’ve been witness to a lot of discussion for the more recent Zelda games being the worst and will mostly disagree. The worst Zelda game is Spirit Tracks. How could they have fucked up the Zelda formula? Add train sections, by far the most tedious sections in a game I’ve ever encountered. The rest of the game was enjoyable because it stuck to the formula from the first game.
Zelda formula: An adventure in open world, filled with baddies and dungeons. Each dungeon has an item to unlock more areas of the game and allow discovery of more secrets.
Does the nostalgia invoked from the Zelda formula really carry enough weight for gamers to ignore the bad parts of a game?
All of a sudden I’m thinking that using Zelda as this example was a bad idea but it’s clear that the Designers at Nintendo know that this formula works so why deviate from it? When it comes down to it there are a ton of games that I enjoyed as a child that I probably won’t like now but I may look past the shoddy controls, weak story and awful graphics because I remember the fun I had as a kid.
Now, I just have to find a game that does this and rewrite this post.