I find myself wanting to play older RPG’s more often lately. These games told incredible stories and had great atmosphere without the need for realistic graphics found in today’s games. They are still captivating and fun to play even now, despite their seemingly limited technology.
RPGs greatest attributes are the sense of fantasy and wonder they convey. Sure, they need to be able to set the scene and portray interesting characters, but leaving some things to the player’s imagination enhances the experience. With the limited hardware available, designers had to think of creative ways to draw players into deep stories and evoke emotion.
Music is something that has been downplayed in modern games. Without the use of voice acting seen in recent RPGs, the musical score of older RPGs had to add to the character of the game and enhance certain scenes. Many locations, events and characters are memorable based purely on the music that accompanies them. The music itself was limited through the hardware capabilities, yet this often let to creative arrangements and simple catchy melodies that made them instantly stand out.
Graphics were created to engage the player and present them with an enticing world beyond their own, but still left enough to allow imagination to run wild. This led to players having a more original and personal experience, not unlike visualising characters in a classic book. Without the need to have extremely realistic graphics, more risks could be made with locations and stories and more time could be spent on creating various innovative game play mechanics. It meant RPGs would have an epic scale and a world that felt enormous.
I guess I dream of returning to the days when discovery and exploration was a main feature in RPGs. The adventure seemed endless and rewarding and the experience was as much about learning of the character’s stories, as it was about imagining it. Make sure to play some classic RPGs as they were made with true creativity and offer some unforgettable experiences.