Side-Quest 155. Modern Retro Aesthetics

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Talk This! It’s Dangerous to Podcast Alone. This week, we’re talking about modern games with retro aesthetics. Is it really all nostalgia? No way, no way.

As always, you can listen to our podcast basically anywhere you want. Check it out on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, and Pandora (or head over to our episodes page for even more options). Or just listen below!

The Topic

Screenshot from Stardew Valley

Why are pixel-style games still so prevalent in the modern gaming space? How do these pixel style games differ from older ones? What are other “retro-style” aesthetics that are becoming popular? When is a game attempting to appeal to nostalgia versus just using these looks for artistic preference? What are your beloved hosts nostalgic for, if anything?

The Actual Discussion

Cover image for the Haunted PS1 Demo Disk

We discuss different types of games that make use of retro aesthetics and the different reasons such games might make that choice. We weigh the value of photorealism versus the space for imagination. Comparing older games to newer ones, we talk about how even games that are banking on nostalgia still feel “modern” in notable ways. Also, we talk about what people even mean by “looks like a PS2 game.”

Enjoy the episode! Tell us what you think in the comments or on social media. Make sure to check out last week’s episode and look forward to next week’s where we’re talking about Front Mission and Soul Hackers 2 (I looked it up).

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