8 Bit Resurrection

Thoughts on modern day 8 bit
April 25, 2011
Those of us who where kids by the mid 80s will forever remember the NES era.

Great titles such as Mario, Castlevania, Metroid, Megaman and a lot of japanese or chinese unintelligible games gave us pleasure in a way that only sexual intercourse or heroin can in our adult age.

Time passed on and technology became cheaper and more powerful each year, and as the majestic triceratops, 8 bit graphics were forgotten to make room for the 16 bit kings of power* Sonic, caped mario, Baraka, Ryu and friends.

(Part of the charm of the snes zelda's charm are its graphics that remind the 8 bit era)

The time for them also came and after an ill fated struggle for the 32bit supremacy that left Panasonic and Phillips with a bad taste in their evil mouths, Play Station came and the era that we consider retro this days starts to fade into modernity.

Some of us fled to more fulfilling territories in PC gaming and asked for political asylum in Shakuras or Char, some stayed.

And as technology went on, destroying the environment and making our lives more and more complicated, the idea was to make games that looked more and more elaborated and/or realistic.

Shadows appeared, reflection on fluids and water are now the standard, wind effects, heat effects, distortion effects, etc. Some war games look like a CNN live transmission.
But somewhen (is that a word? off course not), 80s nostalgia appeared.

Heathcliff, Lion-o, Jayce and Scrooge reappeared, NES control belts, 8 bit ties and lots of stuff flooded the market in a way that i've only seen with the Simpson's "adaptations" of pop icons (Saving private Milhouse, etc..)

And with that, a semi mainstream interest in 8 bit graphics revived.

Not a hard core gamer, so i'd be short on examples, and correct me if i am wrong, but for the purposes of this post i would say that the first modern 8-bit game produced by a major company is MegaMan 9.

A game we eagerly bought in my office and tried to pass by almost sacrificing our sanity, because, 80s games where not only 8 bits but hard as hell, and Mr Megaman 9 recreated that frustrating sense of impossible-to-pass-levels that made games as Ninja Gaiden (in)famous.

And a question appears "Why, with all the modern hardware and software, companies would like to make 8 bit games?"

Some may think that that's just a business move to capitalize 80s nostalgia, some may say that 8 bit is not the correct term because graphics nowadays handle true colors (unachievable with 8 bits) and that the correct term is "pixel art", but i think that the fact is that 8 bit is a form of visual art of its own, independently of technological advances.

8 bit can render beautiful visual concepts that more definition schemes cannot, and, in my personal opinion, is the best graphical language for videogames.

So what's the purpose of this post? only to get to know your opinions about 8 bit art and to learn about new games that use it.

Have a nice day.
* kings of power 4 billion percent t is a great 8bit animation that i hope someday becomes a game, google it.
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