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Retro Revolution: 2011 Re-reflections

Posted on Friday, January 20 @ 14:04:19 PST by KevinS

With my memory, I tend to mix up dates. But I do know one thing for sure, and that is that 2011 had some strong retro releases to remind us of the good ol' days. Some franchises saw re-releases that reminded us of what we missed; some gave us the chance to play for the very first time.

I can't cover every kick-ass classic or retro-relaunch to come out in the past year, but I did want to bring up a few that stood out to me. The biggest notables this year were probably Ico and Shadow of the Colossus (both in gorgeous HD), which brought us back to the "video games as art" debating table. And, if those two artsy-fartsies weren't enough, even Beyond Good & Evil saw an HD release that seemed to slip under the radar a bit, but garner enough attention that development of a sequel picked up some momentum, which should be pretty damn epic.

I would be remiss if I didn't bring up that Nintendo gave 3DS owners a grand total of twentytwentyfree games. They were free. Sure, they were simply ports, many of them games we weren't really clamoring for (Urban Champion, anyone? Any fans of Wrecking Crew?), but many of the titles were surprisingly high-end, like Metroid Fusion and The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. Hopefully, we won't be motivated to deserve a batch of free games like that all the timethat would be sillybut it really did help me as an early 3DS adopter to feel better about my product. Good on you, Big N.

The biggest single retro news of the year was, wait for it, DUKE NUKEM FOREVER CAME OUT! No, not "out of the closet", you peoples. Of course, It fizzled out pretty quickly, because it was as outdated as that take-out food everyone has in the back of the fridge, but it did grab a buttload of eyeballs in the excitement after years of lackluster spin-offs (none could be called "sequels" by their respective devs) and the single longest development cycle in video gaming history. And… yeah, that's a good place to leave that one.

There were retro franchises, with Back to the Future and BurgerTime brought back. Final Fantasy IV had a complete collection and a personal favorite from the PS2, The Red Star, got some love through PSN. But of course, this is by no means a complete list. I don't have the time or space to really give a full list of everything worth noting… so I ask you to help complete it!  What were your favorites and noteworthy retro games of 2011?  And what would you like to see in 2012 (before the world ending and all that)?

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