Playing the old on something new

Traversing the old: Examining the practice of re-playing games on new platforms

By Author  |  Published: 11th Jul 2020  4:02 pm

We love re-visiting old haunts and places. Be it one’s favourite coffee shop, a place to watch a movie, a city/town to sightsee or even a stretch of the road to drive, we like to go back to spaces that mean something. Thus, it is only natural for gamers to re-visit their favourite game worlds, lose themselves in the sights and immerse themselves in actions that they once loved; like re-watching a favourite film or series.

However, I have always found the experience of re-playing to be both unfulfilling and lacking as muscle-memory often returns quickly and with it the ability to predict plots and identify in-game exploits. There is almost no joy of discovery in re-playing as puzzles, plot-twists and other challenges lose their spark. In my search for challenges to replay old games, I have found a new way, playing them on new platforms.

It all started with ‘Witcher 3’ (an absolute favourite), a game which I re-played on a PS4 and I was hooked, adjusting the controls to a new console were all that I needed to challenge established muscle memory and get a new perspective. Soon I was searching for similar experiences and once I acquired the Switch, things changed considerably.

‘Asphalt 9’, launched only for touch devices was super fun but a tad scripted as the game’s swipe controls made challenging turns seem inconsequential but re-playing its Switch version was a dream come true. However, with a joystick-based input system it was full-fledged racing game and I was off drifting and 360ing all over again.

Similarly, the limitations of ‘Elder Scrolls Blades’ on a touch-based device were largely addressed in its switch version where not only were the controls better but the haptic cues from the triggers made timing a precise skill. ‘Overtime Bastion’, ‘Transistor’, ‘Diablo III’ are all games I have replayed on the Switch.

On the other side of the spectrum, I loved replaying ‘Forgotten Anne’ on my iPad; the comic book-like feel of the game made it perfect for a reading device. Similarly, ‘Life is Strange’ was joy to play on a phone too; the challenge of adapting to touch-based controls and recalibrating your fingers was a nice change of speed. Something I have since tried with emulating classic Pokémon games on my phone as well.

The experience has often been quite rewarding and replaying a favourite an added bonus. For most gamer,s replaying games is a luxury as we always tend to have a backlog to finish and there are always new games to try; but every once in a while, we do tend to revisit old pastures. Maybe a higher difficulty, a set of self-made challenges and a new platform to play on could spice things up?

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