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Leaving Modern Gaming Behind?

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Posted Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:21 AM

It's something I've been wondering about, and something I've been wondering about other people too. I'd ask my friends, if I had any, but this forum gives me a wider range of opinions anyway. (I'm just kidding, I have friends. But most of them aren't into retro gaming)


And yeah, I did post this in classic computing instead of Modern Gaming. I interact with you guys in this subforum way more often than anywhere else, so it made more sense to me to post it here. Also, Keatah will see it, and I know this is his kind of thread :-D


Lately I've been really digging into retro games, and I've actually been noticing something interesting. I've completely stopped playing modern games in favor of old PC games, SNES, NES, Atari, etc. Maybe it's just pining for my early childhood, but I also think I'm growing continually wearier of the stupidity of modern games. Yes, they may be more sweeping and expansive in terms of "production values", but it comes at a cost. A removal of some of the soul, if you will.


It seems to me that modern games have gone much the way of summer blockbuster movies. Loud, brash, in-your-face, and really, really... dumb. I feel most games are overblown, mildly interactive movies that I sometimes get to actually, you know, participate in.


And I'm not just talking about modern shooters.


Let's take Tomb Raider, for instance. A game that was incredibly enjoyable back in my early PC gaming days (and not just because I was a hormonal young lad). I recently had the mild displeasure of playing the newest iteration in the series, Tomb Raider. Besides the fact it follows the unforgivable sin of giving a new release the same bloody name as the original (which plays hell with Google searches and filing systems) my discontent went deeper than that. The entire game, from start to finish, simply felt hollow. It grabbed my hand and damn near dragged me through the game, occasionally grabbing my camera view to wrench my head around and say "LOOK AT THAT SCENERY, JUST LOOK AT IT." Instead of allowing me to explore the game and find things for myself, it demanded I play the game the way IT wanted me to play it. I wasn't a player, I was simply on a tour. I didn't have a choice about what happened, it was predetermined where I would go, look, jump, and shoot. I wasn't controlling the game, the game was controlling me.


Contrast this with the games of yore, before mega-developers started pumping out sewage for the sweaty masses.


Games like Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island, Tomb Raider classic (which I have to call "classic" because %^&#$ new releases having the same name as the originals), Final Fantasy, King's Quest, and the myriad more that I immensely enjoyed growing up. What they had in common? What most games had in common?


They didn't hold my fricking hand.


If I was an idiot and made a bad decision, I failed. Game over. Start from wherever you last saved, and heaven help if you forgot to save recently.


If a puzzle was hard, I wracked my brain (sometimes for days) before conquering it. If a boss kicked my ass continuously, I tried different tactics and different methods until I crushed him, and my god did it feel good.


See it wasn't about a game being hard for the sake of being hard. It was about games actually challenging you, and not popping up hints every 5 forsaken seconds. Or when you fail simply plopping you at the start of the room. Or just grabbing your hand and pulling you through the tough sections, because god forbid people actually get stuck for a little while on a section of a game. Is the global public really so stupid they can't handle a tough puzzle being thrown at them? How about a boss that requires you to figure out a pattern, find the best method of attack, and exploit the weakness? Instead of GIANT GLOWING PLEASE-SHOOT-ME-HERE areas, or some awful support character popping up to say "OH BOY, BETTER SHOOT THE LEGS CAUSE YOU COULDN'T POSSIBLY FIGURE THAT SHIT OUT YOURSELF."




I'm going on a rant, and I certainly don't mean to. Perhaps it's just a distaste for modern gaming that's been growing into a constant nausea every time I see another modern shooter (Or as a certain fast-talking game reviewer calls them, 'Spunk Gargle Wee-Wee'), another vapid action-adventure game, or even another too-easy hold-my-hand RPG like Skyrim. I freaking love the Elder Scrolls. Skyrim? It's pretty great. Except when every miserable quest plops giant quest markers and compass directions so I don't get lost. Because we wouldn't want to actually, you know, have to put in actual work for anything. Just play connect-the-dots in 3D space until shit happens.

Maybe some people see this as the natural progression for games. Perhaps this is the price of progress, and I'm one of the few it bothers. But the more I play modern games, the less I feel like playing them. There's no characters that engross me, there's no personality, there's no soul. For me, I don't play modern games much anymore. I've actually been trading Xbox 360 games for classic  games, and now all my Xbox 360 console does is play Netflix. I'm tired of being treated like a dumbass who can't figure out simple patterns. I don't want to have a single tutorial pop-up, support character, or cut scene telling me how to play a game I already figured out how to play in the first 5 seconds. I want to play the damn game and explore that shit for myself. And if I fail? I learned one way to not play the game.


Does anyone else feel this way? Am I unique in the modern masses? Or do you think others are getting weary of being treated like they're so dumb they can hardly muster the intellectual strength to place a disc in a console?

#2 Gemintronic OFFLINE  


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Posted Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:42 AM

I can no longer buy a system for a game.  Or buy a game without having companies brutalize my privacy and property rights.


I can either watch another forced firmware update or take two seconds and pop in Chrono Trigger and enjoy my life.

#3 Ransom OFFLINE  



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Posted Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:57 AM

I know just what you mean.


I had no interest in the last generation of consoles (Wii/PS3/Xbox 360), so didn't buy any of them.  I haven't bought a computer game in more than a decade. I don't play games on my tablet or smartphone.  And I have a crapload of classic games that I love playing.


I bought a PS4 and half a dozen games last year. They sit on the shelf, gathering dust, waiting for the release of Diablo III Ultimate Evil.


But after my wife broke her ankle, had surgery, and started the 12-month recovery process, I figured I'd better find something fun for her to do while she spends most of the day sitting down with her leg elevated. She likes videogames, and has enjoyed Mario and Zelda games for the NES, SNES, and N64. So I bought her a Wii U and some games.


She's had more fun playing those games than she's had with videogames in a long, long time. And, much to my surprise, I have, too.  (Particularly Mario Kart 8, but even the old Wii Motion and Wii Sports games, which are new-to-me and priced dirt cheap now).


So, I've changed my opinion about modern gaming. I now know that there's stuff out there that is just as enjoyable to me as the classic stuff. I just had to step out of the mainstream a bit.

#4 Algus OFFLINE  


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Posted Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:57 AM

I don't mind them making  RPGs accessible to a wider audience but I do dislike that easy pseudo-RPGs seem to be the staples of the genre now.   I think that's why I play mostly on PC now, so I can get at more Indie stuff.  I'm more interested in games like Shadowrun Returns than Skyrim.   

#5 Greg2600 OFFLINE  


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Posted Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:14 AM

It's not a rant at all.  It's reality.  Modern games are far too cinematic, to the point of boredom.  I am an A.D.D. gamer, I want to have immediate action.  I really don't like walking around a world for half an hour lost.  It's annoying.  It's great I think to have such deep, complex, gigantic games if you're 13 years old with absolutely nothing to do.  I don't have time for that stuff. 

#6 travistouchdown OFFLINE  


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Posted Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:40 AM

I agree and I've been feeling this way since I noticed Skyward Sword on Wii needed an update to function properly.  The thing I have always loved about consoles is that they are stand alone, and force you to gather some friends to play 2-4 players.


I also whole heartedly agree with what you said above.  Games are a business, and the way to make money is to churn out AAA titles that bore the hell out of me.  I think games, especially of the 8-16 bit era are just so much more creative.  I know so many people that are into games that give me a blank stare when I tell them I'm into retro gaming.."but they're old?"  Some of them think the idea is cool, but can't actually play the games for more than a few minutes without getting bored.


There are some amenities of modern gaming that I admit I would love to see in retro gaming: Anytime save points, high score saving, more continues, etc.  But overall I'm ready to just go classic with gaming from now on.  I have a Wii U and enjoy it, but I think I'll only keep it to play Wii on.  Same goes for my PS3, to play PS1 and PS2 games on.  But mostly I'll be playing my 2600, my genesis, my N64, etc... I just like them more!  


Seeing the games for Xbox One and PS4 that are out, I just can't tell you how NOT interested I am in either of those systems.  And I think for reasons mentioned by others in this forum I don't see that changing.  I don't want to be hooked to the internet all the time downloading updates.  On top of that physical copies are going away slowly but surely and as a collector I just can't do it.  I'm not going to pay for a game that I can't bring to a friends house, and that will stop working once the servers are shut down in a few years..


I will continue to support the Wii U for the few standout titles I'm interested in, but after that, sayonara modern gaming!  It's been fun.

Edited by travistouchdown, Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:42 AM.

#7 Dripfree OFFLINE  



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Posted Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:56 PM

My parents had a fire in 2002 I lost my computer and Dreamcast. When I decided to replace them I realized I was using both mostly for emulation of older machines. Rather than replace them I started buying the real thing and I never looked back. I did eventually get another Dreamcast that I use as a Dreamcast and my computer I now just use as a computer. I have stayed current with Nintendo handhelds however just because there are so many games that play like the old games. I always say video games have not gotten any better over the years, they just look better.

#8 Gregory DG OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:05 PM

True video games are rare these days. Now they're really just movies with not much more interactivity than Dragon's Lair...

Edited by Gregory DG, Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:05 PM.

#9 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:21 PM

You said it.

#10 quicksilver79 OFFLINE  


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Posted Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:47 PM

I found my interest in modern gaming really starting to wane with the 360 and PS3.  It seems like modern gaming companies are Hell bent on screwing over their customers what with the content being cut from games to sell later as DLC and unfinished games being released and fixed later with software patches among other things.  So I plan to stay all retro for the foreseeable future.

Edited by quicksilver79, Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:48 PM.

#11 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:06 PM

How about a boss that requires you to figure out a pattern, find the best method of attack, and exploit the weakness?

There was a time when just about every 'modern' game had bosses with patterns. Pretty much everything in most games had a pattern, dance steps you had to learn perfectly or one tiny mistake would knock you back multiple levels or all the way back to the beginning of the game, so you'd have to replay all of those levels over and over and over and over if you wanted to beat the game. I hated that crap.


Right now on the Xbox 360, I'm playing Iron Brigade and Miner Dig Deep. I've also been free roaming Far Cry 3 by resetting the outposts countless times. It's fun trying different ways to take over the outposts. I'll be playing Pinball Arcade again once Xbox 360 owners can buy more tables.

#12 simbalion OFFLINE  



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Posted Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:34 PM

I must admit my interest in modern gaming started to fade with the original Wii. Getting into the PS2 and a few titles on it like: GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas, and Ghostbusters got me going a bit again, but maining because I like those few games and everything was bought cheap and second-hand. I have pondered getting an affordable Xbox 360, but mainly for the new San Andreas. After that, I doubt I am going any further and really prefer just playing systems from my Gamecube on back.

#13 Keatah OFFLINE  


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Posted Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:35 PM

Well said everyone, well said..


The reasons I dislike modern gaming have all been mentioned before:


1- DRM

2- DLC

3- Internet required

4- Account required

5- Games on rails

6- FMV 90's style cd-rom gaming

7- Forced updates

8- Lack of permanence

9- Games are too simple and insulting

10- Console longevity and built quality

11- Server can be shut down

12- Huge production costs $200 million and up

13- Subscription fees

14- Portability and transportation

15- Printed manual


I will spare you a lengthy rant on each of those points. But I will say I just had an evening of playing Doom. And not only did it play exactly like it did in 1993 I was able to play it on my choice of hardware. I didn't need to worry about any of those points. I had pleasantly discovered new mods and that it had been made open source. I was able to get right down to it and it was glorious! It was fun and like visiting a place I'd been to years ago.


Nostalgia aside, I found classic gaming to have less annoyances associated with it. But I will still buy a modern PC title from time to time

Edited by Keatah, Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:40 PM.

#14 RobertLM78 OFFLINE  



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Posted Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:47 PM

Hmmm, haven't faffed with Doom in a while.... :evil:

#15 Rhomaios OFFLINE  



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Posted Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:07 PM

There are a bunch of modern games that are excellent. Most of these are small indie games and a good number have 8/16 bit play mechanics and/or pixelated/2D graphics. Then there are things like Skyrim, a true successor to the old-school Western RPGs, with very little hand-holding, etc. And you don't even have to look hard on the Wii to find classic game revival: Boy and his Blob, DKC Returns, Ivy the Kiwi, NSMB Wii, Sonic Colors, and a bunch of platformers after the 32/64 bit tradition, like Epic Mickey, Mushroom Men, and Super Mario Galaxy. All this not to mention it even got a Capcom fighter iteration (Tatsunoko vs. Capcom) straight from the arcades. My original plan was to just get a Wii and skip the PS3 and 360.


But dammit, I really want 3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3 exclusive), Raiden IV, and Lost Odyssey (both 360 exclusives). Then why not pick up classic style games on those two, as well? So I have a handful, Mortal Kombat 9, Street Fighter IV, Akai Katana, Demon's Souls...ugh, not sure what to do now. But I'm serious about drawing the line at last gen. Serious. Unless they're $2 on Steam...


Dammit I have no control.

#16 Keatah OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:04 AM

Could it be that some of the disdain and dislike for modern games be because the oldsters aren't able to form the nostalgic-like memory engrams like they could when they were young?


Because I see folks getting all worked up and teary-eyed of NES and PS1 and even PS2 even. And these are games I personally wouldn't call classics.


And also at the same time, the NES and shortly-thereafter crowd don't generally wax poetic about the VCS and pong units.


Ohh I'm sure there are folks that like'em all, but in general I tend to observe that really good yearnings an nostalgia takes about 15-20 years to develop. Maybe we can refine that figure. And if we do I bet it would go in the 20-year direction.


Because right now I'm getting a good craving for some early-mid 90's games. So that puts my sweet spot at about 19-21 years out from the first playthrough of a game. There seems to be this moving bracket of 20 years. In 5 more years I might get all hard up for the old Pentium II and III, and God forbid, the P4! I hope not! Somebody shoot me if I ever start talking about that in a positive light!


In any case I really enjoy the magic and aura that fills the room with a running VCS or Apple II. Or to a lesser extent a very low-power consumption & fanless PC. As soon as a fan is involved it all disappears - somehow. Maybe that's because the early 8-bit machines didn't have that noise. IDK.

Edited by Keatah, Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:12 AM.




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Posted Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:02 AM

I'm not sure if it's waxing nostalgic, but I honestly do genuinely enjoy older games more. Especially older PC games like the Lucas Arts adventure games, strategy games, etc.


I also enjoy 2600, NES, SNES, PS1, and a host of other older systems as well, even though growing up I actually never owned them. I'll use the SNES example since I've been playing that more recently. I borrowed Legend of Zelda from a friend, and I have never played it before. Now that I am playing it, I feel it's one of the most enjoyable console adventure games I have had the pleasure of playing in a very long time. It's the same with Mega Man X, Legend of Gaia, Brain Lord, and the list goes on.


I'm also building a MAME arcade cabinet because I adore arcade games like Galaga, Galaxian, Metal Slug, Q-Bert, 1942, Mortal Kombat, Area 51, and so on. Even though I never was able to really play in an arcade, I've tried those games on MAME and enjoyed them to such an extent I decided to build a cabinet I could play them on and have the true arcade feel.


So I can say for myself in any case, I enjoy older titles because I simply enjoy older titles. Now if we were talking about the Gamecube, the first console my dad bought us kids (previously I was a PC-only gamer) then yes nostalgia for that console runs extremely high in my heart. But I also hold the Gamecube as my favorite console ever because it has some of the most kick-ass games of that generation (in my completely humble opinion). Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Metroid Prime 1+2 (my number one games of all time), Killer 7, etc, etc.


Thanks for the awesome responses guys, I'm glad I'm not the only one whose a little weary of being treated as a dunce whenever I want to play a modern game. That's not to say I think all modern gaming is bad. There are some excellent titles I have quite enjoyed, such as the Mass Effect Trilogy and Skyrim. I don't want to sound as though I am complaining for the sake of complaining. I would just prefer if modern titles spent more time letting the player experience the game, instead of spending all their time showing grand cinematic and particle effects.

#18 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:02 AM

I would just prefer if modern titles spent more time letting the player experience the game, instead of spending all their time showing grand cinematic and particle effects.


#19 Pixelboy OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:43 AM

I also enjoy 2600, NES, SNES, PS1, and a host of other older systems as well, even though growing up I actually never owned them. I'll use the SNES example since I've been playing that more recently. I borrowed Legend of Zelda from a friend, and I have never played it before. Now that I am playing it, I feel it's one of the most enjoyable console adventure games I have had the pleasure of playing in a very long time. It's the same with Mega Man X, Legend of Gaia, Brain Lord, and the list goes on.

Have you considered the possibility that you're enjoying those games more simply because the controller is easier on your brain and your hands? No analog sticks, less fire buttons to worry about, just move your ship/character/cursor/whatever around and do the desired actions at the press of a button, ergonomically-speaking.

Years ago, I spent the first week of playing Metroid Prime on Game Cube cursing the controls because there were simply too many buttons on the Game Cube controller compared to what I was previously accustomed to, and too many menu options within the game. Switching weapons was okay, but switching visors was a chore for me. Once I truly got the hang of circle-strafing and other basic techniques, then I began to enjoy the game to its full extent. But then, looking at all the other consoles with similar controllers, I couldn't help but ask myself if the controls in every new "modern" game I was going to play afterwards was going to be a chore to learn. Eventually, I just figured I didn't have enough free time to play modern games anyway, so I decided to concentrate on pre-PlayStation consoles and handhelds.




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Posted Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:53 AM

Have you considered the possibility that you're enjoying those games more simply because the controller is easier on your brain and your hands? No analog sticks, less fire buttons to worry about, just move your ship/character/cursor/whatever around and do the desired actions at the press of a button, ergonomically-speaking.


Hey! What are you saying about my simple brain!? :-D


It's possible that's one reason I enjoy it, less to think about in terms of input so I can just focus on the game. Although I never had much of a problem with more complex control schemes, and the Gamecube controller is one of the most comfortable I have ever utilized.


But there is also something to be said for simple control schemes, like the classic Mega Man on the NES. What do you do? Hit 'A', hit 'B', and focus on being really, really good at that. It's amazing how many hours can be put into just a couple buttons.

Edited by TPA5, Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:54 AM.

#21 Bixler OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:14 AM

The only modern system that I play regularly is my 3DS. I wasn't born until the early 90s, but I vastly prefer games from 20-30 years ago to today's fare.

#22 jmetal88 OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:46 PM

I haven't left modern gaming completely behind, but I don't have any of the newer consoles.  I end up buying new games that I really, really want to play on my PC, but it's limited to maybe a couple of new games a year.  I have 12 games in my Steam profile currently, and some of them I only got because they were free.

#23 JamesD OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:22 PM

A lot of the new games have the feeling of a Disney ride where you get strapped in and go from point A to point B to point C, etc...
You can look around but and you are stuck on that fixed path until the game is over.
Don't get me wrong, I've had a lot of fun playing some of those games but there is hardly any replay value because you know exactly what happens next.
Old games have a much better replay factor.

I do prefer the modern controllers over the old ones and I also spend more time playing modern games than old ones.
Modern games are more immerse.

#24 akator OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:00 PM

Gaming is like every other type of entertainment and media, there's plenty to both like and dislike.  Just like music, movies and TV, the gaming industry sometimes gets stuck in a rut and we get too much of what was once a good thing.  But nothing lasts forever, even the crap goes away eventually.


I have been burned out with game genres many times over the years.  In the 80s it was maze games, then brawlers and run 'n guns.  The early 90s was too many fighters and mascot platformer hell.  We seem to have been stuck in a first person shooter time loop for at least 15 years, something only a science fiction writer could have come up with.


However, for all of the stuff I don't like, there's still a surprising number of games I do.  I build a Steam wish list, then when they have a great sale I buy several.  If I don't like a game, it doesn't make me too upset because I spent under $5 on it.


Just a few "newer" games that I've enjoyed:

  • 140
  • eXceed Series
  • GT Legends
  • GTR 2 FIA
  • Limbo
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+
  • Pinball FX
  • Portal
  • OutRun 2006 Coast 2 Coast
  • Stanley Parable
  • Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition
  • WRC Powerslide

There's a bunch more, but those are off the top of my head.


Sure, tons of modern games stink, but I don't think it is all bad ;)

#25 roland p OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:20 PM

I haven't put too much time into modern games.

Some 'modern' games I've played:

- Resident Evil Revelations (3ds), Nice but too much 'on rails'/linear.
- Alan wake, almost an on rails game. Also very predictable. Finding weapons means enemy on next corner. Weapons are reset every level iirc. Killing enemies gets anoying.
- Silent Hill Homecoming. This one is ok.
- GTA IV, I've lost interest within an hour. I'm not sure what the point is.

So now I do things differently. Since my oldest son (almost 6) likes me to play video games, I'll pick games to his likings:
- Super Mario Sunshine
- Zelda windwaker
- Animal Crossing
- Zelda Link's Awakening

He doesn't care if something is new/old.
If I would buy a new console, it would probably be a wii u, something I can play with my kids. But first there are some zelda's left (for gbc/gba), and the gamecube is a kick-ass system, fast boot time, nice wavebird controller, play gba/gb games.

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