Even on a site like this you'd be surprised at how many individuals can't go back further than NES or Genesis for games. I've seen many people who grew up with Colecos and Ataris no longer able to go back and play the old classics in 2018. Sure, they will play a few games here and there but they wouldn't go back to the libraries overall. One unique thing about the game industry is that older games can't really be enhanced to fit in with modern titles, unlike Movies. Usually a developer has to remake/reconfigure parts or the whole game in order to try and modernize it. So you can't take say, Adventure and enhance it so it's the same game, but it looks closer to a modern title. That's not possible with games, but very possible with movies. So i do understand why the Primitive graphics of older machines would be a turn-off for some. Especially over time.
So how far back CAN you go?
Myself, I can go back to the Atari Age no problem. There are some consoles in that time frame that I think have aged badly such as the APF or the Channel F, but I generally play a lot of games across consoles from that period: Vectrex, Atari's, Coleco, Mattel, Bally, and so on.
I actually find it harder to go back to the NES/7800/SMS era to be honest. Yeah, that's newer than the Atari Age so it doesn't apply, but one reason why i can go back to those Atari era consoles is because they have very colorful and clean designs for the most part. The NES/7800/SMS age feels like the 2D versions of the PSX/SAT/N64/3DO era to me. They felt like they were trying to figure out how to make detailed sprites but really couldn't so you get really eye-bleeding ugly games with highly pixelated details and weird color choices. I find games like Gravitar, Adventure, Pitfall II, and the like much easier on the eyes.
Another thing that makes it easy for me to go back to the Atari era of consoles is that generally, the sprites LOOK like they animate at much higher frame-rates than the late 80's consoles do. If you look at Robotron, Berserk, Impossible Mission, Pit Fall(good versions of it), and others, they look like they animate much faster in comparison while the late 80's consoles sprites feel like they move much slower. It's something I always found odd. The late 80's consoles all feel like they animate much slower, even when they use the same amount of sprites for the animations. It's not with all games, but I generally notice it more often than not.
Edited by JaguarVision, Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:50 PM.