Can you ever really go back?

Obviously our opinions will probably differ greatly, as were in the thick of collecting and using retro hardware daily, but I found this post on /r/amiga to be a very interesting read. I thought you guys might like it as well.

Personally I’m OK with wanting something, buying it, and only using it intermittently. I got an MT-32 and it was really exciting at first, but the last few months it’s been really busy and I haven’t touched it. I got a Saturn 2 years ago and haven’t finished a full game on it.

That’s OK, I have no interest in selling them. I don’t really understand that mindset at all.

If it’s about recapturing some intangible childhood magic and maintaining a heightened level of excitement over an old gadget you obsessed over as a kid? No. He had to go through all that trouble to get up and running, only to play games that (for the most part!) aren’t anywhere as smooth or polished as what consoles had to offer. He was blinded by nostalgia and forgot the games have to actually be good to maintain some sense of ongoing interest.

I didn’t grow up with the C64, Amiga, Atari ST or ZX, but I got to dabble with them on the MiST. Obviously it’s not 1:1 experience due to the simplified setup and use of different accessories, but my concern was just to play fun games and appreciate unique sounds and visuals of hardware unfamiliar to me. A lot of that stuff is incredibly rough even compared to the bad-to-mediocre 8- and 16-bit titles. Once the novelty and nostalgia wear off (the childhood magic), all you have left are the games. And if they’re honestly not so good? Well yeah, I can see why he and that other fellow ended up selling off the Amiga. The next person(s) after will do the same.

Late last year, I bought a CoreGrafx. The miniscule size, the sturdy heft and build quality were amazing to behold in person for the first time. I kept admiring the little console. I’m used to it now. A couple of years ago it was a Duo-R. Same thing. I didn’t grow up with this system and yet, I would never sell it off. Because the library is very solid and interesting to me. It personally feels like a souped-up NES (not SNES), like if the 8-bit gen had continued in an alternate timeline! I played through Bonk’s Adventure last night and had a blast, long after the purchase novelty wore off.

Besides that I’m a few years into the hobby and I haven’t sold off anything except a few CRTs out of the bunch I had to cut down on clutter. My SO thought I was going through another impulsive fad and would bail out in 3-6 months… not a chance. I wouldn’t dream of giving up what I have now because my overarching goal, after admittedly acquiring some childhood classics that don’t quite hold up, has always been to discover new memorable games. I’m not trying to recapture or recreate my childhood. I just want to play fun games.


I find that when I sell something I regret it later so I just stopped selling stuff. I add to the pile of games instead, and I get a lot of fun out of playing those new games and going back to old ones. If you can’t afford it? Sure. Sell your stuff. If you can? I think it’s always better to keep it so you can enjoy it again later.

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Agreed entirely. For me I like owning them, carrying for them, and upgrading them almost as much as playing games on them. As long as I enjoy owning it, I don’t have issue with having a spare Amiga in the closet that doesn’t get used much.

Maybe I pull it out during a retro LAN once a year… That’s perfectly fine!

My wife has a different mindset to my collection, but I guess that’s par for the course lol.

I definitely struggle with my stuff not getting used and collecting dust. I go through phases of wanting to consolidate.

Very well thought out, thanks!

I am in the same boat as you with the CoreGrafx, except for me it has been the Genesis. I recently upgraded from a Model 2 to a Model 1 HD, and the sound and picture quality is a stark contrast. I also recently acquired an Everdrive for it. I am discovering and playing a bunch of titles that I had no exposure to as a kid, and I am appreciating it greatly for what it is, no nostalgia involved.

I think the difference is that some people buy into this hobby with the hope that they will be able to relive their childhood, and gain that feeling back that they had as a kid. Retro gaming isn’t going to make your responsibilities disappear, and it’s not going to give you any extra free time to actually use it. You need to enjoy the games on their own, and if you can’t, then perhaps the hobby is doomed to be short lived for you. That’s completely okay, and I’m happy the OP was able to convince himself to sell off his stuff for others to use, increased of leaving it to rot.

I was retro gaming through emulators for 10+ years before ever getting into retro collecting, so if anything the experience of using a CRT and real hardware again makes the games better that I remember them, because it’s far better than an XBONE controller and a windows desktop.

The same goes for my recent Commodore and Amiga addiction. I am ecstatic to experience these systems again on proper Commodore monitors, with long load times and crappy joysticks.

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I’m not looking to recapture my childhood or drown in nostalgia - I’m looking to play the types of games I enjoy in a high-quality manner.

I still don’t own a PS4 and will never own an Xbox anything because for the most part the types of games being made for those systems are not enjoyable to me. I did just buy a Switch (“for my son”…for Christmas. shhhh!) and will love playing Super Mario Odyssey alongside Octopath traveler…I guess Nintendo still scratches my gaming itch.

I’m not so worried about the dust collecting on my Dreamcast or SNES. My time is severely limited these days and that won’t change for a while. When I do have a chance to play something, I like having the authentic retro options at my disposal.

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I think this is spot on. I wouldn’t be surprised if those of us who are in this for the long haul have always owned these machines (other than maybe a brief failed experiment to see if emulation/ports will do the job) so we’re not trying to relive our childhoods, these are just consoles we’ve always liked and we’re always looking to discover new games and make new experiences rather than retrace old ones.

Some people get quite sensitive when others rag on the 8 and 16bit micros but I agree, they don’t hold up very well. Growing up I typically found the games unfairly difficult with bad controls; these were often games made by 1-4 people, churned out in a few months or even weeks, with arcade conversions that had to be rebuilt by playing the arcade originals (no source code) and IMO it really shows. I have zero desire to relive that!

I can see a lot of similarities in the reddit post, when I was 15 we swapped our NES and some games for a used Amiga 500 (I could never have afforded a 1200) and so began 3 years of what I can honestly say were some of my fondest gaming memories, buying magazines with floppy disks on loaded with demo’s & borrowing games from friends to make copies. The Amiga scene was a great time.
About 10 years ago I bought a fully loaded A1200 with accelerator and CF HDD, picked it up from a local guy who was selling it, I loved getting back into it but sold it 6 months later when I stopped using it.
I later discovered an email in my old email account from the seller asking if he could please buy back the Amiga he had sold to me as he was gutted.
In answer the original question, you can’t go back, the world has moved on, we are older & many of us have kids and bills to pay & our friends have done the same, priorities change. The older I get the more I long for those days but I know in my heart that no amount of 80’s songs or floppy disks are bringing them back.

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I think what killed the guys interest isn’t because they were longing for something that wasn’t there any more (their childhood experience), but because everything was available at once all of a sudden. He loaded up his Amiga with a CF loaded with I presume everything under the sun, tried a few things, some old he played to death already and some new he played by curiosity.

The things he played in his childhood were boring. Of course, he played them so much back then that once the novelty of playing them again wore off, he realised they were done experiences already.I don’t think any of us replay the old games we had in our childhood and played so many hours, save for maybe finally beating them once or get a flash of nostalgia for a few minutes. These old games are done. They’ve been experienced, there’s no going back.

The new retro games need to be approached carefully. If you get them all at once, you get hit with the infamous paralysis of choice, or what I call the ROM folder experience, where you try a game for a few minutes, then try another one, and another one, etc until you get bored. And you get bored quickly doing that, without having really experienced them. It’s what being spoiled is all about.

Now, if you get a new retro machine, and new retro games for it, one at a time, it’s much less likely to these phenomenons. After all, there is no difference between an old console and a modern console when games trickle down at the same rate. Apart from the lust for fancy graphics, but we all know better.


How’s the MIST? I’m intrigued by it but haven’t bought one (well, a MISTer).

I think the story in the OP will be recognisable to anybody that has dabbled with retro gaming. I’ve encountered it, firstly with the CD32 that I travelled to Epping Forest to buy from a guy who was still living and breathing Amiga. This was around the time of the GameCube release. I played a bunch of games but none of my housemates at the time were gamers so it just wasn’t fun to replay SWOS in single player. And the controller was crap.

These days, I’ve stopped collecting for the sake of it, I buy a platform when there’s enough exclusive games for it that I want to play. Once I’ve played them, and there are no more on the radar, I sell the machine. Once that system becomes retro, I look to pick one up again for cheap and clear up any games that have made my list in the interim. I rarely replay a game, the same as I rarely re-watch a movie or re-read a book. I’d much rather search for new experiences, than enjoy the same ones over and over. The thrill of the chase!

I’m OK with emulation as long as I can use the original controller for that system. So, I have a bunch of USB adapters for a range of different controllers.

For me, retro gaming is permission to be a kid in a candy store and be able to play the games I could never afford or that I wasn’t aware of. I don’t really focus on the hardware, just the games. To discover a game that is 100% up your street, that has existed for decades, but that you have never heard of is the feeling that keeps me going. Long may it last!

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Nostalgia gamers, i.e. ones that go back years to stuff years later just to relive memories, don’t usually stay playing long. They sell their stuff of just keep it on a shelf not being touched.

For me playing older games isn’t about recapturing my youth. Seeking out games I missed out on has been a lot of fun over the years. The Amiga has been a major area like that for me as I never owned one back in its heyday. A lot of people talk shit about its library but there are tons of hidden gems when you search for them. I have enjoyed plenty of Amiga games I didn’t play back when they came out.


It really is about discovery. The Super Nt has opened up a whole new catalog of games for me to try, and taught me more about the SNES than I ever knew before all at the same time. The sheer volume of Japanese games that never made it to the US that are affordable today makes it feel like a whole new system to me.

That’s the thing though, for some people especially when it’s fueled by nostalgia, they’re going to want to play their old favorites. That’s fun… but it’s the stuff you never played or maybe only played once as a rental or something that will ignite your imagination and take you back to that time far better than the game you already played to death. It’s a discovery of the past that in some cases also informs your present and future.

I also buy what I want to play, which limits the overwhelming feeling that can come from using SD cars full of games or emulation.

While collecting old games for me is partly nostalgia. I also collect because there was a lot of stuff I missed out on due to not having any money when I was a kid. I’ve never been one of those gamers that seem to hate all the newer stuff. I tend to go through phases with systems where one month I’ll be on a gba kick or like I am now I’ll be playing my ps1 a lot. You have to look at collecting as having options and not as them being obligations. Also I feel like if you don’t enjoy something you shouldn’t feel like you are obligated to keep it. Sell it on so someone else can enjoy it. You then put that money towards something you want.

Very well said.

Umm I still play a lot of SMB 1/3, Sonic 2, and Dragon Quest games that I played to death when I was younger.

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I think it’s more that the games from his childhood were never any good in the first place. Everyone in the UK seemingly had Rick Dangerous back then but it was trial and error frustration with horrible controls. Gods is switch flipping tedium.

I go back to the games from my childhood all the time and I don’t get bored of them. I can play through the Mario or Sonic games and enjoy them just as much now as I did back then.

I don’t understand the fascination with the euro micro computer scene. Good developers came out of that scene certainly, but more than any other time in gaming history, the games are a product of their time and place and have aged exceptionally poorly. I’m trying to just think of any famous series that came out of it, and Dizzy is the best I can think of, which is sad.

I think it’s closed minded and unfair to classify the entire library by a few games, especially considering the size of the library. Some of the better ports are on the Amiga, and even if you are playing it only for games that were released on other systems, chances are the Amiga port is among the better ones. It was a very powerful system for the time, and as such there are many more games for it than almost any other system. With that comes a lot of shovelware, but there are some fantastic games.

I could name off 100 games on the system that I love with ease, but after I remove my nostalgia goggles (I love Rick Dangerous), there are still a large amount of fantastic ones.

The sound capabilities on the amiga lend to a really great system to play adventure games on like Monkey Island, Police Quest, Beneath A Steel Sky, It Came From The Desert, Dragon’s Lair, etc etc.

Here’s a few non-adventure games off the top of my head that are fantastic:

Lotus Turbo Challenge II
Lemmings Games
Another World
Emerald Mine
Lost Vikings
Micro Machines
The Chaos Engine
Rainbow Island
Bubble Bobble
Cannon Fodder
Turrican I & II
Dune II

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