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Are we living in the Golden Age of platformers??
So, I have recently both purchased and taken another look at some of the old games in my Steam catalog that I have been neglecting, and have noticed something that is now fairly obvious. In the last 5 years, we have seen a complete renaissance of the CRPG genre. The same thing is happening with old-school platformers based on the 8 and 16 bit-era.
"Axiom Verge" is the best Metroid game made since "Super Metroid". "Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon" is just flat-out BETTER than Castlevania III (which it is clearly modeled after). The brand new "The Messenger" is Ninja Gaiden, except about 100x less annoying and even has the very novel concept of switching (graphically) halfway through the game from 8-bit style to 16-bit style. "Ori and the Blind Forest" is one of the most stunning visual presentations I have ever seen in a game. "Shovel Knight" is clearly an homage to Mega Man, and is probably the equal of ANY of those games. There is a series of Metroidvanias that also take just as much DNA from the Souls series as anything else, and both "Hollow Knight" and "Salt and Sanctuary" are fantastic creations by small indie teams. And then you have "Cuphead", which is basically Contra by way of 1930s cartoons, a game that has some of the most stunning art direction I have ever seen in a video game.
All of these games have taken decades of lessons from their progenitors, tightened up the controls, and made a couple handfuls of absolutely FANTASTIC games. And a few of them are outright masterpieces. I think we are going to look back on this decade as a truly great time for PC games.