(Joe Romero wearing one of his designs)
(A sample of Joe's art for sale)
Joe likes to keep it genuine as much as possible, so he purchases special handheld devices to play his Super Nintendo cartridges. He doesn't have anything personal against the use of ROMs, but he just prefers the use of the original cartridges. I was curious as to why he still takes time to play the classics, in a time when there is so much new stuff going on when it comes to gaming, and the answers I got made me once again appreciate the fact that the games of the 90's were something special.
Joe, why is it that you still play games from the 16 bit era? What do they have which makes them unique?
The 16 bit titles were pioneers in gameplay in many respects, they did things that previous generation games didn’t. For example, Super Metroid was a leap forward in mapping large scale areas for exploration, and Mortal Kombat was a step forward in the level of goriness that the extreme 90’s craved so much of. However, I mostly play them because there is a message portrayed in them which I enjoy. The storylines were something special.
I notice that your artwork is very dark and gory. Are the games that you play like that also? Which game themes do you have a preference for?
The Horror ones actually, from the gore hounded “Splatterhouse” to the epic “ Castlevania,” I’m a person who is very intrigued by dark themes. Other examples include “ Demons Crest” and “Ghosts And Goblins.” Even “Super Metroid” had a certain darkness to it.
Oh, I see. I notice that many modern games also have very dark themes. Are you interested in those also? Or do you only prefer old games?
I'm a fan of "Red Dead Redemption" and "Alien vs. Predator." I'm not going to say that the games of today are no good, it's just that I'm still drawn to the old ones of the past. The games of today have many qualities, and I don't dismiss them entirely, but I will say that I don't really see as much uniqueness in the modern games as much as I see majestic graphics. I think that the industry nowadays wants something that looks pretty, that has great environments, but with the overemphasis on looks, the gameplay itself lacks the innovation that earlier games had. Another criticism that I have is that now it seems to be that the overwhelming theme in games is war, war, war, and war. It gets old fast. That's what I think. But again, I still have respect and even enjoy modern games.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. So now that you have played so many games, will you give at least one Zelda game a shot?
At that moment Joe ended the interview by storming out of the room and destroying everything in his path. I sent him a bill for the damages, but he wont be able to pay back unless he sells more of his art. To that cause, I share a link to his artworks page. Just click on the title: Ravager Artworks to be directed to the Facebook page. You can also view his clothing page Reaper Wear. Thank you for reading this article. You are welcome to share your thoughts on this debate in the comment section below.
(Your humble writer, Carlos the Gaming Archaeologist, sporting a hoodie bought from Ravenger Artworks)