I don’t know if this is the best place to put this comment - but as a comment under the column itself it would feel a bit combative. Any advice on where to take this discussion welcomed.
I hope it’s not aggressive or unpleasant to say I find Past Perfect a bit of a peculiar column. John plays games from before that’s he’s liked or disliked and as it turns out he still mostly likes and dislikes the same ones. There’s been, what, one surprise so far? Was it Zork?
It’s fun to read when it’s a game John liked. Celebration is always fun! It can be cathartic when it’s a Bad Game, though I’m more often left wondering why John decided to dip back into a game he hated when he first played it. But mostly, I’m left feeling nonplussed.
It feels like a column that’s crying out for introspection but it just doesn’t seem to be there. These games can’t change: they are, more or less, frozen in amber but John can and presumably has! What I’m interested in is why John loved Gunpoint and hated (for example) Myst, and what has changed for him that might have changed his mind. Has playing other games in the genre made that original one more accessible or less? How does playing for review differ from playing for pleasure (or for a feature). Does being older, having seen more games come and go, dull the passion one feels for any specific game or stoke it?
Revisiting old games would be an interesting way to measure your own change through the years - like Raised by Screens, with a before and after - but this column seems more interested in seeing if the games themselves have altered and the answer is, of course, always the same.