Next-gen console gaming is in full swing, and one of the biggest trends (if not THE biggest trend) has been the introduction of classic titles through the various online services. Whether it is through Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network or the Wii Virtual Console, old school games are being downloaded at record pace.

This also means that more and more classic titles are being reviewed by gaming media outlets, community sites and fan sites alike. Unfortunately, I see a trend developing in these reviews that to me, has been a bit unfair.

What I'm talking about is holding these games to the same review standards that titles such as Gears of War, Warhawk or WiiSports are being held to. This may seem like a no-brainer as these classic games are being "released" onto next-generation consoles, but I think reviewers find it hard to change the mindset they have while digging into a game.

Personally, I think as a reviewer you have to take a title for what it is, which in many cases is a game that was originally released 15-20 years ago. When a title such as Track & Field or Rampart hits Xbox Live Arcade or Playstation Network, I always take the approach of comparing it to its former incarnation, as this is the "gold standard" (good or bad) for this game. While this platform could have been a coin-op machine in the arcade, on the Intellivision platform or the NES system, the starting point should always be located there.

Granted, there are things that need to be looked at from today's perspective, such as any updating of the graphics, achievements, multi-player, global leaderboards and so on. These are integral to merging the classic title with today's expectations. But the core aspect of any classic game review should be "Does this game do justice to the original title?" Are the quirks, innuendos and fubars that made the original version quaint and fun carried over?

I think the bottom line is that these classic downloadable games are targeted toward the people that played them in the past, with the hopes of exposing a whole new generation to these old-school games. For a reviewer to blast a title as short, lame or having bad graphics without doing a full comparison to its original incarnation is short-sighted in my opinion. Yes, almost all classic titles suck in comparison to today's next-gen releases, but do they do justice to the way you remember it back in the day? That is the question that should be answered when you finish reading the review....