Even though gaming has come a very long away over the past few decades, a lot of people still enjoy retro video games more than they do modern ones. There are many reasons for why that might be, the primary ones being that modern games tend to be awfully long, overly complex, and filled with dubious monetization practices. Retro games, on the other hand, relied primarily on simplicity and fun, at least for the most part.

Having said that, old school retro games (as opposed to modern games that feature a retro art style) do fall short is in the graphics department. More specifically, the aspect ratio. It’s pretty hard to pick up a game from the 90s and play it on a modern widescreen display without getting annoyed at how stretched out everything looks. Same goes for when you’re trying to use still images of retro games for things like articles and videos.

Luckily, there’s a very convenient solution to this problem and it goes by the name of Vance AI Image Enlarger. In this article we’re going to teach you how to enlarge retro games wallpapers using this simple yet very powerful tool.

What is Vance AI Image Enlarger?

Vance AI is an innovative software company that aims to put the power of artificial intelligence into everyone’s hands. The company does this by developing image editing tools that are trained extensively using advanced machine learning algorithms. Vance AI has a tool for pretty much any purpose you can think of, including image upscaling. But while other similar tools can only enlarge retro games wallpapers by a factor of 2 before compromising their quality, Vance AI’s Image Enlarger can turn retro video game wallpaper HD by up to 8 times their original size while preserving the quality.

Just like all the other tools offered by the company, Vance AI Image Enlarger is free to test but you would need to sign up for a premium plan in order to access all the features. For instance, if you want to enlarge retro games wallpapers in bulk or take full advantage of its upscaling potential, you’ll need to subscribe to the $9.90/mo Basic plan. Meanwhile, there’s also a Pro package priced at $19.90/mo that comes with improved batch processing, the ability to generate PSD files, and more.

For the purposes of this article, we’re going to enlarge various retro gaming images using the Pro plan. Check out the images below to get an idea of the results you can expect to get if you plan on using the tool yourself.

Pac-Man

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Since we’re talking about retro gaming, we figured we should do a bit of a history lesson by taking a look at influential video games in chronological order. We’re not going as far back as Pong or Spacewar because there’s not much to see there, but instead the first game we’ll take a look at is good old Pac-Man. The original Pac-Man came out back in 1980 for Japanese arcade machines before making its way to North America later that year. The game was an instant hit, attracting huge crowds of people to arcades all over the world for many years to come. The titular character of Pac-Man remains incredibly iconic to this day, more than four decades since his first appearance.

Donkey Kong

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The original Donkey Kong was one of the main reasons we wanted to see if we can enlarge images of retro video games in the first place. Primarily because the famous Mario made his first appearance in 1981’s Donkey Kong before moving on to star in his own series of video games a few years later. Just like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong was originally an arcade game that was later ported to consoles. Interestingly enough, Donkey Kong was based on King Kong, which made its first screen appearance way back in 1933. But while King Kong is still as popular as ever in 2021, Donkey Kong has become a rare sight in modern media.

Super Mario Bros.

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Originally launched in 1985, Super Mario Bros. was the first game to star the lovable Italian plumber as its protagonist. As mentioned previously, the character made its first appearance in Donkey Kong, but he was initially called Jumpman before being renamed to Mario after American businessman Mario Arnold Segale. Enlarging images of retro video games like Super Mario Bros. is interesting because you can spot a lot of details that you are likely to miss otherwise. For instance, in the image above you can take a good look at one of the many princesses you come across while playing the game. When viewed from afar it sort of looks like the princess is a baby but upon closer inspection it seems like she just has weird legs and feet.

Contra

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Another blast from the past, the Contra series began in 1987 and revolutionized the run-and-gun genre at the time. The game was initially inspired by western style action movies, especially those featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger who served as inspiration for the box art. The series eventually took on a life of its own and spawned multiple sequels and spin-offs, including one as recently as 2019. There’s also a board game adaptation currently in development and expected to launch sometime later in 2021. A live-action movie was supposedly in the works as well at one point but the project was never finalized. Unfortunately, the franchise hasn’t seen a lot of success in recent times so we recommend sticking to the Contra retro video games for now.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

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I know what you’re thinking, “why is Microsoft Flight Simulator in an article about how to enlarge retro games wallpapers?” While a lot of younger people might associate Microsoft Flight Simulator to the recent 2020 version, these games have actually been around since the early 80s. The initial commercial release came in 1982 and ended up being one of the first successful PC games despite its crude graphics. Flight Simulator became increasingly more advanced with each new iteration and by 1993 it already started to resemble the versions we know today. In a way, the history of Microsoft Flight Simulator is the history of commercial PC games.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully you had just as much fun reading this article on how to enlarge retro games wallpapers as we had writing it. We only had time to test a small handful of games for this article but you can grab Vance AI Image Enlarger from the official website of Vance AI and experiment with many more yourself. Remember that the tool is free to use for a limited number of times, so there’s no real reason not to check it out. And, of course, expect this AI Image Enlarger to work with all types of photos, no just video game screenshots. In fact, it’s primarily designed to enlarge other images from real-life, but we wanted to use video game screenshots to demonstrate that it works perfectly with just about anything.

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