I don’t really consider my self a purist, but there is definitely a feel from pixels/sprites that you cannot get from modern 3D games. Sure, titles like Fez or anything voxel can invoke a similar style, but that’s because they’re trying hard to replicate the look and feel of pixel games.
I understand that pixel games are more of a niche now than something more mainstream. But there’s still a strong enough audience for them that they haven’t completely turned into something underground.
Here’s hoping that the retro resurgence of pixel based games becomes just big enough come back in the public’s eye, but not too big that EA buys, guts, and disposes of a company making them.