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Thread: Have Games Changed Too Much from the Old Days for You?

  1. #26
    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Man you and I think alike on that last post there almost 100%. I'm no speed gamer though, and I haven't seen an arcade I could use in a long time but when I could that about summed up how it worked. Pop in a quarter and in those 5min or more you got your value right then and there as they were designed to be quickly appealing.

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    Kaypar's Avatar
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    I agree with some of the sentiments here, but I think too much nostalgia can lead to a pretty narrow point of view. With older games, I think it's important to recognize what they did poorly just as much as what they did well. There are plenty of old games that are challenging in part or wholly due to bad design. For example: I recently finished Planescape: Torment, an old PC RPG. Wonderful, compelling setting and dialogue. Just a really good story, through-and-through. The combat, though? Horribly tedious. Plagued by pathfinding problems. Bad NPC power scaling made me almost give up in the last third of the game. I still really love Torment, in part due to the nostalgia it inspired when I was a little kid, but I can recognize its shortcomings.

    I'll agree that there's a lot of chaff in the games released today, but from the things I'm reading online, it seems there's an upward trend of gamers looking past the superficial and demanding better design in their games, and there's plenty of developers, big and small, that are listening and actually trying to release quality games. I can't really relate on the point of not being able to have a peaceful, isolated experience. I like the social component of games. It's always been my philosophy that games are more fun to play with friends, regardless of whether the games are actually multiplayer or not. Don't you have any fond memories of playing through old JRPGs or platformers with a sibling or a friend?

    As far as difficulty goes, maybe the initial expectation for performance has gone down, but these days, adjustable difficulties are a pretty common standard of games. I think games giving players control over the difficulty of the game--whether that means adjusting it up for those who think games are too easy these days, or adjusting it down for people who haven't played games as long--I think that's more important than trying to find a single acceptable standard. Besides, if you want games that are unrelentingly challenging, they're still around. That's one of the reasons From Software has seen so much success recently, with their "old school" approach to difficulty in games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne.

    As far as pay-to-win goes, the genres that tend to attract competitive gamers are still populated by zero-sum games. Mostly I mean fighting games and RTS games, since a frightening number of shooters have wedged in some kind of cash shop component or time-gated progression, but, even then, many of them at least try to leverage online matchmaking in a way that places roughly equivalent opponents together. Heck, even the Smash Bros. series, which long favored casual play and actively sabotaged strictly competitive gameplay, has finally caved and given their competitive audience the rules and venue they so demanded. Usually, when I see pay-to-win issues, it comes in the form of free-to-play MMOs, and those are pretty easy to avoid.

    Regarding DLC... well, that's a tougher subject. I like the concept of DLC. I don't think it's wrong at all to release extra content for a game after its release to increase the game's longevity, and I'm willing to pay extra past the initial investment into the game if the DLC is substantial enough. Sure, there are some evil bastards that think things like hiding on-disc content behind the paywall of day-one DLC are okay, but those companies have caught a lot of flak from their consumers for it. There have also been some instances of companies releasing DLC content as free patches. DLC is still a relatively new concept, and most companies are still trying to figure out what's acceptable and what's not. Hopefully the consumers have enough power in their wallets and sense in their heads to guide them.

    If there's one thing I can agree with completely, though, it's that games shouldn't take too long to complete. The idea that time spent playing = more value per dollar spent is a problem both with consumers and companies. It's a trend that I think will pass, and hopefully soon. In the meantime, though, there's still the occasional game that manages to be refreshingly brief. I beat Metal Gear Rising: Revengance a little while ago, and my casual playthrough took only 10 hours, but the experience was so much better than plenty of games I spent 30-40 hours on.

    When it comes right down to it (and I think the title of the thread sums it up nicely) there's a point in everyone's life where we become "set in our ways". Eventually we just aren't comfortable with big change in certain things, especially something as capricious and subjective as video games, and decide to stick with the older stuff. If you aren't happy with the direction games have taken, I can sympathize. Personally, I think it's way too early to even think about giving up on new games, but I'm a young whippersnapper, so take my optimism with a grain of salt.

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