Is it truly nostalgia or do games really suck now?

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by Leon Kennedy, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. Leon Kennedy

    Leon Kennedy Restaff Novice Restaff

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    Simple question, do you think a lot of games especially sequels now suck or do you think its just nostalgia?

    I will simply say a lot of games released these days do suck and are done in lazy manners and here's some reasons why.

    #1 Updates and patches.

    Before internet and gaming systems were one in the same game developers needed to do the testing of games for themselves knowing if they released a broken game it would stay that way. Not counting a few re-releases a great amount of games back in the day were released with little to no bugs. Now? With updates and betas and such we are now the guinea pigs. We are expected to fix developer problems and why wouldn't they expect us to? Why pay someone thousands to test the games when you can release it and have fans tell you of all the problems, release a patch and you are done?

    #2 Sequels

    A lot of sequels these days just bank off of the long standing franchises. Doesn't matter if you're out of ideas if you already have a core audience that buys whatever you release just for the name you will make your money no matter what. A lot of developers have figured this out a long time ago even back in the day.

    #3 DLCs and Mods

    I think DLC destroyed a lot of good games. There are more than a couple games I can name that would completely suck without DLCs and/or mods. To me it just shows how much they love your money and don't care about your loyalty. Once again back in the day any "dlc" content would be included and you were not expected to pay more than the usual $50 game price to have a great game. Now you are expected with some games to spend upward of $150 just to have a good game. Sigh.

    Post opinions and such.
     
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  2. Llareian

    Llareian Jack of All Trades, Master of None Veteran

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    Some of this I'd say is legit and some is nostalgia.

    Regarding #1, you also have to remember that "back in the day" it wasn't unusual for a large title to be delayed 2 to 5 years while they worked out the kinks -- sometimes up to 8 years because they couldn't settle on content (I'm looking at you, Neverwinter Nights). While I hear a lot of complaining about a game needing patching -- it's also usually playable on the date they originally promised these days. So I see this as a trade-off for getting our game more or less on time, rather than any sort of laziness or greed on the part of the developer.

    #2 -- Yeah, there are a lot of franchises that seem to have decided to rest on their laurels anymore. I don't know if it's laziness or a genuine failure to come up with good ideas. But I think this is also not restricted to the video game industry. Movies are particularly guilty of this these days.

    #3 -- Triple A video games have pretty much stalled in price. I remember spending $60 on brand new computer games twenty years ago. You could also get a full meal at a drive-through for $4, or roughly half of what it costs today. Every time they try to raise the price of base games, people complain. So I don't have a problem with them finding new ways to supplement the income. If they fail to give you $60 of content without DLC, then okay, please do complain, but remember how much less $60 is today than it was "back in the day".
     
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  3. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I'd say it's a little of both myself. I've played some of those old games thanks to gog.com, and there are some that just honestly are awful. But there are some that are really good too.

    #1: Not quite true. There are some games that came out with critical game breaking bugs that if you hit them you were just out of luck. I still remember getting to the last area of The Summoning and being stuck because they accidentally only put 9 Pearls in the area, but you needed 10 to open the door. Or who can forget Quest for Glory 4 having the bug which made save games balloon in size as you played the game? They did patch that, but it broke all save games to that point. In fact, sometimes I wonder how many of those old Sierra game dead ends are legit dead ends they planned, and how many are they just didn't think anyone could get here in that position?

    #2: Games did this in the 90's too. See Might and Magic VI - VIII, all released in a 2 year span. And most consider VIII not a very good game, as it was rushed to milk money while they could.

    #3: Actually, prices have gone down. Back when Ultima IV was released it was $79.99. This was in the 80's. So actually games have dropped in price, Granted, new games didn't stay $79.99 for long, but I still have an insert advertising Jagged Alliance 1 for $79.99 from Sir Tech in 1994. Still, I think this is why you get more DLC, as if games had kept pace with inflation most new games would cost $150 now.
     
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  4. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    I honestly don't believe it is just nostalgia, I genuinely believe it is a question of bad business practices.

    I understand nostalgia for older games & systems, I am no stranger to the sentiment after spending nearly forty years with a joystick, controller, or keyboard in hand.

    However, there is a great deal of bad business practices that have arisen with the proliferation of internet technology, that allow corporate in triple A companies to push things that never or virtually never would have occurred without it. For example, the annual half baked entries from various franchises, that have a tendency to be worse than the previous year's entry. Selling games, without telling the players that they would need to purchase DLC to see the ending. Pay to win games, that were balanced on the presupposition that the player would shell out however much extra money is necessary in microtransactions, to play at the baseline the game was balanced at.

    & while glitches, crashes, & nonsense were hardly unheard of in the days of NES, SNES, Master System, & Genesis; games being released by major companies that were so glitchy as to be unplayable was unheard of.

    For example I can't remember anyone rolling out a game only to have it essentially crash on mass like the recent Arkham Knight debacle. I am not saying it never happened, but I can't recall it ever happening; & about the only thing I remember from the eighties is arcade joysticks, console controllers, & keyboards in my hands.

    I honestly don't think it's the people at the keyboards, because I am fairly certain that 99.9% of them are people like myself who have spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME playing video games, at least according to non-gamers, but who cares what they think anyways. I think it's people who aren't gamers who are only looking to wring a few more dollars out of an IP, & are setting unrealistic production schedules because they think "fudge it, we can patch it later, or release a DLC to fix it."

    *cough* Electronic Arts *cough*
     
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  5. Philosophus Vagus

    Philosophus Vagus The drunken bird dog of rpg maker Veteran

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    It's certainly a little bit of both but in a general sense I do truly believe that the industry has simply stagnated. My first and most unbiased argument for that has to do with the weird non-inflation of games that @bgillisp and @Llareian have already mentioned, but there is an important part of that that I believe has been missed. That is, the devaluing of the media in general. Five years ago or so I decided that twenty dollars was the most that a game was worth to me anymore, after a series of increasingly frustrating disappointments and a growing feeling that I'd rather be playing old games than new ones anyway. Back then that meant waiting 1 and a half to two years after a game was released before getting it, in the past couple of years however, that meant I could pick up a game the year of it's release for less than 1/3 of it's price if I wanted to, and a few recent ones such as mass effect Andromeda I was able to get within a couple of months of it's release date. It's clear that more and more people are valuing new games less and less, and companies are struggling to stay relevant in that environment.

    I mostly blame the companies themselves for this, I think that ones such as Ubisoft and EA in particular have flooded the market with bad business practices, buying out any and every small time developer that shows even an inkling of being able to compete with them and turning them into a zombie pumping out cookie-cutter caricatures of their old ips with catch all formulas without a care for the fact that they flop, only caring that that IP is theirs now and cannot compete with them any longer. Rather than try to be better themselves, they content themselves with stifling competition and resting on their laurels and their bank accounts. The problem is that they devalue the medium in the process, and the way I see things now (being able to get games at 60-80% off within months of their release) it's only a matter of time before the giants start to topple, unfortunately taking their mass of zombie shell companies with them to the grave and paving the way for new small time developers to fill the void, hopefully without being bought out the moment they start to succeed this time.

    Monopolies are bad, and the AAA circuit has come fairly close to becoming one recently, with every developer who is going anywhere seemingly finding themselves snatched up by one of 2-3 giants. The irony being that once they become subservient to such a giant, their product quality seems to fly out the window soon after in the face of investor demands and what have you. On the short term they've been selling really well, but they've devalued the entire industry to make a quick buck to the point where consumers have started to demand prices so low that they undercut their costs in a lot of cases. Right now that means that the lowly developer has to be beholden to a giant in order to make it in the industry in any sense, or else go so far outside of the norm as to amass a cult following like CD Projekt Red seemed to do last year with their plethara of free updates, free content and genuine concern for their customers in the face of the greats apathy and soulless cutouts. Just keep playing your old favorites for now, if you feel games aren't fun anymore then stop paying for new ones, more and more I see evidence consumers are doing just that, and while it will cause trouble in the short term I believe at this point it would be for the best if we did allow those giants to fall so that the developers that come after can be on an equal footing in order to build the medium back up to something respectable, and actually compete with each other for customers rather than just keep buying anyone out that does anything better than the way they've done it for the past ten years or so.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
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  6. LuckyTiger

    LuckyTiger Villager Member

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    Modern AAA games are dumbed down to appeal to the casual market. Making games easier and more linear to appeal to these demographics remove what was loved by classic gamers. As a result core gamers are affected. We crave challenge. Modern games are designed around mechanics such as quest markers, mini-maps and intrusive HUD, all for the player to have an easier time. There's always an option to turn these off, but it is the design that affects gameplay. When you follow a mini-map, you play the mini-map instead of taking in the game. When you follow a marker, you grind the cycle of 'go here, talk to this person, find this'. Does that sound fun?

    Sadly that's what the industry's evolved into. I haven't even gone into DLC, loot crates and other practices, but lazy design kills the fun that was found in older games. It's baffling how despite technological limits, older games were more innovative.

    Of course there are good modern games, but as a whole the AAA industry goes where the money is.
     
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  7. Leon Kennedy

    Leon Kennedy Restaff Novice Restaff

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    @bgillisp from what I remember correct me if I'm wrong the first system with dlc was the dreamcast so it was a pretty old idea but it was very limited and dlc was really just a couple items and such and wasn't really a huge thing until say 05-later with the releases of 360 and ps3. So calculating the inflation of the dollar since 2004 60 bucks then is 78 bucks now. I just don't think it justifies games like rock band where apparently if you got all the dlc ever available for it you would of spent about say 9 grand. Games were much much more expensive back in the days but also cartridges were very expensive to make costing about 20 bucks, also the market did not have even a fraction of the demand these days.
     
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  8. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @Leon Kennedy : I dunno. I never owned a dreamcast, so I missed all the stuff involved with that system. I was PC only until 2001 when I finally got a game boy advance. But it is still funny that if we did a quick inflation calculation for the price of a game, here is what we would get depending on where we started:

    1980's ($79.99 games existed, but were big name games only): Using 1987 for the year gives me that it should be: $194.16 now for a big name game, assuming the CPI average of 3% inflation per year.
    1993: Most games were $44.99 or $49.99, with very few daring to charge more than that. That $79.99 one I saw was an odd exception. So if I use $44.99 and assume a 3% inflation rate from 1994: $88.79 should be what we pay now.

    Honestly, I think if the companies could have raised the price to even just $70 a few years ago it might have stopped some of the problems. With the rising costs of everything, and how devalued games are, you can't sell just 100,000 copies or so of your game like you did in the 1980's and be a success. Now, 100,000 copies of most games is considered a flop, at least for AAA games.

    Edit: I'm honestly waiting for someone to release a game for $70 and market it as "No DLC. No Microtransactions. Pay $70 and get the Full game!". I think it would be a hit, as fed up as some people seem to be over DLC and microtransactions.
     
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  9. Llareian

    Llareian Jack of All Trades, Master of None Veteran

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    I feel I would be remiss, with all the negative focus being paid to AAA developers with bad practices, not to point out that there are still developers out there with GOOD practices, like Blizzard who is STILL churning out new free content for Diablo III five years later and although that game has gotten one major paid upgrade/DLC and one minor DLC, the major one was COMPLETELY worth it and the minor one was cheap and reasonable for the amount of gameplay it offered, and you really didn't have to buy either one to justify the original game.

    Then there's BioWare and Bethesda, who both put out games of such spectacular quality that I feel BAD paying them so little for them even at release price. I actually considered buying Skyrim for XBox One (and I'm generally very set against new console rereleases) simply because I feel like I've gotten WAY more enjoyment worth out of that game than I've paid for it, even with buying all the DLC. Granted, some of the DLC for Skyrim wound up being pretty weak, but it also was fairly reasonably priced for what you got, so I'm not complaining too loudly.

    So...I guess my point is that yes, there are AAA developers out there who have bad practices, but there are also ones with great practices who I will support every time, if they keep doing what they have been. I think the important thing to remember is that you get to tell them which practices you support by buying the games of the good devs and NOT buying the games of the bad devs. Plus there's so much indie content out there you could play forever without ever buying a AAA game again (but you're going to spend a LOT more money this way because they usually have to charge relatively more for the amount of content delivered).
     
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  10. Frogboy

    Frogboy I'm not weak to fire Veteran

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    If memory serves, $40 was the going rate for brand new games from the Atari Era all the way up until the Playstation 1. I'm guessing that the PSX managed to stay at that price due to the switch to CD from cartridges. N64 games probably cost $45-$50 or so. Yes, there were the exceptions like FF6 that rang in at a whopping $80 but they definitely made it worth it. I kind of lost interest during the PS2 days but I think $50 was the normal new price and anything good would released as a GotY edition for around $20 to keep sales going.

    What killed it for me was the rise of first person shooters. I just never really got into them. Then online play made it so most new games were more designed around shooting other players in a battle arena and less about producing a full length one player experience. The rise of MMOs meant RPGs where you just endlessly grind and can never actually reach the end of the game. None of these things is of much interest to me.
     
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  11. Lestroth

    Lestroth Veteran Veteran

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    I'm not a fan of DLC and am boycotting microtransactions altogether since the beginning. I have some games for which DLC would be available, but usually I wait for the "complete" editions to drop to ludicrous prices before purchasing such games. Regardless of my abstain, I feel that it simply doesn't matter at this point anymore as there are so many other people willing to spend money on DLC/lootboxes/whatever that they just don't "need" people like me buying their products anymore. Just look at how much money companies earn with their "recurrent consumer spending" opportunities. There are other consumers outweighing my purchase by a large amount.

    Thank goodness there are still games around today, that don't come with any microtransactions.

    For the consumer base as a whole, I think it would be much better to simply raise the prices of new games. So that everyone can determine for themselves how much the product is worth in their eyes. At the moment, consumers have no way to know how much they have to spend for a "complete" experience when a game releases. Sometimes seasonpasses are anounced beforehand, sometimes there is no word of DLC whatsoever. Furthermore, DLC has always the chance of never ever dropping in price.

    But... even though DLC, and be it cosmetic items, do affect me, I don't blame these practices alone for my reduced enjoyment in todays AAA games.

    There is a vast variety of games coming out in short intervals and companies have been playing it safe for years now. They cling on to their successful IPs and rarely try something new. Instead, they look at what other developers do with their games and decide that they should copy this and that, resulting in the very same gameplay elements in many different games - like mmo-esque fetch quests, action combat, open worlds and so on. It's just a matter of time that people become tired of the very same gameplay released several times in one year. So that may affect some people - like me ;)

    But not only design desicions, I think even the art direction of video games nowadays does affect you. In the past developers were restricted by different technical limitations. So you had pixel art or not very detailed 3D models, which couldn't show emotions or facial expressions, leaving much to the consumers fantasy. Additionally, voice acting wasn't around and music was an important part to convey feelings of the different scenes and locations. Todays music may be of higher quality (orchestral, with choir, etc.) but it's often times just heard in the background while you have voice acting and combat sound (or better: noise) going on a significant amount of time. I'm not sure if you are affected as well, but I can only say that I still suffer from uncanny valley syndrome. It's easier for me to connect to a pixel art character than to a realistic high definiton model of the same character.

    All in all I also think it's partly nostalgia and partly bad design.

    I can't comment on how much games would have to cost at release here in Germany. We had the euro adaption and stagnating real wages since the nineties. I only remember SNES games coming with guidebooks and some games like Castlevania being 120 DM, which equals 61,36 EUR in 2002. Normal games were 100 DM, around 51,13 EUR in 2002. Nowadays new released console games usually are 60 EUR, big releases (BoTW, MH, FF) are 70 EUR and smaller budget or rereleases are 50 EUR. So I guess, at least here games indeed increased in prices over the years.
     
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  12. Matseb2611

    Matseb2611 Innovate, don't emulate Veteran

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    Short answer is no, modern games definitely do not suck by comparison to older games. If we view them objectively, older games have done a lot of questionable design decisions, either unintentionally or due to hardware limitations. If you try to play an old school game now which you've not played before and never been into the series, you'll likely get bored of it. Moreover, we only tend to remember the classics which were great for their time, but who actually remembers the crappy games nowadays which many Youtubers such as AVGN make funny videos of?

    Now there are many questionable business practices happening in the industry nowadays, particularly among AAA devs, but if we disregard those, if we put aside all the shameless day 1 DLCs, rushed releases, and microtransactions, then majority of modern games are still objectively better than the older games.

    Let's also remember that back then 20-30 years ago, games were a novelty, so every idea felt fresh, even if it was as cliche as go and rescue a princess from a castle. Nowadays, there are so many games, we're simply spoiled for choice, so we become extremely picky. Again, the quality of the games is not at fault. It's just our biases.
     
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  13. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    I would agree, that there are good actors in the triple A scene, just as I would agree that there are bad actors in the indie scene.

    & I would certainly hold up companies like Bethesda & Blizzard as examples of things like DLC done right.

    The DLCs for Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, & Fallout 4 I loved. & I genuinely feel they are examples of what DLC should be, namely something that dramatically expands the replayability of a game, but isn't enough content to stand alone as a game itself.

    However, the Triple A companies are still the primary offenders for a plethora of bad business practices that detract from gaming, though that might be just because EA owns half of them by now.
     
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  14. jayray

    jayray Jay Ray Games and Art Design- Oklahoma City, OK Veteran

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    Some of the best mods for Skyrim and Oblivion weren't the official DLCs, but the unofficial mods. Falskaar for Skyrim, the Elswyr expansion for Oblivion? all done by modders... yes unofficial, but in many ways actually better than official DLC... like "horse barding..."
     
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  15. Lornsteyn

    Lornsteyn Sleepy Dragon Veteran

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    I think many new games are bad in comparison with older games, mostly in the RPG genre.
    Also "good graphics" are a reason I dont like many new games, I dont need ultrarealism graphics, Its annoys me nowadays, but maybe I just getting old and grumpy.
    Also these games often only have 30 fps, which is also a no go, and since the developer concentrating to make superfancy graphics, gameplay always suffers.
    Indie developers are the future, AAA only listens to the majority that crys the loudest, and the majority is often not right.

    1. Its a bit annoying on PS4, 3DS or whatever and forcing people to have internet access is not a good idea.

    2. I saw and see many companies which ruin their great franchise and It hurts.
    There are some franchises which are still good, but to many died because of pure greed and silly decisions.

    3. Well if a game has DLCs and I really think I need/want them, I usually wait for a big steamsale.
    On console i dont buy DLC.
    Does someone remember you could unlock outfits and other stuff in many games before they came up with DLCs?
    I do and I dont support this shady DLC stuff.
    Only because a company can milk their customers, doesnt mean they should.
     
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  16. HexMozart88

    HexMozart88 The Master of Random Garbage Veteran

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    I just don't like a lot of new games 'cause no one seems to care about music anymore, which is really depressing. It's a lot harder to create atmosphere if your music is half-baked or nonexistent. I don't know. I just feel like a lot of devs are letting realism get in the way of fun.
     
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  17. batch

    batch nailed-down sack of angry bees Veteran

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    Yes for real, can we mention this?
    With improving hardware, there's no limit on what we can do, and the most popular and loud option is to leap at the idea of "this time it'll look REALLY real!!!" like an excited dog that just found a leg. Realism on the PS3 looks a little bit garbage compared to now, and realism now will look a little bit garbage compared to the next. Gold now, cardboard later.

    This isn't to say that a "realistic" game can't still have good design graphically or in gameplay, it's just that if you're making a game and the heaviest thought and development is on the realism, it will fall flat a lot faster and not be remembered. Sometimes you've gotta smack yourself, remember "minimum viable product" and that you're making a game and not a movie, and build the audio and visuals up from there.
     
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  18. Windows i7

    Windows i7 Veteran Veteran

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    I'd say a mix of nostalgia and hate for some of the industry trends (especially pay2win schemes that sometimes even happen in $60 AAA titles). There were also a few games released many years ago that were so good that they have yet to see a superior or even equivalent for that matter.
    Perfect Dark and Garry's Mod being notable examples of unmatched games of the 2000s.


    There are certain games where a lack of realism would ruin the game very quickly too (especially racing sims like Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport). Everything in gaming is a balance, and different games have to be balanced differently.
     
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  19. velan235

    velan235 Veteran Veteran

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    I think nostalgia and skeptical preview because of different era experience. there are a lot of innovative new game design in modern games , yet sometimes people compare it with inferior classic title

    for example , most classic JRPG has these "random encounter" problem , permanent punishment for leaving some treasure behind (no backtrack) , save point position that sometimes not present in the right time etc. etc. and then people said that modern JRPG should learn from classic JRPG , yet devs are trying to avoid those problem in the modern design

    it's like someone said that super mario bros is the god of platformer yet curse new platformer game to be "it's a plain platformer game". sometimes bias is extreme enough that any new games is simply bad.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
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  20. Freank

    Freank Veteran Veteran

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    Nostalgia (marketing).
     
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