Is it truly nostalgia or do games really suck now?

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

  1. Archeia

    Archeia Level 99 Demi-fiend Staff Member Developer

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    The problem is that nowadays, games are too much of a high risk high reward scenario. If you compare the amount of releases back then and now and the cost of making them, you'll notice less games are being released but the cost remains largely the same. And with games being "more mainstream" and multiplatform distribution, making something bug free is almost impossible. You have to take into account the console, or god forbid hardware specs of different PCs, to make sure they run.

    Therefore, it's a lot more beneficial in the long run to do some QA and if there are some bugs, fix it when you can. You can't really afford to spend so much resources on making sure something is bug free and then expect to break even. Not a lot of games can do this.

    As for the answer about sequels, is that really a bad thing? Dragon Quest games are still pretty good no matter what. Final Fantasy still has good games even at their worst as each their own has charm. Dept. Heaven episodes expand on the stories with "sequels" or "continuations" that just can't fit a single game. I don't see anything bad with sequels, at all.

    And while we're at it, I don't see anything wrong with recreating or rebooting a franchise as well. I don't expect people to grow from an era of amazing 3D graphics to play Tomb Raider 1 which, in all honesty, has very bad controls. If we think "Sequels" or "Reboots" are bad, then we wouldn't have gotten amazing games such as Resident Evil Remake available outside of just gamecube. Which deserved much better.

    I would disagree on Mods being a bad thing. It has been a thing since early games such as DOOM and will always be. Why not make it more accessible? Mods allows users to express themselves and learn creatively on a medium they love. Why would you stop them? A lot of people started with Mods and now work for the industry. The same way as people started with drawing fan stories before they become professionals.

    DLCs are a hit or miss for me. I don't think they are necessarily bad. Case in point, I love the Don't Starve games but I would be lying if I said I hated the DLCs they are releasing. They're great additions to the games and I would love them to keep expanding it. If it also helps DST to remain online for survival multiplayer and no subscription needed, I will happily support them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
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  2. trouble time

    trouble time Bearer of the Word Veteran

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    There are still Dept. Heaven games? (please say yes)

    On the subject of the main topic, no games aren't any worse, we've just let the bad games from the past fade away. Now...are business practices worse? Even on that front...I don't think so. They're bad in a different way, but look back in the past and you can find say...games made intentionally bad because it makes the company more money for it to fail, creating intentionally unwinnable games so you could run a promotional contest for the first person to beat the game. Heck, "micro-transactions" used to be how you played games (arcades). Now if we're talking 16-bit era games...I do like a lot of them cause I feel like a lot of them were more imaginative, but that's because the no effort cash grab of the day was the 2D character platformer which all were very similar with different themes and better or worse level design or physics. Were there more games that I liked from that era...well not really actually many of my favorite games come from the PS1 and PS2, but there were more games that I liked, but that's just because genres I like have fallen out of favor.
     
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  3. Archeia

    Archeia Level 99 Demi-fiend Staff Member Developer

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    I think so. Jaja (I don't know their real name haha) one of the devs recently followed me on twitter and said on 2018 they'll post more so probably!
     
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  4. Dankovsky

    Dankovsky Veteran Veteran

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    Frankly I think it's neither nostalgia nor bad quality of modern games.
    We are the problem. We grow older, we get less excited, we get responibilities, we get less time to waste, we're harder to impress, we've seen everything.
    So naturally we just start to enjoy games less. We're chasing this feeling of playing a great game, but you can't turn back the time, and you can't go back to being the person you once was. It's exremely painful to realize this, but I think its true.
    And maybe that's part of the reason why we try to make games instead of just playing them, to try to recreate those lost feelings of an awesome game from our youth (ok it's a bit of nostalgia).
    Also, try to make a modern kid play the first Legend of Zelda. Then have him play the latest. Which one do you think he'll enjoy more?
     
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  5. Touchfuzzy

    Touchfuzzy Rantagonist Staff Member Lead Eagle

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    I am an old foggie when it comes to video games, and even I think that 2017 was one of the best years for video games ever just from a AAA perspective.

    Nier: Automata
    Resident Evil 7
    Horizon: Zero Dawn
    Shadow of War
    Persona 5
    XCOM 2: War of the Chosen
    Breath of the Wild
    Super Mario Odyssey

    I think that people need to take nostalgia glasses off and realize that games have been both good and bad for years and years. We just tend to only remember the BEST games of the NES/SNES era, and act like they all came out at once, rather than realizing that NES and SNES era covers over a decade of games.

    I can name amazing games from every era. If you can't find them, you aren't looking very hard.

    EDIT: Also, to be honest, I've never understood the complaints about sequels as long as they are good games. (like, all the ones I mentioned above, Horizon being the only new IP).
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
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  6. Requiem

    Requiem Veteran Veteran

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    I prefer mid-90s, early 2000s games

    but some of them were absolutly bad in retrospect (FFVI was waaaaaay grindy, and even then I stopped playing. The story was great but the grind got to me.I never understood the appeal of games like FF1 whose grind was even worse). Some game genres died out and in retrospect it's no wonder why.

    Some have stayed the same (FFVII) and others have grown on me as I grew older even though I first found them boring(FFVIII --- granted I played with cheats, so no grind might have to do with this partly). I think overall in the modern era the UI is much better even though gameplay is somewhat dumbed down across the board.

    My main beef is that the industry stopped innovating and so it's been the same since circa the 2000s.

    Also, in the West, there's a "Hollywoodization" of games where they adopt the same techniques and so suffer from the same problems as blockbusters. For the most part, their stories are boring.
    They almost never take risks and I wouldn't be surprised if some of them were designed by focus groups. They also aspire to be art without knowing the difference between art and boring.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
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  7. Touchfuzzy

    Touchfuzzy Rantagonist Staff Member Lead Eagle

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    I guarantee if someone who has been playing games consistently throughout the entirety of the last 30 years broke it down into 5 year sections and listed games from each 5 years they thought were good, there would be just as many games in the more recent sections if not more than the earlier ones.
     
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  8. Requiem

    Requiem Veteran Veteran

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    It's possible. I'm not a regular gamer anymore, I don't finish more then a couple a year due to IRL constraints so I might've been simply unlucky in my selection.

    To be fair, I'm pretty sure I'd rather live in today's gaming era as a kid then mine. I also think that the UI has been very much streamlined and that's an appreciated feature (no more 1-2-3 to select weapons for examples).

    But there's a big difference in culture and expectations. Back in the 2000s, it was acceptable to take risks because the "best practices" of gaming were largely unknown. Take MMOs, for example, Sony took a chance with Star Wars Galaxies. Today, that would be unheard of for a AAA company to take such a risk.

    From what I remember, the 90s/early 2000s had a lot of drastic changes compared to the later era. the introduction of 3D (which was a gigantic shift) then RTSes/FPSes, MMOs, the early 2000s saw Bioware style RPGs, Call of Duty, the Beth RPGs, GTA ...Then suddenly the innovation stopped... nothing. If I pick up a game today, there are very good chances I know the gameplay inside out by virtue of it being extremely similar to what I played before. Not saying it's an absolute, but it's rare that I get surprised.

    I can't think of any similar shifts in gaming in the late 2000s or 2010s. I think VR is one but it's been a long time in the making.

    You could argue that say, GTA 5 is much better then GTA 3 but I won't be spending 80$ on a game that plays exactly like a game I've already played 14 years ago.

    Breath of the wild and Automata look crazy fun though and they're on my wishlist.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
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  9. Touchfuzzy

    Touchfuzzy Rantagonist Staff Member Lead Eagle

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    On the subject of innovation: Shadow of Mordor/War's Nemesis system is a gamechanger IMO. I can't wait to see other people pick it up and flesh it out more.

    Also, the combat system from the Arkham games (which Shadow of Mordor/War borrowed) is very different to most things that came before.

    Borderlands combination of FPS and Diablo style loot RPG was innovative as well.

    The thing is, innovation is not just making things whole cloth, even combining existing things in new ways is good innovation.

    Horizon: Zero Dawn, while feeling mostly like a very very very polished Far Cry game mixed with Monster Hunter, the actual setting is incredibly innovative in my opinion, because we almost never get a post-post-apocalypse setting. All post apoc games are usually set during the time period immediately after the apocalypse, or within a few decades, where there is no new social structures. Horizon's setting is set so far in the future, that civilization has reestablished. (Also, there is something to be said for MASSIVELY WELL POLISHED games, which Horizon is). (And the story is good. And the main character is fantastic. And the gameplay is fun, and rewards thinking over pure twitch skills, which for an action game is amazing. Seriously I can't say enough good things about that game).
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
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  10. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    I think a great deal of the sequel fatigue has to do with the triple A companies releasing sequels for the sake of sequels.

    Specifically, rather than taking the time to develop another entry in a series of the caliber that interested players in the IP in the first place, companies focus on an annual release for those franchises often releasing either half finished buggy messes, or something so lacking in content it might as well have been a DLC, rather than full price game.

    Personally, I can think of a few franchises that I have enjoyed in the past, but simply refuse to support anymore because of this kind of behavior, providing too many disappointments.

    I would agree that in video games, like any other medium, one tends to remember those games they enjoyed the most. Speaking as one who started out playing on Pacman & Donkey Kong cabinets in the arcades, a friend's Tank Game on Atari 2600 for consoles, & Sid Meier's Pirates on a tandy 1000 for PC; I can't begin to guess how many games I've played Arcade, Console, & PC over the years that I've forgotten about. The ones that I remember, tend to be the ones that swallowed up my weekends for weeks or months, rather than the one time rentals from a video store, or the one quarter & quit arcade cabinets.

    I think one of the things fueling the perception of prevalence of "bad games", are primarily a few companies that have become rather notorious for swallowing up smaller more creative studios, & destroying what was good about those smaller studios IPs, in favor of a more "paint by numbers" approach to game design. (cough) Electronic Arts (cough). Who tend to dominate game publications, game trailers, game expos, game awards, etcetera. It tends to fuel the perception that they are the only ones out there; when in reality they've simply purchased & then killed countless studios & projects, while the indie scene has expanded to fill the void.

    Speaking of, do you remember when it was that half the gaming community didn't want to burn them in effigy?

    I remember them being well thought of in the eighties & some of the nineties.
     
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  11. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I didn't play many games in 2017 besides indies, and the few AAA games I played I was disappointed with, even Persona 5. But for some reason the RNG was so broken* in my copy of Persona 5 that it hurt my enjoyment badly. Maybe it was a bug in the PS3 version, as I've heard no one else complain about it. As it is, I've joked that final boss should have been a pair of dice, as I felt like I was fighting the RNG, not the monsters.

    Still gotta play Xcom 2 though, hopefully I'll enjoy it as much as Xcom. And that is even after playing the original XCom. There are things I like and dislike about both (Original Xcom was one hit = you're dead, so be careful, this one you could take a few hits, but you were outnumbered so had to be careful still, but one mistake wasn't lose that solider forever).

    *: I hit on average 2/5ths of the time (and I counted to prove it), but my to hit said 97%, enemies had no evade skills. No idea how it calculated to hit, but I sure wasn't getting close to 97%, or even close to 70%. Gave up and put it on Easy due to that, as I had no prayer of beating it on any other setting with that bad of an RNG.
     
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  12. Requiem

    Requiem Veteran Veteran

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    But that's the thing, these changes are incremental.

    I haven't played these games but I am pretty confident that to a very large extent, I likely already know what to do. The only game whose mechanics surprised me in recent years was Valkaria Chronicles (also Mount and blade).

    With whole cloth innovation, it's different because no one knows how to play including the devs.

    To illustrate:
    Some in my group of friends independently discovered the mob train in Everquest and the Human peasant/militia rush in Warcraft III before the build order became public knowledge.We weren't professionals, we were just huge goofballs. Only one of us was playing ladders semi-seriously (wasn't me).

    Today, I don't think you can do this in say Starcraft II because all the openings have been studied ad nauseum,
    but back then you could still find funny ways to break games. It didn't happen often but when it did, it was always a riot.

    IIRC, I had to learn brand new ways to play games every few years which just hasn't been true in the last decade and a half.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
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  13. Leon Kennedy

    Leon Kennedy Restaff Novice Restaff

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    Totally agree on that part, the voice acting was notoriously the worst in any game. Ever. Now that did have a lot to do with bad translating. Well it was good but you have to make it sound correct in english and the added boss and scenes were nice. But alas that remake along with donkey kong on gameboy were the best remakes so far. Any top ten list you search you really don't find any recent remakes on the list, which shows some sort of problem with the current remakes sadly.
     
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  14. Touchfuzzy

    Touchfuzzy Rantagonist Staff Member Lead Eagle

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    But it isn't like Everquest or Warcraft III were whole cloth innovation either. WCIII was just an extension of every RTS game that had existed before it, Everquest was just an evolution of MUD/MUSHes (and for that matter, Ultima Online beat it to being an MMO by like a year and a half, but for some reason no one remembers that).

    I just find it bizarre that you think somehow that these are examples of having to learn new things, when they themselves were already just extensions of existing types of games.

    Do you think perhaps the reason you were having to learn new ways to play games had more to do with the fact that you were still finding new things you hadn't played, rather than that designers were still inventing new things?

    I mean, to be honest, I don't think that any major genres have been invented since maybe... Either stealth genre or FPS genre, and both of those are kind of murky early 90s but you can see the roots of them even in the 80s. Every innovation is building on top of other things, and I'll be honest I'm willing to bet that the reason you found the innovations more shocking years ago was not that they were more extreme, but because you hadn't played the games that they were innovating from.

    EDIT: On another note, in all honesty, innovation is overrated. I'd rather play a game that was incredibly well polished and designed than one that innovates for the sake of innovation. And most of those ground breaking innovations are attached to games that are honestly not that great, because later games take those innovations and polish them into something far more usable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
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  15. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    @Requiem
    Frankly I don't see the need for something to be "new", as much as I require it to be good.

    Finding a new way to do something after all of these decades is honestly not something that is going to happen very often, in fact even in the days when I started playing games more than thirty years ago, something truly new was a rare occurrence. & that new thing was promptly copied by usually dozens of other entries of varying quality within the first three years of it appearing. Some falling far short of the original, some surpassing it.

    Novelty doesn't compensate for a lack of quality in my book.

    Often when I play a game the question I ask myself is not, is this new, as very few things are for me, but rather how does this measure up to other games I've played in this genre. My "nostalgia" as it were, largely relates to the fact that videogames have been one of my primary hobbies for more than thirty years, so I am often measuring new games against the best games that I've played in those genres.

    Not to mention just because something is new, does not mean that it is good. "Pay to win" mechanics & balancing was certainly a new idea, but I can't say I've ever heard anyone express a positive opinion of the idea.
     
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  16. Requiem

    Requiem Veteran Veteran

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    Meh, good grief, you're trying very very hard to convince.

    I can only reiterate what I said:
    I pick up a random game in 2018, I just know how to play. (In single player that is),I use almost the same exact tactics I used 15 years ago and they still work. You might be interested in doing the same thing for 15-30 years, but I'm not, no matter how polished.

    Yeah yeah old man, I know you've played Chess with Adam, but you're not gonna convince anyone that experience helped you in a say 3d FPS for example.

    I could be wrong, maybe you were wiping the floor with everybody the first time you logged into Quake Deathmatch because you played pong in the 70s. I don't know.

    I don't know what to tell you beside this. That going from command prompts MUDs to EQ (or even UO) is the same as the examples you mentioned is probably the overstatement of the year.
     
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  17. Touchfuzzy

    Touchfuzzy Rantagonist Staff Member Lead Eagle

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    If you post your thoughts on an open forum, be prepared to have them challenged. I suggest you back off on the offense and sarcasm.

    Addressing the idea of using the exact same tactics, I feel this is weird. Looking at Shadow of Mordor/Shadow of War I didn't even use the same tactics in both games, because the difference in the skills and equipment they gave you changed some of the things I did.

    In Mordor my main late game strategy relied on a loop involving deathblows recovering all of my arrows, and extremely cheap shadow strike chaining, letting me shadow strike until I could deathblow, then deathblow then continue shadow striking.

    In War, my usual way of fighting was jump from high area and use slow down time while in the air (which is much longer while in the air due to one of the skills), and then headshotting enemies with explosive hammers, which cause AoE damage. EDIT: And also, due to the Nemesis system and the strengths/weaknesses of enemies, I still had to deviate from this in a lot of cases to deal with Captains with ranged immunity.

    Even with one game being a sequel to the other, and sharing the same base mechanics, I still didn't use the same tactics. Even the way they did spawning of enemies caused me to change priorities. In Mordor, I tended to whittle down the weak enemies to let me focus on the captains in 1v1. But Captains in War tended to spawn new enemies if you killed too many, so it was more advantageous to alpha strike them first and then clean up after.
     
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  18. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    Reiterating the same point, doesn't grant an argument merit by virtue of its repetition.

    The simple fact of the matter is, is that when one decides to be as absurdly reductionist as you are doing here, one can readily make the argument that nothing new has been created in any medium for decades. By your own admission novelty is of greater importance than quality, but you are unable to discern your desired novelty in the works of others, due to your own predilection for gross oversimplifications.

    A situation made all the more comical, by the simple fact that I doubt anyone here believes you are capable of producing a game of sufficient novelty, that would meet the standards you blithely place upon others.

    & yet the fact remains that it is a very linear progression of advancing technologies allowing greater complexity of play, along similar themes.

    Each succeeding generation building upon the techniques & technologies of the previous, to add possibilities that couldn't be implemented previously. New a medium as video games are, the simple fact of the matter is, is that they have begun to catch up with more established mediums; & technology has become less & less of a restriction upon the possibilities of the medium.

    Thus, what will stand out more & more, will not be new genres of games, but rather games that mark standards of excellence within a genre.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
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  19. Leon Kennedy

    Leon Kennedy Restaff Novice Restaff

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    @Touchfuzzy That's interesting RE7 makes one of your top games of 2017 being that the goal in re7 was to go back to the roots, which they did only thing I was disappointed in were the puzzles but it was no longer CoD with zombies[or creatures subbed for zombies] as it was in 5-6. One of capcoms main devs in the making of 5-6 said something like this to the disappointed RE fan base that loved the early titles and hated the new ones. "The RE franchise needs to evolve with the standard games and follow suit". Like I said not a direct quote but thats basically what they were saying.

    Then what happens? They make a new game to emulate the older RE 1-3 and it's competing in sales with 5-6 actually projected to overtake them in sales. So isn't that a sign that it's not all nostalgia? That sometimes just bringing it back to the roots still can be successful? Because it sure seems like it.
     
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  20. Touchfuzzy

    Touchfuzzy Rantagonist Staff Member Lead Eagle

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    Eh, a single series could have been going downhill and needed to return to its roots (which it did. RE4 was a masterful departure, but 5 and 6 kind of lost the thread somewhere), without it indicating a widespread problem with video games as a whole.

    Also, keep in mind that 7 still had differences from the old style, intentional differences that reflected the problem with the older games. (First person view versus weird 3rd person tank controls) Honestly 7 was an evolution from the earlier games, just an evolution in a different direction. (Also, an evolution towards ACTUAL SCARY TENSION).

    But other series never had to go back to their roots because they never lost the thread of what made the series good. Dragon Quest for instance.

    Also, I could actually see the argument btw, that individual GENRES of games have been weaker recently. Turn Based RPGs have been few and far between in recent memory as an example. But I just disagree vehemently with the idea of games as a whole being bad now.
     
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