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Videogame Nostalgia Isn't What It Used To be

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the when-everything-was-black-and-white dept.

Classic Games (Games) 88

Thanks to GameSpy for its 'Pixel' column discussing the dangers in letting videogame nostalgia run unchecked, as the author explains: "Number one: Just because it's old, doesn't mean it's particularly good. And number two, loosely based on Sturgeon's Law: 90% of all video games ever made are either mediocre or crap." He gives an example: "Case in point: A little PlayStation game called Gunners Heaven. It was a very early Japanese release by Sony... [and] the American import magazines covered it a bit and described it as a Gunstar Heroes clone", but the game, once acquired, "was thoroughly mediocre", showing "the dangers of unchecked nostalgic anticipation."

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Unchecked anticipation (4, Insightful)

aridhol (112307) | more than 10 years ago | (#9610896)

the dangers of unchecked nostalgic anticipation.
As opposed to, say, unchecked brand-name anticipation, unchecked graphical anticipation, or unchecked Christmas release anticipation.

Re:Unchecked anticipation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9614374)

I like old games a lot. But I think the new ones are better, because they have better graphics, and the experience is more intense and real. I feel like I am really in the game. One of my favorite games is NFL Fever 2002 [blogspot.com] .

True, true... (5, Insightful)

ersgameboy (571332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9610903)

I'm a big retro-gamer, but I agree. I love the NES and most of the other systems from that time period, but I admit that many of the games that were made then are for historitcal interest only. (Deadly Towers, anyone?)


However, I still think retro-gaming is important for the industry. Older games, like old movies, should be respected, studied and preserved for future generations.

Re:True, true... (4, Interesting)

FlipmodePlaya (719010) | more than 10 years ago | (#9610937)

My take: I'm all in favor of classic game remakes, it's just that many tend to go wrong. Whether it's pricing (Capcom releasing half decade old RE games on the GC at full price), or poor quality porting (Sega's DC Smash Packs), the majority of them seem to go wrong. Some even manage to be overambitios, such as the GBC port of that SNES DKC game, putting games on hardware they're too advanced for, despite their age. However, for every one of those there is a Zelda Bonus Disk (I speak of the promotional GC one) that does our nostalgia right.

Re:True, true... (2, Insightful)

MagicDude (727944) | more than 10 years ago | (#9611121)

Capcom did release the megaman anaversary collection; 10 megaman games on one disc, and the opening price is only $30. That's a good price for nostalgia. Capcom's not all bad apparently.

Re:True, true... (1)

FlipmodePlaya (719010) | more than 10 years ago | (#9611127)

Certainly not. When they moved RE development to the DC and rereleased all the old games in the series on that platform, they were $20 IIRC. The GC pricing was an odd choice, since I don't believe anything of any signifigance was added...

Defender and Frogger remakes (3, Insightful)

Gary Destruction (683101) | more than 10 years ago | (#9611237)

I liked the Defender remake for GameCube, but I'm also a hardcore Defender fan. The Defender remake holds so true to its original that unless you like shooting aliens and rescuing colonists all the time, you're going to get tired of it quick. In one way that preserves the game, but in another it limits it.

Frogger's remake tried to do things a little differently, but there's only so much you can do with a jumping frog.

Re:Defender and Frogger remakes (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 10 years ago | (#9613245)

I liked the Frogger game though ; it initially still had the same gameplay, only scattered out over a bigger map.

The best 'in-between' way for re-releasing games would be to include the original with the re-made version ; either by unlocking it, or by typing in a code.

Re:Defender and Frogger remakes (1)

ooby (729259) | more than 10 years ago | (#9623611)

Such as Pitfall?

Re:Defender and Frogger remakes (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629693)

Part of the situation is that it's a different world than in the classic arcade days. Back then video games were novel enough that players would put up with more than they would today.

And yet, Defender (and Stargate) are among the arcade games from that era that hold up best today. The classic-era Williams sound effects still have a certain loud, electronic charm. And the action is just blazing, to such an extent that it's good that the original Defender doesn't have "more" to it, as the game rides the line between "uncommonly challenging" and "impossible" a lot closer than most, even closer than Robotron: 2084.

Defender is a game where an unenlightened player would find it difficult to believe it's possible to break 50,000 points, but the highest scores are over ten million.

I haven't played the Defender update, but I find it difficult to believe its creators managed to revive that feeling of impossibility, combined with gameplay deep enough to reward obsessive players. It probably wouldn't stand a chance of making it through the current game development meatgrinder, and yet calling any game without it by the name "Defender" smacks of travesity.

Re:True, true... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 10 years ago | (#9618090)

There was no "porting" in Sega's Smash Pack, the games were just emulated. Unlike, I believe, the arcades in Shenmue.

Re:True, true... (4, Insightful)

Graftweed (742763) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612441)

Why is it that you can walk up to any book store and pick up titles that were written centuries ago, or purchase movies that date as far back as 1912.. and yet you can't even play a game anymore that came out 5-7 years ago?

One might argue that it's due to technical reasons, but [scummvm.org] that's [sourceforge.net] no [mame.net] excuse [zsnes.com] is it?

Why do we find ourselves donating our precious time hacking away at emulators and virtual machines when it should be the people who made the games in the first place that should be supporting them? Does the game industry hold their own products in so little regard that it has already decided that future generations can't enjoy them?

Sure, there's the odd overpriced nostalgia pack put out every now and then, but that's just a drop in the ocean.

Re:True, true... (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 10 years ago | (#9613261)

Also don't forget that alot of concepts of those oldtimers are converted over to nowaday's games : Either being released as the same sort of game (Frogger for instance) or being converted in a new look (3d) but basically still having the same gamemechanics (alot of Smash T.V. clones come to mind).

Re:True, true... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 10 years ago | (#9617122)

Why should it be the ones that made the games in the first place?
If you want to enjoy something older you often have to work for it. Do you think North American/Rockwell/Boeing service the Old P-51s you see at the airshow? Nope?
THink you can get parts for a 32 Ford from your local Ford dealer.
Frankly I think it is great that the emulator writers take the time and make the effort to let us play those old games.
And yes I do play old games all the time. I love C&C and Mame. Thanks guys.

Re:True, true... (1)

Luigi30 (656867) | more than 10 years ago | (#9620507)

Actually, Ford stocks or can order parts for just about everything they made.

Re:True, true... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 10 years ago | (#9620802)

Not that far back. And if you want body parts you are out of luck. The good thing is you can buy the replacment parts from lots of small companies. Go to your ford dealer and ask for a hood for a 32 coup, a set of 429 cammer heads, or a boss 429 crate motor.
Ford is actually pretty good but they do stock parts for every car they ever made.

Evolution (1)

urbaer (778997) | more than 10 years ago | (#9704912)

Why is it that you can walk up to any book store and pick up titles that were written centuries ago

Would you pick up something written from the dawn of time? I think at some stage that games will reach the same stage as books (I have a dream...). But even so, there are a lot of bad books written 30 years ago.

Something to think about....

Re:True, true... (2, Informative)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 10 years ago | (#9613087)

"I love the NES and most of the other systems from that time period, but I admit that many of the games that were made then are for historitcal interest only. (Deadly Towers, anyone?)"

There were no other viable game systems during the glory days of NES. The introduction of the NES marked the end of the classic video game period.

Re:True, true... (1)

badasscat (563442) | more than 10 years ago | (#9617280)

There were no other viable game systems during the glory days of NES.

Depends what you mean by "viable", I guess... If you mean profitable, there was also the PC Engine, which was quite popular in Japan and profitable for NEC. There was also the Sega Master System/Mark III, though that might be stretching the term "viable", I guess. It was still a major system by a major manufacturer. The Atari 7800 was also released during the reign of the NES, though it's in the same boat as the Master System.

The poster you're replying to said he loved all the systems from that period... you're implying there were no other systems during that period, but there sure were. "Viable" is arguable I guess, but the PC Engine was certainly viable, and the others were definitely playable and fun even if not profitable, and they certainly did exist, at the very least.

The introduction of the NES marked the end of the classic video game period.

Most who lived through it would argue that the crash of 1984 marked the end of the classic video game period. The introduction of the NES marked the beginning of the modern video game period.

It's a small distinction, I guess, but the game industry in this country was dead for a year before the release of the NES. The NES itself didn't end anything, it began a new era. The end of the classic era had already come and gone, though, with the near-simultaneous exit from the market of Coleco, Mattel and Atari.

When I was younger, that year in 1984 seemed like an eternity. There was no home video game system on the market in the US just prior to the launch of the NES. That seems unbelievable now, and it seemed unbelievable then too, as there has always been a game system on the market since 1972, except for that one year. Most of us thought video game consoles had been a passing fad, and that fad was now over, and we'd never see another one again.

Re:True, true... (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 10 years ago | (#9626157)

"Most who lived through it would argue that the crash of 1984 marked the end of the classic video game period. The introduction of the NES marked the beginning of the modern video game period."

As a classic game programmer myself, I'm painfully aware of the 1984 crash, but I was giving the parent the benefit of the doubt.

Re:True, true... (1)

ersgameboy (571332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9620562)

I probably should have made myself more clear... The time period really stretched from the 2600 to the SNES or thereabouts. The NES being the game system I've had most experience with, own the most games for, and it being right in the middle of that time, seemed a logical one to organize that time around.

While it's true that the NES marked the beginning of the "modern" or "neo-classic" time, the true end of the classic era was a year earlier, when the home market for 2600 and ColecoVision crashed. Nintendo, rather than muscling in on anyone's turf, actually saved the videogame industry in America.

Re:True, true... (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 10 years ago | (#9626221)

And yet Nintendo got away with a lot of legal protections that everyone previously believed were illegal. Surely Atari, Mattel, and Coleco would have lasted a lot longer if they could have controlled the release of games.

In the old days, anyone could write a console game as long as they knew how without having to negotiate with the console maker. I suspect that was part of the reason so many people started writing games for the PC.

Re:True, true... (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 10 years ago | (#9615081)

I love the NES and most of the other systems from that time period, but I admit that many of the games that were made then are for historitcal interest only. (Deadly Towers, anyone?)

Deadly Towers wasn't that bad once you figured out how to play it. Neither was Heroes of the Lance, actually (though it was pretty bad even so).

If I was going to pick an example of a truly bad NES game, I'd go with Cheetahmen 2, one of the particularly horrible Acclaim games, or Hydlide. Though maybe Hydlide is one of those "you don't know how to play it" games. I doubt it.

Rob

bad call! (2, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 10 years ago | (#9619291)

Deadly Towers was a great little game. You want to talk about bad games, tho, I got two words for you: "Wisdom Tree"

Re:True, true... (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629666)

In fact, Deadly Towers is wrongly maligned. It's confusing and far from perfect, but winnable (I've done so without aid), and not even that hard once you learn how to play. Similiarly, Athena's badness has been overhyped -- while buggy and possessing the most convoluted win requirement I've ever seen (even worse than Solomon's Key!), you can certainly find worse games.

My choices for worst, as in unplayable, not enjoyable by any means NES games: Ninja Kid and Chubby Cherub. There are others, however.

Lemmy get this straight... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9610923)

One guy gets hyped up about some old Japaneese game he'd never even played before, solely based on the fact that people - including paid reviewers which are probably the worst source of info on the planet - compared it to a similar game he enjoyed. A couple years later, he buys it, finds out its crap... and suddenly nostalgia is a danger to everyone.

Excuse me while I go hit my head against a wall for an hour.

MOD PARENT UP! (1)

gorim (700913) | more than 10 years ago | (#9610936)

I wanted to say the same thing. Since when does an example of an old game no one ever heard mean nostalgia for old games == bad ? At the very least I was expecting nostalgia in the form of games people actually heard of and played to be discussed.

Re:Lemmy get this straight... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9611313)

Man, I remember when I was a kid, I used to hit my head against the wall all the time, it was so much fun.

When I read your post I wanted to try it again, so I banged my head against the cinderblocks and hurt myself.

I tell you, nostalgia can be a dangerous thing!

Damned wipper snappers (5, Insightful)

Asicath (522428) | more than 10 years ago | (#9610946)

Holy case of RTFA batman. The reveiwer is compaining about some japanese game that he had never played. This is a case of over-hype, not nostalgia. For Nostalgia distortion to take place, you must have had at least played the damn game once. And for the record a game that was made for the the playstation cannot inspire nostalgia yet. Now Contra, there was a game, they just dont make em like they used to.

Re:Damned wipper snappers (2, Insightful)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 10 years ago | (#9611243)

It is a wonder that a link to that article got greenlighted. I miss the old Slashdot.

Re:Damned wipper snappers (1)

randomdef (663725) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612946)

yeah! what happened to you slashdot? you were cool once...

Re:Damned wipper snappers (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9615509)

Careful complaining about /. It will get you removed from the moderator pool.

I should know, I haven't had mod points in about 4 months.

Re:Damned wipper snappers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9613827)

It's not even a case of the game being overhyped. Reviews he read said it was AVERAGE AT BEST. Clearly the the writer is just WAY BELOW AVERAGE AT BEST in the old common sense / IQ department.

Re:Damned wipper snappers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9614067)

And for the record a game that was made for the the playstation cannot inspire nostalgia yet.

Don't be ridiculous. I've been playing video games since the mid 80s, so you have a decade on me at most, but that doesn't stop me getting just as nostalgic for Final Fantasy VII as I do for Gauntlet.

If it's broke but generating adviews, don't fix it (5, Insightful)

BollocksToThis (595411) | more than 10 years ago | (#9610986)

This article is about the level of uselessness I've come to expect from a Gamespy article.

Claiming that nostalgia is somehow to blame for lame knockoffs is as retarded as claiming Richard Simmons is responsible for bombing Iraq (well, maybe he is, that PRICK).

The "90% of everything is crap" rule certainly applies to old games, but we didn't waste our childhoods on the crap games, so we don't get nostalgic about them.

Re:If it's broke but generating adviews, don't fix (4, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 10 years ago | (#9611211)

90% of everything is crap

Like slashdot stories (and editors) and gamespy articles. Funny how that works.

Re:If it's broke but generating adviews, don't fix (1)

BollocksToThis (595411) | more than 10 years ago | (#9616352)

Except Gamespy is pushing the 90% envelope pretty hard :P

Re:If it's broke but generating adviews, don't fix (2, Insightful)

TRACK-YOUR-POSITION (553878) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612844)

Yeah, the 90% rule doesn't take into account that gamers always seek out the 10%--and that's what I'd claim, that there was a wider variance in games pre-Playstation (BTW, what's the point of getting nostalgic for a PS1 game? PS2 is exactly the same thing, but better).

So, while the quality of the average game produced back-in-the-day may been the same or lower, the quality of game actually played by gamers was higher. Or so I suspect.

Variance is good for consumers, but bad for marketing executives who love consistency. He who pays the piper calls the tune, and people paying the piper can't stop calling for the Lullaby of Mediocrity.

Re:If it's broke but generating adviews, don't fix (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 10 years ago | (#9617748)

Nostalgic is probably the wrong word, but you can pry FF7 from my cold dead hands. I'm also happy so see the FF1-6 being re-released on the PS1 since I never had a console till the PS1 and missed so many games because of that. Re-releases on new hardware is a great thing.

Giving old games their due (3, Interesting)

jvmatthe (116058) | more than 10 years ago | (#9611066)

Due bashing, that is.

I've been on a bit of a tear myself, playing old games and finding them deficient. First it was Double Dragon on the NES, which I had at one time thought was pretty ok, but now realize is awful. Then there was Prince of Persia (again, NES), which is a neat idea, but way too long. Then Deceptor on the Commodore 64, which I had always wanted to finish. I played through it, beat it, and found that the ending was absolutely terrible. Then Into the Eagle's Nest, another Commodore game, that is really not worth the effort. (As a generous human, however, I'm making a series of maps for it just so other people don't have to suffer.) And then DragonStrike (back on the NES) which turns out to be a terrible version of a classic Commodore 64 game I'd always wanted.

Fortunately, these are all cheap games, so I'm not really out a ton of money, but it is truly disappointing to see how cruddy the past was and I didn't have the sense to realize it.

The above summarizes a couple weeks of posts, but if you care to read the longer versions: Double Dragon [curmudgeongamer.com] , Prince of Persia [curmudgeongamer.com] , Deceptor [curmudgeongamer.com] , Into the Eagle's Nest [curmudgeongamer.com] , DragonStrike [curmudgeongamer.com] .

Bestest old game ever: (1)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#9611986)

Crazy Climber. [rainemu.com]

Maybe its just the memory of that distant summer holiday in Spain, the one with the 3 British tourist girls, a swimming pool full of loose coins from the pockets of drunk tourists, a pool nobody but me could dive to the bottom and retrieve, literally, handfuls and handfuls of change from, and the Crazy Climber cabinet, tucked away in the corner away from the noise and madness of those coin-drop machines (and Pacman) ...

Whatever it is, Crazy Climber still, to this day, sucks me in. I can't play it for shorter than 10 minutes ... it just gets me. Sure, its nostalgia, but you can't buy nostalgia, at any price, so complaining about nostalgia is stupid. Get it where you can, when you can, and live for it!

Re:Giving old games their due (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 10 years ago | (#9615205)

I've been playing through a bunch of NES games lately, and find that there's proportionally about as much crap on there as there is on a modern console if you don't count unlicensed games. You're probably playing the wrong games. I just finished playing through Destiny of an Emperor and it was just as good as I remembered it.

And then DragonStrike (back on the NES) which turns out to be a terrible version of a classic Commodore 64 game I'd always wanted.

Yeah, the NES Dragonstrike is really boring and repetitive. You were looking for this [the-underdogs.org] (popups).

Rob

Re:Giving old games their due (1)

jvmatthe (116058) | more than 10 years ago | (#9615309)

I've been playing through a bunch of NES games lately, and find that there's proportionally about as much crap on there as there is on a modern console if you don't count unlicensed games. You're probably playing the wrong games. I just finished playing through Destiny of an Emperor and it was just as good as I remembered it.
True, the quality of the experience is highly dependent upon the selection of games. While working my way through a catalog of older games I have found some enjoyable titles. I didn't link to the Millipede (NES) review where I say how much I enjoy the game, despite it being difficult nearly to a fault (in part because of the lack of an NES trackball). And I really find Monopoly (NES) to be kind of charming.

I've never heard of Destiny of an Emperor, so I'll be sure to give it a look when I run across it.

Finally, yes, that DragonStrike for PC looks a billion times more fun than the crap I played on the NES. In fact, it's that 3D perspective that I recall the Commodore version had had. I've put an eBay watch out for the Commodore version of DragonStrike, so perhaps I'll give the "real thing" a whirl at some point in the future. What a shame that they linked the "game ending" to the NES version, which I presume is entirely different from the other versions.

Re:Giving old games their due (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 10 years ago | (#9619635)

I've been on a bit of a tear myself, playing old games and finding them deficient. First it was Double Dragon on the NES, which I had at one time thought was pretty ok, but now realize is awful. Then there was Prince of Persia (again, NES), which is a neat idea, but way too long. Then Deceptor on the Commodore 64, which I had always wanted to finish. I played through it, beat it, and found that the ending was absolutely terrible. Then Into the Eagle's Nest, another Commodore game, that is really not worth the effort. (As a generous human, however, I'm making a series of maps for it just so other people don't have to suffer.) And then DragonStrike (back on the NES) which turns out to be a terrible version of a classic Commodore 64 game I'd always wanted.

Well to be fair, think about what you're saying.

1. Double Dragon (1) on the NES was a port of an ARCADE game. Any gamer who played in an arcade knows that arcade games don't port well to consoles flat out (either they're made too easy, unlimited continues, or they're too hard, 3 continues in a game where every enemy can kill you in one hit with Ikaruga difficulty? Not cool!)
2. Prince of Persia originated on the PC and was designed to be an action/puzzle game (though more on the puzzle side), not exactly the type of game you wanna put on the NES during the days of twitch, hardcore memorization gaming.
3. Commodore 64? You're not exactly talking about CD-Rom memory sized games here. Nor are we talking about the golden age of adventure/puzzle designed games of the late 80's on the PC. (King's Quest series, Space Quest series, etc etc.)

I don't mean to bash but when you think about it, all the games you mentioned have 'cheap port' written all over them. That would be like bashing the Xbox version of GTA3 for not having Xbox Live support over the PS2 version when you know Rockstar really only did it to cash in on Xbox owners.

Re:Giving old games their due (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 10 years ago | (#9628801)

One mans golden age is another mans utter crap. Common, pac man was the shit at it's time but it's about as fun as playing chess by yourself. Super mario was revolutionary, but today it wouldn't hold my attention for 15 min. And that one was one of the first games I ever finished and I loved it before. Some games don't age well. mortal combat is one, Kings Quest is ok but not that great while Space quest and Leassure suit larry hold up better, due to most of the fun being in the humor and not the "solving inane item combination" puzzles.

The best part of the article (4, Funny)

cgenman (325138) | more than 10 years ago | (#9611110)

The best part of the entire article is that the sentence "I officially veered off the path of rational thought and entered the dreaded forest of unthinking nostalgia," appears next to an ad for Star Wars Galaxies.

"How could it not be worth getting?"

This holds true for more than just video games... (3, Interesting)

howman (170527) | more than 10 years ago | (#9611141)

Designers call it 'going back to the hitory closet' when they use past styles as a basis for new designs. Good ideas are good ideas no matter what skin you put on them. FPS games work because the genre works, although there are some memorable wish I could forgets, most follow the same concept, kill an opponant from the killers point of view, and that concept works.
Does anyone remember a video game called, I hate to give my age away by bringing this one up, Jane of the jungle? Not the best game but it had some cool quirks, such as if you didn't do anything for a period of time, jane would start to tap her toe waiting for you, if you still did nothing for about a min, she would look at her watch.
It would be nice to see some more interesting things like this happening in games, not that I think they would be better for it, but it would show a level of having fun with the game while creating it.
Sorry about that side track... where was I? Oh yeh, Nostalgic works well for things that were clasic due to some form of non-marketed love by people. The new beetle and the new mini are proof of that, Harleys have stayed basically the same for ever, but what do you think the chances of a nostalgic 80's K-car doing well.
Back to games.
Xaxonn for the coleco was pretty cool as was donkey kong, but you don't see many ripoffs of xaxonn do you? Why is that? Because the genre of 3D that the game was advanced for in it's day has gone well beyond what xaxonn did. Now a 3D FP donkey kong would rock as a nostalgic new game. Super Mario or Mario Cart not withstanding

Tapping toes, etc. (1)

Pfhor (40220) | more than 10 years ago | (#9611366)

In halo, if you don't do anything for a while, the master chief plays with his guns, fiddles with settings, etc.

Re:This holds true for more than just video games. (1)

atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 10 years ago | (#9611436)

I remember the Sonic series (even the earliest one) on the Sega Genesis had a feature like this. Sonic would appear to get impatient if you let him stand still for too long. Start tapping his toe and so forth. I don't think any of the early Mario games had anything amusing like that built in (correct me if I am wrong, never had an NES). Because the point in Sonic games was to make the game run fast enough to induce seizures.

As far as nostalgic remakes, I thought Pong 2000 was a novel idea. The soccer field was awesome, you could do flip kicks with your paddle.

I miss the ol' Commodore 64. A lot of the games sucked, but for some reason I continued to play them almost ten years later. I still think breakout/arkanoid, moon buggy, pac-man, donkey kong and jungle hunt are cool games. Ok, well maybe not jungle hunt, that was kind of stupid.

Remember there weren't game cheats on those old titles, most of the games relied on basic hand eye coordination and quick reflexes. In my not so humble opinion this is why Pong takes more talent than say Mortal Kombat or . You can't say that I am overkilling with that special move in pong. With pong I don't have to suffer through a poorly made movie loosely based on the game.

Furthermore, it helps to have three thumbs when playing Mortal Kombat, nothing to do with the number of times I punch or kick the other guy...Oh yes the topic was nostalgia sorry. Old games are cool!

Re:This holds true for more than just video games. (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 10 years ago | (#9628831)

Remember there weren't game cheats on those old titles, most of the games relied on basic hand eye coordination and quick reflexes. In my not so humble opinion this is why Pong takes more talent than say Mortal Kombat or . You can't say that I am overkilling with that special move in pong. With pong I don't have to suffer through a poorly made movie loosely based on the game.

Really depends on what level you playing at. I bet you a top Street fighter player/ mortal combat player (I don't think they exsist anymore) will annihalte you at pong because they also happen to have incredible hand eye coordination on top of their ability to memorize complex button combos.

Re:This holds true for more than just video games. (1)

MadChicken (36468) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612082)

Yeah I remember this on Commander Keen too, he would turn and shrug his shoulders at you, check his watch, and even sit down and start reading a book!

More recently, I think it's Rayman 3 (on the PS2 at least) where he starts to use his body as a hacky-sack if you dally too long.

Re:This holds true for more than just video games. (1)

RotJ (771744) | more than 10 years ago | (#9625650)

Keen would also moon you if you stood in a specific spot in a specific level.

Re:This holds true for more than just video games. (2, Interesting)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 10 years ago | (#9613314)

"Does anyone remember a video game called, I hate to give my age away by bringing this one up, Jane of the jungle? Not the best game but it had some cool quirks, such as if you didn't do anything for a period of time, jane would start to tap her toe waiting for you, if you still did nothing for about a min, she would look at her watch. It would be nice to see some more interesting things like this happening in games, not that I think they would be better for it, but it would show a level of having fun with the game while creating it."

Most of today's games use that , and it's not only conformed to sidescrollers/platforms only.

It's seen alot in First person shooters too, and i admit it's very funny to see 'myself' spin around my shotty once and awhile ;)

Re:This holds true for more than just video games. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9618422)

Does anyone remember a video game called, I hate to give my age away by bringing this one up, Jane of the jungle?

No, but I vaguely remember a Jill of the Jungle... maybe that's it. Or maybe I'm remembering it wrong.

Re:This holds true for more than just video games. (1)

Carrion Creeper (673888) | more than 10 years ago | (#9620795)

The great part about Jill of the Jungle was the gameplay action. Remember Epic Pinball anyone? While neither of those games was all that spiffy, for whatever reason the feel of the controls was quite nice. This too is often lost on more modern games.

Then again I played an N64 for the first time in at least 6 years the other day. The whole 3d control system on those things sucks!

modern "ports" (3, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 10 years ago | (#9611152)

What I want to see are more modern versions of old games. I don't know to what extent this has been done, but I personally loved Duke 3d, and I would love to play through it on a newer engine.

I'm thinking Tenebrae, only more so. Gameplay pretty close to the same, although levels might be a bit more complex (since it'd actually be fully 3d) -- but mind-blowing graphics.

Basically, what I'm hoping Doom 3 will be. In fact, Valve has promised to port Half-Life to the Source engine -- hope that gives us a souped-up replay of HL.

In other words, it's the opposite of what people usually mean when they say "videogame nostalgia" -- the original, pixellated version, or a new, pixellated sequil, which is only marketable (maybe) because it runs on a mobile device (Metroid Prime on GBA, say).

Has this been done too much? Would there be a market for it? Would people take offense at a modern FF7 with english voice-acting?

Re:modern "ports" (4, Funny)

Man of E (531031) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612396)

I personally loved Duke 3d, and I would love to play through it on a newer engine.

Be careful what you wish for, you might have to wait FOREVER!

Re:modern "ports" (1)

Repton (60818) | more than 10 years ago | (#9615487)

It still gets me that something like Duke 3d is considered an "old game" ... :-/

Re:modern "ports" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9617575)

You should try games like Metroid Zero on the GBA and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes on the GameCube to see how you can "port" a game while re-inventing it at the same time.

The Quaility Quota (4, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9611509)

90% of all games are mediocre or crap.

I'll agree with this statement. Although I will add that the signal to noise ratio on gamestore shelves has gone down in recent years.

The retro gaming phenomenon is more than just simple nostalgia though. The truth of the matter is, today, a random sample of 20 NES/MS/SNES/MegaDrive games, would probobly fare better than a random sample of 20 PS2/GC/XBox titles. It turns out that just 'having' better graphics, more buttons and more music does not a better game make. A lot of recent titles would not hold a candle to the best of 8/16 bit gaming. But that's to be expected. Dispite whatever era a game is made in, the fact that it's good won't change.

Retro gaming is really picking up recently. Perhaps it's due to the availability of emulators, or a ready supply of old SNES cartridges. However I think it sends out a signal that people aren't very impressed with the current lineup of games out there. If customers are willing to seek out 10/15/20 year old titles in preference to your spanking new one, I think that should get some people thinking. Were these game actually better? What made them so? Are people dissatisfied with games whose primary selling point is a Hollywood atmosphere of better graphics and music?

Games in the 80s and early 90s could offer only poor 2D and pretty awful 3D graphics. Their music was shackled to the limitations of MIDI tunes, and even the controllers offered little enough buttons for control. Without having the cushion of cinematography to fall back on, there really was only one place developers could engage the player. In the gameplay. Add most of them made a fair stab at it. Contrast this with *shudder* Gran Turismo or FIFA, whose sole selling point is graphics and snazz.

There will always be great games that shine out through the layers, but I feel the percentage of such games has decreased, simply due to the fact that there are more games being made. The quota of quaility games does not increase linearly with the amount of developers, alas. I just wonder how this will affect the outlook game players have on the industry and games in general.

I suppose it's like the evolution of cinema really. Initially you needed a danm good story and actors for a play/movie to be successful. Although these still help, and the best movies by definition have these, they are not a requirement for movies to make it big time. So I guess it's the same for games in a way.

Re:The Quaility Quota (1)

Spleener12 (587422) | more than 10 years ago | (#9613478)

The truth of the matter is, today, a random sample of 20 NES/MS/SNES/MegaDrive games, would probobly fare better than a random sample of 20 PS2/GC/XBox titles.

That's... not entirely true, I don't think. Just look at the reviews that the NES classic series for the GBA are getting- the only two games that 1up gave 8.0+ reviews to are Super Mario Bros. and Zelda, and SMB only because of its historical significance.

I think that the entire thing with nostalgia is that people tend to remember the good more than the bad. When I think of the SNES era (I was a little too young for the NES era), I think of Secret of Mana and FF3/6 before I think of festering piles of crap like Drakkhen.

And as the NES classic series and other re-releases have proved, even the best games from back then may or may not stand up to the test of time when compared to their sequels. [insertcredit.com] Though as the article I just linked says, those games, despite their relative shittiness today, were required stepping stones for the developers to get to making the great games of today.

In reality, the shitty games of today are probably just as un-fun as the shitty games of yesteryear, and the shit:not shit ratio has probably remained roughly constant as well.

Re:The Quaility Quota (2, Insightful)

Have Blue (616) | more than 10 years ago | (#9613996)

A lot of recent titles would not hold a candle to the best of 8/16 bit gaming.

Obviously. But what about the best recent titles?

I think that Sturgeon's Law has always been in full effect, past and present, and the only reason there appear to be more good games in the past is that the bad ones have been so well forgotten they're hard to find even with research.

Re:The Quaility Quota (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9624769)

Like what? The obligatory Doom 3, Half-Life 2, and DNF when people start talking about good (PC) games? I've noticed people always turn to overhyped unreleased games in an effort to prove that the quality of (PC) games aren't declining...

Re:The Quaility Quota (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 10 years ago | (#9628870)

Time compression is also a factor. Games 1-3 years apart in release seem to get lumped in to our brains as "the good old days". How often does a true classic come around? Zelda is pretty fun, even by todays standard. A link to the past is amazing by even todays standard. And we get a contemporary zelda thats just as fun once every 3-4 years. So "modern" gaming is just as good. Because for every wind walker we must endure a "tomb raider 9: we need more cash".

Personally, the era of "classic gaming" is over rated. Many of the great classics are both a bore and unrelentingly hard. Rygar was good. Pac man was dumb. Gradius was good, centipede was dumb. Break trough(Akranoid) was good, missle command was dumb.

Re:The Quaility Quota (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 10 years ago | (#9628624)

I'll agree with this statement

If you agreed with the statement, how do you explain the rest of your post? The statement that "90% of <insert media here> is crap" applies across time. 90% of games has always been crap, and always will be crap (personally, I'd say it's closer to 95%, but it's always been 95% and always will be 95%).


The truth of the matter is, today, a random sample of 20 NES/MS/SNES/MegaDrive games, would probobly fare better than a random sample of 20 PS2/GC/XBox titles

Doubtful. If the sampling is truly random (ie, you're not picking the old games while wearing your rose-colored glasses), the suckiness of the platforms should average out to about the same. I'll qualify this by saying that a platform needs to hit some number of published titles before it applies, though. For instance, the 3DO and Jaguar had so few games each that a random sampling will give you approximately 100% crap.


If customers are willing to seek out 10/15/20 year old titles in preference to your spanking new one, I think that should get some people thinking.

All this proves is that people who were playing video games 10/15/20 years ago are now old enough to have a healthy amount of disposable income, and want to spend it on childhood nostalgia. It's no different from any other nostalgia, and it doesn't mean that the old items these folks lust after are any better than current items. For example, my dad is nostalgic for a late-60s Stingray Corvette, because that was the car he always wanted when he was growing up and couldn't afford it. Now that he can afford it, he could buy one and satisfy his nostalgia (he won't, because a good condition vette of that vintage will set him back more than he's willing to spend). That doesn't mean that the brand new 2005 C6 Corvette is worse than the Stingray. It just means that my dad is nostalgic for the Stingray.


Add most of them made a fair stab at it. Contrast this with *shudder* Gran Turismo or FIFA, whose sole selling point is graphics and snazz.

Have you actually played any of the Gran Turismo series? (or FIFA, but I haven't played FIFA in years so I'll leave that one alone ...) The major selling point is not the graphics, but the simulation-based gameplay and Pokemon-like "gotta collect 'em all" mentality about cars in the game. The driving physics, while not 100% perfect, are very good (and many times better than even the best driving games from even 10 years ago). So, assuming you're into racing games and want the best gameplay experience possible, would you rather play Pole Position, or Gran Turismo 3? Did you just choose Pole Position because it's a classic and you're nostalgic for it? Did you not choose GT3 because you're biased against new(er) video games?

Re:The Quaility Quota (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 10 years ago | (#9628844)

The truth of the matter is, today, a random sample of 20 NES/MS/SNES/MegaDrive games, would probobly fare better than a random sample of 20 PS2/GC/XBox titles.

There was A LOT of crap for the nes/snes/ms/megadrive. You might have a tough time proving that.

Gamers today are spoiled (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9611655)

I agree with the essential thrust of the argument, although not with the author's means of making his case (there are better arguments to bring up than some obscure Japanese remake).

A lot of gamers just don't really how good we have things today. As far as gaming goes, the "absolute stinker" is all but obsolete. Sure, you get some complete duds from Valusoft and the like (cf. the somethingawful reviews), but when you buy a game today, you are pretty much assured of decent production values, a reasonable length game, decent graphics and a certain degree of gameplay depth. When we talk about "bad" games these days, we generally have titles like "Enter the Matrix" in mind. Mediocre though these are, they are still, to the dispassionate observer, actually better than any "classic" games of their equivalent genre.

So why does nostalgia still sell games and influence opinions? First of all, I think there's the gradual diminution of the "wow" factor. A lot of people who rave about classic games do so on the basis of happy memories of playing that game during childhood. Back then, games were pretty much a new thing and the "wow" factor could be achieved by a game having more than 8 sprites on screen at the same time, or actually managing to scroll smoothly. The "wow" factor basically seemed to die in the mid-late 90s. Doom was mind-blowing... it drove forward graphics and gameplay far beyond anything we'd seen previously (including in Wolf3d). Quake felt like a bit of a step back in terms of gameplay to most of the non-hardcore crowd, but the engine was fairly jaw-dropping. Quake 2 and the first generation of 3d accelerators were impressive, but already, the impact just wasn't the same. The next "milestone" was Quake 3... well... it did have curves. I think a lot of people go back to try classic games in the mistaken belief that they'll be able to recapture the sense of exhileration they used to get when a game really impressed them. Problem is, it just isn't there any more. Our standards have gone to high.

The second and more depressing reason behind ostentatious nostalgia for classic games is one-upmanship. You see this a lot on slashdot. There's a school of though which goes that if you played a game long before it was "big", you are inherantly superior and have some kind of divine right to look down on those who have only played the sequels. Refuse to play anything more recent than Doom? That clearly makes you superior to people who play the Quake series, but inferior to those who refuse to play anything with colour graphics. I often wonder how many gamers got into the Final Fantasy series with VII or X, and then went back and forced themselves to play through IV or VI, so they could join in when their friends started moaning about how it all went downhill from VII onwards, even though they don't actually agree (not that they would admit this).

Classic games *are* important and need to be preserved. Like the old silent movies, they represent the birth of a new medium. However, it's not as if I'd even consider watching a silent movie every day.

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9611805)

The absolute stinker is obsolete? Well, i'd name every FPS game ever made, but I just dislike the genre. But have you played Daikatana? The last Tomb Raider? Your own example Enter the Matrix- I'm sorry, but it stunk as bad as the worst of the old school games. Don't let the flashy graphics fool you. It looks better, but the gameplay is as sucky. Game Length? If it weren't for cutscenes I'd have beaten Xenosaga in a day. Still hugely hit or miss.

I've been doing a lot of retro gaming these days. I recently played the old school FInal Fantasys on an emulator. Loads of fun. I also remember not even finishing FFX because it got so annoying (walking down a street from 1 cutscene to another with no gameplay between).

Then I pulled out the Marios. Super Mario 3, Super Mario World. Damn they were still fun. Mario 64, Super mario Sunshine- eh.

To be fair, I pulled out the Zeldas too. I'd put Ocarina of Time up there. Probably better than the original, on par with Link to the Past. So it is possible, just not easy to beat the old games.

I think the problem with todays games is exactly the fact that their too produced. They put so much into it, that they can't afford to fail. So they stick to the formulas to avoid risk. There's no new ideas to be had in gaming. Or they stick a bunch of sideline crap for you to do to pad out the content (Sunshine is an example of this. Ok, the plots not moving along- lets do random levels until it does. Oh, we have nothing to add here- lets add a 3D jumping puzzle!)

The other problem is that because they're so produced, they feel the need to add every gee whiz feature. Lets face it- most of the games coming out today would be better in 2D. 3D adds to some genres, but definitely not to all of them. Check out the recent Marios for example. Lovely- 3D jumping puzzles. Not the most fun thing even in 2D. Now not only can I fail because I overjump, underjump, or miss my timing, I can also miss to the left, to the right, or because my camera wasn't quite straight and due north wasn't. Oh, or because of the "realistic physics" the surface was too cuved and I slid off. Yeay, I get to start all over again.

Give me the old school Marios. Give me the old school Final Fantasys. Tekken, Soul Caliber? Pah, give me Street Fighter 2 in any of its incarnations. Developers these days have become so woorried about graphics, mmatchhing features, and buzzwords that they've lost the magic. And a lot of people are feeling this, thats why the retro craze is occuring.

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9611925)

Daikatana a complete stinker? Hardly. It was a mediocre game, which was rightly ridiculed because of the hype it had built up and the hype surrounding its release. It wasn't dismal, though. The second and third episodes were quite fun (the weapons weren't so unusable and the level design was a huge improvement over the first episode's). The Tomb Raider games are bland shovelware, blatantly copying the earlier and more successful titles, but if you'd never seen or played the genre before, you'd think the latest title was pretty good. Enter the Matrix got repetative pretty fast, but then, so do 99% of classic games and there was a lot more eye-candy than you get with those. I'd take it over Double Dragon or Final Fight any day. Not played Xenosaga, so can't comment on that.

The "FFX is all cutscenes" argument is pure and simple nonsense; the worst kind of the one-upmanship I talked about in my original comment. The cutscene density is fairly high as you go along the "main plot", but there are huge gaps between a lot of the scenes and there's more stuff to do away from the plot than I've seen in any of the other FF games (well... aside from X-2 and XI). I tried playing the early Mario games again the other month and really couldn't understand what I'd ever seen in them. I was bored after 10 minutes. In fairness, I don't particularly like the newer Mario games either.

If you're complaining about lack of content, classic games are often truly awful. The older Final Fantasies demand you spend much more time fighting the same monsters over and over and there's generally less plot to relieve the monotony. In fact, if you're complaining about a lack of new ideas, you'd also do well to steer clear of the Final Fantasy franchise for use as illustration, given that they completely rework the combat and character mechanics for every game and that FFX had one of the most innovative character-development systems I've seen in an RPG.

Every one of the arguments you use is a typical "l33ter-than-thou" so-called gaming purist cliche.

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9616050)

So, you apparently loove newer games. Thats great, good for you.

I don't. Many others agree with me. At the end of the day, I just have more fun playing FF2 and 3, Super Mario World, Street fighter 2, etc on emulators than I do new games in the genres on my PS2 or gamecube. They're just better games.

Gaming devs should be damned scared of this development. A substantial amountn of their playerbase, hardcore gamers who have been gaming for 20 years or more are just not interested in their new offerings. I remember in the 90s saving every penny I had for a new game. Now that I have money, I rarely buy one- 3 or 4 a year. Thats going to hit them in the pocketbook.

THe games of today just don't have the fun factor of yesterday. Sorry, but its true.

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (1)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 10 years ago | (#9617113)

Daikatana a complete stinker? Hardly.
I've played Daikatana in Co-op mode. Even if it isn't a complete stinker, it is quite close to one.

First off, you need to download and install a 1.2 patch. At the time, the 40MB download prevented many people from retrieveing it - there was not yet software commonly available that allowed resuming downloads, meaning that you had to have a connection running overnight to finish the download - and remember that we haven't exactly reached 56Kbps at this stage. Once you get past the downloading hurdle (or ignore it when you use modern broadband access), you have to wait at least 20 minutes for the patch to complete - sometimes even longer (the patch installer completely rewrites an entire file rather than creating a new one based on some of the contents of the larget one.)

Eventually, my friend created a manual installer of Daikatana - the contents of Daikatana version 1.2 dumped onto the CD. That allowed playing the game.

Now, onto the game itself. Normally, I don't notice the quality of graphics, but this was one of the few games where I got distracted by it. There was a bug in the graphics that gradually corrupted the wall textures within the game - whether it's the game itself or the video card drivers is yet to be determined, but I do suspect that it's the game (especially since its the "odd-man out".)

During the coop campaign, I was left wondering why I am going from one place to another. After killing Medusa, I suddenly enter a place filled with Zombies. After killing the boss within that snow area (whatever he was - can't remember offhand), I'm suddenly in Alcatraz for some reason. While there are cutscenes, they don't get shown in Co-op, and thus the setting distracts from the game itself.

The external animation for players using the Daikatana looks a bit strange as well.

It was a mediocre game, which was rightly ridiculed because of the hype it had built up and the hype surrounding its release. It wasn't dismal, though.
The rule is: Don't hype games unless you are damn sure they will succeed. It's a good short-term tactic, but customers will feel burned by the poor product, and might not return to the next releases by the company (e.g. Deus Ex took a while to catch on becuase people thought it would be just as bad.)

Think about the players that couldn't download the 1.1 or 1.2 patch - for them, the game is dismal since they can't get past the game stopping bugs. The only way to prevent this from happening is to ensure that the product is properly tested. (I've finished some games within 15 hours of play - testing shouldn't take much longer either.)

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (2, Interesting)

YaRness (237159) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612321)

Or they stick a bunch of sideline crap for you to do to pad out the content (Sunshine is an example of this. Ok, the plots not moving along- lets do random levels until it does. Oh, we have nothing to add here- lets add a 3D jumping puzzle!)

if you're making this complaint about super mario sunshine, then you are completely missing the point of the game. the plot is secondary in importance at best. did you play through the original super mario bros. just to finish out the plot?

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9616025)

I played the originals to beat the game. Having to go through the same lvel umpteen times with different objectives removes the feeling of progress. It feels like a level treadmill on an MMO. Its poor game design.

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (2, Insightful)

analog_line (465182) | more than 10 years ago | (#9621494)

Tekken, Soul Caliber? Pah, give me Street Fighter 2 in any of its incarnations.

Excuse me? Are you serious?

I mean yeah, sure, I played the hell out of Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, Samurai Showdown, Fatal Fury, Marvel Vs Capcom, KoF, and all those kinds of games way back when, but for you to seriously claim that Street Fighter 2 and it's old-school clan are anywhere near the quality of Soul Calibur, Tekken, and Virtua Fighter, as straight up fighters, you're deluding yourself.

I mean hey, I don't care if you like them more, but to say that the fancy graphics is all the newer fighters have to seperate them from Street Fighter 2 is ludicrous.

Yes, in some cases the graphics detract from the gameplay. Dead or Alive is the only truly aggregious offender I've run into. Great skill intensive system completely and utterly overshadowed and forgotten about thanks to boobs, boobs, and more boobs bouncing all over the screen. I mean hey, it's cool, but it's a useless distraction when you're trying to play a FIGHTING game. Not a rough sex game, or whatever. Try porn, it's more realistic...sometimes.

However, the other major series, SoulCalibur, Tekken, and Virtua Fighter, the graphics only serve the game. The fighting genre is one of the few where increased complexity is more often than not a better thing, and these games are leaps and bounds more complex than any game that ever bore the name Street Fighter. Yeah, it's harder for the novice to just learn the few moves and go to town, but that doesn't make the game worse. Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, etc, just plain aren't fun enough to be more than a trip down memory lane for me and my friends. We'll drag out the SNES or Genesis, put them in for awhile, reminisce over how we used to sink hundreds upon hundreds of dollars in quarters on these things in the arcades (which is where most of us became friends), and then go back to playing more interesting games.

OK, rant over. I'll get on with my life now.

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9624114)

Nope. Good old SF 2 is just more fun to play. SC's pure weapon style is definitely cool, but there's no challenge to the game. Its a pure button mash. I think I beat it once using only 1 button and the joystick. Tekken just bores me, it adds nothing to the genre but graphics. Virtua Fighter was cool when it hit the arcades, but the controls are just clunky compared to other fighters. Again- nothing to the genre but being 3D. Being one of the first 3D fighters madeit definitely innovative and worth some fame, but place a SF machine next to a virtua fighter machine, and my quarters go to see Ken beat the shit out of M. Bison.

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (4, Insightful)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 10 years ago | (#9613790)

Oh I agree. Haven't seen a "totally awful in every way" game in years.

Recently I went back and played some oldies, some of them held up, some of them didn't. Some games just "work" even if they aren't perfect. And that applies to games of any era.

My Opinions:

It's a rare platform game that works well in 3D. Super Mario 64 doesn't, but the Spyro games did.

3D seems to be working better for adventure games.

RPG's and adventure games age better than other games

1 hit and you're dead shooters not fun: Zanac

Shooter with energy meter and similar gameplay, fun: The Guardian Legend.

Free roaming and exploring helps a game it's why Super Metroid has aged so well. (Still my favorite SNES game)

Hack n' Slash dungeon games never grow old and they have found their true audience on the consoles.

Music is an important part of the game experience. Catchy memorable music can make a good game, great.

Analog sticks are a good thing as are 100% remappable controls.

Final Fantasy VII is the best FF overall, pay no attention to those "the older ones are better" fanboys. However VI, IX, and X are right behind it.

Ports of games are not necessarily bad things. The NES version of Might and Magic: Secret of the Inner Sanctum is an excellent game.

Sequels can be better than the originals. I liked Dark Cloud but hit a brick wall in character advancement and the game became tedius. I was having to spend all my money on water, healing foods and repair powder. I was also having to sell weapon upgrade gems to help pay for stuff. The UI also needed work, with some very small and hard to read fonts. Dark Cloud 2 does not have these problems and is simply a much better game. I've actually told people to ignore the first game and just play the second.

UI is VERY important. If a game is hard to read and or too complex for it's own good it is less fun: Saga Frontier or to a lesser extent Final Fantasy XI

There you have it.

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 10 years ago | (#9614522)

FF VI(3 US) is better than VII. Deeper plot, longer gameplay(we're talking 60 hours first play through.), detailed backgrounds for each character and the sprite based graphics means it looks precisely the same now as it did when it was released.

Try playing back through VII then play through VI. You'll agree. VII was amazing when it was released, but now, well, it just looks ancient and bad and the story isn't any better than any other FF. The can't skip summons are still incredibly annoying as well.

Anyway, I'd rank them: VI, VII, IX, VIII, IV, V.

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 10 years ago | (#9614945)

I'd disagree. FF6 is good... certainly my favorite of the NES/SNES Final Fantasies, but I really don't think it holds a candle to FF6, FFX or FFXI. FF6 didn't take me anything like 60 hours on first playthrough... my final save from that is at 38 hours, and that's with all of the characters obtained and a good few of the sidequests unlocked. I don't have my final FF7 save any more, but I'm pretty sure it was just over 45 hours. My FFX final save from my first playthrough is on 46 hours, and FFX-2 is on 42. I've got about 23 days in-game time in FFXI.

I'd also say that FF7 has the stronger story. FF6 is essentially just a fantasy story - an extremely well done one, by all accounts, but not a great departure from what we've seen elsewhere. FF7's plot really was something different from anything we'd seen in a game before; heavy shades of some of the more surreal anime/manga, such as Akira. I'd also rank FFX's plot higher than FF6's... there's a lot going on in FFX and it has a bit more of a point to it than some of the other games.

Graphically, FF6 looks far more dated than FF7. Most of the sprites are just plain ugly by today's standards. In fact, I'd say FF7's graphics have stood the test of time better than FF8's or FF9's. The fairly minimalist character models have a certain stylistic quality to them and don't look as... erm... "cluttered" as the FF8 or FF9 models.

The FF7 summons really didn't bother me. The only summon that takes more than a couple of seconds is Knights of the Round, and unless you plan on fighting the weapons, you probably won't be seeing much of that. The lengthy summon animations only really started in FF8.

As far as gameplay and mechanics goes, I don't think there's much to choose between FF6 or FF7. They've both got fairly straightforward levelling and combat systems, which don't really give you many options. It's fairly fluid, but ultimately, I'd rather have the better range of choices you get in FFX or FFX-2.

If I had to rank the more recent FF games (leaving FFXI apart, as comparisons there aren't really relevant), I'd probably go: FFX, FF7, FFX-2, FF8, FF6, FF9.

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 10 years ago | (#9615118)

It looks dated, correct, but it didn't have so much of a wow, jaw dropping effect when it came out. VII did. Hence, the difference between how I remember VII looking and how it actually looks to me now is enormous. I still expect to be wowed by it, and I'm not.

When I play back through 6 it's basically the exact same experience I had when I played it the first time. Everything looks and plays precisely like I expect it to. So, in this sense, 6 has aged better imo.

6 was also the transition game. The first one made by the new team, and an abandonment of the old style, which was completed in VII and gone back to in IX.

Oh and I left off X and X-2 because I don't think I can really judge them yet. I played and beat the hell out of X(all sidequests, all ultimate weapons, all spheres for all characters, max everything) in about 35 hours(verdict: It was pretty, but it was also kinda lame, I saw all the twists coming from a mile away). I haven't gotten a chance to play X-2, since my PS2 is fried. I left out Crystal Chronicles and XI because they're not really in the same genre imo, nor have they been around long enough.

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 10 years ago | (#9615266)

I was OK when I last replayed FF6 until I got to the airship. The utterly lame 3d effect and the complete lack of any height on the map completely ruined the visual effect for me.

I'd be staggered if you'd actually beaten everything FFX has to offer in 35 hours game time. The Blitzball alone for Wakka's celestial weapon upgrade can't really be done in less than 20 hours, as you have to win a lot of games. My final save time on my second playthrough, on which I did everything up to and including beating penance (this includes all Monster Arena bosses and the Dark Aeons) is 135 hours. I saw the first of the big plot twists coming, but I kind of think you're expected to... it adds to the tragedy of the situation.

Just for information, FFX-2 is great fun so long as you don't go into it with any expectations based on previous FF games. It's much lighter in tone, very different in structure and pacing and much harder than FFX. FFXI is, in my opinion, by far the best "traditional" MMORPG released to date. Oh, and I really wish I hadn't wasted my money on Crystal Chronicles; as far as I'm concerned, the Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance games do the same thing better.

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (2, Funny)

AltaMannen (568693) | more than 10 years ago | (#9615012)

Oh I agree. Haven't seen a "totally awful in every way" game in years.

Oh yeah? You must have missed this one then... [gamespot.com]

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (1)

Rallion (711805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9621859)

Damn, I was going to link to that.

And I was sure of what it was before I clicked the link, too.

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 10 years ago | (#9628916)

I'd say it's more FF6, FFX, FF7, FF4, FFXI, FFVIII, FFV, FF3, FF2, FF1

Not inclusing FFXI because, common thats not really a FF RPG. That might be nostalgia talking, but FF7 certainly had more flaws then FF6, and at that level you mark down for flaws not up for features (FF7:bad translation, broken plot due to bad translation, unsatisfying ending, easy beyond belief, lack of any emotional attachment to main character no matter how hard I tried, They killed Aeris, You bastards.)

Re:Gamers today are spoiled (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629740)

It's a rare platform game that works well in 3D. Super Mario 64 doesn't, but the Spyro games did.

I will not comment on this -- mostly because enough other people will comment on it for me. I'll just say that I really liked Mario 64....

RPG's and adventure games age better than other games

I'm not sure about this. Granted, there are classic RPGs that I'd play even today (Dragon Warrior/Quest 3, for example), but there are those that sucked as well. And they just don't have opportunity for improvement through practice that classic arcade games have.

1 hit and you're dead shooters not fun: Zanac

I'd have to disagree with this -- ZANAC is just about the best shooter I've seen.

Final Fantasy VII is the best FF overall, pay no attention to those "the older ones are better" fanboys.

I disagree with this, too. The load times seriously wreck FF7 for me, the reduced party cuts down on the strategic richness of the battle system, and it strikes me as the first game in the series where the designers started changing things for the sake of changing them (I wasn't fond of the "materia" system). But I find myself growing away from Final Fantasy games, on the whole, as time passes, and I doubt I could put up with playing through FFIII/VI today, while Dragon Warrior 3's old-school character creation system means you can have a substantively different game every time you play.

Hack n' Slash dungeon games never grow old and they have found their true audience on the consoles.

Mutter mumble mumble Nethack mutter mutter computer-only mumble....

Wow, its an old game, and yet he didn't like it? (3, Insightful)

iainl (136759) | more than 10 years ago | (#9611814)

Firstly, let's not forget that EVERY game gets mixed reviews - Stuart Campbell thinks its still great [excellentcontent.com] , for one.

Secondly, its not nostalgia if you didn't play it first time round.

Thirdly, do people really expect every old game to be good? I merely hope that the ones that were great still are, and that seems a lot to ask sometimes.

But this game was a PS1 title, under 10 years old. Is that even old enough to be 'retro'? Is it considered irredeemably nostalgic to buy a DVD of SE7EN or Heat now?

Hey hey 16k (2, Interesting)

aWalrus (239802) | more than 10 years ago | (#9613345)

Well, the article doesn't present a compelling case or even a decent point, so as to not let this thread go to waste, I suggest you head over to see the hey hey 16k [b3ta.com] song/animation by the b3ta [b3ta.com] crew. It's the best tribute to old gaming nostalgia I've ever seen.

Is this person serious? (2, Funny)

Dizzle (781717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9613819)

This person is, get this, getting nostalgic about nostalgia! That's just absurd!

The truth is (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 10 years ago | (#9617163)

At least 90% of everything is crap.
Nintey percent of music, books, video games, movies, televison, and at least 90% of web pages are totaly crap.
Frankly I like the reto game movment but I find the emulator old game combo to be much more fun than the new twist on old games.
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