Old School vs. New Wave

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Old School vs. New Wave

Two Escapist contributors discuss whether games were better in the 80s or if the future is indeed so bright that we have to wear 3D shades.

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I really cant see it as been bright...for one, I know I cant use it due to my eye problem...

Interesting comments from both sides.

Much like people who love entertainment from Art portraits to movies, they all have their own golden ages then a certain day, everything was "meh" to that point.

I'd argue PS3 did so poorly wasn't because of its capability for graphics or the graphics themselves, but because technology-savvy gamers are smart consumers and didn't want to pay $500 or $600 for the exact same experience as an Xbox 360.

Yeah, it's different from person to person but everyone probably has their 'prime' gaming days, after which video games just aren't the same anymore. While I still love them I know I'm well past mine, as gets much harder to sit down for an extended period of time and enjoy a game anymore. For example, last year I finally got around to playing Shadow of the Colossus, which really blew me away and earned a 10. However, rather than sit down and play through it in a weekend I only played it one boss at a time, every day or two, or more when I got stuck. So what's really a short game took me a almost a month to beat, which I guess actually helped get it a perfect 10 from me.

What I find kind of ironic though that as a more or less 'old school gamer' it's the 'new wave' that seems like casual gaming that the group likes to bash so much. No they aren't games your grandmother would play, but over several generations there has been a continuous trend of streamlining what some may consider boring, tedious, or challenging elements out of games to create something with a much more broad appeal. Some of those various elements were charished by the old school gamers though so what you have now is a sort of professional wrestling-ism of gaming.

I'd also like to point out that people sometimes mistake making progress with creating more wide spread appeal. Take the Fallout series for example. Making the wasteland a huge 3D environment that you can explore every nook and cranny in is progress. Changing the gameplay from isometric turn based combat to FPS action is creating more wide spread appeal. Different game mechanics, both of which have been around for a while and one which obviously sells a lot more. Saying that's progress is like saying Sid Meier could advance his Civilzation series by changing it from a TBS to a RTS.

This brings me back to my youth, I'm not even in my twenties yet, but when I was growing up, I was playing the 'old school' NES, SNES and Genesis, albeit I never got my hands on many older consoles aside from playing the Atari 2600 (i think) this is what I grew up on, and I kinda do miss going to the store, and looking at covers, reading the back and trying to decide on the spot whether or not it might be good. There were some good ones and some bad, but with all the press lately, that mystique and gamble on games is lost and I know I've given up on trying a game simply because I've seen to much of it already, which is my own fault really. That and my dedication and attachment to games have died off since then either, whenever I'm in need of money because it's a bad month, I just sell off my games, with no sentimental attachment, there's been only two games from the PS2 that I've held onto and that's Okami and Bloody Roar 3, other than that I have no sentimentality towards newer games. I may just be getting jaded, but I'll always have a soft spot for 8-bit/16-bit gaming and the memories of growing up on them.

Now this is the kind of article I would like to see alongside the usual articles.

Good show.

stupid idea assuming there can't be greater games made than those existing.

I grew up with NES to start with, and to be honest I still think those are some of the best games ever made (Sorry that New Super Mario Bros BS is not as challenging or as rewarding as the NES Super Mario Bros imo). One thing I liked hearing about in the article was the days of the arcade, I miss that even though I probably played around the time the arcade went under. However some of the games I played in the arcade compared to platform ports suck. For instance I am a big fan of Daytona USA, when I heard that the Saturn would have a port of it I was extatic, (keep in mind I was about 5 or 6). Then I got it for Christmas, and for about a day or two it was fun, but it has never once came close to delivering that true arcade experience. Same with Sega Rally Championship 1995 (Another Saturn title) loved it in the arcade, was alright but not worth it on the Saturn. Now Xbox live and PSN are trying to mimic the nostaliga of playing these games (not Daytona USA or Sega Rally but TMNT '89 and ect). Sure they have the multiplayer and for the most part the arcade to platform ports are the same thing (excluding those made durring the 90's for NES and SNES ect) I can't find any real difference in most of them from their arcade port, but they will never be able to recreate that nostalgia. Futhermore as time has gone on it feels as if I am playing the same game sometimes, I mainly see this in the JRPG games but I have noticed its moving onto First Person Shooters now. For instance Doom 3, yes it was set in the Doom universe but to me it felt like Half Life after awhile I almost started calling the Marine Gordon Freeman. Now I know some people are probably gonna be all "How the hell do you come up with that?" well here is my answer. Lets see your running around a cramped enviroment, (Doom 3 more so than Half Life) A lot of aliens are trying to kill you and appearantly your the only person who can put a stop to this madness by visiting the enemy base and beating the daylights out of those responsible and it all feels the same to me. I could probably make a long list of this seeing as it feels if its becoming a common practice with every game and if you've played one of em you might as well have played them all, in the end I think this advancement in tech has done some damage to the gaming industry as well as helped it. Wow ... I wonder if I just should of put this in rants or something but I think I make a few vaild points here. Either way I feel like the 80's had to be the best time in gaming.

Very nice article. My days of gaming began with the NES and Gameboy, later followed by the C64. The ideal games for me, are the ones that manage it to combine the old charme and spark of originality with the technical possiblities and comfort of todays hardware. Games like Henry Hatsworth, Meteos or Bowser´s Inside Story. (for some reason are all for the DS)

Getting totaly awed by games like Turrican 2 or Super Mario 64 became less and less frequently these days. Last ones might have been Company of Heroes, after Metroid Prime, Operation Flashpoit and MAFIA.

I like the rising indy (and yes, partly casual) games like World of Goo or Peggles. I am impressed by games like Batman: Arkam Asylum, and love to get my ass up to play online some EA Grand Slam Tennis on the Wii with its MotionPlus controls.

I fear, however, somehow that absurd huge impact that games like Call of Duty or Halo have. You know, after almost 50 years of gaming, we end in this run-gun-autoheal-teabag stuff ?

PS: You know what I what to have back ? Some nice battle tank simulation. Can be WW2, Cold War or present day. Why isnt there anything as good as Steel Thunder or M1 Tank Platoon out there anymore ?

Kanima423:
I grew up with NES to start with, and to be honest I still think those are some of the best games ever made (Sorry that New Super Mario Bros BS is not as challenging or as rewarding as the NES Super Mario Bros imo). One thing I liked hearing about in the article was the days of the arcade, I miss that even though I probably played around the time the arcade went under. However some of the games I played in the arcade compared to platform ports suck. For instance I am a big fan of Daytona USA, when I heard that the Saturn would have a port of it I was extatic, (keep in mind I was about 5 or 6). Then I got it for Christmas, and for about a day or two it was fun, but it has never once came close to delivering that true arcade experience. Same with Sega Rally Championship 1995 (Another Saturn title) loved it in the arcade, was alright but not worth it on the Saturn. Now Xbox live and PSN are trying to mimic the nostaliga of playing these games (not Daytona USA or Sega Rally but TMNT '89 and ect). Sure they have the multiplayer and for the most part the arcade to platform ports are the same thing (excluding those made durring the 90's for NES and SNES ect) I can't find any real difference in most of them from their arcade port, but they will never be able to recreate that nostalgia. Futhermore as time has gone on it feels as if I am playing the same game sometimes, I mainly see this in the JRPG games but I have noticed its moving onto First Person Shooters now. For instance Doom 3, yes it was set in the Doom universe but to me it felt like Half Life after awhile I almost started calling the Marine Gordon Freeman. Now I know some people are probably gonna be all "How the hell do you come up with that?" well here is my answer. Lets see your running around a cramped enviroment, (Doom 3 more so than Half Life) A lot of aliens are trying to kill you and appearantly your the only person who can put a stop to this madness by visiting the enemy base and beating the daylights out of those responsible and it all feels the same to me. I could probably make a long list of this seeing as it feels if its becoming a common practice with every game and if you've played one of em you might as well have played them all, in the end I think this advancement in tech has done some damage to the gaming industry as well as helped it. Wow ... I wonder if I just should of put this in rants or something but I think I make a few vaild points here. Either way I feel like the 80's had to be the best time in gaming.

This is going to be a hard act to follow. This would be the point where I'd crack my knuckles if I could do that. Instead, you just get my two cents.

I play both old and new games, and personally, I don't think that people should fight about it as much as they do. In all honesty, games aren't that great. I mean, it's just a bunch of colours dancing around on the screen. It shouldn't really matter whether or not those colours match up to make a pretty image, or an image so basic it's hard to make out what's what.

But that's just graphics. Gameplay is really down to opinion. For example, one of my favourite games of all time is EarthBound. I spend all of my time trying to convince everyone else that it's amazing, but they just don't agree. Fair enough. In the same way, I don't agree that their favourite game is the best either.

At any rate, it's just a game. I don't really have a "Best time" in gaming. I like the original Super Mario Bros just as much as I like the New Super Mario Bros, sure there's a graphical change, but really - they're the same game. In the same way that Doom is the same as Halo. You're just shooting stuff.

But I digest.

Let me make a point, the very core of videogames, the spark of their creation, still exists regardless of the outer appearance. We say games have "evolved" or "aged", which I say is untrue because at their core, they haven't changed at all, now matter how much polish and "new content" you tack onto a game, it will always find it's roots in an older game. Halo was obviously influenced by Marathon, Bioshock had System Shock, and so on. As I've said previously on my various posts, all forms of media draw influence from older material, sure it looks better and works somewhat differently, but it still serves the same purpose the same way a car made in the 1950s and a car made in the 1980s are both still cars regardless of how much innovation has gone into it's design.

Games are better now. Nothing more to say really.

Games are better now IMO. Every game I've played that old and has nostalgic fans creaming their pants has been considerably clunkier and creakier. From Super Castlevania IV to Kirby 64, these games were great for their time, but they're showing their age in terms of gameplay; they're by not stretch of the imagination bad, but they are aged. And aged things don't hold up as well to new shiny stuff.

Granted, there's a lot of crap these days too, and I'd rather take a slightly rusted Rolex from 1985 than a plastic piece of shit from 2009.

On a technical level, of course the new games are going to be better than older games. I'd be pretty frightened if they weren't because THAT would mean that the industry hadn't evolved AT ALL...

Both sides have great things about them though. I wouldn't trade my Modern Warfare or Metal Gear Solid 4 for Super Mario Bros 3 or Sonic the Hedgehog 2. They will all hold equal places. All these games are great in my eyes and that is all that matters to ME.

IF I HAD to choose one, IMHO, I have to say that the older games are better, not just because i'm super nostalgic to them, but they showed more imagination and heart than games today. Back in the day, there weren't established franchises like Halo, Gears, MGS or even Mario (depends on which years you are looking at. He really didn't become a franchise until Super Mario World on the SNES).

Today, we have super high resolution graphics that show off ever screw and piece of metal on a gun in a first person shooter or every blade of grass in an adventure RPG. Also, a lot of things have become stream lined for games like context sensitive actions in games and game lengths that have surpassed the 100 hour mark (Oblivion)...

Back then, we didn't have much to work with. To think that something as indescribable as 4 large pixels could be bombs or a game like The Legend of Zelda, that only lasted a few hours, could be considered an epic adventure.

To me, it all comes down to imagination and today's games just don't seem to have as much imagination as back then. They just don't seem to have the heart of older games. Games became so much more than they were designed to be, going above and beyond the usual 2-3 hour mark, and that still means a lot to older gamers like myself to this very day...

Frankly, if you can't see it from both sides then you really have no business being in a discussion like this one...

sadly, older games are far superior.
the whole "nostalgia for your youth" is kinda bullcrap. i think it's the new trying not to look to embarrassed when he's being scolded in front of his grandpa.

i think it's the whole "big business" behind newer games that's mostly the problem.

old games, however primitive were their engines, are more creative and diverse.
the developers were smaller, the budgets were much smaller, but they somehow managed to get better stuff out of it than today's guys imo.

but i suppose it's another unavoidable side effect of drawing attention. big players, lots of interested parties, etc, and games start getting sabotaged, see Manhunt 2.

older games had much more freedom to include content. see Duke Nukem 3D, Baldur's Gate 1&2, Fallout 1&2, Super Mario 3 & 4,(World,SNES), Metal Slug 6 etc.

those games have enormous amounts of content and they're "stone age" technology, brilliantly put to use and the crpgs and fps were pretty much ratings-free.

most of the mentioned games are designed at today's standards regarding difficulty curves in the main questline,provide a save game, etc, but they've also got extra content, providing more difficulty, a variation on the base gameplay (they create a vertical shooter out of a horizontal one for example), side-quests rewarding you with kick-ass equipment, money, points, whatever, well, they used the same tired and abusively exploited mechanics, created some last-minute setpiece with the last caffeine-sustained shell of a programmer and zombie artist and glued the damn game together.

comparatively, new devs focus on staying "in the safe zone": no controversy scandals, no money for new technology, no hard games so that timmy doesn't feel bad about his 10 year old self when he can't beat the game in one try and realizes that maybe he's got to work on this or that skill, and latest fucking graphics.oh and piracy and drms.

pretty obviously, focusing so much on the aforementioned stuff doesn't leave to much room for thinking about lengthy and at least displaying-some-attempt at a storyline single player campaigns, and hidden bonus levels, and cool side-quests parodying pop-culture icons, etc.
and it's not even difficult, but i guess there're pretty much new main objectives in new game development, and no bonus objectives :)

Money... thats what happened, simply it turned from a qaint little niche market for nerds and geeks, to big business... and brought the suits with it.

Publishers decide what the develeopers will make, sure some developers can present an idea but if its too radical and the accountants and market analysts say its too risky, boom idea is shot down in favour of a more conventional (read: MARKET SAFE) idea.

Indie developers have a lot of radical ideas but not the capital backing, nor the market exposure to present thier games to... and often the indie scene is viewed as just a obscure and wierd part of the market, where mainstream gamers wouldnt understand the games.

Old Skool development - I had this great idea guys, lets add this and that, oh and some huge guns , the gamers will freak when they see this .. it will be a blast.

Modern Development - Analysis indicates that the customers found 'perks' to be fun, add more 'perks' to the sequel and record the customer reaction. Dr Pepper(tm)(R) is on line number 1 , wanting to add some Dr. Pepper (tm)(R) camo guns as DLC. How much should we charge ?

LornMind:
Games are better now IMO. Every game I've played that old and has nostalgic fans creaming their pants has been considerably clunkier and creakier. From Super Castlevania IV to Kirby 64, these games were great for their time, but they're showing their age in terms of gameplay; they're by not stretch of the imagination bad, but they are aged. And aged things don't hold up as well to new shiny stuff.

Granted, there's a lot of crap these days too, and I'd rather take a slightly rusted Rolex from 1985 than a plastic piece of shit from 2009.

Exactly my thoughts.

Plus I didn't realise that the 360 had more innovative and creative games than the PS3. I bought the wrong console, clearly.

I agree with some of what the interviewees said, but I have a couple arguments against it.

I agree that chasing tech-inspired awe is starting to get old. Graphics are so good that it's hard to get any better. What's more real than photorealism? True 3D? We are starting to hit the limits of what we, as humans, can perceive (which is awesome!). At the same time, each leap is getting smaller: never again will we have a leap like moving from the 2.5D graphics of the SNES to the 3D graphics of the N64.

With the "wow" factor of tech innovations tapering off, customers are more interested in other things. The Wii wasn't a hit because of its graphics, but because it had an entirely new way to interact with the system. Maybe it became a gimmick, or maybe it didn't reach its real potential, but I was interested in it as a customer because it was something that hadn't been done before: it was the next big thing.

New game ideas are also a big thing. I jumped all over Braid when it first came out and I loved it. Guitar Hero took off when the franchise first started and Harmonix continued to gain customers when they introduced Rock Band.

Customers aren't necessarily looking for new, fancier graphics, they are just looking for something new. They want the biggest, the best, and the newest. They want something different than they had yesterday. If you can do that with better graphics, great, but you can also do it with new ideas of all kinds: stories, characters, gameplay, mechanics, you name it.

Along the same lines, I think the interest in old games has arisen because new games are starting to lose their innovative edge. Every now and then we get a fun new adventure, like Rock Band, Braid, or Fallout 3, but most of the time we get rehashes of the same game again and again: how many more Halo-like shooters do we need? How many soccer, golf, and hockey games? As each company attempts to perfect their IP and their recipe for success, the "wow" factor disappears because each game becomes that much more like the other.

But why does this make old games interesting? Because what's old is new again. Modern games are nothing like the old classics, and in comparison, the old ones seem new, interesting, and different. When you look at the complex graphics, video, and special effects that go into a modern game, it's hard to imagine that an old 8-bit game with sprites and square waves could be as engaging and gratifying as it was, but they are, proving that a game is more than just the technology that goes into it. The minimalist, often absurdist style that went into those old games stands in stark contrast to the realism of modern games, and this makes them appealing.

It can be hard to see past the bias of nostalgia, but it can also be hard to remember that these classic games are classics because they really were good games. They had interesting stories, characters, and gameplay, and these are elements that don't degrade over time. In fact, their primitive stylings make them attractive because they have become a reflection of a bygone era, the same way that watching an old black-and-white movie brings back some romanticism for a simpler time.

In all of this, I think we have lost something from that era. When technology was limited, developers had to make their games compelling in other ways. The stories, characters, and mechanics all had to be innovative in order to stand out from the rest. Sure, there were lots of games that were yet-another-platformer, but there were also a lot of games that were completely unlike anything before: Dig Dug, Lolo, Bomberman, Donkey Kong, Tetris, Qix, Pipe Dreams, Fire and Ice -- the list is long and the games are varied. In their refinement, modern games have started to converge on specific formulas that work, such as first-person shooters, real-time strategies, and role-playing games, and no longer branch out into entirely different genres (rhythm games being one of the major exceptions). Perhaps we have just discovered all of the genres and mechanics that are possible, but I think we have just stopped trying to find new ones because the current ones have been so successful from a business perspective. After all, the indie guys continue to come up with entirely new ideas.

Overall, there is nothing particularly wrong with new games: they are converging towards perfection in the genres and technologies that they have target for the last decade or more. But at the same time, this perfection has lead to a lack of differentiation between product lines, leaving customers wanting something new and different. And in comparison, old games sure look different, making what was old new again.

Great article, though I don't really think I have anything to add to what the journalists and commentors have already said, except what I find most exciting is the idea that the changing distribution and creation processes make it easier for people with ideas to create interesting games and deliver them to people who want to play them. This allows for more "art" style commentary pieces like "Every Day the Same Dream" or "Today I Die" which will hopefully be able to change the opinions of die-hards like Ebert as to the social utility of interactive media. Anyway, thanks for mentioning "Spy Party," I'll have to keep my eye on that one.

I personally believe that the true Golden Age of games is yet to come, and it will come in the form of "projected reality".

Whenever I hear the debate of the future of videogames my thoughts always wander back to the PS2 ad "PS9", and I can't help but feel the only unrealistic part of it is the date of release.

The Nintendo Wii is treading the fertile ground of this technology already, with Microsoft Natal and Sony Arc/Gem/Move/Glowey Ball "refining the defined" and taking up their own patches. Especially in the case of Natal, entering a truly "frightening" realm in being that no manual input into the system is required, being almost a fully organic entity.

With this in mind the next generational leap will most likely see a step down in our graphics to harness full 3D pseudo environments. This technology will then be refined by the generation following and the chain shall repeat - this has been evidenced in gaming's past and history does have a habit of repeating itself. Which means we're going to have a Virtual Boy and Dreamcast somewhere as well unfortunately.

The mention of the chase of more intelligent narrative and premise I feel is misplaced slightly in this medium. People (I use people in the sense of the collective majority) play games for the simple freedom that they supply within an environment. Clearly we need some control/guidelines as that is what we define our existence on, but I feel games will soon have the story "Save the world" and from beginning to end no one will experience the same adventure. So the evolution of script is required, not the storyboard.

The ability to tell a story in a linear fashion to its best ability will always belong to books and film. Pacing is integral; games give this control to the consumer and the creator cannot possibly cater for each consumer's method of play.

Additionally, the increasing number of individuals within the industry chasing "real life gaming", not least this issue's Jane McGonigal, only helps to back up this prediction - as well as many popular games not treading too far from reality's threshold anyway; the first coming to mind Cooking Mama, Nintendogs.

Don't misinterpret me on this however, this isn't an either/or situation. I still believe the controller will have a place in the future, but it will be this generation's light gun: reserved for a few, and for the games where "jacking in" would really be overkill. Namely Bejewelled.

In conclusion, the best is yet to come, and when it does the entertainment industry will stop dead. This will be the golden era, and this will herald the all encompassing awe.

i think old school was better since all the games seemed new and fresh, while new games are the same thing with a different story and fancy effects

I believe the Gaming landscape is both a more predictable, albeit slightly more interesting, place. Way back when they made pong the thought that the medium they had created would come this far was unlikely if not impossible, but eventually games caught on and if you look at the landscape as it is now it is a more stable and predictable place, sure the franchise milk-pumps are running full throttle but when you look at the early (I mean Atari jaguars and arcades) landscape it was barren and prone to massive shifts in focus, you had so many games using so much crappy technology and just plain sucking that, while most games nowadays are a lot more reliable quality-wise, the previous generations had yet to find a true focus as far as plots and game-play were concerned which led to a lot more experimentation, I'm not saying we should pour money into risky business maneuvers but some amount of experimentation should be had.

I think new-wave is better. You will see that people years from now will be talking about games from this era with the same fondness as, say, Super Mario Bros. 3. It's all nostalgia. Games from our childhood will always be the things we are so fond of, because they would be the games that would introduce us to the medium. This makes them the "freshest" games we have played.

crimsongamer:
i think old school was better since all the games seemed new and fresh, while new games are the same thing with a different story and fancy effects

Not necessarily. The old-wave had tons of shovelware, it's just that the really good stuff (i.e. Sonic, Super Mario Bros., Metroid) is the only stuff that stays in the public conscious. While you see a lot of shovelware around now, mainly great games will be remembered long-term. Also, there are a lot of very original games that were just low key. Okami and MadWorld are good examples of this.

I think gaming peaked from 1998-2001.

kibayasu:
I'd argue PS3 did so poorly wasn't because of its capability for graphics or the graphics themselves, but because technology-savvy gamers are smart consumers and didn't want to pay $500 or $600 for the exact same experience as an Xbox 360.

I don't follow. In fact, I come to the exact opposite conclusion that you do.

The 360 sold well because it was cheaper while being marketed towards college aged people.

The PS3 was marketed as the complete, all in one box, next gen solution.

The tech savy gamer would gravitate towards the PS3 as the tech savy gamer would most likely have a large, HD T.V., and would have a need for a Bluray player. He might have even used it for the now defunkt linux.

The problem is that there aren't that many tech savy gamers out there. The majority of them are as thick as bricks.

I feel that the games of old had better quality than today's generation of gaming. In the golden days, there was no xbox live, no ps network, nothing of the sort. They were the days where you invited your friend over to play Duckhunt, or maybe Mario Kart if you were a baller. The games back then were designed mainly for single player, and because of that, game developers focused a LOT more on plot and gameplay. We see this today in games like Dragon Age and Half-Life 2. These games were designed for a single player purpose, and it is the single-player games that most of the time end up on top, plot and gameplay wise. Sure, nowadays we have the fantastic internet which allows us to play against people from the UK to New Zealand. Because of this, developers have more of a focus on the multiplayer industry, where they can make some extra pocket change by adding on multiplayer content and forcing people to buy the content in order to get the "full gaming experience" out of the game. By focusing more on the multiplayer, it doesn't give games the edge they used to have.

I feel that the golden age of gaming is different for each person I know I started with the sega genesis moved to the n64 to the ps2 so on and so forth. I feel that video games is a evolving thing and will continue to grow and expand into new exciting things. So my point is that while most people have that golden age of gaming sometimes if you go back and play those games they are not as good as we thought they once were for example golden eye for the n46 was a great shooter for its time but now it can not go up against games like Halo or COD. so games is a thing that is always evolving.

Personally I feel that the best days of gaming are past us (even though I feel I missed it). Nothing today compares to the classics which set the guidelines for gaming to begin with. Today it seems that games focus too much on graphics to throw together a decent story and make the game play fun. You usually have to sacrifice between good graphics or game play and I think that story doesn't play the important role every classical gamer is looking for.

My early gaming days were spent playing a few games on my brother's SNES and a used N64.

I don't care what ANYONE says, Link to the past was THE BEST Zelda game, and Super Mario World was THE BEST mario game. imo XD

An intriguing debate. One I feel will not ever have a great resolution. I agree with Tito, giant cage match, with rabid badgers on chains inside the cage.

in my opinion I like games now way way better then back then.

..uh. Yeah. You go and have fun playing Final Fantasy 4. And I'll catch some context-aware animation, fast node-calculations, collision detection worth anything at all, and graphics that don't look like dog sick.

Because I like games, and you just like Nostalgia.

I mean, it's not like there's no way to actually point out as good writing in new games as we had in, say, Fallout and Planescape Torment. Even though games nowadays tend to be shorter. But it's still there, even in the most corporate owned cesspool - exactly like before.

So where does this infatuation with old games as a phenomenon come from? Makes no sense. There were bad games made in droves earlier. Sequels that were nothing but skins on the first version. We also had failed sequels that promised to be better because of better hardware - but nevertheless failed, in their glorious 16 bit graphics.

No, games are not getting worse. They're getting better.

nipsen:
..uh. Yeah. You go and have fun playing Final Fantasy 4. And I'll catch some context-aware animation, fast node-calculations, collision detection worth anything at all, and graphics that don't look like dog sick.

The problem with a lot of new games is that all they are is pretty graphics. When the shiny is all that holds a game together then you don't exactly have a very good game. It's like all this nonsense with Avatar. Was it a good movie? Yes. It was even powerfully delivered. But it's not the best movie of all time like everyone is shrieking. The plotline was wildly generic and the only thing separating it from Disney's Pocahontas was a few billion dollars.

So the potential for games is going up, but it's not going to be fully realized until people stop mistaking shiny for good. It doesn't matter how finely rendered a turd is, it's still a turd. So some of the return to older games isn't just the draw of nostalgia, but the fact that (in SOME) the designers actually compensated for the lousy graphics by making the story itself interesting.

No... no, obviously I agree with that. I'm just saying that.. if I take one of my all time favourites.. Jagged Alliance 2.. that game isn't competing with WipeoutHD or Resonance of Fate for my game-time right now. I played through Fallout 2 a while back because of the writing and the role-playing - that's as good as ever. But I don't have the patience to go through and train my mercenaries for weeks and weeks in Jagged Alliance 2. Loads of the mechanics in that game also were... succeeded, basically, when Silent Storm turned up. That was a better game in every way (minus the panzerklein, perhaps) - not because it had better graphics, but because that game used a 3d engine to do things Sir-tech could only vaguely conceptualise with Jagged Alliance.

..In the same way.. there have been made so many bad games with both horrible graphics, gameplay and writing. Old and new. As if it's something new that a game-maker will create a gimmick, market it well, and do this over and over again. As if. Or that the original game, made with loving care, bombed like a rock, and then was bought up by a larger company that raped the soul out of the source-material. This isn't something that turned up last year.

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