Crotchety Old Gamers, Unite!

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Crotchety Old Gamers, Unite!

Sean Sands is old and cranky. He's also a devoted PC gamer. This is not a coincidence.

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Who are you kids! Stop bothering me! Get off my lawn! Don't make me call the police!

In all seriousness, I'm not really an Old Fashioned PC gamer, I only ever played The Black Isle RPG's and a few FPS's and RTS's, my parents were never really willing to upgrade the machine fast enough to keep up with trends and my first real "gaming" computer was acquired in between eras and rapidly became obselete.

I'm an old fashioned console gamer from the SNES and Playstation 1 era, despite doing most of my gaming in the PS2 era... but I'm still crochety and cranky gawdemmit!

Does it count if you aren't old, but grew up on old games? I mean, I was playing the original Tetris and Doom when I was a kid on MS-DOS, and I grew up on a Gateway using Windows 95, so I still count myself as an old gamer, even though I'm not old.

I remember back when you could count the number of bits your game had on two hands... those were the days, when our controllers had five buttons or less, when licensed games sucked but it was OK because Spider-Man is awesome, and when game magazines were all about exclamation points at the end of every sentence!!!!!

The SNES is still the greatest system ever, by the way. Replaced my 360 five times. Still got the same SNES, which has been dropped, unintentionally frozen, had a can of coke poured into it, and more, and it still works.

My lawn. Get off it.

WC + MoO. I love you, Sean Sands.

Also, thanks for giving Mount & Blade more props it deserves!

As a 42 year old, Apple II era gamer, I haven't had much of a problem adapting to the console age. I'd probably be better playing FPS games with a mouse, but I'm not sure that everyone else would as well - leaving me just as pwned in online matches.

At the risk of re-hashing a topic that has been beaten to death a million forums over, I'd like to talk a bit about the "Fallout 3 is a shadow of its former self." It certainly isn't a shadow; it's much deeper in some ways, and shallower in others, but I don't believe this has anything to do with the fact that it was implemented on a console. Oblivion was a PC-first (and PC-centric) game, and F3 isn't substantially different from it in terms of depth. For me, the biggest perceived negatives were:

1. Dialogue trees went from being a "chose the wrong response and sections of the plot are closed to you" to "choose from the list of stuff to get the NPC to dump out some info". I can understand how story-centric gamers would see this as a huge negative, but I actually preferred it. The game already takes an extraordinarily long time to play (I'm 60 hours in and maybe halfway through the main quest) - I don't want to miss interesting content because I made some odd dialogue choice.

2. The main quest is pretty linear, and can be accomplished by following HUD reticules, compared to the original one that was more exploratory. But it's not like the first game's quest was hard, and it was basically linear anyway. There was never any uncertainty as what you needed to do next. This is another "streamlining" aspect that is a product of modern game design, not console design. "The Witcher" is seen as old-school and somewhat hardcore, but with its quest logging, it's pretty much the same; you can cruise through the game following waypoints.

3. The biggest issue for me, in terms of challenge, was the way the now allow you access all your inventory, including stimpacks, without any action point hit. This certainly has made combat easy (although combat was never hard in the original games anyway). I'm not sure why they did this. The original game did allow you to do tons of stuff in the inventory screen, but you at least had to pay some action points to get there; it's pretty absurd that you can change your armor, heal yourself completely, and don different stat-boosters with no downtime in the new game. I don't have a big problem with the real-time/turn based mixed mode combat, but I don't see why they made this change.

4. The fact that they use a limited form of auto-balancing to match the enemy difficulty is something I wish they hadn't done. The main casuality of this decision is that there isn't much feeling of fear when encountering some unbeatable badass, or accomplishment when defeating it. Again, I understand the reasons for this (streamlining, like in #1 and #2), but with a game like F3, with so much content, I don't see why they couldn't make certain areas just too threatening at early skill levels so that you were forced to wait until later. With so much to do, there isn't a risk of hitting a dead end (which is the goal of all this streamlining). I miss the fear of running from the big badasses and then coming back later to exact revenge. But this also isn't a console thing; the quintessential console game, the platformer, is based on the idea of uncrossable fire pits & such that can only be unlocked once you unlock or level p some power later in the game. And what could be more console like that "World of Goo"?

What's the point of this long ramble? The issue that consoles have killed the PC-style game is a myth; it's gaming that has moved on, or matured. Even CivRev; as a 42 year old father, when am I going to find the opportunity to carve out 6 hours to play a 4+ person game of Civ 4, let alone organize the group to meet up again if we're not able to finish the game in that time? People demand high-content games, but they get pissy when they make concessions to appeal to a wide range of players. Well, no shit - nobody's going to waste tens of millions of dollars to create a game that sold in the volumes of the original Fallout or Planescape games. If you want depth and avante-garde stuff, you're going to have to settle for low-fi stuff like Dwarf Fortress.

hah i remember installing tie fighter on my windows 3.1 or w/e it was. i was a kid back then, sure, fairly young and all that, but man. i jsut recently started PC gaming again, after leaving it behind for my 360. how i missed thee, PC gaming!

Mouse and keyboard has its magic, true. I just wish it would hurry up and come to my Xbox 360 like all the other games have. I got off the PC treadmill, not because I didn't like the games anymore, but because I didn't like the hardware costs, the troubleshooting, and the overly complex game design.

Welcome back to the party, Mr. Sands. Is someone else finally recognizing that just because PC games don't get the press... or the money... of their console brethren, that doesn't mean PC gaming is 'dying'?

For me, though, it's more a case that the PC has more strategy and tactics oriented empire/nation-building games that I love to play. I love me some TF2, but nothing matches building up my army in Empire Earth and decimating an enemy city.

I'm a fifteen-year-old gamer, but most of my favorite games are from the days of DOS and floppies. So, would it be okay if I called myself an "old gamer," despite my age?

Please?

Hell, one of my "Best Games in the Universe" was ROGUE, with its totally sweet ASCII 'curses' display. I mean, in more advanced versions, you had colors and lines for projectile or magical attacks, but often you just inferred what was going on from the buttons you pressed. What do we have now? Lighting and particle effects, eh? Dayum...

Ah, I still remember many of the old days. When "Tetris" was considered the pinnacle of gaming evolution, squares were abundant and real RPG games were made of text.

I may only be 22 years old, but after the Fall of the Soviet Union, the only games I have played were old, pixel-filled, but with good gameplay and stories.

Heck, I loved them all. From the simplest text-based game, to the most difficult, most interesting and visually stunning games.

Now, the "Era of the Console" is lurking just behind me. Waiting. Ready. One day it shall strike. And there is no chance of survival.

Sean's so old his social security number is 1!

BigBoote66:
If you want depth and avante-garde stuff, you're going to have to settle for low-fi stuff like Dwarf Fortress.

We've been trying to get him to play DF, but I don't think he's taken the bait yet.

Im only 16 yey conider myslef an avid pc gamer. I hate consoles i just hate them and hate what they have done to pc gaming.
Far cry 2 is a prime exmaple, so obvious its been cut back on the make it more console friendly, you cant even lean for christs sake!
Stalker and Crysis are prime examples of why pc gaming is better than consoles
The entire keyboard is need to play those games and i love them for it.
Also there is the entire "buy it build it love it" aspect that you cant have wiht a factory made console.

PC gaming is the way to go. I just wish it had more exclusives to give people a reason to upgrade their computers.

But now adays, PC game developers are slowly crawling over to the dark side. Like Valve.
I wish their games were PC exclusives.

Take heart that for what it's worth, Mr. Sands, you're not alone. My own enduring love affair with PC gaming continues to burn brightly. Consoles have their place, but we are what we are, and once a man has installed a VESA driver, manually set an IRQ and grappled with the complexities of expanded memory managers, he'll never be the same - and he'll never truly be satisfied with mere button-mashing.

;)

Hail friend, well met. Where to go, say you? Where is the new fabled 3D replacement for Myst, or even a Riven I would consider!

Malygris:
Take heart that for what it's worth, Mr. Sands, you're not alone. My own enduring love affair with PC gaming continues to burn brightly. Consoles have their place, but we are what we are, and once a man has installed a VESA driver, manually set an IRQ and grappled with the complexities of expanded memory managers, he'll never be the same - and he'll never truly be satisfied with mere button-mashing.
;)

a:>copy con config.sys

Puts hair on yer chest, it does.

I finally got an Xbox last summer, for the purposes of running XBMC, and Being a longtime MW player, Mechassault was naturally the first game I picked up to play on it. I knew it was going to be lighter, but I had no idea. But Jordan's got the property back now, and a company to develop it, so hopefully we get to see an MW5 ere too long.

General Crespin:

For me, though, it's more a case that the PC has more strategy and tactics oriented empire/nation-building games that I love to play. I love me some TF2, but nothing matches building up my army in Empire Earth and decimating an enemy city.

As I noted in a different thread, I think it comes down to resolution+control. Higher resolution means more detailed information, and more of the map that can be in the window at any time. On the control side, the keyboard totally pwnz your standard two-fisted controller in terms of button count, while on the mouse side of things, your bog standard mouse pad has something like 63 square inches mapped to navigating your high res display, while your standard analog thumbstick has what, one or two square inches? A linear half inch of movement in 63 square inches translates into far more precise movement in the display than a linear half inch does inside of two square inches.

I miss my old Amiga 500 with the hundreds of games i had like Cannon Fodder, Worms and Lemmings. I've been PC Gaming since childhood and i don't intend to give it up.

Okay, you guys took the words outta my mouth... so my mouth has no more words in it...

Anyway, it looks like there are so many Oldschool PC gamers out there, yet the console market is still going strong, despite every effort to make it stop. Not because console gaming is bad, but because it's destroying OUR world of gaming. In the PSX and Dreamcast era, console and PC gaming were two sides of a huge crevice, without a bridge. There were a few ports from here to there, but they inevitably ended up in Jagged Rock Junction. The two crowds had virtually nothing do with the other. The console gamers had the Final Fantasy, Resident Evil and Mario series, and we PC gamers had our C&C, Wizardry and Sierra Adventures. But now, it's a cluster*MEEP* of games, and it becomes harder to distinguish between the two gaming mediums. Console is eating PC alive.

I still play StarCraft, Police Quest and Little Big Adventure, and I will most certainly never play Halo 3.

I like playing Dwarf Fortress.

My lawn, get off it!

I'm only twenty, and I only got my first computer when I was eight years old, and yet, that was sufficient to land me right in the middle of the Windows 95 era. My first computer had MS-DOS 6.0 and Windows 3.1 (and a virus when I first obtained it!), which gave me experience with command prompts which has actually been indispensable over the years.

So, as an old-school PC gamer at heart, my game library is made up of an eclectic mixture of old and new PC games. 2008 was a gaming disappointment for me as much as it was for many of the other old-school gamers, and yet, it didn't need to be that way. 2007 was probably the best year for gaming that I was able to witness in full, with games that might not have been innovative, but damn it, they were fun. Crysis, Call of Duty 4, Half-Life 2: Episode 2 - all of these are among my favourites of 2007. Then, we had games which pushed the boat out to varying degrees, from BioShock to Portal.

Maybe games developers just tired out all of their good concepts in 2007. Pity.

Also. Fallout 3. I can't help but think back to the original games with a greater sense of longing than before, despite Fallout 3 being a competent game in its own right.

Yes 2008 was a bad year. Stalker Clear sky, Farcry 2 both being hotly anticpated but both being crushingly dispointing. Crysis Warhead is an overlooked game. 2007 is by far the best year for me. Crysis, company of heros, Medievil 2, Bioshock, CoD4 and most of all STALKER and Episode 2 being puchased in that year.
And thoughout that i played counter strike unreal tourdement and the oringal half life games. In fact im halfway though another play though of opposing force... so if you odnt mind..

Sean Sands:
Crotchety Old Gamers, Unite!

Sean Sands is old and cranky. He's also a devoted PC gamer. This is not a coincidence.

Malygris:
Take heart that for what it's worth, Mr. Sands, you're not alone. My own enduring love affair with PC gaming continues to burn brightly. Consoles have their place, but we are what we are, and once a man has installed a VESA driver, manually set an IRQ and grappled with the complexities of expanded memory managers, he'll never be the same - and he'll never truly be satisfied with mere button-mashing.

;)

Playbahnosh:

I still play StarCraft, Police Quest and Little Big Adventure, and I will most certainly never play Halo 3.

I play Halo 3. And Gears of War. I really like consoles. Even though I remember when zero insertion force processors were the hot new thing on the block.

My roots are in building my own OoBs in UMS II and organizing task forces in Gary Grigsby's Pacific War. I was disappointed in MOOII because they got rid of the six(?) areas of simultaneous research and the effect of compound interest, and replaced it with a much less complex Civ-style technology tree.

I feel like consoles have finally caught up to the PC--even though UMS II was basically like running an Apple OS on your PC--in terms of what they have to offer. I thought the year 2008 was stellar. Looking forward to 2009, if only to get around to all the great console games from 2008 I didn't get to.

I agree that the link between being "old and cranky" and a "devoted PC gamer" is more than just a coincidence. On the other hand, I'd say that there's no link of causation *between* the two; rather, there's some third, overarching attribute that is sufficient to make one both "old and cranky" AND a "devoted PC gamer."

Not necessary and sufficient, just sufficient--there's a lot of "devoted PC gamer" people like me that must have wound up a "devoted PC gamer" due to some attribute that doesn't also lead to one becoming "old and cranky".

Now bring on the StarCraft 2 and the Halo Wars--let's go 2009! ;-D

BigBoote66:
At the risk of re-hashing a topic that has been beaten to death a million forums over, I'd like to talk a bit about the "Fallout 3 is a shadow of its former self." It certainly isn't a shadow; it's much deeper in some ways, and shallower in others, but I don't believe this has anything to do with the fact that it was implemented on a console. Oblivion was a PC-first (and PC-centric) game, and F3 isn't substantially different from it in terms of depth. For me, the biggest perceived negatives were:

1. Dialogue trees went from being a "chose the wrong response and sections of the plot are closed to you" to "choose from the list of stuff to get the NPC to dump out some info". I can understand how story-centric gamers would see this as a huge negative, but I actually preferred it. The game already takes an extraordinarily long time to play (I'm 60 hours in and maybe halfway through the main quest) - I don't want to miss interesting content because I made some odd dialogue choice.

2. The main quest is pretty linear, and can be accomplished by following HUD reticules, compared to the original one that was more exploratory. But it's not like the first game's quest was hard, and it was basically linear anyway. There was never any uncertainty as what you needed to do next. This is another "streamlining" aspect that is a product of modern game design, not console design. "The Witcher" is seen as old-school and somewhat hardcore, but with its quest logging, it's pretty much the same; you can cruise through the game following waypoints.

1. You don't like choice and consequence. Gtfo. If I insult some prick because he's evil, he's not gonna ask me to blow up a town.

2. Fallout 1 and 2's main quest wasn't "linear", you had 3 objectives in 1, 2 of which are necessary and 2 in the 2nd, 1 of which is necessary. It wasn't "Go here, do this, go here, do this, go here, do this, go here, do this" as FO3's main quest is. You're not a coffee bitch being told where to go and what to do every single time someone needs their back scratched. You're told "We need this, go and find it" and subsequently thrown out of the vault with a 10mm pistol, some ammo and stimpacks.

Oblivion's primary platform was the 360, this is evident in the menu design. Very big buttons, nested lists, 5 items in a menu on screen at once. It was developed so you could sit 5 metres away and be able to read the text. If that doesn't scream "CONSOLE IS OUR PRIMARY PLATFORM" to you, then I don't know what will.

The game is shallow, this is not because of the platform it was developed on, it's because it was made by retarded developers who only know how to do one thing and are only interested in making a game that sells millions. They don't want to polish it. They don't want to expand on the non-combat elements. They want to get it out the door as quick as possible with a massive marketing budget, reap in the first week sales and laugh their way to the bank as you get left holding an unfinished, unpolished turd.

I bought an Xbox360 last year and sold it this year to get a new PC. You can do so much more with a PC anyway and most of the 'good' games on consoles will eventually arrive to PC.

Like stated before, Oblivion was obviously for consoles. Dumbed down a fair bit as well with the fast travel and simple questing. Luckily for Fallout 3 Bethesda actually attempted to make it work well for the PC with the interface though I still say that it didn't need fast travel but at some point in the game you can get a car like F2.

Heh... Before you were a square (and liked it), you were a letter. Everything was a letter. And you liked it.

Seriously, though, I had an Amiga after having a C=64. Though most of the Early windoze years, I had either the Amiga or UN*X of some flavour. It's what I worked with.

I played the occiasional RTS that worked through wine, but that often broke.

Then... to get a really big notebook screen, I got a gaming notebook.

PC gaming isn't dead. Consoles, obviously, negatively affect the gaming culture --- same way TV always has --- by dumbing it down for "consumers". The main difference with PC gaming is that gamers are encouraged to be involved in the creation of content --- like the internet is to TV, PC gaming is to consoles.

Codgo:
I miss my old Amiga 500 with the hundreds of games i had like Cannon Fodder, Worms and Lemmings. I've been PC Gaming since childhood and i don't intend to give it up.

Another "old fart" and Amiga owner here. I miss Shadow of the Beast and those other great Psygnosis games. I miss Populous and Elite!

My first console was the Pong game. Hockey on it was intense! I've never owned a Xbox or Playstation, and probably never will, not unless PC gaming dies entirely. Right now I'm looking to go wireless so I can sit on that couch, and use my big ole' HDTV instead of the smaller Samsung flatscreen.

The oldest and most kludgy game I can remember playing was a version of Star Trek (at school) where you crawled from sector to sector fighting Klingon warships, and docking with space stations. You had to calculate the exact angle to fire your phasers and torpedos. It wasn't played on a monitor, but by printer, which had to print out a new page every time you and the enemy changed spatial position. The modem was one of those big honkers that you plugged the entire handset into.

I'm going to assert my geezer cred by saying that I once had to flounder around dozens of used computer stores to try to find a replacement hard disc compatible with an MFM drive controller. Never did really get that PC back on its feet... so my Broderbund's Ancient Art of War (in glorious monochrome!) became lost to me, alas, because it was unplayable on a CPU with a clock rate higher than 4MHz no matter how I fiddled with specialised system boot discs.

That being said, I've transitioned to console gaming fairly recently and don't regret a thing. I've played the old games, I remember many of them with fondness, but I don't forget the turkeys and I don't pretend that there was some golden age in days of yore. Studios were idiots back then too, at no greater a rate than today; and I don't see any inherent merit of mouse-and-keyboard that always trumps other input devices in all genres of play. The play's the thing, and that's just as present in modern games as it was in the past.

I think the major "problem" in the gaming industry is that we are geezers now, and we're not experiencing games "from scratch" as we did back then. As noted by SF fan/critic Peter Graham, "[t]he Golden Age of Science Fiction is twelve." Games can't make the same first impressions on us doddering elders as they did in our more callow years.

To crib from the Bard, the fault lies not in our games but in ourselves.

-- Steve

Let me preface my comment with saying that I was born and raised a PC gamer. I first started playing text based adventures on my dad's apple IIc, then graduated to his Mac Plus. My first console was my Genesis in 1991 when Sonic first came out (to think its been over 12 years since a good sonic game. Another discussion).

Through the years I always played both consoles and PC games. You couldn't get Monkey Island on SNES and you couldn't get Gunstar Heroes on a PC. Why can't someone enjoy both? There are good experiences to be had all around.

Yes Bethesda made an arguable mistake "dumbing down" Fallout and Elderscrolls for Xbox. I still enjoyed both games. Anyone who says PC gaming is dead, however, obviously has never heard of Blizzard, Maxis (Firaxis now maybe?), or Valve. There are still a lot of us PC gamers out there spending record amounts of money on A+ tens of millions of dollars in budget PC games. The only thing is it will never re-eclipse the market of console games.

P.S. I'm really hoping for Dungeon Keeper 3 someday =) One of my favorite and most underated PC franchises out there.

zBeeble:
Heh... Before you were a square (and liked it), you were a letter. Everything was a letter. And you liked it.

Seriously, though, I had an Amiga after having a C=64. Though most of the Early windoze years, I had either the Amiga or UN*X of some flavour. It's what I worked with.

I played the occiasional RTS that worked through wine, but that often broke.

Then... to get a really big notebook screen, I got a gaming notebook.

PC gaming isn't dead. Consoles, obviously, negatively affect the gaming culture --- same way TV always has --- by dumbing it down for "consumers". The main difference with PC gaming is that gamers are encouraged to be involved in the creation of content --- like the internet is to TV, PC gaming is to consoles.

Your last line is great.

Erm, I would suggest Unreal Tournament 3 if you were to get a console game, since that has mouse support.

I can see what he means by that. I have a huge love of old games, I still genuinely enjoy DOOM (albeit enhanced with Risen3D) and PC FPS gaming is so much more accurate due to your mouse control, which is why I'm wanting a FragFX controller for my PS3. Once I get my old dusty PC upgraded I'm gonna become a more PC-oriented gamer (first stop, Orange Box, then the id Super-Pack from Steam)

I started my gaming career on Sega Mega Drive, but I fell in love with a PC the first time I set eyes on the pixelated graphics of Nightmare Creatures and Grand Theft Auto 1. Then it struck. StarCraft. And I was glued to the computer for 11 years. I am disappointed with the amount of attention console games receive and the poor quality of ports. I felt this coming since the first Lord of the Rings RPG which had such a great stench of the console it was meant for, I had to kick myself to finish it and not be sorry for the money I gave on it.

Anniko:
You don't like choice and consequence. Gtfo... you get left holding an unfinished, unpolished turd.

Oh, you're one of those "glittering gems of hatred" guys I've heard so much about.

For the record, I can't stand dialogue trees. No PC RPG has ever done them right - in fact, no CRPG on any platform has ever done them right. The absolute best CRPG (take your pick) is, in fact, much worse than the very worst paper & pen RPG experience I've ever had. Dialogue trees suck because they never contain what I'd really want to say, and when they do, half the time the response of the NPC isn't what I would have intended (e.g., they treat a response I would have considered sarcastic as sincere or vice versa - something that would be clear were I able to phrase something myself or in person). The result is that I'm brought out of the game - instead of feeling like I'm some heroic whatever involved in ticklish negotiations, I feel like I'm playing "guess which phrase the developer was thinking of" in some poorly implemented text adventure.

I felt that the "vague" dialogue trees of Mass Effect were a step in the right direction, until I quickly discovered that they were almost all for show - NPC reactions almost always proceeded apace regardless of your choices. Nothing's worse than playing a game with broken controls, and until someone can come up with a dialogue system that understands real language and doesn't force me pick pre-canned responses from a list, I'll consider RPG dialogue a broken control. Broken controls do not equal "choice & consequence"; action within the game's simulation engine (e.g., shooting someone or trying to pick their pocket) are choice & consequence enough for me.

Of course, that's just me; I understand that other gamers exist that like exploring dialogue trees - more power to you. But just because a game doesn't conform to your narrow requirements doesn't make it a turd, unpolished or not.

BigBoote66:
Horseshit about a completely different topic.

We were discussing certain sections of the game being blocked off because you chose a response that pisses an NPC off. We were not discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the dialogue tree system. Until a customizable AI with variable personalities, word recognition/response construction is developed, it's the best we'll get.

Choice and consequence refers to something like "I think I'll insult this guy" and, apart from him denying you his services, he spreads the word to his associates that they shouldn't do business with you. You made the choice and you suffer the consequence. Regardless of whether you think the dialogue tree system is a "broken control" system (how can it be broken when it works exactly as intended?), you can't argue that being denied sections of the game because you're a dick to the characters you meet isn't "choice and consequence".

Having characters react to sarcasm/sincerity differently means those characters aren't just cardboard cutout helpers.

http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Fallout_3_bugs shows that the game is unpolished. That it butchers the gameplay design and setting shows that it's a bad game in the series.

Argue the point, don't insult me.

BigBoote66:

Anniko:
You don't like choice and consequence. Gtfo... you get left holding an unfinished, unpolished turd.

Oh, you're one of those "glittering gems of hatred" guys I've heard so much about.

For the record, I can't stand dialogue trees. No PC RPG has ever done them right - in fact, no CRPG on any platform has ever done them right. The absolute best CRPG (take your pick) is, in fact, much worse than the very worst paper & pen RPG experience I've ever had. Dialogue trees suck because they never contain what I'd really want to say.
I felt that the "vague" dialogue trees of Mass Effect were a step in the right direction, until I quickly discovered that they were almost all for show - NPC reactions almost always proceeded apace regardless of your choices.

Better to have a dialogue tree than to have wiki-dialogue. The only game that ever got away with minimalist dialogue in an open-world was Morrowind... because there was so bloody much of the world.
Also, some series and games, notably the original Fallout games and early Bioware (Pre-Neverwinter Nights) and Arcanum games did dialogue really well. Yes, not every option is covered, normally "evil" dialogue options forcing people to end up being Evil-Stupid but other than that the dialogue was done really well.

The original Baldur's gate allowed me to say:

"Ok, I've just about had my FILL of riddle asking, quest assigning, insult throwing, pun hurling, hostage taking, iron mongering, smart arsed fools, freaks, and felons that continually test my will, mettle, strength, intelligence, and most of all, patience! If you've got a straight answer ANYWHERE in that bent little head of yours, I want to hear it pretty damn quick or I'm going to take a large blunt object roughly the size of Elminster AND his hat, and stuff it lengthwise into a crevice of your being so seldom seen that even the denizens of the nine hells themselves wouldn't touch it with a twenty-foot rusty halberd! Have I MADE myself perfectly CLEAR?!"

Which was pretty much exactly what I would have said... although maybe a bit longer. I actually didn't like Mass Effect's dialogue as much as earlier games. Whereas in say... Arcanum if I chose to say (Paraphrasing here):

"So I am supposed to be the re-incarnation of some 2000 year dead elf?"

That is what I would say.

In Mass Effect if chose say... "Calm down"

I might say:

"Right, everyone calm down or I shoot!"

Also, dialogue in newer games seems to be something that you do to make the killing bits make sense or maybe to choose a from a list of fairly black and white "choices and concequences", compare this to say, Baldur's Gate 2 where your dialogue throughout the game often determines how NPCs react to you, this is especially true of party-members. For example, you come across an old man who needs your help you get a dialogue tree that allows you to do anything from; murder or blackmail him to help him for no physical reward. This not only affects how the NPC in question reacts to you but other NPCs including your party members will react to it, from congratulating you on being ruthless (Korgan) to leaving in a huff and possibly taking half your party with you (Mazzy).

Of course, that's just me; I understand that other gamers exist that like exploring dialogue trees - more power to you. But just because a game doesn't conform to your narrow requirements doesn't make it a turd, unpolished or not.

It's not that we don't think other games are rubbish, its that we haven't had any games like the ones we used to enjoy for years. Coupled with that we get alot of new games that claim to be like the ones we used to like... and are not, they lie, they pretend to be what we used to like but are in fact not it at all.

Quintin Stone:
Sean's so old his social security number is 1!

Isn't that his telephone number as well?

I would consider myself an older gamer, having grown up with Apple II's and the idea that OS2 Warp would be the next big thing. I fondly remember plugging the Police Quest floppy into the drive and typing my little fingers away. Incedently, that's how I learned to key.

With age, I'm actually finding myself playing fewer and fewer games, with less and less enthusiasm. I don't know if it's the fact that I've been gaming for close to 20 years, going back to college, or just plain old growing up, but games have lost their luster to me. Don't get me wrong, I love talking about, reading about, and learning about games, I just don't find myself with the need to play them. Is that strange?

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