Galaga Guy: Modern Games Aren't Timeless

Galaga Guy: Modern Games Aren't Timeless

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A developer for Galaga Legions has revealed the coveted secret of how old-school arcade games remain entertaining while modern games quickly fade: unique gameplay that can't be touched by technological advancements.

Namco Bandai's been on a nostaglic gaming binge as of late, with Tadashi Iguchi leading the company's 80s remakes effort. His arcade love affair led him into the position of directing the company's recreations of Pac-Man and Galaga for the Xbox Live Arcade.

His games, Pac-Man: Championship Edition and the upcoming Galaga Legions, are meant to be "reconstructions" of the old formulas, with the Galaga game more of a "mutation" than Pac-Man: CE due to Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani's oversight on their first project.

"95% of our new ideas that were turned in were rejected by Mr. Iwatani! For the only one that passed, the idea of the 'Map Clear Rule' to play the game non-stop, we really negotiated with him and made him understand what we would like to achieve," explained Iguchi.

Trying to improve franchises that have already influenced nearly every game in the past few decades is a task Iguchi and his team took very seriously.

"We first divided each element of the original game, talked it over with the team and changed the parts so that it fits modern gameplay conditions, then we put it back together," he said. "We used the same method for Pac-Man C.E.. We didn't try to make only the looks or visual effects better, but since we remade it from the ground up, I think people recognize that it's different from more traditional remakes."

Iguchi sadly doesn't believe that future developers will be able to update modern games in the future.

"I think more than half of the games you see today with huge budgets and such a 'realistic' focus will be either stale or forgotten in 20 years," he said. "On the other hand, the masterpieces of the 80's will definitely be enjoyed far into the future. The reason for this is simple - many of these classic titles have unique and fascinating mechanics that can't be diminished by the advancement of technology."

Source: MTV Multiplayer

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It's rather easy and unfair to say the first games left a greater mark on the industry than recent titles.
Back then, there was nothing, so it wasn't hard to stick out.
Galaga was fine, a remix may be entertaining, but thank you, tastes change as well.
He may want to look out and see how many people do actually know what Galaga is.

I agree with Arbre here, back when Galaga and Pac-man and Pong were released it was new and exiting and interesting. They were the first of their kind, and they could easily be original without working to hard.

Nowadays, games struggle just to be in the limelight since the industry has grown. It's definately not the same as it was 30 or 40 years ago.

That said, I hate them for making the remake exclusively to the 360 as Galaga is my absolute favorite retro game.

I don't know, I'm pretty sure some of today's game will be classics some day.

Agreed. Halo for sure will be remembered as a great game and so will others.

apparently firing lasers at pixelated enemy ships, gaining power ups, and shooting lasers at the occasional larger pixelated space ships are unique and fascinating mechanics. It's a shame we don't have games with similar or more unique mechanics these days...

Lvl 64 Klutz:
apparently firing lasers at pixelated enemy ships, gaining power ups, and shooting lasers at the occasional larger pixelated space ships are unique and fascinating mechanics. It's a shame we don't have games with similar or more unique mechanics these days...

The problem is that those mechanics are lost nowadays. You've got to be able to load the game, jump into the ship, find the enemy, sneak up on it, etc.

Older games will always be remembered and playable because they of simplicity IMO. Hence why card games are so popular and have been for so long.

I think he's wrong. The older games are not intrinsically more timeless. It's just old man syndrome, yelling about how the good old days were so much better. I don't have any impulse to go back and play Galaga.

Nordstrom:
I think he's wrong. The older games are not intrinsically more timeless. It's just old man syndrome, yelling about how the good old days were so much better. I don't have any impulse to go back and play Galaga.

Yet oddly enough I got into the Good old Games early beta and the urge to play classics hit me so fast like the truck hitting Wile E. Cyote that frantically went through my house to find my old joystick to play Descent only to find that the joystick was a SERIAL port controller.

Today's games really have players thinking and acting in various ways past destroy all monsters or survive from point a to point b. While they are still there the amount of obstacles and gameplay mechanics do not make this so quick and easy to pick up yet also be quite merciless.

There will always be a "better" and more "involved" game but classics are known as the originals for a reason. They were trendsetters that stuck out where anyone can take their time and play the game and it was up to the player to determine how long they would be able to play. The lack of an "ending" made it so players had to play until they did not have the endurance anymore reaching "game over". It is with that knowledge that these games are simple yet fun makes them great to play anytime like any card game.

Now if you will excuse me I need to find another joystick so I can pilot my ship in Descent.

Logan Frederick:

Older games will always be remembered and playable because they of simplicity IMO. Hence why card games are so popular and have been for so long.

Get that nail some Advil; I think you hit it right on the head.

Anyone can play these games that are hailed as classics. The controls are simple, the objective is simple, and fun is the designer's imperative. I think that newer games can alienate inexperienced players because of their complexity, especially when pertaining to elements that more experienced gamers take for granted. I couldn't imagine never playing a game before, and then trying to maneuver my way through Metal Gear Solid.

Again, popularity (with more than just the dedicated crowd) tends to determine what is remembered in the future. Realistically though, the oldest generation of gamers is still a pretty young generation. Give it fifty years. Who knows what people will find classic.

I think he's wrong. The older games are not intrinsically more timeless. It's just old man syndrome, yelling about how the good old days were so much better. I don't have any impulse to go back and play Galaga.

On the other hand, I have had the impulse to go back and play Galaga and older games for various reasons. I'm only 19, so there's no reasonable level of nostalgia present, and yet, I've played simulated versions of games from the very birth of computer games, all the way back to 1952's OXO for the Cambridge EDSAC.

It is the very simplicity that Logan Frederick speaks about that gives the more instant gratification which arcade games provide. I've played games on both scales of the spectrum, from the very simple gameplay of Space Invaders and Asteroids, to the extremely realistic Operation Flashpoint, as well, so there's something to the hypothesis at least, if I keep going back to the simple games even when there are new games present for me to play.

Tenmar:
Today's games really have players thinking and acting in various ways past destroy all monsters or survive from point a to point b. While they are still there the amount of obstacles and gameplay mechanics do not make this so quick and easy to pick up yet also be quite merciless.

You mean to look different? Because that's exactly what the famous oldies are about in general, basic survival, from point A to B.
Then you can look for the current games which don't involve much destruction.

Thing being, you cannot have a thousand Bibles and Mein Kampfs.

Iguchi has fond memories... he remembers... his views are obviously going to be biased.
I'd bet that there are designers, these days, making simplistic games for the web or the DS, and don't care much about the Galagas, Defenders and even other Pac Mans.

Oh, besides, if to survive the tides of time, you need to expand your franchise into meaningless territories (Pac Man Golf??)...

Halo will not be remembered as a great game because it did nothing original. Pac-man and Galaga will always be great for nostalgia purposes. I truly find it hard to believe that many 3D games will be looked back on as fondly because game manufacturers constantly go back and tweak their formulas with new games. Take Shadows of the Empire for example... I remembered playing it constantly for the N64 and I recently found it again. It definitely did NOT age well.

Remakes of those games to make them more appropriate for a modern audience. So it's going to run on the havoc engine and be beatable in around an hour then?

Honestly think he's right on the ball there. Only new game that ever sticks out in my head is Neverwinter Nights. Only because it's the poster boy for RP Online gaming. I mean Role playing. Not bash bash, here's $20 dollars so I can continue to Bash.

Selvec:
Remakes of those games to make them more appropriate for a modern audience. So it's going to run on the havoc engine and be beatable in around an hour then?

:eyeroll: And exactly how long is the gameplay for Galaga?

People have to remember that the "classic" games were short; you didn't have 20 hours of continuous gameplay in Xevious, you had maybe an hour or two. It was just really tough to get through that one-two hours in one standing sitting. And for people bitching about today's prices, I'm pretty sure I spent more than $60 on Spy Hunter back in the day one quarter at a time...

-- Steve

There are some titles that I believe are timeless. Pokemon, GTA, The Sims, Halo, Morrowind/Oblivion.. These are some of the games that we will look upon when we're old and say "back then, video games were good." Why? Because they are simple pleasures.

babyblues:
There are some titles that I believe are timeless. Pokemon, GTA, The Sims, Halo, Morrowind/Oblivion..

Definitely! When I was younger and played the old arcade games, I couldn't help but think to myself "This would be so much better if you could do this or that". There's a reason no one really makes games like these anymore except for nostalgia's sake or flash.

You know what modern games are lacking when compared to arcade classics like Galaga? Arcades. It might be fun to kill a few minutes playing Galaga Legions, mostly just to see what it's like, but I can't see spending much time on it and I sure as hell wouldn't pay for it. On the other hand, I'd happily kill any three of you for the opportunity to go back 20 years and spend a night in a crowded, noisy, smoky arcade.

Malygris:
You know what modern games are lacking when compared to arcade classics like Galaga? Arcades. It might be fun to kill a few minutes playing Galaga Legions, mostly just to see what it's like, but I can't see spending much time on it and I sure as hell wouldn't pay for it. On the other hand, I'd happily kill any three of you for the opportunity to go back 20 years and spend a night in a crowded, noisy, smoky arcade.

I wonder if that social aspect is what's keeping gaming cafes so popular in the East, if this is taking over from the pachinko parlour. Pity that the equivalent here in North America isn't taking off; it'd be a hoot to get together with friends and play Aegis Wing or Bionic Commando arcade-style like the old days.

*scratches chin* Hmm... LAN-fodder...

-- Steve

Honestly, my brother and me were thinking of opening an Arcade over here in the states, get modern games in with the classics. I think it would make a decent amount of money considering how many people actually yearn for that experience again. However, just starting up a business like that is a daunting task...*starts saving up and taking out loans*

On the topic at hand though, sure those games were great back then, but like someone has said before, it was all about standing around in the arcades playing those games. I can't really play those arcade games on a home console because without a few people watching me, I feel as if my time is being wasted, sure its fun, but only for 10-15minutes or so in my opinion.

I don't really think those old games are timeless... Maybe to people who grew up on them.

Most gamers these days wouldn't be able to play Galaga or Space Invaders or Frogger or Pacman (etc) for longer than 10 or 20 minutes without being bored. They are the kind of games you play every now and then when you have nothing better to do to kill time.

Malygris:
You know what modern games are lacking when compared to arcade classics like Galaga? Arcades. It might be fun to kill a few minutes playing Galaga Legions, mostly just to see what it's like, but I can't see spending much time on it and I sure as hell wouldn't pay for it. On the other hand, I'd happily kill any three of you for the opportunity to go back 20 years and spend a night in a crowded, noisy, smoky arcade.

Who's going to move his fat and spend abusive prices for a few plays though?
There's Internet now. :P

Zippy1313:
Halo will not be remembered as a great game because it did nothing original. Pac-man and Galaga will always be great for nostalgia purposes. I truly find it hard to believe that many 3D games will be looked back on as fondly because game manufacturers constantly go back and tweak their formulas with new games. Take Shadows of the Empire for example... I remembered playing it constantly for the N64 and I recently found it again. It definitely did NOT age well.

But....it is HALO!!! Nothing is greater.

Andy Chalk:
You know what modern games are lacking when compared to arcade classics like Galaga? Arcades. It might be fun to kill a few minutes playing Galaga Legions, mostly just to see what it's like, but I can't see spending much time on it and I sure as hell wouldn't pay for it. On the other hand, I'd happily kill any three of you for the opportunity to go back 20 years and spend a night in a crowded, noisy, smoky arcade.

i agree though maybe not 20 yes, just 15, get down on some of those arcade beat em ups, gaming's first 'PuGs' if you will, the fighting over who gets who ... and being in range to put some one on their ass for being a dick.

 

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