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grbrg

Now and then - what's the difference?

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When playing new games nowadays I realize I''m getting bored pretty soon... And that''s not because the games I try are bad - most get great reviews and high scores. Only extremely well made games are able to capture my attention for a longer period of time. I remember a couple of years back that was not so: I was interested in many new games, played them through and then some time. Maybe that was the amazement of the new technologies that kept me interested and playing, maybe I was just a bit younger. Does anyone feel the same about this? Do only rare, exeptional titles capture you for a long time? If so, what could be the reason for it? Are we all getting used to computer games so that only those rare jewels stand out? Or is it that most games that are released now are just not good enough? ------------------------------ There are only 10 kinds of people: those that understand binary and those that don''t.

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The reason why games are becoming more and more boring is because they''re not different. Ok maybe they have their unique little additions but the key is basing the games idea something unique. I have been noticing there are a few games that are becoming popular becuase they are unique. One of these popular are genres is the new set of nonviolent games. These are fun because they are not the norm. Normal isn''t as fun as the abnormal.

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I'm not sure I agree. On the one hand you have a point - there are just so many games coming out that it's difficult to distinguish between them. On the other hand there was a time when there were so many arcade games, you couldn't even fill a whole gaming hall with them! But they were still fun... or maybe it's just my memory being blurred...

EDIT: Nostalgia... may well be it. Or maybe we expect more of games, now that we are accustomed to higher quality. It's just like with movies, where the sequel is somehow never as good as the original...

------------------------------
There are only 10 kinds of people: those that understand binary and those that don't.

[edited by - grbrg on July 2, 2003 11:14:36 AM]

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I think part of it is that back then, the technology was quickly improving but they didn''t necessarily make it the focus of the game (i.e. a bunch of long cinematic crap just to show off your graphics). Things were more balanced back then, and yet everyone tried to come up with some new element that''d blow your socks off.

Nowadays half the work''s already been done before the game ever gets finished (i.e. using the same engine repeatedly) and people are less willing to try new ideas because they don''t know if they''ll sell, and a game takes a lot more effort to make so experimenting just wastes a lot of time if it doesn''t sell. So we get a lot of copycat games with nothing really new in them, just old stuff changed around a bit.

I recently started replaying FF2 and I really noticed the difference in my thinking. FF2 was the first SNES game we bought (well other than Mario which I''ve never cared much for), so the first time I played it I was like "Oh wow, the pendulums on the clocks move!" Now I play it and I go "Oh wow, can the translation be any worse? Do you call THIS a plot?"

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I had heard of Wing Commander, but finally got my own computer in ''93 and started playing the X-Wing series. It was an awesome game, and I figure I would hav eliked Wing Commander less. Caught up on that momentum, I waited for TIE Fighter to come out. Doom was out too and the technology was advancing in strides every year or so. Descent, Quake, etc. Computers were getting faster, and with 3D mardware acceleration (BTW: I thought, when I tried out my first 3D card with Descent 2 - this isn''t fast enough to make a difference, why bother? And it doesn''t look THAT much better. Pteh.), were finally able to really express what designers wanted.

Now there are so many FPS''s, MMORPG''s, RTS''s, etc. that it''s all flooded, and we find the occasional gems in between. The advertising is a lot more intense, too, and we can''t help but be aware of them (if you visit sites like GameSpot and game forums, that is). My experience with MMORPG''s only deepened the online game relationship.

Enthusiasm for the games in the forums added to it to further saturate the waters.

Remember when you had something cool that you wanted to show to friends? Well, now you just go online and everyone can agree about what is cool without showing it to each other. Times have definitely changed. How that affects the enjoyment of a game, perhaps, depends on the generation. The younger ones haven''t seen the same kinds of changes that the gaming vets have.

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I think that game production is too comercialized in some respects. Deadlines are set and engraved in stone by the publishers and when that day comes no matter how complete the game is, it''s being shipped anyway. If you look back through the history of games, it''s always been the ones that have been under-commercialized that have been the memorable ones. For example, the very first Final Fantasy game was a farewell project that the members of a development team going bankrupt builtto have one "Final" game. This game made from a company going bankrupt turned into one of the most influential game series of all time.

On the other hand, games that are custom-tailored to things already published and commmercialized such as movies or books, may sell well, but never get good reviews, nor are they ever mentioned in places like this forum when people post topics such as "Your all-time favorite game, storyline, battle system, etc." This also often happens with games that are copies of other games. For example, no matter how many clones are made, nothing will replace the tomb-raider series for it''s fans.

Well, that''s what I think about it anyway. Not as many "memorable" games come out anymore because of the commercial aspect now present in the industry more than it ever was. When deadlines are set, features are cut. If you gave a dev team an extra month or two working at a game, I''d say we''d be amazed at the differences in the two versions of the game.

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The media + hype machine people have been talking about tends to give rise to inflated expectations of games. This is not the fault of the games, it''s the fault of the industry and the people who are suckered by it. These high expectations are punctured when we actually play the final product and we get the impression the game isn''t that great, when really it is great but just not as great as we had hoped.

And I don''t think the idea that commercialization of the industry has caused major damage is terribly accurate, it''s just an easy target when someone gets nostalgic feelings. Companies put out tons of horrible games in the 80s and early 90s, which are often golden ages people point to, and they put out tons of good games now.

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quote:
Original post by Dobbs
It''s called nostalgia

Read the above quote. I don''t think older games are any better than newer games. There are some horrible old 2D games and some horribly new 3D games, but there are also a lot of good ones. There are a lot of recent games (Wind Waker, GTA: VC, Morrowind) that I''ve played that I like a lot. Some people also like older games because they are often more difficult. I don''t think any mainstream game in recent history has been as difficult as Contra for example (maybe Megaman Zero)

One of the things that I''ve noticed is when people talk about "the good old days" they are often refer to a few (maybe 10 at the most) games made in a long period (5-10 years.) When people say that newer games are bad they mean very new games, sometimes from the past year, often from just a couple of months ago.

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quote:
Original post by Dobbs
These high expectations are punctured when we actually play the final product and we get the impression the game isn''t that great, when really it is great but just not as great as we had hoped.


A personal view on lowering expectations:
I''ve been suckered by the hype / or my imagination at how much greater a new game can be on two occasions, and would advise people not to get high hopes over games that interest them, and not to follow the gaming previews closely (ie. Half-Life 2). If you have low expectations ie. HL2 will just be a linear shooter with great graphics but not be as good as Half-Life, then it is much more difficult to be let down. It also helps to let you (me) play games with an open mind and see how they are meant to be rather than how you think they are going to be.

(Actually I think HL2 will probably rock, but I tell myself it won''t).

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