Why I think retro gaming is better than modern gaming

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CrazyStarlightRedux
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06 Nov 2012, 4:58 pm

NolleProsequi wrote:
Is it wrong for me to find the simple pixelated graphics of yesteryear to be more beautiful than the attempted-realism of recent games? I am forever charmed by games such as Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, Sonic, Bomberman and Super Mario, or indeed any "retro" game. The only 3D games I can tolerate nowadays are Final Fantasy VII through to IX.


I would agree, but I have seen modern stylish 2D AND 3D games pull of beautiful pixel and polygon art.

Look up Wario Land: Shake it, Valkyria Chonicles, Flower, Rayman Origins and probably even Dust: An Elysian Tale (not got that game yet) for examples of 2D and 3D art.

I can't stand the graphics of VII and IX, but I still love IX for what it was.


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06 Nov 2012, 5:58 pm

Rayman Origins and Trine are some wonderful examples of good, old-fashioned gameplay fun (and frustration!) but with modern, beautiful graphics!



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07 Nov 2012, 6:46 pm

Misery wrote:
As somewhat of a retro gamer myself, I agree with you.... to a point.


As your first two points go, obviously it depends on the game, but I actually find that alot of today's games are actually simpler than retro games; I mainly mean console games when I say this. Complexity is not just a matter of what the basic rules and controls of a game is, but has more to do with the game's entire design. Something like, say, the original Ninja Gaiden on the NES, I find to be much deeper and more interesting than, say, CoD or whatever. Alot of games like CoD or Halo or..... well, most of the big-name, bazillion-dollar budget games..... they tend to be trying to be MOVIES more than GAMES. Gameplay areas and levels mostly exist in these games to push you from one "set piece" or cutscene to the next, and since alot of gamers today are, frankly, quite wussy about difficulty, these games tend to feature things like regenerating health or infinite lives or the ability to save/reload ANYWHERE, or other mechanics that prevent the player from ever really losing.

Whereas something like Ninja Gaiden requires you to actually gain enough SKILL and KNOWLEDGE to overcome each of the highly-difficult areas. The game does not hold your hand during any of this: No infinite lives, no regenerating health, no side character talking to you and pointing things out, no magic glowing weakspot on a boss that it would inexplicably wave at you and then sit there for 3 minutes waiting for you to strike (seriously, it's SO bloody stupid when boss fights involve that one). That game had no qualms at all about crushing the hell outta the player. You had to memorize enemy patterns, master difficult jumps, learn boss attacks and how to dodge them, and the best methods for attacking each one, master all the different sub-weapons, master the wallclimbing... and then EXECUTE all of this perfectly, in order to beat the game.


I pretty much agree with all of this. I've played a lot of video games, but I slowed down a lot a couple of years back, because I couldn't find anything I like in modern games. I'm not very familiar with retro-games, as I've mostly played stuff from the 90's, and pretty much only on the PC. afaik modern games are very dumbed down to appeal to much larger audiences, as it is a much larger industry than before (hence all the adverts). The goal of any large gaming company is to make a ton of cash that justifies the development of the title, which usually means regurgitating the same game over and over again, though under different titles. Innovation is not sought after since it is a risky investment (it all works quite well without it apparently).
All this is widely accepted, because the gaming audience is different, and has changed to a more casual gamer type thing. Newer gamers often lack the references others may have (like most of the titles mentioned on this topic), not to mention arcade games - a lot of those gamers have never played on anything older than a ps2 (or ps3?). A complicated type of game has a restricted audience, since most people will not bother to try to adapt to its complexity or to its challenge.
Take the example of some classic rpg's on the PC - Baldur's Gate/Fallout/Planescape Torment. All of them have a complex game world and story, detailed and interesting characters, innovative or very cool design decisions, etc. However, they are harder to play than your average modern fps, as the player must learn how the game world works. I gave a copy of Fallout to a guy who was interested, and he was completely lost, for a good example. If that's unclear, try playing Wasteland as a 7gen gamer. It's extremely confusing to find your way, to understand what you have to do, and how, when you begin...

As far as "skill" in games - that has changed too, like Misery said. Older games, and retro games in particular are a lot more unforgiving than more modern ones. Retro games in particular are very competitive: sure you can play pacman and asteroids, etc. on your own for fun, but ever since they came out, there have been a lot of people intent on getting the highest score possible, even playing for more than 24hours straight. There's more than one movie on that, the one I know of is "High Score", by Jeremy Mack.
After the retro gaming stuff, there's been a huge boost for fps with games like DooM and Quake, and there have been professional tournaments for nearly 20 years now with them. Not to mention RTS like Command & Conquer, Starcraft, DotA or Warcraft 3, which are absolutely huge worldwide nowadays. Very competitive, but to be a good player, one must train seriously for a very long time (Starcraft, for a good example is an extremely hard game to play well, there is a huge difference between a casual gamer and a professional one).
Then again, once more, modern games have been dumbed down in this aspect as well. Newer highly competitive titles are very well targeted for a more casual audience, as the skill required to play is much lower. Two good examples are Quake Live and Starcraft 2 WoL. Quake Live is a much easier game to learn to play decently well in, than the earlier titles in the series. Starcraft 1's main challenge was to be able to control everything with a very restrictive UI - it means the player must develop extremely fast keyboard usage, to be able to use as many hotkeys as possible, in order to be able to multitask efficiently. This speed is measured in APM (actions per minute), which usually offers a good distinction between an amateur and a good player - usually around 30 or 40 for the former, 300-400 for the latter. Starcraft 2 on the other hand, has changed the UI a lot, to make the game much easier, contributing to making the game a lot more popular, but a lot less challenging.

Well, modern games suck in many more ways for me, but I'm not going to rant here about that. I'd say if you want a good game, play any of the ones mentioned in the thread, or some roguelike, like Nethack (I love that thing).

tl;dr : read Misery's post



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07 Nov 2012, 7:44 pm

Konami, to me, were at their best during the late 1980s; it seemed like wherever you went something good came out of them. Contra, Gradius, Castlevania, the like....


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07 Nov 2012, 11:01 pm

1) It's only serious if you want it to be. Or you're playing with jerks.

2) Tetris and Mario are easy to understand. Modern shooters aren't much more complex then quake. If you want to play a game with just two buttons, then your time is better spent with online flash games (though watch out-they've gotten pretty sophisticated too).

3) Mario? Oh right. Mario, the franchise that Nintendo is keeping alive despite it's desperate pleas for oblivion.

Retro games have the benifit of hindsight-Marathon 2, Tiberian Sun and (let's use it again, since we're already talking about it) Mario are classics. It's not that games now aren't as good, it's just that sequels and remakes of them will inevitably fall short. But trying new IP is hard, so we just complain.



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09 Nov 2012, 7:27 pm

Evinceo wrote:
1) It's only serious if you want it to be. Or you're playing with jerks.

2) Tetris and Mario are easy to understand. Modern shooters aren't much more complex then quake. If you want to play a game with just two buttons, then your time is better spent with online flash games (though watch out-they've gotten pretty sophisticated too).

3) Mario? Oh right. Mario, the franchise that Nintendo is keeping alive despite it's desperate pleas for oblivion.

Retro games have the benifit of hindsight-Marathon 2, Tiberian Sun and (let's use it again, since we're already talking about it) Mario are classics. It's not that games now aren't as good, it's just that sequels and remakes of them will inevitably fall short. But trying new IP is hard, so we just complain.


Really? Go take a look at the top rated games on Metacritic or Gamerankings sometime. Primarily consists of stuff from the past 15 years or so since online reviews have gotten big, but you will notice a couple recent games among the top 5. Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the Wii. That is making a strong case for Mario's continued existence as a franchise. Even the 2D throwback 'New Super Mario Bros.' games have been well regarded, though not as highly as the Galaxy games, but still respectable average scores of 89, 87, and 78 and the new one for the Wii U looks great.

No, the old franchise that needs to give up trying, is Sonic. Mario games are still consistently excellent, Sonic has had so many turds over the past 10 years that people's opinion of the franchise has reached an all time low. Even if a talented developer were to make a good Sonic game, everyone would be skeptical of it right off the bat.



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09 Nov 2012, 7:29 pm

Evinceo wrote:
1) It's only serious if you want it to be. Or you're playing with jerks.

2) Tetris and Mario are easy to understand. Modern shooters aren't much more complex then quake. If you want to play a game with just two buttons, then your time is better spent with online flash games (though watch out-they've gotten pretty sophisticated too).

3) Mario? Oh right. Mario, the franchise that Nintendo is keeping alive despite it's desperate pleas for oblivion.

Retro games have the benifit of hindsight-Marathon 2, Tiberian Sun and (let's use it again, since we're already talking about it) Mario are classics. It's not that games now aren't as good, it's just that sequels and remakes of them will inevitably fall short. But trying new IP is hard, so we just complain.


Took the words right outta my mouth. :D


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09 Nov 2012, 9:54 pm

You really see the difficulty in the older games when you play the old arcade games on MAME. Some of the games are far more difficult than your standard release nowadays. Good for serious/competitive gamers who like a challenge, frustrating for the more casual player. I guess I'm a bit of both in that regard.



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11 Nov 2012, 9:02 pm

I do feel a bit old when I think of the NES.....


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12 Nov 2012, 2:19 am

eelektrik wrote:
Evinceo wrote:
words


Really? Go take a look at the top rated games on Metacritic or Gamerankings sometime. Primarily consists of stuff from the past 15 years or so since online reviews have gotten big, but you will notice a couple recent games among the top 5. Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the Wii. That is making a strong case for Mario's continued existence as a franchise. Even the 2D throwback 'New Super Mario Bros.' games have been well regarded, though not as highly as the Galaxy games, but still respectable average scores of 89, 87, and 78 and the new one for the Wii U looks great.

No, the old franchise that needs to give up trying, is Sonic. Mario games are still consistently excellent, Sonic has had so many turds over the past 10 years that people's opinion of the franchise has reached an all time low. Even if a talented developer were to make a good Sonic game, everyone would be skeptical of it right off the bat.


My point isn't that the games aren't good, it's that they're making the same game over and over again. It's a waste of time and talent. I used Mario as the example, but the same obviously applies to any franchise that's trying to be Disney/WB. Sonic is another good example, you're right, but maybe I'm just disgusted with marketing/icon driven franchises in general.



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17 Nov 2012, 7:57 am

The Mario franchise is still refreshing, even after 30 years, I will agree with ya on that count.


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17 Nov 2012, 8:00 pm

One of the things I love about retro gaming is that you can explore older consoles/computers in far more depth than the ones on the High Street.

I just don't see the point in paying £200 for a console and then £40 a time for games that will be worth about £3 in the space of a few years. I'd rather spend £30-£40 (maybe less) on an old system and be able to buy and experience as many games/accessories as I like as opposed to how many I can afford.



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18 Nov 2012, 1:52 am

EnglishInvader wrote:
One of the things I love about retro gaming is that you can explore older consoles/computers in far more depth than the ones on the High Street.

I just don't see the point in paying £200 for a console and then £40 a time for games that will be worth about £3 in the space of a few years. I'd rather spend £30-£40 (maybe less) on an old system and be able to buy and experience as many games/accessories as I like as opposed to how many I can afford.


Thats not always true though, some of the better games go up in price as they become harder to find. Even stuff from the past few years. A new copy of Metroid Prime Trilogy for the Wii starts at $160 new on Amazon right now. This of course is mainly true for games that didn't have as many copies made and sold originally. Stuff like the Halos and Call of Dutys will likely be dirt cheap a decade from now since so many of them were made.

So yeah, there are some games that are worth getting when they come out, and some games that are worth waiting for prices to drop.



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18 Nov 2012, 3:41 am

It depends on what you're looking for, but I will agree that older games were much better for their gameplay and challenge. Games made nowadays are much more focused on graphics, storyline, and sometimes complex menu systems. Despite that, you can't argue with the fact that there were far and away more shitty-ass games back then than there are now.



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19 Nov 2012, 6:57 pm

A lot of games back then were terrible too. We just remember to good ones and the one's that had special meaning to us.

One genre where I would say old trumps new is RTS. The ones where you could sit and think about what to do while appreciating the artwork were great. RTS games are now flashy 3D crap that is based on speed and optimal strategy.

I think FPS, racing and sports games have had more or less the same concept and have benefited from technology.

One thing I think is under-rated is side-scrolling games. Abe's Odyssey was amazing. I think Mario is timeless and Commander Keen was one of the first games I feel in love with.