Old Skool or New Generation

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Old Skool or New Generation

Postby shelke » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:51 pm

Which one would you prefer?
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Postby ShadowNinjaCat » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:47 pm

Depends on what you're talking about
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Postby Quark » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:05 am

Aha, I thought, as I browsed the forums critically. A topic about old and new gaming. I shall amaze them all with my incredibly professional opinions and arguments. Then I remembered I had homework to do. :wink:

In any case, my first reaction is: Some games have improved with age, others have declined. The RPG genre, for example, once the province of red-eyed geeks who typed cryptic commands into university mainframes, is now an amazing example of gaming's potential for storyline and art. On the other hand, many genres (Racers, FPSs, etc) have, in recent years, dumped gameplay for something visually impressive in an increasingly media-centric world, usually opting for 'realism' which I counter by saying 'We have reality for realism, not games'.



I feel a need to at least point out the chief differences between the older and newer generations.
Obviously there have been the standard graphical increases - more colours, higher polygon counts, anti-aliasing and so on - and one could hardly argue with the fact that newer graphics are better. Nobody likes playing a game where all the people resemble origami cut-out polio victims.

I feel the art style in recent years has changed somewhat: The less serious games tend to have lots of unnecessary eye-candy about them that often makes it nigh on impossible to tell what is actually going on. I have nothing against bright and shiny games, but when the on-screen drama actually impedes gameplay, that's going too far.
Meanwhile, more serious games often include stylish effects that would not look too out of place in a movie production. While I have nothing in particular against these developments, they do seem to be drawing an uncomfortable line between gaming and the rest of the media, and I think it's time more than a few developers understood that they are not the same.

Gameplay has also changed dramatically in almost all areas: Put bluntly, it seems to be getting slower. In the old days of Unreal and Quake, you moved through the level as if you were attached to a pair of plutonium-powered rocket skates, but now in many games you shuffle around at walking pace. Apart from taking the excitement out of things, this also takes its toll on competitive gaming, meaning that it is less based on speed and skill and more upon who can find a good place to camp.*

Newer games are also developing another worrying trend - they're getting easier. In the platformers of old, it was considered perfectly normal that every bug, beast and soldier in the game would suicidally attack you, but now even the most stubborn levels of Super Mario Galaxy will yield to a bit of planning and jumping.
Nothing demonstrates this trend more than the rise of consoles as popular gaming platforms: Because of the thumbstick's obvious disadvantage when aiming at anything smaller than a barn, many new-gen games come out and use outright aimbots. The nerve of it! :roll:

One more favourable thing I have seen in newer generation games is plot and sophistication: Earlier games along the lines of Doom had a very simple plot: Aliens have invaded the base, blah blah blah, kill everything, etc. Whereas nowadays you get games like Dragon Age: Origins, which, I recently heard, contain nine novels' worth of text. This is a nice new development, but developers are occasionally making a fatal mistake: Sacrificing gameplay for storyline. :x


Overall, I am beginning to dislike many new-generation gaming trends and would happily play old school games in their place.



A few favourites:
    Serious Sam (2001)
    Unreal Tournament 2004
    Thief II (2000)
    Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
    Super Mario World (1990)
    Half Life 2 (2004)
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Postby mystmoon » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:41 am

Quark wrote:Newer games are also developing another worrying trend - they're getting easier. In the platformers of old, it was considered perfectly normal that every bug, beast and soldier in the game would suicidally attack you, but now even the most stubborn levels of Super Mario Galaxy will yield to a bit of planning and jumping.

Are you sure you haven't just got used to the way game developers design levels?
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Postby Quark » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:41 pm

Definitely not. Ask any games reviewer - they'll regale you with tales of Mega Man and Serious Sam 8) . Those were the days!
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Postby mystmoon » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:38 am

Ah, otherwise known as those have spawned a million clones.
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Postby Danny B » Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:27 am

First to answer the original question. For myself, it's both at different times. I like playing games such as Fallout 3, Uncharted, FIFA etc., but I also enjoy firing up an emulator and playing Gunstar Heroes, Ultima Underworld, Starion, Fallout & Fallout 2, Elite and so on.

Now, to a point raised earlier. Are modern games easier to complete? Absolutely. But you know what? I think this is a good thing, and here's why...

Way back when, games were driven by a design ethic of "Get 'em to shove more coins into the arcade machine's money slot", which is all well and good when your business model is dependent on getting people to endlessly shove money into a cabinet in a dark, and strangely odd smelling, room. Early games designers had grown up with that ethic as the only thing they'd ever known. However, a game for a home system is something different entirely. They already have your money. Why should you be punished by the game for not having the digital dexterity of a superhero monkey, who's jacked up on amphetamines? I own that content, I paid good money for it. Why shouldn't I be able to complete it and find everything that the game has to offer, tailored to a difficulty level to suit my gaming ability and style?

If I'm watching a film, it doesn't cut off after the first act and ask me to review the film in a media studies dissertation, with an A grade required before I can see act 2. If I'm reading a book, I don't have to read chapter 1, then submit a book report to the author to find out if I'm a "good enough" reader to read chapter 2. Why should a game treat its consumers with contempt if they aren't "skilled" enough? "Can't get past this bit? Hard cheese, bucko! That's your 40 quid down the drain, you imbecile... MWU-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You suck!" That's no way to be treat by something I paid good money for. That's the consumer point of view regarding easier games.

From a business perspective, you have to ask "How much did a brand new game cost for a console or PC 15 years ago, in a standard retail outlet?", the answer being "Between £30 & £50, depending where you shop" Then ask "How much today?", the answer still being "Between £30 & £50, depending where you shop". Inflation has dramatically reduced the value of the money being spent, while new technology has dramatically increased the development costs, but you aren't having to spend a higher number of £'s to get the game. This means developers no longer have to make a game artificially difficult (one shot kills from enemies, jumps only achievable from a two pixel wide "sweet spot", allowing the game to use your button inputs against you and so on), in order to spin out the game to provide an illusion of "Value for money", in terms of time spent playing a game to completion. Now however, because you've paid less for the game, in real terms, than you did 15 years ago, the designers can cease pretending that games should only be enjoyed and fully explored by an elite section of gamers with callouses on thumbs or mouse fingers, and give every customer with a basic experience of gaming the opportunity to see the jaw dropping final battle and closing cut-scene they spent 18 months working 18 hour days to complete.

Contrary to common perception amongst "hardcore gamers", which is the group most reviewers fall into to, games still provide good value for money. A DVD film costs approximately £10 to £15 to buy when newly released and provides, on average, two hours of entertainment, plus re-watches. A newly released game costs somewhere between three and four times that amount, taking on average eight to ten hours to complete, plus re-plays. That's still a fair reflection of the basic economics of the entertainment industry. I invest three to four times the money, to receive a return of three to four times the entertainment.

To argue that games should be harder, is to argue that customers should be punished for not meeting an arbitrarily assigned standard of "worthiness" to see all of the content they purchased. When you can watch a film you don't like, or don't understand, all the way to the end, then view the special features on the DVD; when you can read a book all the way to the last page, even if you haven't got a clue what's going on, why should games designers have the right, or as some hardcore gamers would argue - the obligation, to rip off customers who don't meet said gamers' standards of "worthiness"? The casual gamer paid the same amount of money for the game, so has the same right to see as much of that game as they choose to, just like a hardcore gamer does. While games remain a paid for medium, that standard should always apply. The only time it shouldn't, is if games become something produced and distributed for free. Then, a customer's "worthiness", or otherwise, is something that can be taken into account, since no-one is being charged good money for the privilege of using the product.
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Postby Quark » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:33 pm

I know just where you're coming from here, Danny, and I do understand. Heck, I can remember a few games that made me grind my teeth and it was truly frustrating to be stuck at one point in it without any means of bypassing it.

In my opinion, the problem is indeed that games are now big business. Back when they were the preserve of enthusiasts and hardcore gamers, developers knew what they were doing: Creating challenging games for a hardcore audience. Since it became big business and gaming is now a form of media put alongside television and music, it is now part of the fast lane and as such, all kinds of people are playing games. The consequence is that developers now reduce the difficulty so they can target a larger audience: Everybody!
Personally, I don't see why we can't just have a difficulty setting. I mean, look at how the games of old did that! Quake had an easy setting - which nobody played, of course, because games were still considered a tad nerdy - and the Nightmare difficulty was hidden so people didn't accidentally walk into it! Now, just as it seems the difficulty setting would be most in demand, it's beginning to be phased out.

I have one small gripe with your argument: Empathy. Yes, while it is true that casual gaming had it hard in the old school generation, hardcore gaming is in trouble now. Many of us buy a game, sit down for around six hours, and then have to get up and leave because we've finished it. Sure, if you want you can spend more time searching for pointless collectables, but really, why? And then there's the phasing out of the PC as a gaming platform in place of the more family-friendly, user-serviceable console, despite the PC being years ahead in terms of technology. And what about the aforementioned difficulty? I know gaming is much more widespread nowadays, but surely I can get something that will at least be moderately difficult? Really, you'll only ever find it in online play, which I suppose is why most hardcore gamers specialise in the FPS genre.

Our time is fading, it seems. :(
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Postby John1 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:16 pm

It really depends on what games you like. I mean if for instance you prefer racing games, then I would say the new generation of them are better. There are not many old racing games with the ability to modify your car.

As for shooting games, there are a few old school ones that I like such as the old Metal Gear Solid games.

I also prefer the old sim games than the new ones. You seem to have a lot more fun in the older ones.
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Postby Ashish92 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:15 pm

For me too it's a sort of jumble up.

I prefer newer games for the advanced options they offer while i prefer older games too for their classiness.

Racing games are always going better with new versions however FPS games are still better in the classic age i reckon. Same goes with RTS games which are like old wine :)
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