Opinion: Gaming is Better 5th Gen and on

SkywardCrowbar

Twintelle's loyal Husbando
#1
So, I've been playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for the past about 2 months. It's obviously considered one of the greatest games of all time, so naturally as a huge Zelda fan I was extremely excited to start playing it.

However, once I got past about the 2nd Temple, I started to notice something that has plagued my endeavors into gaming from the 8 & 16 bit eras; the gameplay is simply not very satisfying and the game is far too cryptic as far as letting the player know what to do!

There's a pair of complaints there so I'll break them down one at a time.

First off, the gameplay. There's elements of gen 4 & 5 gaming that are very satisfying from a gameplay perspective. Landing a perfect jump in Super Mario Bros., blasting enemies with the Master Sword from afar in A Link to the Past, doing anything successfully in a Mega Man game... However, I'm struck by the feeling that the more I play gen 4 & 5 games, the more I notice serious difficulty being injected into the games based on the controls. For instance: A Link to the Past in the Swamp Temple. The swimming controls are as the AVGN would put it, ASSY. There's routinely enemies in the water which you must navigate via swimming, and the only way back up onto dry land is via climbing ladders that are hanging into the water. I found it supremely frustrating trying to climb the ladders from the water while dodging enemies. The level of precision required to get on the ladders is absurd and doesn't add anything to the gameplay experience, it only annoys.

There's numerous other issues I've encountered along these lines in gen 4 & 5 games. That's not to say that more modern games don't ever have control issues; they can. It is simply to say that these issues occur with greater frequency in pre gen 6 games.

Now, onto the second problem, games being overly cryptic!

I'm fine with having to solve puzzles in games. I'm a big Zelda fan, I love figuring out what to do to progress in a dungeon or in the overworld in order to obtain a piece of heart. I'm a big Resident Evil fan as well, and those games have some notoriously obtuse puzzles. However, in pre gen 6 games, way too often the game simply doesn't give the player a sufficient enough clue as to what to do next. A Link to the Past provides a few examples of that, and other titles such as Castlevania & Metroid follow suit.

The combination of these two issues, clunky gameplay and cryptic instructions, lead to a deficit in the amount of fun that can be had in a lot of pre gen 6 games. Even in elite titles such as A Link to the Past. It is my contention that gaming has not only changed a lot since gen 5, but it has also improved at a fundamental level.

An important note in closing is that my first system of my own was the N64. Perhaps I just don't have the nostalgia value associated with gen 4 and 5 games in order to overlook some of these issues. I do notice something interesting happening when I play A Link to the Past however. I call it "Instant Nostalgia." After being very frustrated and not having a particularly good time clearing a Temple, about an hour after I'm done playing, I will look back on my experience with much more rose tinted lenses on than when I was actually playing it. I imagine that this sensation is only amplified for those who played the games longer ago than I.
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#2
I agree with your example of A Link to the Past (and A Link Between Worlds is evidence that we can do better now in terms of controls), but then I would bring up Super Metroid, and how it still has possibly the most rewarding controls of any Metroid game so far, if not of all 2D games ever made. In terms of other aspects of game design, well it's more complicated. The average developer just hasn't done remarkably in the present or the past, so I think you have to look at top developers to make a case for game design being better or worse now than in the past.

In that case, A Link Between Worlds is an example of Nintendo themselves simplifying the design of A Link to the Past, making it somewhat more linear and in my opinion less interesting, but maybe this is to the benefit of the audience overall. On the other hand, Super Mario 3D World, in terms of the co-op experience it creates, is far above anything Nintendo could have done in the SNES era. Splatoon is also masterfully designed, so much that it's hard to believe it was made by yuppies and not Nintendo veterans. And then there are games like Xenoblade Chronicles X, that are simultaneously doing incredible things that we couldn't even dream of back in the SNES era, and also making such terrible mistakes that good developers weren't making back then.

Another good example is Capcom. I'd take the complexity and polish of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate over any game they ever made in the past. Street Fighter V, as well, is so far the most fun fighting game I've ever played, and I grew up in the arcades.

It's definitely up for debate, as people's preferences can lead them to games from the past rather than from the present. But personally, what I can really tell is that I've changed more than the gaming industry, and I've gotten used to the same tricks developers do in their games, lessening their impact; at the same time, I've gotten to know my tastes better, so I can appreciate more today the games that scratch my itch, than I could when I was a kid and would just sort of stumble upon good games randomly.
 

SkywardCrowbar

Twintelle's loyal Husbando
#3
I think that's a really interesting point that you feel that you've changed more than the gaming industry. I've never played any NES or SNES games until the last about 3 years, so all these old school tricks totally stump me and I find a lot of them trite and annoying instead of clever. I do absolutely believe it is all a matter of opinion and perspective and taste.
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#4
I never put much thought on it, but I agree with you.

SNES games are generally fine for me, but I usually dislike all NES games. I've got almost no fun from SMB3, Zelda 1, etc.

I can't understand why people love some much SMB3. It's a really great game when you see all the games before it, but SMW is has more fun in many ways in my opinion. Plus I just can't figure out the jump on Mario games before SMW.

I can't imagine myself beating Metroid or MegaMan 1.
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#5
People who played NES games say that newer generations are spoiled and can't beat hard games. I don't know if it's true or false.
 

SkywardCrowbar

Twintelle's loyal Husbando
#6
I never put much thought on it, but I agree with you.

SNES games are generally fine for me, but I usually dislike all NES games. I've got almost no fun from SMB3, Zelda 1, etc.

I can't understand why people love some much SMB3. It's a really great game when you see all the games before it, but SMW is has more fun in many ways in my opinion. Plus I just can't figure out the jump on Mario games before SMW.

I can't imagine myself beating Metroid or MegaMan 1.
I've been stuck in Mega Man 1 for about 2 years. Right after you fight the big yellow cyclops guy. And that's with using Wii U virtual console save states all the time!
 
#8
In terms of controls, the analogue stick did a lot of good. Playing Link Between Worlds certainly feels better because of it, but when I played Link to the Past, I don't necessarily miss it either.

As technology goes further, the potential for a game gets better, but that's just the thing, potential. No matter what console gen you play, there are loads of shit and loads of classics.

I started playing on the SNES, but since college, I went back to NES games and had little problem with them. Mega Man 1-6 are great games with tight as fuck controls (well, the first one is a little slippery) and for the most part, great design. There are some trial and error bullshit moments for sure, but I can argue Demon's Souls and Dark Souls have those moments too.

Kid Icarus starts out insanely tough, but once you level up a bit, the game gets easier as it goes (besides the boss' temples).

I'm a big fan of platformers having played them my whole life, and Super Mario World and the Donkey Kong trilogy still remain one of the smoothest and best platformers ever. Whenever people debate the best Mario game, Super World is usually brought up. It still holds up and is arguably better than the New series despite having better graphics and better hardware to do things with.

My first time with Link to the Past was tough, it took awhile to get the hang of it, but once it clicked I loved it. It really does encourage exploring but I think it balances telling the player enough vs leaving you to your own wits. Much better than "Master, I have calculated a 80% chance that we're attacked", yeah no shit you blue fuck shit damn fairy fuck.

Super Metroid took me many many tries to get. A lot of games are obtuse I'll give you that, but again, going back to Dark Souls, there's a ton of shit that game doesn't explain. Overall though I'd say AAA games these days are too scared to let the player have at it themselves. Games are generally considered easier, spell out everything, and cram in a lot of features and mechanics that aren't necessary. How many games have upgrade trees, or radio tower to show you exactly where everything is these days? Being obtuse is one thing, but not letting the player breathe is certainly another thing. I think there needs to be more balance these days. I of course speak broadly, as I'm aware not all games are easy and hand-holdy, but seems like Ubisoft, Activision, EA and all the big boy players can't take risks anymore.

I'm not about to grab my walking stick and shake it at youngsters, but I do think it's important to remember the past. Playing a game like Wolfenstein The New Order and knowing how the series evolved over the years is not only neat, but makes you appreciate just how far we've come. Conversely, playing a game like Assassin's Radio Tower: Brotherhood of more Radio Towers, makes me want to go back and play Ocarina again and explore Hyrule on my own. I enjoyed AC: Rogue, but hot damn I played that game in a trance, I remember next to nothing about it and I only played it like, last fall.

Past, present, games have problems. I don't think one era is necessarily better than one, because I appreciate both and realized both had good and shit. Microtransactions, 70 dollar games with 10 multiplayer maps only, 50 dollars season passes, these things make me scared of the future, but we'll always have games like Bayonetta 2 that is a full complete game with tons of unlockables and secrets, we'll always have good examples of DLC like Pikmin 3 and Mario Kart.

Likewise on the SNES, there are obtuse as fuck and needlessly difficult games, but there'll always be Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country 2, Demon's Motherfucking Crest and Mega Man "I don't think I can contain this boner anymore" X.



I'm ranting, oh well.

Time to play more Fire Emblem
 

SkywardCrowbar

Twintelle's loyal Husbando
#11
Love the perspective from CitizenOfVerona! My only objection to your amazing post is that Fi would get my vote for most under appreciated Nintendo character of all time. :p

I absolutely agree that it is important to remember the past, and to carry the experiences of playing older games with you into your play throughs of new games. That's why I'm going back to play all of these NES & SNES titles.

I hear a lot online about how "younger" gamers (such a relative term. I'm within a month of turning 24 and I am often lumped in with 12 year olds) aren't used to gaming without the devs holding your hand through it all. To me, there's a fine line between too much hand holding and not enough common sense being employed in regards to how the player will experience the world. I think that balance was struck very well on the N64 and the Gamecube with games like Super Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, Metroid Prime, etc. I absolutely think many games nowadays are too easy and they don't leave enough exploration to the player. That, however, to me, doesn't excuse older games for being too obtuse and too proud of their difficulty at the expense of the fun that's supposed to be had when you play a game.
 

TheAmazingLSB

PLEASE UNDERSTAND....
#12
That, however, to me, doesn't excuse older games for being too obtuse and too proud of their difficulty at the expense of the fun that's supposed to be had when you play a game.
Being obtuse was more a design choice than anything else in those days, not to mention all the memory restraints most of these earlys devs had to work under in order to ship a finished game....

Most of the time devs would literally have to cut tons of stuff out of games, widdle them down if you will, until they had a game that would fit on the cart....

But for the most part, these were decisions made purposfully simply because these kind of "let the player figure it out" design choices were extremely popular with gamers in those days....

Games like The Legend of Zelda and Metroid laid the groundwork for this kind of design in many of the games you saw them implimented in many years after their initial release....

This "obtuse" design or lack of general direction in terms of leading you to your next goal within the game was purposfully part of the design of the game itself....

Because back then that is what gamers wanted, well, at least after NES hit....

Those first few NES games like Zelda, Super Mario and Metroid were what every other dev was basically trying to copy or interpet in their own ways....

You see, these games weren't inspiring these devs then the same way they do now.... The devs now grew up playing them and are inspired by and appriciate their design in a much different way....

Back then you saw other devs looking at Nintendo like "How the fuck do we get on this bandwagon and make some fucking money?"....

Anyway, back to my point....

Secrets in games was just getting into the mainstream knowledge of gamers about the time games like SMB LoZ and Metroid were released....

And Nintendo blew this idea out of the water with the NES....

Secrets in games would never be the same....

Nintendo was able to capture on this craze by offering up these games that basically said here ya go, explore, discover, and play in your own way....

Find your own path through the game....

Discovers tons of secrets on the way to your ultimate goal, that isn't always at first clearly explained to you....

These design decisions are still alive and well in todays games too, most notably in From Software's Dark Souls series of action RPG's....

Games that are clearly inspired by this age old design.... The "obtuse" design they grew up playing games with....

I personally have always loved this game design because it forces the player to think in a way you don't see most children do with games today....

The use of imagination.... The idea of wonder and mystery.... And the satifaction of discovering something incredible all on your own....

We take it for granted nowadays games like the original LoZ and Metroid.... But just imagine being those first few players, like the ones who played it and had to figure it out on their own or with friends before strategies got passed around by word of mouth or through magazine print....

Games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne capture that mystery, exploration and wonder found in early Zelda games....

I think that why everyone is so excited for Zelda U and to see Link return to a world that once again places the burden of figuring out what to do, where to go, or how to explore by offering you little pieces of information to entice you to explore that information further....

I mean something as simple as riding Epona past a shadowy pass through some unending wood....

You see it.... You were probably already on the way to do something else in the world.... Yet, you stop....

You start to contemplate.... What could be down this path...? Should I take a chance and explore it further...? Where will this lead...? What will I find there...?

This is the kind of stuff that made these early 8-16 bit games so magical to gamers like me back in those days....

And it's that exact same kind of magic that attracts gamers to experiences like Dark Souls today as well....

As much as some games have aged badly, a lot of those design choices are very much alive in the games we play today....

It's like this....

As development moves along, devs take what they want, or what they like from previous games they have played or created, and leave the rest....

So as many of the design choices that have been left behind as games have evolved over time, just as many are still around influencing the games of today....

I feel like this guy....

 
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EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#13
Methinks this has front-page roundtable potential.
Super Metroid took me many many tries to get. A lot of games are obtuse I'll give you that, but again, going back to Dark Souls, there's a ton of shit that game doesn't explain. Overall though I'd say AAA games these days are too scared to let the player have at it themselves. Games are generally considered easier, spell out everything, and cram in a lot of features and mechanics that aren't necessary. How many games have upgrade trees, or radio tower to show you exactly where everything is these days? Being obtuse is one thing, but not letting the player breathe is certainly another thing. I think there needs to be more balance these days. I of course speak broadly, as I'm aware not all games are easy and hand-holdy, but seems like Ubisoft, Activision, EA and all the big boy players can't take risks anymore.
I only got to play Super once it hit the Wii's Virtual Console. It immediately shot to the top of my all-time list. Mechanically, it is close to perfection (save for the run button being slightly unwieldy). But progression wise, it stands apart from today's games because it does take some risks - it trusts that you'll eventually grok that glass tube, and that you'll find what you need once you explore an area again with new equipment. Today? The game would have arrows and shining ledges and map radar guiding you. There is a need for an Ocular Penetration Restriction Act in modern gaming.

So that's one facet. Another is that sure, OoT/SM64 basically served as a blueprint, but there isn't a lot new under the sun - in game mechanics - since then. There's a reason OoT is still so well thought of; it's pretty much the game every action/adventure with a 3D world has cribbed notes from. The PS2 gen was sort of a refining era - much as the SNES was for 8-bit design - and there hasn't been much since (blur up any modern shooter and it's a PS2/XB/GC-era game). Everything has simply been shinier, sharper, and more accessible since then, and it's all started to blend somewhat (whereas a sidescrolling platformer was nothing like a 16-bit RPG, and in turn an adventures like Zelda shared little mechanically with adventures like Metroid).

I'm inclined to agree that gen 5-onward is better. But structurally those games are still standing on the shoulders of 2D giants, and modernity has also sacrificed some of the uniqueness of gaming in favor of being "cinematic."
 
#14
I've been meaning to post this video, but it deals with what we're talking about now


I don't agree with everything, but his first part specifically I have a hard time denying.

Thief 1/2 compared to the AAA Thief Reboot. He uses these two games but is actually comparing old and new games in general
 

isturbo1984

Whoremonger & Cokefiend
#15
I can't name a single game that doesn't have some sort of poor controls or gameplay element that would otherwise make the game better by simply not having the mechanic at all, or at least improving it to be more modern. No game. Literally. Old and new.

That said, older games, particularly PS1 gen and backwards... rely on broken, fugly mechanics in a lot of cases and call it "difficult" or just "campy." I am not easily impressed by some of these old mechanics. there are truly very few games that have stood the test of time. I regularly go back and play NES and SNES games. Disappointed a lot recently. Even considering dropping my GOAT on the SNES down to the number two spot on my all-time list.
 

isturbo1984

Whoremonger & Cokefiend
#16
People who played NES games say that newer generations are spoiled and can't beat hard games. I don't know if it's true or false.
Lol. False. Only some do that:

The Old School

A hardcore gamer 10 years ago. Will be the first to grimace at the topic of modern gameplay mechanics and has been known to argue them, always falling back on library of video games from 40+ years ago. Platformers and JRPGs are the only thing they tend to play these days, if not for their repeating backlog of games. And has extensive knowledge of obscure game releases in the 90s, 80s... and sometimes even the 70s. Plays Chrono Trigger and MGS1 annually. And loves debating the importance of table-top RPGs and how they fathered the birth of the modern gameplay mechanic of video games. Strangely enough, The Old School will often lie on forums about his age, pretending to be older than he actually is.


"lol, modern gamers"
 

SkywardCrowbar

Twintelle's loyal Husbando
#17
I thought this would be a great debate topic! Love the responses!

A major reason for this post was to kind of push back and "represent" as it were for gamers who weren't older enough to play an NES or SNES when they were the current gen systems. I've experienced a fair amount of of derision on the part of older (or, at least, people who claim they're older) gamers about how younger gamers just don't get it. They aren't good enough to play older games. I, for one, think that's total BS because they're different eras.
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#18
Lol. False. Only some do that:

The Old School

A hardcore gamer 10 years ago. Will be the first to grimace at the topic of modern gameplay mechanics and has been known to argue them, always falling back on library of video games from 40+ years ago. Platformers and JRPGs are the only thing they tend to play these days, if not for their repeating backlog of games. And has extensive knowledge of obscure game releases in the 90s, 80s... and sometimes even the 70s. Plays Chrono Trigger and MGS1 annually. And loves debating the importance of table-top RPGs and how they fathered the birth of the modern gameplay mechanic of video games. Strangely enough, The Old School will often lie on forums about his age, pretending to be older than he actually is.


"lol, modern gamers"
I thought this would be a great debate topic! Love the responses!

A major reason for this post was to kind of push back and "represent" as it were for gamers who weren't older enough to play an NES or SNES when they were the current gen systems. I've experienced a fair amount of of derision on the part of older (or, at least, people who claim they're older) gamers about how younger gamers just don't get it. They aren't good enough to play older games. I, for one, think that's total BS because they're different eras.
I don't know. I've got some doubts about it.

I see for example how I feel about Fire Emblem these days.

Fire Emblem used to be a game that every decision could cost an important item or life or victory. You used to have only enough chances of making XP, the fanservice was minimal and the relationship between 2 characters was focused on battle improvements.

Now, you've got casual mode where you can put all your characters on the line without thinking twice, because they don't die. You've got a lot of chances to grind. Your weapons don't break, there's fanservice everywhere, the relationship system degraded to dating sim levels and you can call a character to your room to have sex.

So when I see most of the Fire Emblem Fates audience I sometimes think about how hard it is for them to understand what Fire Emblem used to be and so I kind of understand when someone says today that youngsters don't get the old games and that today thing's are too easy.
 

isturbo1984

Whoremonger & Cokefiend
#19
I don't know. I've got some doubts about it.

I see for example how I feel about Fire Emblem these days.

Fire Emblem used to be a game that every decision could cost an important item or life or victory. You used to have only enough chances of making XP, the fanservice was minimal and the relationship between 2 characters was focused on battle improvements.

Now, you've got casual mode where you can put all your characters on the line without thinking twice, because they don't die. You've got a lot of chances to grind. Your weapons don't break, there's fanservice everywhere, the relationship system degraded to dating sim levels and you can call a character to your room to have sex.

So when I see most of the Fire Emblem Fates audience I sometimes think about how hard it is for them to understand what Fire Emblem used to be and so I kind of understand when someone says today that youngsters don't get the old games and that today thing's are too easy.
I agree. There are, of course, some exceptions. You hit the nail on the head with FE Fates. I won't talk shit about the game, as I haven't played it, but I can tell you the series certainly isn't for me what it was back with the original NA release of Fire Emblem and Sacred Stones on GBA. So there is some oft hat going on. Usually with existing franchises that have been around since the 80s or 90s... it is hard to stay true to the original while at the same time being modern, as a LOT of what made the gameplay of some of those older titles was in fact the limitations of game design then. But there are new games and new IPs all the time that kick some serious ass imo. That is why I think so many franchises are getting reboots--because it is hard to stay 100% to the original idea. A traditional Tomb Raider game would just plain suck today, lol. A reboot was the only way to go.
 

Superfakerbros

ECE 2018
Moderator
#20
I don't know. I've got some doubts about it.

I see for example how I feel about Fire Emblem these days.

Fire Emblem used to be a game that every decision could cost an important item or life or victory. You used to have only enough chances of making XP, the fanservice was minimal and the relationship between 2 characters was focused on battle improvements.

Now, you've got casual mode where you can put all your characters on the line without thinking twice, because they don't die. You've got a lot of chances to grind. Your weapons don't break, there's fanservice everywhere, the relationship system degraded to dating sim levels and you can call a character to your room to have sex.

So when I see most of the Fire Emblem Fates audience I sometimes think about how hard it is for them to understand what Fire Emblem used to be and so I kind of understand when someone says today that youngsters don't get the old games and that today thing's are too easy.
...dude...it's an option. Why're you complaining? I can understand some of the other stuff, as that's more of a personal preference, but you're complaining about an option that doesn't even remotely take away from your own experience
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#21
...dude...it's an option. Why're you complaining? I can understand some of the other stuff, as that's more of a personal preference, but you're complaining about an option that doesn't even remotely take away from your own experience
The fact that the things I'm complaining about are options doesn't make it better. Most of FE fanbase now talks more about relationship than tactics, that's what Nintendo did with FE, turned the game into a tactics + dating sim game: it's a fact and that's why I'm complaining.

This fact makes me think how FE has been out of its way and how FE Fates might be a slippery slope. I don't know how many years it will take to FE become anime RPG rubbish going this way.

Saying that petting (in Japan), unnecessary sex connotations and too much focus on romance are just options that doesn't ruin the entire concept of the game is a bad excuse and I'm sure you know that.
 

Superfakerbros

ECE 2018
Moderator
#22
The fact that the things I'm complaining about are options doesn't make it better. Most of FE fanbase now talks more about relationship than tactics, that's what Nintendo did with FE, turned the game into a tactics + dating sim game: it's a fact and that's why I'm complaining.

This fact makes me think how FE has been out of its way and how FE Fates might be a slippery slope. I don't know how many years it will take to FE become anime RPG rubbish going this way.

Saying that petting (in Japan), unnecessary sex connotations and too much focus on romance are just options that doesn't ruin the entire concept of the game is a bad excuse and I'm sure you know that.
Dude, I was talking purely about complaining casual mode, something that I see people complaining about for no reason other than the fact that somehow other people using it bothers them...for some strange reason. Everything else is purely subjective and, personally, none of the additional stuff ever bothered me because it never took away from the core gameplay and story, the reason why I play the games in the first place. What most people talk about on the Internet doesn't matter and shouldn't matter, not when Fire Emblem games have always had relationships to begin with. There's just a bit more focus with the whole marriage and kids thing but it's not like you have to get heavily into it. I'm just saying it feels like you're complaining purely because it's a bit different than what you're used to

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#23
Dude, I was talking purely about complaining casual mode, something that I see people complaining about for no reason other than the fact that somehow other people using it bothers them...for some strange reason. Everything else is purely subjective and, personally, none of the additional stuff ever bothered me because it never took away from the core gameplay and story, the reason why I play the games in the first place. What most people talk about on the Internet doesn't matter and shouldn't matter, not when Fire Emblem games have always had relationships to begin with. There's just a bit more focus with the whole marriage and kids thing but it's not like you have to get heavily into it. I'm just saying it feels like you're complaining purely because it's a bit different than what you're used to
I'm not against the addition of the casual mode, I just believe that casual mode is so easy that doesn't make sense when you consider what Fire Emblem was about. But I'm not against it nor against who play on casual mode. I added casual mode here because we started talking about hard games in the past. Talking about a mode where your characters don't die would be a sin 15 years ago. That fits the thread discussion.

About the other things, no it's not true that Fire Emblem always have incest, fanservice and relationships like we have on Fates. No it wasn't like that at all. Calling a character to have sex and petting it to make it "reach an orgasm"? Fire Emblem was never like that.
 
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