Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

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Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#1

Post by Apollo the Just » Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:51 pm

Post all of your elitist old man hipster takes here.

I was thinking about this earlier, about what it is that I like better about Tales of Symphonia's battle system that felt off in Vesperia. What it is that I liked about SM64 that didn't feel quite as right in Sunshine or especially Galaxy. What I liked about Ocarina of Time that was off-putting in Twilight Princess.

In early 3D games, animations were pretty clunky, and if you wanted to chain one input into another, the model would pretty much just "snap" into the new animation to fulfill the command. It felt really responsive, even if it didn't look Immersive And Fluid TM there was visual feedback that your inputs had been registered and were being carried out.

I feel like there was a shift when games started looking more visually impressive toward making animations also be smoother, and that came hand-in-hand with this sense of.... waiting for the animations to finish before you could do anything else? It's what middle school me could only describe as the games feeling "slow" or "heavy" but now I think it has everything to do with them needing to LOOK fluid, and sacrificing responsive gameplay on account of it.

I love Twilight Princess, it's one of my favorite games in the series, but the fact that Link needs to do this awkward curved turn if you want to change directions is super annoying. Just let the dude turn on a dime like he did in the 64 games. It's fine. It's a video game. It feels better, that's what matters. Vesperia's battle system felt so much more sluggish than Symphonia's and Abyss's; the animations are way smoother, including enemy stagger animations, which makes it feel more padded and takes away that snappy, instant response to your inputs.

I was afraid this is just me being like "I'm right and everyone else is wrong" but I just looked up a bunch of Vesperia gameplay and then immediately watched Abyss gameplay and Abyss's just looks SO MUCH faster-paced and responsive. That game feels so fun. It's honestly so responsive as to be broken because you can out-run mystic artes and ****, but the fix to that should have been to build more challenging fights for you to master, and not just to make everyone a snail in the next installment.

I love visuals in video games, but by that I mean I love their visual palette and atmosphere and style. But a game should never prioritize REALISTIC AND FLUID ANIMATIONS over feeling responsive. Thankfully I think a lot of games in this day and age have found a good balance between feeling fluid and looking good, but if one must be sacrificed, please stop making me sit through detailed animations before I can PLAY THE GAME. I don't need my protagonist to jog for a few steps before getting to full running speed for Immersion TM. Just let me go max speed, it is more fun and it feels way better. Thanks

--

EDIT: To be fair, if you build Yuri correctly by endgame he is very fluid and responsive feeling. But level 1 Yuri is so **** slow it is almost unplayable. I appreciate that the battle system is in-depth enough that you can build it to eventually feel really quick and responsive but it shouldn't be a chore to play it at the start lmao

To be further fair, Luke at the start of Abyss is also significantly slower than Lloyd at the beginning of Symphonia, so I was already feeling it a bit then. I didn't appreciate that nerf either. But Guy has such busted speed it doesn't matter lol

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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#2

Post by DarkZero » Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:33 pm

there is a lot about mario 64's controls that i really like but cant explain why, and i think that level of visual responsiveness is a big part of it

also i really appreciate how experimental it was, like between mario's unnecessarily large moveset and the amount of idiosyncrasies with object interaction, the game has a lot of goofing-off potential. its part of why stuff like pannenkoek's content is so neat, it's because you get to see all this stuff utilized in interesting ways.
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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#3

Post by I am nobody » Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:13 pm

Obligatory: Older games didn't have microtransactions or gambling and did have cheat codes and unlockables. This doesn't really affect me since I mostly play weird indies instead of AAA live services, but it needs saying.

Older games were better about having focused levels. Odyssey is a great game, but one of the big reasons I preferred A Hat in Time and earlier Mario games is that those were almost entirely built around specific levels and challenges instead of dumping you in an open world. Sly Cooper is another good example even though those are all old at this point: the first game has aged great because it's a series of quick levels, but the second lost me after a few hours because of it's dull open overworlds. Open worlds are great for RPGs and some other genres, but not everything needs to have one.

That's all I can think of.

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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#4

Post by Marilink » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:43 am

This one is very generic, but I love going back to older games and seeing how developers and designers just...tried things. They just did stuff, whether or not it was the "Video Game" thing today. They were working in a world that hadn't fully developed its own tropes yet. Now when you play a game, there's 30+ years of video game development history and memory and design philosophy that's fueling it. But that's not always the case when you go back.

I think of Zelda 2 in this connection a lot. We look back at Zelda 2 and go "Wow, what a departure! It's the black sheep of the family! Forsaking the Zelda formula!" But that's the thing, y'all, there was no Zelda formula when that game was made. The devs just did their thing. Call it experimental, I guess, but I just love going back to those pre-formulaic times in video game design.

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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#5

Post by X-3 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:50 am

There is a sense of "mystery" and occasionally "grittiness" in early 3D games that I like. Must be the fog and rough graphics with a pinch of nostalgia.

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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#6

Post by RinkuTheFirst » Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:28 pm

I like that older games often have physical strategy guides you can buy. I bought a Yoshi's Story guide recently, and it's just so darn cute to look at, even though it's not really a tough game by any stretch of the imagination.

I like that older games are complete. You buy a new game and there's always expansions and DLC down the road. It fragments the experience of playing the game to me.

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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#7

Post by Apollo the Just » Sun Aug 04, 2019 4:05 pm

Marilink wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:43 am
This one is very generic, but I love going back to older games and seeing how developers and designers just...tried things. They just did stuff, whether or not it was the "Video Game" thing today. They were working in a world that hadn't fully developed its own tropes yet. Now when you play a game, there's 30+ years of video game development history and memory and design philosophy that's fueling it. But that's not always the case when you go back.

I think of Zelda 2 in this connection a lot. We look back at Zelda 2 and go "Wow, what a departure! It's the black sheep of the family! Forsaking the Zelda formula!" But that's the thing, y'all, there was no Zelda formula when that game was made. The devs just did their thing. Call it experimental, I guess, but I just love going back to those pre-formulaic times in video game design.
Good take.

I was talking to someone awhile back about how this also somewhat applies to stories in JRPGs, it’s much harder to write a compelling JRPG now imo because there are like 30 years of genre staples they have to be creative with rather than the first ones that were figuring things out and making stuff up as they went. Older JRPGs may be cliche or tropey by today’s standards but they treat those tropes much more organically since they weren’t tropes yet.

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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#8

Post by Apollo the Just » Sun Aug 04, 2019 4:05 pm

Marilink wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:43 am
This one is very generic, but I love going back to older games and seeing how developers and designers just...tried things. They just did stuff, whether or not it was the "Video Game" thing today. They were working in a world that hadn't fully developed its own tropes yet. Now when you play a game, there's 30+ years of video game development history and memory and design philosophy that's fueling it. But that's not always the case when you go back.

I think of Zelda 2 in this connection a lot. We look back at Zelda 2 and go "Wow, what a departure! It's the black sheep of the family! Forsaking the Zelda formula!" But that's the thing, y'all, there was no Zelda formula when that game was made. The devs just did their thing. Call it experimental, I guess, but I just love going back to those pre-formulaic times in video game design.
Good take.

I was talking to someone awhile back about how this also somewhat applies to stories in JRPGs, it’s much harder to write a compelling JRPG now imo because there are like 30 years of genre staples they have to be creative with rather than the first ones that were figuring things out and making stuff up as they went. Older JRPGs may be cliche or tropey by today’s standards but they treat those tropes much more organically since they weren’t tropes yet.

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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#9

Post by I am nobody » Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:33 pm

^TBH I think that has more to do with there being lower standards for games back then and survivor bias hiding all the garbage. There are loads of awful RPGs from back then, and even some of the narratives people do remember (FFIV, say) don't actually have that much going on. Humans have been writing stories in the same genres for hundreds to thousands of years without running out of room for good authors to innovate, so if JRPGs were truly exhausted after a whole 30 years, that would say a lot about the ability of their writers.

It doesn't help that FF hasn't put out a popular non-MMO in almost 20 years or that Square and Konami killed all the other old famous series that put real effort into their stories. IMO, Ni no Kuni 2, Octopath Traveler, and especially Persona 5 were as or more compelling than most of the classics, but the lack of good FF games and death of every other series spring to mind more easily when people are comparing eras. Indie JRPGs, both from Japan and the West, have also been killing it lately, but a lot of them are really niche.

And then there's the fact that the rest of the industry has improved so much. JRPGs had zero competition for story on the SNES and not much more on the PS1/N64. Now worthwhile stories are part of almost every single-player genre.


Also @Marilink , I know you're talking about bigger releases and you're totally right there, but crazy experimental stuff is still very much a thing with indies if you want a modern version of that. Itch is loaded with devs taking a bizarre concept and running with it. Also game jams.

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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#10

Post by Apollo the Just » Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:43 pm

^ those are good points, but I was approaching it from the perspective of an ongoing series (tales of specifically). I like that the "OMG THERE ARE TWO WORLDS!!11" plot twist was taken seriously as a development within its own narrative in the Symphonia days. By now it's in, what, half the installments? Heck in Arise it's straight up part of the premise and marketing; there are so many established tropes in the series that there is an expectation for how they'll be treated that they have to successfully live up to and subvert.

It's harder to write the 17th installment of a series than the 3rd, and that's something that can't really be helped, but there it is. The earlier installments are kind of always going to be a little bit free-er with how they approach things because they don't have the burden of expectation.

This doesn't necessarily mean that the oldest installments in any series are always the best. Obviously. I like Apollo Justice more than any of the first 3 Phoenix Wright games for example. But there's something about the earliest installments that are formative for a series where there isn't an overarching series identity they have to live up to, yet.

(Also TOTALLY agreed that almost all the good **** happening now is in indie game development. I'm not as good at trying out and supporting indie games as I should be but that's where the real creativity and progress is nowadays)

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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#11

Post by steeze » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:29 am

There was a greater emphasis on fun rather an emphasis of it'll make money. In as few words as I can summarize a page of thoughts.

Also they stopped putting those little game manuals in the box and that really wrecked the whole "opening the box on the way home to read the game bible vibe."

But at least now I'm not reading and driving.

It's probably for the best.

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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#12

Post by Booyakasha » Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:07 pm

I am nobody wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:13 pm
Older games were better about having focused levels. Odyssey is a great game, but one of the big reasons I preferred A Hat in Time and earlier Mario games is that those were almost entirely built around specific levels and challenges instead of dumping you in an open world. Sly Cooper is another good example even though those are all old at this point: the first game has aged great because it's a series of quick levels, but the second lost me after a few hours because of it's dull open overworlds. Open worlds are great for RPGs and some other genres, but not everything needs to have one.
This is pretty much my hot take on the Banjo-Kazooie games. First one was more or less perfect. Levels were exactly the right size, memorable, self-contained. In 'Tooie', the levels were generally sprawling. Less intuitive, more generic, stupidly interconnected. They got it wrong.

You know how I know 'Tooie' was a lesser product? The music. I'm not saying the music was bad---------I literally can barely remember it. If 'Tooie' had been as good a game, I'd know its music. I know BK's music like the back of my hand. Because I played BK a whole lot more, because it was objectively better than BT. QED.

N&B was all about focus. Big levels, but mission-based gameplay. You were never just wandering around, wondering what the hell to do next.
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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#13

Post by Mario500 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:42 am

Marilink wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:43 am
This one is very generic, but I love going back to older games and seeing how developers and designers just...tried things. They just did stuff, whether or not it was the "Video Game" thing today. They were working in a world that hadn't fully developed its own tropes yet. Now when you play a game, there's 30+ years of video game development history and memory and design philosophy that's fueling it. But that's not always the case when you go back.

I think of Zelda 2 in this connection a lot. We look back at Zelda 2 and go "Wow, what a departure! It's the black sheep of the family! Forsaking the Zelda formula!" But that's the thing, y'all, there was no Zelda formula when that game was made. The devs just did their thing. Call it experimental, I guess, but I just love going back to those pre-formulaic times in video game design.
I had always liked a certain game named "Zelda II: The Adventure of Link" and had often thought of it as my favorite "Zelda" game (among others).

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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#14

Post by Calamity Panfan » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:20 pm

Seeing Mario Maker levels makes me realize how much I love everything about the SMB3 style. It's a **** masterpiece, maybe the closest thing ever to a perfect game.

Getting into specifics and it's not just SMB3 but especially I love Koji Kondo's intros to level music. He has so many classic compositions and so many of them start with a KILLER opening line. The GOAT

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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#15

Post by smol Kat » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:30 pm

I am going to shamelessly /barn your opinion on Kondo. His stuff is just so memorable.
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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#16

Post by I am nobody » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:28 pm

I kind of miss terrible games. We still get loads of asset flips on Steam, obviously, but those are all bad in the same way and stopped being funny years ago. Now licensed games are dead and, besides the odd The Quiet Man every few years, even the worst games from budget publishers are at least competent enough that they're more boring than anything else. I want more games like Overblood or Sonic '06 where everything just went horribly wrong for one reason or another and they released it anyway.

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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#17

Post by DarkZero » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:33 pm

YEAH i miss actual licensed games for consoles! its mostly moved to mobile, which makes sense since larger audience + lower budget and turnaround, but there was always something really cool about taking your favorite characters from movies and cartoons and putting them in a video game adventure.
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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#18

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:38 am

There's no way to say you think classic games were better when you're in your 30's without it seeming like pure nostalgia, but I really think they were. I think the simplicity and limited scope imposed by technical limitations combined with everything being fresh due gaming being relatively new was a recipe for greatness.

So I guess I liked the simplicity and freshness but that's not terribly specific. I liked the variety, everything is pretty samey now. Um, I liked instruction manuals lol.

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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#19

Post by Bomby » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:02 pm

I miss when Konami was one of the best game developers/publishers around instead of whatever the hell you want to call them now.

But seriously.

I miss when you could just straight up start games instead of having to sit through an hour of cutscenes and tutorials. Tell the story throughout the game, teach the player mechanics as the game goes along.

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Re: Stuff You Like About Specifically Older Games

#20

Post by Calamity Panfan » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:44 am

Bomby wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:02 pm
I miss when Konami was one of the best game developers/publishers around instead of whatever the hell you want to call them now.
remember when they made a new castlevania every couple of years instead of needing igarashi to spend five years developing a crowdfunded game on his own

good times

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