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What changed ?...

Posted: Tue May 10, 2016 7:58 pm
by Wazikhiel
I don't know if the proper place for this topic. If you have a better place for this topic, please, let me know. :D

I work in retail in a video game shop. Everyday, we have a lot of customers (less these days because of this beautifull weather !) who are buying games and stuff. Sometimes, when it's calm and no customers are around, I watch these big signs : Playstation,Xbox and WiiU, searching myself between these platforms.

When I was a kid, I played a lot of games (mainly because of Nintendo and of course Rare). Donkey Kong Country, Mario, Zelda, Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark and many more. Those games forged the gamer I am today. It's been a really long time sinced I didn't have the fun that I had when I was a kid. You know, the kind of fun that you just invite your friends, sit on a couch and play a good game, even if it was a single player game, we shared the controller and laught at each other when we've been killed by K.Rool ''kredits''.

A lot of games today seems not that much different between each others. More like milking the cow until dust comes out. I've searched a lot of ''retro'' kind of games like Banjo-Kazooie or Super Mario 64, without any results... Of course I've backed Yooka-Laylee and I know the existence of '' Hat in Time '' but what do I do until their release?...

Today, I'm 21 and searching myself as a gamer. Every game that I play has a weird feeling in it, a feeling that I don't recognize at all. A feeling that makes me eject the CD of my WiiU and replace it on the case waaaaaaaaaay before I've finished it. Every time I am alone at work or stop playing a game, I ask to myself '' What changed?...''

What do you think? Is it me or the industry changed? Are you perfectly fine the way the VideoGame industry is?

Please, comments below and let me know your thoughts !


Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Tue May 10, 2016 8:23 pm
by lavamario
Little bit of column A, little bit of column B.

If your question is whether games are as good now as they were back then, then yes, they can be. If you search enough and know what your tastes are. There are plenty of fantastic games. It's just that often nowadays you can't even compare a modern game to something like Banjo because the industry moved away from those kinds of mascot platformers and onto shooters.

It just sounds like you have gamer fatigue, or are in need of more platformers. Depending on what you're looking for, I'd be happy to recommend games that made me feel as excited/invested as I used to as a kid.

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Tue May 10, 2016 8:27 pm
by Wazikhiel
Go ahead sir ! :shock:

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Tue May 10, 2016 8:31 pm
by lavamario
Like I said, it depends on your tastes, so fill me in on what you're looking for. If it's strictly platformers, then I'd have to side with you in that I consider the N64/PS1 era the pinnacle of platforming experience, and that little has been in that department imo aside from titles that any gamer should already know of, such as the Mario Galaxies.

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Tue May 10, 2016 8:39 pm
by Wazikhiel
I don't really like sports games (like nhl/nba/madden), I'm not into Skyrim but I'm good with Fable. Of course I like platformers (more 3D than 2D ones). I'm really not into CoD and stuff...

I'm more into a good 2D/3D platformer these days...Just the nostalgia hitting me like a train.

Feel free to suggest and thanks dude :P

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Tue May 10, 2016 8:59 pm
by dotEXE
This post got really long... Games in the last year that gave me "that feel" I used to get, where I want to just play and play nonstop included:

* Stardew Valley
* The Witness
* Ratchet and Clank Remaster
* Enter the Gungeon
* The Witcher 3
* Fallout 4 (this one actually had some pretty mixed reception though)
* Bloodborne
* Undertale
* Cities: Skylines
* Splatoon
* Mario Maker

Some games I'm looking forward to are Uncharted 4 (today), DOOM, The Last Guardian, No Man's Sky, Deus Ex, Final Fantasy 15, ReCore, Scalebound, Pokemon Sun/Moon and of course Yooka-Laylee. and maybe Sea of Thieves grumble grumble

As you can see, there's a huge range of genre, so it kind of depends on what you're into, but I feel those titles are all worth examining. I don't think games are any worse than they ever were, despite all my favorite titles being N64 or PS2 titles.

To address "What Changed"... I think having to "find yourself" as a gamer has many factors, and many relate to age and time.

First, it's a factor of time. Now that I'm an adult I get maybe 6-10 hours to play per week. Some weeks I get lucky and can squeeze in a 40 hour gaming week, but it's not the norm. In high school however, there was a summer I played WoW 14 hours per day. I slept 7am to 2pm that summer. I did WoW basically the rest of the time. Aside from that insane outlier, I certainly averaged 5 hours of gaming per day from middle school all the way up until college graduation. I could dedicate time to getting 100% in games, I could dedicate time to exploring every corner of a game and trying to figure out how to get into secret doors in Banjo Kazooie that don't even open in reality. Now, I play a game and I usually have an hour or two to "make progress". I recently finished Ratchet and Clank, and LOVED it, but am well aware I will probably not be getting 100% because I have other games to move onto. Now I mostly beat a game's story, and move onto the next, with some noteable exceptions (Stardew Valley most recently).

An additional factor, as an adult I have more agency to buy games. This seems good but causes problems. If I want a game, I don't have to ask my parents. I just get it. When I was very young I would get maybe 1 game per month, or every other. As a result I really had to squeeze every drop out of a game. Now I have a Steam Backlog of over 300 games I've never even installed. This leads to a problem where that you become overwhelmed and never make a choice at all. When I go on steam, I have some 400 games, but I usually open the same few... which I've already beaten.

In terms of "games getting worse" or "concepts being over-milked", I think this is because you now have so many games to compare every release to. When you got your first game, it was the best game you ever owned. When you had ten games, you probably had three favorites. When you have 100 games, a lot of them start to look similar. This is only slightly the developer's problem. There are only so many ways to build a wheel for example. Platformers have to have platforms and jumping. Shooters need shooting and Adventure games need environments to explore. These aren't really wheels you can adjust that much and eventually the hundreth platformer is going to be a little derivative. Now there are thousands upon thousands of games in existence. It really becomes difficult to truly stand out. And thanks to nostalgia, your favorite games will probably be older anyway. My top 5 games are STILL Banjo Kazooie, Paper Mario TTYD, Banjo Tooie, Paper Mario 64, and Ratchet and Clank Up Your Arsenal. Some genres are of course more guilty of being derivative than others (Call of Duty, NFL/NBA/Baseball games, etc) but I think there are only so many iterations on a theme that would even work.

And lastly... yeah, gaming has changed. Most games don't have codes in them anymore, achievements are everywhere, social aspects (Facebook-ing of online gaming) have been shoehorned in, DLC is now available and put to varying degrees of effective use, microtransactions can now exist, etc. Heck, the internet exists now so things like the "Mew hidden under the truck in Pokemon Red" are no longer even a thing. The internet will figure out all the secrets of a game in a week, if not in mere hours. Crowdsourcing the rumor mill is both great and terrible. The entire environment has definitely shifted, but I don't think it's a bad thing. Some games have done DLC really well, achievements can be fun if done well, the absence of codes is a little disappointing but besides that it all seems to come down to execution. Just like there are hundreds of old, AWFUL platformers nobody remembers, there are currently tons of examples of DLC done wrong. And that's just because it's current. Someday we won't remember those examples just like we don't remember... I dunno, some terrible platformer.

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Tue May 10, 2016 9:23 pm
by lavamario
You definitely seek some Banjo, so let me the first to tell you you there's nothing quite like that anywhere. Banjo is one of the most nostalgic a gamer can get, and it's due to a vast amount of cohesive elements that through some miracle managed to hit all the right spots.
Your best bet for seeking similar experiences is to go back, and play any classic platformers you never got to experience. Stuff like Spyro. My belief is that the child-like glee is best and most easily experienced if you actually have the hardware and crt on-hand, but I understand emulators have a huge amount of advantages. Anyway, I too have seeked this nostalgic feeling with modern consoles and it's simply not there.

But if you're willing to look passed that and play 2D/3D platformers that are on the same level of greatness on their own merits, nostalgia-feelings aside, I would heartily recommend Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, which manages to bring back that gamer vs the designer kind of feeling you would get through DKC's traditional genius level design.
Nintendo's actually been killing it with platformers. 3D World does a great job of refining the half-baked 3D Land approach to a hybrid 2D and 3D Mario while simultaneously adapting the golden level design formula that was very apparent in Mario Galaxy and moreso in Galaxy 2 (both which are must-plays btw). It's a tried and true way to guide a player with a consistent difficulty curve that introduces concepts while ramping up the difficulty on performing said concept.
Furthermore, Yoshi's Wooly World is absolute magic for me. Everytime there's some SMW vs SMB3 debate, you always see the dedicates guys who go "Yoshi's Island!" which is a testament to that game's challenging but engrossing levels with an exploration-esque edge to them. And Wooly World somehow managed to surpass it for me. I just think it's game ideas and secrets are just that much more refined. It's also adorable

What about the Wario Land's? Have you played them? If not that's a problem. Wario Land 4 is in my top 9 games of all time. Wario Land Shake It on the Wii is sadly its most recent one, but that one's still great with sublime hand-drawn visuals. Wario World is a solid 3D Wario game, if a bit short.

For a platformer with great writing, excellent levels with varied themes, and a lot of humor, Psychonauts is a must-play. Rayman 3 is great too, has a similar tone and I think it's way overlooked. I didn't like the 3D Port of Rayman 2, but some say it's the go-to Rayman game, as well as an essential platformer so other ports might make it shine. As for 2D, Rayman Origins and Legends are both excellent. Go play them.

Go revisit Prince of Persia: Sands of Time if you never go the chance. Platforming so great that it takes a lot of rewinding to understand the complexity of some of it.

Ratchet and Clank is a consistently good series that mixes platforming and action. I recommend Up Your Arsenal or A Crack In Time. Can't speak for the others or the new one, but they all seem great.

What about the downloadables? Have you played Shovel Knight? Megaman 9/10? Cave Story? Spelunky? All excellent.

And the platformer with the absolute best mobility I've ever experienced is easily Mario Sunshine, but you should have that under your belt already. Say you what you want about other aspects, but that alone makes it worth replaying.

Many other games come to mind when I list experiences that compare to childhood experiences, but a lot of them aren't platformers. Just to name a few: Rune Factory 4, Persona 4, Wonderful 101, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 (KH2FM changes everything), Kid Icarus Uprising, Animal Crossing New Leaf, Splatoon

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Tue May 10, 2016 9:52 pm
by Wazikhiel
The problem with Mario Maker and Splatoon is the fact that its on a console which is dead...I've bought the WiiU because I'm a fan of Nintendo and I like their franchises. I was expecting Zelda for the WiiU in summer (been delayed for the NX) and I see the WiiU section of the store and I'm like ''...what did I bought that system for ? '' We have WAAAAAAAY MORE Wii games than WiiU and its not bad system itself, its just that it wasn't what I expected from Nintendo.

I've played Spyro when I was a kid, I also have the 10th anniversary Rayman collection with Rayman M,Rayman 2 and Rayman 3 in it. Super Mario 3D world was a bit weird for me, I'm more a Mario sunshine guy (don't judge me please XD).

For Shovel Knight, I've tried it on the playstation demo station at my job. This game seems awesome but I don't know why, I'm more attracted by Shantae (I didn't heard good/bad review of this game to be honest).

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Tue May 10, 2016 10:03 pm
by lavamario
Wii U certainly undersold, but by no means are Mario Maker and Splatoon dead. I think the Wii U has been more consistently good than the Wii, but I admit it definitely hasn't gotten enough to justify its console lifespan.

I'd recommend Shantae's Pirate Curse if you like what you see. The others didn't hold my attention long enough for me to beat them, but if you especially like Shantae you might get more out of beating them all. Several people who enjoy Shantae also recommend Mighty Switch Force 1 and 2. I haven't played the first much, but I enjoyed what I played and the music is top-shelf.

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Tue May 10, 2016 10:23 pm
by Wazikhiel
I've never played Shantae actually... :oops:

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Tue May 10, 2016 10:58 pm
by BanjoThreeie

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Tue May 10, 2016 11:09 pm
by Wazikhiel
how bad its short ?...

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Wed May 11, 2016 7:07 am
by Meinhard1
This is a fun topic to read.

I do think think part of it is age, in a somewhat unfortunate way.
Play and imagination are just the native way for children; and as we grow up, some of that is lost.

For a child an ordinary "bush" is a castle; a puddle of mud -- a good half hour of fun. This applies to games, too. Children personalize and inhabit the games they play. As a child I played some technically "very poor" games, yet resigned myself to them without second thought.

A few good, general, personal bits I've found:
1. Continually ask yourself "what makes me happy." Pay attention to the things you like, try to determine why. Sometimes we trick ourselves into thinking we enjoy something, we really don't; trust your instincts on this.

2. Learn to be in the moment -- adult life can get future oriented (for example: at work thinking about vacation, at vacation thinking about work).

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Wed May 11, 2016 10:32 am
by GrayMagicΓ

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Wed May 11, 2016 6:51 pm
by dotEXE

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Thu May 12, 2016 2:39 am
by BanjoThreeie

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Thu May 12, 2016 3:05 am
by Wazikhiel
I've found a game at my job, a survivor of the PS2 era : Sly Cooper 2. I bought it but I never played it...what do you think ?

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Thu May 12, 2016 1:26 pm
by dotEXE
The Sly Cooper games are all fantastic, 1 and 2 in particular imo. I don't think you'll be disappointed. I really wish we'd get a PS4 release of a new Sly game but I don't think it'll happen.

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Thu May 12, 2016 3:59 pm
by Yavga
you know what made me enjoy games a lot more? Try to look for glitches on your own, you start to notice all the little things developers made that you would otherwise just ignore.

I can not agree 100% on the part that internet made secrets and mysteries irrelevant/non-existent. Like all things... These things need to grow with the time. There are several games that keep implementing easter eggs for everyone to find. Look at the battlefield games for example, in GTA V things keep being found after years! Even after tearing the game code apart :)

I think we look different at games now we're older, we tend to look beyond the game. With some effort, a kid-like viewpoint can definally be achieved ;) just takes some practise and patience.

Re: What changed ?...

Posted: Fri May 13, 2016 9:28 am
by GrayMagicΓ