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Old 10-13-2011, 07:15 PM   #1
bean19
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The Old School Myth

So often I read gamers on forums crying because a game series that has been long dead finally gets renewed, but they are changing the game dramatically because of the years that have past between the game's inception and now. They are upset that it's not a "true sequel".

Well, here's the thing. There are isometric games out there and independent upgrades to games like X-Com that none of you play. There are literally hundreds of hours of modules that have as high (or higher) production values as the original games for Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2. Very few people play them. There are also a bunch of independent games that are very similar to old isometric titles that don't sell that well. So these types of games are out there, and people don't ACTUALLY want to play them. They say they want them, but they don't buy them or even install and play the ones that can be had for free.

Plus, the hardcore gamer market that is actually nostalgic for these titles is just a small piece of the puzzle. We are an important, highly vocal trend-setting group for gaming, so our opinion matters, but the zeitgeist can only be lead so far down into our nerdy cave. Even if the makers of X-Com, Fallout, or Syndicate did decide to make a truly old school budget title (budget because you don't need much to make these really old game types - which is why they are often indy games now), then just a handful of old school gamers would play them.

Plus, many of you would hate the game and not finish it. Go try to play X-Com or Fallout 1 & 2 now. See if you can keep playing for even an hour. Some of you will be able to do so, but I'm betting more than half won't be able to make it even an hour into these games we loved so many years ago. Too much time has passed and the bar has been raised. By today's standards, they really, really suck. They were amazing when they came out as they brought all these new ideas and different types of gameplay to us for the first time, and historically that's always going to be cool, but I don't think most people can play them for fun now.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:53 PM   #2
sai tyrus
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Good write up and perspective. I agree. These kinds of games are still out there!
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:54 PM   #3
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...Particularly thinking of Frozen Synapse, which I'm duing to play.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:58 PM   #4
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I actually play through Fallout 2 on a regular basis. Silent Storm was the best turned based X-Com style game that's come out for a long time, sadly it doesn't work well in windows 7 or I'd be playing that.
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:12 AM   #5
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I think you make some great points, but I have a few contrary ones to make.

Item 1: Some “old school” games really are just great games. To prove my point, let's look at Mega Man 9. Here's a recent game that was utterly old school – and everyone adored it. It wasn't just nostalgia that drew people, Mega Man was still a lot of fun. It did so well that they went and made a second one. Those aren't completely rose-colored glasses that we stare at the past through. Some of those older games really are as good as we remember them.

Item 2: Because the gaming audience has gotten so much broader recently, (and because games are now so expensive to make) developers and/or publishers are simply less willing to take risks making something to sell to people. This is less of a problem very recently, with more indie developers and small-scale production making a comeback – but it has led to some real tragedies, like....

Item 3: old series are sometimes utterly butchered in the attempt to turn it into something that will make money. Off the top of my head, let's put 'Golden Axe: Beast Rider,' the 3D 'Bionic Commando', and most of the 3D Castlevania stuff on the pile of 'bad remakes that are rightfully chastised.' Not just for losing the things that made the originals fun – but for also sucking outright.

So, my point is, sometimes new sparkly versions of classic games (like Fallout 3 or Metroid Prime) are outstanding modern games that really do an old classic justice. But sometimes I think us older gamers do have a legitimate beef. Well-loved games from the past should be more than just a cheap, nostalgic marketing hook for lame products that barely resemble the very thing they used to draw my attention.

<special 'fuck you' to Michael Bay goes here.>

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Old 10-14-2011, 07:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Item 1: Some “old school” games really are just great games. To prove my point, let's look at Mega Man 9.
Sure. Many old school games are still fun as are the indy copycats of those games. I recently had a lot of fun playing Space Pirates and Zombies (SPAZ) which is a top-down shmup with ship-building and customization in a space universe. This is a very old school concept game that was excellent.

However, some old school games don't fair nearly as well. There are a few people (like Zurik) that can still enjoy games like Fallout 1&2 and X-Com, but I certainly can't. These are games I loved when I was a little kid, but I've tried to replay them and they are just so bad that I can't stand them anymore. My point is that if the gameplay is good, then they are still making games like that as indy titles though often the indy titles have also evolved the gameplay (as well as improved the graphics and updated the terrible interfaces).

Quote:
Item 2: Because the gaming audience has gotten so much broader recently. . . old series are sometimes utterly butchered in the attempt to turn it into something that will make money. Off the top of my head, let's put 'Golden Axe: Beast Rider,' the 3D 'Bionic Commando', and most of the 3D Castlevania stuff on the pile of 'bad remakes that are rightfully chastised.'
Good point. I agree with you, and your conclusion. When licenses are used to market terrible games, then we have a legitimate beef. My problem is with people who don't accept any amount of change in old school games without crying heresy.
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Old 10-14-2011, 08:08 AM   #7
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Must say ... I went to GOG.com recently and got a bunch of old school RPG.
They made me give up some recent RPGs I had in my backlog to play Bauldurs Gate ... Much better story and engine and I don't care about graphics.

But I think you are right we complain a lot about not being like the old games and at the same time the old game had design decisions that were made based on when the game was built.

But I truly hate when they take a old series and just kill everybody, everything in the old games is too past to mention and let's move on with a generic shooter ...
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:08 AM   #8
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I tried to play Xcom...

It's one of those games you kept at because you only bought 1-3 games a year as a kid. By the time you're good at the basics I'm sure it's very rewarding. But the difficult curve to get there is among the highest I've ever seen in any game.

I put it down pretty quickly.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:07 AM   #9
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The worlds reaction to the first 20 minutes of the original Transformers animated movie sums up how I feel about treating classic titles.

When recreating a classic, a studio must either do it correctly, or not at all. The other alternative I'd accept is if the studio did the recreation in their vision, but provided a working copy of the original along side the new version. Studios who aren't putting out complete shit will be happy to showcase the old and new side by side allowing the gamer to come to their own conclusions about which they enjoy more.
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:47 AM   #10
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I would like to see a trend start of remaking crappy games (movies too) and building something good out of them. Revisiting classics seems a little too easy with not a lot of reward.
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:00 AM   #11
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I would like to see a trend start of remaking crappy games (movies too) and building something good out of them. Revisiting classics seems a little too easy with not a lot of reward.
Yeah I could see that working. Imagine a remade version of Milon's Secret Castle using the Ecochrome ii engine.



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