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Computer/Video Games

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:54 pm
by Abharsair
Over the recent years I came to the conclusion that most modern computer/video games pretty much decreased in quality, and I wonder if you (assuming you're old enough) have the same impression, or if I'm just too critical.

Now, with quality I mean mostly gameplay, complexity, depth and storyline, not graphics. The graphics dramatically improved, no doubt about that, but let's look for example at Oblivion and compare it to Morrowind: less skills, less quests, less guilds, no noble houses to join, less lore, and leveled loot/enemies, which enables even first graders to play the game. Or let's compare GTA4 to San Andreas: less cars, less weapons, no character development, smaller world. And the widely praised Mass Effect? The side quests sucked, money was worthless, and after a while you just ignored collecting stuff, because there was no real use in doing so. Assassin's Creed? Don't get me even started on that one. There are only so many towers I can climb, so many informants to beat up, so many flags to collect before it becomes a tiresome grind. And yet despite of all that "dumbing down" and over-simplified gameplay paired with eye candy, those games are still hyped and get the highest ratings from game magazines.

So the question is: is it just me, or do you have a similar impression? And are there exceptions which actually combine intelligent gameplay, depth and eye candy?

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:24 pm
by Delia
I haven't bothered with any/most of the new games for a long time now. Morrowind was nice when it was released but similarly when I got my hands on Oblivion I got rather tired of it(after the Wow! aspect which receded quickly). I have a certain soft spot for Civ4 and Half-Life. Portal has received some praise from people so I'd like to try that one out someday. But in overall if you have a really good game it does not matter if the graphics suck or have been made by the gods of CG.

Somehow when I feel like gaming(apart from Geas)I often find myself from the 'Home Of The Underdogs' site. Do check out 'Dark Heart Of Ukruul' - A classic!

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:46 pm
by vurdijak
I don't play those games, but I have watched a friend play Assassin's Creed for several hours. That game is great to look at, but the storyline is so weak and the tasks so repetitive, that I have no wish to play it at all. I think maybe the game companies are spending all their money on graphic artists and no money on actual writers.

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:20 pm
by Staltos
I think a problem is that no one has anything new. Look at GTA4, an awesome game in my opinion, but appart from a few new features in the game like cover and blind fire, it's the same as GTA3 with hyped graphics. I guess this can be said about a lot of games out there.

A game I like that has kind of done something new is Mount & Blade. It's another hack n' slash type game, BUT they implemented mounted combat extremely well, which I have not seen anywhere else. Plus a bit of tactics are thrown in for good measure as the only way to survive the game is to have a small army of soldiers and followers. It's really hard to just solo the game.

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:29 pm
by luminier
the amount of sequels and same stories are kind of irking me. but then again im sure nothing we see now can be made completely new. everyone borrows ideas from somewhere.

there are some good sequel games like the metal gear solid series. but even it falls to the same gameplay but improved graphics, why i love it is the story. to me if the story is great and the gameplay is alright then im essentially sold.

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:52 am
by Grindel
Old games do not imply a good gameplay, no one plays Pong or Vermeer for more than a few sentimental minutes, today.

But the recent games... While I can't speak for action or sport games, in adventure and strategy the gameplay peaked somewhere between Fate: Gates of Dawn, and Anno 1602 (to give a range of both time and genre).
During the last 10 years or so the developement costs for a computer game went trough the roof, very few games are developed by small groups. High cost means high risk, so new or unorthodox ideas have a hard time to turn into games.

Sad, but I am unwilling to pay for new hardware every other year, anyway.

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:30 am
by isengoo
The Orange Box is the best thing I've bought in the last 5 years.

Including food.

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 6:06 am
by eirikeld
The replayability of many older games remains grander than today's treadmill, which are designed solely to get you to buy the sequel. My opinion.

Let's compare one of my favorite games [I admit, I enter with this bias], Master of Orion.

The story was admittedly ... short and lame. But the game remained very replayable, based on it's random starts, technology variations and the fact that the player could build their own ships.

The options and variations were effectively infinite. The game did not bog you into detail, but did let you set priorities and controls. For those of you who like to micro manage a bit more, try the sequel. It offered more races [and race customization] but also added MUCH more detail. Too much for my tastes.

I do not believe a great story is important, but mainly how playable, and re-playable a game is the key factor. Stories have a habit of being repeated, and getting old when heard too many times.

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:53 pm
by ramandu
I have a soft spot for Dune II. Before there was warcraft or red alert or command and conquer, there was Dune II.


At one point we hooked up 3 computers via null modem cables on our kitchen table. It lasted for about a week, but after that, we feared for the spontaneous combustion of the computers or our GPA's being destroyed faster than a the House Harkonnen's Death Hand. ... n_base.jpg

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:18 pm
by usephniel
I'd be curious to revive this topic and see what everyone thinks of games now that the environment has changed -- the Wii emphasizing playability and fun over graphics (although its success in achieving either might be debatable), and the iPhone / iPod Touch / Android generation of devices offering tons and tons of new and old games.

Also, both the Wii and the newer device generation brought new game interfaces -- the motion sensing and multitouch capabilities, among others.

Has the pendulum swung back to playability over eye candy?

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:11 am
by luminier
Well, I read a lot about this stuff so Ill offer my opinion.

Sure the Wii is extremely successful and has sold -a lot- of consoles. But me? I would say that it isn't very fun. Myself, like most hardcore gamers just don't play the Wii all that much. I played Zelda Twilight Princess and Metroid Corruption for it, because really I thought those were the only two worth playing so far. The Wii has a lot to offer, but just not to the hardcore gamer crowd. But the hardcore gamers are a select group. It seems Nintendo has moved on to targeting other groups to get more money. I understand though, business is business and they need to make some money, and really I just don't care. I have a PS3 and an Xbox 360 and they have more than enough exceedly awesome games to keep me entertained. If it isn't the insanely good graphics, it is the story of the games, and if it isn't the story, it's the amazing gameplay.

In response to your question, maybe playability has come back into the lime light. In a way I agree with you but I might change what you are thinking a little. Graphics can only get so good, and once they reach their threshold playability will once again be a factor (I believe that time has come). But whether motion sensing and all that is the next "big thing" isn't apparent right now. To me at least is seems like a gimmicky thing that will go away eventually. Sony and Microsoft and really just putting dollars into it to try and feed off of the Wii's obvious success with it's motion controls.

Has the pendulum swung? It seems to be on it's way, but I suspect it won't tarry long in it's new location.

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:29 am
by isengoo
I like playing Wii Sports with my dad 8)

Soon it will be Wii Sports Resort! :D

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:22 am
by luminier
isengoo wrote:I like playing Wii Sports with my dad 8)

Soon it will be Wii Sports Resort! :D

Wii sports is alright, but nothing that keeps me entertained for very long. Modern Warfare 2? yes Ill take 9 copies please.

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:17 pm
by Cuetlachtli
This is a topic that I generally have to agree with Abh and company who are on the side of games generally going down in quality.

Now, there are some gamers, like myself, that play predominantly NEWer games...but they don't have fancy (or for some people even recognizable) graphics.

My friends constantly give me a hard time for playing roguelikes, and tend to think that these games are old. In fact most of them I play frequently are pretty recently developed.

So they are newer games, but independently developed and with an extreme emphasis on gameplay and an extreme underemphasis on graphics (mostly due to the fact that these are largely one man projects with little or no funding I guess).

Dwarf Fortress - amazing gameplay, complexity, replayability, flexability....exteneded ASCII grapics :P

DOOM RL (a cool roguelike dungeon crawl based on the old idsoftware DOOM game! Even has the sound from the old game incorporated)

Incursion (thanks poDelia!!! :) )
Angband, Nethack...etc blah blah

3059 - a real-time sort of roguelike, but SF instead of fantasy, pretty neat. Actually has a tileset for graphics, so non ASCII (but still primitive)

Xenocide (another SF roguelike)

I haven't played a console game with decent graphics in years. I did, however, recently re purchase Bushido of the niftiest sword fighting games I've seen.

I dabble, actually, in old point and click adventure games as well, like the ones Sierra used to make. Those are fun times.

Which brings me to what Usephniel brings up about things going a bit backward....with handheld gaming getting to be good (but not yet great) things like puzzle adventure games and point and click style are somewhat coming back. It's a thing I hope to see more of, certainly.

I'm definitely a much more slow paced gamer though. So... I dunno. I loved Morrowind when it came out, because it was so pretty....but I didn't take it too seriously as far as gameplay, though I seem to remember it being cool.

From what I've seen of my housemate playing the new games on his fancy new consoles...they look like fun, but really not much different than an old fashioned dungeon-crawl with much less in the way of dynamic situations with cool solutions that make you think.

Obviously not all are that way, from what I heard Portal was actually cool and interesting, but I don't know from personal or even second hand experience.

How about I ramble on aimlessly some more? :P

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 7:13 pm
by luminier
I don't know if it's fair to say new games are going down in quality. Sure, alot of shit gets pumped out in the interest of money. But games from Bethesda, Infinity Ward, Square Enix, Naughty Dog, Nintendo, Bioware, Atlus, Sega, and even EA lately have been some some pretty solid titles. And when I say solid, im talking Elder Scrolls Oblivion, Bioshock/System Shock, Final Fantasies, Call of Duty, Uncharted, Metroid, Zelda, Mass Effect/Balders Gate/Dragon Age, Demon's Souls, just to name a few of the most awesome in my opinion.

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:36 pm
by matusalem
The primary reason for my current absence from Geas has been due to the holiday work load at my job. The lesser reason is that my now limited game-playing time is spent on "Dragon Age: Origins." (I can easily walk away from it after half an hour or so; something I cannot do with Geas.) With games such as this, I often find myself restarting over and over, so I've not gotten terribly far into it. It seems quite "cinematic" even if it's incredibly buggy. What I like about it is the dwarven backstories. Dwarves are typically boring in most games, but they're by far the best conceived and implemented race in this game in my opinion. (Elves being the least.) It just takes a lot of finagling with the customization options to keep male dwarves from looking like smurfs or some such other cartoon characters; however, female dwarves are peculiarly attractive.

A little over two more months until Mass Effect 2 is released; something I've been anticipating since finishing the first.

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:10 am
by caelia
As soon as my brother told he he picked up a copy of Dragon Age, I wondered which Geas players were going to be distracted by the same thing. :)

I used to play a lot more games than I do now, and I really haven't bought many games in the past five years or so (the money usually being spent on diapers or some such). I have a fondness for the various Neverwinter Nights games (exclusing the original campaign in the first one, which I found rather boring), and Morrowind has probably been my most recent favorite, since it has a lot of depth and open-endedness even if it replayability would have been helped with randomness. I did find that once I got past Oblivion's eye candy, it just wasn't as good as Morrowind. I've spent a fair amount of time with Xbox and Nintendo 64 games, and while some of them were fun, there just hasn't been one I really miss, in comparison to some of my old favorites. I have an intense loathing for graphical MMORPGs, which I think are devouring the souls of teenagers and young adults by the millions.

I thought that the Wii was a very smart move for Nintendo. I love that its lineup is full of casual games (and these days, except for my time with Geas, I'm very much a casual gamer) that a few people can play at a time. I remember a few games very fondly, but I'm far more fond of the memories I made playing a game with someone than I am of the game itself.

Lachtli - I share some of your fondness for roguelikes, so you're not alone. ;) I can play a few of these for a while, but eventually, I just find them to be way too hard. I don't like living or dying at the whim of the random number generator, who is a heartless witch. :twisted:

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:19 am
by luminier
I tried playing Dragon Age, thinking oh well it's Bioware it'll be good. Much to my surprise i didn't find it that fun. The game seemed unpolished with gameplay and graphics. Even I thought of tons of new things they couldve done to just make the game that much more perfect. trying to play that on the pc has just been a bad experience for me all around, and i find i am just bored by the game.

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:25 am
by Damanta
I went to a friend's house recently, two things happened.

1. Intoxication


Needless to say, it was an awesome night.

Re: Computer/Video Games

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:33 am
by isengoo
Combat frogs!