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First post, by BEEN_Nath_58

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I could be one of those experiencing this weird frame of time where I don't find newly released games. This could be due to the Internet; the mysteries of the game get so quickly discovered, the difficult missions often have a trick/glitch to finish them that are out there on the Internet. Even if you ignore these two factors, most games now look underworked, they haven't had the kind of gameplay upgrade that was happening 15-20 years back.

Some specific genres, such as FPS (let's say CSGO or Warzone), always seem like competition and a pressure. The racing genre components that I liked have been so differentiated into different games, I no longer see the customization quality as in the Black Box NFS games, neither does the online component feel as fun.

I don't see a video game industry crash coming, the games are fairly good, but maybe things could be ramped up?

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Reply 1 of 39, by gerry

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it may be that games have moved away from the particular mix of characteristics you liked previously

conversely someone who likes modern games may find ones from the past too 'restrictive' or having too 'few' options

i do think that if you like to discover the game yourself but find it difficult to resist looking stuff up now isn't the best time

the rate of game innovation has slowed down - the distance between 1997 and 2002 for instance is pretty big in terms of most game genres but from 2017 to 2022 not so different

also, an observation I've made before, games look so good now that they over promise and under deliver. if there is an open world game with a realistic cafe on a street then not only do i expect to be able to go in and sit down with a coffee, i also expect damage from fires and bullets to not only be apparent but also to persist, for instance. it is too much to ask, but somehow the visible details being so good make it all seem reasonable to expect!

Reply 3 of 39, by Shponglefan

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IHMO, this is just a symptom of getting older. When you're young everything is new and exciting. As you get older, that perceived novelty decreases.

In part, everything is derivative of something that came before it. Even video games themselves are derivative of other forms of entertainment.

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Reply 4 of 39, by appiah4

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Nothing feels as exciting anymore. Everything feels tired and old.

Yes, that's because I am tired and old.

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Reply 5 of 39, by chinny22

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leileilol wrote on 2022-11-15, 20:33:

Yeh it is but I've no problem conforming to the "Old man yells at Clouds" stereotype for a few minutes 😉

Newer GTA's seem interesting but I made the decision to stop at the Pre HD era as haven't finished San Andreas and sticking to the same game engine seemed to round if off nicely.

The newest 3 games I own is Farming Simulator 2019 and Farming Simulator 13 both of which I got the DVD copies.
The third and only game don't own on physical media is the C&C Remake as it's not available in non electronic form.
I don't know why but I feel nervous about not owning a physical copy. They all need activation so I'm still screwed if the servers go offline no matter what, but it still feels safer?

but it's not just games. Anything post Windows XP doesn't really interest me. Window's 7 is just OK in my book and anything newer is bit of a mess IMHO.

If I'm totally honest though even out of all my old games I only really go back and play the same couple over and over and over again.
What can I say I'm old and stuck in my ways, but I'm happy!

Reply 6 of 39, by Namrok

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On the whole, I'd say games are far worse than they used to be. Fun has largely been displaced by compulsiveness. Delight, surprise and flow state replaced with games that are somewhere between 25%-95% slot machine. The most exciting part of a game not being the actual moment to moment gameplay, but opening the loot box at the end of the round.

Action RPGs? Slot machine with a clicker RPG attached. Online shooter? Slot machine with a shooter attached. Show me the game and I'll probably show you the slot machine.

It drives me nuts trying to navigate this new gaming landscape where most games are some percentage addictive slot machine. Because for starters, that school of game design has become so ubiquitous, it saturates even offline indie games. They don't need you to get addicted, log in every day, or spend money on micro transactions. But they lean into turning their game into a skinner box all the same, because it's just what you do now.

Which is not to say there aren't gems. Every time I go on this rant people start recommending games. Yes, I know Hollow Knight exists, and it's great. Yes, I've probably heard of that game too, even if I haven't played it.

So back to my problems navigating this new gaming landscape. I have no signals of quality any longer. Once upon a time, I could trust a certain studio or designer to generally make games I enjoy. Blizzard, Bullfrog, Origin, id Software, etc. And they'd churn out a game about every other year. You look at these studios output through the 90's and it's insanely prolific. In the neighborhood of 5-10 games each, all legendary hits! Now? Well, forget about those studios. And thanks to games as a service, if a studio manages to make a good game, they just keep making it. For 10 fucking years. Like Factorio, Stardew Valley or Minecraft. They just become "The Stardew Valley Company", to scared to pinch off the high point of their life and strive for something even better. And so, the fact that I actually enjoyed Factorio or Hollow Knight helps me almost nothing at all finding the next game I think I might also like.

Who knows, maybe Hollow Knight: Silksong will come out by the time I'm 50.

Don't get me started on the gaming press. I grew up generally trusting Computer Gaming World. Rereading their old issues for shits and giggles does take the shine off my nostalgic impression of them. But so far I haven't found them to be manifestly wrong the same way a lot of modern game reviewers are. Where they ding a game for not doing something they were too stupid or lazy to figure out. Or you watch them try to play a game only to see, they can't even make the first jump of a tutorial level. It becomes kind of obvious taking in the mainstream gaming press, talking points and advertising dollars went out, or they all saw the same presentation at a press junket, and everybody more or less just repeats that. And if gamers disagree, it's the gamers who are wrong. Or they just skip talking about the game at all, and instead get on their favorite soap box and start lecturing you.

So yeah, I have zero clue what games are good anymore. I can't rely on the previous output of studios, or look forward to the future output of studios. Reviews are basically worthless. I more or less have to wait until word of mouth becomes so overwhelmingly positive about a game, I feel compelled to finally try it. But that's not really compatible with wanting to find a game to play right now

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Reply 7 of 39, by Joseph_Joestar

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Namrok wrote on 2022-11-16, 14:33:

On the whole, I'd say games are far worse than they used to be. Fun has largely been displaced by compulsiveness. Delight, surprise and flow state replaced with games that are somewhere between 25%-95% slot machine.

Agreed. This is one of the main reasons why I almost exclusively (re)play old games nowadays.

I have a substantial backlog of high quality games to go through, mostly from the early 90s to mid 2000s. And at my pace, I probably won't run out of stuff to play any time soon.

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Reply 8 of 39, by Ensign Nemo

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One thing about old games is that you felt that they were a labor of love. I think that I get more enjoyment from a game knowing that the developers put their heart and soul into it. The old flight sims are a good example, as you'd often get a 200 page manual with the game. These manuals often contained large sections that were not even game related, but the devs were so passionate about topic that they basically wrote a history book on it.

Reply 9 of 39, by liqmat

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I don't know. Personally, I think we are in an indie games renaissance. I sift through many PC demos on Itch.io, Kickstarter, etc. and there are just amazing indie games being produced these days. I have almost 8TB of game demos archived within the last few years that are of high quality. The reason I even collect them is because many disappear because of lack of time & funding and some devs tend to delete the pages and files leaving no trace of their existence. Many of the vintage platforms like the C64, VIC-20, Amiga and Atari line of computers are getting better games now than they ever have because of better development tools. The Mattel Intellivision console alone has had a 2022 bumper crop year of new games and many were free. All depends where you are looking I suppose. AAA games haven't been the main course for me in many, many years. I find the indie game scene much more interesting and most of all... innovative & fun.

Reply 10 of 39, by Ensign Nemo

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liqmat wrote on 2022-11-16, 20:30:

I don't know. Personally, I think we are in an indie games renaissance. I sift through many PC demos on Itch.io, Kickstarter, etc. and there are just amazing indie games being produced these days. I have almost 8TB of game demos archived within the last few years that are of high quality. The reason I even collect them is because many disappear because of lack of time & funding and some devs tend to delete the pages and files leaving no trace of their existence.

The problem with indie games for me is discovery. There are too many for me to sort through in order to find the rare gem. Another problem for me is that, for the genres I'm interested in, the new indies often don't meet the standards of games made 20 or more years ago. For example, there have been a few attempts to make another Starflight or Star Control, but I still haven't found anything that comes close to those games. Unfortunately, some genres are pretty difficult to make as well, which prohibits small teams from making them.

That being said, I've probably put more hours into Terraria than any other game, so that's a big counterexample for me. I think I only paid $2.50 for it as well, so I've gotten the most bang for my buck with it.

Reply 11 of 39, by Joakim

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leileilol wrote on 2022-11-15, 20:33:

Yes! As that TS I'd like to notify everyone that I'm the original grumpy middle aged guy!

Personally I was (and am) going through a stage when I try to accept that my love of gaming is not what it used to be. (But I'm pretty sure it's not only me.)

There are a lot of crap to throw on the big titles and I won't go there this time.. I think it has a lot to do with not having enough spare time when you "get a life". You really don't have time to waste on bad games if you only have 2 hours a day to play them. I myself also have a problem that I get easily overwhelmed, so when I have 3 games to play I don't play any at all..

Reply 12 of 39, by swaaye

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Maybe you are overwhelmed by the fact that there is actually an incredibly wide range of gaming options today. And sure there is no shortage of low quality shovelware or indie projects that just ran out of money. On Steam it's fairly easy to identify those with the user reviews I think.

I am mostly a player of indie games and VR these days. I feel like those are the most exciting and experimental areas.

Reply 13 of 39, by Shponglefan

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When it comes to games worse over time, I think a combination of the novelty aspect coupled with rose-colored glasses skews our perception of the past.

Just combing through Mobygames, from about 1982-onward there are thousands of games released each year. How many of those are really good games? A tiny of fraction of that at best.

Low-effort, buggy, or shovelware crap has always existed. Heck, it's the reason Nintendo came up with their "seal of quality" as part of their marketing following the crash of 1983.

We just forget all the junk and remember the good stuff.

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Reply 14 of 39, by ODwilly

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I kept stopping and spending a bunch of time appreciating little things about CyberPunk. But after spoiling the possible ending after 30 hours in and game breaking bugs when it 1st came out causing me to quit until recent updates fixed (but reset) my original saves recently. What I found the most lacking in Cyber Punk is how little there is to really do once you run out of main side quests and most gigs.

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Reply 15 of 39, by Ensign Nemo

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Shponglefan wrote on 2022-11-16, 22:56:
When it comes to games worse over time, I think a combination of the novelty aspect coupled with rose-colored glasses skews our […]
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When it comes to games worse over time, I think a combination of the novelty aspect coupled with rose-colored glasses skews our perception of the past.

Just combing through Mobygames, from about 1982-onward there are thousands of games released each year. How many of those are really good games? A tiny of fraction of that at best.

Low-effort, buggy, or shovelware crap has always existed. Heck, it's the reason Nintendo came up with their "seal of quality" as part of their marketing following the crash of 1983.

We just forget all the junk and remember the good stuff.

I doubt that many people would disagree over there being a lot of shovelware going back to the first games. When people talk about games being better back in the day, I think they mean that the top tier games today don't live up to those from the past. I think they are implying that AAA games and even some of the more anticipated indies don't live up to the classics.

I certainly agree that nostalgia is a big factor and we might remember games being better than they actually were in some cases. I think that the quantity also affects our perception. I appreciated the few games that I had as a kid more when I only had a few options. Today, I have access to thousands, so I'm less likely to stick with something that I don't enjoy at first.

However, I don't think that's the entire story. There have been a lot of changes in game design over the years, and you can argue that some of them have been for the worst. I doubt anyone would argue that carving up your game into multiple pieces in order to sell DLC at day 1 is an improvement. Same goes for free2play games that are actually pay2win.

Subjectively, I think that the quality of writing has gone down over time in many ways. While the writing quality for the average game has always been poor throughout the years, I think the best writing from today doesn't meet the best writing from the past. Personally, I haven't experienced anything in a modern game like the story in Deus Ex , Half-Life, or System Shock games. Apart from Half-Life 2, I didn't play any of those games when they came out, so I don't think that this is nostalgia for me. A lot of people have described the same thing for movies, where the studios are afraid of trying new things and focus on reboots that don't live up to the earlier movies.

If you look at some of the trends in game design, I think you can understand why some people would prefer older games. I personally love both the old and new X-COM games, but I can see why some people would prefer the scope of the old games because you were given a lot more control over what you can build and do. Similarly, for fans of the old Jagged Alliance games, nothing new has really come close to the same experience. Multiplayer is also another factor. I love flight and space sims, but I never play multiplayer. Many new games in these genres are exclusively multiplayer or the dev's aren't able to focus entirely on the singleplayer experience.

Reply 16 of 39, by Standard Def Steve

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Au contraire. I played Spider-Man Remastered for hours last night. And the night before. And even during lunch a few days ago. It's exhilarating.
Actually, I find myself enjoying new games just a skosh more than the older ones as of late! But hey - I still love the classics! Grew up playing them, after all.

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Reply 17 of 39, by RandomStranger

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Shponglefan wrote on 2022-11-16, 12:11:

IHMO, this is just a symptom of getting older. When you're young everything is new and exciting. As you get older, that perceived novelty decreases.

In part, everything is derivative of something that came before it. Even video games themselves are derivative of other forms of entertainment.

It's not just the lack of the sense of novelty, but that do temper the excitement even for good modern games. But ►mainstream◄ games in general do get objectively worse in ways.

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Reply 18 of 39, by appiah4

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liqmat wrote on 2022-11-16, 20:30:

I don't know. Personally, I think we are in an indie games renaissance. I sift through many PC demos on Itch.io, Kickstarter, etc. and there are just amazing indie games being produced these days. I have almost 8TB of game demos archived within the last few years that are of high quality. The reason I even collect them is because many disappear because of lack of time & funding and some devs tend to delete the pages and files leaving no trace of their existence. Many of the vintage platforms like the C64, VIC-20, Amiga and Atari line of computers are getting better games now than they ever have because of better development tools. The Mattel Intellivision console alone has had a 2022 bumper crop year of new games and many were free. All depends where you are looking I suppose. AAA games haven't been the main course for me in many, many years. I find the indie game scene much more interesting and most of all... innovative & fun.

This.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 19 of 39, by acl

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I partially agree.
I'would say a play a 50/50 mix of old and new.

And considering "modern" games, I just stay away of most online games. I agree with the "slot machine thing" mentioned above.

But there are truly good "recent" (~10y) games. Like :

  • Witcher 3
  • Skyrim
  • BioShock Infinite
  • Dirt rally 1/2
  • Alien isolation
  • Faster than light
  • This war of mine
  • Lots of other games...

Currently I'm on Tomb raider 1, F.E.A.R, NFS Underground and Witcher 3.

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