Ensign Nemo wrote on 2022-11-17, 20:00:
In retrogaming communities, a lot of us like to argue that older games were better. Here is a recent example:
Games don't feel as exciting as they used to
Ah, this is quite a long story on my part.
I spend my formative years in gaming with titles like Airborne Ranger, Hero's Quest (which is later known as Quest for Glory), King's Bounty, Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday, LHX Attack Chopper, Sword of the Samurai, Sid Meier's Pirates!, M1 Tank Platoon, F-19 Stealth Fighter, Gunship 2000, Their Finest Hour, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, Wing Commander, Strike Commander, Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon, and Star Control II, to name a few. Yes, they're all low res 320 x 200, 256 color VGA, and sometimes 320 x 200 EGA! But the gameplay is always totally captivating. Microprose flight sims, for example, always give you theater selection and randomized missions , giving the illusion of dynamic career advancement, and Gunship 2000 also has (well perhaps semi) dynamic campaign. Both Their Finest Hour and Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe are flight sims encapsulated in aerial warfare strategy. Hero's Quest and Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday are great RPGs. Microprose's strategy games like Pirates! and Sword of Samurai have exciting action elements. Origin flight sims like Wing Commander don't have dynamic campaign, but wonderful storyline and cut-scenes instead. And Star Control II is probably the greatest game I played those days.
Then came SVGA and CD-ROM. And all the ugly things that came with it: point-and-click "adventures" (ugh, puzzle games, really), rail shooters, FMV games, and what-have-you. I remember the first time I saw Myst. "Is this the future of computer games?" After all, after reading an article in CGW's September 1990 issue , I (mistakenly) believed that CD ROM games would be like Ultima VI, but with much larger and much detailed world. How wrong I was.
But then I saw US Navy Fighters and Jane's ATF on the shelves. Finally, CD ROM flight sims! But alas, no dynamic campaign. But still, the gameplay is very exciting! Then I noticed the name 'Brent Iverson' somewhere in the game credits. Then I realized that both USNF and Jane's ATF are CD-ROM, SVGA version of Chuck Yeager's Air Combat. Not bad! I can live with that! And even today, Jane's Fighters Anthology, which is a compilation of USNF and Jane's ATF with all their add -ons, like US Marine Fighters and Jane's ATF: NATO Fighters.
The CD-ROM, SVGA version of Chuck Yeager's Air Combat, and I'm still playing it.
But still, no dynamic campaign. But then came EF2000; a CD-ROM flight sim with SVGA graphics and dynamic campaign!
Mine is version 2.0, which is pretty hard to find.
The back cover actually looks better than the front.
During that period, I also found an interesting CD-ROM tank game called 'iM1A2 Abrams', and I instantly fell in love with it, because it is basically Microprose's M1 Tank Platoon with CD-ROM and SVGA graphics! Yes, turned out you can have it all!
Good old gameplay mechanics with modern (at that time) graphicsy.
There was still one thing I particularly dislike during that time: drab, "brownish" color which seemed to be the trend those days. I don't know, perhaps because of Quake. But then I found an interesting game named 'Delta Force,' then I was immersed. Yes, it is basically Microprose's Airborne Ranger with CD-ROM and SVGA.
Despite its drab-and-dull palette, it plays like Airborne Ranger, and that's why I love it.
There is another drab colored game that I really loved at that time: Fallout. Before Fallout was launched, I really worried that the future RPG will be Diablo clones. Glad I was wrong.
Fast forward to early 2000s, where computer games were dominated by FPS and RTS, that I had had it enough of both. But then, look what I found!
Mine comes sans box; I picked it from a bargain bin during a business trip to Singapore.
So, what modern gaming features do I prefer, then? I'd actually welcome any positive technological advancements, like ray tracing and Dolby Atmos and the likes (but I don't welcome negative technological advancements like DRM), but I hope game developers still remember to put captivating gameplay in those games.