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Highly rated games that dated dreadfully


dumpster
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I've played Need for Speed on 3DO today.  Good lord. What an appropriate title.  That game needs some speed. It's like driving a Lamborghini Diablo at a steady 20 miles per hour.  Via emulation it becomes pretty good if you overclock the console to twice the regular speed.  How did we not notice? I know it was 1994 and maybe we just didn't know any better... But that's got to be the slowest racing game ever created, surely? Twenty minutes today was more than enough, but back then I played this game for hours.

 

So on that Dumpster Hot Take (tm), what well received, stone cold classics haven't survived the test of time? 

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  • dumpster changed the title to Highly rated games that dated dreadfully

Dragon Age Inquisition.

 

It had glowing reviews and won game of the year awards. But it seemed to get memory holed in double quick time. While it’s not remembered as a bad game per se, its main legacy seems to be oh yeah that’s the one with loads of worthless MMO style fetch quests when people talk about it.

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Splinter Cell 1 and Pandora Tomorrow (single player) felt really awkward to go back to after playing Chaos Theory. That third game balanced and polished the stealth so that being detected felt a lot more consistent and predictable than in the first two games.

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PSO. Yes, it was groundbreaking at the time, but I was talked through the whole Blue Burst schthack setup years after the fact and it really suffers. Brain-dead opponents that struggle to lumber towards you and barely get an attack out before being cut down, slow attacks from your own characters and too many enemy spawns leave you running away, turning, attacking, repeating until each opponent is defeated, then waiting for another wave to spawn in and doing it again, and again, and again until finally they let you move on. You move on like five feet and end up in another room and the same thing happens. Rather than a concession to the hardware it seems like that's a design staple, because I played Phantasy Star Portable 2 (one of the few multiplayer handheld titles I enjoyed (before the Switch launched, of course)) and even though there was more variety and polish, the loop was nearly exactly the same. I know that carving through fodder enemies can be fun in a relaxing, mindless way whilst you chat with your friends online, so I can kind of see how it appeals in that way, but it doesn't have to be this dumb or tedious.

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11 minutes ago, Qazimod said:

PSO. Yes, it was groundbreaking at the time, but I was talked through the whole Blue Burst schthack setup years after the fact and it really suffers. Brain-dead opponents that struggle to lumber towards you and barely get an attack out before being cut down, slow attacks from your own characters and too many respawns leave you running away, turning, attacking, repeating until each opponent is defeated, then waiting for another wave to spawn in and doing it again, and again, and again until finally they let you move on. You move on like five feet and end up in another room and the same thing happens. Rather than a concession to the hardware it seems like that's a design staple, because I played Phantasy Star Portable 2 (one of the few enjoyable multiplayer handheld titles (before the Switch launched, of course)) and even though there was more variety and polish, the loop was nearly exactly the same. I know that carving through fodder enemies can be fun in a relaxing, mindless way whilst you chat with your friends online, so I can kind of see how it appeals in that way, but it doesn't have to be this dumb.

 

It says a lot about me as I loved it back then and I still do to this day.

 

As you know, it was always best played with a group of mates really. Of the console versions, I always preferred the Xbox version as it had voice coms. I used to load it up when I got back from work and just chill with a group of mates with the soul aim of finding those ultra-rare drops. I can understand what you are saying if you were to play solo, especially now, but hell I even kind of enjoy that, but you do seem the shortcoming of the game in solo play. I also really liked the atmosphere, caves and ruins especially, I think it was the music. The bosses were pretty good at the time as well.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Sumire said:

 

It says a lot about me as I loved it back then and I still do to this day.

 

As you know, it was always best played with a group of mates really. Of the console versions, I always preferred the Xbox version as it had voice coms. I used to load it up when I got back from work and just chill with a group of mates with the soul aim of finding those ultra-rare drops. I can understand what you are saying if you were to play solo, especially now, but hell I even kind of enjoy that, but you do seem the shortcoming of the game in solo play. I also really liked the atmosphere, caves and ruins especially, I think it was the music. The bosses were pretty good at the time as well.

 

 

 

I played solo and with others, and did the same with later 3D PS games - I definitely see the relaxing and chill appeal of the gameplay, but it's totally a product of its era. It's the kind of game you play when you don't actually know what you want to play, so instead you just throw PSO on and press buttons. The game is subservient to the social experience - like a sort of 3D chat room app with a button-pressing minigame and endorphin-boosting drops.

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1 hour ago, Harsin said:

Dragon Age Inquisition.

 

It had glowing reviews and won game of the year awards. But it seemed to get memory holed in double quick time. While it’s not remembered as a bad game per se, its main legacy seems to be oh yeah that’s the one with loads of worthless MMO style fetch quests when people talk about it.

 

It's an underrated game. I loved my playthrough and my partner spent 600 hours mastering every element of it. (She can pretty much take down many of the bosses in a couple of minutes.)

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Most 3D games from the PS1 and N64 era. Even games that were revolutionary at the time are now hard to play. 

Tomb Raider is a good example, a game that looked technically impressive when it was released but used traditional d-pad controls. Trying to play it today is nothing short of annoying. 

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10 hours ago, dumpster said:

I've played Need for Speed on 3DO today.  Good lord. What an appropriate title.  That game needs some speed.

 

Now play it in 50hz PAL mode so it's even slower for the true 1994 experience 😅

 

Anyway my answer to the thread is Super Street Fighter II. It's an amazing game obviously but basically unplayable in single player. The AI is spectacularly awful, ruined my fond memories of the game on the anniversary collection. 

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I can’t really think of many games that I loved at the time that I’d go back to now.  Things have moved on or been improved for the most part.  Its really only Arcade games that have that sort of timeless appeal to me,

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2 hours ago, El Spatula said:

Ocarina of Time! 

I really don’t think it has, obviously the camera could do with an update, but the 3DS remaster is magnificent. Apart from BOTW it’s still the best Zelda IMO. 

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1 hour ago, mwaawm said:

Any PS1 title

As has been said, any 3D title. But even then there are exceptions. But since 2D from that era has overall aged far better, I've found the Saturn a far more enjoyable experience to go back to as a retro experience in modern times, than the PS1.

 

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27 minutes ago, Quest said:

 Now I understand why retro has to hide away in its own folder. This thread makes me sad.

 

Games are the only form of entertainment/art that almost never improve with age as literature, film and music do. There are extremely rare exceptions but as this thread will demonstrate, nothing is sacred in gaming. Retro is a lovely little nostalgia escape, but for most of us five minutes of ZX Spectrum loading screens on Youtube is enough to scratch the itch. Games just don't hold up for the most part.

 

 

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Halo: Combat Evolved

Any GTA game

Dark Souls

Ico and SOTC

Any football game except for SWOS and ISS (N64 version)

 

Games for me become dated due to controls and general gameplay mechanics rather than graphics and sound (which you can quickly become accustomed to). 

 

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Modern Warfare, the 360 one that made Call of Duty the biggest thing in the world. 

 

EDIT: Just to flesh things out a bit I'm specifically talking about the campaign. People remember the start of All Ghillied Up because it was incredible at the time but how many remember that the mission ends with up shooting at a seemingly endless wave of Russians who have all been hiding behind a big bin? The cracks in the illusion are really noticeable when you try to go back to it. They'd managed a fix a lot of it by the time Modern Warfare 2 came out so it didn't take long for the campaign to start showing its age. 

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5 minutes ago, El Spatula said:

Most of the GTAs are shite and aged terribly.

Almost all of the Nintendo library is overrated. The N64 era being particularly bad.

Same with Sega.

 

Am I dong this right?

I think you’re seeking the controversial opinions thread, you’re right about GTA though. I loved GTAIII but even back then the gun controls felt horrible. Luckily they redeemed themselves with Manhunt which still has the best gun combat this side of The Last of Us. 

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