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Highly rated games that dated dreadfully


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36 minutes ago, Phantoon said:

I disagree with almost all of the "this game is old, therefore all the good has somehow leeched out" nonsense. GoldenEye is still good because it hasn't been superceded; modern shooters do not do what it does at all. Play it on an emulator that sorts the frame rate out and that becomes clearer. Some games do age, but for the classics it's only ever because less original people rip them off but do it better with the benefit of hindsight.

 

I do kind of agree with Turok, but I think it's slightly unfair. It was the first shooter to show that consoles could do FPS - its default controls were the recipe for the future, not GoldenEye's. It also lays the ground for other stone cold classics; many of the people behind it are also behind Metroid Prime and if you squint a bit you can see the DNA there. The jumping is similar, the way the levels are laid out has some similarities too. I think the Nightdive re-release actually gives a good case for it being worthy of respect - in its own way it was hugely ambitious.

 

Now Turok 2 aged quite a bit worse in my opinion.

 

Is the only way a game ages by being superseded?

 

I'd argue that games can age even if they're entirely unique. They can look old. They can feel mechanically tired or sluggish. They can use music of its time that hasn't held up well.

 

At the same time, some games that have been utterly replaced may still not age. To many maybe original GameBoy Tetris hasn't aged a day.

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I’m gonna say almost every AAA single player game I played between 2010 and 2018. There’s been a lot of good stuff, and some games I genuinely consider classics, but by god there’s a lot of tedious repetitive gameplay to pad things out, and press-forward-to-trigger-cutscene-or-prestige-tour bullshit this decade. I look at the PS3 and PS4 games I have and bar a few of them I wouldn’t replay them if I got paid.
 

It’s a shite state of affairs to be in, and all the pretty skyboxes in the world won’t make any fucking difference.
 

I blame creative directors becoming completely obsessed with Hollywood, and Halo convincing everyone that gameplay doesn't need to do something besides the same “30 seconds of fun” over and over with slightly different weapons forever.

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6 hours ago, AI said:

 

I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?


it was amazing at the time. It’s just been superseded. By GT2 for a start. And therefore hasn’t withstood the test of time.

 

whereas other games that weren’t early 3D and in a chain of ever improving sequels might have more to recommend them.

 

for example, vib ribbon.

 

(though that’s going to be quite tricky to play today in the way it was intended for many obvious reasons)

 

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Mario 64. Yeah, I said it! The controls feel imprecise compared to Odyssey (hell, even compared to Sunshine), the graphics have aged terribly, most of the levels are utterly forgettable (especially when compared to Galaxy or Odyssey) and hell, even the music isn't the best the series has to offer. Mario 64 was the first 3D Mario and no one can take that away, but it hasn't held up as well as SMB 1-3 or anything that's come since (2D or 3D).

 

Turok 2 is definitely one that aged poorly...it wasn't even that great at the time (and I say that as someone who spent a bloody fortune on that and the graphics expansion pack which made the graphics slightly less shite).

 

GoldenEye has only aged poorly in the sense of the controls, which feel bloody weird these days. I recently played Time Splitters 2 again for the first time in forever and found the weird aiming so tough to get back to grips with. Given it uses the same aiming system as GoldenEye, I don't hold out loads of hope for the GoldenEye re-release.

 

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20 hours ago, Protocol Penguin said:

Star Fox and Stunt Race FX are pretty big examples. Both had very positive critical response, particularly Star Fox, which was pretty astounding for a cartridge-based console game in 1993. However, both were eclipsed by games on new rival hardware, making the flat-shaded, low framerate traditional 3D look obsolete – remember for context that Stunt Race FX/Wildtrax was released in the same calendar year as PlayStation Ridge Racer!

 

I would argue that Stunt Race FX has dated a lot better than Ridge Racer has. It's basically Wave Race 64 on wheels.

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1 hour ago, dataDave said:

 

I would argue that Stunt Race FX has dated a lot better than Ridge Racer has. It's basically Wave Race 64 on wheels.


Ridge Racer has aged like fine wine ;) I always think of Ridge Racer 1 when someone wheels out the “all ps1 games look awful now” comment. I still play it regularly on a crt and I think the art style and graphics are really quite nice. It oozes atmosphere in a way more realistic looking games just don’t. 
As good and content rich as the PSP ones were, I still prefer the first 2 games in terms of aesthetics and just the feel of the gameplay (although having to use a negcon for analogue isn’t ideal). People will still be playing and enjoying Ridge Racer 1 when someone’s making threads like this about whatever realistic racing games are currently popular. Games like Ridge Racer don’t age the way games going for realism do.

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I’m not really disputing how it looks or performs. I just find it very standard when it comes to the gameplay. I can’t really squeeze any more fun out of that one track which I was already playing perfectly when I was 14. Whenever I boot it up now it feels more like an early tech demo.

 

Although I could easily sit with Ridge Racers (PSP) for hundreds more hours. Daytona the same thanks to shift drifting.

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2 hours ago, Captain Kelsten said:

Mario 64. Yeah, I said it! The controls feel imprecise compared to Odyssey (hell, even compared to Sunshine), the graphics have aged terribly, most of the levels are utterly forgettable (especially when compared to Galaxy or Odyssey) and hell, even the music isn't the best the series has to offer. Mario 64 was the first 3D Mario and no one can take that away, but it hasn't held up as well as SMB 1-3 or anything that's come since (2D or 3D).

 

Wondering is this based on your experience with one of the ports of the game? I played through it again during lockdown on original hardware (to CRT) and it's still an absolute joy to control.

 

Variable quality emulation + set ups not designed for these games is one of the things I think that contributes to the perception of many classics being dated. For example I find all Switch Virtual Console games quite clunky controlling due to the minor but perceptible input lag introduced. Visually, sprite-based stuff can hold up OK on modern displays with the right settings, but early polygonal stuff markedly less so. Donkey Kong Country still looks glorious on a CRT, but even on a small Switch screen looks a little ropey. Super Mario 64 is much the same. 

 

I get that practically most people aren't going to have the opportunity or inclination to play stuff on original hardware and CRTs. For the sake of preserving the original experience as far as possible, emulation needs to improve in the same way film restoration and the quality of transfers available in home media formats has come on significantly in recent years.

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40 minutes ago, DeciderVT said:

I'm always puzzled by the negative attitude that permeates all modern discussion of GoldenEye. Some people seem to absolutely revel in delivering their negative opinion of it to others who look back on it fondly. They can suit themselves if they get more pleasure out of doing that than playing it again.

Trouble is, I've played it in the last couple of years and I still think it's fantastic. The controls are a bit dated but I still like it. Maybe I haven't played enough modern FPSes to shift my expectations much.

You can improve the controls no end purely by going to 1.2 Solitaire, too. It's still brilliant fun, and getting a version with a decent frame rate will fix the one thing that is genuinely not great about it.

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When Headhunter hit the DC originally it felt like a leap forward and just amazing to look at. Tons of hype for it.

 

Tried playing it again. Not fun. 

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4 hours ago, Captain Kelsten said:

Mario 64. Yeah, I said it! The controls feel imprecise compared to Odyssey (hell, even compared to Sunshine), the graphics have aged terribly, most of the levels are utterly forgettable (especially when compared to Galaxy or Odyssey) and hell, even the music isn't the best the series has to offer. Mario 64 was the first 3D Mario and no one can take that away, but it hasn't held up as well as SMB 1-3 or anything that's come since (2D or 3D).

 

Most of those are minor gripes for me. The camera, meanwhile...

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The camera is relatively awful but I still prefer how Mario 64 controls. Some might say he's sluggish, but I say he has weight and momentum which suits the original analogue stick perfectly. The way he moves in later games feels too floaty and 'easy'. Pulling off moves feels less consequential and rewarding.

 

The original Tomb Raider games I could never deal with these days, but I enjoy watching speedrunners play them because they make it look fluid and effortless.

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I'd add final fantasy 7 to this.  It's a good game but it's got so much tedious shit in it.  The bit where you fall in the mako and have to go through memories just drags and ff7 was in my top 5 games ever.

 

Starfox is pretty bad on the snes as its not a good frame rate and its pretty hard to make things out.  

 

There was a pc game rated highly called outcast about I think early pentium 2 a d it was pretty diabolical even 6 months after release.  

 

Basically 3d developed pretty quickly in the late nineties so if 3d was your selling point you were out of date fast.  

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Rather than graphics, controls, or frame rates, the thing that turns me off old classics tends to be outdated gameplay design. Random battles, for example, are incredibly frustrating in games where the combat is dull or becomes formulaic (such as where you end up using the same tactics in every fight), and were likely to lengthen games in an era when they cost a lot more and needed to represent value. In addition, overly long or prescriptive intro sections where you spend your time watching FMV instead of playing, or running an assault course, can turn me off a game immediately.

 

It is not that this was inevitable a few decades ago. Goldeneye, for example, did drop you straight into a decent mission for your training, there was no real intro for Doom before you started killing stuff, and after waking up Master Chief was straight into the action in Halo: CE.

 

In contrast, playing a Final Fantasy game now feels masochistic. Take three steps, fight a battle. Only use physical attacks to conserve value MP. Win after a couple of rounds. Take three steps. Begin identical fight. Repeat for 20 minutes.

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