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  1. #21
    Network Hub Olero's Avatar
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    Some not too old games that I still play occasionally:

    - Battlezone
    - Total Annihilation
    - Chrono trigger
    - Dungeon Keeper
    - Monkey Island

    What I think it comes down to the fact that games don't stand up to today's scrutiny is:

    A) Interface: Something that had an acceptable interface in the nineties, can be a complete hell nowadays. Some examples: Dune, Jagged Alliance 1, Wolfenstein 3D and games that use joysticks (who owns them these days??)

    B) Uniqueness: Many games have modern versions, and sure, remembering something like Wolfenstein 3D is coloured with nostalgia, but all modern shooters made W3D quite redundant.

    C) Fun: While a game like Raptor: Call of shadows was fun when I was younger, I really don't want to play a game where I just need to hold one button the entire game nowadays. I think when I got older, I've become more demanding than I was before. Even snobbish at times ... Or it's the whole peer pressure of being an adult that won't allow you to have the kind of silly fun you had as a kid. Though Minecraft filled in my craving for playing with Lego ;)
    Mijn Uitlaatklep - My (Dutch) blog about games, music and more

  2. #22
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    Thanks to GoG, I recently replayed Realms of The Haunting and the atmosphere and game mechanics still hold up amazingly well. It's almost unique in the way it combines adventure elements with action and puzzling, with a massive story that touches on occultism, religious symbolism and myth and legend. The inventory system is almost unparalleled and the balance between combat and more cerebral action is just right for most of the game. While FMV vids are rampant in the game, the acting and production is generally speaking really decent.

    My biggest frustration is that most of my friends are of the "meh, looks old and thus shit" type when I show them or tell them about the game. I hate it when they do that.

    EDIT: agree with Olero...Dungeon Keeper is still one of the best designed games ever. Take the first-person control system in it where you can take command of a creature yourself. Why has almost no one dared to copy that? Boggles the mind.
    Last edited by Rinox; 07-10-2011 at 12:00 PM.

  3. #23
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    Counter-strike

  4. #24
    Network Hub Olero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rinox View Post
    EDIT: agree with Olero...Dungeon Keeper is still one of the best designed games ever. Take the first-person control system in it where you can take command of a creature yourself. Why has almost no one dared to copy that? Boggles the mind.
    That's what makes Battlezone such a great game. Hope to play it multiplayer at my upcoming LAN party, for the multiplayer of Battlezone was really great if I recall correct. Should be fun sniping non-suspecting friends :)
    Last edited by Olero; 07-10-2011 at 01:30 PM.
    Mijn Uitlaatklep - My (Dutch) blog about games, music and more

  5. #25
    Network Hub Megagun's Avatar
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    I could never get into Battlezone. Perhaps because I played Battlezone 2 before 1, and because I got used to 2's neat interface and pretty graphics (which were, at the time, really pretty graphics)

  6. #26
    Activated Node BathroomCitizen's Avatar
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    Don't know if it counts, but Quake 1 with the source ports plays like butter made in heaven. Mix eye-candy with a bit of oldschool deathmatch feel and that's what you get.

    Also, still in a bit of FPS mood, I'd say that Half-Life 1 still has a good gameplay, and the weapons sound and feel just right for me, with also creative stuff like snarks, tripmines, satchel charges and ion cannons that you can use to propel yourself around. HL's submachinegun's sound has a special place in my heart, too.

  7. #27
    Activated Node Daiv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megagun View Post
    I could never get into Battlezone. Perhaps because I played Battlezone 2 before 1, and because I got used to 2's neat interface and pretty graphics (which were, at the time, really pretty graphics)
    I loved Battlezone. Those dirty commies learned to rue the day!

  8. #28
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    Any rpg or strategy game with a USABLE INTERFACE. Xcom, Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder, and a few others are great, but i cannot even count how many old games i cannot get into because of their ludicrous UIs. But mechanically dice based games can't really age too badly.

    I also find pretty much any good fps held up well over the years, on both consoles and pc. All the singleplayer iD shooters are wonderful to play even now, the Turoks are still okay, most build engine games aged great, Half Life's pretty fun, and I would rather play Goldeneye than virtually any shooter released in the last decade.
    A big exception is duke3d, which I think may have just always been a pile of awkward, stilted trash, but everybody who played it back when it was technologically exciting has some pretty rose tinted glasses about it.

    I think the main factor in a game aging poorly is just getting used to more recent games that do the same things way better -- racing games are pretty terrible to play, by and large, because it's tough to go back to very awkward vehicle controls when we're saturated in pretty visceral vehicle handling of all sorts. The same thing works in reverse, though. A game with very unique gameplay, such as Die By the Sword, can age fantastically even if it's technologically pretty musty.

  9. #29
    Network Hub Gentleman Jim Stacey's Avatar
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    They're not PC games but Super Metroid and Metal Gear Solid come to mind. They both have surprisingly modern style that's aged very well. I still think Super Metroid looks cool.

  10. #30
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    I'm always deeply skeptical of these "our tastes have changed" arguments - if nothing else, the findings of evolutionary biology would seem to indicate that human nature haven't changed fundamentally during the, say, last 5-15 years or so. While some old games are undoubtedly best left unplayed, most of the time it's just a case of us being used to a very narrow set of "modern" gameplay mechanics and interface conventions and thus feeling a little bit out of one's comfort zone when confronted with older games which do things differently (and not necessarily being intrinsically better or worse merely because of that).

    I've booted up quite a few old games and thought instinctually to myself "man, I will never be able to get (back) into this ugly, obtuse and maddeningly complex piece of archaic garbage", but when I decide to stick with it and get over the initial hurdle of (re-)familiarising myself with how the game works I've quite often found that all those initial reservations just melt away. An especially good example is Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant, which I was extremely dismissive of at first (not having played the game at all when it was released back in 1992), but once I played through it for the first time in 2008 it became one of my favorite RPGs of all time.

    The thing is, we don't usually take the time to get past that initial hurdle and really get into old games (especially if we have no nostalgic connection to them), and instead stick comfortably to the very specific set of design philosophies which characterize recent games. This inevitably means we're missing out on a lot of games which might suit our individual preferences perfectly.
    Last edited by Demiath; 08-10-2011 at 07:41 AM.

  11. #31
    Obscure Node Doss0311's Avatar
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    Ultima VII

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Olero View Post
    A) Interface: Something that had an acceptable interface in the nineties, can be a complete hell nowadays. Some examples: Dune, Jagged Alliance 1, Wolfenstein 3D and games that use joysticks (who owns them these days??)
    Nothing wrong with games that require joysticks. You can pick up a quality joystick for next to nothing and in terms of an input device nothing can match one.

    C) Fun: While a game like Raptor: Call of shadows was fun when I was younger, I really don't want to play a game where I just need to hold one button the entire game nowadays. I think when I got older, I've become more demanding than I was before. Even snobbish at times ... Or it's the whole peer pressure of being an adult that won't allow you to have the kind of silly fun you had as a kid. Though Minecraft filled in my craving for playing with Lego ;)
    Raptor is still a great game.
    "You go up to a man, and you say, "How are things going, Joe?" and he says, "Oh fine, fine couldn't be better." And you look into his eyes, and you see things really couldn't be much worse. When you get right down to it, everybody's having a perfectly lousy time of it, and I mean everybody. And the hell of it is, nothing seems to help much." - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demiath View Post
    I've booted up quite a few old games and thought instinctually to myself "man, I will never be able to get (back) into this ugly, obtuse and maddeningly complex piece of archaic garbage", but when I decide to stick with it and get over the initial hurdle of (re-)familiarising myself with how the game works I've quite often found that all those initial reservations just melt away. An especially good example is Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant, which I was extremely dismissive of at first (not having played the game at all when it was released back in 1992), but once I played through it for the first time in 2008 it became one of my favorite RPGs of all time.

    The thing is, we don't usually take the time to get past that initial hurdle and really get into old games (especially if we have no nostalgic connection to them), and instead stick comfortably to the very specific set of design philosophies which characterize recent games. This inevitably means we're missing out on a lot of games which might suit our individual preferences perfectly.
    Yes. It's all about the initial hurdle. Often you would load up an old game and become confused with its interface and sometimes even game mechanics. But if you just try to play through the first hour or two, all your problems with the game will disappear and it'll be as comfortable as any modern game. It's because of this that it's unfortunate that most people give up on games after a minute or two.

  14. #34
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    I get that sometimes you have to push through the interface a little to get to the juicy goodness inside. It does, however, create a bit of a dilemma. What with life and everything my gaming time is rather limited and comes in bite sized chunks, so I often have to choose games based on immediate appeal. It's difficult to justify the hours it takes to get some older (and some newer) games to open up. Complex RPGs are a common casualty. Sad, really, but there it is.

    I am getting a sudden urge to see if I can make Battlezone work, though. That was a bit good.

  15. #35
    Network Hub Megagun's Avatar
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    Many games that had their source code released are perfectly playable today from a technical standpoint. Some of these games have seen graphical enhancements, which make them even more playable today.

    One of these games is Freespace 2. Just look at this fan-made trailer/intro-sequence that makes use of some of Freespace Open's graphical graphicality:


    "I got him, I got him! Ooh-yeah, bandit down!"
    That pilot sure sees something to be happy about in an otherwise hopeless battle. Even did a barrel roll! :)
    Last edited by Megagun; 08-10-2011 at 05:35 PM.

  16. #36
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    The Tex Murphy games have horrendous interfaces - you move by 'steering' with the mouse and use the keyboard to move the camera. Then hit space to freeze the screen when you want to go in to point-and-click mode. It's odd because clearly the tech was there to make it WSAD to move and mouselook. But they went the other way with it.

    Playing through Under a Killing Moon I eventually figured it out and got the hang of it. Then the game through an action sequence at me...

  17. #37
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    Interface hurdles are the worst - though if i have enough motivation to get over them I usually find they disappear. the problem is that I rarely have that motivation for very old games - i've either already played it, or it was cheap/free and i have nothing invested.

    I CAN'T play space shooters anymore as I don't have a joystick and they just don't work without one.

    I found Albion held up pretty well recently. It felt surprisingly modern in some ways. I played it just after watching Avatar ;-)

    Of the games I picked up on GOG, I found:
    - Messiah held up surprisingly well, except crashing all the time. And infuriating difficulty of the old days.
    - Hostile Waters (sadly no longer available) was awesome and held up in every way.
    - Planescape & Baldur's Gate had complex interfaces and incredibly dull starts, and I couldn't get into either. This might have been alleviated if i'd had a nice paper manual to read through before i started playing.


    - I found Rainbow 6 - which i used to love, held up really badly. The interface, movement and sudden death!
    - Old JPGs like chrono trigger hold up well as they are exactly the same, interface wise, as modern JRPGs.

  18. #38
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sinister agent's Avatar
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    I CAN'T play space shooters anymore as I don't have a joystick and they just don't work without one.
    Get yourself a 360 controller and a copy of xpadder. A very comfortable controller, and xpadder allows you to map any keyboard/mouse function (even combinations for shift+ functions and the like) to any button or analogue thingy on the controller, so you can use it even for games that predate the 360 by a decade.

    Hostile Waters is an excellent game.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinister agent View Post
    Get yourself a 360 controller and a copy of xpadder. A very comfortable controller, and xpadder allows you to map any keyboard/mouse function (even combinations for shift+ functions and the like) to any button or analogue thingy on the controller, so you can use it even for games that predate the 360 by a decade.

    Hostile Waters is an excellent game.
    I have a gamepad - but i HATE space sims on gamepads. There is no feeling of resistance, and it's so lightweight. It makes every simulation feel like an arcade action game.
    I even tried some old games that I love, but with a gamepad or mouse they just aren't involving. The controls all "work" but it feels all wrong.
    Rogue Squadron works great on a gamepad, descent is ok too. Tie Fighter or Freespace - shudder.

    Hostile Waters was a big undiscovered gem for me. IT works great on a gamepad, as it's much more arcade in it's handling.

  20. #40
    You can get a decent joystick for under 20 these days, if you miss playing space games.

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