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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:25 pm 
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I don't really care for FPS, driving games with much realism, or sports simulations, and open-world RPG type games are pretty low on my list. However, I don't think all these games are necessarily bad, but they do not excite me.

I'm not a fan of most belt-scrolling "beat em ups", and this a genre where I do think the vast majority of them are bad games from a design perspective. Some people describe this genre in its original arcade form as "quarter-sucking" and "button-mashing". I can't say they're wrong, because even the ones with high presentation value by Konami seem to do little to introduce situations that reward a skilled player, outside of exploiting design errors in enemies or emergent behaviour from programming bugs. Very quickly in a game like The Simpsons it feels like the primary challenge is that you've been overwhelmed with too many enemies.

Here is my opinion of the fairness in DJ Boy, a (lovably) terrible game.

I think Double Dragon II for NES/Famicom is a defensible game, as the enemy behaviors are unique to their types, there are certain moves and combinations the player can do after building some familiarity, and the stage designs have a lot of interesting variations and inherent challenges. I won't defend some of the flaws in the game, like the extremely sensitive hit detection and stiff controls for platforming sections, but I will say that I prefer it over the entire remaining line-up in the Double Dragon series.

A lot of what I said about DD2 (NES) can be said about Battletoads. I wonder if having less sprites forced developers to move away from the "throw more enemies at the player!" paradigm, forcing them to think about creating an actual game.

I suppose if I had to summarize my thoughts on the beat em up genre, I'd say that it has the lowest signal to noise ratio compared to other games from the '90s. There are good titles, but there are piles of shitty games that get praised over and over by people who are okay with credit-feeding through a game, dying fifty times in the process.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:31 pm 
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mikejmoffitt wrote:
I suppose if I had to summarize my thoughts on the beat em up genre, I'd say that it has the lowest signal to noise ratio compared to other games from the '90s. There are good titles, but there are piles of shitty games that get praised over and over by people who are okay with credit-feeding through a game, dying fifty times in the process.


Yeah, most of those games are pretty awful when you go back and play them now, particularly on your own at home. In the arcade with a few friends (particularly for the 4-player ones) the social atmosphere was what made them fun. (I still have fun playing through TMNT in the arcade with some friends or family)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:09 pm 
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I tought a lot before answering this.
Looks like I'm very fickle about game's genre...

Just a few examples:
I don't like FPSs much, although I had lots of fun with Counter Strike, Doom, Duke Nuken and 007 Goldeneye on the interval between classes and after exams at school.
I also don't like sports games, but had a big time playing The Kings of the Beach and NBA Jam with friends back in the day.
RPGs too, I didn't liked it, but started playing Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Xenogears, Alundra and loved it.
Damm!! I even didn't liked Castlevania, Mario, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat when I first saw it!!
And now, most of the games I talked are on my favourite's list!!

I think gauauu is correct!
It's not solely the games I like to play, but the memories they bring with them.
The memories of having a great time socializing with old friends when I was a kid and had not much things to get worried about.
A time that will never come back, we growed up and life had hit hard most of my friends.
Fortunatelly I have my family and can have fun playing with them too!!
I think that's it...


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:48 am 
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DementedPurple wrote:
I'll share mine. I absolutely hate FPS games, I probably wouldn't care too much if they weren't everywhere, but they are.


The question itself is a little too open-ended and subjective.

Like many people on the forum, I'm not fond of FPS games, BUT, they're not hateable. Sports games (Eg football, soccer, baseball, etc) on a game console are basically canned boredom. The developers of these games are trying to milk their licensing, and thus they release a new game every year, full price. You know, in an age of DLC.

The subgenre of FPS games I'm not willing to play for any reason, are WWI/WWII type of war reenactment/based military warfare. There is no joy in being a soldier in real life, and why anyone would want to inflict that upon themselves is mind boggling except for the shooty-mcshootyface type people who like guns more than they like people.

I'll play a FPS game if all of below are true:
a) It's in space/space-faring
b) I can customize the avatar's gender/skin/hair/etc
c) It's not a military-driven story of conquest. Either the aliens are invading and are bad, or we're up against a type of entity seeking to destroy all civilizations.

I made an exception for Mass Effect. But I just can not get into a FPS game were you play as a souless space marine.

The next kind of game genre I don't care much for are the "Ugly Medieval fantasy RPG", eg Skyrim/Oblivion/Dragon Age/etc type of games where the game is full of interactivity, but every interaction with a character is just a repaint of another. I have to hate on Skyrim especially, because the game gets far more credit than I believe it deserves when every character has a balloon-face on top of identical human-shaped bodies.

Which leads me to mention Fallout (3 specifically.) Fallout kept my interest despite not being either of the above subgenres, and even produced by the same company as Skyrim which I kinda loathed. How was this different? Well you didn't have infinite ammo, so a completely valid strategy was using stealth. But, IMO it's very difficult to produce an engaging game in a "dsytopia" type environment primarily due to the fact that so many RPG games rely on crafting garbage as a way to artificially inflate the play time.

I hate crafting garbage in all current FPS and RPG games. With the move to day-1 DLC, and later lootboxes/gachapon style monetization, the games started intentionally wasting your time, and then dangle a carrot with a price tag in front of you to skip the garbage crafting grind. Crafting should have some manner of logic to it (eg grow the grain, mill the grain, make bread, eat bread, don't starve) not this current generation of "collect 5 rats, exchange for 1 bird cage to collect birds, that you exchange 12 birds for bow and arrows, that you need to kill deer, and if you miss the deer, repeat everything, then make leather armor out of deer hide" Like, even MMORPG's crafting has become pedantic busywork to keep paying subscribers from quitting between major updates.

I'm sorry, but no, the the minute you try to monetize a single player game, I'm looking elsewhere. So I've been looking at Indies before I look at AAA games.

The kind of games I have a preference for right now are short Platformer/Metroidvania type of 2D games, eg the Shantae series, mario games, sonic games, and games with more focus on story.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:36 am 
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Some commentary on hated genres:

KOEInaga's Three Kingdoms: these behave mostly like board games (early) and simple spreadsheet sims with obfuscated mechanics posing as "complexity" (late), but I still like it. I got to admit that the enjoyment I take from those KOEI strategy games is to begin with the weaker fiefdom, survive the unfair dice rolls and progressively conquer Japan/China bit by bit. Once you get as powerful as the 2nd best player in the session it starts to get boring fast since there's little depth to the strategy, being mostly a numbers game. I guess it's kinda like Civilization where it gets really boring when you have to micromanage thousands of units, including air and sea, every turn.

Adventure games (the "point and click" kind, text based adventures, etc.): in my opinion these are only enjoyable if you're taking an active role as a player. I mean, if it's a murder investigation game you have to really try to create hypothesis and figure out what happened instead of just letting the game guide you through the story. For example, I played JB Harold: Murder Club on the Turbografx-CD some time ago, and the game is simply boring and Encarta-like if you're approaching it passively (just clicking on everything until the game spells out the plot for you), but if you really try to think and theorize before you act it's a lot of fun and the game's true potential opens up. I literally bought a little physical notebook just for this game, and the experience was one of the best I had on the console... the story had a lot of realistic characters, red herrings, side cases that feel related to the main one but go nowhere, unresolved plot points that are left open to interpretation and never explicitly solved (Archived Rape at Downs Hill Cemetery case), and a finale reveal full of twists that you could have only guessed if you payed REAL attention to the game.

Of course these are going to be very boring if you're just passively playing it, aka thinking about which action in the game you should do next to proceed the story instead of focusing on the real meat of the game (THE STORY YOU DINGUS!!!). A modern example is LA Noire, the game just pushes you along into the story if you do poorly anyway, the difference from action oriented games being not having an imposed mechanic by the game, but only the penalty of not figuring out the subplot cases fully.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:47 pm 
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Well if the adventure game has a good plot and interesting characters you don't really need to take an active role, you are sucked in automatically I think. I don't really make a lot of effort to become part of the story anyway, it's more like I have no choice and gets intrigued by it, it's like when you are reading a very good book. Famicom Tantei Club and Gyakuten Saiban series are written like that, although Gyakuten Saiban also forces you to figure out many things yourself before you can proceed (unless you want to do tons of trial-and-error and lots of reloading), especially in the courtroom battles.

I've played lots of belt-scroll fighting games and had tons of fun with them so I can't agree that they are poorly made from a game design point of view. The genre is not very common nowadays and the games may not have aged as well as for example platform games and shooting games (although I personally still enjoy them). The games are often about martial arts and being old games they are simple and don't allow so many moves which is why they are not so varied as modern VS Fighting games are.
Also they games are not about button mashing but you need to learn the timing and distance of your moves and opponents.

One great example of the genre (although it might not strictly be belt-scroll since you can only move in one axis) that has aged really well is The Ninja Warriors Again for Super Famicom.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:55 pm 
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I think it's important to separate enjoying something and it being objectively well-designed. I've had fun with TMNT: Turtles in Time, but I won't defend its gameplay design decisions. I'm sure plenty of people enjoyed the Bubsy SNES game, but its gameplay has not helped it. I think most games that "didn't age well" turned out that way because they aren't well designed.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:25 pm 
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Yeah, I was never friends with that term. I can't think of one single game that "hasn't aged well" that I would argue was ever a good game at any time. And if anyone think they have an example of it, I'm very curious to hear it.
I remember Bubsy being quite interesting when it came out due to the high pace and colorful graphics, but I don't remember anyone actually liking the game.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:18 pm 
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Sumez wrote:
I can't think of one single game that "hasn't aged well" that I would argue was ever a good game at any time. And if anyone think they have an example of it, I'm very curious to hear it.

The original "The Legend of Zelda" is probably the classic example for this, in my opinion: Back in 1986, it was revolutionary.
But while the first "Super Mario Bros." is still very enjoyable today, despite its sequels introducing much more stuff, with "Zelda" it's different.

I think if you play "Zelda 1" now without a nostalgia factor, then it's an average game at best:

A tiny world map. (They could at least have used a 16 x 16 grid and abolished the second quest instead.)
No in-game story whatsoever for a game that tries to tell an epic tale in the manual's backstory.
Frustratingly hard.
Stiff movements in only four directions.
Anti-climactic bosses.
Horrible, ear-piercing dungeon music. (And let's not forget that annoying heart sound.)

"The Legend of Zelda" hasn't aged well. Unlike the two sequels/prequels for Super Nintendo and Game Boy that stand the test of time.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:48 pm 
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A find a lot of that at least somewhat debatable:

Quote:
They could at least have used a 16 x 16 grid and abolished the second quest instead.

I'm not sure spreading what content there is over a larger map would've been the answer - not too much interesting challenge variation you can provide on the course between objectives with the current set of screen structures, enemies, etc.

I agree the bosses are a bit underwhelming - that's something i thought even back then. This is at least a little symptomatic for the NES library though.

Quote:
Stiff movements in only four directions.
Flaw - or feature? not being able to move diagonally can be an interesting ruleset.

Quote:
Frustratingly hard.
Tough balance. Frustratingly easy would've been worse.

Quote:
No in-game story whatsoever for a game that tries to tell an epic tale in the manual's backstory.
Also a feature. Read the story in your own time. Don't get interrupted by it while playing. Zelda 1 as a game doesn't need more than a premise to function. I think it's a good rule of thumb to be at least careful when inserting interruptive story elements in an action game.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:41 am 
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DRW wrote:
The original "The Legend of Zelda" is probably the classic example for this, in my opinion: Back in 1986, it was revolutionary.

This one is hard for me to argue about, since I never liked the first Zelda game that much. It's an alright game, but I feel like its flaws are very obviously apparent, though I don't agree with everything you're saying (FrankenGraphics made most of the points I would have). Abolishing Second Quest for a bigger world map sounds extremely pointless to me. I wish some of the other, better, Zelda games had something like the original's Second Quest.
However, most of the people who dig Zelda 1, seem to still hold it in very high regard. I've never actually seen anyone else claiming that it "hasn't aged well", so I see it more of as a different strokes for different folks thing.

Zelda 2 on the other hand, I hated back in the days - but nowadays I realise how great it is (and always was). It's a game that's grown on me.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:00 am 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
I'm not sure spreading what content there is over a larger map would've been the answer

Yeah, they could have designed a more interesting map to begin with. Like the one from "Final Fantasy Adventure":
http://www.finalfantasykingdom.net/ffa/map.png

FrankenGraphics wrote:
Flaw - or feature? not being able to move diagonally can be an interesting ruleset.

The fact that it is a feature doesn't contradict the statement that it hasn't aged well. Everything that isn't a bug or an oversight is, by definition, a feature.

But it still feels old-fashioned and stiff, especially since the later games do allow diagonal movement.
This is the top-down-game equivalent of the inability to control your jumps in sidescrollers.

Also, it makes no logical sense: The game doesn't use a map view. Why is Link only able to use the four main directions?

FrankenGraphics wrote:
Tough balance. Frustratingly easy would've been worse.

Again: Later games are not as hard. According to your logic, you would have to accuse "A Link to the Past" that it lacks the "tough balance" of its predecessor.

"Zelda" is not an arcade platformer. A game that is about exploration and adventure doesn't need that kind of difficulty.
Sure, too easy wouldn't be right as well, but there's a reason why later "Zelda" games don't use the same difficulty anymore.

FrankenGraphics wrote:
Also a feature. Read the story in your own time. Don't get interrupted by it while playing.

Again: The fact that it's a feature doesn't automatically mean that it has aged well. Later "Zelda" games do have a story and those games in general have a lot of character interaction. Playing "Zelda 1" today feels like you're playing a very bare-bones game of this genre.

Again, I have to refer to "Final Fantasy Adventure": That's how to do a plot in a game.

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Last edited by DRW on Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:08 am 
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Sumez wrote:
However, most of the people who dig Zelda 1, seem to still hold it in very high regard.

As I said: Nostalgia factor.
But is there anybody who didn't grow up with it and only discovered it in the past years who says: "Yup, that's exactly the kind of action adventure that still stands the test of time. This game doesn't need to shy away from later titles of this genres or of its own series"?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:00 am 
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DRW wrote:
FrankenGraphics wrote:
I'm not sure spreading what content there is over a larger map would've been the answer

Yeah, they could have designed a more interesting map to begin with. Like the one from "Final Fantasy Adventure":
http://www.finalfantasykingdom.net/ffa/map.png

Not that it fixes anything for Zelda 1, but did you play Link's Awakening? It would have been a good example - or maybe even Oracle of Seasons which was originally intended to be a remake of Zelda 1, and retains slight hints of its geography.

Quote:
According to your logic, you would have to accuse "A Link to the Past" that it lacks the "tough balance" of its predecessor.

That is absolutely that game's biggest flaw...

Quote:
Again: The fact that it's a feature doesn't automatically mean that it has aged well. Later "Zelda" games do have a story and those games in general have a lot of character interaction. Playing "Zelda 1" today feels like you're playing a very bare-bones game of this genre.

But being bare-bones in terms of story doesn't mean it's aged poorly. That pretty much implies that telling more story throughout a game makes it better, which I believe we can find plenty examples where it's absolutely not the case.

Imagine a modern remake of Ninja Gaiden where the cutscenes aren't skippable. Or maybe a modern remake of Metroid, where Samus has a ton of dialogue with her superior officer after each boss fight. Would that make the games better? Maybe some people would think so, but it's definitely highly subjective, at best.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:27 am 
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Sumez wrote:
Yeah, I was never friends with that term. I can't think of one single game that "hasn't aged well" that I would argue was ever a good game at any time. And if anyone think they have an example of it, I'm very curious to hear it.

I disagree, the whole point of a game that "hasn't aged well" is that at some point the game was, if not a masterpiece, at least somewhat good at some point, and then stopped to be really enjoyable. Games that were already bad on their release are just bad games, not games that "haven't aged well".

Early 3D games such as Star Fox or Super Mario Kart (SNES), they look absolutely awful by modern standard even compared to regular, 2D SNES games, and it's really hard to enjoy those games without having your eyes in tears due to the horrible low quality 3D graphics. But back when they were released such graphics were revolutionary, and those games were considered great and enjoyable.


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