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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:41 am 
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Bregalad wrote:
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".

And I believe the former doesn't exist, and in most situations where people use the term, they are really talking about the latter. I've heard so many people talk about games that "didn't age well", when the game in question is obviously crap, and they are just blinded by their own nostalgia. :P

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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.

Those games are still great and enjoyable, and you better believe Star Fox was dead ugly when it came out! That goes for pretty much all early 3D graphics during the 90s - I know I'm far from the only one who lamented the switch to 3D graphics with the following console generations, since the new games were remarkably uglier than what we already had.
Sure, Starfox was impressive for a SNES game, but that didn't influence how it played, apart from the whole thing with the terribly slow framerate, which was annoying back then too, and pointed out by most reviewers. Graphically, I think it holds up because it's stylized enough to work - it's not great looking, but it isn't trying to be either.
Sure, there were also people blinded entirely by the advances in technology, and judged the games on that instead of the game's own merits, but we are still seeing that happening today, and it doesn't make the games any better.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:36 am 
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Well Star Fox had a new type of gameplay feeling that I hadn't experienced before so it was cool that way, although it was blocky graphicwise.

I'm not so sure about games aging. Super Mario Bros 1 doesn't seem to age at all gameplaywise because it had no real flaws to begin with. Peoples opinion changes over time and of course if someone plays an old game now the society is different from when it was released and not the same hype around an old game exists anymore. Also a game that was new for its genre was cooler when it was released than after thousands of clones have flooded the market for years. People tend to dismiss games too fast though if they are old or from before their own time, without even trying to play them with the right mindset so that they'll be able to judge them properly. Also I think many games that are said to not having aged well where just flawed to begin with.

Sumez wrote:
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.
Yes it was always a masterpiece although it tends to be overshadowed by other games in the series. The controls and battles are just so much better than the first game in the series.

DRW wrote:
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"?
I can't say I discovered it in the past years but I grew up with Zelda 2 instead of Zelda 1 and I didn't get a chance to play Zelda 1 properly enough to beat it until after A link to the past was already out. I can say I had a hard time with some parts of it as there are lots of things that you can't discover yourself so easily (unless you do tons of trial and error), but over the years it becomes easier and easier because I already remember all the secrets so it really grew on me. Actually one reason I love Breath of the Wild is because its vast nature landscapes reminds me of Zelda 1, and the old man in the beginning reminds me of the old men in Zelda 1.

I agree with DRW about Zelda 1's stiff 4-direction movement though. It's an action game so you need a bit more freedom in your movements or you feel like you are needlesly constrained. This is why battles in Zelda 1 are not very fun at all. It's mostly about dodging beams and swinging the sword when you face the right direction and quickly move away again. For turn-based RPGs or puzzle games like Sokoban or Eggerland, limited tile-based movement is preferred, but not in action RPGs.


Last edited by Pokun on Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:45 am 
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Still not convinced on the non-love against non-diagonal topdown movement. The game, at least as-is, would be something of a cheese fest if you could approach enemies in a diagonal fashion, because it's an angle where they have no defensive and generally very little offensive capabilities. You could further argue that, well, if they had designed it to be an eight-way mover, they could've adopted enemy behaviour to match. Which ok, they could. But they didn't, even in A link to the past. Player moves in all directions. Enemies are easily defeated by not having offensive actions in diagonal directions.

I could totally see TLOZ be 8-directional movement based. But you'd also lose (or best case replace) a lot of:
-identity
-strategy

The strategies might be few in the game as it were, but they'd be even fewer with diagonal movement and attack.

Some personal principles:
-It's in the players' natural order to not like imposed restrictions - they tend to look for the path of least resistance.
-But at the same time, those restrictions are the real meat and bone of the game design which will guarantee the long-term satisfaction.
-It's the designers' goal to come up with an interesting combination of game rules.
-It is not necessarily the designers' goal to come up with a set of rules that players will find more agreeable just because they make a game leaner, even though it's an act of balance.
-And sometimes, players don't know what's best for them. You can fly all through a vast number of stages in smb3 circumvening any substantial challenge, but that's fast carbohydrates which won't yield a lasting impression or qualitative experience, and risks leaving you with a sugar rush hangover.
-This broadly open invitation to cheese it leaves the player with the hard choice to discipline her/himself while playing in order to not "ruin it", which generally isn't a pleasurable experience when not actively chosen and involving a new real challenge (like, for example, setting out to do a no death run).

This is all linked to Lacans' term jouissance:
"[...]a jouissance which compels the subject to constantly attempt to transgress the prohibitions imposed on his enjoyment, to go beyond the pleasure principle.

Yet the result of transgressing the pleasure principle, according to Lacan, is not more pleasure but pain, since there is only a certain amount of pleasure that the subject can bear. Beyond this limit, pleasure becomes pain, and this "painful principle" is what Lacan calls jouissance." [1]

-(imo) a good designer aims to allow for the right amount of such transgressions. Not too little (creates a feeling of inagency), not too much (creates what the process describes above).
-Furthermore, everyone has a subjective and personal experience where the balance of that threshold is. For me, ALTTP allows for too much cheesing against many enemy types. As does Super Castlevania, mainly because they didn't care to balance the whip length against the multidirectional feature, thus overriding the much of the need for subweapons and a portion of the need strategic positioning by the player of the player character.

Perhaps ironically, i was at the other side of the argument table (4 vs 8-directional) when we started pinning down feature sets for the topdowner i've been working on together with rahsennor. I think it goes to show how sensitive any "general principle" is to practical context.



As for the "age poorly" concept. I think it is this simple:
-The games in themselves don't change
-Their context does, though, which plays at least some part.
-Fading nostalgia plays a strong part, but it's not all.
-the personal, human "pleasure apparatus" changes as we gain more experience, we grow older and change, and as life takes us in new directions.
-Most importantly (i think), our conceptions and the general discourse of what "good design" is is perpetually changing over time.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:31 am 
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Really, the only thing with the original Zelda that I feel didn't age well is the "burn and bomb everywhere" method of finding things. (Which at the time was fun because it added a social aspect where you'd get together with friends and ask what they found).

I actually think the world map is near perfection. It's not huge, but it's interesting, and connects together in interesting ways. Final Fantasy Adventure's map looks more interesting on paper, but was a lot less interesting to play through. It just didn't have everything as connected in interesting ways.

Similarly with combat (except for the anticlimactic bosses) -- I think the 4-way movement combined with the different enemy types is amazing. I've played very few old games that required so many different types of tactics in dealing with different types of enemies.

The game isn't perfect (particularly the hidden secrets that I mentioned above), but the rest of it has aged AMAZINGLY well in my opinion.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:35 am 
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I'm sure die-hard fans of the game will defend the 4-axis movement, but people are entitled to different opinions, and I don't think it has anything to do with the age of the game.
I agree with DRW and Pokun that it's a flaw of the game, and I'd dare claim it also was that when it was released. A better example of a game that completely benefits from 4-way movement is Startropics, as evident by its sequel which I'd consider noticeably worse - though for more reasons. In general, though, the stock NES controller isn't too great for 8-way movements.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:46 am 
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Funny, i was going to mention StarTropics but didn't want to bloat my post any more. :P

Anyway, StarTropics is of a quite different topology than Zelda, because movement is grid-based, rather than freeform.

Coarsely, the topdown topologies i can think of are these as far as a square based "game board" is concerned:

-Turn based, grid based (either take-turns or simultaneous action phase turns)
-Grid based
-Free positioning, 4-way cardinal direction based movement
-Free positioning, 8-way cardinal direcction based movement
-Free positioning, rotation based direction

I suppose you could also have:
-Turn based, with free rotation based direction

like how many red baron/aviator/dog fight/war games (warhammer etc) operate. (picture example:x-wing)

Though i'm not sure i've seen this in a video game. You deploy and move units a bit like warhammer in the Myth series, but it is also real time based.

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