An honest question for today's gamers.

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by Rayder, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. Rayder

    Rayder Mostly lurking lately....

    Former Staff
    Jan 14, 2007
    United States
    Am I just a relic to prefer games like Time Ace/Gradius/Punch-Out/F-Zero..etc. over the plethora of RPGs and strategy games that seem to clutter the shelves nowadays? Or is it just that today's gamers expect more from a game than just pure mindless fun the whole way through?

    Personally, I prefer the mindless "twitch" games myself. If I want to think, I'll go read a technical manual, when I'm playing a game, I just want to have fun. Use my reflexes, not my mind. Is that weird? Or am I just too old-school for my own good?

    Is people who think like me in the extreme minority these days? Because it sure seems like it. Fun games have almost completely stopped on the PC. All I ever see is FPS after endless FPS on PC's, with some boring strategy and sim games added into the mix.....oh, and let's not forget those oh-so-important MMO games. GOD, I hate those kinds of games. They bore the hell out of me. FPS's/sims/strategy games/MMO's all seem lame to me. I honestly don't understand the fanbase they have. The last PC game I bothered with was Flatout 2. Now that's a FUN game.

    What critical thought processes am I missing that makes me not like cookie-cutter FPS's or boring, drawn-out strategy or sim games? I'm serious, I'd like to know. What's so fun about staring down the barrel of a gun blasting everything that moves in dark hallways? What's so fun about micro-managing my life away in some sim or strategy game? Why is online play so damned important to people?

    What happened to just plain FUN in a videogame? This is why I got into Nintendo handhelds, because at least there is an actual FUN game that comes out for it every once in a while, and not just FPS after boring RPG after boring sim all the time.

    I'm rambling on, I know (us old people tend to do that...I'm 39), but I would really like an intelligent explanation to help me understand today's gamers. I really want to understand the pull of games I consider yawn-fests and why people seem to love them so much. Games that I love, everyone else is basically going, "Meh, that game sucks". I just don't get it. I've tried, I really have, to give some of these FPS/strategy/sim/MMO games a chance, but I just don't like them and I'm trying to understand their appeal when I see them as just being tedious, boring and time-consuming.

    Is gaming evolving away from people like me? Or am I just living in the dark ages for wanting mindless FUN games that aren't overly complex and time consuming? It's not that I CAN'T play them, I just don't like them and don't find them FUN.

    I felt a need to ask these questions for the last couple of years now. I just finally got around to asking. Don't look at this post as if I'm bashing certain types of games. I'm just trying to understand their appeal. Because they certainly don't appeal to me.
  2. AndreXL

    AndreXL GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Dec 28, 2006
    Sorry. Read "Old School" and though Etrian Odyssey on the DS. [​IMG]

    On topic, yes, I as well love my DS for the same reason as yours.
    If you have access to the Game and Watch collection and Tingle's baloon fight, I would say these games are a great!
  3. chalupa

    chalupa GBAtemp Fan

    Dec 31, 2006
    United States
    *looks at his wii* your games seem to be returning..
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    When you say mindless fun I sense it is about loosing oneself in a game, for me at least that is why I play games: there is a reason I like really open ended titles and there is also a reason why I play tetris to this day (I play it while watching TV so currently I have put in 4 hours since I woke up this morning).

    Cookie cutter FPS titles: agree entirely, got a good story (deus ex) or a good multiplayer (unreal or something like battlefield) and then we can talk.
    MMO, I fail to see the attraction as well. Although not explicitly linked stuff like diablo, dungeon siege, snowblind engine titles I can see happening.
    RPG: I will hold the elder scrolls series up here, I can see how it might get boring but there is something about them that makes me want to play on and on and on and on. I can happily live without another spiky haired slightly effeminate guy with a mysterious past and a large sword overcoming (insert pseudo legend character/concept) though.
    Fighting games: some like them, personally it feels like a pointless memory test half the time for me.
    Strategy, not played many of late but I do revisit old titles like Shogun: Total War, dungeon keeper and Warhammer: Dark Omen fairly often.

    Quite unsure what I just ranted then, consider it me saying I know where you are coming from but I do not entirely agree.

    I will also mention that rose tinted glasses can sneak up on someone: I have a bag of c64, amiga, spectrum.... games here and while there are some gems there is some utter tripe.
  5. Darkforce

    Darkforce DERP!

    Former Staff
    Nov 5, 2002
    I think there are still plenty of good games coming out nowadays it's just the market is a bit more saturated now...

  6. OSW

    OSW Wii King

    Former Staff
    Oct 30, 2006
    Fighting games can be awesome.

    look at the nintendo goodness of super smash brothers (the original at least, i dun have a gc and i don't think ssbm played as good) and capcoms SF etc is pretty good.

    I'm also not a big FPS or MMORPG person. although i feel if they made a good DS mmorpg i might be more in on the action. I only like playing multiplayer FPS.

    I get a bit unhappy with some sequels these days too. I wish rare's original team (back in n64 days) were all still with nintendo. Microsoft rare remade two absolute classics for n64 - Conkers bad furday for xbox and DK racing for DS. But both are miserable fails in my opinion.

    And mario sunshine - no way.

    fortunately zelda still holds much of its appeal (although TP wasn't that spectacular.

    Basically my opinion is, i like some elements from the new generations of games, but there are many more key elements that have been utilised in the old days. I believe agood game makes the best of both worlds.
  7. Linkiboy

    Linkiboy GBAtemp Testing Area

    May 14, 2006
    United States
    Well, you grew up with those games, so its kind of obvious you would prefer those games. Your early years are influential to your taste. People like games like MMORPGs because they like immersion, and just want something on an epic scale.
  8. sirAnger

    sirAnger GBAtemp Fan

    Dec 4, 2002
    United States
    With games like Wario Ware being as popular as they are, I don't think you're alone in this boat. I'm finding myself less attracted to the long 'thinker' games as I have less and less time for the commitment required to play them.

    I think someone is removing hours in days. =(
  9. Lukeage

    Lukeage GBAtemp Regular

    Feb 24, 2004
    I'm just (and a couple of years) over half your age and I've already hit that point too. I grew up primarily as a PC gamer (athough I did own a SNES and played other people systems too) but in the last 5 years or so I became a heavy console gamer (owned all 3 consoles from last gen). Recently though, despite having a PC that can easily play most games in 1920x1200 (my field of study is graphics, so its important to have a good rig [​IMG]) I really have to devote myself to a game to get through it. When you consider the fact that even a short RPG you have to dedicate 20+ hours of your life to, it is hard to find the time.

    (Warning: Rambling ahead!!!)

    I think there are a few main factors as to why younger gamers enjoy different types of games.

    1) More Time - This is an obvious one. Kids have fewer responsibilities so they can easily find 40 hours a week to spend on a game rather than work/wife/girlfriend/kids/etc.... This is probably the main thing that most of the 360/PS3 fanboys don't seem to understand when they bag out the Wii for only having 'party games'. Not everyone (read, most people) has time to put 10 solid hours into completing a game. I sure as hell know that during certain times of the year I'd be lucky to be able to put 10 hours into gaming over an entire month.

    2) Social Interaction (extended from the first point) - When you are at school, you get a good 6 hours a day to socialise. Yes I know that you are supposed to be doing work, but it isn't like a real job or higher education. Your relationships at school also differ from later in life where your work colleges may not be your primary social circle. This means you need to spend more time dedicated to actually fitting in a social existence. This is where MMOs fit into the picture. Most people that play them tend to play for the social interaction. Personally I don't understand this and much prefer to actually visit people (for the record, I also dislike phones and email, especially when I can see the person in question with very little effort).

    3) Games are more complex - As computing power has grown, this has allowed for much more complex games to be developed. Primarily, games can now have complex storylines with multiple paths and endings or (even regardless of actual story) outcomes. When people get into RPGs, FPS or even some of the 'simpler' games, they tend to be working their way through a story (no matter how lackluster it might be). I still find 3 or 4 games a year which are 20 hours or so in length to work my way through, but I really need to dedicate time to it, that is, sit down for a couple of days and work through it. Games like these are like reading a book or watching a movie, if you start them, you usually want to finish them.

    4) Nostalgia - You will always have memories of the games you grew up with and how great they were. You'll also find that some of the games, when you go back to them, totally suck now [​IMG]

    5) Loss of focus - Sure there are games today that still have good gameplay, but we have recently (still?) are going through a stage where having the prettiest game is more important that having good gameplay. Just look at almost any gaming site on the net. You really see this on the cross-platform games that involve the Wii and 360/PS3. Tiger Woods 07 (ok, not the best game ever, but it is one that stood out to me) had reviews like this: 360 - Pros: Great Graphics, Cons: Nothing new over 06, half the courses of the ps2/xbox versions - 8/10. Wii - Pros: Controls are new and bring a new aspect to the game, Has almost all the courses from the ps2/xbox versions, plus some new styles of play. Cons: Graphics aren't as good as 360 - 7/10. So here we have 2 versions of the same game. One is missing half the content and is considered a rehash of the previous year, but because it has pretty graphics, it deserves a higher score than the same game, but with more content and a new unique control system.....interesting. This has always been something that bothered me when people bring up the top XX games between PSP and DS and go one about how the PSP has more titles above 80. Of course it does, reviewers primarily give their score on graphics.

    6) Higher signal to noise ratio - There are a lot of good games which completely get ignored these days. Advertising and hype gives the few 'system sellers' all the attention, while the lesser games are ignored by the media and the masses.

    I'll quit my rambling now, but hopefully there is something there to help understand why games today might not seem as appealing to games of 20 years ago.
  10. rest0re

    rest0re GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Dec 23, 2006
    I totally get you rayder. I'm 25 year old soon and I have been digging old games with emulator what I didnt play at 80's...
  11. omkire

    omkire Member

    Apr 18, 2007
    United States
    have you ever tried soul caliber 3? some of the Wii games are reminiding of the old days on the nes. im 25btw
  12. Mehdi

    Mehdi Lemonade by Psyfira

    May 31, 2004
    all the fps mmo and rpgs are hot at the moment. They are doing well with the majority but in a year or 5 maybe they will get fed up with it like you have. Best thing to do is wait for that revolution where games become mindless again waiting to be outraged by other genres.
  13. spokenrope

    spokenrope c7

    May 26, 2006
    United States
    I'm 24 years old, and though I agree with a lot of what you're saying, there's also a lot that I disagree with.

    You keep saying that you want to play "fun" games, which seems to imply that games that you require you to think a lot don't qualify as fun.

    The disconnect, from what I can tell, is that you don't like immersion-type games. I'm kinda the same way, as I really don't enjoy MMORPGs or sims very much. But at the same time, I can certainly understand its appeal. To be completely engrossed in a game that you enjoy sounds like it could be very rewarding and addictive. Especially if that game also involves a community that you interact with such as in World of Warcraft.

    As far as online play goes, that's really easy to understand, I think; it's more rewarding to beat a human opponent than a computer one.

    You're almost 40, and I'm sure that you have responsibilities to take care of before gaming. A family, a job, bills, etc. So, on top of games straying away from what you cut your teeth on, you don't have the time that's necessary to learn/get wrapped up in/enjoy some of the more complex games that are coming out nowadays.

    But at the same time, just like you said, Nintendo seems to be making a conscious effort to avoid the complexity that you seem to dislike. The DS is perfect for pick up and play for 5 minute games (I played a 5 minute game of Puzzle League this morning whilst on the toilet.), and most Wii games just use the Wiimote without the nunchuk resulting in games with 1 or 2 buttons to press. On top of that, both the DS and the Wii are at least partially controlled in a way that's more intuitive to most players (touch/motion controls).
  14. reemixx

    reemixx Advanced Member

    May 17, 2007

    Hmmmm... I think you're over-analysing everything a little too much.

    Every game has a place, and I really don't think the types of games you enjoy have really gone anywhere. They're still being made. Those games that are just pure entertainment, that don't involve too much thinking, and rely on reflexes to play them. They've actually started to become really popular again lately.

    As well as this, people play games for different reasons. Where you might play for some simple fun, others might enjoy extreme competition, especially when it comes to FPS and strategy (both of which I'm not a huge fan of). I play MMO's and RPG's. I like these types of games for their stories, amount of customisation, and social elements. I'm a roleplayer, so naturally any online RPG with a chat function has a huge appeal for me. So it seems I'm the complete opposite type of gamer to you.

    However, I grew up playing the original NES, the SNES, and pretty much every mainstream console except the Sega Saturn and XBox (and all the current gen consoles, except for the Wii). So I guess you could say I've played my fair share of pure entertainment 'twitch' games, too.

    As previous posters have said, I think a lot of it depends on how much time you can devote to games. I've found myself playing a lot of games I can just pick up and play and don't have to think about lately 'cause I've been busy. The time you have and how you feel has a huge influence on the type of game you decide to play at any particular moment in time.

    I can see where you're coming from but I think it just comes back to what you want to get out of the game. Not all games are created just for fun. The word 'game' might have connotations of 'fun' and 'entertainment' to you, but to other people it's different. I know some people play just to WIN and they don't care about anything else. And then there's gamers like myself who enjoy playing games that are more like interactive novels that you almost write as you play through it.

    So many different genres these days breeds so many different types of gamers.
  15. haohmaru6

    haohmaru6 Advanced Member

    Nov 20, 2003
    United States
    United States
    I partially agree with you Rayder, as I played games on the Apple ][ computers and the Atari 2600 onward, and I've seen the game selection change and vary over the years.
    The problem is that the industry is subject to market forces, and this is what far too many companies think about, only WHAT WILL SELL. Such is the American market and the way that it's played to. The companies that have the most money and resources perpetuate this condition with their marketing blitzes.
    Other companies make games for different reasons. Some will make them specifically to bring a new experience to the player, but there isn't as much profit in that, since you can't make as much money asking people to try a new experience as you can with a tried-and-true formula.
    Still other companies will make a game purely for the sake of artistic expression (which is the direction I believe that the industry long term is moving towards.)
    It makes it rather sad that games that are truly good often go unrecognized, because the games that receive the most attention are those that make the most money.

    A good parallel of histories is to look at the film industry. The film industry in the beginning had an explosion of ideas, and had its "golden age." Nowadays, though, often the most noticed films are those that have the most money spent on them, and have the biggest marketing blitz.
    But that industry has reached a point now where basically anybody can make a film, and make it a good film. The film industry has become a highly varied realm of artistic expression. The big companies still hold the market, but even a little guy can make and publish a film and still make the experience comparable to the films of the big studios.

    As has been stated, discretionary time available to spend on a game is very often a factor in deciding what game to buy. But since there are so many different types of personalities that spend money on games, a short experience to one person might not be worth the same purchase as a long experience to another, and that's where the market for this industry differs from others. I myself can see the merit in both long AND short game experiences, and will MAKE the discretionary time to play a game if I feel it's fun enough.

    Having tried the MMORPG experience twice, I personally don't think I would try it again, because I can never really get a sense of completion or accomplishment, and the "socialization" factor is not much better than recess at elementary school. However, I can clearly see why so many companies are making them now. They are a CASH COW. They continually bring in large amounts of income for an initial large investment but very low maintainance cost. I would guess that so many people play them for psychological need of socialization (or at least the illusion thereof,) when their real lives are somewhat lacking in that. The sheer number of people that play them makes me worried about the psychological state of this country, but I digress.

    Well this is getting (GOT?) kind of long but I guess the whole point I'm trying to make is that the game industry is currently ruled by market trends and money, but it's starting to break out of it. The best way to get the games of the specific types you like made more of is to make AS MUCH NOISE ABOUT THEM AS POSSIBLE.

    By the way I'm really liking this thread and the essays of opinions being expressed by everyone, now if I can just find enough discretionary time to read them all !! [​IMG]
  16. Hadrian

    Hadrian Everybofy knows badgers like MASH POTATOES!

    Former Staff
    Oct 12, 2004
    United States
    I don't think gaming is "evolving" away from you, there seems to be more simplistic titles out there than RPG/Strategy/Sim titles. Nintendo have done a great job catering to people like you cant' say the same for Sony and Microsoft although the Live service does have a lot of arcade style greats on it.

    In the PC world you might wanna look into the indie games that are out there rather than the stuff you can get in the shops.

    Personally I'm not too fussed, I like either. Sometimes I feel like I need a game like Gears of War or Zelda other times I just want to play something simple like Wii Tennis or Mario. Sometimes I like to just mess about in games like Zelda, GTA and so on that allow you to just do what you want. If I play too sort too much I get bored.