Have games gotten more fun?

Discussion in 'Games' started by Shacklebolt, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    So, I was playing a Contra III emulator a little while ago, and I thought to myself, in the face of ever-improving technology, have video/computer games actually gotten more fun? Obviously, they've gotten prettier to look at, and to be sure, some are extremely fun (I've said it before, but GoW is a blast) but some of my favorite games are about, what, ten years old now, and have a ton of replay value today. Zelda: OoT and Goldeneye for N64, Final Fantasy VII for PSOne, Mario 3 and Super Mario World for NES and SNES, Streets of Rage 2 for Genesis... have we actually had more fun since these games?

    I'm not saying that the answer is no, mind you. Just asking you to weigh in.
  2. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816


    Aug 8, 2004
    America's Wang
    Nope, games haven't gotten any more fun IMO. All the games you listed BTW, are in my top 10 pretty much. (Take out Streets of Rage and add Shining Force I & II...) To be honest, I think that most of the Xbox/PS2/360/PS3 games are pretty bland. This is because one developer finds success with a formula and they all jump on the bandwagon and make clones of that game. How many WWII sims do we need exactly? Also, what happened to point and click graphical adventures? (Myst, Zork, Phantasmagoria, Monkey Island...)

    The push for better graphics has also ruined many games IMO. Many developers spend more time trying to make a pretty looking game than any other aspect. It kind of reminds me of how Hollywood reached a point where they were making big overblown epics with huge CGI battles for every movie. (See Troy starring Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom etc.) Pretty graphics start to not matter so much when every movie or game that is released has no story, character development, or gameplay.

    Obviously, Nintendo is trying to change all this. The DS and Wii are very innovative and I have had more fun playing them than any console since 16-bit days. Additionally, with the Virtual Console I get to have many of my favorite games from past consoles all in one place. The DS is even seeing a resurgence of the missing in action graphical adventure genre. (Trace Memory, Touch Detectives, Hotel Dusk...) I think (as I'm sure Nintendo does) that graphics are important but just not to the detriment of everything else. Hopefully, we will see a Wii2 in 2-4 years with more innovation (1-1 Wiimote controls?, XboxLive like online play?, voice commands?, something I haven't ever thought about?) and better graphics (at least HD?)...
  3. Haoshiro macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2006
    USA, KS
    Yes and no. Personally I think it's rather relative. Go back and play some of those games, and do you have just as much fan as you did "back in the day", sometimes yes, and sometimes it's more nostalgia then actual pure fun.

    As the industry has grown/matured/whatever there are a lot more games coming out now then used to. I think some of the really good games get lost in the flood, but they are there if you can find them. Beyong Good & Evil, Psychonauts, etc... many even got good reviews (the games that actually got some press and were from big companies), but still people didn't buy them much.

    I think if you look through gaming history you'll see that there were less games being released, and more effort being put into them... not everyone of them was good (so many old games are horrible, even on SNES/Genesis, etc)); but it wasn't as hard to notice the good ones.

    I still plays Worms to this day (Armageddon and World Party) and am looking forward to the (small) update of Worms HD on 360. That's an older game, but WWP came out in 2001, there's also Warcraft III, which was 2002.

    There definitely ARE games out their that are just as fun or MORE fun then the classics, they are just getting harder to find because we have to wade through so much crap.
  4. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    In my own experience I found this not true. I missed out on lots of games, but through retro sections in shops I've found a few old classics. I never played Zelda I (NES) or Ninja Gaiden/Shadow Warriors. Bought them and loved them. Maybe more so than other older games that I did own as they potentially have grown stale over the years.

    Games more fun? I say no.

    Games have received more potential as far as hardware improvement is concerned, but the raw gameplay from those NES/Master System/Amiga and co is still there. MGS? Sneak around, pick up health when shot etc. Zelda? Health system, exploration. etc.

    The way I see it back then games looked fake to begin with. There was no messing about making things look incredible. They had to focus on making the game addictive and fun (Mario, Sonic...). Now, the games progressed into better hardware and studios seem to think that realism is going to make these games good and fun.

    Though... I've never had so much fun in a game thanks to Wii Sports. Played against a mate last night till 2am. Laughter and addictiveness a games console has never previously given me.
  5. Haoshiro macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2006
    USA, KS
    Well that can definitely be true, if you never played some of those great classics the fresh fun would still be there.

    But I also don't think it's true that they didn't mess around to make the games look incredible and push the hardware.

    There was a lot of time spent on bleeding the hardware as much as possible to get great results, these classic games were pushing hardware to their limits as well, and required some really good engineering to pull it off many times. Graphics tools were also much worse then they are now as well, some of those classic games really took a lot of time in the graphics department. It wasn't all pure focus on gameplay like we'd like to glamourize.

    As for health, hey.. that even started back with Sonic.

    I still think there is great new content that comes out, plenty that is better then the last generation (and so on and so forth). Great games will stand the test of time, but that doesn't mean there aren't newer games that are surpassing some of the classic greats. It's a matter of what you like and how the years have effected you.

    Back in the early days we didn't have a lot to compare games too, video games were very fresh and every game almost seemed new. Now, we've played games for years and seen sequels and clones so many times that we are cynical and hard to impress. That doesn't always make the games actually less fun, it just means it's harder for US to enjoy them.

    PoP:SoT rates up their with Mario World (personal favorite), Zelda:LttP, and Half-Life. HL2 still ranks as the one of the funnest FPS games I've played, and that's technically still a "current" game.

    HL2 is the perfect example that there *are* games out there still being made that are more fun. Wade through some bargain bins and there will be times you find hidden treasures too... just because they are low budget or didn't get any press doesn't mean they aren't great and fun... we just miss them.
  6. kjr39 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2004
    No. They are not.

    I really think that as a whole, the gaming industry has been in a rut for the past 5-6 years. For me, the best game I have ever played is a mail order only game by the nane of Combat Mission. It is a turn based tactical combat WWII Sim and it was more suspenseful for me than any other FPS out there. Other than that, there are genres out there in the gaming world that I have just died out. Simulators are gone. Back in the late 90s, you had flight sims, tank sims, racing sims, etc that were hard, indepth and required a great amount of time to master. Now, you pretty much have RTS, FPS, Sports and RPGs.

    Another crutch that I believe that developers are using these days instead of actually trying to develop game play is relying on online play for the main part of the game. Online play is swell and all, but put a game in there for single player.

    GOW is a good example of today's, while it is a good game, it is really short, fairly repetitive, doesn't really have a single puzzle in it, and you just moves through. But, it is very, very pretty, has most people like the online play (for most, I can't stand online on GOW.)

    That being said, I have really high hopes for the Wii. I took my Wii everywhere I went at Xmas and it was a hit with everyone. From my 9 near old neice to my 70 year old parents. That was the most fun I've had in gaming in years. I am really looking forward to seeing what developers can really do with the Wii.
  7. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Oh yea, HL2 is definitely the best PC game I've ever played. But I'd put it up alongside Mario World or the likes for sure. but the question was are games more fun now, I think they're equal. My top list of games in absolutely no order (simply because they are too great) would be-

    Mario World
    Half Life 2
    Twilight Princess
    Sonic 2
    Turrican 2

    Each one pushes the hardware that it was built for (maybe not Mario World actually, and TP for the Cube rather than Wii). Pushing hardware is great, it's something I did back with early hobbyist software dev kits like AMOS. It's certainly more fun to develop than having access to everything. Working within limits, alongside games with the same constrictions really makes a game seem better I think. hell, StarFox anyone?

    though not to the whole topic, but I've got a pixel artist friend who is really strict to the trade. Limiting his palettes to stupid numbers, even limiting one of his recent commercial games to 256 colours. Really helps one be a little more creative I find.
  8. Haoshiro macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2006
    USA, KS
    Which is pretty much my point, I belive HL2 is one of (if not THE) best and most fun FPS games, so if it was more fun then what came before it, well there you have it... some of these new games are "more fun" then what came before.

    Warcraft III and Starcraft are more fun then the RTS games that came before it (imo).

    There are examples of this in different areas, but not every genre has such titles that are clearly more fun then their predecessors. But some games ARE more fun.

    Which is why I said Yes and No. :D
  9. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    As always...

    Depends on the game.

    I always liked Donkey Kong, but Mario 64 on the N64 I found tedious, trying to make perfect jumps, and constantly looking around.

    With FPS, depends, Quake was fun back when it was first out, I understand Resistance: Fall of Man is great on a PS3...

    I really like Star Trek Legacy on XB360 - a nice update to the old Star Trek games on computers (mine was on a TRS-80 I typed in from a magazine) and also an update to Sega's Star Trek Tactical Assault. I guess they had to wait until technology caught up. I understand the controls on the PC version are not very good. I would also think it would be tedious to try to update my compter to make it run. Hence the whole purpose of the new consoles.

    So, just find a game you like and play!
  10. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    No, I don't think so. If there were an objective way to measure "fun," say by monitoring the areas of the brain that get stimulated when you're enjoying yourself, I think that measurement would be no higher on a person playing a PS3 than on a person playing an original Nintendo. That said, once you've seen the newer games, it gets harder to go back to the old ones.
  11. beez7777 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2002
    Notre Dame
    yes. go play games like the ratchet and clank series, god of war and guitar hero, just to name a few off the top of my head without much effort. sure a lot of newer games are ****** but there are just as many gems being released than there were 10-15 years ago.
  12. holamiamigos macrumors 6502a

    Aug 10, 2006
    after playing the nes with my cousins last night.. i think the games are funner because they focus more on gameplay rather than graphics.. and the nes games are more challenging in my opinion
  13. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2004
    Raleigh, NC

    They're more work now. Take the latest Zelda for instance. Don't get me wrong, its a fun game. But god when it turns you into a wolf and makes you hunt those godforsaken bugs I feel like its going "Ok now, fun's over... time to do some WORK"

    That and trying to make the jumps but failing because the camera swings to the side.

    Original Zelda didn't send you on all these pointless missions, it was just fight fight fight.
  14. Haoshiro macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2006
    USA, KS
    You know, it's rather interesting/funny that people would bring up games being short and then turn around and say that the retro games were more fun.

    Many of the retro games I played were very short, or were completely repetious and had no end.

    Look at Mario 1, I can beat that game in 30 minutes. River City Ransom (awesome) can be finished in under 2 hours... etc.

    Old games are often shorter, though there were some longer titles like Zelda, and of course the square RPGs. But many games that are classic and well acclaimed are actually less then 10 hours long.

    Somehow that didn't make them worse...
  15. sikkinixx macrumors 68020


    Jul 10, 2005
    Rocketing through the sky!
    I think gaming is on a steady decline downwards, it has become so mass market, so hollywood-movie-esc. Publishers don't care if it is good or not (not that they ever did), just if people will buy it. So you have an army of people who only care about getting Halo 29 just because it's Halo. W Plus the media around gaming is just so full of BS now. Games get a scoring bias just because they are a big name (ie. Zelda). I mean, on IGN and Gamespot it was news that Bungie released some vague info about the assault rifle in Halo 3, wtf? The mighty franchises like Mario and Zelda and Sonic and FF and all those just reek of staleness but people will keep on buying them no matter what (well, maybe not Sonic but he has sucked since Dreamcast), Hell I bought Zelda just because it was Zelda, now I regret wasting my $60 on OoT with a new controller and updated graphics.

    On a side note, one franchise that seemed to have escaped this was Resident Evil. Sure, 4 isn't the best game ever, but it made a really solid change in the style of the game while keeping the mood of the others (needed more puzzles though).
  16. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    Well, as far as old games being "shorter", sure you could play them through, if you were awesome, in an hour. Contra, if I was good enough, I could totally beat in an hour. However, it took me forever to even get to the end of the 5th stage (which I haven't beaten yet). And, let's not forget the whole concept of "Game Over" which has totally died. Old "short" games you had to spend weeks, if not months, practicing so you had the skillz (with a z) to get through it. So yeah, they were shorter, but not really.
  17. dllavaneras macrumors 68000


    Feb 12, 2005
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Yes and no... there have been a few gems lately, but some old games are still a blast to play, like Wolfenstein 3D :D
  18. harveypooka macrumors 65816

    Feb 24, 2004
    Interesting thread, good one :)

    They've become more immersive, but usually that's because of story or it strikes a particular nerve. The most immersive I've ever played have been Fallout, Half Life 2, Deus Ex and the Myst series.

    I'd also say that the more detail and thought put into a game can do a huge deal to make it re-playable and last a lot longer.

    But 'more' fun? Maybe because there are more of them, a greater variety, developers trying new angles - possibly. Very tough thing to answer.
  19. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    On a different note, I think the voice acting in games actually takes away from them a bit. In some games, it fits pretty well (GoW), but others (Final Fantasy series... and this is just IMO) it kind of detracts from it. I preferred the PSOne games where it was just text (and, obviously, a great story), and your imagination, to some degree, could shape the characters of the... ummm... characters.
  20. harveypooka macrumors 65816

    Feb 24, 2004
    Do you think this is because you can imagine the characters better? I know what you mean to a certain extent.

    Oblivion had Patrick Stewart and Sean Bean as characters and I just kept thinking Captain Pickard and 006! However in Deus Ex for example, the voice acting is crap, but it works. It kind of adds to the whole atmosphere of the game! I wouldn't change it for a bit.

    If you check out Fallout on IMDB you'll see that lots of fairly well known 'been in everything' actors do the voice work, and they do very well.
  21. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    YES! Good point. Especially because (well, 99% of the time) voice acting sucks. It's cheesy, doesn't let you put your own voices to the characters etc.
    One moment I was glad for text was in Twilight Princess, in the market. If you see people chatting and press A then you'll see what they're saying. If they were talking, then you'd lose the very attempt of realism you were trying to get.

    The way I see it, with any aspect of gaming, if you're going to try and be realistic then don't do it half heartedly as it will emphasise the fact that it's fake and look worse for it.
  22. pknz macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2005
    Hmmm I think its a tough question. I'd lean to the side of games not improving in the fun department, but maybe I side with that as I am not into games as I was when I was younger.
  23. bobber205 macrumors 68020


    Nov 15, 2005
  24. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    The only "fair" test I can think of if you wanted some statistical data is get some kid that's between 5 and 10 years old who hasn't played games from the NES/SNES/Genesis day and ask him how he likes his games. Then let him play our old games and ask if he likes our games, too.

    Have games gotten more fun though?

    Hmmm... I enjoy a good game still, when I find a good game. And I definitely can hate a bad game when I find a bad game.

    I have played a nice mix of old and new games and found some gems in current and past generations thanks to owning several consoles and through emulation.

    For example, I will say Zelda Twilight Princess was possibly the greatest Zelda game I have ever played. I will however say the 8-bit Zelda's were the most ridiculous games I've played in the Zelda series and just feel like work. I've only played the 8-bit Zelda through my Zelda Collector's Edition disc on my GameCube, and I will come outright with my blasphemous statement: Zelda on the NES sucked. Overrated and boring. You old people are crazy to tell me Zelda on the NES was one of the greatest games ever.


    You can really compare Super Mario Bros. to say Wii Sports, you know? I have both on my Wii and I have no trouble putting both down when I've had enough of either. It's not like one's less fun than the other. They keep me amused pretty equally. I'm not saying that the Wii makes it easy to compare two games, but think about it. If you played the original Megaman and Megaman X now, wouldn't they both keep you amused about equally (assuming you enjoyed both)? It's not like your list of favorite games favors a particular generation. If you've played games across many generations, you know what worked and what didn't, and I'm sure you'd have difficulty saying how one of those is better than another.

    Companies like Nintendo, Capcom, and Sega do re-release classics in one way or another and it's not like the older gamer is the one buying these all up. You got current-gen, younger gamers picking these things up, too. Nintendo must've padded their wallets nicely with the GBA ports of like every single Mario game from NES to SNES.

    PC gaming on the other hand might have gotten less fun, in my opinion. Your choices are an MMORPG, RTS, or shooter. The olden days had some cool games like Crystal Crazy and other countless classics that spanned across all genres. A good shooter can still be a good shooter though. We all loved Medal of Honor. Then when Call of Duty came out, we loved that, too. Yet, they were similar in many ways. A lot of the PC lack that "magic" that makes you feel good while you play a video game. But hey, if PC gaming makes you happy, keep playing it.

    I wouldn't go as far as go say the gaming industry has become like the movie industry where using proven properties and huge budgets creates a hit that everybody enjoys. There's good reason why people hate the newer Sonics while love the old 16-bit Sonic, despite the re-using of a property and investing a decent amount of money for the development. But companies like EA are making Madden yearly and nearly changing nothing which guarantees them money, but not necessarily a good game.

    Gaming has changed. The whole experience is different. But, I don't think that changed how "fun" games are. If a game sucks, it still sucks because it doesn't make for a good experience.
  25. furcalchick macrumors 68020


    Dec 19, 2006
    South Florida
    tough question. i would have to say my favorite game of all time would have to be super mario bros. 3 or super mario world (i have both on my gba) as they were both addicting to play and still are. they just have that wow factor that i love to come back to over and over again.

    my favorite game i've played in the 3d era would have to be super smash brothers melee, because of the addicting factor of the games to come back over and over. i would have to say the key to fun for me at least would be making the game addicting that you can't have enough of it.

    now on that note, the game i liked most from 2006 was kingdom hearts 2, which was a different quality of fun. the game was very big and there was so much to do, it was like a whole different world of immersion. that in fact made the game addicting, because it wasn't just work, there were more places to go. i would say my only complaint about this game was that some of the worlds seemed a bit too small, but other than that, game of the year.

    i think the problem in gaming is that there is so much saturation in one or two genres right now (shooters). half of the games out there seem to be shooters, and it's somewhat annoying. i like a good shooter, but i want a bit of variety in my gaming (i like strategy, rpg's, adventure and platforms the most). i think we need to desaturate attention from one genre and try instead of improving graphics, to get some innovation into the games (like the wii).

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