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Do nostalgic games trick us into loving them?

posted by Woodsyblue on - last edited - Viewed by 347 users

So I just read this article on Joystiq called 'How nostalgic JRPGs trick us into loving them' and about halfway though I realised you could replace "JRPGs" with "Point'n'Click Adventure Games" and you'd have the exact same story (only less marketable; see what I did there?).

So what to people think? Do you agree that "old games can take us to states of euphoria by triggering our memories of the past... which can convince us that they're superior experiences, even when today's games are leaps and bounds better" or are the older games the superior experiences and they just don't make them like they used to? In short, is the problem the games industry or is the problem us? Or is there not a problem at all?

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  • Well, I'm glad to hear someone else appreciates that speech! Usually people call it "hipster garbage" and then dismiss the point of the entire film. In reality it affected me greatly as both a critic and average-junk-loving person.

  • @Chyron8472 said: When the people who most frequent these forums have not and will not play them, I'd say that's an indication of whether they think the games are good or not.

    I don't think anybody who hasn't played a certain game can say if it is good or bad and just because someone hasn't played something doesn't automatically make them think it is bad. The biggest excuse people seem to have for not playing the King's Quest games is that they didn't grow up with them and many of them seem to have it on their to do list. If I hadn't grown up with a mother who owns and played pretty much every adventure game from the golden age of the genre I probably wouldn't have played them either.

    @Chyron8472 said: Again, Ratatouille does a good job in explaining this phenomenon. Quote: "The average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so."

    @Chyron8472 said: Hey, bringing up that Ratatouille quote is my thing! :p

    Lol, small world. I just quoted that speech in my Screen Criticism assignment which I handed in yesterday. It truly is an amazing monologue.

  • @GuruGuru214 said: I never said I wouldn't play them, did I?


    Sure sounded like it to me, tbh.

    @GuruGuru214 said: Honestly, the biggest turn-off for me is that you can dead end yourself. Call it part of the game if you like, but to me it's just a shoddy design choice. I can think of two instances where I've dead-ended myself in video games, and both pissed me off.

    So given how I feel about those experiences and how terrible I've heard about Sierra's games being in that aspect, I have to say that it's a pretty big thing for me to get over if I wanted to play those game.


    @GuruGuru214 said: Well, I haven't played King's Quest, but it's perfectly fine to like a game for its nostalgia, you just gotta recognize when nostalgia is actually a big factor for it. I mean nostalgia's great and all, but I can't recommend a game to someone based on that alone.

    There are various specific things about KQ6 that I could outline as to why it is good without waxing nostalgic about it. If, however, you'd expect me to be objective about it, I might point out that everyone's opinion about things is inherently subjective as skewed by their own preferences, so even without nostalgia there will always be a certain level of bias in everyone's view of things.

  • I read that and all I see is some complaints about a design feature of their games and a statement that I'll have to get over my problem with it in order to play the games. I didn't ever say I wouldn't try to get over it and give them a shot someday.

    Hell, I'm finally going back and doing everything in my power to finish Zelda II, and this is a game that has completely defeated me to the point of ragequitting twice, including the time that I tried cheating and still wasn't able to beat it. If I can get over my hangups on that game, I think I can push myself to get over my hangups with King's Quest. I had the same hangups over Maniac Mansion, and I got over them for that game, didn't I?

  • @PecanBlue said: I love Sailor Moon, but on a standard viewing it's a pretty crappy anime overall.



    The new manga was pretty lackluster as well. I'm hoping it will get better though. It was filled with mistranslations that I'm hoping they will realise they need to do better.

    new-english-sailor-moon-manga-01-scan1.j

  • "You should live your life a bit more nervously" is amazing advice for anyone

  • I would say that some old games, are genuinely better.

    Sometimes, graphical detail and gameplay feature can be overdone in modern games, and well... they kind of become less memorable as there is less to focus on.

    I'd play Chrono Trigger over Final Fantasy XIII anyday.

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    @Chyron8472 said: When the people who most frequent these forums have not and will not play them, I'd say that's an indication of whether they think the games are good or not.

    Pfffffhahahahahahah! Good one. Almost dashingesque in its protest-producing presuppositions. Calm down, people can understand you! And I'll get to those KQ games one day.

    @Chyron8472 said: Today’s role-playing games are all about grinding that I don’t have time for, remember when I got my entire party of characters in Final Fantasy IV to level 99? Man, I was hardcore then.

    There were hard games back then, which needed a lot of levelling, and then there were others which were easier to beat. In Final Fantasy VII, my 69 hours of playtime were enough to beat the game with all side-quests and have all characters on level 99. Final Fantasy Legend on the original GameBoy was considered a "long" game. You can beat it in just a few hours these days. In comparison, some RPGs today wear their expected gaming hours on the package like a badge. 150 hours to finish a game, where am I supposed to get that much time?! On average, I manage to set aside 3 to a maximum of 8 gaming hours a week, do the math and find out why such a game just doesn't sound like fun to me any more.

    It's certainly true that back then, reading huge manuals, trying, trying and retrying and lastly running a lot through seriously empty environments was "part of the game". These things are less common today with the advent of the "casual gamer" (a species which as of yet lacks a proper definition). But I tend to think that one remembers those games most fondly which kept a certain balance. Those games you beat exactly about a minute before you threw your keyboard at the wall out of frustration. Those which tried those very first steps of storytelling.

    @Chyron8472 said: I'd play Chrono Trigger over Final Fantasy XIII anyday.

    Hell yeah! But then again, the 30 minutes of FF XIII I played were already enough for life.

  • It's statistics.

    I'm old enough to have played a lot of the old adventure games when they were still new. And a lot of them were pretty bad. The bad ones aren't around anymore, and no one talks about them.

    The ones everyone still talks about are the ones that were good enough to captivate. And it gives modern adventure games a tough standard for comparison.

    Compare a modern game to one of the best of the past, and the modern game doesn't look so good. Compare it to an "average" game of the past, and it doesn't look so bad.

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