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Games That Haven't Aged Well

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Abe's Exodus did have a considerable improvement over it's predecessor in that it had (a rather novel concept at the time) quicksaves. Being able to save literally anywhere took a considerable amount of frustration away from the games harder moments without compromising on the overall challenge. It saddens me that one has to look considerably harder to find a franchise with the Oddworlds sense of aesthetic and thematic uniqueness.

While it was a towering accomplishment at the time (and on the PS1!) and it hasn't been incorporated to Abe's Oddysee on PC, the issue of quicksaves can be easily sidestepped by emulating those games, which you can do on every PC and phone nowadays. Heck, I think the PS1 version were always superior since the ports were so shitty. I think you can say those games improved as time went on in that regard, although they are still very dated - why can't I can only call one Mudokon at a time? (fixed in Abe's Exoddus) Why do I have to chant for like 10 seconds before I can control a Slig? Why is the fastest and most accurate way to move around is to roll around like a jackass?

Don't get me wrong - I love the puzzles which aren't bomb-diffusal, manipulating and running away from Scrabs, etc. But it all has a very clunky movement to it which detracts from the entire experience.

 

I thought Stranger's Wrath was pretty damn good though, even though it strays from the style of the other Oddworld games, and the endgame difficulty does feel a bit unbalanced.

It's still good! If you play it on the original XBox, that is. I think the PC port is kind of horrendous, but that might be just a bad experience on my part. But that's game preservation, I don't think I'll mind playing Stranger's Wrath again if given an actual working copy - I meant that Abe's Oddysee/Exoddus and Munch's Oddysee didn't age well.

Also, I started a whole game and didn't buy anything so I could have enough moolah to pay the doc during Stranger's only visit to him. I was disappointed, especially since it took quite a bit of grinding to get the moolah out of infinitely spawning outlaws in one of the bosses.

 

True enough, I never played Abe's Oddysee or Exoddus, I've only ever seen them played and seen the synopsis provided in Munch's. I do agree that Munch's Oddysee hasn't aged well either. It feels way more difficult to play than it should be, what with crappy AI (I'm pretty sure I spent at one point 15-20 Mins just in the first section of Vykker's Labs when you first play as Munch just trying to wrangle Fuzzles to the portal), bad controls for some of the moves it asks you to pull of, and bad combat systems mostly because of those two previous problems.

 

The only one I've really enjoyed playing was Stranger's Wrath for Xbox (I think its ported to Playstation as well as Steam now though isn't it?), though I love watching the storylines of all the games. The art design is so iconic.

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Goldeneye 007

 

Just the controls.

 

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater

 

So many things taken for granted that the later installments (like the second one) give us. For example: No manuals. That's just crazy talk.

 

On a side note, I read a couple of articles on games that didn't age well. (Both were clickbaity, but one more so than the other, and it didn't help that the article stated 10 games that didn't age well, but only listed 5 that did, and 5 that didn't.) Interestingly enough both were very similar, had similar reasons, and both even listed Final Fantasy 7. And their reasoning: Graphics don't hold up. That's it. Graphics.

 

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@Psychotic Ninja well considering FF7's 3D graphics are a visual downgrade compared to FF6's 2D sprites I think it's a reasonable complaint. To paraphrase Ross I will take good 2D sprite art over archaic, experimental 3D models that are barely not polygons with washed out or dark textures to hide the fact that the textures lack any sort of definition. Any 20 year old 3D game is going to look like absolute rancid ass which is pretty indefensible no matter how you cut it in terms of art style and direction. By the standards for 2D sprite art from the early to mid 90s 3D models from the late 90s look downright godawful. I understand that the groundwork had to be laid for 3D but by no means were early iterations pretty or memorable.

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Okay still, what's the excuse for not to make something that looks better and is easier to make? FF7 would've looked so much better if it was 2D sprite based as opposed to going with early 3D polygonal models. I'm convinced that early 3D polygonal graphics were nothing but a death march towards better 3D models and while I say the effort was ultimately worth it in the end(I mean look at the 3D models we have today) I can't help but feel that the 3D games made during the late 90s have aged poorly in terms of graphics. Doesn't mean they aren't enjoyable but I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with point flaws like this out. I enjoyed the original Deus Ex GOTY but I still recognize the graphics as aged garbage. Same goes for Morrowind and Morrowind is one of my favorite games of all time. I know those games are from the early 2000s but I think the principle still applies.

Edited by Guest

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Yeah, since when have experiments turned out well on the first try? As I said the effort was ultimately worth it in end but 3D games from the late 90s to early 2000s don't look good in terms of art direction. Early 3D game textures were compressed to hell. It doesn't make them bad games by pointing that out though. It's just a flaw that ages them slightly. An aspect of a game that hasn't aged well doesn't make the game not hold up in other regards.

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@Psychotic Ninja well considering FF7's 3D graphics are a visual downgrade compared to FF6's 2D sprites I think it's a reasonable complaint. To paraphrase Ross I will take good 2D sprite art over archaic, experimental 3D models that are barely not polygons with washed out or dark textures to hide the fact that the textures lack any sort of definition. Any 20 year old 3D game is going to look like absolute rancid ass which is pretty indefensible no matter how you cut it in terms of art style and direction. By the standards for 2D sprite art from the early to mid 90s 3D models from the late 90s look downright godawful. I understand that the groundwork had to be laid for 3D but by no means were early iterations pretty or memorable.

Also do keep in mind that it was released on PlayStation 1, and that was a ginormous success in Japan. Final Fantasy VII was released in about a year later after PlayStation's launch, and considering its size, I wouldn't put it past Square (Enix) to rush with the development and release it before the console stops being popular.

Silent Hill 1 comes to mind, where human characters looked more like, well, humans. But the game was released two years later after Final Fantasy VII, so...

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And Square stepped up their game with FF8. Also, Helio, without any first time experment, we wouldn't be here. Lastly graphics don't and shouldn't hold a game back. Yes the graphics haven't aged well, but over all, the game has.

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I mean, the argument that certain graphics haven't aged well would mean that we wouldn't have so many graphically simple games coming out today.

 

I personally prefer more realistic and high definition graphics over pixel art, vector graphics, or polygonal art, but I usually don't hold it against a game for using a certain type of graphics and looking bad as a sign of note aging well. I mean, if FF 7 looks bad, OoT and Majora's Mask share basically the same problem, yet they constantly get "Best Game Ever" awards, at least in recent history.

 

Bip Bop 2 and those other types of games are to me, bad graphics design (though arguably their designs were intentional to make it challenging, such graphics would never work in any other game that are used in some of their levels). If your player's eyes are basically bleeding from looking at the screen, you've made bad graphics, and nobody will want to continue to play your game.

 

But stylistically, the type doesn't really matter beyond preference, IMO. I think certain graphics look better than others, other disagree.

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I don't think the OoT/MM to FF7 comparison is fair, because of the differing artistic direction. FF7 went it in a more realistic direction than the LoZ games - for example, look at the backgrounds of those three games. FF7 usually used pre-rendered 3D backgrounds with a more grounded look, while the LoZ games used a more cartoony and abstract style that didn't push the graphics in every way, but did manage to keep it all consistent - Link doesn't feel like a total outsider to the world, while Cloud does. Because of the pre-rendered backgrounds he seems like he's floating in most screenshots, and the characters' art design doesn't match the steampunk world.

 

That being said, LoZ also had its missteps - Hyrule Town is a case of pre-rendered backgrounds, and it does look bad. So do some of the shops. But those are single cases the are usually very quick - you don't spend more than a minute in a shop, or 2-3 minutes in Hyrule Town. In FF7, that's the entire game.

 

In general, you can say that pushing for realism is only a good idea if you have the means of achieving the same amount of realism across the entire game - sound, models, and textures. Miss one, and your game will turn out to be odd and dated, like many PS1 games. The pervasiveness and differing technical capabilities in the execution of the art direction is what makes FF7 seem dated, in my opinion.

 

But to be honest, I don't even think FF7 aged that badly, but I also don't really like it or any of the Final Fantasy games. I played Final Fantasy VI, 7 and X and they all numbed my brain so hard I couldn't complete any of them. Anyway, I'm guessing that the clickbaity articles were probably paid by Square Enix as it's typical of them to ready the ground for when the FF7 remake ships, and will be radically different than the original "because it was aging".

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I don't think the OoT/MM to FF7 comparison is fair, because of the differing artistic direction. FF7 went it in a more realistic direction than the LoZ games - for example, look at the backgrounds of those three games. FF7 usually used pre-rendered 3D backgrounds with a more grounded look, while the LoZ games used a more cartoony and abstract style that didn't push the graphics in every way, but did manage to keep it all consistent - Link doesn't feel like a total outsider to the world, while Cloud does. Because of the pre-rendered backgrounds he seems like he's floating in most screenshots, and the characters' art design doesn't match the steampunk world.

 

That being said, LoZ also had its missteps - Hyrule Town is a case of pre-rendered backgrounds, and it does look bad. So do some of the shops. But those are single cases the are usually very quick - you don't spend more than a minute in a shop, or 2-3 minutes in Hyrule Town. In FF7, that's the entire game.

 

In general, you can say that pushing for realism is only a good idea if you have the means of achieving the same amount of realism across the entire game - sound, models, and textures. Miss one, and your game will turn out to be odd and dated, like many PS1 games. The pervasiveness and differing technical capabilities in the execution of the art direction is what makes FF7 seem dated, in my opinion.

 

But to be honest, I don't even think FF7 aged that badly, but I also don't really like it or any of the Final Fantasy games. I played Final Fantasy VI, 7 and X and they all numbed my brain so hard I couldn't complete any of them. Anyway, I'm guessing that the clickbaity articles were probably paid by Square Enix as it's typical of them to ready the ground for when the FF7 remake ships, and will be radically different than the original "because it was aging".

 

I'm currently playing through FF X now since my friend claims its one of the best games of all time and has been on my back to play it now that I've bought it. Its good in some regards such as music, combat, leveling, and art design, but I'm struggling to figure how the writing and dialogue are that good.

 

One thing that shows how badly that game aged is how the fact that THERE IS NO FUCKING QUIT BUTTON! This astounded me, that there is no way to quit out to the main menu of the game once you have started playing, you have to quit out of the whole game to your PS3 menus, and then restart in. This was before autosaving, obviously, since it explains why there are so many save points all over the place. But this lack of a quit button really shocked me considering that X and X-2 were REMASTERED! To me, a remaster means more than just updating the graphics to HD, you'd think they'd optimize the controls and features for ease of play. But IDK.

 

The tutorial instruction pads showing up roughly an hour to 1 1/2 hours into gameplay also made me facepalm.

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You should be able to soft reset if you want to get back to the menu. Also, as far as the story being good in 10, it starts to really pick up after Luca.

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You should be able to soft reset if you want to get back to the menu. Also, as far as the story being good in 10, it starts to really pick up after Luca.

 

I have no idea how to soft reset. I simply resolve just to make a bunch of separate saves since they throw so many save points at you, rather than go through all the hassle.

 

I've made it to The Moonflow, and indeed the story does start to pick up, but the pace is not so much the problem for me so much as the quirkiness. I'm left going "What?" more than a few times like I'm watching The Big Lebowski, I say that because its not necessarily a bad "what?" all the time.

 

The whole Sin encounter and aftermath at the beaches on the Mushroom Top Road left me scratching my head though. They're supposed to have been fighting this thing for a long time over 1000 years right? So who's smart plan was it to A) Even try the plan that was almost certainly doomed to fail to begin with and waste the lives and materials of tons of people (Fuck Yuna's explanation, Sin atomized those guys like a nuke. Who cares about their sacrifice when it literally meant fuck-all to do anything meaningful against the thing?), and B) Excommunicate everyone who survived even though I'm pretty sure at least two head Church Members made up the plan, were there, and were not excommunicated themselves. I have a feeling that second part will be unraveled later, since I trust the Church Maesters in-game and especially Seymour as far as I can throw them.

 

But all in all, I'm enjoying it, I just find it irritating that the game deigns to drop terms and names and events that it doesn't even bother explaining until maybe an hour to 1 1/2 hours down the road or even far later. Its different from the later FFs I played where they actually did have good exposition (I still have next to no fucking clue what Auron's relation to Tidus pre-intro is other than thinking he's some well-dressed drunk who knows how to wield a sword and helped Tidus just to pull him into Sin to get to Spira in the future. He may as well be a random guy for all the background they give on the two's relations within the first sequence.), or were able to provide the means for an immediate form of explanation.

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You should be able to soft reset if you want to get back to the menu. Also, as far as the story being good in 10, it starts to really pick up after Luca.

 

I have no idea how to soft reset. I simply resolve just to make a bunch of separate saves since they throw so many save points at you, rather than go through all the hassle.

 

I've made it to The Moonflow, and indeed the story does start to pick up, but the pace is not so much the problem for me so much as the quirkiness. I'm left going "What?" more than a few times like I'm watching The Big Lebowski, I say that because its not necessarily a bad "what?" all the time.

 

The whole Sin encounter and aftermath at the beaches on the Mushroom Top Road left me scratching my head though. They're supposed to have been fighting this thing for a long time over 1000 years right? So who's smart plan was it to A) Even try the plan that was almost certainly doomed to fail to begin with and waste the lives and materials of tons of people (Fuck Yuna's explanation, Sin atomized those guys like a nuke. Who cares about their sacrifice when it literally meant fuck-all to do anything meaningful against the thing?), and B) Excommunicate everyone who survived even though I'm pretty sure at least two head Church Members made up the plan, were there, and were not excommunicated themselves. I have a feeling that second part will be unraveled later, since I trust the Church Maesters in-game and especially Seymour as far as I can throw them.

 

But all in all, I'm enjoying it, I just find it irritating that the game deigns to drop terms and names and events that it doesn't even bother explaining until maybe an hour to 1 1/2 hours down the road or even far later (Like why the fuck they need to do a pilgrimage to begin with and not just go straight to Zanarkand, they answer that at Djose). Its different from the later FFs I played where they actually did have good exposition (I still have next to no fucking clue what Auron's relation to Tidus pre-intro is other than thinking he's some well-dressed drunk who knows how to wield a sword and helped Tidus just to pull him into Sin to get to Spira in the future. He may as well be a random guy for all the background they give on the two's relations within the first sequence.), or were able to provide the means for an immediate form of explanation.

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Soft reseting nis done by holding the shoulder buttons and select&start at the same time. As for your questions concerning the attack and what not, I cannot answer them. I will say this: Things will get explained, things are confusing, there's so much more Square could have explored, and so much more fans have dug up and dammit, now I wish my PC was working so I can continue replaying the game. 2nd play through on HD version, but overall probably like 10th play through. It's a shame it's slow at growing its beard.

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Looks aren't everything, but yeah, 3 and Vice City don't hold up. Can't say 1 & 2, never played them. If you can get past the early installment weirdness of Final Fantasy 1 & 2, I'd say they hold up.

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