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Old 12-24-2019, 08:50 AM
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Games that haven't aged well.


Some video games have aged better than others.

What games would you say have not aged well?
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Old 12-24-2019, 11:35 AM
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Custer's Revenge
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Old 12-24-2019, 11:37 AM
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"Myst" was at one time the best selling PC game ever made.

The game was, at the time, visually spectacular, and used the then-novel CD ROM tech to maximum capability. It was an enormous commercial success, and it's said it even helped to accelerate the sales of CD ROM drives. Those aren't innovative things anymore and so its paper thin "game" mechanic is now all you notice. Games like it essentially don't exist anymore, and no one plays it out of nostalgia.
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Old 12-24-2019, 12:42 PM
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Custer's Revenge
I don't think that really counts. It aged poorly the moment the first cartridge rolled off the assembly line.

---------------------

Assassin's Creed I (The mechanics are really just awful. And Altaďr Ibn-LaʼAhad's story was rather boring, when compared to Ezio Auditore, for example. In fact it took an Ezio game to actually make Altaďr's story interesting.)

Mass Effect I (The Mako. My god the Mako! And combat in general was clunky. Good plot, though.)

Mortal Kombat

Fallout 3 (Fallout: New Vegas is still the best FO game, because it was done by the crew that made the first 2 Fallout games but using modern UI/UX paradigms. FO4 was better than 3, because Bethesda learned a bit from Obsidian as to how to make a good FO game. Still, FO4 won't age as well as FO: NV.)

Just about anything that came out for the Wii.

Last edited by Hoopy Frood; 12-24-2019 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:03 PM
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A lot of games that utilized new technologies didn't age well. There was a move from 2D to 3D in the 90s, and most of the 3D games from that era have not aged well graphically. A lot of the 2D games that were "less advanced" from that era look better to a modern eye.
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:19 PM
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Bad Dudes (aka Bad Dudes be DragonNinja). Very successful in the arcade and the NES port as well, and it even made it into the Steve Martin film Parenthood. But it’s best known now as a meme for the awful premise and dialogue. (Rescue President Reagan from his ninja kidnappers using your street fighting skills.)
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:32 PM
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I was feeling nostalgic one day and downloaded Dragons lair. (And Space Ace)

At the time when it came out it was BEYOND cool and seemed so futuristic.

Yeah, that ship has past. Think I beat in less than an hour. Lol

Last edited by Grrr!; 12-24-2019 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:50 PM
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Prepare for HERESY :
The original X-COM. I know. I *know*. But still having played the modern remakes to death, I just can't get back to fucking TUs (haha you wanted to change facing AND overwatch ? Fuck you !) and hell-is-real inventory management. I can't. You won't make me.
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:51 PM
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Fallout 3 (Fallout: New Vegas is still the best FO game, because it was done by the crew that made the first 2 Fallout games but using modern UI/UX paradigms. FO4 was better than 3, because Bethesda learned a bit from Obsidian as to how to make a good FO game. Still, FO4 won't age as well as FO: NV.)
Fallout 3 was dogshit the day it came out. Fight me IRL.
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Old 12-24-2019, 02:19 PM
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For me the GTA III era. I got San Andreas as a free bonus for ordering RDR2, and loaded it up. The controls are so horrible and non-intuitive, and non-responsive. After about 15 minutes of trying to retro-degrade my head to handle, I decided it just wasn't worth it. Same issue with 90's era games like Tomb Raider with the tank controls, and shitty camera. Completely miserable experience now.
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Old 12-24-2019, 03:19 PM
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Old 12-24-2019, 04:01 PM
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Almost all FMV games did not age well, though Wing Commander III and IV aged well. They are not mainly FMV is probably the main reason. Phantasmagoria and countless others look lame now.

King's Quest I-IV were great games, but they have major flaws, as does King's Quest V. You can get stuck in no-win situations. LucasArts eliminated all dying and no-win situations with games like Monkey Island and they have aged much better. Any adventure game that allowed you to get stuck with no way back was inexcusable then, but we just lived with it.
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Old 12-24-2019, 05:15 PM
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Phantasmagoria and countless others look lame now.
Phantasmagoria was a bold, admirable effort that produced something technically impressive, yet still really bad, at launch. Adrienne has only been dethroned as my most-despised game protagonist within the last year. (And it took a horribly translated, badly voiced, randomly sexist, criminally incompetent, and possibly delusional FBI agent to knock her out of that slot.)

I will grant that it has not aged well, in that it also looks bad now, but I hated it when it was new.
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Old 12-24-2019, 06:48 PM
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*cough* I have all five Myst games and while it has been a while, I do go back and play them.
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Old 12-24-2019, 07:58 PM
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Yes, count me as another who has replayed Myst.
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Old 12-24-2019, 08:09 PM
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For me the GTA III era. I got San Andreas as a free bonus for ordering RDR2, and loaded it up. The controls are so horrible and non-intuitive, and non-responsive. After about 15 minutes of trying to retro-degrade my head to handle, I decided it just wasn't worth it. Same issue with 90's era games like Tomb Raider with the tank controls, and shitty camera. Completely miserable experience now.
I was the same with Resident Evil 2 before the remake came out.

Also, old low-res untextured 3D has aged very poorly. Much like with RE2 I tried replaying FFVII in preparation for the upcoming remake and ugh. Nope. I can do ugly sprites (I still play the old Fallouts & Infinity Engine games once in a while), but I can't do naked polygons any more.
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Old 12-24-2019, 08:10 PM
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Adrienne has only been dethroned as my most-despised game protagonist within the last year. (And it took a horribly translated, badly voiced, randomly sexist, criminally incompetent, and possibly delusional FBI agent to knock her out of that slot.)
All right I'll bite : who are you talking about, in which game ?
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Old 12-24-2019, 09:47 PM
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It's hard for me to imagine any video game "aging" well. I was in Barcade in Brooklyn a couple months ago. They have all the old vintage games from the 80s and 90s. While they are cool to see for their nostalgia value, I don't think it's particularly fun playing Asteroids or Pac Man.

Even 3D games that I played back in the day like Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil 2, GTA Vice City or the early Battlefield and Call of Duty games are going to look like shit compared to their modern equivalents.

And there's no way I can go back to an orthogonal view sprite-based city building like SimCity 2000 or SimCity 4 after playing fully 3D city builder like Cities Skylines.
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Old 12-24-2019, 09:54 PM
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I'll get flamed to hell, but I played Half-Life 2 probably a decade after it came out and it was awful after about level 22 or so. Just one stupid jump puzzle after the next. I got frustrated and switched to god mode, progressed to the end and confirmed the juice wasn't worth the squeeze. (You have to do a certain jump and shoot a rocket into a baby brain and then it's all a dream or something)?
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Old 12-24-2019, 10:01 PM
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But games like Pac Man and Tetris are awesome in and of themselves; I think it's fair to say they have "aged well". So is a game like Doom still fun to play today, even if it does not max out a latest-gen graphics card with real-time raytracing. The good games still keep getting up-to-date variants released, too: witness Tetris Effect, Doom 4, Satellite Reign, XCOM, Borderlands 3, Portal 2...
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Old 12-24-2019, 11:24 PM
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I loved Doom back in the day but I played it again not long ago in an emulator and ugh. I have been so spoiled over the years.
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Old 12-24-2019, 11:38 PM
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All right I'll bite : who are you talking about, in which game ?
Nicole Bennett, of the Art of Murder point-and-click murder mystery series. Her lines were apparently written by someone who hadn't the faintest idea how humans communicate, in Polish, then fed through Google Translate, and the output voiced by Google Maps. And she's dumber than Adrienne on her worst day, which is saying something, because Adrienne was painfully oblivious and dumb enough to repeatedly poke the contacts on an electric chair, no matter how many times it shocked her. Nicole is not helped by the fact that the games themselves are also incredibly stupid. I expect a lot of moon-logic and silliness in point-and-click, but most of them are deliberately funny and silly. These try to present themselves as drama. They just have writing that would be embarrassing in a hidden object game (and the series degenerated into an actual HOG by the fourth game).

I'm not talking about so-bad-they're-good games. They're just really bad, and listening to Nicole is just twisting the thumbscrews.
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Old 12-25-2019, 07:35 AM
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But games like Pac Man and Tetris are awesome in and of themselves; I think it's fair to say they have "aged well". So is a game like Doom still fun to play today, even if it does not max out a latest-gen graphics card with real-time raytracing. The good games still keep getting up-to-date variants released, too: witness Tetris Effect, Doom 4, Satellite Reign, XCOM, Borderlands 3, Portal 2...
I suppose they aged well in that fancy graphic upgrades wouldn't enhance the actual game play much.


What would be interesting is if you remade many of the later classic games using modern gaming engines:

Metal Gear Solid original Playstation intro
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9Jm2iSokug

Metal Gear Solid 4k with Unreal4 engine
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdYFmnQGtbU
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Old 12-25-2019, 09:30 AM
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What would be interesting is if you remade many of the later classic games using modern gaming engines:
I'd still love to play the original Deus Ex that has been updated to a modern engine.
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Old 12-25-2019, 09:46 AM
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I feel like this is maybe more complex of a topic than people give it credit for. I really, really appreciate a lot of things old games did that faded with modern, more "polished' design sensibilities. Old CRPGs, for instance, are notoriously finnicky, easy to fuck yourself in, and require doing laborious tasks. But, they also try to simulate the world and their arcane mechanics are typically in service of systems that are meant to reflect the difficulty or lore of the world they're related to. While it's much easier to pick up and enjoy a modern RPG, it can be really interesting to me to pick up some of the old games and immerse myself in the weirdness.

It's why I hold the unpopular opinion that I respect the Witcher 1 more than the Witcher 2. Witcher 2 is a more streamlined tight game, and Witcher 1 had some er... missteps (the horny trading cards), but Witcher 1 had a much better relationship with the tone of the Witcher books (superbunnyhop said it best "It's more Shrek than Game of Thrones"), but from a gameplay perspective its annoying, repetitive, obtuse mechanics like alchemy just so much more interestingly captured the feel of the world I got from the short story collections.

I feel for AAA blockbuster games you can almost always just remake them with better graphics and a few concessions to modern design sensibilities, but a lot of games can be remade, or updated, or get a modern sequel, but lose something very unique and precious in that transition. So like... to some degree and in some sense no Witcher 1 didn't age that well, but in other senses it's still... well... the only game that does the stuff The Witcher 1 did, and that's super neat and interesting and makes me still interested in revisiting it occasionally for the very specific things it simulates and the specific unique feel it gives.

E: There's also a lot of small itch.io tier indie games where the lo-fi graphics are a very important part of the aesthetic, if not the game itself, and you can't even really "remake them with HD graphics," because they occupy a very specific cultural and technological context as works of art.

Last edited by Jragon; 12-25-2019 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 12-25-2019, 10:05 AM
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Quoth Mahaloth:

King's Quest I-IV were great games, but they have major flaws, as does King's Quest V. You can get stuck in no-win situations. LucasArts eliminated all dying and no-win situations with games like Monkey Island and they have aged much better. Any adventure game that allowed you to get stuck with no way back was inexcusable then, but we just lived with it.
The worst offender was Space Quest 1. About 20% of the way through the game, there's a spot where you're trying to outrun an alien, and since it can move faster than you, it's almost impossible, and requires perfect timing. And then, if the alien does catch you... it kisses you. That's it. So eventually you decide that the alien was just a joke, give up on outrunning it, and continue the game, which goes on just fine.

...Until the penultimate scene. If you let the alien kiss you, then at that point, suddenly a chestburster, well, chestbursts you, and you die, and all of the gameplay to that point has been for naught. So you have to, at best, revert to a save before the alien chasing you, get the timing perfect this time, and then replay everything else. If you even figure out that that was the cause. Or more likely, restart the entire game, because you had a limited number of save slots, and you've probably already overwritten everything that old.
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Old 12-25-2019, 10:12 AM
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Since the Xbox One has backwards compatibility with the original Xbox for some games, I thought I'd go back and try some oldie goldies. Unfortunately, I gave up on replaying Knights of the Old Republic and Morrowind, despite the fact that I played the hell out of those games back in the day. The gameplay just seemed clunky and repetitive.

(Then again, I like Mass Effect 1 and Fallout 3, so what do I know.)
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Old 12-26-2019, 03:31 PM
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King's Quest I-IV were great games, but they have major flaws, as does King's Quest V. You can get stuck in no-win situations. LucasArts eliminated all dying and no-win situations with games like Monkey Island and they have aged much better. Any adventure game that allowed you to get stuck with no way back was inexcusable then, but we just lived with it.
Return to Zork from 1993 had a lot of things that you could do that would render your game unwinnable and you wouldn't necessarily find out until almost the end. Also, if you broke a law, the Guardian would come and punish you by taking all your stuff, thereby rendering the game unwinnable. And like all puzzle adventures the standard "pick up everything that isn't nailed down" paradigm mostly applies. Except for one object that you need to get permission to take, but it's just lying on the ground. And if you take it without getting permission first, the guardian shows up. And the reason losing your stuff makes the game unwinnable (even if all you lose are items that serve no more purpose) is one of the last puzzles involves you throwing into a pit every single item you can pick up in the game that doesn't disappear from usage, and if you miss even one object you can't get past that puzzle.

But, you can get revenge near the end of the game by dumping everything but the sword (or the letter opener, take your pick) into the pit, and then going on a killing spree to all the defenseless denizens (who will magically be back alive in the closing credits). After you kill one, drop your weapon since the Guardian won't show up until you move. He'll take all your stuff (which you don't have) and despite the warning that "The Path to Victory is Now Blocked". It's not. You can still win the game and enjoy your cathartic sprite-based slaughter.

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I'll get flamed to hell, but I played Half-Life 2 probably a decade after it came out and it was awful after about level 22 or so. Just one stupid jump puzzle after the next. I got frustrated and switched to god mode, progressed to the end and confirmed the juice wasn't worth the squeeze. (You have to do a certain jump and shoot a rocket into a baby brain and then it's all a dream or something)?
That's the original Half Life. Half Life 2 ended up with you using the upgraded gravity gun to blow up the citadel.
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Old 12-26-2019, 06:10 PM
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Final Fantasy VII on the PS1 just doesn’t hold up anymore. I think Final Fantasies IV and VI on the Super Nintendo, and possibly even the original on the NES, have held up better. The plot is still great, but the graphics and game mechanics don’t feel old fashioned, they just feel old.
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Old 12-26-2019, 06:24 PM
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I kind of have to give Return to Zork a pass on that one, though, because that's part of the essence of a Zork game. And aside: Where might one find that? I thought I'd played all of the Zorks, but apparently not. Is it a zcode game?
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Old 12-26-2019, 06:48 PM
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It's on the Internet Archive, Abandonia and many other sites. I don't know if it's also in the Infocom Github repository which has the source code to most of the Zork games. It may not be, which suggests it's not in zcode format (I have no concrete information though), but you can play it in your browser or in a standalone emulator.
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Old 12-26-2019, 06:52 PM
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Maybe a bit of a hijack, but are there any truly innovative games that HAVE aged particularly well?

Groundbreaking games don't have the luxury of refinement, so they're bound to be surpassed by other games doing it better. Assassin's Creed (mentioned above) is a pretty good example. I remember reading a review of its immediate sequel that referred to AC1 as little more than a proof of concept for the freerunning/climbing gameplay (which really did feel amazing at release).

My contribution to the thread: Battle Arena: Toshiden. I remember staring at it in slack-jawed wonder at a mall display, with the sure and true knowledge that video game graphics had reached their peak. It was nearly photorealistic!

It, uh, it was not photorealistic.
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Old 12-26-2019, 06:57 PM
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I'd say that Portal was pretty innovative, and while the gameplay and graphics in the first one isn't quite as good as the second, it's still perfectly playable.

Going further back, one might also nominate Tetris, but then you have to ask whether all the countless ports and re-writes (even the ones with the exact same rules) count as the "same game".
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Old 12-26-2019, 07:07 PM
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Maybe a bit of a hijack, but are there any truly innovative games that HAVE aged particularly well?

Groundbreaking games don't have the luxury of refinement, so they're bound to be surpassed by other games doing it better. Assassin's Creed (mentioned above) is a pretty good example. I remember reading a review of its immediate sequel that referred to AC1 as little more than a proof of concept for the freerunning/climbing gameplay (which really did feel amazing at release).

My contribution to the thread: Battle Arena: Toshiden. I remember staring at it in slack-jawed wonder at a mall display, with the sure and true knowledge that video game graphics had reached their peak. It was nearly photorealistic!

It, uh, it was not photorealistic.
The original Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest are still both quite playable. They’ve done well enough that they have both been updated for modern systems numerous times.

ETA. The original Pokémon games are still really fun as well.

Last edited by FlikTheBlue; 12-26-2019 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 12-26-2019, 07:08 PM
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Re. Zork, at least one of the original authors has gone on record that those games did not have "a plot... they had a goal...", that "they were just supposed to be fun" and "not somehow intended to replace fiction or to be a great art". None of that would keep them from aging well, of course, all other things being equal, any more than, say, Super Mario Brothers 3 or Sonic the Hedgehog lacking a compelling plot.
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Old 12-26-2019, 07:25 PM
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Maybe a bit of a hijack, but are there any truly innovative games that HAVE aged particularly well?
Defender and Robotron: 2084 were innovative and are still fun as hell to play today. Eugene Jarvis is one of my minor deities.

Last edited by JohnT; 12-26-2019 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 12-26-2019, 07:50 PM
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I agree about Mass Effect 1 and would like to add that having to go through and destroy all your old weapons over and over gets tedious very quickly. I would also have liked to see the N7 logo appear on all of Shepard's armor instead of just the starting one. If it weren't for ME2 and ME3, I wouldn't play ME1 ever again. Ironically, I bought a 360 to play ME1.
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Old 12-27-2019, 12:24 AM
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I loved Doom back in the day but I played it again not long ago in an emulator and ugh. I have been so spoiled over the years.
If you used an emulator like DOSBOX and were stuck with the original keyboard controls, then I agree it wouldn't have been fun. You should get a source port like GZDoom to take advantage of modern 3D graphics capabilities like OpenGL and, most importantly, WASD-style controls and full mouselook.

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I'd still love to play the original Deus Ex that has been updated to a modern engine.
There are a couple of mods that enhance the original game with high resolution textures, better AI, revised skill tree, and the like:

Which one to install depends on how close to the original gameplay you want to be, with GMDX sticking closer to the original.
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Old 12-27-2019, 12:59 AM
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Final Fantasy VII on the PS1 just doesn’t hold up anymore.
Eh. It's not a matter of aging badly, I think...the annoying elements (bad map design, unforgiving twitch elements) were obnoxious when it was new, too, the gay stereotypes in the Honey Bee Inn were always cringy*, and I always thought the low-poly graphics looked ludicrous, especially when compared to the still simplistic but more detailed cinematic graphics.

* Oddly, the Miss Cloud sequence as a whole, not so much. But maybe that was just closeted me reveling in the idea of being 'forced' to wear women's clothes.
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Old 12-27-2019, 03:04 AM
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I kind of have to give Return to Zork a pass on that one, though, because that's part of the essence of a Zork game. And aside: Where might one find that? I thought I'd played all of the Zorks, but apparently not. Is it a zcode game?
You can find it on GOG; it's even on sale cheap at the moment.

GOG (aka Good Old Games) is a good place to find lots of well, good old games legally.
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Old 12-27-2019, 07:03 AM
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Assassin's Creed (mentioned above) is a pretty good example. I remember reading a review of its immediate sequel that referred to AC1 as little more than a proof of concept for the freerunning/climbing gameplay (which really did feel amazing at release).
"Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" was an even earlier freerunning/climbing game. I played it not too long ago and it was still fun.
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:08 AM
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Beyond Good and Evil came out at the same time; it also incorporates running, jumping, climbing, etc.
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Old 12-27-2019, 09:25 AM
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Dragon's Lair - It was beautiful to watch, even today, but even brand new it was a piss-poor gaming experience. Extremely laggy "controls" if they could even be called that, 100% trial-and-error gameplay that still somehow felt really unfair, long load times between literally any two screens, it was just a terrible game through and through.

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Originally Posted by Hoopy Frood View Post
Just about anything that came out for the Wii.
If my Wii still worked, I'd still be Wii bowling today. In fact, I don't think I ever bought any other game for that thing besides the "Sports" game it came with, and everything on that was excellent.
  #44  
Old 12-27-2019, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
If my Wii still worked, I'd still be Wii bowling today. In fact, I don't think I ever bought any other game for that thing besides the "Sports" game it came with, and everything on that was excellent.
Both Super Mario Galaxies are excellent, as is Pikmin 2, as is Mario Kart.
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  #45  
Old 12-27-2019, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Hoopy Frood View Post
Just about anything that came out for the Wii.
I'm not sure I can disagree more. I dusted off the Wii about two or three months ago after having it sit in my closet for 8 years, and the games are great. The Super Mario Galaxies are, IMHO, among the best if not the best in the Mario series. Zelda Twighlight Princess is great; the Metroid Trilogy is Great. My five-year-old now plays Super Mario Party 9 almost every day (which I'm happy with, instead of her watching other people play it on Youtube). The Silent Hill game for it is creepy and makes good use of the Wiimote mechanic. Wii Sports, especially bowling, is still every bit as fun. Xenoblade Chronicles I've only just started, and its shaping up to be a solid RPG. Super Paper Mario is one of my favorites; the Punch-Out game is great, and the Wii version of Mario Kart is solid. I actually can't think of any games in my collection that I flat-out don't like eight years later.
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Old 12-27-2019, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Balance View Post
Nicole Bennett, of the Art of Murder point-and-click murder mystery series. Her lines were apparently written by someone who hadn't the faintest idea how humans communicate, in Polish, then fed through Google Translate, and the output voiced by Google Maps. And she's dumber than Adrienne on her worst day, which is saying something, because Adrienne was painfully oblivious and dumb enough to repeatedly poke the contacts on an electric chair, no matter how many times it shocked her. Nicole is not helped by the fact that the games themselves are also incredibly stupid. I expect a lot of moon-logic and silliness in point-and-click, but most of them are deliberately funny and silly. These try to present themselves as drama. They just have writing that would be embarrassing in a hidden object game (and the series degenerated into an actual HOG by the fourth game).

I'm not talking about so-bad-they're-good games. They're just really bad, and listening to Nicole is just twisting the thumbscrews.
This summary reminds me of a scathing review I read at least 20 years ago in PC Gamer about a game called Mode (its short and indistinct name makes searching for further details almost impossible). I think the gist was having to solve a mystery by conversationally navigating a cocktail party full of performance artists and fashionistas and other 1990's avant-garde types, i.e. a principality of pretentious douchebags, and it was not intended to be satirical.
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  #47  
Old 12-28-2019, 10:26 AM
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This summary reminds me of a scathing review I read at least 20 years ago in PC Gamer about a game called Mode (its short and indistinct name makes searching for further details almost impossible).
Actually, just Googling "mode video game" gets you to the info you need to search further (an IMDB page and TV Tropes page on the game are the first two hits.) Here's an in-depth review of it. Video of gameplay here for those interested.

Last edited by pulykamell; 12-28-2019 at 10:27 AM.
  #48  
Old 12-28-2019, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Actually, just Googling "mode video game" gets you to the info you need to search further (an IMDB page and TV Tropes page on the game are the first two hits.) Here's an in-depth review of it. Video of gameplay here for those interested.
Thank you for finding this. It's actually a lot worse than I imagined.
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Old 12-28-2019, 10:53 AM
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Thank you for finding this. It's actually a lot worse than I imagined.
There's also a whole 25 episode playlist with commentary that walks through the entire game. It's an interesting concept, but I'm not sure I'd be interested in playing it.
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Old 12-28-2019, 11:10 AM
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You can find it on GOG; it's even on sale cheap at the moment.

GOG (aka Good Old Games) is a good place to find lots of well, good old games legally.
Steam also has it on sale for the same price:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/5...eturn_to_Zork/

GOG and Steam both have Zork: Grand Inquisitor (a much better game) for $3.97.

And Zork: Nemesis as well

Though Nemesis is a Zork game in name only. It plays like Myst. And the few allusions to the Zork universe seem thrown in as an afterthought so they can justify why they branded it a Zork game.

That's not to say it's a bad game, but it's not Zork. "The Lurking Horror" felt more Zork than Nemesis does, and the TLH only took place in the same universe, it wasn't meant to be a Zork game. Same with the "Enchanter" series, same universe, but not Zork.
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