Author Topic: What are your thoughts on modern games?  (Read 23437 times)

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Offline Adrock

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What are your thoughts on modern games?
« on: May 11, 2021, 12:55:07 AM »
I have a long list of questions I wanted to ask all both of you who still post here regularly so in a fleeting effort to foster more discussion, here’s one of these new topics! 👍

A friend recently asked why I was delving into the Game Boy line. The short version is they were three generations of games I largely ignored, partially because I was a child with no income. Given the choice, I almost always picked a home console game for my birthday/Christmas.

I also like the simplicity they offer. A lot of those old handheld games can be completed fairly quickly which is great for me because it’s hard to make time for a long sprawling adventure (though I did pick up a few RPGs recently). Furthermore, they’re a lot easier to get into. Alternatively, I bought Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition months ago, but I haven’t started it because I remember not really understanding the battle system the first time I tried as well as how many words, numbers, and indicators are displayed simultaneously. I felt overwhelmed even though I know I just need to give it a few hours. I don’t remember the last time I was super excited about a new release. Maybe Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?

Additionally, I miss pixel art. Realistic graphics with shaders and particle effects look great. However, I think I’ll always have a soft spot for sprites. It’s partially why I’ve embraced indie games. They scratch that old school fix for me.

Where do y’all stand? Are you getting what you want from new releases? What upcoming games are you excited about?

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Re: What are your thoughts on modern games?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2021, 04:24:12 PM »
There's a lot of cool games on older portables, yeah. Some of them have aged quite well thanks to their simplicity. I had a Gameboy so there's a lot of nostalgia for that soundchip too.

Personally I would characterize modern gaming mostly by volume and availability. This extends to big swathes of older games too, there's been a real effort across the industry to re-release (and re-monetize) older games. Obviously not every game is playable on modern hardware, and outside of maybe Steam PC there is no centralized method of distribution. As a result it's a real patchwork of solutions, but if you combine this with the whole retro aftermarket, and retro revival through the indie scene, it's honestly not too bad of a time even if you have retro sensibilities.

As for the complexity of games, I wanna note older games on PC were often quite complex too. But in general I think we're seeing movements in multiple directions. Some games, like Xenoblade 2, and many PC-only series, are ramping up in complexity. Simultaneously the big budget console field is pushing hard on timesaving/QOL features (cloud saves, faster loading, automating lots of interactions) to prolong when players will drop off.
On Mobile we see the Simple Concept, Deep Systems approach working out well. I think a lot of today's biggest games are similar: a simple core concept, with as much permutations as possible. Minecraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Fortnite, Rocket League, Rainbow Six Siege, PUBG, CrossFire, NBA 2k, etc.

For a long time I thought games would trend towards open world design, and try to incorporate as many genres (stealth, action, shooting, exploration, crafting, vehicles, base building, etc.) as possible. But nowadays I'm not so sure. Very few studios are given the time and budget to compete in the GTA/Assassin's Creed/Zelda BOTW/MMO-RPG sphere, while big hits tend to be smaller scoped projects with theoretically endlessly varying results (FIFA is ultimately just some fields and people playing soccer, but generates endlessly varied matches).

My personal taste has been heavily influenced by art styles, growing lack of patience, and available free time. I used to be into endless sports games and big RPGs, but 50 hours over several weeks/months in one game equals 5-10 shorter games, and with sales they might even cost around the same. As a result, my taste has trended towards the bigger indie games. They tend to present aesthetics I like but don't see in most AAA projects, and are often designed to play through once and never again.

Definitely still like paying attention to the bigger releases, at least those by Nintendo, but the reality is I don't really buy/play those types of game often. A 3-5 hour campaign would be my ideal nowadays, and I barely interact with multiplayer or even sidequests. Certainly run into the occasional exception, and most games tend be longer, but I'm glad there's a pretty big market out there for people like me.

Big games I'm currently looking forward to: the ports for Outer Wilds, Umurangi Generation, Disco Elysium, and maybe the Tony Hawk remake.

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Re: What are your thoughts on modern games?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2021, 04:57:31 PM »
Most of my modern gaming is Nintendo stuff and indies, which retain a lot of the qualities of older games. I do own other consoles, but that's mostly been for sports games and occasionally something else, such as Mass Effect: Legendary coming up, which is something I've always been interested in but never got around to. The indie gaming landscape these days is just so good, with all kinds of different games, and some of my favorite games in recent years have come from that space.
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