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What does aged/dated even mean regarding games?

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Birdman


Moderator
This is something I see pop up often when people are criticizing older games. I'm not sure what they mean though.

Most of the time it seems just an insult toward a game they didn't like. But when used seriously, I don't get it outside of graphics.

I recently saw someone say this about Okami, yet that game has some of the smoothest movement in any game. The controls are excellent. No big budget titles come close.

My guess is they don't care for game mechanics.

Another is the 'nostalgia goggles' comment, even though I've played all these old games recently like Okami, CL and others, and they're as good as the day I first played them.



Last edited by Birdman on Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:04 am; edited 1 time in total

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
I think people use it for a few reasons:

- they have a thing they love, but the older versions of that thing are too hard or different so they are in their eyes probably bad because they are old. I.e. Devil May Cry 1 or the older Resident Evils. Older games tend to have a much higher learning curve in even the most basic mechanics, just compare jumping in the original Mario Brothers compared to the latest 3d one.

- bad argumentation.

- ignorance.

Sometimes I can attest to using the term "it hasn't aged well". Some things were fine when you didn't have too many games to play and were still in school and thus could play for a ton of hours, but those time-waster elements like the Tri-force fetchquest at the end of Wind Waker haven't aged well. It can also mean that something you originally liked doesn't jibe with you anymore now that you're older. I loved the QTE sections in Resident Evil 4, and still do due to nostalgia...but honestly it hasn't aged well. You know?

EDIT: one thing I do feel is justified, to a degree, is that if you play a game in the same genre that is newer, and as a result makes the older ones feel bad. For instance weapon switching in DMC1 is very slow, so when playing that after a lengthy DMC3 session, it can feel 'aged'. Same with movement changes between RE4 and its predecessors. Doesn't mean they are worse though, but they can FEEL worse as a result.

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Birdman


Moderator
but those time-waster elements like the Tri-force fetchquest at the end of Wind Waker haven't aged well.
I haven't seen this. Reminds me, I need to get back to this game. Can you explain the quest and give an example of what would make it...well aged?

Do you mean there is a more efficient or modern design that would be more ideal?

It can also mean that something you originally liked doesn't jibe with you anymore now that you're older.
But wouldn't that come under opinion and therefore not really be valid considering there will be those that don't feel the same?

I loved the QTE sections in Resident Evil 4, and still do due to nostalgia...but honestly it hasn't aged well. You know?
But QTE sequences haven't really changed. What makes RE4's worse or more dated than others?

I'll think about the last part. I can see how tank controls would qualify.



Last edited by Birdman on Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:11 am; edited 1 time in total

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
> WW quest
Mostly due to it just being pure padding, it was removed (mostly) from the HD version. It was very clear that due to deadlines the final two dungeons were cut from the game and quickly replaced with this fetch quest. You have to find 12 treasures on the worldmap. But you first have to find 12 maps which are hidden. Once you get the maps you need to get them translated, which costs a lot of rupees (you can thus, only translate one at a time, because you cannot carry enough to pay all 12 in one go). It is very tedious. I think the word "quality of life changes" can apply. For instance Ninja Gaiden Black added camera control, which can make the original feel 'aged' since it didn't and thus lacks a technical evolution of the successor.

> opinion

Like most words, it is sadly badly used. You're exactly right that it doesn't make a game aged, but people will just use the word.

> QTE sequences
They were new and hip back then, a cool way to make cutscenes interactive. But now they are more an annoyance because as a mechanic they aren't too interesting, they damage controllers (mash A especially) etc. It was cool right then and there, but we've been over-exposed to them.

That said I think my NG example from above and the one about DMC is a good one. It is mostly just quality of life. Doom3 can feel aged because the loading times are insane (at least back then). In 10 years I think people will say the same about the latest Prey game on PS4.

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Birdman


Moderator
Good explanations.

No one ever bothers to go into such detail when using these terms.

I think I've generally encountered opinion and ignorance based ones though. Like the Okami example. Guy says he played it, found it dated, called it a poor man's Zelda, then went on to praise OoT. Okami plays infinitely better than OoT.

I also find that when they use this term to trash a game, they praise something that suffers all the same 'dated' stuff.



Last edited by Birdman on Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:11 am; edited 1 time in total

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
Nostalgia can be very powerful. So many games improved upon Red Alert 2, but it is my favorite RTS game - nothing comes close to me. One thing that might be a good read (though it is more about user interface): https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2000/04/11/figuring-out-what-they-expected/

Joel has fantastic blogs about design, though mostly from a web-perspective, but applicable nearly sector-wide. Very cool reads.

I'm thinking of things that might be 'aged' in my eyes in games I love. Hm. I love Red Alert 1, but for instance the fact that you can queue productions is annoying. In Red Alert 2 you can for instance just 'order' 20 tanks, and it will start production. In Red Alert 1 you can only produce one tank, and then you have to click it again to produce another one. That hasn't "aged well".

https://stinger.actieforum.com

Birdman


Moderator
I can see how a mechanic can be improved or a system more streamlined. That makes sense, like your Red Alert example.

It's just that I rarely see something like this as the actual reason, like the Okami example.

Some say a game like NG, that doesn't have weapon switching is 'dated' because DMC has it. Tons of examples like this that really boil down to people not liking a certain system, rather than it's age or whatever. That's how I see it anyway.



Last edited by Birdman on Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:12 am; edited 1 time in total

Birdman


Moderator
This topic just popped up. I've only read the first page but wouldn't surprise me if it's full of the usual Gamefaqs stupid.
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/691087-playstation-4/77365653

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