So, I was reading through this months shipment of game magazines today, when I read through a letter sent to the staff at Game Informer; basically, in one of their older issues, they had a little quiz where they asked who the playable character was in the second Donkey Kong game. Obviously, the answer was “Donkey Kong, Jr.” A reader sent in a “correction” stating that the playable characters in the second Donkey Kong game were Diddy and Dixie Kong. GI did a great job of not insulting the reader, while trying to educate them as to what game they were <I>actually</I> referring to (1983’s <I>Donkey Kong, Jr.</I>, not 1995’s <I>Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest</I>).

This brought up an interesting thought in my mind… as us older gamers continue to get older, and a newer generation of gamers take hold, the definition of “classic” gaming is continuing to change. What’s more, the experience that we older gamers had is completely foreign to newer gamers. While they understand the idea of seeing a film in a theater and then waiting months for a DVD release, they don’t understand that the game industry was once the same way (playing a game in an arcade, then waiting months or years for a flawed console translation). Now, new games immediately come out on consoles, looking as good or better than they could in arcades.

Gone are the days when $10 meant that you could play 40 different games in the span of a week. Now, $10 will barely get you a used copy of a Mary Kate & Ashley Olson game, and you probably won’t like it anyway, and end up trading it in for $3 toward something else. I’m not sure if I think the current state of things is in any way <I>worse</I> than they were before (there are certainly advantages; longer and more epic gameplay, a multitude of releases year round, etc, etc), but I do have a sort of longing for the way things were before… Games were simpler, and you didn’t have to play through a two-hour tutorial just to know how to play; the two-inch-by-five-inch square sticker on the cabinet was enough to get you going.

I’m not sure what my point is with all this. I guess I’m just asking if other people feel this same way. Is my generation over in the gaming world, despite only having become old enough to buy booze a few years ago? They say that games are getting older and more mature, but then why is it that, despite my young age, I feel that my prime was years ago? Even the franchises that I grew up loving are interesting me less and less (Mario Sunshine did nothing for me, I have to fight myself to accept the 3D gameplay of Metroid Prime, I grew bored waiting for Link to sail the open seas of Wind Waker, and I’m not all that sure that I’m interested in the upcoming <I>Twilight Princess</I>). The few games that I do take time to play today are either retro-styled (like <I>New Super Mario Bros</I> or <I>Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow</I>), are short enough that I can finish them in a few sittings (survival horrors), or are mindless diversions (puzzle games, <I>Brain Age</I>). The few RPGs that I can muster up the energy to make it all the way through these days are few and far between (Star Ocean, Ys VI, and DQ8 are the only ones in recent memory that I recall truly enjoying). Ironically, though, I have no problem replaying RPGs that I’ve finished dozens of times (I recently replayed DQ3 and Earthbound on my SNES, and FFIV on GBA).

So, I guess what I’m asking is is the game industry truly changing to market itself towards someone else, or am I simply outgrowing my hardcore gaming habit?

Games are certainly different than they were before, if that’s what you’re saying. However, there’s “old-school” and then there’s “old-school”. Although I’m older than you, I can’t say I have any fond memories of arcade games. The first game I really got into was Zelda for NES. My “old-school” memories are quite different than yours, and if anything I’m enjoying the new games as much or more than the older ones, many of which I can’t bring myself to play through any more. Or to be more specific, while there are some stinkers in the current pile, there were plenty of stinkers back then too, and I’m enjoying the good games probably more than I did back then when things were simpler.

As to whether you’re outgrowing your gaming habit, I’d say that your gaming habit has to do with how many hours per week you spend, and how much you invest emotionally in gaming. If those are still pretty high, you’re still a hardcore gamer. Just because you prefer older games doesn’t mean you’re not. 8p

Keep in mind that games aren’t exactly easier to come by in nature than they were in your glory days (though the selection is wider), you just actually have an income now. I myself have less of an urge to play a given game now when I know I can just go ahead and play any number of others instead. The focus scarcity brought is completely gone.

I have never felt older than the day someone asked me in earnest, “What’s an NES?”

I was born into the age of the NES and have been a dedicated gamer all my life. They change as rapidly as any new technology - hell, probobly faster. The times move, and the games move with it. But the true classics are eternal. Nintendo, for one, remembers that. They have the right idea with their Virtual Console dealie, but sadly, much of today’s generation will probobly find little interest in a good deal of them.

Still, everything that was a classic years ago is still a classic now. As long as we always remember, the classics live on. And in time, new classics will be born. But it’s not an “out with the old, in with the new” deal. The old will always be remembered beacause it made the new what it is today. Many of the classics set standards that are still followed, and they’re still used as compairisons today.

Things change quickly but true classics are eternal.

buggers off to play NES ROMs

When I worked at a game store, I had a kid ask me if we had any “old Nintendo” games. I told him we did not, and moments later he came to the counter with some N64 cartridges. He asked “then what are these?” I replied “those are Nintendo 64 games.” He then tried to explain to me that that’s what he asked for. I gave him a brief history lesson (which he mostly ignored), then ran off to tell his mom about the mean man who lied to him.

lol my first gaming system was a Sega. Therefor sonic > mario in my book

Oh, man, that’s hilarious. This thread reminds me of a story an ex of mine told years ago. He was a Tae Kwon Do instructor, and when he was teaching some kids some kicks he said something about being fast like the Flash. This one kid says “Who’s the Flash?”, and the others are clueless too. He asked them about other superheroes like the Green Lantern, and they didn’t know… he told them to read some comics instead of practicing for their homework. :smiley:

Anyway, I don’t see myself as outgrowing gaming, especially since I got back into it a little later and missed out on all those great PSX RPGs that sell for too much on ebay. I just have other, more immediate concerns like making sure I have money in the bank for feeding and clothing myself. I don’t think our generation is out either… we’re the ones who grew up with the NES controllers in our hands (creepy, huh?), and now supposedly we have disposable income to spend on our entertainment rather than begging our parents for it. I think that’s why they keep making FF games, and Mario games, things like that… it’s capitalizing on our nostalgia to make some cash.

I think the issue of increasing complexity is the most important one. The general rule is that modern games, particularly non-Nintendo games, require weeks of learning to become competent. Being competitive relies on knowing how to execute elaborate and clever series of moves, whatever those “moves” are. As a result, gaming becomes less a matter of using a few techniques exactly right, and more a matter of accumulating a stockpile of techniques useful at different times. After a while, the whole thing goes overboard – witness Mega Man, for instance.

The good news is that complexity happens in cycles. People get tired of massive complexity after a while, and demand something new, creative, and simple. So, you end up with something like the Wii, with a controller roughly as complex as that of an SNES. I think that people who have grown tired of navigating complicated 3d environments with 10+ button controllers will be pleased.

So, in short, what you’re worried is your own obsolescence is probably the majority sentiment – that gaming needs a creative simplification.

You’re right, Sat, I do feel old. I think that I might be growing out of my gaming habit, even though I’ll be 22 tomorrow. I’m kinda sad. I mean… I’ll play old abandonware DOS games (Discworld, anyone?), SNES games, NES, SMS… but I can barely get into the dying consoles… will I even like the new ones? I don’t know, but I’m still going to get a Wii for Christmas if it KILLS me. If nothing else, I can play old games on an actual console instead of sitting at my computer. Ahhhhhhhhh. :slight_smile:

Maybe it is the complexity of the new games. I really dug on Katamari Damacy. I’d really hoped to see a movement spawned by that game to bring games back to a simpler landscape, but it hasn’t happened yet. There’s still hope in Wii, I guess.

I get stared at like a freakshow mutant every time I mutter the word “Atari”.

Like most here I was raised with the NES. To be honest, I do sometimes miss the simple fun plug-n-play style of older games where five minutes was all it too to figure out the entire mechanics, and I also sometimes miss the ridiculous difficulty and length of certain games. When my younger cousin commented on how difficult Mario 64 seemed, I couldn’t help but give her a lesson on the bazillion-level-no-save construct that was the original Mario. She didn’t believe me. I can’t help but think that every single game I play lately is holding my hand throughout the gameplay instead of letting me figure out things by myself, which I find incredibly irritating. And by that I’m talking about the sudden obsession with making free-full-heal save points in every game and then spamming them all over the map so that you can fully heal every three steps. Sheesh, I wonder if those developers ever played Final Fantasy I.

But as much as I value nostalgia, I am definitely enjoying current games a lot more than I did before. Even though I enjoy simplicity from time to time, I get some strange pleasure in cracking open a complex entanglement of elements, be it in the gameplay or in the story. I just feel fascination for mind-boggling complicated stuff just as long as it doesn’t cross the line into the realm of bullshit. I should mention: It’s not the 3D rendering or voice acting that matters to this. Those are merely aesthetic components that very rarely move me, it’s the actual construction of the game that I care for.

Anyway, those are my two cents.

A person’s definition of “Old school” is going to change depdending on how old that person is. A 30 year old will define Pong and the Commador 64 as old school, while declaring that NES is too new. A young pup (maybe 14 or 15 now) will call SNES/64 games Old school. There’s a “Hidden Treasure’s” thread here, where a poster defines anything 2000 and earlier as old school and to me that’s just not right.

As for me, I call anything SNES and earlier old school, since the basic technology used to create the games we play now can clearly be seen with the 64/saturn/Psone. Those games dont play terribly different than they do now, they just dont look as pretty.

The world is moving on, alas it’s true. For me, civilization dies the day the last Sinclair computer goes kaput. People want to complain about waiting 5 seconds for a screen to load? try waiting three frickin’ minutes for the entire game to load from cassette. All 48k of it.

This is why flea markets and market stalls are better than big game stores- unless you find a human videogame encyclopedia like Sat working there, chances are they’ll have no idea of their roots. :-p

Oh dudes, try this. Mum and dad were cleaning out my old wardrobe back home and handed me a box of unknown contents. In it, I found the very first edition of Zelda - and no, not the NES version. It’s a double-screen Game and Watch game.

I don’t have batteries for it and either way the lid for the batteries is long gone, but if I remember correctly it was all about Link going through fight after fight against a moblin on the lower screen, while skeletons tried to stab him from below, and a ghost occassionally threw attacks from behind. After defeating the moblin, you got to chose between two stairs that hopefully led you deeper into the level, and eventually to the boss fight with a giant dragon. There were eight levels to this, to get all the triforce pieces so you could unlock Zelda’s prison. I shudder to think how many times you had to kill that goblin. Man, those were the days…

But I bet there are people on this very board who don’t even remember Game and Watch XD

On topic though, oldschool to me is anything up to and during the SNES era. While things still had pixels! Why you whippersnappers and your fancy cellshaded graphics…

I think the NES Zelda came out before the Game And Watch deal. I’ll check to make sure.

Edit- The game and watch came out in 89. The NES game came out in 87.

I remember Game & Watch (I had the original Mario and Luigi, where they were stacking bricks or some such) but not a Zelda version of it.

Whilst we’re on the subject of memory lane (and I should have brought this up earlier, oops) any UKers remember the seminal ‘Granny’s Garden’ on the BBC B? Computer games at school, classic. :slight_smile:

The BBC micros themselves would be memory lane for me, were they not still used in some schools, 24 years after their original use (seriously- I saw some kids using one on a recent teaching placement). How’s about games or micros that are older than the hills but NOT consigned to history yet? :wink:

As soon as you find yourself talking about old-sk0ol there’s a problem :wink: I just wish they made games that were more fun. I was playing Mario & Luigi for the GBA jumping around in a castle when it hit me. The game was fun. Simple, with a few touches here and there, but I enjoyed playing the thing. Why do I get more thrills from Street Fighter A2 than from Tekken X?

For me those games make it worthwhile gaming. And the emulators (no catridge dust, amen).

I don’t know whether you’re outgrowing the hobby or getting bored of the good stuff it has. How long can you play Zelda (a lot), Metroid (a lot) or Tetris (more than a lot)? We need variety. You have to find new games that you like or it’s normal you’ll get stale. It also happens to me but my conclusion is this: I know where I stand with games. I’ve got some titles I love, for game and nostalgia value. I want to keep searching but if I don’t at a point, I’m probably doing something which nets me more good feelings at the point. And I can always rerun Fallout in a rediculous setting of self-imposed ordeals.

The paradigm of the gaming industry has also changed. It used to be “limited means, try to use them 105% for this idea we have”. Nowadays the means become the end. If the gaming industry comes crushing down again, you may yet hope for innovation. Burning stores with MMORPGs and GTA clones may also help.

(A PC RPG example. About 1995 RPGs were dead for the PCs sales-wise. Then Diablo, Daggerfall, Might & Magic VI and Fallout get produced and after that a whopping 29 games were being developped with the number rising to 100 in the next couple (I think)? years. Be good and they’ll follow).

Actually, I still have my Commodore-64. My earliest gaming memories were of the Atari VCS (A2600) and the Commodore-64 (C=64). And, hell, I still play those games from time to time, though those haven’t aged quite as well as the 8-bit and 16-bit generation did.

And, yes, as a Commodore player, loading a game off of a cassette tape was certainly an ordeal. Hell, even loading from those old C=1541 floppy drives was a painstaking venture. It’d often be 2-5 minutes between scenes of just NOW LOADING, but, unlike the PSX or PS2, this was just a black screen with blockfont text saying NOW LOADING. The worst part was if you suddenly heard the terrible clicking noise that meant that your floppy disc or your C=1541 was suddenly dead… -_-

Curses, foiled again! Dang, I was dead certain I recalled seeing that Game and Watch thing while the NES was just a weird rumour.