Weekly Wringer #94: The Worst Movies We Own

Long before the crappy movie movement propagated by the immense reach of the interwebs, most of us were buying movies. And let’s face it folks, we’re not proud of all of those purchasing decisions. Fact is, most of us have a movie we bought that sucks big time or, at least, embarrasses us when our friends see them in our collection. But what movie is the absolute worst in your collection? Today the Commodore looks at the community’s answer to just that question and offers a few nominees of his own. Then it’s a question for next week that’ll surely have you checking gamespot for classic game release dates. It’s the Weekly Wringer!

MP3 Version Here: Weekly Wringer 94

80 Comments

  • mrandycretin mrandycretin
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    i’d have to answer your question with a “no”. every year there seems to be less and less games i NEED to play. last year, i don’t think i purchased a single “new” game. i think a large part of it is that any newer games i’ve played have felt rushed to me.

    i have a very basic xbox 360 with no hard drive and no xbox live…so i have zero interest in buying games that, to get the full experience, i’d have to get the requirements to download a ton of dlc whatnot.

    i’m also skittish at the thought of buying a game that’s just plain broken and would require me to download a patch for it to work. to do so, i’d have to get a little wireless thing for my xbox (around $50), at least a month of xbox live, and either a hard drive or little memory card to actually store the stuff on.

    so i’m hesitant to even give new games a chance…needless to say i don’t think they’re the bee’s knees.

    • Mog Mog
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

      While I can understand why a lot worry about patches degrading base game quality, I really haven’t seen it making a big difference (at least not yet). There have always been companies that skipped when it came to play testing. Even FF6 has game-breaking glitches. I remember around the ps1/ps2 era returning a MK game because the menu was so gliched and broken. Only difference is that now companies can easily fix this sort of thing. I’d say this has improved overall game quality.

    • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

      How often does a game ship without a complete story or ship with game breaking bugs rendering the game unplayable? I use a hard line for my XBox 360, so the wireless receiver is not essential. Patches and DLC do not require XBox Live Gold subscriptions. It is just the online play, which is usually supplemental. The memory thing can be irritating, but a 16 GB flashdrive is $35 at full retail.

      http://www.amazon.com/Xbox-360-Flash-SanDisk-SDCZGXB-016G-A11/dp/B003EV7ED8

      I bought mine on sale for around $12 new.

      I do agree some games have been rushed out too quickly at the expense of the customer cough *Mass Effect 3* cough.

      • mrandycretin mrandycretin
        Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

        those were just a few reasons off the top of my head for my being hesitant to invest in playing more modern games. at $60(?) a game, i just don’t think most of them are fun enough for me to make the effort to get the things i’d need to make them work to their fullest potential.

        example of a game i enjoy but became a hassle: i bought arkham city when it first came out. it had some sort of loading error that made it so i could only progress to a certain point in the game. i had to exchange it twice to get a working copy. that, plus a lot of the content being dlc..it ended up making it less of an experience than it could have been.

        and that’s probably one of the best modern games i’ve played. i just can’t honestly answer “yes” when asked if there’s more good games now than ever. there’s too much abundance of a lot of the same stuff.

  • icemann
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    To your question of whether there are more good games now than ever, I would have to say a big NO.

    Games earlier (in particular the 80s and definitely the 90s) programmers/developers were far more willing to experiment and create games to their minds greatest imaginations. So you had a great variance in the types of games being released.

    Nowadays there is a fear of trying anything that is innovative or new and so most developers are tending to stick inside of the square rather than looking outside of it, which has (and has been for quite some time) led to the games being released being either sequels of already successful franchises/games or of games of genres that are known to be popular at present.

    In comparison in the earlier days there was no established rules of what should be in a game so the developers were far more willing to experiment and so you got games of massively varying gameplay and far more in the way of choice for the public as a whole.

    Now with that said that is not at all to say that good games aren’t coming out. Hell there has been some fantastic games released over the last few years. It’s just that the vast majority are within well established genres with little in the way of innovation.

    This is all very much an eye of the beholder (no pun intended) type thing where it all depends on what you the paying customer like to see.

    • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

      I think you are overlooking all the forgotten copycats for the genre classics. How many lame fighters were there for each Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat? How many beat em ups were there for every Final Fight or Streets of Rage? How many games used terrible platforming? It is rare to start a new genre the way something like Minecraft has done recently, but there are enough spins on genres like Left 4 Dead did with zombie shooters or Walking Dead did with graphic adventures. There was plenty of rehashed stuff back then too, some of it was even really good.

  • Mog Mog
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    I’m assuming you’re asking if the ratio of “good” games to “bad” games has improved and I would say yes.

    Games weren’t so expensive to make years ago. When a company is forced to invest that much money into a game, they are doing all they can to make it good and more often then not succeed to at least some extent. They are definitely less willing to experiment as ICEMAN talks about and consequently, the best games now may not as good as the best games of yesteryear, but that isn’t “amount”. If the question was if there were “as many great games”, I might have a different answer, but as is there are way more good games on average now.

    Another contributing factor is the internet. Companies really can’t profit from bad games anymore. Consumers are just way more informed now. Until relatively recently, all we had to determine the quality of a game was word of mouth and the cover. I don’t think I need to post all the numerous examples of times companies abused this for quick and easy profit. Now we have hundreds of reviews at our fingertips or even a play-through to watch to help make a decision about purchase. Game manufacturers realize this and it has improved overall quality.

  • Markies
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    I am going to preface my comments as I feel that I cannot give an unbiased opinion. I am a certified retro gamer. I prefer older consoles and older games. I don’t own any console on this current generation and the next generation looks awful to me.

    So, No, I think there are fewer good games than there ever has been. And my reasoning, here are some former years in just games:

    1986: Gauntlet, Legend of Zelda, Dragon Warrior, Metroid, OutRun, Bubble Bobble, Kid Icarus

    1987: Zelda II, Contra, Castlevania, Metal Gear, Maniac Mansion, Mega Man, Final Fantasy, Phantasy Star, Double Dragon

    1991: Lemmings, Street Fighter II, Sonic The Hedgehog, Final Fantasy IV, Super Mario World, F-Zero, Link to the Past, Tecmo Super Bowl

    1993: Star Fox, X-Wing, Mortal Kombat II, Kirby’s Adventure, Link’s Awakening, Secret of Mana, Myst, Doom, Sam and Max, Virtua Fighter, SimCity 2000, The 7th Guest

    1995: Ristar, Chrono Trigger, Descent, EarthBound, Yoshi’s Island, Command & Conquer, Tekken 2, Rayman, Destruction Derby, Time Crisis, Twisted Metal, Donkey Kong Country 2, Worms, Phantasy Star IV, Warcraft II, Suikoden

    1996: Duke Nukem 3D, Pokemon Red, Super Mario RPG, Resident Evil, Metal Slug, Quake, Super Mario 64, Nights Into Dreams, Star Ocean, Crash Bandicoot, Tomb Raider, Diablo

    1997: Final Fantasy VII, Mario Kart 64, Turok, Symphony of the Night, Tekken 3, Blast Corps, X-Wing Vs. Tie Fighter, Final Fantasy Tactics, Star Fox 64, GoldenEye 007, Oddworld, PaRappa the Rapper, Ultima Online, Fallout, Grand Theft Auto, Age of Empires, Curse of Monkey Island, Diddy Kong Racing, Quake II, Gran Turismo

    1998: Resident Evil 2, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Xenogears, Parasite Eve, StarCraft, Unreal, Banjo Kazooie, Pokemon Stadium, Metal Gear Solid, Fallout 2, Grim Fandango, Half-Life, Ocarina of Time, Sonic Adventure, Baldur’s Gate, Suikoen II, Rogue Squadron

    1999: Super Smash Brothers, Silent Hill, Final Fantasy VIII, EverQuest, RollerCoaster Tycoon, Street Fighter III, Counter-Strike, Ogre Battle 64, Legacy of Kain, Soulcalibur, Chrono Cross, Pokemon Gold, Unreal Tournament, Donkey Kong 64, Legend of Dragoon, Shenmue

    I could go on even more, but that is just the 80s and 90s. These are games that are over 10 years old and still a blast to play. For me, a game should not be considered great unless it can stand the test of time. What are the chances that people will play games from this generation 20 years from now? In fact, what are the chances people can even play them??

    • Mog Mog
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 5:39 PM | Permalink

      2012: Black Ops 2, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Planetside 2, Guild Wars 2, Boarderlands 2, WoW espansion, Skylanders Giants, Assasins Creed 3, Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper, Skyrim expansion, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Pikmin 3, Nintendoland, Sonic All Stars Racing Transformed, Tera Online, Dishonored, Halo 4, Far Cry 3, Tribes: Ascend, Pokémon Conquest, Pokémon Black/White 2, Super Mario Wii U, ZombiU, Journey, Walking Dead, Mass Effect 3, Chivalry

      How is that fair to say newer games won’t stand the “test of time” simply because they havn’t had the chance to? You’ve never even played them. I think most would find me pretty cynical and even I can find some fun newer games to play. We can play older games now. Why wouldn’t we be able to play older games in the future?

      • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
        Posted April 8, 2013 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

        I’m with Mog on this. Recent games don’t have that nostalgia to them yet. People haven’t quite decided which few games to set aside forever. Games are also much longer today, so it takes more time to fully experience something new.

        Also, I see a lot of games on Markies’ list that do not hold up. 1996’s Tomb Raider vs the 2013 Tomb Raider? Unreal Tournament? I dislike Halo, but would take any game from that series over Unreal Tournament. Ultima Online vs World of Warcaft? Grand Theft Auto vs Grand Theft Auto 4 (even Saint’s Row)? Those games were good in their time, but modern counterparts or similar titles just blow them out of the water. If you like those old titles, maybe a new one will give you what you like about the old game, improve problems, and add a little something new.

  • Posted April 8, 2013 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

    The good games of today in my opionion are probably 60% sequels/reboots and 35% indie games and a few others with big budgets and big imagination. That isn’t to say all from each group are good. In fact if you were to list all sequels, reboots, and indie games released in the past 10 years, I would guess maybe 20% are actually “good” (of course I haven’t played every game but I’m drawing on what games are talked about and praised or which are complained about). So if 20% from that group is good, what percent of all games from the past ten years are good? No idea but, it’s not much.

    The best period of time for many good games being released I would say is 1990-1995. I could list and date games but everyone here seems to know their stuff to some degree so I’ll explain my position by talking about the state of gaming tecnology and the gamer zeitgeist of the early 90’s…

    Moving from the NES/SMS to the SNES/Genesis was an improvement to the quality of games, audio/video and more advanced controls, but wasn’t building from the ground up in terms of style of gameplay. Sidescrollers, RPGs, beat-em-ups, shooters, and sports games where still played in the same style they were played on earlier consoles but everything was looked and sounded better. The N64, Playstation, Dreamcast and Xbox didn’t improve games in this way. Games became different. Making a game in 3D is more advanced technologically but that doesn’t make it better… it was just different (and some were good lol).
    When games were being made during the 16-bit era, developers had every game made with 2D sprites on the NES and SMS complete with reviews and sales figures to draw on for both direction and inspiration. Super Mario Bros 3 became Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda became Link to the Past, Final Fantasy became Final Fantasy II & III (IV & VI whatever). Even brand new titles were using great and proven gameplay styles with the improved graphics and sound available to them.

    Now games have taken another change… they seem to be required to feel like interactive movies to be considered a big deal. It’s not bad of course… it’s different.

  • KuraraII KuraraII
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 5:06 PM | Permalink

    Eh, I think that most games are not as good as they used to be. This is due to how most of the “good” games are, to me, less imaginative than they used to be. There are fewer risks and fewer quirky attempts at innovation and new ways of doing things. There is a slavish drive to follow the status quo of what makes “good games” because of the generally accepted standard of trying to reach a mass-market audience. Major publishers seemingly killed off traditional avenues for niche gaming.

    However, there seems to be a renaissance going on with the creation of crowd-funded indie niche titles and game start-ups on Steam that may reverse this trend. I highly suggest you check out games such as Kerbal Space Program to see real innovation.

    I mostly just want an honest-to-goodness return to the innocence of the 80’s and 90’s of videogaming where there was a lot of new and bizarre concepts and cheerful storytelling. Whatever happened to collecting fruit that some jerk stole from you? What about that princess that needs rescuing? I am sick to death of games being ANGRY, SERIOUS, GRIM, MAN WOT SHOOTS TO SAVE UNIVERSE and so on because of the obsession of some developers and publishers to appeal to a misplaced desire for “mature content” from the mainstream. It also brings me to another point as to why I feel that games now are not as good as before and it may also make me sound like a bitter old fart chewing on an Atari joystick.

    There is an over-reliance on the convenience of modern technology which results in a lack of imagination and effort. The code of so many modern games is so depressingly poor that it makes my hairs stand on end. We need to go back to the basics and learn how to program with limitations of the Speccy or Commodore. Limited resources result in unlimited ingenuity.

  • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 5:40 PM | Permalink

    Yes, YES, and YESSSSSSSS!!!!! There are more good games today than ever before. The elite games like Skyrim, Halo, and Uncharted fare well against the best in any time period. The scale and ability for online play place modern games beyond older titles. This concept was argued in the comments of the Weekly Wringer 89 and touched upon by the Commodore himself in episode 90. I stand behind the view that games today are better simply because advanced technology allows for developers to put more into the experience.

    Most games today are at least playable and can provide a some form of amusement for a few hours. There were dozens of games that I played as a kid and just had enough within 10 minutes. Fester’s Quest on the NES sucked immediately and I could not have been bothered to figure out what to do. I remember renting Deadly Moves on my Sega Genesis (Megadrive)and returning it the same night because I would rather sit on my porch in silence than suffer through the game’s garbage controls.

    A modern game is playable and has some thought to the layout, allowing the player to actually navigate through the world. There are so many games like Crackdown, Saints Row the Third, and The Force Unleashed that I will probably never play through again, but I did have some solid fun the first time through. Even something as tired as Madden (2007 was the last bought) is still enjoyable. Games are supposed to be fun and today’s offerings can fill a weekend or at least an evening before all interest is lost.

    Games offer more today and even middle tiered titles can overtake a good title from 10 years ago. Take something like Assassin’s Creed 3, which had mixed reviews and quite a bit of disappointment. I will take that decent title over anything ever released on Playstation. Comparing games out of time and objectively, recent titles are superior. Companies invest too much to allow a game to completely suck and not provide at least some aspect of an enjoyable time. Heck, Minecraft and Mass Effect are enough to seal this discussion.

    BOTTOM LINE: Modern games have too much invested in them to not provide any enjoyment, which means most releases are competent enough to be at least decent.

    • Askew_Taboo Askew_Taboo
      Posted April 10, 2013 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

      It feels like a lot of gamers are focusing on the big publishers and forgetting about the smaller guys. I think a lot of good games have been being released recently thanks to amazing Indie Developers and places like Kickstarter. Kickstarter is one of the most amazing funding programs ever. Being able to help directly fund a game you want to see made is brilliant. Gaming has never been so good for retro gamers, and so many amazing looking games are in the works that I can hardly hold in my anticipation.

      When it does come to the more well known publishers, I hardly purchase those sort of games anymore. Recently, I’ve purchased Dishonored and Ni no Kuni. Prior to that Demon and Dark Souls.

      So I think there are a lot of good games being released, they just aren’t coming from the places you might expect.

  • Zork86
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    I’m going to say no. But I’m going to look at this by console generational gaps, not single years, and just to be clear I’m not saying that old games are better back in my day blahblahblah, there’s always been crappy games. I’m saying that I believe that overall games were at their peak in terms of fun and innovation from 16-Bit Gen to last gen with PS2, X-Box and GC. PC is a totally different thing and is not up for consideration with me, it exists in it’s own bubble.

    Nowadays with the Triple A game development model so much money is tied up in developing a video game the whole philosophy behind the creation of said game is now “I hope people will like this” instead of “I think people will like this”. It’s more about mass market and getting into the black to recoup development costs. I’m not naive though, I know that’s always been part of game development, but because massive amounts of money are tied up in this now it seems that there is less overall creativity and risk taking. So visibly in the console market, I don’t think there are as many legitimately good games as there used to be, because the margin for failure has gotten a lot bigger.

    I did mention before that PC exists in it’s own world, but that’s where you’re going to find the really interesting stuff anymore. Indie games on Steam and stuff like that.

  • Anatoray_Lizard Anatoray_Lizard
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

    Think there are a few angles with this question.
    Are there more good games today then yesterday, yes. We don’t have very many LJNs today, and movie based games aren’t as prevalent.
    With that said, I think there where more great games yesterday then today. Very few games today give me the itch to want to play them again.
    I would also like to add, that the good/great games today generally last longer for me then before. So, while there might be fewer, I do spend more time with them.

    • Red Mage Red Mage
      Posted April 10, 2013 at 4:31 AM | Permalink

      There may not be LJN anymore but there still TONS of garbage licensed games released all the time. Pretty much every single DreamWorks and Pixar movie and every TV show and cartoon show on Nick/CN/Disney channel still spawns a mediocre at best videogames to cash in on unsuspecting 7 year olds.

      It’s a lot easier to look up information on games and check review scores. However, the average child under 10 probably doesn’t check IGN or Gamespot before having their parents buy these crappy licensed games at Gamestop.

      • Mog Mog
        Posted April 10, 2013 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

        Do you have children? My kids absolutely love a lot of games you’d likely bash to no end. Not only are there a ton more games geared towards a younger audience, but the quality had improved unbelievably. Kids games now are actually playable. By THEM. Try Curious George for gamecube sometime and you’ll see what I mean. I dare you to even find a nes/snes/atari game that was remotely tailored to a younger audience.

        • Maze Maze
          Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

          HAHA, the covers were geared towards little kids. That was about it.

          Then I was stuck playing through games I had no interest in because NO SMALL CHILD would EVER be capable of getting through the vast majority of children’s games up to and including the PS2.

          I don’t WANT to play Dora Saves the Mermaids. I’m freaking grateful the quality of games for kids UNDER 10 has improved to the extent that kids can actually play through them THEMSELVES. And they enjoy them. And they learn the game play skills that allow them to move on to other moar challenging games.

          If you were a 5 yr old girl? You might have actually LIKED the Littlest Petshops game for the Wii. Either way? You’d be able to beat it YOURSELF. Older games? Drew kids in w/ recognizable characters from Disney and TV but were pretty much IMPOSSIBLE for anyone but an adult to beat.

          Anyone who says ANYTHING to the contrary obviously doesn’t have kids. Or DIDN’T have any 10 yrs. ago. My 13 yr. old didn’t HAVE ANY games he could beat HIMSELF under age 5. My 7 yr. old has owned easily a dozen. And he owned MORE GAMES than she did.

        • Red Mage Red Mage
          Posted April 10, 2013 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

          I don’t have kids but I was once a young gamer myself. I’ve been gaming since I was about 3.5 years old starting with the Atari 2600. My earliest gaming memories are of playing Frogs and Flies, a very simple game that had an easy mode tailored to younger gamers.

          It’s just laughable to say there were no games geared towards kids on the nes/snes because I remember and have played many in my youth. Not even counting the numerous Sesame Street and other edutainment games either. Sure not every game held your hand through like today, but they were games you could grow into. For example, Capcom’s NES Disney games were definitely aimed tailored kids who watched the afternoon Disney cartoon and were (still are) an absolute blast to play. Capcom made games that while based on kid licenses, an adult could pick up and enjoy as well which is not the case with a lot of these current licensed cash ins. The Capcom Disney were not the easiest games I’ve ever played but my 5 year old self beat Rescue Rangers and Duck Tales with in a few sittings.

          • Mog Mog
            Posted April 10, 2013 at 10:31 PM | Permalink

            Exactly. You don’t have kids. I’m not interested in your BS nostalgia trip. There was nothing about Duck Tales or Rescue Rangers to differentiate them from any other 2d platformer. An “easy mode” is not a game specifically designed for children. They don’t have educational games now?

            I played the hell out of some Adventure, Asteroids, Demon Attack, Dragon Warrior and Contra. Doesn’t mean they were tailored towards anything resembling my age. Yeah I realize there was Super Mario. I’ve played the new Super Mario with a young child. It is night and day the improvement.

            Unlike you I had a young child during the ps1/ps2 era. I have a young child now. You might as well be posting about how flat the earth is. You’re are utterly, completely, beyond anything rationally WRONG. Games for younger kids are soooo much better now. It is not even comparable. It’s not even close. You don’t have a child. You aren’t a child. But please. Continue to post about something you know ABSOLUTELY nothing about.

          • Maze Maze
            Posted April 10, 2013 at 11:01 PM | Permalink

            You don’t have kids. I’m going to assume you don’t play a lot of the new games targeted at young children. Correct me if I’m wrong. How many have you played and beaten? If there haven’t been many? Where does the presumption that they “hold the player’s hand throughout the game” come from? What evidence do you base that assertion on?

            Great. Some games not specifically tailored to small children had an easy mode that allowed younger gamers to experience them. That’s nice. But easy and tailored to kids are not and SHOULD NOT be synonymous. Gaming is no fun w/out challenges. Expecting small children to have an adult’s dexterity isn’t a challenge. That’s just mean. I COULD load up the VC Japanese Super Mario 2 for my 7 yr. old and point and laugh when she crashes and burns, but I’d rather just let her play Scribblenauts. A game she actually enjoys.

            When I was growing up in the late 70’s parents took their kids to see Watership Down because it was an animated movie, and cartoons are for kids, right? It wasn’t exactly tailored to small children, but we watched it anyway. That’s kindof how gaming for very young children was in the past.

            I don’t mean to sound like a bish, but I can’t stand the negative and contemptuous attitude towards kids gaming that has proliferated in the last few years. Yeah. There are lots of games now that appeal primarily to specific audiences. Young or mature. And gaming has improved a LOT because of it. Not everything can be all things to all people, and they shouldn’t have to be.

          • Red Mage Red Mage
            Posted April 11, 2013 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

            Mog, man you need to chill out.

            Question: who is the target audience for Chip and Dale and Duck Tales on the NES?

            Answer: kids

            You asked name a game, a single game on the NES/SNES/Atari ‘remotely’ tailored towards a younger audience.

            I’ll even post the exact quote.

            “I dare you to even find a nes/snes/atari game that was remotely tailored to a younger audience”

            I named two and those games are perfectly acceptable answers. They are low difficulty platformers based on popular kids cartoon franchises of the time. How are they NOT tailored to kids?

            What is so special about Curious George on Gamecube? Never played it but from youtube gameplay videos, it looks like a low difficulty 3-D platformer. What differentiates it from other many 3-D platformers like Mario Sunshine or Pac-Man World 2 other than its difficultly and its based on PBS kids show? What makes it more of a kids game than Chip and Dale?

            We seem to have two definitions in what dictates a kids game. I think that’s where we are not seeing eye to eye.

            My opinion are games of old kids games like Chip and Dale better than newer kids games like Surf’s Up or Kung Fu Panda. I feel Capcom put more effort into fun gameplay than particularly Activision has with its games based on DreamWorks movies. I have younger cousins. I’ve played many modern kids games and hated them. I don’t have a complete list of every kids game I played on wii/gcn/ps2 etc. but I do very much have some experience with these games. Most recently I played Wreck it Ralph on the wii and I thought it was pretty horrible.It’s not unreasonable for me to say kid’s game of today suck when I have played modern kids games that have indeed sucked. To be honest, my cousins don’t really like these games much either.

            That’s all I was saying and you went on some angry tirade getting worked over nothing. I see your point. I’m an adult not a kid trying to play these kids games so my point of view not be exactly valid because I’m not in the intended audience. If was 4 years old maybe I would like Kung Fu Panda on Xbox360 better. Again my cousins don’t care for it. My counterpoint is that I can still pick up Chip and Dale and the Little Mermaid on NES and still have a great time. Since I can still enjoy those games despite not being in the target audience, I feel they are better made games overall.

            I said my piece and have no interest in escalating further discussion. We apparently agree to disagree.

          • Red Mage Red Mage
            Posted April 11, 2013 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

            Just clarify one thing, my young cousins have in fact played the NES games I mentioned and enjoyed them and play them effectively by themselves with out any of my assistance other than to get the darn NES working. The games actually got them interesting the cartoon shows since they are no longer on the air. I think that constitutes an effective kids game.

            Now I am completely finished with this discussion.

          • Mog Mog
            Posted April 12, 2013 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

            Since you can enjoy Rescue Rangers despite not being in the target audience it tells me the game was not specifically designed for its target audience. A lot of games are designed to appeal to a wide audience. This does not indicate quality. I gave you a nice example of how even these games have improved in that respect. Those aren’t the games we’re even talking about. You professed there was recently a huge influx of games targeted at a very young audience that are on par with the old LJN games. I know there are not. It is my position that if you had first hand experience you would never have made that statement. You had first hand experience and would realize how completely asinine that statement was. Your statement is baseless. Your statement is false. As a person with first hand experience I find your statement ill-informed and completely devoid of merit.

            Why do people find it so difficult to simply admit they might not be as well informed as someone else. Why can you not simply admit you ASSUMED games were still following the same trend they always had. You saw a lot of games targeted at a young audience and ASSUMED they were all as bad as games of this type had been previous. It was a reasonable assumption. I myself was very surprised to see such a massive shift towards quality. I myself ASSUMED movie-based, young audience targeted games would always be terrible. I was wrong. They have MASSIVELY improved. There is no debate. The sun is hot. Grass is green.

            Curious George was a TERRIBLE game. An example of how games of this nature had continued to be as terrible as they had previous until recently. (I assumed we’d already established there were many terrible games during the nes/snes era.) Finding Nemo works just as well as an example. (Actually YOU might enjoy Finding Nemo. I did. The gameplay was in no way tailored to the target audience though. It is another shining example of the radical shift in gameplay design that has occurred recently and how this has massively improved gaming for young children.) You’d had Curious George or Finding Nemo inflicted on you and you’d very easily see the unprecedented improvement in kids games now.

            Know what makes me angry? When my family can go to the store. Pick up any random game it looks like my child would enjoy and I can be assured of a reasonable level of quality. This wasn’t the case during the Atari, Nes, Snes, Ps1, or ps2 eras. I can be ecstatic to see such an improvement. Then I log on to any random message board and have to see some random internet know-it-all making baseless statements about something he knows nothing about. Despite being so obviously devoid of experience he will continue and continue to try and misinform anyone he can possibly manage to get to listen in some misguided attempt to prove himself completely infallible. It’s the same discussion every time the Wii is mentioned. Yeah. Because you didn’t like one game specifically designed for a child (and that was likely much better for having been), a large subsection of gaming must be complete garbage despite large sales numbers. Sure. And Martians riding magical unicorns must be secretly building an undead hamster army.

            “I’ve never seen a car, but my cousin has. Clearly yours is in need of repair. Hand me that wrench. You’re a mechanic? Let’s agree to disagree.”

          • Maze Maze
            Posted April 12, 2013 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

            Red Mage:”Sure not every game held your hand through like today, but they were games you could grow into.

            That’s all I was saying and you went on some angry tirade getting worked over nothing. I see your point. I’m an adult not a kid trying to play these kids games so my point of view not be exactly valid because I’m not in the intended audience. If was 4 years old maybe I would like Kung Fu Panda on Xbox360 better.”

            The operative phrase games you could “grow into” is a clear indicator that the games you are referencing were created for a wide range of players w/ varying levels of experience and skill. NOT specifically tailored for VERY YOUNG children.

            There are games NOW that have gameplay mechanics that are SPECIFICALLY targeted at children ages 3 to 8. That they don’t HAVE TO grow into.

            Are they good games? My daughter sure enjoyed them when she was 5. She has the same affection for them that you feel towards the games you played when you were a kid. Has she for the most part moved on to greater challenges? Sure. But she will still load up her old favorites occasionally and play for an hour or so.

            Would I or you or any adult enjoy them? Not likely. But I didn’t enjoy most of the games my son owned under 5 either. The difference was? I had to beat them for him. The gameplay mechanics were NOT tailored to little kids. Did he “grow into” some of those games and enjoy them at age 10? Sure. Some of em.

            Star Wars Racer for N64 is a good example. He couldn’t get through a single course when he got the game at approx. age 4. EVERY LVL. had to be unlocked for him. By age 11? He destroyed EVERYONE in our family at it. He grew into it.

            Some games though, esp. games tied into popular Disney franchises. By the time he WAS capable of beating the game by himself. By the time he had “grown into it.” He was kindof too old to really be attracted to and appreciate anymore. EVEN IF it was a basically decent game that a moar experienced gamer could enjoy.

            Let’s talk about Scooby Doo Night of 100 Frights for GC. Fun game. Easy game. Basically a low difficulty platformer w/ a few puzzles thrown in. Little kids like Scooby Doo. Did my oldest want to play through it age 6 or 7? No. I beat it. Was it TORTURE to play it? No. It was a fun, easy game FOR ME. Would I EVER have gone to the store and chosen it for myself? No. Would I have PREFERRED to spend the time I was stuck playing through it on games I HAD chosen for myself? That’s an emphatic YES. But it was still a decent game.

            Now that my son is 13 and has had some experience w/ platformers is it likely he could go back and easily beat it himself? Yes. Does he have the slightest interest in playing a Scooby Doo themed game now? No. Not so much. That moment in time has passed.

            $40 down the drain for me. Multiply that by dozens. Not games I would have ever chosen for myself. Games the person they were bought for would have had to just muscle through on their own because of the theme because the gameplay was a little old for them. That by the time they had “grown into them” they were no longer attracted to the subject matter.

            Games I PAID FOR that were NEVER ENJOYED by the person for whom they were intended. Or not to the extent that my younger child has enjoyed the games she started out w/.

            Which brings us neatly back to the idea that if you were a 5 yr. old girl, you might enjoy Littlest Petshops for Wii. As an adult? You might not. Do I think I would enjoy playing through Littlest Petshops as much as I did Scooby Doo Night of 100 Frights? That it has any broad appeal or is at all palatable for an older gamer? NO. The beauty is? I never HAD TO play it. The gameplay being tailored to her specific age group made her WANT TO beat it herself.

            The gameplay mechanics were SPECIFICALLY tailored for a very young child. Does that make it a bad game? That an adult would NOT enjoy playing it in the slightest? That only a small child could appreciate it?

            Follow that thread to its logical conclusion and EVERY MA game in existence is a bad game because only adults can play them.

            In reality BOTH types of games are merely directed solely at a single specific demographic. NEITHER are meant for all audiences. From that perspective only the members of the demographic for which they were created are qualified to pronounce on their quality. Therefore, I CAN’T tell you whether or not Littlest Petshops, or Brave for DS, or Dora Saves the Snow Princess for DS were good games or not. I can only say the person for whom they were intended sure played the hell outta them, and that made ME feel like I got my money’s worth outta their purchase.

          • Mr. K Mr. K
            Posted April 26, 2013 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

            Red Mage, I never thought I’d ever have reason to type this, but I agree with Mog.

            Video games catered to a different demographic in the 80s-90s. While you may consider Rescue Rangers a kid’s game, back then it was just a game.

            To lump a game like Rescue Rangers in with titles tailored for children paints the industry with a brush that just doesn’t fit. It’s a different world now, even when it comes to video games.

  • Randrox Randrox
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

    Hello, first time poster, not because I don’t like the topics, but mostly I am always watching these after the fact.

    Any-who, I have to give a defiant “NO”.

    I personal enjoy jRPGs and they just don’t deliverer now-a-days.
    Yes we did recently have one “Ni No Kuni” and yes this one was good. However its just one. I have had a PS3 since almost launch,and we are just now getting what we should have been getting all along. But no we are stuck with RPGs that fail. Such as titles like the horror that is Final Fantasy 13 and games like Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel.

    Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel has to have the worst game dialogue ever. I had to turn the sound way down in fear that my neighbors might over hear and think I was watching some strange porn. As an example in one place one of the girls is locked in the bathroom with a shitty toilet, and it goes on for like twenty minutes.

    and also nowadays games always feel like they aren’t quite finished. Or they where rushed out to make a quick buck.

    A big example of this was Twisted Metal. It could have used alot more single player.

    The good games of the past always seemed more polished.

    You would be exited about a game, and when it came out, it delivered. Such games as TMNT,MegaManX,Zelda LTTP, Super Metroid, Final Fantasy 2(IV) & Final Fantasy 3(VI). There was even some nice surprises along the way. Earthbound & Chrono Trigger. Games that looked like they might suck and did not, like Earthworm Jim and Star Fox.

    Now you see a game that looks cool, then comes out, and its just okay. Not great or epic, just okay.

    and just okay isn’t good enough

    • Mr. K Mr. K
      Posted April 26, 2013 at 11:30 PM | Permalink

      I’ve been playing RPGs since FF1, and I have to say, FF13 is now in my top five favorite Final Fantasy games. I still have a couple of grievances about it, but it’s a fantastic game. You just have to go into it with a certain perspective in mind. I didn’t enjoy it the first time around, but man, the second time around was amazing.

      Also, I don’t know what Ar tonelico Qoga is, but I guarantee it can’t be worse than Magna Carta: Tears of Blood.

  • Young-blood Young-blood
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

    I’m going to try my best to answer this question. Which is hard when my only experience of the current/previous generation (depending on whether you think the Wii U’s release advances the generation or not) being a few hours playing wingman for a friend on some of the co-op modes with his 360.

    I don’t think that there really are more or less good games than before. It’s more a mattter of genres and , to some extent, methods of advertising.

    In my experience (Which is from the UK rather than US, so YMMV), games weren’t really advertised much over here in the 80’s and 90’s. I was subscribed to the Nintendo Official Magazine for 6 years. And that was the ONLY place I found out about new games outside of
    the gaming stores at all. My outside opinions on games came only from friends, if at all. And so, if I bought a game, It was without any hype what-so-ever, and I knew that, if the people I’d heard say it was good said that, our tastes in games were similar enough, that I knew it would be good. As such, I only remember, for the most part, either the huge releases from yesteryear, or the games that I felt were great.

    Now, scroll forward a decade and a half. Gaming advertising is huge, so everyone hears about everything. The hype machine can be rolling for half a year, often more, before a game hits the shelves. Not all of them are up to the level of hype they received. Some by a large margin. It doesn’t mean there are less great games. Some of these titles are in themselves are indeed great games. Just not as good as we were told they would be. Add in the fact that there are so many people in internet land telling you very different opinions on these games, it can be hard to sometimes form a consensus on great games from this era.

    As for genres, it’s a simple fact that some people dislike certain genres. In certain cases, to the point that they refuse to acknowledge games from those genres as ever being able to be called great. In the years gone by, the big releases were often of various genres. However, this era has contained a great deal of one genre -shooters. While it doesn’t mean that there aren’t some great games there, it does mean a lot of people just throw their hands in the air, crying out “Not another one.”

    I guess, for tl;dr sake, my answer is, when you remove the rose tinted glasses, ‘about the same’. It’s just all relative.

  • Kain Highwind Kain Highwind
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:47 PM | Permalink

    The answer is yes. In just the past 6 months, I have played Dishonored, Far Cry 3, Dota 2, and Star Craft 2: Heart of the Swarm. All of these games have are polished and have terrific gameplay. I am getting ready to play Bioshock Infinite soon and the DLCs for Dishonored and Far Cry. Not only this, but I have played a number of quality indie games (Primordia, Deadlight, FTL, Evoland).

    Personally, I haven’t enjoyed gaming this much in a long time and I think that has to do with the quality of games being produced.

    I mean come on, who ISN’T gonna play GTA5?

    • Red Mage Red Mage
      Posted April 10, 2013 at 4:34 AM | Permalink

      I am not. I played about an hour of each of GTA III, VC and San Andreas before getting bored out of my mind and stopped playing them. Three strikes. I skipped GTA IV entirely and have no interest in GTA V at all.

    • Young-blood Young-blood
      Posted April 10, 2013 at 5:51 AM | Permalink

      Me. Even if I had the consoles to do so, I wouldn’t. I dislike sandbox games in general, and GTA especially.

      • Kain Highwind Kain Highwind
        Posted April 10, 2013 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

        I guess I made sort of a sweeping statement there but the point I was trying to make was that a shit ton of people are going to play GTA5, not just because you can kill hookers and steal cars, but because it is a good franchise and a great game.

        Even if you disagree with my GTA5 statement, I refer you to my previous list of games. There is a lot of quality coming out right now.

        • Mr. K Mr. K
          Posted April 25, 2013 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

          I hated GTA4 because it wasn’t in the GTA3 universe and the environment was too serious. I liked the light-hearted nature of the other games. GTA4 was just an unfun experience all around for me.

          • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
            Posted April 26, 2013 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

            Have you ever tried Saints Row the Third? As a bargain title now, it may be that super silly change from the GTA 4 that could interest you. Saints Row the Third is a lot of fun, but it is definitely dumber than anything in any GTA game. It is big and loud and has air strikes and dildo bats.

          • Mr. K Mr. K
            Posted April 26, 2013 at 10:52 PM | Permalink

            The games from the GTA3 universe towed a fine line between humor, surrealism and matter-of-fact subject matter.

            Saints Row doesn’t interest me specifically because of how silly it is. GTA4 happens to be the opposite end of that spectrum.

  • The Male White Mage The Male White Mage
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

    Define a good game since people have different opinions.

    I have noticed that some of my favourite games get about a fifty percent rating or less and in some cases are on peoples top ten worst game lists, but these popular/triple A/must-play titles I don’t find interesting to buy or find them uninteresting/boring/dislike or even hate when I played them. So are there more good games now than ever, I can not answer since people have different opinions on what a good game is. Speaking of which I should take another attempt at one of my favourite NES games and try to climb the stairs of Zuul building.

  • Red Mage Red Mage
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 5:25 AM | Permalink

    Gaming quality has always pretty been pretty much the same. I searched online for aggregate review data and found that the yearly average review scores over the past 10 years since Gamerankings and Metacritic have been formed was about a 74+-1.5. If that data is indeed correct that suggests either gaming quality has stayed about the same over the last decade or video game critics are very consistent with the review scores in how they hand out regardless of quality.

    For me, gaming always been a case of one or two games being popular and several other publishers trying to cash in on the success leaving me to do my homework to sift out the duds.

    For example, the SNES and Genesis days, there were tons of anthropomorphic animal mascot platformers trying to cash in the success of Sonic ex. Aero the Acrobat, Zero the Squirrel, Awesome Possum etc. On PS1 and N64, there were countless generic 3D platformers trying to be the next Mario 64. Now, it’s seems the latest flavor of the generation to try and copy is the military based first person shooter like Call of Duty.

    There’s still plenty of innovative and fun software being released today. Unfortunately, due the economics of making HD games, most of those games have been relegated to handhelds and download only games where not investing in expensive HD graphics and physics in favor of innovative gameplay is still acceptable. When the average HD game supposedly needs about 300,000 (a number I’ve heard thrown around several times) or more sales to break even, making games is becoming a risky gamble. Tomb Raider 2013 sold over 3.4 million copies so far but SquareEnix is still considering that accomplishment a failure due to how much money they put into making it. That’s crazy. Back in the earlier generations, 3.4 million sales would have been considered a HUGE hit. Even a game resulting in 300,000 sales would have been considered a modest hit.

    Has game development costs ballooned to where it’s not really economically feasible to take chances? Possibly. Are there more great games coming out than ever? Again, I say gaming quality is still the same as it has ever been since I started gaming on the NES. I still find about the same amount of games to play each year. Unlike the last few generations, lately I have had to often tap into different gaming markets (handheld and indie) to find the games I enjoy.

  • Maze Maze
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    If the question had been median average of good old games vs. good new games, I might have an argument for old games like Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger being GOOD ENOUGH to counterbalance all the broken shiz and unlicensed crap on the old platforms. But as just a ratio of good to bad games? Unless we are counting mediocre games as BAD, new games win. You just don’t get the unplayable junk you used to get stuck w/ anymore. Plain and simple. Patches whether you want to bother w/ them or not, provide a recourse to broken or unfinished games. When you bought a broken game for NES/SNES/Atari/Playstation, it was just broken. No recourse. Waste of money. And there were no MMOs. Even the worst, most low budget, browser based MMO is still a helluva lot moar fun than some unlicensed glitch fest from the old days. I love old games, but I’m not going to let nostalgia distort my perception.

  • Posted April 10, 2013 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

    I’m staying out of this one today but…. oh my god Commodore, you actually defended The Polar Express!?

    I seriously fail to see how that is a good movie, I would be ashamed to own it. The models are not endearing, Santa himself (when you finally DO see him) is scary looking. Maybe they do have more personality than those of Spirits Within, but the entire movie is lacking wonder and very depressing. The shoehorned musical numbers don’t even really stick out to me other than to highlight awkward mouth movement and temporary breaks in physics in an otherwise rooted movie. Holiday cheer is not to be found here. Uhg.

    For what I can say on this week’s topic: I don’t keep track of video games like I used to. I just hear bits and pieces, keeping an ear open to franchises and companies I like, and seeking out (by word of mouth, or just downloading demos) the “gems” that most gamers will never know exists. During Steam’s holiday sales I bought Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale for three of my friends, and bought their indie bundle with Chantelise and Fortune Summoner twice. I’d say about half my Steam account is populated by indie games and the other half is populated with mainstream and rereleases.

    Though that does beg the question if rereleases should be added into the overall picture. NiGHTs into Dreams just recently got released on Steam (I’m assuming PSN and XBox Live as well). I adored the game when it came out and I love it now.

    But you know what? All forms of media have their piles of turds, the game industry is no different. Why is there a 16-Bit gems if good or great games were a dime a dozen? I know that going to the rental stores years ago I saw tons of games that I would never play. I didn’t check them out then sometimes just because I knew it would be a knockoff of something, or it was by a company I didn’t know.

    I think games are better in the sense there seems to be a LOT more demos being offered, not just on Steam, but on the consoles, which allows us to experience more before we buy. It’s like having that rental store at our fingertips now. A bit of a tangent perhaps, but I don’t feel qualified to say Yes or No this week, so my answer is the CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC button 😀

  • DTX180
    Posted April 11, 2013 at 1:35 AM | Permalink

    late to this party. I’ll just say no for consoles, yes for PC. The console era peaked in the 90s. Console games these days just all seem like shooters with brown and gray textures, or modern day WRPGs. Not to hate on FPSs and WRPGs, but the genres are getting stale imo. The most recent console generation really turned me off from consoles in a nutshell.

    PC gaming though, I think is at a “silver age” at the very least, and might turn into a second golden age. PC gaming was awful from around 2002 to 2008 or so. WoW was around, ya we know. But that was it, and honestly I dont even think WoW is that amazing of a game. Steam started off fairly slowly, but its really picking up….steam….for a few years now. My dislike for the future of distribution (you only buy licenses to a game now crap) aside, steam (and other great sites like GOG) has some fun and cheap games, and seems like it hasn’t reached its full potential yet.

  • I Feel Asleep I Feel Asleep
    Posted April 11, 2013 at 4:54 PM | Permalink

    I would say games now are better overall than older games. With every new console generation there have been technological improvements that lead to the developers being able to have a more robust gaming experience than you could in the past. I think that even a bad ps3 or 360 game today is still a better game than a bad 2600 or NES game was back then. Like some other folks have said when you have so much money tied up in a project it has to be good enough to at least break even and sub-par games just won’t sell well enough to be worth making. At least that’s my take on it.

  • Posted April 12, 2013 at 9:02 PM | Permalink

    I think that game quality has stayed pretty level fro a while now, There have been some really great games in the past, and there are some great games now, but there have be some really horrible games in the past, and there are some really bad games now. I think its a matter of personal opinion (what kind of games you enjoy, etc.)

  • TreuloseTomate TreuloseTomate
    Posted April 13, 2013 at 5:25 AM | Permalink

    In my own defense regarding last week’s question: The question was, what is the worst movie in our collection. And for me, that’s Episode 1. I agree it’s not the worst movie of all time (maybe the most disappointing).

    To this week’s question I can’t really say much, except that with the rise of indie games and stuff like kickstarter there seems to be more variety than ever. AAA titles tend to try to appeal to everybody, losing focus. Smaller indipendent game developers can focus on one gameplay aspect and execute that as good as they can. Like Mark of the Ninja: it’s a pure stealth game and nothing else. No cover-based shooting, no tacked on multiplayer, no 3D…

  • JackOfAllGames16
    Posted April 14, 2013 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

    Hey commodore, I’ve been watching for about 8-12 months now but this is my first time posting. I don’t see how anyone can even argue that newer games are better. Gaming has been dead for awhile now, you’ll be hard pressed to find a game that isn’t a rehash, sequel, or cookiecutter product. There’s absolutely nothing new or special about games that come out today. Gaming used to be all about the games, people weren’t afraid to be creative and do new things, games were made by gamers for gamers. Now it’s just all about capitalism, big corporations lead by people who have probably never played a game in their life making games for “wider audiences”, non-gamers, and casuals. Games today can’t even stand on their own 2 legs without being plugged into the internet for life support.

    • Posted April 14, 2013 at 5:04 PM | Permalink

      What about the bit.trip guys, or Far Cry 3:Blood Dragon? I think asserting that it’s “all about capitalism” betrays a misconception of how games were made in the past. It’s always been about capitalism and making profit. It’s a BIGGER business now, but it’s certainly not worse in character. There’s no Nintendo license bullying going around anymore, and I’d say experimentation is way, way up because of the rise of the indie market. FTL, Terreria, Electronic SuperJoy, and a ton of others are making waves in ways games couldn’t in the past. There’s way more in the way of options for selling your homegrown product now.

      If anything, I don’t see how you can argue that newer games aren’t better – or at least far more diverse. You have everything from the big-box AAA titles (compare FFVII with Bioshock Infinite), mid-range experimental titles (compare Future Cop: LAPD with Battleblock Theatre), and polished independent titles (compare Escape Velocity with FTL), and in each category you have way more choice. Games are far from dead. If anything, they’re just emerging from their childhood and hitting their stride in the awkward teenage years. Sure there’s a lot of crap out there, but that hasn’t changed at all (compare Ultima IX Ascension with Two Worlds).

  • JackOfAllGames16
    Posted April 14, 2013 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

    Indie games are pretty much the only redeeming thing about gaming today, but since he compared current gaming with past gaming (before the whole indie thing existed) I decided to keep them out of the conversation. Sure the industry was always about making money, but the games never suffered for it. Now you have games being released incomplete, broken, glitchy, crippled with DRM, all just so companies can squeeze out literally every last penny from consumers. I really can’t see how you can say games are more diverse, how many good AAA titles come out that AREN’T first person shooters or rehashes of previous games? PC pretty much only gets the consoles’ leftovers now as opposed to when it used to get it’s own games. Whatever happened to platformers? survival horror? adventure? strategy? hack and slash? Those genre’s are dead with the exception of random odds and ends here and there. The one player game is even slowly dying. Previous to this generation there was so much variety for each and every genre, now if you’re not a frag head who loves multiplayer gaming really doesn’t have much to offer.

    • Posted April 15, 2013 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

      Platforming: Quantum Conundrum, Portal 2
      Survival Horror: Amnesia the Dark Descent, Deadly Premonition
      Adventure: Sleeping Dogs, The Walking Dead
      Strategy: Crusader Kings II, Shogun 2: Total War
      Hack n’ Slash: Chivalry: Medieval Warfare

      But here’s the thing: You’ve moved the goalposts now. You’re asking for AAA titles only, and yet originally your statement was that “gaming has been dead for awhile now”. That means all gaming, and it’s clear that isn’t true.

      Not only is indie flourishing in a big way, but even medium-level developers pour on a huge amount of influence, and there’s a ton of good AAA titles out there anyway. Mass Effect, Bioshock, Darksiders, Arkham Asylum, the Walking Dead, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, etc are all excellent, current series with multiple quality titles.

      FPS-style games are definitely everywhere. That doesn’t make them bad or even same-y. But even outside of FPS there’s tons on the table. Yes, some genres have morphed, some have gone largely indie, and some aren’t being catered to right now, but that doesn’t mean they’re dead and gone.

      People have been saying Adventure games were dead for ten years. Telltale and Double Fine have proven that wrong. The Walking Dead has been amazing, and Double Fine’s upcoming Broken Age looks incredible.

      Gaming’s not dead. It’s very, very alive and thriving right now. You just have to expand your horizons and look beyond a cynical lens.

      It’s like how, as a person ages, they complain about newer music being “garbage” and “noise”. But the folks listening to said “garbage” and “noise” will, when they get older, complain about the same stuff happening to them. It’s because they adopt a cynical lens towards the new and nostalgically cling to what they know. Instead of expanding their horizons and staying open-minded, they get narrower and narrower.

      A person who lets that happen has no one to blame but themselves.

      • Maze Maze
        Posted April 18, 2013 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

        You kids and your “rock and roll” music. HAHA.

      • Mr. K Mr. K
        Posted April 26, 2013 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

        I agree on the music thing. I see people talking about Justin Bieber and how music “used to be so good.”

        Then I scratch my head and think about all the shit music from the 60s, 70s & 80s. Shit music I know for a fact my mother listened to. Like Donny Osmond, Olivia Newton-John, Captain & Tenille and Anne Murray.

        Now I’m one of the few people left on the planet– outside of the deepest tribes in the Amazon– who haven’t heard a Justin Beiber song from start to finish. That said, I think I’d much rather listen to Beiber than the crap my mother listens to.

        Thankfully my dad raised me on the good stuff.

        • The Male White Mage The Male White Mage
          Posted April 27, 2013 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

          Thinking of it after reading your comment there Mr. K is I don’t even know what Justin Bieber music sounds like. So I decide to listen to some… five to ten seconds is the most I could listen to of any song I tried.

          • Mr. K Mr. K
            Posted April 27, 2013 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

            The goal is to listen to none of it. I’d rather dig out my brain with a dirty spoon than listen to any of that, but if given the choice (like Noriega and Van Halen), I’d prefer Bieber.

  • JohnC911
    Posted April 15, 2013 at 2:37 AM | Permalink

    Of course games are better now. I don’t see how you can even argue unless you have some retro glasses on. I grew up in the 16 bit era and loved the hell out of Sonic, Golden axe, Mickey mouse and the different racing games.
    Today the level of options of different games have grown but there is also more options in games now as well. It is almost expected that new games will offer more then the previously games of that genres. When it doesn’t you get what happen to Games like Sim City 5.

    Also games are much cheaper than they were in pasts. Let me explain this frist off I putting the categorie of games in the consoles and PC field. 1. You have the fact of inflation of money. In terms of what games would actually cost in 90s vs today is a lot different I check on the dollar times website and $60 in 1990 is worth $109.25. I also check out another web and got $106.58. So a game that cost $60 is actually cheaper.
    2. You have a lot more in a game of today. Now i am including Graphics, music, sounds in this but even if we take it out you still end up having a lot more content. Most games will have Mutli player and more then just 2 players in the one room. Most games will include mini games within the actually game and will give you help if you need to ie go this way instead of getting lost and not knowing where to go. Also ofter different difficulty levels. This is great for many different players. 3. Some games will offer unlocks and/or trophies. 4. Some games will offer good DLCs. I know that DLCs gets a bad name due to the abuse that some companies do with it but others will greatly improve the game without requiring you to buy the next game. For example Red Dead Redemption DLC in the earlier eras would of been a new game instead you pay less for the new story.

    • JackOfAllGames16
      Posted April 15, 2013 at 6:25 AM | Permalink

      Name a game that came out recently that wasn’t a cookie cutter game.

      • Posted April 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

        I think the terms “cookie-cutter” needs proper definition, or it becomes extremely easy to move the goalposts.

        But I challenge: Name one game that came out EVER that wasn’t cookie cutter.

        And I offer: Battleblock Theatre, Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby, Don’t Starve, Legend of Grimrock, Proteus, Sins of a Solar Empire, Tribes: Ascend, Bioshock, Darksiders, Ni no Kuni, and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare.

        On that list, Tribes and Darksiders come the closest to being authentically “cookie-cutter” because Tribes has predecessors and Darksiders has often been compared to Zelda (re: Being similar is not bad).

  • JackOfAllGames16
    Posted April 15, 2013 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    I think we’ve kind of gotten off topic but I didn’t move any goalposts, he compared today to 1996 and since indie games weren’t around back then (atleast not as we know them today) I thought it only fair to compare the big budget games of today to those of back then. The fact that you name 90% indie games kind of shows that you acknowledge the slump that the vast majority of gaming is currently in. Nostalgia has no part in any of it either, I’ve enjoyed every generation (including PS2, GC, and even the very beginning of this one, all of which aren’t old enough to have any nostalgia for) and have always played games I never got around to from every other generation. So when I play a GC, PS2, N64, PS1, NES, ect game that I never played before and enjoy it 10x more than current gen games it has absolutely nothing to do with nostalgia. Just for the record though my comments weren’t directed at independent games, I think they’re the only thing catering to real gamers as of right now and as the FPS bubble bursts (just like the jrpg, platformer, and RTS genres before them) and these big companies fall off the side of the earth, they’re only going to be getting bigger and I’m looking forward to it.

    • Posted April 15, 2013 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

      Indie games were around then. In less quantity, but so was everything, and shovelware was just as high. Consider how many shitty movie tie-in games, how many awful platformers, how many just terrible RPGs and racing games there were in the 16-bit era.

      You can’t say something vitriolic like “gaming is dead” and be taken seriously, because that statement is completely indefensible.

      Yes, indie games exist now in far greater quantity than ever before. But the AAA market in its current form has also only existed from basically 2004 and onwards.

      PS2 totally has nostalgia. Do you realise that it’s been 12 years since it came out? It has tons of nostalgia attached to it. The GC and Dreamcast as well.

      Arkham Asylum, Bioshock Infinite, Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed, Starcraft II, Shogun 2: Total War, Sleeping Dogs, and the Walking Dead are all examples of great AAA games that came out in the last few years. Yeah, the FPS “bubble” is here right now, but so what? There’s plenty of stuff that’s outside of it.

      Put down the cynicism man. It hurts ya.

  • Mr. K Mr. K
    Posted April 16, 2013 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    I think that regardless of whether we side with both, one side or the other or neither, it comes down to the fact that we all have different criterion for so-called “good” and “bad.”

    I got to looking at Markies’ list of games, and even though I grew up in a time period where those were new, I would disagree with a lot of them being “good.” Perhaps I’m more discerning than other people– who knows.

    My point being– there’s about as many good games now as there were in previous console generations. It’s just all about finding what you like.

    For instance, I bought both of the Arkham Asylum games for PS3 on the recommendation of a friend and MOST of the internet, but I just can’t get into either of them. No matter how much I enjoy DC Comics and– in particular– Batman (even with Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill) I just can’t get into either of them. Lots of other people love these games. Or else there wouldn’t be a second sequel on the way.

    On the other hand, I LOVE the game Catherine, which critics panned as a “standard” puzzler. It’s a great game and has given me many replay hours. And I don’t even like puzzle games, in particular.

    Again, back to Markies’ list. I only consider about half of them to be good, but that’s just MY opinion on the subject. I think the SNES SeaQuest game is boring, but Roo loves it– enough to get hit in the nuts by his wife while filming a video about it.

    To each is own.

  • Randrox Randrox
    Posted April 16, 2013 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    One thing I forgot to mention was the game goodies> I miss when games(especially RPGs) came with a poster comic book or map. Now if you want the extra goodies you have to buy the special edition, or pre-order it to get free DLC.

    However nothing beats having a nice crisp poster to tack to the wall to impress you friends.

    • Mog Mog
      Posted April 16, 2013 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

      Lol. I must have been born in the wrong town. Until the internet I never met anyone that even knew what an rpg was. My friends would have thought I was nuts I had a moogle on my wall. ^^

      • Randrox Randrox
        Posted April 17, 2013 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

        In my small town if you had a FF3 players guide you where king of the play ground. Everyone wanted a peek to see how to get past where ever they was stuck.

        • Mog Mog
          Posted April 17, 2013 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

          That’s just unfair. I knew more than any guide and all it would have gotten me was teased. ^^ “Hey! Shadow dreams!” “WTF? 0.o You get into your mom’s liquor cabinet again, man?”

          • Maze Maze
            Posted April 18, 2013 at 7:10 AM | Permalink

            I think if you’d been hanging out at the playground trying to impress little kids w/ your knowledge of FF back then, you would have freaked out a few parents, Moggle. At best they’d have thought you were a drug dealer.:-D

  • Randrox Randrox
    Posted April 16, 2013 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    Also consider that long time games have more higher expectations than younger gamers. By sheer fact the they have played more games.

  • Randrox Randrox
    Posted April 16, 2013 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    Also consider that long time gamers have more higher expectations than younger gamers. By sheer fact the they have played more games.

  • buddah_chief buddah_chief
    Posted April 17, 2013 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    This Is My First Time Commenting On The Show.
    In My Opinion There’s Definitely More Good Games Out Now Than Ever.
    The Reason I Say This Is Video Games Are Constantly Being Published Which In Turn Mean’s All The New Games Being Made Are Going To Have Too Exceed The All Around Qualities Of the Previous Games In Order To Give People A Reason To Buy The Newer Version Or Just New Games In General.
    Take The Elder Scrolls For Example,
    Even Though Oblivion & Skyrim Are On The Same Gaming Platforms Skyrim Is Superior Every Way.
    Though Not All Games Are Like This (Example: Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross) Most Of Them Are For The Simple Fact Of If There Not, They Don’t Make Money.

  • DragonChi DragonChi
    Posted April 18, 2013 at 10:45 PM | Permalink

    I have to respond with a resounding “NO”. Not…even…close. Coming from someone who grew up in the 90’s, playing both on console and Mainly PC. In all honesty, almost every game that I played in that era was golden. The sheer amount of highly memorable PC adventure games are beyond count. This was a time where there were 10x as many game developing companies that were experimenting with the industry that was just starting to bloom.

    When I look back, all I can think of, at least for the most part, are stellar games. I can easily make a laundry list of games off the top of my head. But I don’t want to make a post that long.

    Recently, I have found myself hardly buying any game because I just feel that so many games are just cash grabs and honestly have no creativity or soul to them anymore. You have the overblown FPS wave to thank for that. I’m just sick of them. Companies are taking less and less risks on new IP’s. So what we are left with are sequels to games that are gradually getting stale from being milked. Most of which didn’t really have anything to expand on in the first place.

    This is not to say that there haven’t been glowing gems. Which there certainly has been. I just find they they are getting fewer and farther between. Now, having said that, I am getting some positive vibes from the up and coming generation. Mostly due to the indie wave that has taken the world by storm. It is almost as if the 90’s generation is having a second renaissance. So I think it will get better.

    A lot of this has to do with me being nearly 30 and have far higher standards now. When i have seen so many older games do things better. I feel like I need to protect my wallet far more these days. Also the price of games have gone considerably higher, which has become a major factor in my filtering system of which games to invest in.

    Anyway, that’s basically my 2 cents on that.

  • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 7:40 PM | Permalink

    As far as games being more expensive today, they can offer quite a lot of value. Even another first person war shooter can provide a decent single player run that is fun to play, but the multiplayer has the potential to add hundreds of hours. A game like Skyrim is the best value I have ever found in gaming. It is easily worth over $200 to me for the amount of gameplay I have gotten out of it. I also purchase very few games, the last being Minecraft on the XBox360 last summer at the no brainer deal of $20. I am sure new titles like Tomb Raider are worth the $60 too.

    As far as older games go, I don’t see much value even in titles I loved as a kid. I played the heck out of Streets of Rage 2, but the game is well under an hour. How many games from before 2000 are worth $60? Even some of the best RPGs that can go over 10 hours are $30 at most. I have probably played through Streets of Rage 2 at least 50 times, but just one playthrough of Skyrim is worth five times the amount of gameplay. There are plenty of great older titles that I can invest dozens of hours into like the original X-Com, but I’m not sure if I could part with $60 (I got 4 or 5 X-Com games for $8 on steam).

    I am curious to see what people think if anyone is still reading this thread. Which game from before 2000 can sell at $60 today? Feel free to bring up games you personally feel are worth at least $60 and also games you think could sell a decent amount of copies at $60.

    • Dr Super Caligula
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

      Hey, as someone old enough to remember them as a kid, I have to point out you’re overlooking the awesome replay value of the Atari 2600 era. You beat a game and you’re rewarded with the same great game play again, but with a different color palette and faster enemies, until the game speed maxes out! There’s your $60 of value, right there. And if you take into account inflation, the typical game price probably a lot more than the equivalent of $60 today. 🙂

      • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
        Posted April 26, 2013 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

        Atari was slightly before my time. My first console was the NES in 1988. As far as any title from Atari, I wouldn’t pay more than $1 for any game. I have a hard time even playing an Atari game for more than 10 minutes. In their time, I’m sure they were worth it, but I’m referring to paying $60 today. What game released prior to 2000 is worth $60 today? I would pay $60 for a clone of the N64 THQ/AKI wrestling title like WWF No Mercy, but I’m not sure I would pay $60 for one of the old games if it were released in that state today. (I’m not talking about purchasing an old cart either since something like Earthbound on the SNES is easily worth $60 from a collector’s perspective.) The $60 would be worth the nostalgia, but it would need to be an entirely new game with updated rosters. Other than that I really don’t see any game from before 2000 being worth $60 today.

        • Dr Super Caligula
          Posted April 26, 2013 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

          I’m afraid I came off more serious than I intended. I was being a bit facetious. Honestly, after replaying a lot of the old games on a friend’s Atari a long time ago, the only games that I really had any fun with were some of the multi-player paddle games, especially Warlords, and I definitely wouldn’t buy them at the price of a current new game.

          I don’t think there are any old games that I would pay full price just for them to be simply reissued in an unaltered state, but if a sequel was released using the same or modified engine, kept the same style and minimally updated to work properly with modern hardware, especially high resolution widescreen monitors/TVs, I would be tempted. The idea of a 2D Baldur’s Gate 3, or a second Legend of Zelda game in the Windwaker setting and style would be be very tempting to me buy at full price, even if they appeared like an old PC and Gamecube game, respectively.

          Overall, I’m probably the worst person to ask about which games should be worth paying $60 for, since I have such a large backlog of games I haven’t finished yet that I’m slowly working on, and because I generally don’t mind waiting for the game to go on sale on Steam, I don’t usually pay $60 for new games. Oddly enough, it’s conceivable that I probably be more tempted to buy more new, full-priced games if Steam didn’t have so many sales, though I would have fewer games. Their sales are one of the main reason why I have a huge accumulation of more recent games and if I had nothing else to do, I could probably play those games full-time until long after Skyrim: Game of the Year Edition has been release and is on sale for $10 or less.

  • Dr Super Caligula
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

    Oh boy, it’s my first post!

    I’m not sure I’d say that games were better back in the day, but, especially where PC gaming is concerned, there were trends that I miss. As a fan of military simulations, the early to mid 90s was a time during which serious sims were getting pretty good and held a much larger slice of the market and there was a lot more competition. WWII fighter sims were big. The Micropose’s Falcon series was great. To a lesser degree, there were also a lot more tank, helicopter and naval sims. There were some SciFi games that were built up to be sim-like, such as the X-wing/TIE Fighter and Mechwarrior series.

    As PCs entered the mainstream the more nerdy sim games got crowded out and almost disappeared or became more arcade-like in game play.

    So I miss stuff like that. On the other hand, there are more modern things that make me wonder how I managed to play certain games without getting frustrated. For example, with early open-ended RPGs, before the feature of automatically keeping track of your objectives became commonplace, I would often run into the problem of having to stop playing the game for a few weeks or more and then when I returned I couldn’t remember what exactly I needed to do with all the different sub-quests. I never got around to completing Ultima 7 for this reason, and I’ve had it since it was a new game.

    • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
      Posted April 26, 2013 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

      I am a huge fan of TIE Fighter and I even keep my old Compaq Presario with Windows 3.1 around to play the thing. I even rock a Microsoft Sidewinder joystick when destroying space pirates in my sweet TIE Defender. That game is legendary.

  • Dr Super Caligula
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    Oh yeah, I have to say manuals are probably one area were things were undoubtedly better back in the good old days. For some games this wasn’t a big deal, but for others, like simulators, this was a pretty big perk.

    My copy of Falcon 4.0 came not in a box, but in a binder with over 400 pages of manual goodness, a couple small supplemental books, and a map of North and South Korea. If only they had spent as much time fixing bugs as putting the manual together . . .

    • The Male White Mage The Male White Mage
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 3:38 AM | Permalink

      True that manual back then were better as they told you about the items and icons that are in the game. Today manuals are actually pointless to have since what is the point of reading them when the game is going to tell you in-game how to play it (with no option to skip the tutorial). Or in some cases only have info about how to start the game and what the menus do.

      • Mog Mog
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 5:52 AM | Permalink

        I’ll take in game maps, move lists, tutorials and such over a fancy manual any day. Just recently I was trying to play a ps2 game with the multitap. I dunno if you’ve ever used it, but like every game was a little different for how you had to set it up and the only way to know was the manual. Well the manual was long since lost and for the life of me I couldn’t get it to work. Spent like an hour messing around with it/trying to find the info online.

  • Lot Deathhail Lot Deathhail
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

    First time poster here. I meant to sign up and comment back at the Castlevania SOTN topic. I’ve been listening to this show since about the third or fourth episode, just haven’t bothered to sign up.

    I would have to say that there is a larger number of good games now than there where in the older generations of gaming. I think bullet points might help me organize here.
    -Game programmers are much better than in yester year. I look back at the games in the NES and SNES era, and most of the games I used to think were hard, were only hard because of the impossible controls and and poor level design. Games are more accessible now.
    -Not always, but most of the time there is better story telling. I remember playing games, and to this day I have no idea what was going on. Then again, for most of the NES ear I couldn’t read. So that obviously influences my opinion.
    -Graphics. I’m not really a graphics whore, but it definitely makes a difference. And on the topic of aesthetics. Music quality is better. Not necessarily the songs, but the quality of the sound. Once again, these things make gaming more accessible.

    Things I hate about modern gaming. The games are too freaken short. I hate spending $60 on 5 hours of fun. Here and there, there’s the game like Skyrim that’ll chew up 200+ hours of time, but most games are too easy. I think the ease goes back to the accessibility of games, though. It’s kind of a trade off. Not one I wish I had to make, nor is it necessary, but that’s how the cookie crumbles. I also hate these cookie cutter games that keep coming out. I’ll never understand the COD fan boys. I hate the push for more online gaming experiences. I tend to think most people are jerks just hiding behind laws and social norms. Once you get them online and semi anonymous, they turn into Damien. I play games to have fun, not to have some 15 year old call me worthless and tell me about the lewd acts he commits with my mother. At least the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer forces you to work as a team. Lastly, DLC, I hate unfinished games. I hate waiting a year for more game play, that could have been released on launch. Or that useless DLC, I’m looking at you Fable 3. $20 for 1-2 hours of extra content. $5 for another costume.

    I would like to mention How I think RPG’s have gotten better over time. Not to say the sucked, because I mainly play the RPG. I liked the whole turn based thing back in the 90’s. Heck, I even like playing FF 5 and 6 every now and then. But turn based is old hat. It’s boring. All the juice has been drained from that fruit. Skyrim and Kingdom of Amalur, are the future. I haven’t played it yet, but I hear Dragon’s Dogma is similar to those. Neverwinter Nights 2, even though it’s a bit older, is a great direction to take the RPG. Mass Effect did some wonderful things for the Genre. As long as we don’t get anymore Dragon Age 2’s, I think we are on the right path there.

    Don’t take this as a bash on old game. I’ll always have a large part of my heart dedicated to those wonderful SNES games that revolutionized gaming and how the N64 opened me up to the world of 3D. That’s a system that needs an entire episode on it. Even though I love those old games and I’ll always be semi-blinded by the nostalgia, I have high hopes for the now and the future of gaming.

    • Mr. K Mr. K
      Posted May 1, 2013 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

      If Skyrim is the future of RPGs, then count me out. It eschewed its RPG elements for broader appeal, which reduced it to a typical first person hack ‘n slash without any nuance. Not that Oblivion was very good, either, though.

      Bethesda hasn’t made a good RPG since Morrowind.

      • Lot Deathhail Lot Deathhail
        Posted May 1, 2013 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

        I see what you are saying. I’ll even admit That I still like morrowind better than oblivion or skyrim. I still think skyrim is a solid game. But I thought the point of an RPG was to assume the role of another person and make the decisions of the character. That may over broaden the definition of RPG, though. Which elements did you find lacking in skyrim?

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