Posted by BigSocrates (401 posts) -

Recently there's been some excitement on the gaming podcasts and websites I look at about the summer drought of good new games coming to an end with the release of Darksiders II and Sleeping Dogs, followed by the release of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. While these both look like good games and have reviewed well, I don't quite understand how it's possible for people, in this generation, to be so hungry for new games and not have anything to play unless they play for huge chunks of time every day, or have very specific tastes. There's just so much good stuff out there playable on the current systems that I find it hard to believe most people don't have some four or five star game that they wanted to play but just never got a chance to for whatever reason. Even games journalists have holes in the library of games they've played, as demonstrated by discussions on the bombcast.

Personally I tend to play games long after they are released and the hype wave has receded. There are some exceptions; generally games that particularly appeal to me for whatever reason, but even games I know I will absolutely love often get put aside for months or more. The last 3 games I've played are Jak II off the HD collection, L.A. Noire, and now the original Darksiders. All three have held up fine, with Jak II definitely showing some age in design (checkpoints anyone?) but also being somewhat refreshing in its generational differences. I doubt they would have been particularly more fun when they originally came out, and I also don't feel like the newest releases necessarily have anything on them. Game design and technology does advance both from generation to generation, and during a given generation, but the advancements are slow and uneven, and the cream of the crop from the past tends to, in my opinion, outshine the generic filler games of the present. Super Mario Bros. will always be better than Blade Kitten, be it 2010, 2012, or 2099.

There are advantages to playing a game significantly after release too. The most obvious is the usual price drop, but also most of the DLC will have been released so you can decide if you want that and generally integrate it into your game experience, there will be FAQs if you get stuck, and there may even be a sequel already available if you fall in love with a game or story. Heck Jak II HD came with the sequel already on the same disc! These go against the disadvantages of potential spoilers and not being able to discuss the game with people currently playing, but the pros and cons are at least arguably balanced there.

The one obvious exception is multiplayer, which is often a ghost town by the time I get around to a game. I don't play a ton of multiplayer so this is not a huge deal, but even for those who do, there's a relatively small sliver of games whose multiplayer is worth getting into in my opinion. I loved Driver: San Francisco and played it while there was still a relatively robust community online, but I mostly played the multiplayer for achievement purposes and so I didn't have to give up the game, and if I'd missed out on the somewhat generic race and pursuit modes it wouldn't have done much to dampen my enjoyment of the experience. We live in the age of the tacked on multiplayer mode, and while games with great MP are worth buying upon release to experience that aspect (at least before everybody else has 200 hours of experience and any newb will get smoked like a salmon) those games are relatively few and far between.

I guess I just feel the games media and industry in general are into pushing the latest thing, and a lot of players seem to have the same mindset based on the fact that games sales numbers look like movie numbers now, with opening week or month amounting to the bulk of sales for most titles, and I don't really understand it. The big exception seems to be Steam Sales, where people will buy older games for a couple of bucks, but it's not like big sales don't happen on the console side with fair regularity. Obviously the industry wants to sell the latest games at full price, and the media needs new stuff to feed its need for new content, but I don't see the angle for gamers, especially when buying the latest means picking up an inferior new game over a superior older game you never got around to playing.

#1 Posted by BigSocrates (401 posts) -

Recently there's been some excitement on the gaming podcasts and websites I look at about the summer drought of good new games coming to an end with the release of Darksiders II and Sleeping Dogs, followed by the release of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. While these both look like good games and have reviewed well, I don't quite understand how it's possible for people, in this generation, to be so hungry for new games and not have anything to play unless they play for huge chunks of time every day, or have very specific tastes. There's just so much good stuff out there playable on the current systems that I find it hard to believe most people don't have some four or five star game that they wanted to play but just never got a chance to for whatever reason. Even games journalists have holes in the library of games they've played, as demonstrated by discussions on the bombcast.

Personally I tend to play games long after they are released and the hype wave has receded. There are some exceptions; generally games that particularly appeal to me for whatever reason, but even games I know I will absolutely love often get put aside for months or more. The last 3 games I've played are Jak II off the HD collection, L.A. Noire, and now the original Darksiders. All three have held up fine, with Jak II definitely showing some age in design (checkpoints anyone?) but also being somewhat refreshing in its generational differences. I doubt they would have been particularly more fun when they originally came out, and I also don't feel like the newest releases necessarily have anything on them. Game design and technology does advance both from generation to generation, and during a given generation, but the advancements are slow and uneven, and the cream of the crop from the past tends to, in my opinion, outshine the generic filler games of the present. Super Mario Bros. will always be better than Blade Kitten, be it 2010, 2012, or 2099.

There are advantages to playing a game significantly after release too. The most obvious is the usual price drop, but also most of the DLC will have been released so you can decide if you want that and generally integrate it into your game experience, there will be FAQs if you get stuck, and there may even be a sequel already available if you fall in love with a game or story. Heck Jak II HD came with the sequel already on the same disc! These go against the disadvantages of potential spoilers and not being able to discuss the game with people currently playing, but the pros and cons are at least arguably balanced there.

The one obvious exception is multiplayer, which is often a ghost town by the time I get around to a game. I don't play a ton of multiplayer so this is not a huge deal, but even for those who do, there's a relatively small sliver of games whose multiplayer is worth getting into in my opinion. I loved Driver: San Francisco and played it while there was still a relatively robust community online, but I mostly played the multiplayer for achievement purposes and so I didn't have to give up the game, and if I'd missed out on the somewhat generic race and pursuit modes it wouldn't have done much to dampen my enjoyment of the experience. We live in the age of the tacked on multiplayer mode, and while games with great MP are worth buying upon release to experience that aspect (at least before everybody else has 200 hours of experience and any newb will get smoked like a salmon) those games are relatively few and far between.

I guess I just feel the games media and industry in general are into pushing the latest thing, and a lot of players seem to have the same mindset based on the fact that games sales numbers look like movie numbers now, with opening week or month amounting to the bulk of sales for most titles, and I don't really understand it. The big exception seems to be Steam Sales, where people will buy older games for a couple of bucks, but it's not like big sales don't happen on the console side with fair regularity. Obviously the industry wants to sell the latest games at full price, and the media needs new stuff to feed its need for new content, but I don't see the angle for gamers, especially when buying the latest means picking up an inferior new game over a superior older game you never got around to playing.

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@BigSocrates said:

Super Mario Bros. will always be better than Blade Kitten, be it 2010, 2012, or 2099.

You have made me want to play this game solely because it might prove you wrong :P.

#3 Posted by Joeyoe31 (820 posts) -

It's just nice to see something new after everyone has been going through their backlogs over the summer. It's also the rush of "hey this is the start of the fall gaming release schedule." That's all.

#4 Posted by bluefish (502 posts) -

I agree, hyping new things is how this (and most other entertainment) mediums work. It's silly, but it's just how things are.

That said, I don't mind buying games new when I feel like it. None of the three games you highlighted were things I felt like buying and I don't really see them as must have games. I've played more last gen games this year than every other year of this gen combined and have been really digging it. From Ninja Gaiden (xbox) to Shadow of the Colossus, Beyond Good and Evil, Oddworld: Strangers Wrath and Space Chanel 5 (just ppicked up a copy for ps2) I haven't been missing big new games.

That said, I'm buying Borderlands 2, Halo 4, Far Cry 3 and maybe Dishonored or Forza Horizon. So yea, you gotta have balance. And oh man DMC and Bioshock within the first two months of next year. Shit man, games are expensive.

#5 Edited by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

Was there ever a tiny Socrates, or a Little Socrates?  
 
And  @Joeyoe31: said what I was gonna say.  
 
Side note: I liked Blade Kitten, it was not the "best game ever" for sure but it was entertaining enough to spend 2-3 hours on to complete it. 
Well that and it was free

#6 Posted by BigSocrates (401 posts) -

@ZeForgotten: There was a Littlesocrates but I didn't know about him when I took this name. It's just an old screen name I've used for many years.

Also, you didn't answer the big Blade Kitten question as to whether it's better than the original SMB

#7 Posted by Brodehouse (10072 posts) -

I tried to play Enslaved earlier this year. I don't know dude. That game is like, check it out, the Unreal Engine circa 2010

I've been setting up my living room in my apartment to be my ultimate retrofuture gaming super nerd joint thing, so I've been playing old games more often than normal. Playing through Fatal Frame 2 at about an hour a week. Put in Silent Hill 3 the other day.

Tried to play No One Lives Forever until they put me in a training area tutorial section. I hate that so much. Bake the tutorial into the story, do NOT make it a training area. Have me learn the controls while events are happening, don't set me in a room and make me perform tests before I get to play. Look at how Mass Effect 2 and Dead Space 2 baked the tutorial into the story's opening.

#8 Edited by BraveToaster (12589 posts) -

I don't find it hard to believe that there are people who have different tastes than me and are having a hard time finding the next awesome game to play. In my case, there have been several games that were popular and rated high, but I found them to be boring. I play some games for a few hours and lose interest in them, but others enjoy the hell out of them.

#9 Posted by ProfessorK (825 posts) -

Because I tend to get stuck playing certain games for much longer stretches than normal due to certain components (multiplayer, NG+) I have built up a back catalog of unplayed games. So I find it refreshing when a game comes along and can shake me from whatever grip an older game has on me. Also, it may come as a shock to you but not everybody likes every classic game and comparing SMB to Blade Kitten could yield drastically varying opinions. In all seriousness, I'm not a fan of the original SMB, but, I've never played Blade Kitten. That said calling games filler is mostly subjective except for certain cases.

#10 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

I know right, I managed to get through Persona 2 Innocent Sin this holiday and I'm working through SMT Nocturne.

#11 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -
@BigSocrates: There's a whole family of Socrateseseses!? good lord. :P
 
And I would say nah, Blade Kitten is not better than the original SMB. But it was still fun, dang it!
#12 Posted by ShaggE (6554 posts) -

I've been playing 90s PC games these past few days, but I still hunger for new releases. Why? Because of the social aspect. I can have the enjoyment of talking to people who are currently playing the same game I am, and sharing thoughts/experiences.

With older games, the chance of running into somebody else who's currently playing *insert obscure mid-90s adventure game here* is exceedingly small, and that socialization aspect is gone.

#13 Posted by MMMman (118 posts) -
I tried to play Enslaved earlier this year. I don't know dude. That game is like, check it out, the Unreal Engine circa 2010

Its a bit broken in places but not terribly bad; it has a nice 'rough around the edges' feel for me. Though the opening third is enjoyable and visually striking, after that it peters away. I think though, aside from obviously making money, downloadable/reissue versions of older games helps preserve heritage that, up to a couple of years ago, has been lacking within the industry. There has been scarce a way to preserve games up until now and that needs to happen. Lots of film and music is reissued because people want to curate the history of them and I don't think games can be any different. Yes, they have an initial buzz surrounding their release like any mass-market product, but it is how they are valued over time that really makes an impact. Generations can't be allowed to forget the milestones of gaming's past through a lack of willing to preserve and maintain classics. Casablanca is a film I would never have seen were it not for it being deemed 'culturally significant'; games should not be any different in my opinion.

#14 Posted by BigSocrates (401 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

Tried to play No One Lives Forever until they put me in a training area tutorial section. I hate that so much. Bake the tutorial into the story, do NOT make it a training area. Have me learn the controls while events are happening, don't set me in a room and make me perform tests before I get to play. Look at how Mass Effect 2 and Dead Space 2 baked the tutorial into the story's opening.

Playing games with significant age to them (as opposed to a year or two). Jak II definitely was similar with checkpointing. On the other hand there's something a little charming about experiencing the flaws of the past and the way games used to be.

@ProfessorK said:

Because I tend to get stuck playing certain games for much longer stretches than normal due to certain components (multiplayer, NG+) I have built up a back catalog of unplayed games. So I find it refreshing when a game comes along and can shake me from whatever grip an older game has on me. Also, it may come as a shock to you but not everybody likes every classic game and comparing SMB to Blade Kitten could yield drastically varying opinions. In all seriousness, I'm not a fan of the original SMB, but, I've never played Blade Kitten. That said calling games filler is mostly subjective except for certain cases.

I guess I generally don't need a game to shake me from the grip of other games because I tend to play stuff until I'm done and then move on, and I have enough of a backlog to always have something to move to, but this makes sense to me.

In terms of not enjoying classic games, that's also fine of course, but for the vast majority of people there's stuff released in the last few years that they wanted to play but didn't get around to.

As for all the Blade Kitten defenders, I definitely didn't mean to imply it's a bad game. I haven't played it (though I think I messed with the XBLA demo) I just wanted to demonstrate newness not being the same as quality. And being worse than Super Mario Bros. is no badge of shame. There are lots of great amazing games that are worse than that masterpiece.