Posted by Carbon64 (21 posts) -

So while online I have run into a common argument when 2 parties have an argument over which game is the best in the series. Usually between someone who is pro retro while the other is pro current. The argument of the pro current side often is that the pro retro side cannot be objective because of nostalgia. This bothers me alot because I usually think the older games in a series are better than the newer ones but, at the same time I can understand where the pro current side are coming from. So in today's blog I will explain how the pro retro's view on a video game series is more than just nostalgia.

So current fans usually argue that the newer games may not as groundbreaking or revolutionary as the first they are better for what they are. For example newer iterations in a series usually have better graphics, more expansive worlds, better controls, and other things that show the power of the advanced technology utilized by the newer consoles. So what pro current fans usually believe is if its like the original just with technological advancements it should be better or at least equal right? Of course if a sequel is missing some of the original spark of the original it can be argued that the original is better but, if that is not the case wouldn't that mean that the newer game is better? Well not exactly. One thing newer iterations in a series can lack even if they have all the stuff the old one has is its own stuff. This point is actually one that is more important to those who have played every game in a series or at least many of them. You see when you first play a game all of the things that make up this game are new to you so a sequel cannot surprise or excite you with the same stuff. In fact I can get so bored with sequels that feel so much like the original that I may not even finish them. "We already played the first one let's see what new stuff the second one can show us." -Egoraptor

No a sequel does not have to be as revolutionary as the first but, I feel it should be different enough to make those that played the original to feel like it was made with them in mind. When I play newer Pokemon or The Legend of Zelda (3D) games I feel like they are made for either die-hard fans or people who have not played the originals. It wasn't always like this as Pokemon G/S/C and The Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask were both sequels but, they were considerably different to their originals. Pokemon G/S/C added a night/day cycle, traveling to new regions, breeding, hold items, new types, and the Pokegear which all expanded on the ideas of the original Pokemon making the experience considerably different. The Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask added a 3 day limit and masks which may not sound like much but, these 2 additions create a very different experience from Ocarina of Time. Coincidentally both these sequels had visual styles very reminiscent of their predecessors unlike the sequels that came after them which shows that a change of visual style alone doesn't differentiate games. I am a strong believer that a sequel must surpass its predecessor in every conceivable way to be considered successful.

So when I say Ocarina of Time is my favorite Zelda game it is not an insult to how good Wind Waker is. I just personally had more fun with Ocarina of Time because all of its features were new to me. I can't say Wind Waker or any other sequel is better than an older game that I honestly had more fun playing. Sure it is near impossible to make a sequel as revolutionary as the original but, adding features that create a new experience while building on the original is not an impossible task.

#1 Edited by believer258 (11629 posts) -

I just personally had more fun with Ocarina of Time because all of its features were new to me.

But how does that make it better than Wind Waker? Just saying "it was more fun to me" doesn't make it better. What about Ocarina of Time is better than Wind Waker?

adding features that create a new experience while building on the original is not an impossible task.

Yes, but adding new features doesn't necessarily make a game better. Sonic Adventure added fishing to the Sonic franchise and that was the worst part of the game.

While I would not say that adding features is necessarily a bad thing, I would rather see a sequel that better explores the gameplay ideas and mechanics than I would see one that gets a couple of new features that aren't really all that great thrown in there. Persona 4, gameplay-wise, is a better designed game than Persona 3 but it added very little in terms of features. It just took the existing ideas and expanded on them and made them deeper. It added the ability to control all of your party members, but that was something that was in most SMT games before it. I would not count bringing back a feature as "adding" one.

#3 Posted by Clonedzero (4091 posts) -

Nostalgia is a helluva drug

Online
#4 Posted by audioBusting (1477 posts) -

I think the problem with saying "this game is better than the other one" is that it implies objectivity. Not every time can we remember that almost everything we say is an opinion, be it informed by knowledge or otherwise. I agree that using the nostalgia argument to disprove your opinion is a fallacy, but it could be right (not that it matters).

Speaking of nostalgia... (NSFW)

#6 Edited by tonyp2121 (169 posts) -

I disagree actually, it being new at the time or surprising to you adds a bias. If we're to look at these games objectively there can't be a bias, if a game adds features that expand upon the originals ideas, a better control scheme, and actually improves the games mechanics the sequel should logically be better regardless if the world the game is set in is new to you or not. Of course you could also say that a game that doesnt improve much (or at all) over its predecessor is worse than the original and I would agree with that assessment (see; Dead Island Riptide and countless Guitar Hero sequels).

#7 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4592 posts) -

I just personally had more fun with Ocarina of Time because all of its features were new to me.

But how does that make it better than Wind Waker? Just saying "it was more fun to me" doesn't make it better. What about Ocarina of Time is better than Wind Waker?

Everything. The music, the setting, the graphics (for the time), the grandiose adventure, the idea that this was a huge, seamless world that you traversed to save the day. Quite simply there was nothing like it before Ocarina of Time, and there hasn't been much since that comes close to the level of impact it has. Consider - every Zelda game since Ocarina has been largely Nintendo trying to recapture the magic that made Ocarina of Time so special to begin with. They keep trying to catch lightning in a bottle a second time, but they can't do it. I think that alone speaks for the unique nature of Ocarina and why it's better than anything Nintendo has done with the series since.

It's a game that changed everything, and its follow ups have been games that say "hey remember Ocarina of Time? That sure was something special, wasn't it?"

Online
#8 Edited by egg (1450 posts) -

"I am a strong believer that a sequel must surpass its predecessor in every conceivable way to be considered successful."

Being different is not always the same as being better. Not sure if you were referring to MM when you said that, but you said it right after mentioning MM.

#9 Edited by Carbon64 (21 posts) -

@egg: I wasn't referring to Majora's Mask. I was referring more to Pokemon G/S/C which I consider one of the best video game sequels.

#10 Posted by Slag (3989 posts) -

I think the burden of proof is actually largely on pro-current side in any sort of best games of all time arguments. At least the Pro-retro side (assuming they played the games at launch) has the experience to judge both games in context to their time.

Still you can't dismiss either type of argument just on accusations of bias whether it be nostalgia bias or recency bias. Those can be the conclusion but no argument can be made successfully on those accusations as evidence.

Any argument is going to have bias, but generally when it comes to expertise in any field experience matters and the veteran's opinion should be given greater weight.

fwiw, I've been playing consoles since the Atarii days and I think games today are pretty dang good. Some serieses and genres are past their innovation peak, but overall the quality and diversity of games today is better than it was back in the day.

I guess that sort of puts me in the so-called "pro-current" camp, but really I feel like I'm neither.

#11 Edited by Slag (3989 posts) -

@believer258 said:

I just personally had more fun with Ocarina of Time because all of its features were new to me.

But how does that make it better than Wind Waker? Just saying "it was more fun to me" doesn't make it better. What about Ocarina of Time is better than Wind Waker?

Everything. The music, the setting, the graphics (for the time), the grandiose adventure, the idea that this was a huge, seamless world that you traversed to save the day. Quite simply there was nothing like it before Ocarina of Time, and there hasn't been much since that comes close to the level of impact it has. Consider - every Zelda game since Ocarina has been largely Nintendo trying to recapture the magic that made Ocarina of Time so special to begin with. They keep trying to catch lightning in a bottle a second time, but they can't do it. I think that alone speaks for the unique nature of Ocarina and why it's better than anything Nintendo has done with the series since.

It's a game that changed everything, and its follow ups have been games that say "hey remember Ocarina of Time? That sure was something special, wasn't it?"

There is no question OoT was one of those transformational games up there with the likes of GTA III, Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter II, DotA etc. You are absolutely it felt like a life changing experience back in 98.

But I do think there is a very good argument that can be made that WindWaker was a major refinement of the groundwork OoT laid down and the most successful in the Zelda series to date. Unlike every other Zelda since OoT Wind Waker really shook up the formula and tried to push it forward, I don't think it should be held against Wind Waker that it wasn't quite as transformational as OoT. You can only discover fire once afterall.

And I don't think many people out there try to claim Super Mario Bros. is a better game than Super Mario Bros.3 despite the fact that it is undeniable that Super Mario Bros. is the far more important and influential game in game development history.

I guess what I'm saying is innovation isn't everything, Super Mario Bros. 3 is proof the refinement/execution matter just as much if not more when you are weighing alltime greats.

#12 Edited by Peanut (953 posts) -

Objectively, it doesn't make a single lick of difference, because it's whatever YOU like more. I think Wind Waker is leagues ahead of every Zelda game ever made, for my own personal reasons, but that doesn't mean I'm either right or wrong. I think saying you can't like an older game better than a newer one in the same series, due to nostalgia, is incredibly short-sighted, but there are also some seriously heavily tinted glasses because of it.

But so what? You love what you love and someone else doesn't, who really gives a fuck? If they're too ignorant to agree to disagree it's not worth trying to have a conversation with them about it. Saying stuff like "pro-retro" and "pro-current" is part of the problem and having to explain your "pro-retro" stance, as you put it, doesn't make it any better.

#13 Posted by Emperor_Norton (42 posts) -

Nostalgia is like a zombie plague where the rotting corpse of dead culture reanimates and consumes all your free time, money and logical thought

#14 Edited by Zeik (2209 posts) -

The problem with these arguments is that people try to turn something that is incredibly subjective into something trying to be "objective". Trying to argue that stuff like the music and setting of Ocarina of Time are objectively better than Wind Waker, or even that it's more "fun", is kind of ridiculous.

I know a number of people that place Majora's Mask as the best Zelda game ever. I don't agree, but that doesn't mean they're "wrong" either.

#15 Edited by Rainbowkisses (472 posts) -

All opinions are subjective. Nostalgia is just one in the myriad factors which are used in forming your personal opinion of a game. Nostalgia is no more of a bias than your cultural background or personal interests.

When people say that Hitman 2 is their favorite Hitman game because of how much it moved the series forward I can understand that view. I however, did not have play that game when it first came out so I can't fully appreciate the role it played in the series and games as a whole. To me, it simply feels clunky and dated. I would much rather play Contracts or Blood Money. I don't feel like I can say this makes me less biased because then I would be implying there is something objective about the quality of a piece of entertainment. The other person who could just as easily say I have a bias since I played them later on in a different game environment than they were originally created in.

#16 Posted by masterpaperlink (1829 posts) -

@believer258 said:

I just personally had more fun with Ocarina of Time because all of its features were new to me.

But how does that make it better than Wind Waker? Just saying "it was more fun to me" doesn't make it better. What about Ocarina of Time is better than Wind Waker?

Everything. The music, the setting, the graphics (for the time), the grandiose adventure, the idea that this was a huge, seamless world that you traversed to save the day. Quite simply there was nothing like it before Ocarina of Time, and there hasn't been much since that comes close to the level of impact it has. Consider - every Zelda game since Ocarina has been largely Nintendo trying to recapture the magic that made Ocarina of Time so special to begin with. They keep trying to catch lightning in a bottle a second time, but they can't do it. I think that alone speaks for the unique nature of Ocarina and why it's better than anything Nintendo has done with the series since.

It's a game that changed everything, and its follow ups have been games that say "hey remember Ocarina of Time? That sure was something special, wasn't it?"

And i would argue nothing is better in OOT, why? Because i played WW first, that is the only reason. Nintendo completely recaptured the magic but it was only available to those who had no prior experience with it.