What did you think when slowdown happened in games during the 8 and 16 bit era?

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Edited 3 years, 7 months ago

Poll: What did you think when slowdown happened in games during the 8 and 16 bit era? (146 votes)

That's because Nintendo is inferior to Sega (or vice versa) 1%
So much is happening right now even the GAME can't keep up! 59%
Wow, this is really cool! 14%
Argh, I hate slowdown! 14%
This is a result of a stupid / incompetent developer 1%
This is the result of a greedy publisher and unfinished game 1%
The hardware can't seem to keep up with the software 19%
It's really cool that the developers designed the game to slowdown like this 9%
My other games don't do this, why does this game? 5%
SEPARATE QUESTION: How old are you? - Under 20 3%
SEPARATE QUESTION: How old are you? - Between 20 and 24 21%
SEPARATE QUESTION: How old are you? - Between 25 and 29 25%
SEPARATE QUESTION: How old are you? - Between 30 and 34 29%
SEPARATE QUESTION: How old are you? - Between 35 and 39 6%
SEPARATE QUESTION: How old are you? - 40 or over 2%

So I'm in the 30 to 34 range, and I honestly remember slowdown in games to be a very positive thing. The thoughts of "greedy publishers" and "stupid developers" so common today were unheard of back then, and I can't help but think that the 8 and 16 bit era of games would have been very different if the internet had existed at the time.

So how do you remember slowdown? Did you think it was cool, or did you hate it? I have a feeling that most kids thought it was cool, but maybe I'm wrong. Either way, I thought it would make an interesting thread.

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#1 Posted by ajamafalous (13816 posts) -

I thought it was totally garbage then, too.

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#2 Posted by OurSin_360 (6156 posts) -

I honestly don't remember much slow down in games back then, granted i was a kid and just excepted a game as it was.

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#3 Edited by CornBREDX (7364 posts) -

I didn't think much about it at the time. While it did occasionally happen, it wasn't common that I recall at the time. Or at least not for the games I played or was interested in reading about. And I don't remember reviews from the (early) 90s ever really mentioning it.

I do also recall reading in the (mid) 90s what caused it (or at least what they were saying caused it) so when it did happen I just assumed there was too much going on and I have had this understanding in those games, since what feels like forever, that you just kinda sludge through it and it will pass as the screen clears.

But again, I don't recall it happening very often. It was pretty rare in the grand scheme of things- especially compared to now-a-days.

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#4 Posted by riostarwind (1355 posts) -

I don't think it effected me in a positive or negative way. Slowdown was just something I expected to happen whenever I played certain types of video games.

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#5 Posted by ViciousReiven (983 posts) -

Slowdown was a much better compensation for too much stuff going on than what happens nowadays with framerates dropping and screen tearing, at least the action was still visually smooth back then.

I guess the trade off is input response, but I'd take consistency in visuals over that as long as it's not a twitch shooter.

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#6 Posted by Hunkulese (4225 posts) -

Thoughts of greedy publisher and stupid developer were very much present back then. Why do you think the first crash happened?

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#7 Posted by Franstone (1534 posts) -

Bullet time

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#8 Posted by probablytuna (5008 posts) -

Slowdown sucks and it never happens when you want it to.

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#9 Posted by Rafaelfc (2243 posts) -

Most times option B.

Sometimes it impacted gameplay too much and it would annoy me.

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#10 Posted by CornBREDX (7364 posts) -

@hunkulese: Funny you should mention that because games such as E.T. or Pac Man for the 2600, two primary games often cited as big reasons for the crash, had no slow down or significant bugs (unless you count the difficulty of getting out of holes in E.T. a bug I guess haha- I just see it as poor design choices due to having 0 time to design it better).

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#11 Posted by jacksukeru (6775 posts) -

I don't know if I ever knew the reason for the slowdown, though it seems fairly obvious I guess. It usually happened when there was a lot of stuff onscreen, and it was often useful 'cause you could make tighter jumps around a lot of stuff when the game was in slow-mo.

In Mega Man games in particular I remember it being helpful.

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#12 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (6353 posts) -

Thoughts of greedy publisher and stupid developer were very much present back then. Why do you think the first crash happened?

I'm talking about how you felt back when you were a kid. Of course it was a thing, but I never thought about it, and neither did my friends. Games were either good or bad / fun or not fun. "They make bad games," was about as far as kid logic would take me. I didn't even know the difference between a developer and a publisher.

"Capcom makes fun games, and LJN makes bad games." Not, "LJN rushes titles to the market too quickly, because most of their games license expensive intellectual properties, which means the developers are often forced to release incomplete and unpolished titles, rather than miss the movie release window and the Christmas season, which would surely frustrate the shareholders and lead to lower profits for the fourth quarter than originally planned."

Also, "woah, everything is moving in slow motion!"

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#13 Posted by SARRISS (222 posts) -

A little off topic but I remember playing Viking:BFA for 360 and the seige would always slowdown. I really liked it as it accidentally made it more badass.

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#14 Posted by FlashFlood_29 (4414 posts) -

Could you describe what slowdown is in your OP? Some people, like myself, might not be sure what the term means. I, personally, have never even heard of that term in games before.

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#15 Posted by TheHT (15835 posts) -

Hmm, I think the only time I remember really experiencing this was with Star Fox.

I remember thinking it added heft to everything. Like the explosions were so explodey and the space ships were so spacey that the SNES was like whooooooaaaa.

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#16 Posted by poobumbutt (953 posts) -

I was 5-10 when playing that stuff and I remember thinking slowdown was an awesome, intended effect. Though, I can't say I actually gave it much thought.

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#17 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (6353 posts) -

@hypnotoadbrwowrowrow said:

Could you describe what slowdown is in your OP? Some people, like myself, might not be sure what the term means. I, personally, have never even heard of that term in games before.

In the 8 and 16 bit era of games, sometimes games would slow down because too much was happening on screen at once. This would usually happen when there were more enemies on screen than the hardware could keep up with. To prevent this, sometimes sprites would flicker, which would ease the strain on the hardware. If this didn't happen, games would often briefly slow down instead.

For an example, watch this video a little after the seven minute mark. Right when they get to the boss, you'll notice the game becomes way slower for a few moments, until there's not as much happening on screen again.

Loading Video...

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#18 Edited by Jeust (11739 posts) -

I thought it was too much for the console to handle.

That thought came from having experiencing the Spectrum where a game had a looooong load time.

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#19 Posted by SomeJerk (4077 posts) -

[x] "Great! Another shitty 50hz PAL port!"

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#20 Edited by Hayt (1671 posts) -

I think it's reasonably fair to say with a growing average age for videogames the average view on what's fine and what's not in games has aged too. I didn't care/notice slowdown much as a kid but just because I didn't care then doesn't forgo my right to care now. I know better now than when I was 7 haha.

As to your point about the internet I interact a lot with children and they are just as uncritical as I feel I was with or without the internet. That said some of the older kids do parrot ideas that can't possibly be solely their own, such as a 10 year old saying that Call of Duty is played out or that HL2 was the most important game of all time.

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#21 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (6353 posts) -

@hayt said:

I think it's reasonably fair to say with a growing average age for videogames the average view on what's fine and what's not in games has aged too. I didn't care/notice slowdown much as a kid but just because I didn't care then doesn't forgo my right to care now. I know better now than when I was 7 haha.

Yes, and believe me, I wasn't suggesting otherwise. It's more about the loss of innocence, and finding enjoyment out of something as a kid that most adults would bitch about these days. But I'm not suggesting that adults are wrong to complain, anymore than kids were wrong to not complain.

And good point about Call of Duty as well. Even in the Sega vs Nintendo days, there wasn't a lot of independent thought. Most just repeated what they heard like it was gospel. Sega has blast processing, you know. That's why they're better than Nintendo.

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#22 Posted by None_Braver (316 posts) -

There will be a time when retro isn't cool. I double we'll see much for 32bit. The 16bit thing will be around for a while. But a lot of the stuff passed off as 16bit might be modern interpretations of it.

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#23 Posted by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -

Just HEY THERE'S A LOT OF SHIT HAPPENING. I don't remember ever really being bothered by it.

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#24 Posted by deactivated-58ca104190dca (324 posts) -

It happens in Double Dragon & Guardian Heroes a lot when there's a bunch of enemies on screen, it wasn't a big deal growing up. People seem to put up with 30 fps which is pretty similar these days, lack of performance because of hardware limitations.

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