It's something I've been wondering about, and something I've been wondering about other people too. I'd ask my friends, if I had any, but this forum gives me a wider range of opinions anyway. (I'm just kidding, I have friends. But most of them aren't into retro gaming)
And yeah, I did post this in classic computing instead of Modern Gaming. I interact with you guys in this subforum way more often than anywhere else, so it made more sense to me to post it here. Also, Keatah will see it, and I know this is his kind of thread
Lately I've been really digging into retro games, and I've actually been noticing something interesting. I've completely stopped playing modern games in favor of old PC games, SNES, NES, Atari, etc. Maybe it's just pining for my early childhood, but I also think I'm growing continually wearier of the stupidity of modern games. Yes, they may be more sweeping and expansive in terms of "production values", but it comes at a cost. A removal of some of the soul, if you will.
It seems to me that modern games have gone much the way of summer blockbuster movies. Loud, brash, in-your-face, and really, really... dumb. I feel most games are overblown, mildly interactive movies that I sometimes get to actually, you know, participate in.
And I'm not just talking about modern shooters.
Let's take Tomb Raider, for instance. A game that was incredibly enjoyable back in my early PC gaming days (and not just because I was a hormonal young lad). I recently had the mild displeasure of playing the newest iteration in the series, Tomb Raider. Besides the fact it follows the unforgivable sin of giving a new release the same bloody name as the original (which plays hell with Google searches and filing systems) my discontent went deeper than that. The entire game, from start to finish, simply felt hollow. It grabbed my hand and damn near dragged me through the game, occasionally grabbing my camera view to wrench my head around and say "LOOK AT THAT SCENERY, JUST LOOK AT IT." Instead of allowing me to explore the game and find things for myself, it demanded I play the game the way IT wanted me to play it. I wasn't a player, I was simply on a tour. I didn't have a choice about what happened, it was predetermined where I would go, look, jump, and shoot. I wasn't controlling the game, the game was controlling me.
Contrast this with the games of yore, before mega-developers started pumping out sewage for the sweaty masses.
Games like Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island, Tomb Raider classic (which I have to call "classic" because %^&#$ new releases having the same name as the originals), Final Fantasy, King's Quest, and the myriad more that I immensely enjoyed growing up. What they had in common? What most games had in common?
They didn't hold my fricking hand.
If I was an idiot and made a bad decision, I failed. Game over. Start from wherever you last saved, and heaven help if you forgot to save recently.
If a puzzle was hard, I wracked my brain (sometimes for days) before conquering it. If a boss kicked my ass continuously, I tried different tactics and different methods until I crushed him, and my god did it feel good.
See it wasn't about a game being hard for the sake of being hard. It was about games actually challenging you, and not popping up hints every 5 forsaken seconds. Or when you fail simply plopping you at the start of the room. Or just grabbing your hand and pulling you through the tough sections, because god forbid people actually get stuck for a little while on a section of a game. Is the global public really so stupid they can't handle a tough puzzle being thrown at them? How about a boss that requires you to figure out a pattern, find the best method of attack, and exploit the weakness? Instead of GIANT GLOWING PLEASE-SHOOT-ME-HERE areas, or some awful support character popping up to say "OH BOY, BETTER SHOOT THE LEGS CAUSE YOU COULDN'T POSSIBLY FIGURE THAT SHIT OUT YOURSELF."
I'm going on a rant, and I certainly don't mean to. Perhaps it's just a distaste for modern gaming that's been growing into a constant nausea every time I see another modern shooter (Or as a certain fast-talking game reviewer calls them, 'Spunk Gargle Wee-Wee'), another vapid action-adventure game, or even another too-easy hold-my-hand RPG like Skyrim. I freaking love the Elder Scrolls. Skyrim? It's pretty great. Except when every miserable quest plops giant quest markers and compass directions so I don't get lost. Because we wouldn't want to actually, you know, have to put in actual work for anything. Just play connect-the-dots in 3D space until shit happens.
Maybe some people see this as the natural progression for games. Perhaps this is the price of progress, and I'm one of the few it bothers. But the more I play modern games, the less I feel like playing them. There's no characters that engross me, there's no personality, there's no soul. For me, I don't play modern games much anymore. I've actually been trading Xbox 360 games for classic games, and now all my Xbox 360 console does is play Netflix. I'm tired of being treated like a dumbass who can't figure out simple patterns. I don't want to have a single tutorial pop-up, support character, or cut scene telling me how to play a game I already figured out how to play in the first 5 seconds. I want to play the damn game and explore that shit for myself. And if I fail? I learned one way to not play the game.
Does anyone else feel this way? Am I unique in the modern masses? Or do you think others are getting weary of being treated like they're so dumb they can hardly muster the intellectual strength to place a disc in a console?