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Modern gaming fatigue

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I was an arcade/console/PC gamer from the beginning (late 70's) and always thought each avenue had its benefits. Sure one would inch ahead of the others from time to time, but despite ups and downs there was always something to enjoy. For me that was true until the cursed dual shock controller brought in the double thumb era for consoles. If your not a double thumb gamer you were pretty much locked out of the PS, PS2, PS3 Xbox, 360 etc. era with the Wii being a wonderful exception. I was that guy over in the corner with his gun in the air spinning in circles getting knifed by an 11 year old, the double thumb play mechanic wasn't intuitive to me and most games I tried I did not enjoy and I could not play well. So I didn't buy those consoles. I had also permanently transitioned to Linux and bid farewell to Windows by 2005 so no PC gaming either and I mostly stuck to my arcade and retro collection.

 

Something was very wrong with the console gaming industry when a lifelong gamer who literally lives in an arcade was sitting it out.

 

Then something happened around the time of the PS4 and XBOX One, they figured out that they had alienated allot of gamers and they made improvements, some overt and some subtle. I first played Battlefront II on the PS4 in a store in Germany while on vacation and realized I could actually play the thing and not want to throw the controller. I had one waiting on me when we got back. They had refined the controls and recognized some modes were just too hard for gamers that didn't find the twin analog sticks intuitive so more and more games had easy or story mode, which matches my ability. I started buying game after game and have about 60 games for it now with most of them completed and some several times over.

 

I am having a great time with modern games now, Titan Fall 2, Fallout 4, Terminator Resistance, Ghost of Tsushima, Days Gone, Metro, and so many more. I am fine with long games and a ton of content because the only timeline I am on is my own.

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12 hours ago, BydoEmpire said:

Since I got a new PC back in November, I've been getting reacquainted with modern gaming for the first time in a while. I'm definitely running into the fatigue with Doom Eternal.  I thought I was pretty close to the end, but I looked at a walkthrough and there's a lot more left than I thought.  I thought I was 80% done, but I'm probably closer to 50%.  That's disheartening and demotivating to keep going... boy is it feeling like a slog now.

I never had that problem, games becoming sloggish, with the original Doom I and II. I didn't want the game to end. And was happy to get new episodes to extend the life of it. I did get a little bored technologically - having seen games like Duke3D, Quake, and Unreal. But that's only a "flavour" the essence of the game is still worth my time today. Not the feverish pitch like back in the 90's, but worth a couple hours now and then.

 

12 hours ago, BydoEmpire said:

There were and are cool bits and I like the game but after 15 hours... okay, ANOTHER set of wall jumps, ANOTHER Hell Priest to kill, a new, this-time-even-BIGGER demon to kill.  I want to finish it but it would have been better if the 3rd or 4th "really big evil demon" was the final one.

To me finishing a game means pretty much that, finishing it. And then putting it on the shelf. Not returning to it. With Doom I and II, a huge portion was discovering the layout of the maps. How each one worked. Each had a personality and was packed with different sets of challenges - all stemming from layout & arrangement. Figuring out how to complete the map was at least half the game.

 

There wasn't a whole lot to actually do in the early maps, buttons, some switches. The excitement was in the arrangement. And that could be experienced just by running around. No tedium with jumping.

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13 hours ago, jgkspsx said:

 I can’t see spending 40 hours with a game, especially a game that was produced by committee with an endless sequence of side quests. The sweet spot for me is 6-8 hours. Long enough to be immersed, short enough to be done with it and move on with my life.

These huge-ass AAA titles with endless side-quests seem to be at odds with themselves. There's too many conflicting styles involved in such games. And that tends to grey-out everything. As if all colors are mixed into one.

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3 hours ago, Pipercub said:

I was an arcade/console/PC gamer from the beginning (late 70's) and always thought each avenue had its benefits. Sure one would inch ahead of the others from time to time, but despite ups and downs there was always something to enjoy.

Absolutely. Having had all the major consoles prior to NES, and several contemporary 8-bit micros like the Apple II, C64, and Atari 400/800, there was indeed always something to play.

 

It was loads fun experiencing the arcade ports and system exclusives.

 

3 hours ago, Pipercub said:

For me that was true until the cursed dual shock controller brought in the double thumb era for consoles. If your not a double thumb gamer you were pretty much locked out of the PS, PS2, PS3 Xbox, 360 etc. era with the Wii being a wonderful exception. I was that guy over in the corner with his gun in the air spinning in circles getting knifed by an 11 year old, the double thumb play mechanic wasn't intuitive to me and most games I tried I did not enjoy and I could not play well. So I didn't buy those consoles. I had also permanently transitioned to Linux and bid farewell to Windows by 2005 so no PC gaming either and I mostly stuck to my arcade and retro collection.

 

Something was very wrong with the console gaming industry when a lifelong gamer who literally lives in an arcade was sitting it out.

So very true. Good to hear others state this as I often thought myself the odd-one-out when it came to two thumbs. There are a few arcade games that translate well, or acceptably well, to the dual-thumb model. One would be Atari Assault. Each tread needs its own forward and reverse control. You also need to split or sway to lob and roll.

 

But otherwise I prefer a keyboard, mouse, and joystick. Been gaming on the PC like that since the 90's. It's like when I play Descent I'll do pitch, yaw, and fire on the joystick. Roll, throttle, and weapons select on the keyboard. Sliding on either a hat or keyboard.

 

Adapting that layout to a dual-thumb controller would make me all thumbs!

 

 

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12 hours ago, Pipercub said:

If your not a double thumb gamer you were pretty much locked out of the PS, PS2, PS3 Xbox, 360 etc. era with the Wii being a wonderful exception.

Although this doesn't apply on me, I also feel that the double thumb controls dictate too much in the market. I know plenty of people that loved the idea of playing games (they are in awe when I show them some of the amazing last-gen games), but have zero feeling for the controls making it impossible for them to enjoy anything that is 1st/3rd person these days. Its pretty sad to be locked out of such a huge market.

 

Right now I overcame the fatigue, went back to some arcade and even LCD games.. stuff to pick up for a brief moment and let me continue my day. The only last-gen game I'm enjoying is Cyberpunk 2077 and I'm playing it at the speed of a snail.. 10 hours in and did only a few missions so far. Driving around aimlessly enjoying the views and music radios in that game already give me plenty of satisfaction it seems.

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The best games require only one joystick and one fire button.

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34 minutes ago, ls650 said:

The best games require only one joystick and one fire button.

I do like the second button. Jump+fire or jump+swing etc. is a great combination for action games. Four is tolerable, but really once you get to the weird N64 and Dual Shock stuff, it just isn't as good as classics.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Rhomaios said:

I do like the second button. Jump+fire or jump+swing etc. is a great combination for action games. Four is tolerable, but really once you get to the weird N64 and Dual Shock stuff, it just isn't as good as classics.

Two or three is the sweet spot for me. With three you can have the two for attack/movement combos and one for a special ability or selecting/toggling stuff. You right, four is pushing it a bit and once you go over that, it becomes messy.

Edited by Ramses
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Posted (edited)
On 3/3/2021 at 9:27 PM, Keatah said:

Absolutely. Having had all the major consoles prior to NES, and several contemporary 8-bit micros like the Apple II, C64, and Atari 400/800, there was indeed always something to play.

 

It was loads fun experiencing the arcade ports and system exclusives.

 

So very true. Good to hear others state this as I often thought myself the odd-one-out when it came to two thumbs. There are a few arcade games that translate well, or acceptably well, to the dual-thumb model. One would be Atari Assault. Each tread needs its own forward and reverse control. You also need to split or sway to lob and roll.

 

But otherwise I prefer a keyboard, mouse, and joystick. Been gaming on the PC like that since the 90's. It's like when I play Descent I'll do pitch, yaw, and fire on the joystick. Roll, throttle, and weapons select on the keyboard. Sliding on either a hat or keyboard.

 

Adapting that layout to a dual-thumb controller would make me all thumbs!

 

 

The controller I really miss the most is the paddle/spinner. Yeah, you can just use one axis on the mouse to do the same thing, but the tactile feel of rotating the paddle feels so much better and is more enjoyable. It also seems more intuitive for me, especially when it is controlling steering/turning.

 

I built a usb controller that features a TurboTwist 2 spinner (with the knob that can be set for more friction, giving it a paddle feel) with three buttons and I am currently in the experimenting phase with a few game prototypes that I've specifically designed for a paddle control. I feel that the paddle went extinct too early and wasn't fully explored as a video game controller.

Edited by Ramses
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1 hour ago, Ramses said:

The controller I really miss the most is the paddle/spinner. Yeah, you can just use one axis on the mouse to do the same thing, but the tactile feel of rotating the paddle feels so much better and is more enjoyable. It also seems more intuitive for me, especially when it is controlling steering/turning.

An absolutely forgotten controller.  I love the paddles and the paddle games.  Gamers tend to have a love / hate relationship with them.   Not sure if because they get jittery and don't know how to clean them or if not being used to them.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AtariSphinx said:

An absolutely forgotten controller.  I love the paddles and the paddle games.  Gamers tend to have a love / hate relationship with them.   Not sure if because they get jittery and don't know how to clean them or if not being used to them.

I think it's the former—the jittery problems that many of the Atari paddle controllers would get over time. I believe it was an inherent issue with using potentiometers. Spinners are a lot better in that regard.

Edited by Ramses
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On 12/12/2020 at 11:51 AM, youxia said:

I must say, I don't get the problem here. There are zillions of games available, all kinds and styles. If somebody does not like, or have time for long games, they perhaps could avoid them and play just the short ones, no?

Yes, it is just annoying to see all that money being wasted on making bad games, when they could have made great games.

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It should be mandatory in all game descriptions prior to purchase if tutorials are mandatory and how long the tutorials are.  I absolutely cannot stand tutorials that you can't skip, especially ones that are slow and irritating, and unnecessarily long.   I flat out won't play any games that makes me go thru a tutorial, which seems like way more and more these days.

 

 

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10 hours ago, NeonSpaceBeagle said:

It should be mandatory in all game descriptions prior to purchase if tutorials are mandatory and how long the tutorials are.  I absolutely cannot stand tutorials that you can't skip, especially ones that are slow and irritating, and unnecessarily long.   I flat out won't play any games that makes me go thru a tutorial, which seems like way more and more these days.

Good game designers make complicated games such that they start out simple and gradually introduce new features. I agree that it is really boring to be in a practice room, or something, learning how to do everything you will face in the game before actually playing.

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On 12/12/2020 at 4:51 AM, youxia said:

I must say, I don't get the problem here. There are zillions of games available, all kinds and styles. If somebody does not like, or have time for long games, they perhaps could avoid them and play just the short ones, no?

This 100%

 

It seems the people who complain about modern games are too lazy to look at what is out there. I love a long RPG from time to time but love easy to pick up and play games.

 

After getting a Switch I wish I had got one sooner. It has those quick and fun games I like, but also some bigger games. There is literally a type of game out there for anyone. Just do legwork and avoid the big games. I've yet to play an Assasin's Creed game because I know it would take more time than I like.

 

Saying story isn't important is kind of silly. In some games it is important. In others not so much. Even 2600 games had stories in the manuals.

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Jeez, people can't make comments about trends without someone a little pedantic going, "WELL AKTSHUALLY THERE IS A GAME THAT IS SHORT." Yeah, of course there is. But that's a strawman argument. No one is saying that there every single modern game fits the trends noted here. 🙄

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Rhomaios said:

Jeez, people can't make comments about trends without someone a little pedantic going, "WELL AKTSHUALLY THERE IS A GAME THAT IS SHORT." Yeah, of course there is. But that's a strawman argument. No one is saying that there every single modern game fits the trends noted here. 🙄

That "trend" was portrayed as fundamentally flawed and in need of fixing, so it's not aktshually a strawman, kthxbai, more of a counterargument. Many people seem to enjoy games which take forever (or never) to finish, and there are also many who simply enjoy playing them without the completist urges. If you don't like these games just avoid them, instead of implying that they should be cut to size which fits your needs.

 

Being a pedant, let me note that the above pertains strictly to the longevity length part of the argument and not anything else. I have a long lits of grievances regarding modern games myself, but that's a matter for another post.

Edited by youxia
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8 hours ago, Rhomaios said:

Jeez, people can't make comments about trends without someone a little pedantic going, "WELL AKTSHUALLY THERE IS A GAME THAT IS SHORT." Yeah, of course there is. But that's a strawman argument. No one is saying that there every single modern game fits the trends noted here. 🙄

I think there are quite a lot of games that are short / pick up and play.   Problem is they don't get the attention that the big, long AAA games get.   So discovering them is harder.   The game stores could do a better job here.   Steam is good about recommending things you might like based on what you played, they also have an extensive user review system.   The Playstation and Nintendo stores are a lot weaker in this regard, and buying a lesser-known game from them feels more like a crap-shoot.

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I would have thought that the likes of TLOU (~20hrs), God Of War (~30hrs), recent RE games (~15hrs) or Gears 5 (~15hrs) get plenty of attention.

 

It really isn't rocket science to figure that an epic RPG or an open-world game might take a longer time to finish. But even so, these games are now so mollycoddled that you can usually breeze through the main quests in relatively short time as well, if you're playing on Normal. A lot even has a special "Story" mode, where you have to do even less, if anything. I've heard that PS5 has a system which lets you skip the pesky traversal and just jump from activity to activity in a game. So... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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5 hours ago, youxia said:

I have a long lits of grievances regarding modern games myself, but that's a matter for another post.

This seems like as good a place to throw 'em out there as any.  Nothing wrong with some good old fashioned "piss n' moan about things we hate in the hobby we love."

 

Well, long as it isn't specifically raining on someone's good time, that is.  Always a bit annoying to see a group chatting about a game, product, etc that they're really excited about, and there's that one asshat that comes in just to crap on the whole thing.

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On 4/16/2021 at 9:14 PM, NeonSpaceBeagle said:

It should be mandatory in all game descriptions prior to purchase if tutorials are mandatory and how long the tutorials are.  I absolutely cannot stand tutorials that you can't skip, especially ones that are slow and irritating, and unnecessarily long.   I flat out won't play any games that makes me go thru a tutorial, which seems like way more and more these days.

 

 

 Memory is a bit vague, but seems like one of the Far Cry games had the protagonist griping about how awful it is to "suffer through the tutorial" while making the player "suffer through the tutorial."  😁

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48 minutes ago, Razzie.P said:

 Memory is a bit vague, but seems like one of the Far Cry games had the protagonist griping about how awful it is to "suffer through the tutorial" while making the player "suffer through the tutorial."  😁

hahahah that's awesome.  mandatory tutorials should be illegal.  (doesn't it enable ableism!?!?)

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23 minutes ago, Razzie.P said:

This seems like as good a place to throw 'em out there as any.  Nothing wrong with some good old fashioned "piss n' moan about things we hate in the hobby we love."

On big gripe of mine is the smoke & mirrors design style which informs so many modern games. It started somewhere around Mass Effect 2 and continues to this day. R* are the biggest culprit here, sadly. I've just uninstalled RDR2 being about halfway through the story (despite liking it quite a lot) because it's so, so bad in this regard. Basically, nothing you do really matters because you will always progress. There is no need to bounty hunt, craft, buy/sell, camp, fish, steal, rob and whatever else they put in there because it simply isn't necessary. All these systems are pointless, since all you need to get through the game is enough Dead Eye elixirs and these are cheap as chips.  And Dead Eye itself removes any challenge from the shootouts, so all you are really left with is long treks to the mission site and pressing the DE button. Sometimes not even that, and you just take part in an extended cutscene. This is combined with "streamlining" other elements which might disturb somebody's  smooth progression, so for example it's nigh on impossible to crash your bike or destroy a car in GTA V, or actually die in RDR2, and when you eventually manage to, there's no penalty anyway. The so called "fail-states" are a big no-no nowadays.

 

The other big problem is being stuck in a rut, and using rigid, scripted templates of doing things in games. Even the huge open worlds, which should be full of possibilities, are merely a backdrop to the story, because storytelling is king these days. But the kind of Hollywood-like big budget stories dictate the rigid design of the game itself. There is little space left for innovation, randomness, emergence, and true, gameplay driven choices & consequences, because cutscenes are costly and not easily adaptable. This in turn leads to the boring filler kind of gameplay, which is something I can partially agree with here - samey side quests or pointless activities. Does anybody really want to do yoga in GTA?

 

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