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Atari is simpler times

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9 hours ago, Zap1982 said:

Remember the FMV craze of the Mega / Sega CD?

 

Now and again you get to press a button to initiate a cut scene... 

Those have more in common with modern games than with most other games of their time.

 

Unfortunately.

 

That said, I'm not gonna fault the early experiments in FMV/QTE gaming. They were revolutionary in their time. They're just not as good as games. (Hell, I've talked for years about trying to create an engine to drive them so I could recreate "Cliff Hanger" using 1080p footage.)

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2 hours ago, The Usotsuki said:

Those have more in common with modern games than with most other games of their time.

 

Unfortunately.

 

That said, I'm not gonna fault the early experiments in FMV/QTE gaming. They were revolutionary in their time. They're just not as good as games. (Hell, I've talked for years about trying to create an engine to drive them so I could recreate "Cliff Hanger" using 1080p footage.)

Some were better than others certainly. I think there was a novelty back then of "whoa, real people" but in general the main difference with them was you either had those of multiple choice and those that give the player a sense of control vs what would become "quick time events" where the only interaction was occassionally pressing a button at a particular prompt - something that hasn't aged very well.

 

The Night Trap remake has nice visuals. They had all the old raw footage on film still so were able to keep the original FMV sequences without the limitations of the Sega Mega CD.

 

In more modern games, I don't mind cut scenes on the condition that I have the option to skip them if I want to and they don't heavily outweigh the rest of the content which I think more than a few are guilty of.

Edited by Zap1982

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12 hours ago, MrTrust said:

So, what does it come down to, other than nostalgia?  Modern games are depressing.  Everything is dystopian, everyone is either an anti-hero, a monster, or a murderin' meat robot.

Yeah, I'm so sick of post-apocalyptic games and games with zombie uprisings.   One problem is the big AAA studios have too much money on the line to take risks,  so they all copy the game elements from each other that worked.

 

The innovative games of today come from smaller studios, and there are good games being made that aren't like this.

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2600 games--One Button, No instructions (usually) required.  Modern games--TOO DAMNED MANY BUTTONS!, Instructions and Youtube required to figure out the gameplay.  Just sayin'.  Simply for me, works for me.

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2 hours ago, zzip said:

Yeah, I'm so sick of post-apocalyptic games and games with zombie uprisings.   One problem is the big AAA studios have too much money on the line to take risks,  so they all copy the game elements from each other that worked.

 

The innovative games of today come from smaller studios, and there are good games being made that aren't like this.

 

There are, and if you can't appreciate something like Cuphead or Octodad, you must just have a heart of stone or something.  Good games still get made, and probably always will.  It's just whether or not the juice of tracking them down, and dishing out a lot of dough for the right hardware for the limited number of them that come out ends up being worth the squeeze.  For me, it's not.  There's also the longevity.  I started playing Montezuma's Revenge when I was, what 3 or 4 years-old, and 34 years later, I still haven't mastered it and probably never will.  Newer games there is more of a built in ceiling with them.  You can go back and play harder difficulties, complete all the auxiliary challenges, and do DLC stuff, but at some point there's no more meat left on that bone unless you just like going back later to replay the same thing.

That line about the AAA studios drives me nuts.  Almost every gamer I meet knows this intuitively, acknowledges it rationally, says they're not happy about it, but then shrugs it off as an inevitable fact of life and keeps buying the low-rent swill.  Yes, I know businesses respond to market incentives.  Stop giving them the incentive.  Gamers essentially bullied a movie studio into reanimating an entire feature film for crying out loud; they're one of the few consumer bases whose kvetching actually gets responded to.  If they really wanted to change this situation, they could.
 

2 hours ago, gilsaluki said:

2600 games--One Button, No instructions (usually) required.  Modern games--TOO DAMNED MANY BUTTONS!, Instructions and Youtube required to figure out the gameplay.  Just sayin'.  Simply for me, works for me.


I believe this is a generational thing, because for me, it's the exact opposite.  Every new game runs you through a primer where every one of those buttons is labeled, on screen, and demonstrated for you.  There's always a handy reference one menu away, and the way everything is structured in most games, the only real test is of your patience; you'll eventually play that same 5-minute section over and over enough that you'll squeak one past the goalie eventually as long as you don't quit.

It's the 2600 games that I need all that stuff for.  What do the switches do?  What are the variations?  How does the scoring work?  Why does touching this flashing thing sometimes cause this other thing to appear and sometimes not?  What exactly am I looking at here, anyway?  Even if you don't care about all that, if you want to get any good at the game, you have to observe all the little behaviors of everything, usually from watching somebody better than you play.  I don't find myself having to do this with modern games almost ever, but maybe that's because I first hit that basic competency of gaming in the mid 90s, where having all those buttons was already the norm.

Of course, the Colecovision and Intellivision, and 5200, they had a lot of buttons too.

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2 minutes ago, MrTrust said:

 

There are, and if you can't appreciate something like Cuphead or Octodad, you must just have a heart of stone or something.  Good games still get made, and probably always will.  It's just whether or not the juice of tracking them down, and dishing out a lot of dough for the right hardware for the limited number of them that come out ends up being worth the squeeze.  For me, it's not.  There's also the longevity.  I started playing Montezuma's Revenge when I was, what 3 or 4 years-old, and 34 years later, I still haven't mastered it and probably never will.  Newer games there is more of a built in ceiling with them.  You can go back and play harder difficulties, complete all the auxiliary challenges, and do DLC stuff, but at some point there's no more meat left on that bone unless you just like going back later to replay the same thing.

That line about the AAA studios drives me nuts.  Almost every gamer I meet knows this intuitively, acknowledges it rationally, says they're not happy about it, but then shrugs it off as an inevitable fact of life and keeps buying the low-rent swill.  Yes, I know businesses respond to market incentives.  Stop giving them the incentive.  Gamers essentially bullied a movie studio into reanimating an entire feature film for crying out loud; they're one of the few consumer bases whose kvetching actually gets responded to.  If they really wanted to change this situation, they could.
 


I believe this is a generational thing, because for me, it's the exact opposite.  Every new game runs you through a primer where every one of those buttons is labeled, on screen, and demonstrated for you.  There's always a handy reference one menu away, and the way everything is structured in most games, the only real test is of your patience; you'll eventually play that same 5-minute section over and over enough that you'll squeak one past the goalie eventually as long as you don't quit.

It's the 2600 games that I need all that stuff for.  What do the switches do?  What are the variations?  How does the scoring work?  Why does touching this flashing thing sometimes cause this other thing to appear and sometimes not?  What exactly am I looking at here, anyway?  Even if you don't care about all that, if you want to get any good at the game, you have to observe all the little behaviors of everything, usually from watching somebody better than you play.  I don't find myself having to do this with modern games almost ever, but maybe that's because I first hit that basic competency of gaming in the mid 90s, where having all those buttons was already the norm.

Of course, the Colecovision and Intellivision, and 5200, they had a lot of buttons too.

Thanks for the reply.  I never considered it in that light.  Yes, you are correct (in my case anyway), it is largely a generational thing.  I just don't have the patience with complex button combos and the like.  But I never looked at it from your perspective.  I am certain you are lots younger than I.  You were raised with these electronic gizmos (as we older guys say) and it, more or less, comes very intuitively to you.  For me, it's work.  I don't like that four-letter word.  

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10 minutes ago, MrTrust said:

That line about the AAA studios drives me nuts.  Almost every gamer I meet knows this intuitively, acknowledges it rationally, says they're not happy about it, but then shrugs it off as an inevitable fact of life and keeps buying the low-rent swill.  Yes, I know businesses respond to market incentives.  Stop giving them the incentive.  Gamers essentially bullied a movie studio into reanimating an entire feature film for crying out loud; they're one of the few consumer bases whose kvetching actually gets responded to.  If they really wanted to change this situation, they could.

Gamers do get studios to change things, but the problem is that gamers collectively lack imagination and will demand more of the same.   They won't know they want something different until someone actually puts out something innovative and cool,  then they will start demanding more of that :)

 

EDIT: For example, gamers constantly demand more/longer content.   AAA studios end up padding the games with mostly pointless side quests to get the game lengths gamers say they want.

Edited by zzip

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3 hours ago, gilsaluki said:

Thanks for the reply.  I never considered it in that light.  Yes, you are correct (in my case anyway), it is largely a generational thing.  I just don't have the patience with complex button combos and the like.  But I never looked at it from your perspective.  I am certain you are lots younger than I.  You were raised with these electronic gizmos (as we older guys say) and it, more or less, comes very intuitively to you.  For me, it's work.  I don't like that four-letter word.  

 

I was born in 83, so I'm in that weird spot where I'm just old enough to solidly remember a world where a computer in a home was not very common, but still young enough that they were ubiquitous by the time I was really conscious.  We went from having a TRS-80 with type in listings and a tape drive in my 4th grade classroom, to doing Excel on a Windows 95 machine in my 8th grade classes.  That's pretty rapid change to happen just when you're getting literate, so I feel like people my age are good at adapting to tech, and also at having a little better understanding of lower-level concepts at work.  The thing that befuddles me is the internet.  I starting using it in the late 90s, when it was still web 1.0.  During my 20s, I used it a lot less because it really wasn't something you used for social reasons then, and I had lost interest in the weird rabbit hole fansites and chat rooms and all that.  Once I started using it more regularly at the end of the 00s, it's like everything had changed overnight.  What the hell happened?  The internet's like 4 websites now, and you have to have an account for everything, and there's all these features and platforms, and why anyone would want to do or use any of this stuff is beyond me.  I wonder what tech chasm will befall the zoomers and young millenials.

3 hours ago, zzip said:

Gamers do get studios to change things, but the problem is that gamers collectively lack imagination and will demand more of the same.   They won't know they want something different until someone actually puts out something innovative and cool,  then they will start demanding more of that :)

 

EDIT: For example, gamers constantly demand more/longer content.   AAA studios end up padding the games with mostly pointless side quests to get the game lengths gamers say they want.

 

This I blame on the gaming press.  When I was young, almost everything that was written about games was essentially Consumer Reports for this one niche of products, with sort of ancillary reportage if games were sort of in the real news.  The controversy over violence, big market events, things like that.  Nobody was writing about video games the way, say, Roger Ebert wrote about films.  Of course, when Roger Ebert wrote about games, suddenly, the gaming press became interested in the question of video games as art, but really only as a cheerleading squad for their interest.  How dare he say that!?  I cried when Sephiroth killed Aeris in FFVII, therefore games are art!  The whole question became about whether or not games were art, than which ones might be and which ones not, and how do we know the difference when we see them?  So you got all these naval gazing pieces trying to shoehorn some profound statement into the menu screen of Zelda rather than actually taking the medium seriously.

But take something like Lifespan for the 8-bit machines.  This is using a multi-screen arcade game as an electronic metaphor for a person's development over the course of their life.  It's abstract, and not the greatest retro arcade game ever, but it's an attempt at using the medium to express something about the human condition that can only work as a game.  It's not taking a bunch of dramatic visuals and a script that could just as easily exist as a film and the actual gameplay is unnecessary, saying "See?  This is just as valid as Lawrence of Arabia!", and letting that be that.  The idea that the press for any other medium of expression would A) write about it like it was merely a consumer product half the time, and B) spend the other half defending its validity as a medium from outside attack rather than coming up with a real critical language for it set everything back a couple of decades if you ask me.  People want nothing but games that are action movies, because they've just accepted games as more or less being movies, and don't expect anything more from the medium than that.   

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4 hours ago, zzip said:

Gamers do get studios to change things, but the problem is that gamers collectively lack imagination and will demand more of the same.   They won't know they want something different until someone actually puts out something innovative and cool,  then they will start demanding more of that :)

 

EDIT: For example, gamers constantly demand more/longer content.   AAA studios end up padding the games with mostly pointless side quests to get the game lengths gamers say they want.

Henry Ford once said:
"If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."

 

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1 hour ago, Al_Nafuur said:

Henry Ford once said:
"If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."

 

Steve Jobs said: “People don't know what they want until you show it to them.”  I still want my 2600, especially now that I can play games via WiFi 😉

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16 hours ago, MrTrust said:

This I blame on the gaming press.  When I was young, almost everything that was written about games was essentially Consumer Reports for this one niche of products, with sort of ancillary reportage if games were sort of in the real news.  The controversy over violence, big market events, things like that.  Nobody was writing about video games the way, say, Roger Ebert wrote about films.  Of course, when Roger Ebert wrote about games, suddenly, the gaming press became interested in the question of video games as art, but really only as a cheerleading squad for their interest.  How dare he say that!?  I cried when Sephiroth killed Aeris in FFVII, therefore games are art!  The whole question became about whether or not games were art, than which ones might be and which ones not, and how do we know the difference when we see them?  So you got all these naval gazing pieces trying to shoehorn some profound statement into the menu screen of Zelda rather than actually taking the medium seriously.

I think the bigger issue is the electronic medium has so much potential to create vastly different experiences,  but anything that's interactive and not strictly productivity,  gets labeled a "game"  and put in the same box as Pac Man, Pong and Call of Duty.

 

There have long been these more artistic pieces that are a stretch to call "games".  Even back in the 80s this was recognized.   I remember "Electronic Games magazine" renamed itself "Video Games and Computer Entertainment" to recognize that there was entertainment software that wasn't strictly a game,  and there was a movement to call text adventures  'interactive fiction', for instance.

 

Even today we see articles written "Do games need to be fun?"    These types of articles get under gamers skin,  'yes games need to be fun or what's the point?'   But I think what the author has in mind when they ask such a question is experiences that probably shouldn't be labeled as games in the first place.   They are something else,  not necessarily meant to entertain, but to provoke.   Putting everything in the "game" box causes them to be taken less seriously critically IMO

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I still have my Atari 2600 set up, with all my favorite games nearby to play at a moment's notice. Besides the nostalgia factor, Atari has always been a part of my life for the last 30 plus years. I grew up with the Atari 2600 in my house, and it was my very first experience playing interchangeable games on a television. I couldn't bear to part with it now, and the fact that I appreciate it more as the years roll by make it ideal for me. I played this morning, actually, a few rounds of Phoenix and Ms. Pacman and you know what? I still had time to get ready for work! :D Couldn't do that with my Xbox One and games like Dragons Dogma: Dark Arisen, or Diablo III. 

 

There's no one that I know of the younger generation that would even consider playing Atari 2600 today, as it's just not in depth enough for them to latch onto. "What do you mean it's not online?" is a common question and incredulous notion for the kids. I just smile knowingly and enjoy the nostalgia all to myself. Except you folks, however, who can certainly relate.

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I have had an Atari 2600 since the early 80's. I think I even enjoy playing the Atari 2600 more now than when I was younger. I look forward to the new homebrew games.  It's so easy to put a game cartridge in, turn on the CRT and game time begins, love it. I appreciate the artwork and nostalgia even more so now.

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14 hours ago, funcool said:

I have had an Atari 2600 since the early 80's. I think I even enjoy playing the Atari 2600 more now than when I was younger. I look forward to the new homebrew games.  It's so easy to put a game cartridge in, turn on the CRT and game time begins, love it. I appreciate the artwork and nostalgia even more so now.

I agree. The artwork is still incredible to this day. It fired my imagination as I played the games and read the manuals (manuals you say? Wow...real manuals inside the box!). I even leave the game on in it's attract mode if it has one just to enjoy the nostalgia even more.

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We had the Atari 2600, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and roller skating to disco music (including the "couples only" songs)...

 

Kids today don't know what they are missing.

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On 2/23/2021 at 1:26 PM, roadrunner said:

Everything was better in the 80's 
music, movies, tv, games, fashion
 

1000% agreed!

Best video games, movies, and music.

The tight designer jeans (worn by girls, of course) looked GREAT!!

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I'm an 80s kid (born in '75) and would go back in a heart beat. Absolutely loved everything that is the 80s

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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6 hours ago, SegaShooters said:

1000% agreed!

Best video games, movies, and music.

The tight designer jeans (worn by girls, of course) looked GREAT!!

I also grew up in the 80s, but I dont have the same nostaligia for it.

Side pony-tail. PASS

High waist jeans. PASS

Vinyl jackets. PASS

Bright Neon. PASS

Vans,  shitty skater shoes. PASS

neon.jpg66353d39ecfcf49735a1052db539b85d.jpgleather.jpg

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8 hours ago, CapitanClassic said:

I also grew up in the 80s, but I dont have the same nostaligia for it.

Side pony-tail. PASS

High waist jeans. PASS

Vinyl jackets. PASS

Bright Neon. PASS

Vans,  shitty skater shoes. PASS

Here's the thing, though ... I grew up in the 80s, too, and the average person did not look like that.  The mental image of the 80s that a lot of people seem to have—particularly those who weren't even born at the time, including (I suspect) the models in those pictures—is a neon, glittered, acid-washed, frizzy-haired nightmare, like a Juicy Fruit commercial turned up to 11.  It's the same mistake that movies often make: if it's supposed to be set in the 80s, the cars and the décor and the fashions should not all be the most exaggerated examples from the 80s, because at the time, there would also have been a mix of the 70s and 60s as well.  If you want to know what a typical 80s kid actually looked like, just look at the kids on "Mr. Wizard's World": relatively conservatively dressed, not all that different from a lot of kids today.

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On 2/23/2021 at 1:26 PM, roadrunner said:

Everything was better in the 80's 
music, movies, tv, games, fashion
 

You forgot pizza!:)

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I dated a girl who looked EXACTLY like Cynthia Gibb circa "Short Circuit 2."

 

We had hot girls and most weren't tattooed and trashy.

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On 2/27/2021 at 11:09 PM, jaybird3rd said:

Here's the thing, though ... I grew up in the 80s, too, and the average person did not look like that.  The mental image of the 80s that a lot of people seem to have—particularly those who weren't even born at the time, including (I suspect) the models in those pictures—is a neon, glittered, acid-washed, frizzy-haired nightmare, like a Juicy Fruit commercial turned up to 11.  It's the same mistake that movies often make: if it's supposed to be set in the 80s, the cars and the décor and the fashions should not all be the most exaggerated examples from the 80s, because at the time, there would also have been a mix of the 70s and 60s as well.  If you want to know what a typical 80s kid actually looked like, just look at the kids on "Mr. Wizard's World": relatively conservatively dressed, not all that different from a lot of kids today.

Yeah, my memory of what we actually wore is quite different than what people say we wore.

 

Hair-  feathered/frizzy hair on girls was pretty common, extreme examples of "big-hair" was less common.  There were a couple girls in my school who did the extreme big-hair thing and got made fun of.   There were other common hair-style that seem forgotten.   For guys,  hair was generally longer than it is today, even the short hair styles-  having a tail in the back was fashionable for a while.  Long-hair "rocker" styles were fairly common

 

Clothes:  Coca-Cola shirts were popular for awhile for both sexes.  Denim jackets were everywhere!    Jeans-  acid washed, stone washed,  there was always some new "wash".   Jordache was a popular brand.   Cargo pants were also popular.  Spandex was a phase in the late 80s/early 90s.  Neons were a short-lived trend in the early 80s,  came back around 89 and was short-lived again.  There was a pastel trend in between those two

 

Another thing I notice is looking back at old pics/videos is how big the glasses people wore back then are.   They didn't seem big at the time, but they are big compared to what people wear now.

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My recollection is that the kids I knew looked a lot like the "Mr. Wizard" kids, as I said before.  Beyond that, it's hard for me to remember specifics; as someone with almost no sense of fashion, then or now, I never paid close attention to it.  I had a bowl cut, but it wasn't a fashion statement; I was one of five children, and Mom had to cut everyone's hair, so she opted for the quickest, simplest cut possible.  I also wore parachute pants, but that was probably because we got them on clearance after the fad had come and gone; I would have been blissfully unaware that they weren't "fashionable" anymore.  Most of my clothes and shoes came from sacks of old hand-me-downs, and my younger brothers got them after I was done with them.  Quite a few of my peers were in the same boat.

 

That's why I know it's a mistake to assume that everyone in those years was always sporting the loudest cutting-edge fashions.  Not everyone could afford the luxury, and even if my family could, I know for certain that I would not have cared.  I was much more interested in computers and technology—especially the Atari machines, to bring this back around on topic—and in retrospect, I don't think my interest was misplaced.

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1983, when I got my first 5200 unit (May 19th, 17th birthday), we had Flashdance, Valley Girl, Quiet Riot, Men Without Hats, designer jeans, "big hair", Knight Rider, MV-3 (a local new-wave dance show hosted by Richard Blade of KROQ radio on KHJ channel 9, KHJ is now KCAL in LA). MTV, Radio 1990 (on USA weekdays at 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT, remember it, sponsored by Atari, of course!!!) The A-Team, and WWF Championship Wrestling on Saturdays, when Bob Backlund was still the WWF champ, before The Iron Sheik beat him, Backlund BTW invoked his title match rematch clause after the loss, but couldn't go due to a neck injury, so in came Hulk Hogan, the rest is history.

 

Things were more simple back then, and the games were (and still are!) great too!!!

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