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Modern Games Verses *Real* Games

The following post originated on another site. I made the post there, and I later made this page to try to draw a larger audience.  The site in question should not have any issues with me posting this here.  I have heavily edited it anyway, so it really bears little resemblance to the original post. I am just trying to help *Newbies* to understand why I am so hostile to consoles and the newest generations of gamers.

Warning:
Just a warning in advance. This is a rant. I will not hold back. I will say things that some of you reading this will find offensive. I am sorry if you are offended, but that does not change my opinions.

The Subject is Games: Modern Games Verses *Real* Games

Games. They have existed from the time someone thought they could throw a stone farther or with more accuracy than another. And as they improved, they changed form too.

Now we have video games in a variety of forms. I will stick to the PC for this rant.

PC games are always better than console games so long as they are made with care. Console ports are almost always plain garbage. Console ports are just another term for “Too lazy to bother with fixing the glaring holes in the game”.

I carry this huge sword to compensate...

My sword is big and makes me feel like a man.

Let us talk about what makes a good game actually good. It is not eye-candy. It is not voice-acting. It is not shiny and sparkly armors and weapons. As a matter of fact, if the end user is not an idiot, they can derive much enjoyment from an immersive game that may not even have graphics or sound at all.

If you are one who only plays games that have the above listed crud, then I really pity you. Give me a nice Roguelike instead of the latest graphical spasm-fest any-day.

Do not misunderstand. I like graphical games too, but not if that is all they really offer. Most graphical games in the last decade are playable successfully while half-asleep. I want a game that actually makes me think. No, not just think of how it looks or sounds or if the lips sync with the voice-acting. I want to have to utilize my creativity. I want to have to think as my character would. I want to play a game with a world that reacts to me. Not just some dumb script that looks at my character statistics and places enemies that are somehow still mildly challenging. I want to have time to decide on a strategy and I want it to be something more involved than choosing between a few good weapons or skills.

This image speaks for itself.

Double Facepalm for Console Graphics.

I want a game that will make me prove I am not a button-mashing zombie. I want a game with more than one way to achieve victory. And victory does not have to make you a God or something. Victory could be achieving a fragile peace between warring groups. It could mean killing one powerful foe. It could mean anything if the developers have a brain and choose to use it.

Controls:

For the PC, I use a keyboard and trackball. I do not want another controller that belongs to consoles. I can turn 360 degrees and headshot anything in sight with my trackball. (I can actually take a second and pick exactly what pixel to aim at.) Why should I downgrade to something that can not do that even for the best of players?

People use controllers because they are accustomed to it. People use antiquated appliances around the house for exactly the same reason. Most people look upon this as a dumb practice. They can use what they want though. I am supremely happy with my keyboard and trackball. How many buttons do you have on your controller? I laugh at the limitations that puts on developers. PC games have no less than 101 keys on the keyboard to use any way that makes sense to the user.
Back to Eye-Candy:

Even the best console games offer so-called “High Definition” video and audio that almost always looks like a budget PC would. A nice gaming rig can really make you wonder if it is a cinematic scene you just watched… While you are actually playing the game, not in a cut-scene. On the PC, you choose what resolution you will play at. You choose all the graphical settings. Consoles do not even offer the choice of how many passes of Anisotropic Filtering or Antialiasing you can have, much less what TYPE of Antialiasing to use.

There are few things that irritate me as much as ignorant children who think they know something about “Gaming” because they have a modern console system or a steam account on their laptop. Consoles are not for people who think. They are for people who do not want to have to think. You press a button and the tray pops out. You put the disc in and close the tray and the game starts. You have earned an achievement by doing that… Lol.

Shinies! We must all buy the game for the shiny stuff!

Fable Disgusts me.

Real games are not even known by most people playing modern games. One of my favorites, Dungeon Master 2, was released on the PC and the Amiga back in it’s day. That was a game where you really had to think a bit to figure everything out.

(Check THIS LINK for Return to Chaos. It allows you to play all the Dungeon Master games beautifully reconstructed in a modern shell so you can avoid the hassle of messing with DOSBox)

Be sure to visit the forums in the RTC link to find the additional modules that contain all the user-made games.

The Best Game Ever Made:

My absolute favorite, and the game I played for several solid years, was Nethack. I have managed several ascensions. My first took two years of daily play. If you even know what I mean and the significance of it than I salute you.

Tell me a game that has more depth? That is more stable? That offers more choices? That can be replayed as well and as many times without going insane from playing it? Slash’EM is the Nethack variant I enjoyed the most. (Upwards of 75% of my play time for Nethack was actually used in Slash’EM, and all but two of my Ascensions were in Slash’EM)

Let me test you with one word. Demogorgon. If you know the name then you do not even need the explanation. Half my characters who got that far died the same exact way despite my personal rule to never go there without a few rather obvious items. I can spell out my Demogorgon kit from memory without so much as a second to recall. Any race and class had the same Demogorgon kit. And there is a complex strategy to use for this encounter too. I will not spoil it for you, but I still died there hundreds of times. Each required no less than a few days of solid gameplay.

THAT was a game with depth. You were immersed, or you were dead. Twitch-gamers never even figure out the interface. Every darned key on the keyboard had a purpose. A real purpose. Not just something thrown in for the heck of it.

Slash'EM screenshot. EVERYTHING has a use.

Slash'EM Towel Head

If you try Slash’EM, take my advice after you start to figure things out. Disable Soldiers and Captains and Lieutenants. They will kill you with RPGs that are in no way fair. That is one of my biggest gripes about Slash’EM over Nethack.

Nethack taught me that although graphics and sounds are nice, they are NOT the game. Real games sadly do not make money for the developers. They take too long to make, and by the time they are ready, the developers could have made and sold dozens of garbage games that the twitchies will gladly buy so they can whine that “The Armor does not have enough sparkles” or “I heard them talking, but the lips were not perfectly synced” or something equally pointless.

Yes. You can have Shinies on the very surface of your precious Console.

Yes. You can have Shinies on the very surface of your precious Console.

Do people (in general) really care more for lip-syncing and graphics than something that makes them think and is fun?
Does anyone remember X-Com? How about the Wizardry series? The Ultima series before the seventh? Are all the good ideas and games forgotten so soon?
I still play modern PC games. I even enjoy the nice graphics and the voice acting. But I could entirely overlook that for a good game. And there are few in the making for the reasons I listed above.

I have never played WoW. I saw an advertisement that told me everything I needed to know. “This game is not for you.” I never bother with anything that looks like all shinies and sparkles. They all end up the same. They suck. Period. If a game has a nice idea or a new concept then I am interested. That interest usually ends up with me finding that it is a clone of another awful game and the nice idea was just that.

This may well be a Monkey in shiney armor.

OOOOOh! Shinies!

This is the end…. My lonely Friend, the end….

This rant has been coming since the Amiga days. Please do not take it too seriously. I do not intend offense. This is just a rant to vent my extreme hostility towards a gaming world that has *Expletive Deleted* me too many times.

As always, I wish you well, and I thank you for reading my rant. :)

Now, a few additions. What do you think? Are you highly offended that someone would have the audacity to belittle your precious console? Then, if you can manage to give me some of the other side, I would be pleased to hear it. If all you can manage is to say that I am wrong, feel free, but no-one will pay any heed to that sort of thing. Try to tell me the strengths of the various consoles. And, please… Graphics is not a strength for consoles. I can play GTA4 on PC with graphical details and view-distances that would mock all existing consoles into the hole they scurried out from. (Forgive the term, but it is true)

By the way, this is my first post and the only time I have every used WordPress. (I am learning) So please be gentle with me. :)

Reply below! I would love to hear from you. Even if you only want to insult me. A well worded insult shows you actually read some of this article.
Check out Slash’EM. If you look, (And ask Google) I bet you can find versions that will run on your phone too. (With limited function or complex controls)

Incoming search terms:

  • double facepalm
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  • facepalm montage
  • ff7 sword
  • Final Fantasy Swords

24 Comments

  1. Comments  Modern Games Verses *Real* Games – Geek Montage   |  Monday, 22 November 2010 at 7:28 PM

    […] Modern Games Verses *Real* Games […]

  2. Comments  Xcomonline   |  Monday, 22 November 2010 at 8:12 PM

    I agree for themost part although i have to aknowledge the existence of good games in our time too either without shinies (Master of Orion series, Heroes of Might and Magic series , Braid) or even with shinies ( Oblivion , Dragon age , Starcraft 2 ) . In any case i am too both someone that likes the “older” games better and a strong opposer of consoles and console oriented games.

    PS : have you played “dognapped” ? that is one of my personal favorites and it was a real pain to finish the damn thing back in the day. :)

  3. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Monday, 22 November 2010 at 8:52 PM

    Thank you to Naota for getting me started here and helping me figure out WordPress. I really appreciate the help. :)

  4. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Monday, 22 November 2010 at 9:40 PM

    I have not played Dognapped. Is this the game? It is currently unavailable. But I will watch the item. I am patient.
    http://www.amazon.com/Dognapped-Rescue-Rusty-Ruthless-Robots-PC/dp/B0009PQFW8

    Ah! The MOO series was great. At least the first two were. The third was literally like playing a spreadsheet that crashed every few minutes. Lol.

  5. Comments  Naota   |  Monday, 22 November 2010 at 9:54 PM

    Well I don’t know how you are going to feel about this Omni, but some of my favorite games were
    Legend of Zelda – Original, the SNES game, and the Orcarina of time
    Final Fantasy 7 and Final Fantasy Tactics
    Super Mario 3 and Super Mario RPG
    Beyond the Beyond
    Suikoden 1 and 2
    Tactics Ogre
    Saga Frontier
    Mortal Kombat 1,2,3, Trilogy
    E Holyfield Boxing.

    Hmm… I could go on but I will stop it there. Wow I made a hugelist.

  6. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Monday, 22 November 2010 at 10:15 PM

    I too enjoyed The original Zelda, as well as the SNES Zelda. I watched a “Let’s Play” for Orcarina of Time, but I never owned the console or the game to give them a try.

    FF7 was the last version of the FF series I played. I thought they had dropped half the appeal of the series at that point, but it was decent. FF3 on the SNES was a good game, but it was very easy by my opinion.

    The entire Mario franchise pretty much lost me after they made that attempt at an RPG. It was like playing an RPG with strict linear progression and no real choices.

    Most of the rest I never played. But do not let my opinion weigh in too much. YOU are the gamer. If you enjoyed it then that is what counts. I judge consoles harshly, but that does not mean consoles are bad. It merely means *I* do not enjoy consoles as much.(As PCs)

  7. Comments  Mcloud   |  Wednesday, 24 November 2010 at 10:42 AM

    This rant made my day. Too many times have I been disappointed by new games… and some games now just look like movies WITH a little bit of game play. For shame.

  8. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Wednesday, 24 November 2010 at 11:29 AM

    Hello Mcloud. I am glad to hear you enjoyed the post.

    Have you seen the video of Black Ops Cuba Missions being completed on “Hardened” difficulty without firing a shot except in the two scripted parts were you must fire?
    http://www.geek.com/articles/games/black-ops-cuba-mission-can-be-completed-without-shooting-a-gun-20101121/

    It completely confirms what you are saying about games looking like movies with a bit of inferior game-play.

    If the developers have this little regard for the end user then they will never again have my sales. I maintain a blacklist of companies that I feel have cheated me.

    Long live *Real* games!

  9. Comments  Plink   |  Thursday, 25 November 2010 at 2:09 AM

    Hi mate, good article – shame you miss out on Wow though – truly a fun immersive addicting game, though some of that is for non-purist reasons – like making friends in the game and helping each other out. But the richness of the gameplay can keep you playing regularly for years.

  10. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Thursday, 25 November 2010 at 4:27 PM

    I strongly believe everyone is entitled to their opinions. I enjoy helping people, but everything else about WoW simply does not appeal to me. And I am happy to hear you found a game that makes you happy. (Even if it is the people who make the experience worthwhile.)

    Ever hear of SoD? Shards of Dalaya? It was a free-to-all Everquest remake based upon the original and a few expansions, but lacking the newer stuff that I hear ruined the balance.

    It has had a few years since I last played it, but is great for us poor people who still want an RPG with some challenge. It is multiplayer though, and I am in a pattern of avoiding multiplayer games due to my health issues. (It is hard to make and keep good friends when you have unannounced periods of several days that you are totally absent.)

    That was a game I hated, but I loved helping people so much that I found I could make a character and build them to level thirty in a few days. (That was substantial given the experience amounts and how much monster farming was required for that.)

    Also, you would not believe how much money I made fishing in the lower thirties in a certain area where the mobs would certainly instagib me if they ever saw me. :)

    I gave away more money than some people made in fifty levels of normal play. I never cared for money, and it helped newbies to have a bit to buy decent gear with. But you had severe restrictions on what and how much you could give to lower level characters. This was to prevent uber-gear newbies ruining the game.

    It IS a good game, despite my criticism. Give it a whirl if you want to. http://shardsofdalaya.com/

  11. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Thursday, 25 November 2010 at 6:59 PM

    @Xcomonline
    I just noticed the handle… Does such a thing exist? Google is about to be queried. :)

  12. Comments  Plink   |  Friday, 26 November 2010 at 4:46 AM

    Thanks for the SoD suggestion, which I will certainly have a look at. MMORPG’s have been a great way to hang-out with a couple of physically distant mates (especially with comms) but it doesn’t have to be Wow. We just found it the best fun so far, that’s all.

  13. Comments  chuck wood   |  Friday, 26 November 2010 at 7:45 AM

    i feel the same way, i used to eat sleep and dream ultima 4, i loved games like xcom, jagged alliance, and dungeon master as well. games you had to think about. they made you feel like you accomplished something amazing when you finally finished them

  14. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Friday, 26 November 2010 at 6:16 PM

    To make things much easier on yourself, grab a copy of Everquest Titanium. That is the easiest way to go. Check the following link for the detailed instructions that anyone could figure out.
    http://shardsofdalaya.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13538

    You do not need to use the normal Everquest patcher at all. Just install Titanium, and then use the SoD patcher from the above link. That makes it simple enough for anyone. Even a button masher. :)

  15. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Friday, 26 November 2010 at 6:27 PM

    An interesting story that provides a clue about where I made so much money fishing. I once saw a clan there fighting. One of them saw me. And in seconds, they swarmed me and strangely did nothing but spam messages like “Lol” and “What is the Newb doing here?” and this happened for several confusing minutes before one of them accidentally hit the wrong macro and did in fact instagib me.

    I thought nothing of this, aside from how odd that they did not just kill me and move on. But the person who did hit the wrong macro and killed me actually went out of their way to seek me out and gave me a bunch of “Uber” gear within the limits of what they could give someone in the low thirties.

    They felt bad for having killed me. Lol. It took a while to explain that I was not offended at all. Rather I was amused that they had that reaction to noticing me. I still laugh at the incident. :)

    The point is that although any of them could have killed me instantly for any reason, they did not. They even spent a very long time walking over to where I was to try to make amends. This tells it’s own story for those who can read between the lines. :)

  16. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Friday, 26 November 2010 at 7:01 PM

    Yet another double facepalm… I gave the wrong link. The link I gave will work, but this one is easier to follow and includes the entire bit of petty work you have to do to play SoD.

    http://www.shardsofdalaya.com/intro_starting.htm

    I am going to have to check and see if any of my age-old characters still exist. I doubt it. But I will see anyway.

  17. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Monday, 29 November 2010 at 10:00 PM

    I have been playing loads of Gothic 3 with the community patch. I have to say, when Gothic 3 was first released, it was terrible. I now love it. I can and have played it for ten hours straight during a night of insomnia. Not one crash. Not one bug. I have nothing to complain about whatsoever.

    I am going to write a review of it. If it were this good when it was released, it would be hailed as the greatest graphical action based RPG ever made. It is that good.

    I played Gothic 4 last month and it was like playing a novel. There were no real choices whatsoever. In Gothic 3 I can accept quests from anyone and even betray them if I choose to. Everything *Feels* right. I feel involved. My choices have consequences. But even betraying the Rebels to the invading Orcs in one town does not mean you can not fight against the Orcs in favor of the Rebels in another. Things are how they should be.

    I played Gothic 4 beginning to end in about thirty hours. I completed almost every last quest. I even bothered to explore every niche and cranny of the map to find the hidden artifacts that they put there to give you some reason to bother. What a waste of time. I could have had every bit of the fun I had in less than half the time if I just did not bother with that garbage.

    In Gothic 3, the map is *HUGE*. Really easily three or four times the size of Gothic 4’s invisible wall syndrome maps. This is turning into a review. I will write one, but most of this will have to go there. Be well everyone.

  18. Comments  Zthink   |  Tuesday, 30 November 2010 at 7:49 AM

    Do you think that the community patch make a lot of good changes to Gothic 3?

  19. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Tuesday, 30 November 2010 at 12:17 PM

    @Zthink

    Absolutely!

    Gothic 3 without the community patch is pure garbage. But with the community patch it becomes something wondrous.

    It is the only patch you need too. It removes the DRM of the original game so you do not need the original disc in the drive. (It does this with the permission of the owners and developers of the game, so it is not illegal in any way.) It includes all the changes of the patches before it as well, so you need not apply multiple patches. Just use the Community Patch 1.74 found here.
    http://www.worldofgothic.com/dl/?go=dlfile&fileid=166

    Really. The patch is pure awesomeness. Once you apply it and enter the game, enable the Alternative Balancing and Alternative AI you find in the main menu and in the options under difficulty as well. And if you are playing on a modern gaming system, go to the graphical options and enable everything. It will look beautiful too.

    Even the in game music is great. Do not quote me on this until I find a reference, but I believe all the in game music was recorded from the Bochum Symphony Orchestra. I normally disable music in games, but in this game, the change of music can tell you that you have entered combat. (I.E. Something is trying to hurt you.)

    Gothic 3 without the Community patch is like a drinking contest without alcohol. Or a grocery store without foodstuffs. It is unplayable in my opinion without the patch.

  20. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Wednesday, 01 December 2010 at 7:57 PM

    If you like my crazy style, or just want to read my review of Gothic 3 with the Community Patch 1.74 here it is.

    http://geekmontage.com/texts/review-gothic-3-with-the-community-patch-1-74/

  21. Comments  CrisR82   |  Friday, 18 March 2011 at 10:50 PM

    I agree for the most part.
    What I actually wanted to say is: how about Deus Ex? A highly underrated game with pretty much insane number of choices how to play though the whole game (complete blood bath, or withought killing a single person)…

    …but yeah, older games just had “it”…today, everything feels like a clone…sad.

  22. Comments  Delicious Robot   |  Thursday, 02 June 2011 at 12:11 AM

    Okay I am almost 19 alright just so you don’t think I am a ignorant little kid who rants on about stuff he doesn’t really know.

    Although I understand you were just venting you really should have looked at console games a little closer because much of what you wrote was biased. You were not looking at the good qualities of some of the games out there and because of that you insulted me greatly.

    I must mention that I like both the PC and the console for their different ways of playing. Saying that the keyboard and mouse is the best way to go with games is an inaccurate answer. It does work better for shooters and rts because it is more precise but it is more difficult to use with platformers and such, that is what the console was made for.

    The computer was not invented for gaming it was made for calculations and although the console is technically a computer it was a variant made for gaming. Nintendo knew what they were doing when they made Mario, Zelda and Metroid, a few games that I favor for their artistic worlds, simple stories and all around fun.

    That it was games are about, fun, it shouldn’t be about graphics, achievements, violence, sex appeal and any other primal desires of humans. I agree with you on how the younger generation think about gaming but not entirely on what makes a game.

    Hope you actually read this and understand my opinion
    That is all I have to say

  23. Comments  OmniRoguelike   |  Friday, 03 June 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Sorry about the delay, especially to CrisR82. I was a bit sick and am just beginning to recover enough that doctors can be convinced I will not spontaneously combust if I touch a PC or even see that this “Internet” exists…

    Back to reality… 😀 (Bigger joke that we are likely to ever understand.)
    Deus Ex was Uber. I played almost every possible character build at least once, but usually just loved the Tranq darts while playing a stealthy character build.

    But I soon learned that by the end of the game, even on “Easy” stealth would just mean you could not kill anything effectively.

    I know I can be absolutely mean when I type out such things, but it is not as much that I disapprove of that method, but more so that I do not understand it or find it every bit as cumbersome as you describe keyboards and mice.

    Mario, Zelda, and Metroid are each great games in some regards, but as much fun as they can be at times, they can be just as much a pain.

    Although I have not responded to every word of it, I *Promise* you I have read it and am mulling it over to see if perhaps my opinions were just expressed wrong or perhaps that I may be a psychopath. (Kidding about that last part. Or am I?….)

    Please feel free to return for more. I rather enjoy having my strongly held beliefs drawn into question so I can be sure of my opinions.

    I may be old, but age is not always equal to wisdom. Have some faith in the reasons you believe the things you do. I could just be another crazy old person who never understands modern anything.

    My beliefs are strong, but perhaps like the old friends that have since turned to greener pastures, I may just not get it. :)

    “Although I understand you were just venting you really should have looked at console games a little closer because much of what you wrote was biased. You were not looking at the good qualities of some of the games out there and because of that you insulted me greatly.”

    I am sorry to have insulted you, but that was not my intention. I am old. I do not even own a television or a radio. OLD. And because of that, it seems that at least one person here thinks tat I have overlooked the good qualities of consoles. Fair enough.

    Describe them to me. Try to help me understand what I must be missing. I have plenty of time and patience. You can quote other works if that is the only way you know of to show me, but you must have the owners permission obviously.

    I am waiting for the end of the world. I suspect that the creation of a “Hostel 1 and 2” game would just about destroy all the better aspects of humanity. But then, I have been considering having myself committed to an asylum…

  24. Comments  George   |  Sunday, 27 November 2011 at 10:44 PM

    I don’t really know how I got here, but I read the whole damn thing, so I may as well comment. I basically agree with the entire sentiment, but I only use my PC for the exclusives. Nothing beats that 360 controller sweetly conforming to my hands. I also like having every input be analog because WASD is only four directions with either ON or OFF positions. Anyway, I just got through Gothic 2 and I’m mostly through Deus Ex and they’re the bee knees.

    MayI recommend Mass Effect 1 for an outside-the-box modern game. It has solid gameplay and a story that will massage your prostate. With ME2 you’ll lose all of the magic and atmosphere in trade for much tighter (but not as creative) gameplay, so I won’t recommend that quite as strongly, even though I enjoyed it equally. I think you can get Mass Effect for PC.

    And don’t apologize for insulting people, revel in it, because this is the internet.

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