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What Game Trait Do You Miss Most From The Golden Age?

This isn't about promoting older games. It's not about trying to prove that the classic games were better than what we have now. That's unrealistic.

Obviously, technology has advanced at a rapid pace over the past three decades, and interactive entertainment has come a very long way. It's not possible to compare Pong and The Last Of Us because in truth, they both offer completely different experiences. Outsiders wouldn't even put them in the same entertainment category because really, what's similar about them, besides the fact that both are interactive? Different worlds.

But there are certain traits that have fallen by the wayside in the interest of progress. Even if it is indeed progress, and those traits weren't loved at the time, nostalgia has a way of making us go, "Damn, I kinda miss that." For instance, blowing on cartridges to make 'em work. Of course, if we all had our way, the damn things would've always worked and we'd never have had to do that. But it was all part of the hobby; it gave you a little extra pride to know that only you could make your game system work properly all the time. "Let me see, i can fix it."

Some lost traits are legitimate, though. For instance, in a lot of ways, I think we've lost the innocence of the golden age of gaming. It's a serious business now, and the biggest games are often quite serious in nature. Back in the day, it was a niche hobby, designed for kids, hardly big enough to even qualify as an "industry," and it really was all about fun. It was an archaic, bug-infested, terrible-translation sort of fun that resulted in "All your base are belong to us" and wacky codes that made games go ballistic, but it was still just fun. Purity and innocence go along with childhood and a child's toys. Yes, they still make games for kids but that's hardly the focus.

What trait do you miss most from the olden days?

Tags: video games, gaming, gaming culture, classic games

8/15/2013 10:35:53 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (36 posts)

Ather
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 10:57:30 PM
Reply

Simplicity. Everything is bigger = better. I don't need 4 full orchastras making the soundtrack. While nice, we don't need to hear our characters speak. Was anybody really sitting there saying, gee, Mario games would be so much better if only he spoke?

Just give us the game. We'll run, jump, punch, shoot, whatever. We don't need to play a movie.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 11:11:45 PM
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The punishment of idiocy. If you walked off a cliff and died it was your own damn fault and the game didn't keep you from being suicidal.

Damage that matters. It makes very little sense that everybody now has the ability to regenerate like Wolverine.

Secrets. Every game used to have lots of little secrets hidden away in it that sometimes took years to get out. The internet makes them harder to conceal but they don't really exist anymore anyway, devs need to make pack in those unlikely little things again. What passes for an easter egg these days is silly.

Cheating. While a couple games like GTA and Saints Row allow cheat codes the murder of gameshark and action replay took something away from games. Cheats offered a certain extra replayability that made games even more fun to play.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 7:53:42 AM

The first of these is a good one. Invisible walls are an unrealistic joke. Also, it seems that even pure platformers are doing away with the ability to fall to your death, instead just leaving you to drop to some point lower down so you can try again without needing to go all the way back to the start (or some checkpoint even further back).

The second of these, too. I think that's why I love Resistance 3 and Ni no Kuni (I know, it seems as though those are the only games I've spoken about since I got back) and other games without a regenerative health system. Makes me want to get into TLoU all the more. :)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 11:39:11 AM

That's what I hated about the old Tomb Raiders, if you fell down now you had to spend a half hour climbing back up. I'd have rather died.

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Temjin001
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 11:17:49 PM
Reply

I dunno.
But I do see plenty of 'old school' style games releasing still. Games modeled after game styles past. This includes either remakes or new games. Dragon's Crown strikes me of something old school'ish. So too does the upcoming Strider game. Ducktales HD makes for a novel oldschool remake. Fighters haven't changed basically at all. Nintendo has been doing this old school thing with all of the side scrolling Marios as of late.

They're there. They're just not in the AAA limelight.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/15/2013 11:22:51 PM

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Temjin001
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 11:24:27 PM

I'll throw on Joe Danger, Double Dragon Neon, Splosion Mans, and Sonic 4 as well.
And isn't that Limbo game old school'ish too?

(my definition of old school is of that of the 2D sprite based era, primarly 8 and 16 bit games)

Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/15/2013 11:27:47 PM

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Temjin001
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 12:03:49 AM

And to show that I'm not an incomprehensible idiot, I'll say I miss virtually non-existent load times and boot up times.

It's annoying that even when loading up some newer games, like Burnout Paradise, games designed to be quicker 'get-in, get-out' arcade games, you have to first wade through a deluge of intro screens and crap for the game to load. Do we really need to see, every time, how many different 'plug ins' some engine is using? Yes, it's Havok or Physix. We get it. Or Speed Tree or Bing video player or whatever.

Anyway, I wish it was like the golden age where you power on a game and you're taken straight way to the 'start or select' screen.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/16/2013 12:06:17 AM

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Temjin001
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 12:07:49 AM

...even waiting for the "Installing Trophy Set" like EVERY time annoys me =p

Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/16/2013 12:08:04 AM

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Kiryu
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 9:56:58 AM

Do you know any good game design universities?

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Temjin001
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 10:58:26 AM

Nope. Games are created through many specialists from individualized fields of study. Personally, I'd be leery of any organization that sells itself as a canned educational offering for a specific commodity.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 11:40:53 AM

I usually can't play new games that try to be old school, I don't see why someone can't just make a new school game that plays like an old school game.

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eric0113
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 11:23:15 PM
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Definitely health. Mostly now you just shoot until you're almost dead and get back to cover to get fully healed. Before you had to be careful or you would die quickly. Of course most people can't stand dying every 5 minutes now, but they could've just put a cheat code to give them health regain instead of making it standard.

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Balian Axel
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 11:31:12 PM
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Silence. I think that's what I miss the most. Today you can't go online without getting cursed out by the proverbial 12 year old or getting teabagged repeatedly. I enjoy fps but I find myself playing with the volume off most of the time now. Everyone seems to be trying to out douche each other.

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daus26
Thursday, August 15, 2013 @ 11:59:54 PM
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When I think classic, it just takes me back to Donkey Kong for the SNES. I played all 3 iterations, and they were just awesome. I can't pinpoint an exact trait, but games like Donkey Kong, Mario, and Zelda on the SNES was just very enjoyable. I think it's just the simplicity.

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ethird1
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 12:01:57 AM
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Dragon Warrior(aka Dragon Quest). I miss this type of game DEARLY.

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LimitedVertigo
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 1:00:51 AM

Wow, something we agree on.

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Underdog15
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 12:45:19 AM
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Cheats and codes for the heck of it. Not to beat the game in 30 seconds or something. But there were funny cheats and codes, etc. Or things like Mortal Combat's "Whoopsie!!".

Nowadays, if you put in a cheat or something, you can get your system or account bricked.

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Temjin001
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 12:56:59 AM

I don't know what Mortal Combat is or who this 'whoopsie' guy is, but another game called Mortal Kombat has a dude pop in during play saying "toasty!"

=p

Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/16/2013 12:57:59 AM

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cLoudou
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 1:28:34 AM

Maybe that's the Canadian version. :p

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 11:44:38 AM

Toasty was awesome.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 1:14:09 AM
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well as far back that i go and i've said it before was the ps1 era and the likes of the crash series most of it( not the iOS one) and the tony hawk pro skater i'd love to see the return of, or just more of side scroller platformers and character/action games and a pro skater reboot.

oh and yes cheat codes did add something to games replayability yes.. but something else as well but i can't put my finger on it ryte now. maybe a fun factor too but yes they were cool you had ta love cheat codes.

thats wat i miss.

happy gaming =)

Last edited by PlatformGamerNZ on 8/16/2013 1:16:42 AM

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Knightzane
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 2:42:03 AM
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Replay value.

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___________
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 4:59:59 AM
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i miss the good old 2D platforming, and the fast paced action shooters like DN3D.
now everything with a gun you die in 2 shots, and thats on easy, so the pace is slowed to a crawl sticking behind cover only moving to dodge grenades.
YAWN!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 11:46:52 AM

lol, what game are you playing? I can't think of a single shooter this gen where you can't take dozens of bullets on easy.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 6:02:55 AM
Reply

The sense of whimsy... although that probably comes more from the fact that I was a kid in those days. I remember stuff like Sonic and Frostbite and Master of Darkness and Shinobi. They weren't easy to play/beat... but they transported you away.

Although we've gotten more impressive technically, I'd say that's really fallen by the wayside. There are few games that I've been entranced by in recent years: Ni no Kuni, Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, inFamous, Sleeping Dogs, Valkyria Chronicles. That's basically the entire selection of games that has made me forget that Lawless exists, whereas that was the standard in the days of yore.

Last edited by Lawless SXE on 8/16/2013 6:03:56 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 11:51:30 AM

Dragon Age Origins made me forget about me, I really became that hero and owned his decisions, that made Dragon Age II a bigger step down for me.

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___________
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 9:50:12 AM
Reply

o, forgot to mention the feeling of FUN!
i miss the good old days where games were actually fun, designed to put a massive smile on your face, not designed to be boring life simulators.
theres already a game for that, its called LIFE!

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Boyo
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 10:22:56 AM
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I miss the one button joystick!

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Norrin Radd
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 10:24:47 AM
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I miss when every game was designed for the solo player.......

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Cuetes
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 10:59:17 AM
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The simplicity of just playing to play and buying a game that actually worked ( I hate updates, even though I know of some instances in the past where an update to a game would of really helped out).
I really miss Cheating Codes, A,B,A,C,A,B,B is forever burnt in my brain.
I really miss paper manuals, they were my favorite part (besides the game). They made me want to become a Graphic Artist, which I did.

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Vivi_Gamer
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 12:59:52 PM
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Platformers:

T huge problem with gaming this generation is that Platformers have been dropped from the triple A race. Mario is still going and did well with Galaxy, but I hated the sphere level structure. Ratchet & Clank is to blame, when they brought guns into the platforming genre they started a war, then Jak II, transforming from such a lovely game in 'Jak & Daxter' demolished any sense of reform with Jak II which was basically a 3rd person shooter.

Now the only time we get a platformer is from an indie developer... it's just a shame we don't get big budgeted Platformers. Crash and Spyro were such spectacles, really showing what the consoles were capable of. We had Little Big Planet, but having the focus on player creativity ruined any sense of presence - all people did was make levels ripping off Mario or other franchises rather than creating their on interesting levels.

I am really excited for the remake of Castle of Illusion. If anything I hope they intend to remake World of Illusion - Which featured some of the most entertaining levels I have ever played and offered a unique experience for co-op and single player games.

My second choice would be side by side co-op. It's annoying to have friends around to not have any good PS3 games for co-op. We just go back to Crash Team Racing on the PS1... which I do not regret as I love that game, but I would love something new...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 2:06:25 PM
Reply

I miss chucking my controller at the console as hard as I can and having nothing get damaged.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 4:52:39 PM

HA.

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TeHPoPPer
Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 4:48:56 PM
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I miss when you played the game and did special missions to unlock secret stuff. Now you have to pay for everything.

New Weapons? $5.99 New Costumes? $5.99 New Characters? $9.99

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Dancemachine55
Saturday, August 17, 2013 @ 10:14:44 AM
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After playing Call of Duty, Gears of War and Uncharted, I decided to pick up Super Mario Galaxy and see if it lived up to the perfect scores reviewers had been dishing out for it.

And it most certainly did!!!

Super Mario Galaxy brought me back to that wonderful happy feeling of why I played video games in the first place!! The beautiful, wondrous yet gloriously fun innocence of Mario games made me feel like I was 8 again.

With games like Flower, Super Mario, Sonic The Hedgehog, Littlebig Planet, heck, even Guitar Hero, I have heaps more fun playing those games than any CoD, Battlefield, Gears of War or even Uncharted! While they are great games, I get bored of shooting things or watching incredibly violent scenes play out. At least Uncharted was colourful and had fantastic writing and funny dialogue.

The traits of the innocent golden age of gaming are still there. We can thank digital downloads and the Indie scene for keeping it alive, even if it is shadowed by the big violent AAA shooting stabbing blockbusters.

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Masszt3r
Sunday, August 18, 2013 @ 6:17:39 PM
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Length, punishment and reliability. I remember that it used to take me weeks or even months to play through the whole thing; on the other hand, games nowadays, with exceptions of course (mostly rpg), can be beaten in a matter of hours.
Punishment for mistakes. The trend nowadays is to make everything easier for you. You get hurt, you hide, you heal in five seconds, and you're back in the action. Or simply put, it doesn't matter how many times you die since you will not be punished for it.
Consoles used to be indestructible... which can't be said for most nowadays.

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