Today I want to set a few things straight, I am sick and tired of hearing about people remembering the “Good old days” ™, of hearing how much everything was so much better back then and how new games are soooooo easy compared to the classics. I’m going to say flat-out that I think a lot of you are confusing bad design with challenge.
Are today games made easier to appeal to a wider crowd in the hopes of raking in more money? Are the companies pressuring developers of making everything more accessible in the hopes of being the next Farmville? Of course they are! To think otherwise is to refuse to look reality in the face. The bottom line is that investor want to make more money and if Farmville brings more money that’s what they will do.
The gamer perspective
For those of us who have been playing games since we were five, who have been raised on classics such as Contra, where three lives was all you had and a single hit would kill you instantly, today games have a hard time to measure up. Once every year we do get a few good ones but overall, it hard to find a well designed game that offers challenge.
This is what I, and a lot of older gamers want in MMOs. We want to be challenged, we want to have to work for our loot and kills and we don’t want stuff handed down to us. Seeing pretty sites can only keep us entertained for so long and good gameplay is what keep us playing.
And it is saddening for us to see games become ever so easier to appeal to a larger crowd. We cluster around raiding, pvp or any other of the “harder” activities a MMO has to offer while we wait for a game to come out that will have a great challenge. So far, pretty much everyone is in agreement.
Bad gameplay is not challenge!
Get that in your heads! Seriously! It pisses me off when I hear bad design being praised as challenge.
Wow! This game is so challenging! I have to remember by heart all my abilities because the game won’t display a skillbar! You need actual skill to be good!
This game is not for noobs! You have to anticipate movement because of bad code and it makes aiming much harder. New games are easy!
These are barely exaggerated examples. Too often bad design, code, graphics and whatever else are being hailed as challenge by veteran gamers. If a new game is easier because they improved on old mistakes and broken mechanics then the new game is better. End of story.
I’m going back to Contra to make it clear to everyone. Contra had near perfect controls, was responsive and everything you needed to succeed was available. It was incredibly hard but it was hard by design. It was made hard by its developpers and not because of bugs or crappy controls. That is good challenge!
So please everyone, stop praising broken mechanics, poor controls and buggy games as the good old days and as challenge. There are old MMOs, or at least part of them that are superior to the newer games. But stop mixing everything up.
/angry monkey off