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RETROMAN

Games that haven't aged well

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Sometimes I like to boot up the Virtual Console and play some old games like Golden Axe, Bonk's Adventure, Shinobi, Wonderboy III: The Dragon's Trap, E-Swat and countless other gems from the 8bit & 16bit era.

While the graphics and gameplay might be primitive by today's standards, I think those retro games are still pleasant to look at and fun to play. I'm still impressed whenever I see lovely parallax scrolling or sprite manipulation in games like Gunstar Heroes or Castlevania IV, and headbutting dinosaurs & throwing shurikens at helicopters is still as fun as it was way back in the late 80's/early 90's.

However, whenever I play something from the Saturn/PS1 era I'm usually far less enthusiastic. The 2D games from that era still look fine (e.g. Street Fighter Alpha 2, Symphony of the Night, Darkstalkers), but 3D games that were once considered classics (Sega Rally, Resident Evil, NiGHTS, Tomb Raider, Panzer Dragoon, etc.) have aged tremendously due to rough, glitchy graphics, terrible frame rates and/or sluggish controls.

This is just my opinion though. I'd like to know what you guys think!

Are there specific games you enjoyed in the past but can't get back into due to outdated graphics or gameplay?

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The N64 Zelda games. Ugly. Most N64 games actually.

The Marathon games are another example. Still enjoyable via Aleph One, but it took me a while to get used to low-res sprite enemies, ugly textures, really hard corners on the map, and terribly bright colors for lava and plasma and stuff.

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The N64 Zelda games. Ugly.

Blasphemy!

Really though, many early 3D games look really really bad, especially anything not by Nintendo, Rare or Squaresoft. Also 3D PlayStation 1 games tend to look much, much worse than N64 ones. But then, I've always thought this, so for me it doesn't have much to do with aging badly.

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Graphics that focus on technical gimmicks rather than solid art direction will always age badly. Games like Team Fortress 2 and World of Warcraft are still going to look nice a decade from now, while the dime-a-dozen stuff with bumpmapping and bloom/HDR up the ass are going to look rather tasteless.

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Sega Rally? NiGHTS? I think they still look great! Sega Rally just has that classic SEGA look, whilst NiGHTS still knocks me out. I think it's more the art-style than anything...

But I agree with the rest. Any game that aims for realism is bound to look horrible eventually, because there will always be something that comes along and does the same thing better.

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Final Fantasy 7.

Instantly came to my mind as well - I challenge anyone to play it again and check out the graphics.

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Really?

I think 7 is still playable. I still play it on my psp and the graphics never bothered me. The rest of the game makes up for it imo. There's no two ways about it though, the field character graphics are awful. Backgrounds are nice but characters :/.

N64 zelda too, wtf? OoT game still plays great.

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Pretty much any early 3d game for sure, but stuff like space harrier is completely unplayable by today's standards due to the terrible framerate issues. I tried it awhile back and it was so bad. :-(

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Alot of games come to mind on this topic.. I'm definately agreeing with alot of these dime a dozen graphic whore games.. All glamour.. but what gets me most with new age games is the harsh, darker coloring schemes. They irritate my eyes and cause me to squint at times, while brighter colored games like Metroid Prime or Mario Galaxy are a joy to look at, and those bright colorings in games dating back to some Atari games age them well to me. Pacman still rocks, as does alot of the older NES and Super NES games.

Perfect Dark on Nintendo 64 hasn't aged well at all, a friend of mine went ahead and picked up the cleaned up version on Xbox Live. We played it for hours, made me pop my copy in the old system and my eyes about bled. And some N64 games still look pretty good.. Majora's Mask still comes to mind with the opening, the mask spinning into the title. And on note of FFVII, yeah I pulled it out a month back and went through it. The graphics while still bad, are tolerable but they too will definately grow worse as time goes on.

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Some games that used carefully hand-drawn sprites like Earthworm Jim, or the ones with less used concepts like the crayola graphics in Yoshi's Island will never get old. Games that are too reliant on pre-rendered 3D models like Doom Troopers or Vectorman aged very badly. It all looks very plastic and lacks character.

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FF7 and Chrono Cross, they still have their charm and I'll definitely still play them whenever I decide to, but these PS1 titles find themselves in a bit of a no-man's land between acceptably nice looking 16-bit SNES titles and much more polished, non-pixelated PS2 titles.

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Alot of games come to mind on this topic.. I'm definately agreeing with alot of these dime a dozen graphic whore games.. All glamour.. but what gets me most with new age games is the harsh, darker coloring schemes.

Yeah, I wonder if those games will look very dated in a few years. Personally I'm sick of all the brown/gray city slums, warzones and apocalyptic wastelands we've seen this generation. And while some of the games that featured those kind of graphics were great, I do think that this kind of aesthetic will look very dated in the near future.

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Perfect Dark on Nintendo 64 hasn't aged well at all, a friend of mine went ahead and picked up the cleaned up version on Xbox Live. We played it for hours, made me pop my copy in the old system and my eyes about bled.

I love Perfect Dark, but I think I agree with you there. Not even as much graphically as just in terms of the game overall. I think Goldeneye has almost aged better, at least in terms of the single player missions, because it's simpler.

I think FFVIII is pretty dated. I like FFVII fine because of the unique art style, I guess, and the fact that I never played it when it came out so I always knew about those crazy polygons. Early attempts at motion capture and 3d games are for the most part extremely dated. A lot of early CD games, and early PS1 and N64 games. Though Mario 64 and Zelda 64 I do not find dated in the least bit. A lot of people would say Wolf 3D and DOOM are dated but I disagree, because I feel like they're not trying to do anything they aren't, and I think the graphics to both of them are effective if simple. A lot of their clones are extremely dated though.

I think it's really the gameplay that dates a game in the end, not the graphics.

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Mario 64 actually had a really good framerate, so despite the graphical issues it probably will stay great til the end of videogames (aka the END OF TIME).

I have to agree that games that rely on 3d graphics WILL age far worse than games that rely on 2d graphics, simply because while 3d games continue to progress and get better with time, 2d games were pretty much perfected graphics-wise in 1996 (yeah, later systems got a little better, but really - they haven't gotten too much better since Playstation). Thus, the classics of the past really don't look any worse than the newer 2d games.

Also, old gameplay generally will not age well, but they remain fun for those that grew up with them.

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any 3D game from the psone era and earlier looks pretty bad to me, I even thought so back when they were new.

but I find that any game from the N64 era and on can still look fantastic when played on newer hardware.

for example, N64 games can look really nice when emulated with a smooth frame-rate and a resolution of 1920X1080 or higher, even the standard-def 480p Wii VC versions look a lot better than the original.

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talking about what games you think are secretly bad is just a really subtle way of talking about what games you actually think are the best

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Doom (SNES)- I know everyone was wowed by the system playing a PC game, but dear God... the pixelation is insane and the framerate is pretty rough. Sure the music is nice and it has a good number of the levels, but...

Everyone gave ports like the ones on Saturn and 3DO a lot of shit, but they're better versions to play than the highly praised SNES one.

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talking about what games you think are secretly bad is just a really subtle way of talking about what games you actually think are the best

killer logic there, killer

Doom (SNES)- I know everyone was wowed by the system playing a PC game, but dear God... the pixelation is insane and the framerate is pretty rough. Sure the music is nice and it has a good number of the levels, but...

Everyone gave ports like the ones on Saturn and 3DO a lot of shit, but they're better versions to play than the highly praised SNES one.

I think the SNES version is highly praised just because it's a passable port that's somewhat remarkable given the limitations of the system. I don't think that anyone would argue for playing that instead of the original PC version (or at least I hope no one would).

Another one to add to the list: Donkey Kong Country 1. Everyone was blown away by the graphics and music at the time, but the gameplay was pretty easy and I don't think it's aged very well. DKC2, on the other hand, seems to have aged well.

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