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retroremakes top 100 games
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:28 am    Post subject: retroremakes top 100 games Reply with quote

http://www.retroremakes.com/wordpress/the-remakes-100-10-1/

It's interesting looking at these top games type lists (we were just featured in one on gametunnel and another on tigsource), they're so heavily tainted by the experiences and tastes of the people who take part. Obviously this list features a lot of very old games (even though it's meant to be just a general greatest games ever list). Is it possible for a game to be universally good and transcend personal taste and experience?

How many games age well? Do games have a timeless quality and if so is that the defining feature that signals a truly great game?

Are games only really great the first time you play them? For something to be timeless then surely we could come back to it again and again and still appreciate it?

Lets look at retro remakes top 10:

1. Elite
2. Doom
3. Half life
4. Tetris
5. Cave story
6. R-type
7. Super Mario World
8. Final Fantasy 7
9. Half life 2
10. starcraft

First off, let me say that at the time I played each of these games I would have said every one was wonderful.

But are they timeless?


1. Elite - no, too unfocused, game play too basic now
2. Doom - almost but not quite, feels repetitive and simple now
3. Half life - no, surpassed by HL2 in every way
4. Tetris - definitely, scarily addictive
5. Cave story - no, it's great, but no
6. R-type - no, too hard and unforgiving
7. Super Mario World - yes, a joy to play then and now
8. Final Fantasy 7 - surpassed by X and XII in terms of game play
9. Half life 2 - I suspect yes, too early to tell, perfect marriage of story and game play
10. starcraft - yes, recent rts's are far more sophisticated but are no better

I seem to have picked games that age well and are quite "user friendly", but I wouldn't describe them all as having universal appeal. I don't mean universal as including my mum and dad, I mean universal amongst gamers (otherwise we'd be talking about bejewelled and the wii). I suspect many gamers would find starcraft too complicated and HL2 repetitive and over complex in some places. So that leaves:

Tetris
Super Mario World

Conclusion

1. if a game attempts to be realistic or too story driven then it doesn't age well (unless focusing on an abstract or fantasy setting). It only really works that first time through. As society changes then the idea of realism advances/changes and the game looks unsettlingly old or odd. Similarly the story can feel clichéd or simplistic.

2. games that assume certain abilities and knowledge from the player don't age well, because knowledge and ability seem to be diminishing or at least change with each generation.

3. games that are fun to experience as a whole aren't necessarily fun from one minute to the next which limits the fun when coming back to them.

4. games that are abstract, easy to play and inherently fun seem able to survive indefinitely.

So lets have a go at a new top 10. This time the criteria being that game is universally appreciated by gamers, can be replayed many times (at least in part) and is ageless.

1. tetris - addictive, perfect.
2. super mario world - inherently fun.
3. the legend of zelda: a link to the past - simple, beautiful, touching.
4. diablo2 - addictive, just got to collect one more item, perfect.
5. pacman - addictive, perfect.
6. civilisation 2 - universally interesting
7. goldeneye - the perfect fps
8. grand theft auto 3 - total immersion
9. advance wars - a turn based battle game with universal appeal, shocking.
10. resident evil 4 - the ultimate game implementation of a horror movie

If I was to make a top10 of games just for me it would be very different. If it was a top10 of games that were classics of their time it would be different. If it was a top10 of games that demand excessive commitment (but reward it) it would be different (more mmorpg's for starters).
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Agrajag



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you're going to have a hard time finding 10 games that are universally appreciated by gamers. There's no way you'll be able to find that many games that everyone likes (I suspect you won't even be able to find one game with universal appeal). Like personally I don't like Diablo2, Goldeneye, GTA3, or RE4, and I'm not all that crazy about Pacman either (Frogger yes, Pacman no). Also I'm sort of hesitant about using the adjective "perfect" to describe anything.
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Ren Fraggle



Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd love to stick Archon on that list. I can still load that up and enjoy it without worrying about how old it is.

I can agree with Agrajag too, mostly with GTA3 and RE4. I really didn't care for those much. With Diablo 2, whenever I bother installing it, I guess I have fun at first, but I always get bored with it before I complete the jungle level, sometimes in the desert level. I think I drug myself through it and beat it once, but that's it. I never had the n64 to play Goldeneye, so I can't comment on it.

The rest of the games are good though.
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agrajag wrote:
I think you're going to have a hard time finding 10 games that are universally appreciated by gamers. There's no way you'll be able to find that many games that everyone likes (I suspect you won't even be able to find one game with universal appeal). Like personally I don't like Diablo2, Goldeneye, GTA3, or RE4, and I'm not all that crazy about Pacman either.


Frogger - yes, I forgot about that one, I think that deserves a place on the list.

I wondered about universality, some people say there are elements within game design that result in timeless broad appeal and others say the experience is purely subjective once you get past low level nuts and bolts.

Perhaps all you can really do when rating a game is mechanically appraise it:

1. is it easy to get into
2. does it have depth, both emotionally and gameplay wise
3. is the story engaging and original
4. is it timeless
5. does it lend itself to being replayed
6. are the minute to minute core activities of themselves fun as well as the larger game
7. is it addictive

Perhaps my top 10 would be better made on this basis. A top 10 of games that can be proven to be extremely well made, polished and at the top of their professional "game" so to speak?

Perhaps people can universally appreciate certain games, hail them as classics, but still have a personal dislike to some/all.

GTA3 - I think is timeless in that it uses a 70's mafia setting that is isntantly recognisable and dated, but in a good fairly tongue in cheek way. While also relying on shooting and driving with classic cars and bikes that are unlikely to ever feel out of place. The ability to just "live" within the game far exceeds Elite, while the well developed sequential mission system stops it being unfocused. The range of vehicles hidden as secrets, plus the different locations and hidden stunts encourage exploration. The unrestricted content generated bad publicity (you can be a mass murderer), but I think it was a landmark game - you can really go nuts if you want, but there are real consequences, it's a great playground. It feels like a large and complete world with little loading. Tooling around on a dirt bike while listening to some classic tunes just never gets old. There are different neighbourhoods with appropriate people, vehicles and buildings that help make it feel like a real place.

Even after saying all that, now that I think about it I do know people who don't like it. I think a lot of complaints were due to the core missions getting too hard too quickly and being very linear. Get stuck and all you can do is fall back on sandbox play and hope you can come back to the mission later and have another go. I suppose that is a shame as it would only have been slightly more complex to add more parallel mission arcs and let people switch from one to the other if they needed/wanted to.
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Agrajag



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem is that "timeless, engaging, and addictive" are inherently subjective adjectives. Any Top 10 list that isn't based solely on facts (like say Top 10 Best Selling Gamecube Games, or Highest Rated by EGM, or Games With Most Nazis) is going to be subjective and there's not much you can do about it. You can get the "Top 10 Most Addictive Games As Agreed to by the Majority of Gamers" but you can't get the "Top 10 Most Addictive Games". Even things like replay value and emotional depth are subjective, although to a lesser degree. And of course whether a game is "fun" is almost impossible to quantifiably measure universally.

The fact that not everyone has played every game also makes it hard to come to a consensus on a top list of games, since not everyone can fairly judge which are better not having played them all (like on that first retro list I've only played Tetris, FF7, Starcraft, and Super Mario World).
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it would be possible to remove the subjectiveness at least in some cases. It's just a matter of creating a definition and then checking it applies. I suppose we're moving into technical game designer type territory though.

Addictiveness - does the game contain elements designed to foster psychological addiction?

Example - Diablo2 : A major part of the player avatar's in game abilities are defined by the equipment that avatar is wearing. Most of the equipment can only be found by killing enemies. There are hundreds of equipment items that can be used in almost infinite combination. It isn't predictable as to exactly what equipment the player will get from killing an enemy. Common items are often "dropped", rare items not so often, but there is a small chance even with a weak enemy. Aquiring powerful equipment congfers a major advantage onto the player. Rare equipment comes in "sets" i.e. a unified collection of matching items. These sets of items provide added cumulative benefit to the user and some also provide pleasing graphical enhancement (for example, a matching set of black armour).

I think most psychologists would say Diablo demonstrably contains game elements designed specifically to be addictive. Anecdotal evidence proves they have been effectively implemented.

How's that Wink
I think we've got a working, non-subjective mechanism for rating a game's addictive potential.

Timeless and engaging though.....tricky.
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Agrajag



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Addictiveness is dependent on how engaging the game is though. I tried playing Diablo 2 and was completely bored by it. If I liked the game play it might have been addicting, but since I didn't.... well then it's not.

I submit Tetris and Minesweeper for most addicting games though. I can play them for hours, even when I'm completely bored by the games my fingers just keep clicking by themselves.
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like there are two ways of looking at a game:

subjectively - I personally didn't like it

objectively - I can break this game down and analyse it


So objectively speaking I've shown that Diablo2 has implimented a number of features design to enhance its addictiveness and anecdotally it can be shown it's done it to a good standard.

I suspect you could objectively rate a game, but it would require rigorous definitions of things like addictiveness, replayability, originality, etc.

It's interesting that even if you objectively prove a game to be very well put together you still get lots of people who subjectively just don't like it.

I suppose i've sometimes rejected games for subjective reasons, but I can still see they are great games:

1. I didn't like the penguin shooter, because it had penguins in it Smile

2. I don't like games that are too hard - but then lots of people tell me I'm a wuss.

3. I don't like games that expect a big time commitment, I just don't have that much time these days.

4. I don't like games that demand you play them in big chunks (for the reason above). For example, oblivion is great, but I only play it in ~20min chunks and I keep forgetting what I'm supposed to be doing or why I'm doing it and it's making me lose interest.
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icarus
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Location: Olympia Washington



PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poo Bear wrote:

2. I don't like games that are too hard - but then lots of people tell me I'm a wuss.


I liked Far cry until the last level. I already fought one boss and now I have to navigate a difficult stretch of land to get to the real boss. I can not do this their are XBOX hueg mutants with big guns. I can scerkile strafe the big ones that shoot rockets but the fast ones with guns just shoot me in the back and If I snipe the fast ones the big ones will blow me up.

I haven't played this game for a month now. I picked up stalker and rise of nations.
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simonb



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
10. starcraft - yes, recent rts's are far more sophisticated but are no better


Lies. Company of heroes.
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't get my hopes up !

I haven't tried that one, I'll have to see if I can find a demo and have a look.
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simonb



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its hands down the best RTS game ever made and im not just saying that. I have played pretty much all of them and nothing compares to company of heroes. Im just waiting for the expansion to come out.
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Siber



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've played the demo of CoH and will probably at some point be picking it up sooner or later. It's simply amazing, particularly the campaign. And it seems that it's a pretty good spectator sport, too. Working at beating the second mission, my brother was watching me play over my shoulder, and he was getting more into it than I was. There is a certain thrill to watching an AT gun and a German tank face off, a tension to see who will manage to reload first, and then elation when that armor piercing shell strikes home and annihilates the tank. It's amazingly engaging, though my machine doesn't quite do it justice.
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simonb



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

haha yeah. my flatmate likes to watch me play. Its actually pretty annoying, he sits next to me shouting instructions while im playing. Also, you can watch replays of your games in cinematic mode which is really nice. I like waiting untill theres an intense firefight and slowing it down to half speed. Its like watching a perpetual episode of Band of Brothers.
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