next gen =/= better

#1 Posted by drekula2 (1906 posts) -

Throughout the 7th gen, time after time, hype for new releases in established franchises has suggested the belief that since it's next-gen and it will be totally above the previous games in the series.

If you were to rank the games of a series, chances are the newest releases are probably not the best.

1. Much of the next-gen game hype is graphics based. Realism aged badly. Abstract ages well.

2. Setting, personality, characters, story, structure/pacing are all things that make games classics. Next-gen techology isn't needed for these things, doesn't guarentee these things and sometimes gets in the way of them.

Examples (from major series):

- Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess are rarely #1 on people's Zelda lists due to their pacing.

- When the hype of MGS4 died down, many (not all) people ranked MGS2 and MGS3 above it.

- Final Fantasy 13, I think most people can consider a joke.

- Mario Galaxy is probably a counter-example, but 3D World probably won't reach classic status

- GTA IV's acclaim is an empty shell of what it was and many people abandoned GTA5 after 3 weeks. They're not on a level beyond San Andreas and Vice City if you were to ask most people.

- Halo 4 was by no means a huge leap from Halo 1-3. It even had less impact than Reach.

#2 Edited by Couth_ (10032 posts) -

Nostalgia doe... As far as game mechanics, current Halo, MGS and GTA obliterate their old counterparts... FFXIII simply suffered from bad design

#3 Edited by Blabadon (26022 posts) -

Who the fuck is "most people?"

Your OPs are always so awful.

#4 Posted by drekula2 (1906 posts) -

Oh, I'm totally agreeing with you that nostalgia does tend to blind people.

But the thing is that pure gameplay mechanics aren't the best way to judge games. Because every gen better mechanics will come out. It doesn't matter how refined Halo4/MGS4/GTA5 is. The 8th gen entries will probably make their mechanics look obsolete, at least for the moment.

I think Ocarina to Majora is the best example I could provide. Ocarina was at the top of its game when it came to mechanics. So, how do you top that? With innovation, something entirely new and irreplicable. There may be Zelda games with better dungeons than Ocarina but there will probably never be a Zelda came that could take away what Majora's story/setting did for a lot of us.

#5 Posted by delta3074 (17925 posts) -

Theres too much emphasis on Graphics and not enough on gameplay which is why you end up with Pretty Tech Demo's like Ryse and KZ shadowfall, they look good but so do pictures in an art gallery.

#6 Posted by SolidGame_basic (16988 posts) -

who said next gen was only about graphics? the better the hardware the better the gameplay...

#7 Posted by freedomfreak (39394 posts) -

Peep Show.

A British comedy show is on Youtube. I think all of it. You should check that out.

"The secret ingredient is crime."

Super Hans is awesome.

#8 Edited by Couth_ (10032 posts) -

@drekula2 said:

Because every gen better mechanics will come out.

I think that's all people should expect out of "next gens", in addition to graphics.. Gens have nothing to do with story, pacing and overall game design.. Developers may blow those but it's got nothing to do with what gen it is.

#9 Posted by bussinrounds (2061 posts) -

No shit. Do ppl really anticipate amazing games, just because they have a more powerful machine to work on?

This gen's banal shit boring games are not the result of old hardware. The devs could have made amazing games on PS3/xbox360. Instead they wanted to make CoDs and Fallout 3s. They will continue to make the same shit, just with better graphics.

#10 Posted by lundy86_4 (43047 posts) -

Only suitable reaction to a Drekula thread...

#11 Edited by smitherton4 (66 posts) -

It does not mean better since graphics really only account for so much and even then the enjoyability of graphics often has a lot more to do with style than technical prowess. Design is what truly matters and frankly the next generation hasn't necessarily made it so that many opportunities have opened that have not been explored yet.

#12 Edited by Jebus213 (8758 posts) -

@Couth_ said:

current Halo, MGS obliterate their old counterparts

This kid

#13 Edited by drekula2 (1906 posts) -

Sorry. I'll post something more appropriate for System Wars.

#14 Posted by jake44 (1977 posts) -

@Blabadon said:

Who the fuck is "most people?"

Your OPs are always so awful.

#15 Edited by Couth_ (10032 posts) -

@Jebus213 said:

@Couth_ said:

current Halo, MGS obliterate their old counterparts

This kid

Dont be quoting me out of context kid

#16 Posted by Ballroompirate (22583 posts) -

Sorry but Twlp and SS are in my top 3 LoZ games (MM being number one). Hell to the fraking no MGS2 will never be better than MGS4, MGS3 on the other hand is still the best MGS game. While GTA V is hands down the best GTA game.

As for everything else you mentioned like FF, haven't cared for it since FF12 (FF14 ARR was pretty good though), Mario has been "meh" to me since Super Mario 64 and Halo has been rusty since Reach, in fact the only two Halo games I liked were Reach and Halo 1.

#17 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10593 posts) -

Why are we still calling it "next-gen" ?

The consoles have been out for months... Years if you count the Wii U...... Its 8th Gen,

GET WITH THE PROGRAMME, PEOPLE !

#18 Posted by farrell2k (5824 posts) -

The current crop of consoles are completely unnecessarily trying to solve a problem that did not exist, the need for more powerful hardware. Last gen consoles, with exception of the Wii, are still powerful enough to deliver fantastic experiences for the next 3 - 5 years, and with more than 100 games in development for 7th gen systems, I think they will for at least the next 3 years. This is shaping up to be the worst gen ever...

#19 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10593 posts) -

@farrell2k

The Wii had plenty of fantastic experiences.

#20 Posted by farrell2k (5824 posts) -

@farrell2k

The Wii had plenty of fantastic experiences.

Oh, hell yes it did, but I doubt it could have gone another 3 - 5 years, especially at 480p.

#21 Posted by UnbiasedPoster (752 posts) -
@Couth_ said:

@Jebus213 said:

@Couth_ said:

current Halo, MGS obliterate their old counterparts

This kid

Dont be quoting me out of context kid

Even in context, you are wrong.

#22 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10593 posts) -

@farrell2k

Wii has alot of "Casual" appeal.... They can keep it going for much longer than you think. Graphics are overated... Even more so than usual.

#23 Posted by MirkoS77 (7210 posts) -

@drekula2 said:

2. Setting, personality, characters, story, structure/pacing are all things that make games classics. Next-gen techology isn't needed for these things, doesn't guarentee these things and sometimes gets in the way of them.

It's naive to believe that better tech doesn't mean better games. I can admire the ideal, but c'mon. Better technology affords many things lesser doesn't. Does it guarantee a better product? Of course not. But if utilized properly it absolutely can aid in making one. Better physics? Yup. Better draw distances and less pop-in? Yup. Faster loading? Yup. Better A.I.? Yup. Instead of comparing today's games to the classics of yesteryear, compare them to themselves. Do you deny that all that you listed would be better games if they were remade using everything today's systems have to offer?

#24 Edited by DocSanchez (1578 posts) -

It's a frankly ridiculous opinion to say better tech doesn't equal better games.

My favourite series in the past gen was probably Mass Effect. It could not have been done previously. The scale and the progression from game to game alone could not have been done last gen. And yes, neither could the graphics. Which are important.

If you are happy to play games with pac man level visuals for the rest of time be my guest. But every single gen has been about advancing our technology. With new tech comes new possibilities which would have been limited by old tech. It's a ridiculous argument to say "graphics don't matter". Of course they do. They always have. So has advancing our AI, having bigger games, better sound and visuals, physics, and more realistic environments.

#25 Posted by lamprey263 (23300 posts) -

Last gen it took a whlie for things to come into full swing on either systems. Once things take off for X1 and PS4 I imagine the language will change. Hopefully fanboys will be arguing over which of their awesome exclusive franchises are better on the merits of the games themselves and not the graphics.

#26 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10593 posts) -

@MirkoS77

Theres a dynamic threshold that puts a limit on improvement.... Better tech does yield better games.... Up to a point.... Once you get any game up to 60 fps then goind beyond that certainly isn't going to make it better.... Eliminating text pop in many scenarios does nothing.... Draw distance is useless if if the game's mechanics don't revolve around long range gameplay.

Theres not a single one game... Not a single one... On 8th Gen consoles that would have worse gameplay if it were ported to 7th Gen consoles... Including the Wii. It may be uglier, but if they can optimize the framerate and clearity just enough to tell the difference between a bad guy and a half eaten hot dog on the floor then yeah....

Better tech only goes so far.

They need to create Graphics with function !

#27 Posted by DocSanchez (1578 posts) -

@lamprey263: it always does. People are impatient and have short memories.

#28 Posted by Lucianu (9365 posts) -

@MirkoS77 said:

@drekula2 said:

2. Setting, personality, characters, story, structure/pacing are all things that make games classics. Next-gen techology isn't needed for these things, doesn't guarentee these things and sometimes gets in the way of them.

It's naive to believe that better tech doesn't mean better games. I can admire the ideal, but c'mon. Better technology affords many things lesser doesn't. Does it guarantee a better product? Of course not. But if utilized properly it absolutely can aid in making one. Better physics? Yup. Better draw distances and less pop-in? Yup. Faster loading? Yup. Better A.I.? Yup. Instead of comparing today's games to the classics of yesteryear, compare them to themselves. Do you deny that all that you listed would be better games if they were remade using everything today's systems have to offer?

There are many older games that cannot be remade in their entirety if the AAA formula is used, without significant change that in my opinion would not be for the better at all.

From my personal experience, most developers in the AAA space tend to improve certain elements wile at the same time leaving other elements stagnant because of budget limitations and/or time constrains. The improvements are usually correlated to stuff that stimulate a player visually and aurally, which isn't a bad thing, but it tends to leave a game feeling superficial. That's why we will never get a open-world like GTA with the writing and quest design like Planescape: Torment, the graphics of Crysis 3 and the AI of FEAR.

Concerning your A.I. mention, unfortunately i don't think that helps your argument. Most designers don't seem to prioritize AI over other basic features for reasons i can't say because i am no expert. AI programming is most likely much more sophisticated than it was 10 years ago, but fact of the matter is that it just doesn't seem to translate well in video games. As a gamer, i can't even think of a game with A.I as good as Halo:CE and FEAR.

In the end, it all comes down to the developer. You can have the most powerful computer on Earth, but if the developer doesn't have the budget, time or competence to pour into taking advantage of the hardware, it's a no go.

#29 Posted by jg4xchamp (47540 posts) -

New generation, means new trend setters and world beaters.

The old guard eventually has to start passing the torch. So no, some of those franchises will start turning out "duds" so to speak, and that's what happens when you keep doing more of the same shit. There will be a Demon's Souls, Last of Us, Portal, etc equivalent to this new gen. Something new, something fresh, something that does it better than anyone saw it done before. It's foolish to assume that the older generations heavy hitters continue to reign supreme. It would be a duller medium if this new generation was defined by the 360/PS3's gens franchises. Gen7 was the same way. Gen 6 was the same way. Gen 5 is in many ways the same way, albeit ignored because of how successful Nintendo was putting their franchises in 3D. But the PS1 whipped the N64 not on established franchises, but on the backs of new ones: Gran Turismo, Metal Gear Solid, Crash Bandicoot, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, etc to go along with the established Final Fantasy.

This generation though I bet will be a matter of how much of all that new is going to continue coming from the downloadable space, or can a group of studios start doing it in the retail space.

#30 Edited by geniobastardo (1294 posts) -

I don't think Doom 2 had a good story or characters.

#31 Posted by lamprey263 (23300 posts) -

@lamprey263: it always does. People are impatient and have short memories.

When some people bring up how the next gen is failing in some respect, I suspect it comes from younger gamers who only came into gaming in the middle of last gen, since they seem to have a rather myopic view of how things should be.

#32 Posted by The_Last_Ride (70921 posts) -

@drekula2:

Uncharted, Skyrim, Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, sports series' in general, Batman, Forza, Gran Turismo and other games are superior to games that came before them. Stories might be told differently, but the are options possible. Saying last gen was worse than the gen before is stupid. Because it's not. The only thing we can say is some of the stories might not be as good. But the games are better

#33 Edited by MirkoS77 (7210 posts) -

@MirkoS77

Theres a dynamic threshold that puts a limit on improvement.... Better tech does yield better games.... Up to a point.... Once you get any game up to 60 fps then goind beyond that certainly isn't going to make it better.... Eliminating text pop in many scenarios does nothing.... Draw distance is useless if if the game's mechanics don't revolve around long range gameplay.

Theres not a single one game... Not a single one... On 8th Gen consoles that would have worse gameplay if it were ported to 7th Gen consoles... Including the Wii. It may be uglier, but if they can optimize the framerate and clearity just enough to tell the difference between a bad guy and a half eaten hot dog on the floor then yeah....

Better tech only goes so far.

They need to create Graphics with function !

I think the underlined is a mighty bold statement to make and substantiate, and also one difficult to counter at this point as this gen is still in its infancy. We've yet to see what the PS4 and One truly have to offer in terms of what advancements their new hardware gives towards gameplay. I'd point out Infamous SS, but've yet to play it so I can't say. I'm confident when Batman arrives we'll be seeing a game do things that would not be possible last gen, as Rocksteady noted. They say the Batmobile could not be done last gen, hence why it's this gen only. Many think it's just an excuse as not to be cross-gen, but personally I believe them.

Even so, I'm of the opinion that regardless of the utility superficialities ultimately affords a game, they nevertheless are a vital component of its enjoyment, and when lessened or absent become detrimental to the gameplay, in its loosest terms. Pop-in and draw distance are important in an open-world game past any function, it's called immersion. Gaming is a immensely visual/aural-contingent medium and I'm vehemently against this idealist notion that "gameplay trumps all" as far as it goes when speaking on what's important. A graphically competent game IS much more enjoyable to me and I've played remakes and emulation that while they really didn't have much more to offer than updated texture packs and higher resolutions, were still better games due to it. So you may say it may not have worse "gameplay" and that may end up being true in its strictest definition, but I'd come back and say it's overall not as enjoyable when taken as a whole, and when speaking on games and this topic, that's what matters.

It's still very relevant. A girl can know what she's doing in bed, but you can't convince me it wouldn't be a better experience if she were a Victoria Secret's model. I'd like all these "gameplay is all that matters" people to take the same approach when it comes to sex.

#34 Edited by Heirren (16649 posts) -

@Couth_ said:

Nostalgia doe... As far as game mechanics, current Halo, MGS and GTA obliterate their old counterparts... FFXIII simply suffered from bad design

Metal Gear Solid surely does, as does gta--I always thought the console versions suffered from serious conrol issues; gta4 started to fix things. However, imo Halo 3 which largely just a modified Halo 2, is a more balanced game than Halo Reach. Halo 4 feels more like Halo 1 and 2.

#35 Posted by MirkoS77 (7210 posts) -

@Lucianu said:

@MirkoS77 said:

@drekula2 said:

2. Setting, personality, characters, story, structure/pacing are all things that make games classics. Next-gen techology isn't needed for these things, doesn't guarentee these things and sometimes gets in the way of them.

It's naive to believe that better tech doesn't mean better games. I can admire the ideal, but c'mon. Better technology affords many things lesser doesn't. Does it guarantee a better product? Of course not. But if utilized properly it absolutely can aid in making one. Better physics? Yup. Better draw distances and less pop-in? Yup. Faster loading? Yup. Better A.I.? Yup. Instead of comparing today's games to the classics of yesteryear, compare them to themselves. Do you deny that all that you listed would be better games if they were remade using everything today's systems have to offer?

There are many older games that cannot be remade in their entirety if the AAA formula is used, without significant change that in my opinion would not be for the better at all.

From my personal experience, most developers in the AAA space tend to improve certain elements wile at the same time leaving other elements stagnant because of budget limitations and/or time constrains. The improvements are usually correlated to stuff that stimulate a player visually and aurally, which isn't a bad thing, but it tends to leave a game feeling superficial. That's why we will never get a open-world like GTA with the writing and quest design like Planescape: Torment, the graphics of Crysis 3 and the AI of FEAR.

Concerning your A.I. mention, unfortunately i don't think that helps your argument. Most designers don't seem to prioritize AI over other basic features for reasons i can't say because i am no expert. AI programming is most likely much more sophisticated than it was 10 years ago, but fact of the matter is that it just doesn't seem to translate well in video games. As a gamer, i can't even think of a game with A.I as good as Halo:CE and FEAR.

In the end, it all comes down to the developer. You can have the most powerful computer on Earth, but if the developer doesn't have the budget, time or competence to pour into taking advantage of the hardware, it's a no go.

I can't think of a single older game that wouldn't benefit from a higher budget and better tech, and don't understand why you believe it'd end up worse. I'd love to see Fallout 2 remade using a 3D engine, destructible environments and physics. Same perspective and all, just updated in those areas.

I can agree that many high-budget games do tend to focus on what sells: presentation, but that reality doesn't negate the fact that in an ideal world better technology is always preferable. I'm just very much against this whole idea that gameplay is the end-all-be-all of any game's merit. Personally I put sound above visuals, gameplay above sound, but they do matter a lot. I can't help but think of what older DOS games (Fallout, Tie Fighter, etc) would be like today.

As for A.I., I'm no expert either but I have heard it's quite difficult to program and is resource intensive.

#37 Edited by jessejay420 (3751 posts) -

It's a frankly ridiculous opinion to say better tech doesn't equal better games.

My favourite series in the past gen was probably Mass Effect. It could not have been done previously. The scale and the progression from game to game alone could not have been done last gen. And yes, neither could the graphics. Which are important.

If you are happy to play games with pac man level visuals for the rest of time be my guest. But every single gen has been about advancing our technology. With new tech comes new possibilities which would have been limited by old tech. It's a ridiculous argument to say "graphics don't matter". Of course they do. They always have. So has advancing our AI, having bigger games, better sound and visuals, physics, and more realistic environments.

i disagree with the graphics part.

a game doesnt have to be a graphics masterpiece to be enjoyable in this age.

just look at Minecraft,its ugly as shit but millions of people are addicted...why? because its a fun game to play.

its a testament that you dont have to dazzle people with graphics in order for them to enjoy the experience.

games are exactly that.Games.if a game isnt fun,it doesnt matter if it has the best graphics ever seen in a game..

keyword: Game

#38 Posted by DocSanchez (1578 posts) -

@jessejay420: I never once said a game has to have masterpiece graphics to be enjoyable. That's a frankly ridiculous thing to suggest I said.

I simply maintain that graphics are important. When establishing atmosphere, when wowing us, when making sure the game is clear, they are important. Games are a visual medium and I want the best possible visuals to enjoy a game in. That I've been playing since the days of BBC Micro and Spectrum should give you an indication as to how enjoyable I find games without modern upper level graphics.

#39 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10593 posts) -

@MirkoS77

1) Whatever roadblocks Rocksteady had trouble with in Arkham City, power sure as hell aint gona fix it and I'm pretty sure Arkham Knight will be Arkham City with Vehicles.... Which isn't a bad thing.... But they couldve made it cross gen with no devation to its gameplay if they didn't care so much about making a fictional world feel realistic.

2) So you're one of those "immersion" enthusiasts.... Being high maintainence and having studios bend over backwards just so you can forget you're not really sitting on a couch in your living room is nothing to brag about, you're not a video game character and you're not in gotham city.... Embrace Reallity its not that bad. Immersion is overated. If you can't buy into what developers did their best to achieve then... Well sucks to be you.

3)We can discuss that when a sex game comes out.

#40 Posted by MirkoS77 (7210 posts) -

@MirkoS77

2) So you're one of those "immersion" enthusiasts.... Being high maintainence and having studios bend over backwards just so you can forget you're not really sitting on a couch in your living room is nothing to brag about, you're not a video game character and you're not in gotham city.... Embrace Reallity its not that bad. Immersion is overated. If you can't buy into what developers did their best to achieve then... Well sucks to be you.

This gave me a good chuckle. "High maintenance gamer".

I can live with that I guess....

#41 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10593 posts) -

@MirkoS77

Hmmmmm..... Better graphics (no matter how useless) aren't harmfull so I guess I can live with that too. But I'm not entirely thrilled about it. :(

#42 Edited by Sushiglutton (5227 posts) -

You can do everything with the new hardware that you could with the old and then some. It's hard now to compare overall libraries since the gen has just started.

#43 Edited by lostrib (35018 posts) -

Have you ever made a good thread?

#44 Edited by Joedgabe (5110 posts) -

Next gen = Better... do you know why? Because we still have the one before + a new one so we have everything from before + more. A lot of people were smart to keep their last gen console and then Purchase the newer consoles. It's just the way i see it, because i like playing video.

#45 Edited by Boddicker (2586 posts) -

No shit. Do ppl really anticipate amazing games, just because they have a more powerful machine to work on?

This gen's banal shit boring games are not the result of old hardware. The devs could have made amazing games on PS3/xbox360. Instead they wanted to make CoDs and Fallout 3s. They will continue to make the same shit, just with better graphics.