Forums - Gaming Discussion - 00's, the Decade of Easier Games (Wall of Text)

December 2, 1999 I went into a Fry's Electronics and bought the game that would consume me for the next 2 1/2 years: Quake 3 Arena. Day 1 purchase for me.  From rocket jumps to strafe jumping to railgun twitch shots across the map to uncompromising speed, Q3 was the ultimate hardcore FPS. Around this same time some modders were creating a lot of waves with some a mod called Counter-Strike that was challenging an already popular Half-Life multiplayer game called Team Fortress Classic.

All 3 of those games share a kind of kinship, aside from the year they were released. All of them were known not only for their headcrushing depth of game mechanics and strategy required to succeed, but also for their notoriously elitist fanbase.

Quake 3 was the first to die, struck down by a game that went from being supposedly a Mac game, then a PC game, and ultimately to the XboX, creating the biggest pregame hype since Daikatana--Halo: Combat Evolved. The response was all too familiar, and would repeated often this decade.

"HAHA Fisher Price Baby's First FPS!"

"Is this some kind of joke?"

"They make games for retards now?"

"Figures it would be on a CONSOLE, consoles are for people too stupid to operate a computer."

I'll admit, being a huge Q3 fan, I was one of those guys.  What the hell was this game, anyway? It looked so slow, and console shooters were clunky, there's no mechanics really to master so this game coudn't possibly be as awesome and popular as Quake 3. People will get bored quickly and go back to real shooters.

The same thing would happen with Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Source (the multiplayer component of Half-Life 2). The competitive community shunned it because it was too easy, too slow, anyone could get headshots instead of just the skilled players, too random and not "tournament ready" were the common calls of the hardcore CS player. 1.3 for life! "What's this? Anyone can play Counter Strike now? That's bullshit!"

The first on the scene and the last to be replaced was Team Fortress Classic. The TFC guys begged and prayed for a new Team Fortress, and when TF2 was announced for the 2nd time in 5 years, the Fotress Forever guys went absolutely batshit.  This was also the longest lasting fued as bunny hopping, rocket jumping, and concussion grenade travel were constant topics of furious debate and there was never a developer to settle it. When all was said and done the TFC guys bitched the hardest and loudest, but TF2, in all of it's "dumbed down" "baby game" glory proved to be insanely fun and addictive. All those trick mechanic arguments were finally settled.

These aren't isolated incidents, I have a friend who STILL refuses to play BioShock (even though I gifted it to him on steam) because "it's nothing but System Shock 2 dumbed down and made simple for 5 year olds." You can find this sentiment in so many different games and genres, and overall the level of zeal has been unique to this decade.

As much as it pains me to say it, especially as a former competitive Q3 player, Halo is the better game. No, it's not blazing fast or anywhere near as deep, but playing at a friend's house with 3 TVs hooked up for 12 man multiplayer, even though I died a lot (first time using a controller for FPS that night) I have to admit I had more pure FUN playing Halo than I ever did playing Q3.

I guess it sort of struck me around that time. Games aren't about being hardcore or casual, they're about fun. "Fun? cAPSLOCK? Remember when games used to be fun? Remember when it wasn't about a 180 wristflick headshot and listening to kids so pissed off you could hear them throw a mouse against a wall?" Practicing a GAME hours a day to stay on top wasn't fun. Listening to a 16 year old kid cry over a microphone out of pure frustration because he's losing 117 to -2 and refuses to give up because he wants 1 "not given" kill isn't fun. I still find it hard to laugh at that kid, because I sincerely doubt I'd ever know that level of frustration and repeated failure in a game. Playing in your room alone, goddamnit, is most definitely not fun.

In 2006 I'd hear the same arguments pointed at Nintendo by the same people I pointed the finger at 5 years earlier.  The screaming, jibbering froth of shit-throwing apes, furious that their beloved hobby was being tainted by becoming accessible to a mass audience. This decade, more than any other in gaming, has seen the difficulty slider moved back a bunch of notches.  However, the fun level has gone up quite a few.

At the end of the decade, before I go out and party it up with the wife and friends, my last thinking about video games is how much they've grown, and how much I've grown as a gamer. I think to my friend, a gift still refused as BioShock remains unplayed, and I wonder how long he can continue to live in 1999 gamer glory. Maybe next decade will be his decade, when he has that fateful trip to a friend's house for something like a Halo LAN*

I hope he grows up a little bit about the whole thing, has his re-awakening moment, and maybe even sits down and actually play BioShock. He's missing out on a lot of fun.

Happy gaming in the 10's VGChartz

 

 

*he lives on the other side of the country from me, so no Sunday gaming get togethers at my place for him



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cAPSLOCK said:

December 2, 1999 I went into a Fry's Electronics and bought the game that would consume me for the next 2 1/2 years: Quake 3 Arena. Day 1 purchase for me.  From rocket jumps to strafe jumping to railgun twitch shots across the map to uncompromising speed, Q3 was the ultimate hardcore FPS. Around this same time some modders were creating a lot of waves with some a mod called Counter-Strike that was challenging an already popular Half-Life multiplayer game called Team Fortress Classic.

All 3 of those games share a kind of kinship, aside from the year they were released. All of them were known not only for their headcrushing depth of game mechanics and strategy required to succeed, but also for their notoriously elitist fanbase.

Quake 3 was the first to die, struck down by a game that went from being supposedly a Mac game, then a PC game, and ultimately to the XboX, creating the biggest pregame hype since Daikatana--Halo: Combat Evolved. The response was all too familiar, and would repeated often this decade.

"HAHA Fisher Price Baby's First FPS!"

"Is this some kind of joke?"

"They make games for retards now?"

"Figures it would be on a CONSOLE, consoles are for people too stupid to operate a computer."

I'll admit, being a huge Q3 fan, I was one of those guys.  What the hell was this game, anyway? It looked so slow, and console shooters were clunky, there's no mechanics really to master so this game coudn't possibly be as awesome and popular as Quake 3. People will get bored quickly and go back to real shooters.

The same thing would happen with Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Source (the multiplayer component of Half-Life 2). The competitive community shunned it because it was too easy, too slow, anyone could get headshots instead of just the skilled players, too random and not "tournament ready" were the common calls of the hardcore CS player. 1.3 for life! "What's this? Anyone can play Counter Strike now? That's bullshit!"

The first on the scene and the last to be replaced was Team Fortress Classic. The TFC guys begged and prayed for a new Team Fortress, and when TF2 was announced for the 2nd time in 5 years, the Fotress Forever guys went absolutely batshit.  This was also the longest lasting fued as bunny hopping, rocket jumping, and concussion grenade travel were constant topics of furious debate and there was never a developer to settle it. When all was said and done the TFC guys bitched the hardest and loudest, but TF2, in all of it's "dumbed down" "baby game" glory proved to be insanely fun and addictive. All those trick mechanic arguments were finally settled.

These aren't isolated incidents, I have a friend who STILL refuses to play BioShock (even though I gifted it to him on steam) because "it's nothing but System Shock 2 dumbed down and made simple for 5 year olds." You can find this sentiment in so many different games and genres, and overall the level of zeal has been unique to this decade.

As much as it pains me to say it, especially as a former competitive Q3 player, Halo is the better game. No, it's not blazing fast or anywhere near as deep, but playing at a friend's house with 3 TVs hooked up for 12 man multiplayer, even though I died a lot (first time using a controller for FPS that night) I have to admit I had more pure FUN playing Halo than I ever did playing Q3.

I guess it sort of struck me around that time. Games aren't about being hardcore or casual, they're about fun. "Fun? cAPSLOCK? Remember when games used to be fun? Remember when it wasn't about a 180 wristflick headshot and listening to kids so pissed off you could hear them throw a mouse against a wall?" Practicing a GAME hours a day to stay on top wasn't fun. Listening to a 16 year old kid cry over a microphone out of pure frustration because he's losing 117 to -2 and refuses to give up because he wants 1 "not given" kill isn't fun. I still find it hard to laugh at that kid, because I sincerely doubt I'd ever know that level of frustration and repeated failure in a game. Playing in your room alone, goddamnit, is most definitely not fun.

In 2006 I'd hear the same arguments pointed at Nintendo by the same people I pointed the finger at 5 years earlier.  The screaming, jibbering froth of shit-throwing apes, furious that their beloved hobby was being tainted by becoming accessible to a mass audience. This decade, more than any other in gaming, has seen the difficulty slider moved back a bunch of notches. 

At the end of the decade, before I go out and party it up with the wife and friends, my last thinking about video games is how much they've grown, and how much I've grown as a gamer. I think to my friend, a gift still refused as BioShock remains unplayed, and I wonder how long he can continue to live in 1999 gamer glory. Maybe next decade will be his decade, when he has that fateful trip to a friend's house for something like a Halo LAN*

I hope he grows up a little bit about the whole thing, has his re-awakening moment, and maybe even sits down and actually play BioShock. He's missing out on a lot of fun.

Happy gaming in the 10's VGChartz

 

 

*he lives on the other side of the country from me, so no Sunday gaming get togethers at my place for him

You get +100 points for being a Quaker... But you lose 90 of those because you only stuck with it for 2 1/2 years.



The BuShA owns all!

100% in agreement with your post (although I hated Q3). But the message is still spot-on.



I found it very interesting, you cover your points well. Its hard to say if theres any significant area where I can find even a minor disagreement with what you wrote. If you don't get too many replies don't worry. You've just argued your point so well that it doesn't really call for much disagreement really.



Tease.

well yeah when it comes to party games you're right, most people aren't on the same level, it's really hard to find a group of people who won't get frustrated playing such competitive games. That's where games like Halo come in, they are good for parties but not good for real competition.

I really miss CS 1.3....



currently playing: Skyward Sword, Mario Sunshine, Xenoblade Chronicles X

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Believe it or not... there was actually a group of elitist Quake players who considered Quake III a dumbed down version of the original. (Same goes for Quake 2 vs Quake, but even more so.) The fast weapon respawns meant you couldn't control a map the same way, the railgun was dubbed a skilless noob weapon... there were all kinds of complaints. There were also a lot of Team Fortress players who considered Team Fortress Classic to be severely dumbed down compared to the original. (Team Fortress was originally a mod for Quake.)

This sort of elitism has been around for as long as competitive gaming.



...

I can't find a single thing to argue against.

Great post!



                            

Disclaimer: I did not play Halo. In fact, I played very few FPS games after I got bored of Quake 3, and all of them were ANYTHING BUT simpler than it. They were slower, yes. Had worse controls, yes. Had dumbed down single player with retarded "story", yes. But, if anything, it made playing them more, not less complicated. It also made it less... wait, no, it simply made playing them no fun at all. OP's saying Halo is dumbed down and has worse controls, so I'm assuming it's exactly like those other games I played.

Maybe what you mean by "easy" is "less competitive"? It's not the matter of easiness or simplicity (it can't be, since Quake 3 is already the simplest and easiest an FPS game can be), it's the matter of artificially restraining the learning curve to make newbies able to play "experienced" players evenly. Well, I fail to see the fun in it. I fail to see the lasting appeal either.

What I assume you just had friends around to play Halo with. That's something most of the world doesn't have (XBox doesn't sell outside English-speaking world, period) and, as a consequence, Halo remains cemented in the XBox niche with the rest of the world basically not caring about it. Well, sure it's more fun to play a worse game than to not play at all. But all it demonstrates is that there were many people who bought a console and wanted to play on it. Well, I believe there's a Quake 3 version for 360 now, so I encourage you to get back to it (don't forget to introduce your friends to it, too). There's no need to play something inferior anymore.



Well, that depends, i'm not a pro in FPS games, but in fighting games, you can compare games like MK to a game like Blazblue, MK may be more "fun" when you don't learn the game, but for me, improving and "playing to win" is greater fun than simply playing around with my friends (that's what SSBB have been created for :P )



Bet with Dr.A.Peter.Nintendo that Super Mario Galaxy 2 won't sell 15 million copies up to six months after it's release, the winner will get Avatar control for a week and signature control for a month.

Can't disagree anywhere.

Though I would have added that back in the day the Counter Strike players at least they knew their place when it came on the skill hierarchy. They knew they were under Quake and UT players. Now I have people telling me Halo (which takes even less skill than CS), or just about any game, takes as much skill as the fast PC FPSes. I find that appalling and my general response is a facepalm.

As an actual response. I agree, however I never got into Halo and stuff. Nintendo has ALWAYS been more fun for local multiplayer and it shall always be more fun for local multiplayer. That leaves things like console shooter in no-man's-land. Worse than PC shooters when it comes to skill, and worse than Nintendo when it comes to local multiplayer fun.



Tag(thx fkusumot) - "Yet again I completely fail to see your point..."

HD vs Wii, PC vs HD: http://www.vgchartz.com/forum/thread.php?id=93374

Why Regenerating Health is a crap game mechanic: http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=3986420

gamrReview's broken review scores: http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=4170835