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Have I Lost My Gaming Mojo? 418

Posted by Soulskill
from the blame-dr.-evil dept.
danabnormal writes "Increasingly I'm being frustrated in my attempts to find a game I want to play. In an effort to catch up, I've been using my bog standard Dell laptop to dig out treasures I have missed, such as American McGee's Alice, Grim Fandango and Syberia. I don't often get the time to play games, so I like to have the opportunity to dip in and out of a title without feeling like I'm losing something by not playing it for periods of time. But when I find a title I like, I make the time. Heavy Rain is the last game that gripped me, that truly engaged me and made me want to complete it in a single sitting. I'm tired of the GTA formulas, bored of CoDs and don't have the reaction time to think on my feet for AOE III. Is it about time I tossed in the controller and resigned myself to the fact that the games I want only come out once in a blue moon? Or have I just not found that one great title that will open me up to a brand new genre? Lords of Ultima is going OK at the moment — is there anything of that ilk I've missed? What are your thoughts? Do you stick to a particular genre? Are you finding it harder, as you get more mature, to find something you want to play?"
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Have I Lost My Gaming Mojo?

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  • Try Minecraft (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    It's all kinds of fun. Kind of virtual lego with some friends. Mount and blade: Warband is fun a good bit different. I don't think I find it harder to like games, instead I suspect the new games are of poorer quality with a lot of dumbing down going on and the games being buggy and unfinished.
  • Yeah.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dontPanik (1296779)
    As a college aged kid I'm also finding it harder to enjoy video games as I used to.
    It is something that can be grown out of, people change yadda yadda...

    All I know is that I can't be mesmorized by a video game experience anymore as I could when I was younger.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Barny (103770)

      Yeah... yeah.

      Well FUCK THAT, I will still be playing games as much when I am 60 as now that I am 30.

      If you can't find something fun, look harder or GTFO.

      Now get off my lawn.

      • by znerk (1162519)

        Amen.

        No, really, that is all.

      • Re:Yeah.. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TapeCutter (624760) * on Thursday November 25, 2010 @04:59AM (#34340902) Journal
        Agreed. I'm 51 and have been playing video games since the grandady of them all "Pong" appeared next to the pinball machines in the local bowling alley. I have no intention of stopping anytime soon. Games are like movies and books, maximum of one or two genuine classics per year, the rest are either good variations of an existing classic or just rubbish.

        As to the question posed in the summary; I find games with a simple interface and rules are the best ones to leave and come back to later. I have been playing the popular flash game "gemcraft - chapter 0" since the start of the year, I keep coming back in the hope of finishing the last few feindishly frustrating levels.

        OTOH if the poster genuinely cannot find anything to play he could do what my 77yo dad did and find enjoyment from learning to write his own games.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by unity100 (970058)
          thats because you are from a generation that didnt grow up gaming. in your time, these stuff that are found in games (spacely stuff, fantasy worlds this that) were desired, but could only be dreamed. your generation grew up with those dreams. those dreams stuck. you are now enjoying games continually because they satisfy your generation.

          our generation (early to mid 70s born and later) have grown up WHILE gaming. we didnt have to dream, we had all those dreams satisfied. got space-like ? fire up a space g
          • Re:Yeah.. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by MrMickS (568778) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @01:07PM (#34343608) Homepage Journal

            As a counter perhaps I still enjoy playing games because I have a richer imagination. That my desires are less shallow, incapable of being fulfilled by the latest version of CoD, or Madden.

            I still play games because I enjoy them. I enjoy them in the same way that enjoy a good book, a good movie, etc. I'm not limited to video games either, I play new boardgames and table top games. I do so with my children.

            To answer the OP as you get older your life becomes more complex. You have more demands on your time. You might not get the same joy out of playing because you believe you should be doing something else, or that there are other things you'd rather do. If its the former then that's a shame, if its the later embrace the other things.

      • Agreed. Plenty of good games, you just have to look outside the flashy titles.

      • Re:Yeah.. (Score:4, Informative)

        by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @06:58AM (#34341374)

        Well FUCK THAT, I will still be playing games as much when I am 60 as now that I am 30.

        You have no idea how you'll change between now and 60.

        If you can't find something fun, look harder or GTFO.

        Its possible that by 60 you'll have found there there are things other than games that are fun.

        Now get off my lawn.

        That's your mom's lawn, sonny.

    • Re:Yeah.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @04:47AM (#34340832)

      I suspect your tastes have just matured. There might be other, more complex games you enjoy more. In college I thought JRPGs were great and had little time for anything else. These days, I can't spend 90 hours crawling through dungeons, and much to my surprise find that I just get frustrated when I try to play JRPGs. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate games anymore, it just meant that I have to say "okay, I'm only going to play the best ranked games on metacritic."

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      If I fire up Mame and play some of the old games from the '80s, I can get in the zone just as well now as I did then. Lamentably, my favorites required special controllers that my system is lacking.

      The game industry has to a large extent become as formulaic and uncreative as the movie and music industries. They're down to a few formulas that work, and they seldom stray outside of those. As long as people keep buying that crap, they'll be happy to keep making it.

      You can find some good stuff at the fringe

  • Auditorium (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jonabbey (2498) * <jonabbey@ganymeta.org> on Thursday November 25, 2010 @03:04AM (#34340298) Homepage

    Have you checked out Auditorium [playauditorium.com]? It just came out on the PlayStation store for PS3..

  • I recently started playing SC2 after a long time of just playing EVE online or go.

    Kinda suck at the multi-tasking and reaction time after so many years only training my strategical skills, but notice it improving little by little. So definitely would recommend trying out something that forces you to gain back some reaction skills.

  • Game Design (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cidolfas (1358603) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @03:07AM (#34340326)

    As a student of game design, AAA console titles are generally designed to be conservative in gameplay and copy what's out there, polish it a bit, and sell it with new art. Now, that's not even close to being ALL of what's out there, but if GTA IV, CoD, and Mass Effect 2 aren't your cup of tea (and you do enjoy Heavy Rain) then the big-advertising-budget titles will likely never appeal to you in the way it sounds you want them to.

    If you're willing to buy a game without a proven track record, look at the indie scene (Steam has a good starting selection) and some of the other great titles that have been passed over like Beyond Good and Evil or Psychonauts. They're usually more Grim Fandango or Alice than the bigger games, and you might like them more.

    • by Cidolfas (1358603)

      Addendum: download and play Cave Story, or get it for WiiWare. Contends for "Greatest Video Game Ever", and the PC version is freeware. It can be hard at times, but the gameplay and story presentation just draws you in.

      • by mcvos (645701)

        If you like stories in caves, you can also try Colossal Cave. It's a bit old, though.

    • Why does Beyond Good and Evil come up every time people are bitching about video games? That game had framerate issues, game killing bugs, mediocre combat and poorly thought out puzzles. I was sold ads with a lone girl in a dimly lit dystopia uncovering conspiracies with her camera. What I got was some anthropomorphic creatures, "wacky" comic relief and half-rate staff fights. The only saving grace is that it didn't sell well, meaning that not many people had to endure that.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Cave Story immediately comes to mind. It's worth a look, if you're into old-school platformers.

  • The most engaging game I've played recently is Portal. Unique, and fresh. Looking forward to Portal 2. I've gotten back into Left 4 Dead 2 as mindless entertainment. That's my one FPS vice at the moment. I bought Starcraft II but have not gotten into it as much as I thought I would, RTS games don't seem to hold my interest very long. I really enjoyed GTA: Vice City and San Andreas, so I was surprised when I was completely turned off by Liberty City. I think that was a change in myself more than th

    • This should be modded up. There's a bunch of great cheap games on Steam and Impulse, though the latter is still catching on. At the very least it's a good way to find new games that can usually be purchased in another manner, a different platform or as a standalone for example.

      After playing I fully recommend BIT.TRIP BEAT, Chime, Defense Grid, Geometry Wars, Lumines, Osmos, Portal, VVVVVV, World of Goo and Zombie Driver. I also saw a new game called Super Meat Boy that looks pretty awesome, but I have
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SillyPerson (920121)

      The most engaging game I've played recently is Portal. Unique, and fresh. Looking forward to Portal 2.

      Let me just point out that there is something ironic in your opening statements.

  • At 34, I love playing games. The problem is that I have other responsibilities to adhere to and limited free time (if ever). No longer am I free to live with my parents and dick around in college. It's part of growing up. Who knows. Perhaps when I get old and retire I will have that free time again and start gaming like I did in my youth, minus the "twitch" genre such as FPSs. Who the hell knows what the technology will be then :)

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      I'm a few years older than you, and over the last years I've started playing more games. But much different than 15 years ago, when I was playing Doom. Oh and the Settlers. And Civilisation. Could get you stuck there all night.

      I'm playing bridge on line (a card game and a brain sport), and puzzle games on my phone.

      While impressed by modern games graphics it tends to bore me quickly. Either it needs a lot of practice not to die immediately, or it needs a long time to actually get into it (like RPGs).

      Puzzl

    • by ADRA (37398)

      "minus the "twitch" genre such as FPSs"

      Taking a look at diverging pieces of the FPS genre, there's totally a place to grow for people more engaged in the strategy aspect of the titles than the twitch action. I was in love with the play style of Natural Selection (and hoping the sequel can live up to the original). The fact that one can take control of a team RTS-style means that there's some room for an overview style control of a battle grid where some really interesting gameplay can occur.

  • by SteeldrivingJon (842919) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @03:13AM (#34340374) Homepage Journal

    There are lots of them available. The 2010 IF competition just finished, so there are a bunch of (free!) games of varying quality levels, genres, etc available.

  • Make some kids (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mark99 (459508) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @03:18AM (#34340396) Journal

    Games are not so important for adults. The biggest use for games is learning how to learn fast. Maybe you have that down now and your subconsiously just not as interested.

    Go make and raise some kids and let them learn some games. That is a fun, rewarding, and quite complex game. All stages of it.

  • The games industry is trying to get us into skinner boxes to maximize profit, rather than providing quality entertainment: IT is getting old, not just us.

  • by dirkdodgers (1642627) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @03:20AM (#34340412)

    It's time to accept that the nearest you'll come to the thrill of a head shot, is a riveting game of cribbage with the ladies.

    I'd ask you to be my bridge partner but it sounds like your reaction times are really sub par.

    Be thankful for the cribbage nights. In another ten years when it takes all you can muster to punch A4 on the bingo card, you'll look back fondly on these times.

  • I bought a PS3 recently thinking it would be nice to try some gaming in my down time. Despite a few attempts to sit down and enjoy them, no game has really caught my attention. I don't think it's a problem with the game titles. I don't think I found any of the games boring.. There was just nothing that made me want to dedicate my attention to them.

    I guess a certain percentage of gamers grow out of it. Probably there's also a certain percentage of non-gamers who grow into it as well. That's life and if yo
  • Borderlands (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SpryGuy (206254) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @03:31AM (#34340462)

    I really got into Borderlands... great base game, with three out of four great DLCs (the third one being the high point). Great game play, LOTS of replayability (I've been playing it non-stop for a year), and a wicked sense of humor. And multiplayer is a blast if you have any friends to play it with.

    I also really liked the original Fallout 3. Fallout New Vegas isn't really grabbing me though.

  • There are more people playing games, and thus more money to be made. There's still about as many good game designers, so there are a lot of really crappy games out there. It's just harder to find the gems.

  • What you've missed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Thursday November 25, 2010 @03:40AM (#34340494) Homepage

    Are you finding it harder, as you get more mature, to find something you want to play?

    I have no problem finding interesting games, but I do find it harder to put up with bad ones. The more frustrating thing is that a lot of the games coming to PC now are actually designed and tested for consoles, which results in (at best) stupid UI design, and (at worst) major instability.

    Lately I've been finding competitive games to be more fun if it involves more than just personal skill, so I've been gravitating toward co-op multiplayer games. Here are two free games on Steam that are great:

    • Alien Swarm: simple to get into, but requires a lot of teamwork and planning skills to master. Everyone has their own role to play and there are usually many ways to tackle problems, so this game makes for some fun speed running.
    • Moonbase Alpha: a NASA-published game that has you fixing a broken moon base (surprise). It's very simple and has some glaring performance issues, but again with some strategy it can be quite fun to speed run in. Even so, it's a very slow game with little going on while you're actually executing your plan, so it's not for everyone.

    I've also been going back to play Neverwinter Nights, which has so many good 3rd party modules that I could be kept busy for years. It has multiplayer too, if you can find friends to play it with.

    Star Wars: The Force Unleashed had a good story and fantastic gameplay -- the spiritual successor to Jedi Academy.

    Dark Void was fun but really short. The jet pack works for some great gameplay and the story is decent. If you can get it cheap, I highly recommend it. Also probably the best video game score I've ever heard, done by Battlestar Galactica composer Bear McCreary.

    Prototype is like GTA meets God of War -- most games start your character off weak at 1 and get you to 10 when you're 80% through the game. Prototype starts you at 11 and somehow keeps getting better, so you never feel short of awesome. The only game to let you glide down to a street, snatch someone up, and run up the side of a building to eat them like some sort of zombie king kong.

    Borderlands is fun if you like to mix in a little RPG with your FPS. Get four friends and go at it. Requires some discipline to ensure you don't level past each-other when you don't play together.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Star Wars: The Force Unleashed had a good story and fantastic gameplay -- the spiritual successor to Jedi Academy.

      The Force Unleashed has about as much in common with Jedi Academy as it does Tie Fighter. TFU is much more similar to Devil May Cry and God of War.

    • Prototype starts you at 11 and somehow keeps getting better

      Then why don't they just make 1 higher?

      Prototype starts you at 11...it's like, when you're starting out, you're at 1, but you want to be more powerful, you want to kick ass at the beginning, so what does the game do? It starts you at 11

      I know, I see that. Why don't they just make the powers and stats that you get at level 11 available at level 1, and then just call it level 1?

      But....[long pause].....Prototype starts you at 11

      Okay.

      ,

      ,

      (Haven't played the game, have no idea whether you were just making a comparison to power levels in different games or whether the starting level is actually 11.)

    • "fantastic gameplay" : err, it seems we didn't play the same game.
      The license and the physic engine are indeed marvelous. But the camera system is a nightmare : it is alway pointing to the wrong direction and jedis are now ridiculously powerful, like some cheap manga when a single guy is able to break a whole planet.

      The sequel (SW:TFU2) is worse because you can finish it in less than 6 hours (for 70$).

      I would personally have talked about :

      * RED DEAD REDEMPTION : GTA for grown up. The same as GTA but no more

    • Re: Prototype

      What more could you want? [penny-arcade.com]
  • I'm 31 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by holophrastic (221104) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @03:40AM (#34340498)

    I certainly don't play games the way that I used to -- I own and operate two businesses -- but I've managed to find many games to keep me playing an average of 10 hours per week, and it's fun.

    Truth is, I dropped all of the games that simulate real work. Big surprise, I have a full-time job. It's unfortunatel because I really used to like the Master of Orion series, and number three was fantastic. But running a galactic empire easily plays 40 hours per week, and has you thinking about it all the time, and that's no longer entertainment for me.

    But there are way more genres now than ever before, and some have evolved quite nicely. So here's what I've done.

    Used to love the old Sierra adventure games. Now, it's the new Tales of Monkey Island -- the 5 episode thing from last year. Plays the same, but modern story and modern humour.

    Never liked racing games. I bought a sports car last year. Played GRID. Had lots of fun. So much fun, that I took my car to a track -- Watkins Glen. Turns out that real-life race tracks are 100% reproduced in today's racing games. Right down to the advertisements. Really quite something. Felt awesome in the real thing in part because of the game thing.

    Left4Dead, 1&2, do a great job as playing like a sports team. It's tough to organize a game of football in the park. Easy to organize a game of shooting zombies in steam. The tactics and communication work the same way, so it's fun in that way.

    I'm looking forward to the new DeusEx in February. I loved the story in the first one.

    In the end, the truth is that there are just so many many games these days, there's plainly going to me a huge number that you won't like. But you can bet that an industry that big is going to have something for you. It's just that big of an industry, and it's dedicated to giving you a good time. But you'll have to spend some time searching. Really. And if you're looking at anything first-person, you're going to have to get used to the modern-day controls of whatever platform you choose. They're different than they were ten years ago -- in every way.

    But yeah, if you want to enjoy playing games, and you put in some effort to find those games, you will like them. Remember, some games take over 70 million dollars to create. I promise they do it all for you. But if you don't want to, then it'll be an acquired taste that you'll never acquire.

    These days, I'm trying to acquire a taste for Scotch. Don't look up the game, I mean the drink. I've mixed in with amaretto -- something that I simply cannot live without (nor spell consistently) -- and Scotch is still tough to drink. But I want to like it, and I'm on my way. Last you it was french onion soup. This year, it's-a-gonna-be-Scotch.

    • by retchdog (1319261)

      Amaretto?! With scotch?!

      If you haven't already, try diluting it with a little water, maybe 1:5 at first.

      You can also "practice" on American bourbons and rye whiskeys which are cheaper and still have a lot of character to discover (not the ones in plastic bottles). This is not to say bourbons are a second-tier drink; Rowan's Creek for example is magnificent. There's no sense buying the good stuff if it's a challenge to drink, and especially not if you are mixing it with amaretto.

      It's weird how hard it is to

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Seraphim_72 (622457)

      Firstly, there is Scotch, and there is Single Malt Scotch. *Never* mix the two up (nor mix them in a glass). Scotch is a 'Blend', Single Malt is from a single cask. What you want to acquire a taste for is Single Malt. They are hideously expensive since the yuppies found them years ago, but we can work with it. I won't go into all of the different distilleries, there are web sites that do it better, but I will note that you want to learn on a light scotch first. The cheap way to do this is go buy a bottle of

  • I stopped caring about games when the arcade graphics got "cartoony". I briefly regained interest with Quake, then went back into remission.

    It was an addiction. It was probably unhealthy at times. I spend more time in the big blue room with the bright light now. I'm probably much better off.

    Maturity? Embrace it.

    • by slim (1652)

      I stopped caring about games when the arcade
      graphics got "cartoony".

      Funny, I kinda lost interest the more they strove for photorealism.

      More Bomber Man, less Quake, please. The FPSs I can tolerate are Time Splitters and Team Fortress 2.

      My favourite Xbox game ever is Space Giraffe; my current obsession is Pac-man CE DX.

  • The games I enjoy most have usually been out for years - the most gripping strategy games I've ever played are SMAC (or Civ), Settlers (II - IV) (when I want less complexity) AoE II. On the roleplaying and adventure side, very little beats rogue-likes for depth, except maybe the Exile/Avernum series and Myst games. The only space-fighting sim I've ever really liked is Escape Velocity.

  • Keyword: indie (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SharpFang (651121) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @04:09AM (#34340644) Homepage Journal

    Game studios have become corporations. Middle managers are the people who decide upon form of their games nowadays. They are run-of-the-mill, with little variation. Finding something new and refreshing from big studios is an exercise in futility. Just don't. Wait 5 years and nowadays' games that are fondly remembered then will be the ones worth playing.

    Meanwhile, load up Steam Shop and click the "Indie" tab. Not all of these games are worthwhile. But about half of them is. That's where real innovation is nowadays. Where new brave concepts are explored. Sure about half of these concepts is failed. But still, considering the prices, you're better off financially buying 3 Indie games (and enjoying one) than buying one blockbuster (and finding it boring).

    Look for games made in Russia. Some amazing artistic enterprises have been undertaken. Some extremely ambitious projects - very realistic flight simulators for example. Ignore flashy commercials for EA, Ubisoft, Activision. Go for the little-known stuff and you'll find where the good games are at.

  • by grikdog (697841) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @04:10AM (#34340648) Homepage

    I turned 66 last Saturday, and I'm still addicted to small games from years ago. Any Zelda older than Minish Cap was fine with me, especially OoT, and I went on a Castlevania tear for while. My favorite is still Star Ocean: Blue Sphere, which requires a modicum of Japanese and a GBC. I confess to playing the Professor Layton series more than once -- lost mojo is an advantage here, because I don't remember the solutions to some of the harder puzzles from two years ago and have to work them out again the hard way. I'm not a fan of most of the Final Fantasy franchise, but still replay 1, 2, 9 and 12. FF13 was an excrutiating disappointment, but in the last chapter there are only three bosses -- the first is easy, the second is either beyond my frayed reflexes or requires more levelling up (a colossal bore at this stage). My current game of choice is GTA Chinatown Wars, which is kind of a mini-mayhem doodle machine (you don't have to follow the main story line), and sort of fun if you rinse out your abused sense of morals once in a while. I don't know about "good" games -- seems a bit subjective to me. But I have no doubt one of the big franchises will uncork a great game again sometime soon. We seem to be living in a magical moment in the development of the Arts -- like Toulouse Lautrec, or Van Gogh, when the great souls are among us, unnoticed by the mainstream.

  • Install yourself a copy of World of Warcrack and welcome to my opium den.
  • I really got hooked on plants vs zombies recently. It's fun and challenging, with excellent graphics and one of the best game music ever written. It's replayability is also very high. It's only $20, downloadable, with five activations. Excellent deal.

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @04:40AM (#34340790) Homepage Journal

    try some "old" games you haven't yet finished. the lifespan of a game decides how timeless it really is.

    in terms of gameplay, the games haven't really gone much further at all in the past decade, and graphics on artistic/functional level have stayed the same as well.

    vampire the masquerade: bloodlines, morrowind, deus ex, X(and sequels) and so on, many of them have texture packs and mods available to make it a bit more fresh and also you can play them at high resolutions with antialiasing, modern look with many game studios is to just blur everything with fake focal blur(makes everything look like a cheap sitcom and not a movie.. if you catch my drift). you could even try ascending in nethack.

    of course, you could look into making your own and replaying some old and new games with that in mind, you might be amazed with how little original thought or actual content variety some games that ship on two dvd's have. I've been playing mass effect 1 and 2 lately, they suck in many, many aspects(gameplay is VERY repetitive, controls were made worse in 2 etc etc), it's a bit boring when you can guess beforehand where/when enemies will be spawned(just noticing that they're spawned in waves to make it easier on the engine sucks enough, also there's no adventure in m.e, despite having a galaxy to explore, but whats the fun when the galaxy is smaller than your hometown.. and what fun is flying a space ship when it's just a menu. gameplaywise some bbs door games had as much galaxy exploring).

  • I've been PC gaming for about 20 years, with a serious addiction for about 16 years (we all need a hobby). My life is much busier now with a wife, 6 kids, a dog, and several thousand servers to look after. I've canceled all the MMORPG subscriptions, what a money pit! Eve Online was the last hold out because I could still balance work/life/gaming. The best thing that has happened to my gaming experience since has been Valve's Steam. Collecting achievements gives you stuff to work toward. What has been most f

  • It's a great game, and once you get past being a white belt the tactical aspects really come into a roll. You might look at it and think that there isn't much to it but it's actually very strategic and many times you have to use subterfuge to achieve your goal. For example I get the mount and I set things up so it looks like I'm going for a choke but I've made a mistake and slipped my arm under my opponents arm, as soon as he tries to bridge and escape *blam* I spin and put an arm bar on..tap..tap..tap.

    As

  • Ever since a buddy of mine gave me his old Logitech Momo force feedback wheel and a 3-month subscription to iRacing last xmas it is the ONLY thing I play now. The most real racing simulator there is, and I can't get enough of it. Every single other game I have has not been loaded even once since, literally. I'm beyond addicted to it now, hehe.

  • by Aceticon (140883) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @05:56AM (#34341144)

    ... being in my late thirties and having been gaming since I was 15.

    As far as I can tell, it's a mix of:

    • The "I've seen it all" syndrome: lots of modern games are just rehashes of old formulas and some are even clones of old games (for example the highly hyped "Supreme Commander" was pretty much a clone of "Total Annihilation" from 10 years before). There's no fun or challenge in beating that which you beat already.
    • Exceptionally well trained gaming skills: my reaction times are slower than an 18 year old gamer but still superior to those of a non-gamer, I can quickly figure out any game - in fact sometimes I figure out a game by thinking "how would I set it up if I was designing this game" and games are designed to appeal to gamers of average experience and intelligence so most games are just too easy for me. Most games have a pattern to them and there is usually a "method" to beat those: once I figure out the "method", the game stops being fun.
    • A lot of modern games are not-casual friendly: if I can't sit down with a game for just 1 or 2 hours and get some enjoyment out of it, then it won't fit my schedule. This means a smaller selection of games that can be fun for me given my time constraints
    • Games are still designed to be played by teenager males: these are people who have lots of time and a high-tolerance to "Having to work for your fun". This means that all sorts of cheap tricks are employed when designing games to make them "last longer", mostly boiling down to grind-type activities. Games are made too long for the time available to working adults, have a bad fun-stuff to filler ratio and (in RPGs) have too long intervals between "rewards"

    Because I actually like RPGs and like to explore "a large world" in games, at the moment I am providing for my gaming needs with MMORPGs, since they have huge amounts of content and a reasonable price. I stick with the no-grind-required ones, explore the content until I get bored and then move to another one. They tend to be fun even in just 1 or 2 hour sessions and are in fact great value for money.
    At the moment it's WoW (huge world, nowhere as grindy now as 4 years ago, new expansion coming next month) and before that it was Lord of the Rings Online (now free to play, beautifull world, lots of story, adult mature players, highly recomended).

  • Good Old Games (Score:3, Informative)

    by owlman17 (871857) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @06:02AM (#34341168)

    It's probably not so much that you've lost your "mojo" as your preferences have changed over the years. Also, you probably have less time to kill now than when you were younger.

    You didn't specify how old you were when you were at your peak, but I'm guessing you were a heavy gamer in the late 90s or early 00s. You'll find a ton of games from that era from Good Old Games [gog.com] that ought to keep you busy for a while. There are lots of games there that I couldn't afford and/or my machine couldn't run decently back then. You could also try free retro-clones of your old favorites.

    I agree with the other posters that you ought to try your hand at writing your own games, maybe surprise yourself in the process.

  • VVVVVV (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wildstoo (835450) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @06:33AM (#34341278)

    VVVVVV [thelettervsixtim.es] is one of the best and most challenging Indie games I've played in quite some time. It's a platformer/puzzle game with an absolutely fantastic chiptune soundtrack [madtracker.net] and striking C64-style visuals [gawker.com] (some objects in the game are inspired by classic C64 games and demos).

    Caveat: It can be very difficult... but if you're anything like me it'll sink its teeth into you and demand that you complete it.

    Doing Things The Hard Way [youtube.com] is an absolute fscker tho. :P

  • Lack of Real Depth (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Plekto (1018050) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @06:42AM (#34341304)

    What's really missing from the games is depth. Part of this is because the more they try to out-do each other with fancy effects and eye-candy, the more it appears to be like a loud commercial rather than a nicely done presentation. But beyond that, games are now churned out like Hollywood does - all scripted, simplified, and by the numbers.

    For instance, they take time to explain *everything* in such horrendous detail and have trainers and all sorts of idiot-hand-holding. Compare this to Baldur's Gate. You knew nothing, you had to learn it as you went, and there was a real sense of a story, precisely because they didn't tell you everything that was happening. Deus Ex? didn't tell you much of anything. Diablo didn't either. In fact, the "great" games were designed to be a good game first and never worried about trophies or making it so that some addle-headed eight year old could get 100% on it on their XBOX or PS3. They were "hard" because you had to think. And they didn't have guides and books available before the game itself came out, either.

    Now, compare that to Mass Effect 2. I liked the game, but it was so much more simplified than it had to be. Even the Citadel level was a coupe of barely larger than room-sized areas and was designed so that even a moron couldn't get lost. Everything was possible to obtain as well as complete. Compared to the first game, it was a massive let-down. You never could get off-track with your missions. You never could get lost in a city. You never ran out of ammo. I mean, with that much space on the DVD, they actually *shrunk* the square footage of almost every level in the game.

    Depth. Hardly any. Replay-ability? Nearly zero. It doesn't feel like we're entering a world so much as watching a made for TV movie. And, it's everything now. Assassin's Creed? I've played games from the 80s with more depth to the character interactions. Shoot, they couldn't even randomize the dialogs for the city missions. Just the same 4 or 5 canned scenarios. Would it have really killed them to spend another 5-10 hours to bring that up to 20 or 30 so we feel like it's a realistic mission? And, this gets worse as you get older. Eventually you want something that isn't mature because it has lots of sex and violence in it, but because it respects your intelligence enough to not treat you like a child while playing it.

    From rubber-band AI to canned dialog to overblown effects and "trophies" for the most useless and inane things possible, it's no wonder people are so nostalgic for the days when gaming meant more than sitting through an 8 hour interactive movie on their screen.

  • Try this (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ledow (319597) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @07:59AM (#34341592) Homepage

    Get a huge hard disk. Enormous. 1.5Tb or something only costs as much as a game or two now.

    Dig out all the old CD's of games that you used to play, buy them off Gog.com or Steam if you don't have them any more. Read all the iso's onto the disk and / or install the Steam/GOG games onto there.

    Remember all the games / systems that you've ever played. Find emulators for them all.

    Have everything set up so that you can run any of those games from a couple of clicks and no technical hassle (nothing kills a gaming session more than having to diagnose your PC in the middle of it). By the time you get here, you'll have remembered several games that you never completed but loved. You'll have got back into playing all sorts of older games. You'll remember hearing of their sequels / prequels and want to try them out. You'll have been exposed to numerous games on Steam / GOG.com that you find interesting, and also others for the systems you are emulating (even if that's only DOS).

    I did this and it's great. No more cutting-edge PC required, just double-click and go. A quick game of Chaos on the Spectrum followed by learning how nice a game Comix Zone was on the Megadrive (bought it on Steam because it came with some other Megadrive games that I wanted for free), followed by a quick bash through a handful of indie games. Hell, I have 200 games on my Steam account now and most of those have been purchased since I did this.

    Most importantly - stop buying those headline games until a year or so after release. Headline games are only good for "I got it first" arguments among kids. It takes a year or so to realise whether a game is actually any good or just another FPS and you could have saved your money.

    Browse through the Steam store's less than £4 section. Some wonderful things in there and if you click through you can often get a whole series of games for the price of a single modern one. Don't buy *everything*, just buy yourself a couple of things that seem relevant. Demos are always good here. If it doesn't have a demo, wants a brand-new PC, or has some icky DRM attached to it - ignore it for a year until those problems go away. Suggestions from others for particular games are unlikely to inspire and most of those games are only purchased if you come back to it later and decide that *you* want it.

    Just get back into the gaming mindset - don't spend forever on purchases, don't await hyped-out games, don't struggle to run the latest games, don't wait for the 10 minute intros to cut through. Just get into the game (even if that's a slow-paced adventure) at a double-click whenever you like. All that matters is the time on the game, not all the related gumph. And if you get frustrated with something, kick back to a game you last played when you were a kid at the touch of a button.

  • by drfireman (101623) <dan.kimberg@com> on Thursday November 25, 2010 @08:29AM (#34341722) Homepage

    Most people, as they get older, find it harder to get into new games, new music, new movies, new food, new sports, new friends, etc. Getting into new stuff takes effort, uninterrupted time, attention span, and a certain kind of ignorance that comes with youth and that lets you see warmed-over crap as exciting and fresh. You eventually reach an age at which it's hard to find anything that seems genuinely worth your excitement; you get jaded . It doesn't work that way for everyone in every arena, but that's generally how it goes.

  • by grumpygrodyguy (603716) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @03:53PM (#34344704)

    I have this exact same problem. I'm 35 years old, and I've been playing Arcade/Console/PC games since the age of 12.

    Over the last 3 weeks I've been scouring the web for reviews, spanning back as far as the mid 80's for gems I may have missed. More and more I'm convinced that I've played every game worth playing.

    My favorite games throughout my life so far have been:

    (the times when I discovered or played them, not necessarily when published)
    Age 12-15: The Bard's Tale, Wasteland, Ultima, Pirates!, Might and Magic 2, Dungeon Master, Gold Box AD&D, Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Punch Out, Super Metroid
    Age 16-24: Dune 2, Warcraft, Warcraft II, Tie Fighter, Mechwarrior Vengeance, Counterstrike, TFC, Diablo, Everquest
    Age 24-30: Diablo II, Nethack, Moria, Angband, Zangband, Civilization 3, Baldur's Gate II, Age of Empires II, Shadowrun (Sega Genesis), Half-Life, Daggerfall, Fallout 1&2, Far Cry, X-COM UFO Defense, Battlefield 1942, WoW
    Age 30-35: Master of Magic, Master of Orion 1&2, KOTOR, GTA Vice City, Jedi Knight Academy, Pirates 2, System Shock 2, Deus Ex, Thief Gold, Fallout 3, Might and Magic VI&VII, Wizardy 8, Titan Quest, Torchlight, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, Borderlands, Mount and Blade Warband

    There are hundreds of other titles & sequels I've tried which I don't consider worth listing, I'm sure I forgot a few that are.

    But I feel like I've seen it all, and that innovation in computer gaming has stopped.

    I'd like to believe I'm wrong, and I'm sure there are some great indie titles I would enjoy (Mount and Blade Warband was a wonderful surprise), but it's taking me more time to find a game worth playing than to actually play the game. I don't remember that being a problem before.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen

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