Community Spotlight: Hardcore Isn't Oldschool Part 1
By: Kei Beneza (dividelife), Onrpg Journalist
Where there's casual gaming, there's hardcore gaming. This applies not only in the MMO industry, but the entire gaming world as well. After reading a series of review comments from different sites, and listening to countless rants from RPG, Fighting, and Shooter game enthusiasts, I figured that a lot of players are still not ready to move on to the next generation of gaming. Sure, the graphics are intense and the textures are exquisitely solid, but some gamers still think that nothing gets more hardcore than oldschool gaming. Are games really getting easier by the minute? Does it mean that the future holds nothing more than games with a default "easy mode" difficulty?
Regardless of the game's genre, I do believe that the difficulty has changed by a long shot. What used to take us countless days of 'trial and error' (like those Megaman stages), has now been reduced to save points and infinite continues. Can you even imagine playing Fable 3 or better yet, Megaman 9 without the comforts of saving your progress with only a handful of continues? Oh, how I wish I could focus exclusively on 'Hardcore' and 'Classic' MMOs, but I believe that this is much MUCH bigger than that.
Halo Versus Quake
I myself am a big shooter fan, and you'll probably see me playing Wolfteam, Warrock, Halo Reach, and Killzone 3 most of the time. To gain more information regarding the classic and modern gamer's point of view regarding the evolution of gaming, I interviewed a few gamers from both sides of the spectrum to shed some light on their individual perspectives.
Finalcut712 is an oldschool gamer who has grown to love shooters since the early Quake days. According to him, the only reason why games were really hard back then was due to the technical disadvantage at the time. He believes that games evolve simply because many features have surfaced throughout time, and that oldschool shooters like Doom and Quake 3 are only hard due to the lack of technology.
"Simply looking up and down was extremely hard back then in Quake 2 (for the PS1), same goes for Doom. We were forced to use R1 and R2 to look up and down instead of just using the right analog stick. The only reason why we couldn't aim in a game that was supposed to be a 'Shooter' was due to the lack of technology." -Finalcut712
Honestly, I do feel that he has a point. Games do evolve overtime, and regardless of some mediocre review ratings from various sites and magazines, game developers still try their best to revolutionize the limits of 'oldschool' gaming. He also stated that as long as people keep running their mouths on how oldschool titles beat modern-day games, these titles will stop evolving.
"Do you want to play World of Warcraft and be content with how it is forever? I sure as hell don't," Finalcut712 added.
Another person who gave me his take on the topic is Rai, who states that difficulty is what makes a game good. Rai is an avid fighting game enthusiast who plays a wide variety of versus games from MMOs to Arcade games. According to him, the reason why he is unappreciative of most of the games today is the small learning curve. He believes that games should always have a certain depth that will separate the ones who are giving a gratuitous amount of time practicing and the casual players. For him, the game's difficulty normally determines its replayability, provided that it's not monstrously difficult like Battletoads.
Aside from fighting games, Rai also enjoys RPGs and other gaming genres, especially MMOs. He did say that new games are good for their expansive system and amount of content, but simply breezing through the entire game without dying once is a big letdown for him. He does serve a good point, especially after pointing out the raiding difficulty in WoW. If people could simply kill the next boss without having to study the fight and proper team coordination then everyone would probably be swimming in epic loot after a year. He believes games that are extremely easy to play often lose their shine after a couple of months.
Is It Just Difficulty?
The next person who graced me with his insights was G who claims to be a mixture of the modern-day and classic gamer. Now G's point of view is somewhat different from Finalcut's regarding the battle between classic and modern gaming. G loves RPGs (especially the Japanese ones). Despite being into games like Persona, Final Fantasy 5 and other classics, he still enjoys new RPGs like Dragon Age and Mass Effect to the full extent. Also, his take on this war does not revolve on the games' difficulty and expansive system alone.
According to him, characters from classic games are a lot livelier and that the themes are a lot more whimsical than in modern games. Unlike Finalcut's view regarding the continuous evolution of games, G states that oldschool games have a distinct charm, and that no modern technology can surpass it in its own spectrum. Oldschool games have their own appeal that is lost with modern technology. Just like modern games have capabilities that oldschool games could never acquire.
Thanks for reading everyone! I will be back tomorrow for the conclusion of this discussion, with a look at the MMO sphere, the next generation of gamers, and how what we do now might impact what they play in the future! Dividelife signing out!