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Thread: The game I miss most...

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland

    The game I miss most...

    Many of us here have been playing games for a long time. While some types of games have been remade time and again, sometimes building on the original in interesting, worthwhile ways, others have changed genre, not always for the better, and some have vanished completely.

    Which is why I'm curious: what is the game, series or genre that you miss most and that you feel hasn't really been revisited? And which elements do you miss most and would you most like to see in a remake or reimagining?

    For me it's Ultima, in particular Ultima VII, and what i miss most is the living, breathing world they created, the places with distinct personalities, the characters that populated them, the day/night cycle and the way people had simulated lives: getting up in the morning, having breakfast, going to work, heading to the tavern for lunch etc. Divinity: Original Sin promised to build on some of the systems of the series, but the world it created never felt alive, it never felt like an actual world. In that respect the Elder Scrolls games were actually closer to what I liked about Ultima, but they too didn't really make their worlds feel all that alive - with higher fidelity, you also need more complex or at least more interesting systems (and more focused, less meandering writing) for a place to feel alive. (Also, I'd want to explore those worlds with an actual party.)

    This may sound strange, but the closest I got to the living, breathing worlds of Ultima in recent years was Rockstar's open worlds. Put that sort of care into an RPG/adventure combo (my favourite Ultima games weren't particularly complex as RPGs) and I'd buy that game the moment it came out... and then I'd tell all my friends to get it.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2008
    I tried getting into Ultima VII a few days ago actually, but honestly don't think I'll be able to get into it this late. Even using Exult (which helped) the interface is way too sluggish. Really seems like a cool game though, and I'd have loved to have tried it when it came out.

    The sub-genre I miss the most is the turn-based squad strategy, exemplified by X-Com, Jagged Alliance 2, and Silent Storm. They had a loose, simulation feel to them, with strategy layers and destructible terrain. I'm still sad at how suddenly they vanished because I can only imagine at how cool they'd be right now if there was still a market for them. I think the genre was probably killed off by the lull in PC game sales last decade. The new XCOM series, while completely addictive and awesome, is more modelled on tactics JRPG games. We're also all a bit more phobic of spending many points on performing actions, and like the simpler 'two actions per person' abstraction.

  3. #3
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Sulphur, whatever
    Heart-pangs, you mean? Yes, Ultima VII still causes those. For what it's worth, TW3 managed a few glimmerings of the cohesiveness of Ultima VII's world, as I'm sure you would've noticed. No, it doesn't evoke the same spirit of the games, or the granular interaction/design for that matter, but every now and then when I wandered into an involved quest by pure chance whilst scouring the countryside and ravaged coast-lines, it felt near organic enough to bring on the same sort of dopamine hit UVII did.

    Every now and then I sigh and wish we had more games like Okami. It's the sort of pure, inspired creativity you don't often see in games. The brush mechanic could have been a one-off thing, but instead the game let you use it almost anywhere and everywhere, in fact encouraged you to do so and see what happened; it's that sense of playfulness, the invitation to mess about and see how the game reacts to you that I miss the most. It helped that it was also one of the most charming games I've ever played; all of the characters were a joy to be around, and that art style remains gorgeous and timeless.

    Of course, if wishes were horses I'd love to have a Homeworld 3 helmed by Alex Garden, and Jordan Mechner make (yet another) Prince of Persia game, because we haven't had any follow-ups that really built on what their last games hit out of the park -- Homeworld's mission design alone remains a benchmark in a game that set a fair few standards; Sands of Time's rewind mechanic and silky-smooth platforming seem to have been all but forgotten after the sequels lacked SoT's vital spark.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 1st Sep 2017 at 08:45.

  4. #4
    Earthsiege.

    Almost the entire franchise (except for the decidedly mediocre Starsiege) was heads and shoulders above the rest of its competition in the "giant mech" genre, and crafted with substantially more polish (IMHO) than the competing Mechwarrior 1 and 2 entries that the Earthsiege 1 and 2 titles were competing against respectively.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Netherlands
    I felt the way you guys felt about Ultima VII about Outcast. An alien world with plenty of stuff to discover, and NPCs to talk to. The interactions were really good: NPCs waving you over when they spotted you, conversations interrupted because of gunfire (rather than DX's waiting, strafing, gun-pointing enemies in the conversation's background). But then, that has been followed up on, and I'd say The Witcher 3 is a worthy successor to that kind of exploration and discovery. They both manage to evoke that sense of wonder while staying believable. In fact, that sense of wonder or awe is what Homeworld's presentation really did for me. I don't much care for RTSes. The disconnect between me issuing orders and things happening is usually enough to slowly chip away at my eagerness to play, but the Homeworld series just blows that away with its music and visuals.

    Anyway, back to Outcast, there's a remake coming (not to be confused with the earlier remaster), and I hope they make enough off that to finally make an Outcast 2 that's better than the one they cancelled. It's not like it's been totally neglected at least.

    Another genre that isn't dead but really only has one excellent developer behind these days it is the character action game; that set of skillful hack and slash games with (usually) breakneck speed like Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden, or Bayonetta. Team Ninja has severely declined in quality in the past decade, so Platinum Games is really the only great developer still doing these. Even they are starting to drop in quality with some of their licensed games (like that Turtles one).

    Lastly an actual dead series: the STALKER games. More of that please. Metro doesn't quite cut it.

  6. #6
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    The year 2000 saw the releases of a couple games that haven't been matched in their respective genres since then. Yup, I'm talking about Screamer 4x4 and Motocross Madness 2!

    Screamer 4x4 was the last really great off-roading game. There have been some decent efforts in recent years, Off-Road Drive, MotorMAX, Off-Road Paradise, but none that have quite lived up to it. SpinTires is of course great, but not focused on driving through off-road challenge courses.

    Similarly, I long for another game that'll let me drive a dirtbike around an open world area like Motocross Madness 2 did. The closest modern equivalent is the free ride mode in MX vs ATV Reflex, but the open world areas in that one were quite small.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Netherlands
    Oh yeah, Motocross Madness 2! I played the shit out of that demo. Best thing was trying to go out of bounds and getting cannoned back into the play area.

  8. #8
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    That, and trying to jump on top of the train and stay on it.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Thirith, I have been playing recently a new mp mod for Morrowind which includes the single player game as in all the quests and npcs. Its very cool playing as a 3 player party each character having a specific build.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    the living, breathing world they created, the places with distinct personalities, the characters that populated them, the day/night cycle and the way people had simulated lives: getting up in the morning, having breakfast, going to work, heading to the tavern for lunch etc.
    Have you played the Gothic games? The first two at least, I haven't played the rest. That description reminded me of those.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    I miss story-based space sims. Freespace is fun and the modern updates to the engine make it seriously pretty, but I'd like to try something new. House of the Dying Sun is so, so close, but its fast-paced five-minutes-or-less mission style precludes telling much of a story beyond flavor text.

    Maybe Squadron 42 will be the next big Wing Commander, but I'm not too optimistic.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    So mine is more genres than just singular games.

    * Beatem Ups - Highly popular in the 80s - roughly mid 90s. I LOVED these kinds of games. The rise of Street Fighter 2 killed these types of games off.
    * God Sims (aka Populus, Power Monger etc). There was Black and White a while ago, but not much else since really.
    * Resident Evil / Silent Hill style survivor horror games. By Resident Evil I'm referring to the zombie entries.
    * Space Flight sims. Highly popular in the 80s - early 2000s. I loved these. More so with good FMV . I know there's Elite, but that's strictly multiplayer.

  13. #13
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Seeing Sulphur mention Okami made me think of Viewtiful Joe. There's nothing quite like it.

    And no other racer has captured my heart to the extent F-Zero X did. I even played it again recently on a CRT, and it is still utterly wonderful, and it took seconds for me to get back in to it. It controls like a dream, and unfortunately, emulation just doesn't scratch the same itch. Dat music too.

    I would say I miss Dungeon Master, but every time I say that, I realise it's still alive and well thanks to dmweb.free.fr
    It still plays brilliantly, and it still has one of my favourite RPG levelling systems of all time, as well as my favourite magic system.

    icemann's right about god games mind you. Playing through the wonderful but flawed Black & White games recently made me realise that since Molyneaux stopped making them, no-one's really been able to follow in his footsteps (even him), unless you count the world-conquering Dwarf Fortress.

    But I even miss Dwarf Fortress! It's there! I can play it right now! But it's so badly optimised, it'll grind to an unplayable halt within a few hours of play, and I just can't bring myself to play it while it's in such a state.

    Edit: Oh, and dedicated server online games without fecking persistent RPG elements! Ones that encouraged modding, and server administration, and community developed tournaments and clan systems!

  14. #14
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I'd agree with some of the ones you've mentioned ... Ultima, top-down or 2.5D RPGs, a few FLV games, some point & click adventures, interactive fiction...

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Was always sad Anachronox had so much cut content and never got a sequel despite the cliffhanger ending. I've never revisited it as a result... it's just too sad!

    I also miss real Silent Hill games from Japanese developers. The Americans just don't get it, at all.

  16. #16
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Well there hasn't been a good Thief game for 17 years, so of course I miss that.

    I'd always hoped we'd get more Condemned games, I really enjoy the melee gameplay. And they were pretty scary and weird too.

    I have great memories of playing Pilotwings when the N64 came out, and since then, nothing (except for a 3DS version, but I'm not really into handheld stuff).

    Always wanted more Heretic/Hexen games, but I'm not sure they'd be the same as back in the day.

    And of course Half Life.

  17. #17
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Sulphur, whatever
    Quote Originally Posted by froghawk View Post
    Was always sad Anachronox had so much cut content and never got a sequel despite the cliffhanger ending. I've never revisited it as a result... it's just too sad!

    I also miss real Silent Hill games from Japanese developers. The Americans just don't get it, at all.
    Yeah, Anachronox is always going to be a shame unless Otherside manage to pick the license up from Squeenix. (Which they can. Squeenix is open to licensing it.)

    And Silent Hill... well, if you ever get to play Siren: Blood Curse on the PS3, it's essentially a Team Silent game. Not quite Silent Hill, but effective in its own right. It's also a shame that Kojima and del Toro's take on SH never came to pass, but well, you know. Fuck Konami.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I'm not a console gamer at all, so I've never gotten to play the sirens. I tried emulating the first one years back and it ran like crap for some reason :/

    Seconded on Hexen, but I think modern design would kind of defeat the point of those games. Portal of Pravus already became too much of a linear shooter and lost the essence, but you'd never see a game with maze like hub levels to get lost in with no direction anymore.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2014
    I want a modern Daggerfall with depth and procedural generation on par with the roguelike ADOM. I don't really give a shit about stories in games, but I love deep world building and lore.
    Last edited by TannisRoot; 1st Sep 2017 at 23:02.

  20. #20
    While I think Arkane has been seriously delivering the goods with their Deus Ex-alikes and System-Shock-2-alike I miss the first 2 Thief games. I also miss stuff like Thief, System Shock 2, and Deus Ex coming out and being unlike anything I'd ever played before. Someone needs to do an immersive first person game with that level of simulation and depth and mystery but without being an homage to something that came before.

    I also miss the days when we had proper racing simulators (I'm talking the stuff Papyrus, Crammond, and, as much as I dislike them, ISI made) that actually licensed a real-life racing series with the full set of rules/cars/drivers/tracks but didn't compromise on the sim-side of things. Grand Prix Legends, Indycar Racing, NASCAR Racing 2003, Grand Prix 4, GT Legends, GTR 2, etc. I wish it were possible for someone to license, say, the Assetto Corsa engine or the iRacing engine and then use it to make a WEC sim or a Blancpain GT sim or a 1991 IMSA Camel GT sim or a 1977 F1 sim or something. The content selection in modern racing sims is almost universally horrible and nonsensical.
    Last edited by Jason Moyer; 2nd Sep 2017 at 00:36.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post

    I have great memories of playing Pilotwings when the N64 came out, and since then, nothing (except for a 3DS version, but I'm not really into handheld stuff).

    .
    THIS THIS Pilotwings was an amazing thing

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Moyer View Post
    While I think Arkane has been seriously delivering the goods with their Deus Ex-alikes and System-Shock-2-alike I miss the first 2 Thief games. I also miss stuff like Thief, System Shock 2, and Deus Ex coming out and being unlike anything I'd ever played before. Someone needs to do an immersive first person game with that level of simulation and depth and mystery but without being an homage to something that came before.

    I also miss the days when we had proper racing simulators (I'm talking the stuff Papyrus, Crammond, and, as much as I dislike them, ISI made) that actually licensed a real-life racing series with the full set of rules/cars/drivers/tracks but didn't compromise on the sim-side of things. Grand Prix Legends, Indycar Racing, NASCAR Racing 2003, Grand Prix 4, GT Legends, GTR 2, etc. I wish it were possible for someone to license, say, the Assetto Corsa engine or the iRacing engine and then use it to make a WEC sim or a Blancpain GT sim or a 1991 IMSA Camel GT sim or a 1977 F1 sim or something. The content selection in modern racing sims is almost universally horrible and nonsensical.
    This is a man that knows exactly what he is talking about. Couldn't agree more. I still remember playing GPL, GTR2... :'(

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    PigLick, do you remember the name of that Morrowind/Ultima fan project? I know of a few but didn't know that anything playable had been released.

    I'm wondering to what extent an Ultima with the qualities I mentioned would be feasible in full 3D. The isometric worlds of U6 and U7 felt huge, but in 3D they might come across as rather small and theme park-like - and I'm not sure if anyone would be able to pull off a world with schedules, day/night cycles and mostly unique NPCs with personalities and individual schedules if the world had to be bigger. I'd love to see someone (like Obsidian, for instance) take a crack at it, though.

    I never tried Gothic, mainly because I'm a bit bigoted when it comes to German games. Most of the ones I've played felt like nice tries by developers with tin ears.

    A proper successor to Stalker would be much appreciated. I never really got into Metro.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    A proper successor to Stalker would be much appreciated. I never really got into Metro.
    This would be awesome. I'm a huge fan of the Stalker games and after Call of Pripyat the formula felt so close to a breakthrough for the genre. It perfectly illustrates what I mean about deep world building and lore without story getting in the way.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2008
    Open world survival games have never been more popular, so there's no better time. GSC Game World were trying to find their feet again with Cossacks 3, but I don't think it sold very well. It seems to be a flawed remake of Cossacks 1. No idea whether we'll ever see another Stalker, but I'm not holding my breath.

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