Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly era

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Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly era

Postby Koyuki » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:24 am

What do you think about earlier 3d games made for Sega Saturn, PC, 3DO, PS1, N64 and earlier Dreamcast games???

Personally I think its the most awesome generation of games, everything was new and developers had new ways to use their creativity to the maximum.

Games looked and sounded like games, and played like games. During the 5th generation each game looked different because every hardware available was so different from the others, like every system had its strong and weak points making the game available for them very unique.

There's a special feeling about playing early 3d games: you can look around, compare titles and be impressed with what developers did with special effects, animation, geometry etc

Today games wants to be movies and players watch more than they play.

Not to mention that from PS2 and above, games do look like a lot to each other, specially when newer engines like Unreal became the standard, and the increasing in development costs made the softhouses take less risks with their games, so the variety of genres we had during the 5th generation, gone.

Today There are no more games like Bust-A-Grove, for example....every dancing game will be a sequel/clone of JUST DANCE.

Every racer will look like Forza/Gran Turismo. There is no more F-Zero, Extreme-G, Rollcage, Wipeout, Daytona, Destruction Derby, Cruis'n USA, Wave Race, Sega Rally, Road Rash...

We wont ever get games like Blood Roar, Bushido Blade, Ergheiz, Last Bronx, Waku Waku 7, Darkstalkers, War Gods, Xena Talisman of Fate or Fighter's Destiny in the fighting genre.
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby ThruMy4Eyes » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:27 am

I'm thinking that you read my mind.

12 years i spent being absorbed in the 5th generation alone - from the young age of 9 with my first issue of GamePro (June 1995) talking about the newest systems arriving, until halfway through college at 21 and still playing my SS/PS1/N64/DC every day, both at school and home.

I made an account here just to comment on this. It spoke to me.
You are completely right in how gaming has becoming incredibly boring, on both the gameplay and graphical front. Granted there are the exceptions you come across today, but for the majority of what people play or are exposed to, it's all homogeneous junk. Back then new games had you wondering much more often, what are the final graphics going to look like? What effects are they going to use? Or even just, I wonder how this will feel as far as controls? E3 used to a HUGE event, and the media coverage to go with it. Wondering what the next systems will be named or the specs and new games was amazing. Now it's official they're doing PC-like incremental upgrades, with the Xbox One S and PS4 Pro.
And Sony dropping PS1 backwards compatibility with the PS4. Like really Sony? You kept the support in for 3 WHOLE consoles generations, of which at the end it was just a software emulator. Did you really need to free up 40MB in the system software that badly for the PS4??

That is why i am relieved to see some indie or low budget titles going the retro graphics route. It shows love to gaming days of years gone past.
And don't get me started on DLC, patches and mandatory game installs (the last of which could've been handled better).
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby Koyuki » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:57 am

I dont complain about the business model of these days, except err.... I miss game manuals...and game magazines with previews of the month, reviews, walkthroughs and cheats were a big part of my childhood.

What makes the 5th generation so special to me is that games looked like games and played like games.

I still find PS1/SAT/N64/DC and PC games from 1994-2001 more interesting than anything in the PS4/XONE and even Nintendo WiiU/Switch.

To be fair, PS2/GC/XBOX and PC from 2002-2004 looks like the same thing to me, while Wii is almost the same as XBOX and GC, and X360 and PS3 and PC were the same thing from 2005 to 2012.

Now we changed to XONE,PS4 and both looks like the same.

Its not only a lack of inovation in terms of game design, its also a lack of identity in these platforms.

Its not gaming as it used to be. Console wars is now so pointless, its not fun anymore because theres nothing to compare.

There's no more wars like Virtua Fighter 2 vs Tekken...
Ridge Racer vs Sega Rally...
Mario 64 vs Nights vs Crash Bandicoot....
Tomb Raider vs Resident Evil...
Goldeneye 007 vs Final Fantasy VII sales and goty war.
Zelda: Ocarina of Time vs Metal Gear Solid best game of the year duel...

There will be no more Soul Calibur vs "the rest" as a contender for 1999 goty.

A fighting game will not be able to win the majority of GOTY awards like Soul Calibur did in 1999.

The 5th generation was by far the most competitive, with SEGA trying so hard to survive with the DC (their last breath) and Nintendo trying to prove theirselves with the quality of N64 library vs the quantity of PS1 titles.

The whole scenario made the things very exciting back then. It still makes discussion more fun and interesting than any other generation. There's a lot to talk about it.

Now each manufacturer is confortable in their own position.

Nintendo in handheld, Sony in home consoles and Microsoft with PC and services.
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby Bakkies » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:22 am

Modern gaming has pretty much killed it for me. AAA companies are trying to suck all the money out of you and deliver a lowest common denominator product. Indie companies are trying to sell you nostalgia by giving you shitty pixel art games, meme games or overly pretentious games like Gone Home. Not even to mention the plethora of tree-punchers.

That's why I scour TiZ and find hidden gem after hidden gem on the 5th gen, even the 3DO has them and is definitely underrated. The PS1 contains an incredible amount of hidden gems however. Discovered Vib Ribbon recently and was one of my best gaming experiences to date. I never had a Saturn and playing Saturn games is like finding the lost city of El Dorado.

However I disagree with you on the PS2, the amount of gems on it is astounding. Even if you only like Saturn games the PS2 will provide you with enhanced versions of Panzer Dragoon and Nights, including arcade perfect ports of Sega Rally, Last Bronx, Fighting Vipers, Virtual On etc. The PS2 only had a hand full of Unreal engine games, most games had their own unique engine and looked completely different from each other. Like Sky Odyssey vs Ace Combat vs Sky Gunner. Ico vs Silent Hill 2 vs Devil May Cry.

I'm still discovering amazing PS2 games that's unique and awesome. You mentioned rhythm games, the PS2 has Mad Maestro, Unison, Taiko Drum Master, Guitaroo Man, Technic Beat etc. Sequels to niche games like Seaman, Baroque, Parappa the Rapper. Weird games like Stretch Panic, Chulip, Katamari, Mr.Mosquito etc.

For me the PS2 is the best console ever made.

To be honest though, the decline of gaming for me coincides with the decline of the Japanese gaming market. The only time modern gaming piques my interest is when it's a Japanese game, like Star Ocean, Monster Hunter, Final Fantasy 15, Yakuza, Resident Evil, Nier etc.
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby darkricky » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:53 am

I am probably going to ruffle many people's feathers, but I am not much fan of those early-ugly-blocky 3D graphics. I play these games only for gameplay. There's nothing really appealing about those graphics since the arrival of PS2. I love pre rendered games from that era like resident evil, final fantasy, koudelka etc.
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby kremiso » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:19 am

Well, it's officially born the Nostalgia 2.0 generation :)
i belong mostly at the 1.0 one (8/16 bit and pixels)
but there are indeed a lot of titles of first cd era (+N64) that i still prefer to all the sequels

Tekken 2, Tomb Raider 1 (yes, Lara with spiked boobs), Banjo-Kazooie
are only some examples

good thread
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Last edited by kremiso on Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby Theoden » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:31 am

I totally agree with your thoughts. Lowpoly era was a magical time for me.
Like you mentioned, games were mostly special and unique. The devs were experimenting and trying out new things all the time.
The visual aesthetics of low specs systems are very appealing.
I wasn't a console player but witnessed the same phase of lowpoly gaming on good old PC.
For me it started with DOS in the early 90s and then around mid 90s the 3DFX accelerated graphics revolution took off. Man, I was totally blown away! The best games in PC history were made from those times. For me the golden age of PC gaming is roughly between 1994 to 2007(max).
The golden age starts with the rise of DOS games on PC followed by the 3D era and comes to an end with the release of the original Crysis(an awesome FPS) which in my opinion marks the start of "modern next-gen casual" game wave.
After the year 2007 things seem to go downhill.
Still playing the classics today, they never cease to amaze me.
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby Sabkahn » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:30 pm

IMO the PS2 / Gamecube / XBox era was tha last one to give a damn about, maybe early PS3 / 360 as well. The only modern home system I enjoy is the Switch, I already got more playtime out of it than my PS4. Yes, Nintendo starts to adopt DLC and Season passes and the Amiibos can go and suck my dick,but at least so far the base game still feels like a proper, complete game and with more than enough content. I put ~70 hours into Xenoblade 2 and I haven´t seen everything the base game has to offer.

And I don´t want to say that I hate all modern games on either Systems eiter, I really enjoyed the new Doom, I love both of the Life is Strange games, I massively enjoyed Horizin: Zero Dawn and I think that Witcher 3 is the single best Action RPG ever made. But these days I tend to enjoy games from smaller, mostly Independent Dev Teams more than the flashy AAA Bullshit, Doom really is a exception here.

And really, the Indie stuff is the way to properly enjoy modern games. Why bother with a Bullshit Loaded Sim City when you can have Cities Skylines? Why wait for Sega to make a new Arcade Racer for the home market when Racing Apex is hopefully going to fill that gap? Why wait for Nintendo to make a new 2D-Metroid when we got Axiom Verge, Mummy Demastered and Guacamele?

I do enjoy a lot of early 3D games myself, despite the fact I grew up on the N64 the PS1 is one of my favourite all time Systems, but the matter of the fact is that a lot of the early games are nearly or entirely unplayable by todays standards, either because of insane controls or technical issues. Has anyone here tried playing Perfect Dark on Original Hardware recently? I can easily get used to the controls in a level or two, but the framerate in that games dips into borderline unplayable regions on a regular basis. Some of the more unique modes like Counter-Operative aren´t even worth starting because of that. Even some early PS2 games still have issues. In Unreal Tournament on the PS2 I can´t find a single control scheme that feels good or that I could get used to.

Currently I´m playing the N64 version of Nightmare Creatures, when you play with the dude you have a very hard time connecting hits, with the girl most enemies are a pushover because she is that much faster that it doesn´t matter too much if a hit in a combo doesn´t actually hit the enemy.

For the most part I was a PC gamer and because of that I got to see early 3D on both PC and Consoles and IMO the PC side was and still is more interesting to me. Games could look massively different depending on what graphics card you had, just look at MechWarrior 2, that game had supports anything that was remotly worth a damn with different versions for some cards and while they all play the same, they can look wildly different each time. And seeing the Original Unreal powered by a Voodoo 5 in 720p with 2x AA is truly something special. Sure, it sometimes dips below 30 FPS, but overall it is very special.

There is a reson why we remember the still playable games more than the others. I.e. Perfect Dark, at a playable Framerate, is better than GoldenEye, but the later is better remembered because it is and always was the better playable game of the two.
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby CBThatGuy » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:17 pm

I started with the Atari 2600, but I think that the SNES to Dreamcast era was the high point of video games. There are so many fantastic games made then that I go back and play on a yearly basis.

Just started playing Castlevania Symphony of the Night again last night, and before I knew it I had been playing for a couple hours.
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby RUMBLE » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:42 pm

ThruMy4Eyes wrote:You are completely right in how gaming has becoming incredibly boring, on both the gameplay and graphical front. Granted there are the exceptions you come across today, but for the majority of what people play or are exposed to, it's all homogeneous junk.

How many times can you put a different paint job on something and call it new? I quit following which new games are coming out a long time ago. They all seem the same anymore. I think the last new game I played was Thief. Other than the graphics, the first 3 games in the series are better. (My opinion)

I don't need to be hooked up online to *rank* myself against different players. Hell, I don't want to be. And any game that *requires* you to have an internet connection to play the damn thing? Seriously? What do they think, everyone has a fat pipe streaming data to their home?

If it wasn't for retro systems and games, I wouldn't be playing any games at all right now.

But then, I jumped into the way back machine and started playing miniature football again, along with some REAL role playing games. Not the crap that game companies come out with and tout as role playing games.
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby CBThatGuy » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:01 pm

I can't agree enough with what you just said. Aside from a couple games here and there I have essentially given up on most new games, and have spent most of my last year playing SNES, PS1, Saturn and Turbo Grafx games
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby zeoalexo » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:25 pm

even though i was born at the tail end of the 5th generation (1998), i still have an attachment to older games. of course, some of them arent that good, but i was introduced into gaming through the N64 and the Playstation through games like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Mario Kart 64. i can appreciate the classics, mainly because im something of a old soul, so i plahy a lot of old games and watch a lot of old movies and tv shows
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby Bartman72 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:58 pm

I loved the PS1 for its original games, even if it lacked the processing power to let software developers do everything they wanted to do. In some ways I think having to be creative with limited resources actually helped.

I remember getting PSM magazine in the mail and getting excited about the previews of what was coming out. There were so many games that are largely forgotten today that just blew me away back then, like Treasures of the Deep, Syphon Filter 2 and Apocalypse. And I was not a kid back then but in my late 20's.

My simplified assessment on the PS2/Xbox era is that it brought better realized versions of ideas from the 5th Generation.

I wouldn't say the generations that followed are bad, they are just meant for a different group of gamers. Every art form is going to have its peaks, like rock music in the late 60's/early 70's.
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby Byron8805 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:33 pm

I heartily agree with the sentiments presented in this thread. The fifth generation was by far my favorite, and I have often pondered as to whether this is due to it coinciding with my own personal timeline (I'm thirty now) or if it objectively was better in the dimensions which I appreciate. N64 was the first system I really started gaming extensively on, and when FF7 and RE2 were being released on PS1 I started becoming infatuated with the more "adult" themed games Sony was publishing or at least allowing to be released for its little wonder. Nowadays I try to play at least a few hours a week, and games like AC Origins are definitely impressive and engaging, but they do not create in me the same emotions or memories from when I was 13. When I am caught off guard by a song from FF7 or Silent Hill, I find myself tearing up and desperately trying to communicate to whoever is around just how important and special a fleeting moment from the 90's was/is to me. Comparing that to anything from the 8th generation gives me the feeling of being an old crotchety "you kids just don't get it" kinda guy.

When I was in film school one of the first lessons we were taught was how to create a "film" with a single song and a slideshow of still images. The point was: if you can't make something special with limited resources then you definitely won't be able to do it if we hand you a RED camera and let you make whatever you want unbounded. Star Wars is a great example: Lucas was able to craft an unbelievably imaginative and creative universe that drew in billions of spectators. When given unlimited resources and the ability to "reshape" how he intended those movies to be, most of us who so loved them originally were apalled at the "Special Editions", as well as the prequels and sequels that have followed. Limitations FORCE developers, artists, engineers, etc. to make every little piece of hardware, software, and intellectual effort count toward something. IMO that's why we saw games drenched in character, style, and emotion during the fifth generation (and before). The limitations of the hardware forced developers to be extremely creative to convey complex emotions with blocky polygons and chiptunes.

Also, from film school, there was this concept that I learned of called "Blood in the Gutter" from Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. The concept is this: in one panel of a comic book you see a man in a dark alley with menacing shadows surrounding him, in the next panel you see the night cityscape and a word bubble of the man crying out in agony. You do not actually see him attacked, but in the space between panels, the "gutter" as its called in the comic world, your mind fills in the blank that he was beaten, maybe to death. This, to me, is an INCREDIBLY important tool for any artist. It's as much about what you DON'T show as it is about what you do. In the fifth generation so much about what we all remember so fondly, so much about what we love, was how WE interpreted the experiences. As an example take FF7: the entire game is word bubbles. NO spoken dialogue. Some of the inflections were created by purposefully mangling words to give characters accents, but by and large the way we "heard" them was through the filter of our own minds. I know personally that as soon as FFX came out, and we could hear Tidus and Yuna, I kinda checked out. It just wasn't as special to me.

I could go on for another 10 pages probably but, suffice to say, I think the fifth generation was an incredibly important time in gaming development and culture and I hope we can preserve as much of it as possible for those that are able to reach back in time and appreciate it.
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby VoodooVincent » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:45 pm

While early 3D games look absolutely hideous, I still love Saturn, N64 and PS1. Super Mario 64 is one of the few that hasn't aged as poorly as most of them.
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby madbuzzin » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:12 pm

modern systems take their games way too seriously, they aren't fun, they end up being like an interactive cinema experience which is boring as hell. The only modern games I can put up with are multiplayer co-op call of duty games and gran turismo 6. nothing is as straight forward as a shmup, or dynamite dekka or starfox 64 or any light gun game.

the question I ask is why did this 5th generation "arcade" play style cease to exist? like propeller arena on the dreamcast is awesome... publishers don't think people would buy a game like propeller arena with realistic looking graphics??? its fucking stupid what passes off as entertaining nowadays.. lol fortnight, the fuck is that garbage?

you would think there would be a good market for us old school gamers, that want the arcade play style of the fifth generation games but with 7th generation graphics.
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby Whifflebat » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:58 am

In some ways, it can be a little hard to go back to some games in that generation since the 3D graphics were fairly primitive. They didn't age as gracefully as the SNES/Genesis era in the overall looks department. Still, there are some really stand out games I continue to go back to in that generation: Mario 64, Waverace 64, SotN, all the great PS1 RPGs (especially Chrono Cross).
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Re: Fifth generation - what do you think about the low poly

Postby chaosblade02 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:56 pm

Those low-poly games haven't aged well at all. The 2D games have aged considerably better. Games like Megaman X4, or Castlevania SoTN. Even SNES games have aged better than the earlier 3D games.
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