Remember When Video Games Just Worked? Neither Do I

Remember the good old days when video games just worked and we didn't have to worry about broken games delivered at launch? Probably not, since such a day never existed.
Video games have had issues since the very beginning and this latest rash of games that have been released with problems are not a new phenomenon but a continuation in the trend.

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liamlangan1192d ago

Excellent article, some very interesting points made

DarkOcelet1192d ago (Edited 1192d ago )

By the way, at least back then glitches and bugs were little and were actually considered cool lol. Especially when they can be exploited for items or good stuff :) .

Nowadays bugs are here because games are getting released unfinished or broken just to make their yearly profit or to release it on deadline. Hopefully devs learn a lesson from 2014 and makes their games work properly at launch.

ruefrak1192d ago

So you're arguing that games are only buggy today because of corporate greed? It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that these big games today are infinitely more complex than anything on the NES and are created by teams of hundreds (or thousands) instead of a dozen?

kevnb1191d ago

there are still bugs like that, just look at red dead redemption. And there were plenty of game breaking bugs in the past as well, especially in early 3d graphics based games. For example, the elder scrolls games have always been buggy right from the start.

DarkOcelet1191d ago

Yes, i blame corporate greed on the broken games, you want to tell me that bugs like .BF4 and Unity didnt appear while they were play testing the games. That is impossible, EA/Ubi decided to release the game just to meet the deadline.

ChickeyCantor1191d ago

" It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that these big games today are -infinitely- more complex"

And yet corporate greed tries to push them out sooner than they should. How can you not understand this point?

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1191d ago
johndoe112111191d ago (Edited 1191d ago )

I'm sorry, i'm gonna have to call massive BS on this article. I've been gaming since the 70's and in no way, form or fashion can you compare the atrocious quality of games we have been receiving in the past 10 years to the few broken games we received for the previous 30 years.

Games, for the most part between the atari 2600 gen to the ps1 era, worked. We never had to deal with the game breaking bugs and glitches we have been dealing with within the past 10 years. Even if they had bugs, which was not very often, a lot of the times they weren't even noticeable.

I understand the fact that games are becoming more complex and there fore you stand a much higher risk of having development errors but those things could be minimized if devs weren't trying to rush games out the door.

Devs were more careful back then because they knew they had only one opportunity to get it right. Since the advent of online updates devs have become careless and inconsiderate and have taken the "we can just patch it after" attitude. It is disrespectful to the developers of old to be comparing them to the "code writers" of today.


It is 100% corporate greed. Are you so blind and gullible to think that these devs did not know there games were incomplete and broken and hence should not be released? It is corporate greed that makes them push out unfinished games onto the market in order to earn holiday sales and capture market share. To say otherwise is pure and utter lunacy.

caseh1191d ago

Agreed, I've been playing games since the mid 80s across pretty much every platform and I don't really recall any that had anything remotely game breaking.

It crept in when the internet connectivity was introduced out of the box on the last gen of consoles. I can't remember the last time I didn't have to install a day one patch for a brand new game.

And for the record, the reference in the article to ET being broken is way off. It's guilty of being crap, that's about it.

hiawa231191d ago

I agree 100%. Back then when a game was buggy or broken, you were just screwed. Atleast now they can fix and improve them, and for the most part most games work.

Angeljuice1191d ago (Edited 1191d ago )

m^^^^^^Jet Set Willie
Nobody ever finished the game (Jet Set Willie on the ZX Spectrum) because of a bug in the code.

caseh1191d ago


Not true, 'pokes' were made available so you could fix the issues yourself.

Difference being the game prob cost £5 to buy or free off your mate next door. Didn't cost £45 with half the content missing to be released as DLC a month after release.

MysticStrummer1191d ago

Yeah I'm also a gamer since the 70s and I can remember buying many games that "just worked" at release.

I don't believe the way things are now is 100% from corporate greed though. Games are more complex now, so more can go wrong.

Xof1191d ago

I had an ongoing "conversation" with XSEED (I think?) customer support over email and message boards that lasted three years. My new copy of Wild Arms ACF, a two-disc PS2 RPG, had a defective disc 2.

So while, yeah, it sucks that publishers are trying to sell beta-stage games as gold, the fact that its so easy for devs to patch game-btraking problems these days is a GODSEND that more than makes up for it.

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DarkOcelet1192d ago

One developer i believe will never release a broken game. Kojima and will prove to Bethesda/Ubisoft that huge open world games can have little bugs as possible as it can be.

webmednet1192d ago

So I take it you existed before the time of loading up a game via a tape for about five minutes... Only for it to fail - lol (Spectrum 48k 80's)

gamejediben1191d ago

I'm currently weathering the storm of broken games by living in Nintendo land.

Here, perfect polish and bug free gaming are the norm. Not to mention the best exclusives of 2014 were almost entirely on the big N. Check it:

Bravely Default
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
Mario Kart 8
Bayonetta 2
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse
Persona Q Shadow of the Labyrinth
Super Smash Bros
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

And coming soon:

Xenoblade Chronicles X
Star Fox
Zelda U
Code Name S.t.e.a.m.
Fire Emblem
Yoshi's Wooly World
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

If you wanna play games that "just work", Nintendo is still doing it right. I hope they never change.

AKissFromDaddy1191d ago

You're right,....but very little, if anything graphically intensive is usually happening on screen. That's not to write that Nintendo games are not pretty. Nintendo developed games are extremely artistic...but they're not nearly as pretty nor as big in file sizes or expansive in gameplay as the games they compete against in the same genre. Nintendo doesn't even have voice actors. Nintendo does the bare minimum.

Let alone, Nintendo hasn't embraced online gaming as Sony, Microsoft and most third publishers have. Nintendo doesn't even have an online infrastructure worth DDOSing by hackers. Just adding a friend is so much work.

For example:
Mario Kart 8 is about a 5 GB game, approximately 4949.8MB.
DriveClub has an install size of around 17 GB. That's almost 5x larger, almost 5x more coding than Mario Kart 8.
Forza Horizon 2 has a a whopping install of 35.84GB. That's more than 7x bigger and 7x more coding than Mario Kart 8.

Bravely Default is a 3DS game and its file size is about 3300MB.

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is another 3DS game and its file size is just under a GB at about 914MB.

Donkey Kong Country Freeze is over 11GB and nothing impressive is happening on screen but it is still fun, nostalgic and artistic.

Super Smash Bros. U install size is 15.6GB and Nintendo's biggest game ever, so far. Assassin's Creed Unity has patches nearly as big at 13GB.

The bigger any video games are, the more likely bugs are to be prevalent because of so much code.

Battlefield 4's PS4 install size is 34.9GB.
Advanced Warfare's PS4 install size is 42.6GB.
Dragon Age Inquisition's Xbox One install size is 41GB.
Assassin's Creed Unity's PS4 install size is 40.98GB.
NBA 2K14's Xbox One install size is 43.6GB.
Shadow of Mordor's Xbox One install size is 29.2GB.
Watch Dogs PS4's install size is 20.4 GB

These are pre-patch and pre-DLC add-on sizes.

If Nintendo developed video games ever reach these big file sizes, let alone employ serious online gameplay development, prepare for hilarity to ensue. That's my opinion.

Loadedklip1191d ago (Edited 1191d ago )

Call of Duty Ghost on PS4 install ... 50 gigs
Call of Duty Ghost on Wii U install .... 0 gigs

Literally the same game, same content ... just a tad not as sharp.

It's just lazy developers who are taking advantage of the fact PS4 and XB1 come with large harddrive space so they don't waste time and money on compressing data efficiently.

AKissFromDaddy1191d ago (Edited 1191d ago )

Call of Duty: Ghosts on Xbox 360 needs a 2GB install and it's not "just a tad not as sharp". However, the PS3 and WiiU graphical data is streamed directly from each system's disc drive, but at a slower rate than what is possible via a traditional hard disk.

Video games run better when read while installed than from the disk drive. Nintendo didn't even meet that bare requirement for their WiiU that PS3 and Xbox 360 met, let alone PS4 and Xbox One.

Call of Duty Ghosts: Xbox 360 vs. Wii U Comparison by DigitalFoundry looks the same. I'm only using the game that you replied with.

Call of Duty Ghosts Xbox 360 resolution is 1024x600. 614400 pixels
Call of Duty Ghosts PS3 resolution is 860x600. 516000 pixels
Call of Duty Ghosts WiiU resolution is 880x720. 633600 pixels

Of the Xbox 360, PS3 and WiiU editions, the WiiU version comes closest to matching a native 720p presentation. Nonetheless, both the PS3 and WiiU versions have lower-resolution textures displayed across characters and the environments.

The WiiU's FPS with Ghost is even way lower than that of PS3's FPS with Ghost and they're both streaming the game from the disc drive. Thw WiiU averages 40FPS and goes as low as 28 FPS in Digital Foundry's video analysis.

Call of Duty Ghosts Xbox One resolution is 1280x720 or HD, then upscaled to 1080p.
Call of Duty Ghosts PS4 resolution is 1920x1080 or Full HD.

Every WiiU exclusive game has an install file size. Those file sizes are magnificently small in comparison to PS4 and Xbox One file sizes. Even the game you chose for your comparison has an install on Xbox 360.

The WiiU hardware and HDD is disheartening in comparison to PS4's and Xbox One's. The WiiU's performance is closet to Xbox 360 and PS3, if not worse with some ports, and that's why nothing graphically impressive happens in Nintendo's games and why it's file sizes are so low.

Small file sizes keep games almost bug-free, if not completely bug-free at all, especially with online patches enabled. Nintendo's games have the benefit of being small in size, but that comes with it's own demerits too, in my opinion.

gamejediben1191d ago

I honestly couldn't care less about graphics. I have a gaming PC that can do 4k resolution for all the 3rd party stuff. But if you want great GAMES, look no further than the big N. They're still kicking it old school where gameplay is king and single player and local multiplayer rule.

If you want online multiplayer, get a gaming PC. you'll never have to worry about your online service being hacked.

And Nintendo does have voice actors. Hell Xenoblade Chronicles has tons of dialogue! Even the Mario games have voice even if it's just saying "Woohoo!".

AKissFromDaddy1191d ago (Edited 1191d ago )

"I honestly couldn't care less about graphics."
That's nice. I don't care that you don't care. That doesn't impact the file size of Nintendo's games. No one asked if you cared anyways.

"I have a gaming PC that can do 4k resolution for all the 3rd party stuff."
Again, I don't care what you own. No one actually asked, lol. That added nothing to the discussion about file sizes and bugs. But that's still good for you though.

"But if you want great GAMES, look no further than the big N."
You should lead Nintendo's marketing. You're going places.

"They're still kicking it old school where gameplay is king and single player and local multiplayer rule."
Maybe this is your notion to why Nintendo game file sizes are small and bug-free because not doing anything different, or bigger or riskier keeps it that way.

"If you want online multiplayer, get a gaming PC..."
Or any other console such as PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

"you'll never have to worry about your online service being hacked."
Neither will Big N's Wii and WiiU. BOOOOM!, lol.

Sidenote: Writing WiiU after Wii, makes it feel that the WiiU is an add-on. No?

"And Nintendo does have voice actors."
What, like for breathing sounds? lol. No, no...Nintendo always does the bare minimum required.

"Hell Xenoblade Chronicles has tons of dialogue!"
Monolith Games have always had a ton of dialogue in their projects, even before Bandai Namco sold 80% of its 96% stake in Monolith Soft to Nintendo in May 2007.

Monolith's games going as far back as 2002's Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht on PS2 has dialogue. Each Sequel has had more Dialogue than the last.

Nevertheless, that's Monolith Games implementing dialogue, not Nintendo.

In addition, Nintendo had Monolith Games co-develop on plenty on Nintendo IPs with no dialogue such as:The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Pikmin 3 and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

There's nothing wrong with video games that have NO DIALOGUE because the games can still be great. Just look at all the great indie games that have NO DIALOGUE: Super Meat Boy, Binding of Isaac, Rogue Legacy, The Swapper, Hotline Miami, Hotline Miami 2, N+, N++, Vessel, Teleglitch, Super Time Force, Super House of Dead Ninjas, Stealth Bastard, SpeedRunners, Shank, Shank 2, Savant-Ascent, Samurai Gunn, Risk of Rain, Monaco, Limbo, Hammerwatch, Gunpoint, Guacamelee, Fez, Hohokum, Tearaway, Enter the Gungeon and 1001 Spikes.

"Even the Mario games have voice even if it's just saying "Woohoo!". C'moooooooooon man, lol. That's real funny (I'm dead).

Sincere01211191d ago (Edited 1191d ago )

Lol you've gotta be a Sony Fan and by the stuff your saying, you clearly don't own a Wii U.

Bayonetta says hello btw and I'm sure Star Fox is going to have the wow factor visually as well as a good amount of dialogue. Zelda also comes to mind, it's goin to be a massive open world game and I bet you it wont take up a tremendous amount of memory and it won't be broken.

Nintendo don't need to rely heavily on gimmicky realistic looking games as Wii U isn't for the casuals. Core gamers value gameplay and challenging games, beautiful graphics aswell is just a bonus, where as ps4 for example are more like movies than actual games and they're a lot easier in difficulty which is why the casuals are loving it this gen, hence the sales. So ironically there should be less bugs.

Nintendo make great looking games and manage not to use an excessive amount of memory and that's an achievement in its self, further more, the majority of Wii U games run at 60fps as standard and contrary to what you may believe or read Wii U online works well, no lag, it's smooth and it's free.

It's all about quality, Nintendo would be embarrassed to release broken games, where as broken games are just the Norm now on other systems.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1191d ago
GokuSolosAll1191d ago

Games were definitely more polished back in the day. We still get good ones, and Nintendo even manages to mostly keep the old school vibe, but I'll miss the last-last gen most of all. It was the final generation that felt "magical" to me, but I guess all old farts say that about everything. Still, when I was a kid back then I really felt it.

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