Do linear platform games have less long term appeal?

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killbot
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Re: Do linear platform games have less long term appeal?

Post by killbot » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:33 am

psj3809 wrote:Totally agree, i think if the original poster mentioned that 'Nintendo restarted gaming in the US in the mid 80s....' most people here wouldnt have got our placards out saying WHAT?? HOW DARE YOU ! ;)

Didnt know much about Nintendo in the 80's, remember a crappy Mario Brothers Speccy game, before that it was just game n watches which seem to disappear once the 8 bits arrived.

But being from the UK buying a UK retro mag i just never thought Nintendo started up gaming again. I went from 8 bit to 16 bit computer to a console. Early 90's to me in the UK was Amiga/Atari ST, then consoles took over big time.
I doubt anyone in the UK even noticed the US crash. Unlike today, the gaming scene and culture in the two countries was completely different in the 80s.

Anyway, to answer the OP's question:

Personally I prefer the 'linear' style of gaming. Comparing the later scrolling Mario platformers to Donkey Kong is hard because they're two completely different styles, but for me there's much more discovery and enjoyment in the 'linear' games. Donkey Kong is fun but once you've discovered how to get good at it (where to stand to avoid the springs on screen 3, for example) it's just an endurance test to see how many points you can rack up before you make a mistake. The later Mario games, from 3 onward, were full of secrets and cool hidden sections that meant you could play through them half a dozen times and still be finding new things. It's that joy of discovery that makes the Mario games what they are, IMO. The same with Sonic - there are always secret routes and shortcuts through the levels for fans to pick over and try to find.
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Get_in_Gear
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Re: Do linear platform games have less long term appeal?

Post by Get_in_Gear » Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:59 pm

For me, the bottom line is that if "whatever it is you have to do in the game" is entertaining, then you will return to it.
There are good and bad linear games, just as there are good and bad one-screen, high-score quests.

Personally, I like the idea of there being a sense of exploration to games. Mario may, in essence, consist of little more than getting from A to B, but there's still plenty to discover and do on the way.

Ironically, it seems to me that the rise of the smartphone has seen something of a renaissance for the simpler, repetitive, challenge-based games.
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joefish
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Re: Do linear platform games have less long term appeal?

Post by joefish » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:40 am

This is why I still don't get why they're being referred to as 'linear' - the trend has been for games where you go back and replay levels, whether they be from a map or hub, or just starting again, taking a different route or doing a trickier move to find new things. That's anything but 'linear'. The replay value comes from them not being linear. If they were linear there'd be no replay value, except perhaps in a speed-run challenge.

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Re: Do linear platform games have less long term appeal?

Post by Get_in_Gear » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:48 am

joefish wrote:This is why I still don't get why they're being referred to as 'linear' - the trend has been for games where you go back and replay levels, whether they be from a map or hub, or just starting again, taking a different route or doing a trickier move to find new things. That's anything but 'linear'. The replay value comes from them not being linear. If they were linear there'd be no replay value, except perhaps in a speed-run challenge.

I agree.

I think the term linear is being used to describe how there is always an objective which must be completed in order to progress to the next objective (ie getting from point A to point B in a simple platform game). The implied negative undercurrent seems to be that this is somehow "limiting" in comparison to a game where your objective is simply to amass points in an "open-ended", repetitive scenario.

Not saying I necessarily agree with the use of the term (Hell - I've even seen Final Fantasy VIII being criticised for being "linear" on numerous occasions - which baffles me), but either way, there are good and bad examples of all types of game... whether you come back to them time and time again depends upon how enjoyable you find them.

Replay value is not something inherently tied to either of the gameplay formats mentioned in the initial post.
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Re: Do linear platform games have less long term appeal?

Post by nakamura » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:21 pm

ToxieDogg wrote:
Spector wrote:Now be honest - do you ever return to games that involve going from A to B, be they platformers or whatever, or do you think "right, that's it out of the way, onto the next one"? Because looking back, I can count on one hand the amount of console games of that nature I'd want to go through again.
A nice summary of why overproduced, overhyped but ultimately short lived experiences like The Last Of Us will never, ever be worthy of a 10/10 score to me.

Even Manhunt (a game I've compared to The Last Of Us because I think it does the whole stealth and use of the environment thing 100 x better and has a lot more tension), a game which also has a fairly linear structure at least has a wealth of bonus unlockable material and (non story) based levels, depending on how well you play through the 'normal' levels, whereas the unlockable artwork in TLOU is just based on how many collectables you find, for the most part.
Manhunt is a sack of junk. Nice idea but typical Rockstar execution, it controls so utterly badly I gave up way before I wanted to.
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Re: Do linear platform games have less long term appeal?

Post by martyg » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:54 pm

killbot wrote:But in the US and Japan it did. Particularly the US where retailers and parents were convinced the fad for console games (as distinct from computer games, which continued to sell well) had run its course after the collapse of the early 80s. It's all very well to say that the 7800 or Master System could have had the same impact if the cards had fallen differently, but the fact is the cards didn't fall differently. When the crucial moment came, it was the Nintendo - not Atari or Sega - who found themselves with the right machine in the right place at the right time. And that's to suggest that there was an element of luck involved, which is a little unfair - read the history books and they tell of long hours and lots of work slogging the machine round New York trying to drum up enthusiasm from retailers.
The thing with Nintendo was tenacity. They weren't in the right place in '83 through '85 when they tried doing an OEM with Atari, when they tried doing the AVS, or when they did their test market as the NES in New York in late '85 which was considered a failure by retailers. Yet they kept on. Onward to a slightly better Los Angeles test marketing, and expanding into other cities through the Spring, until it became more apparent the right time was coming after the Summer '86 CES in Vegas. That's when the press at the show picked up on the fact that three consoles would be on the market that Christmas (the already released NES and 7800 and just announced Master System) was pointing to a possible revival of the consumer video game market. The buzz only grew, and the press then moved to trumpet the revived industry after the Christmas season, with Nintendo at it's lead. This leads to the fact that Nintendo wasn't in a vacuum on the market as some like to recall, as if it alone was there and created and propped up a market just by it's appearance, and that the other two rushed in to ride on it's coat tales. It was all three companies and their consoles that lead to a revived US market in '86. Nintendo, proving more in demand, simply moved to the lead of that revived market, and then far ahead in '87 onwards.
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