Seinfeld Is Unfunny/Video Games

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  • Video Games in general tend to be more susceptible to this trope than most other media for the simple reason that the next generation always has more robust hardware, hence the existence of the Polygon Ceiling trope. Graphics seem to be especially vulnerable to it. Some games age better than others, but it happens to all of them. Games have a tendency to utilize mechanics from previous games. Most people can not pinpoint where mechanics come from and attribute them to the most famous game of the genre, which may not have been the originator.
    • Changes in game design can make a game age badly too, especially if it was made in the era where Nintendo Hard was the norm; many of these games contain design solutions which would now be considered ridiculously sadistic and unfair to the player...or weren't actually from the game at all, but from shortcomings in the game code/engine/system hardware.
    • Controls. Playing many old-school controls can lead to a Damn You, Muscle Memory! when played today, because we're so used to an unofficial control-scheme of standardization. Especially for some games like Ape Escape. (mentioned below)
  • Adventure for the Atari 2600 makes this Older Than the NES. Old codgers and video game historians recognize the game as revolutionary. Your character is graphically represented on screen! He can pick up graphical representations of items! The items can be left anywhere in the game world and the game will "remember" where they are! Graphically represented enemies with AI that changes based on the environment! And the game has an actual goal and ends when you complete the goal, instead of going on forever!
  • With modern processing technology, it can be hard to believe that Myst was once one of the the most beautiful games on the market. The graphics aren't the only thing that haven't aged well.
  • Console RPGs. The plots of many early ones seem to a modern audience more like textbook cliché storms. Or, at best, like they're Strictly Formula. By now, quests to save the Cosmic Keystones, children stumbling into a quest far bigger than themselves, and becoming a turncoat against The Empire are all old hat.
    • Final Fantasy VII in particular tends to suffer from this. At the time of its release, it was regarded as a revolutionary milestone and hailed as one of the greatest games of all time, but many years later, this led to Hype Backlash. Oh, sure, having a moody protagonist (who may have Amnesia) chase around White-Haired Pretty Boy homicidal maniac might seem played out, but at the time you would've been hard-pressed to find many JRPGs with that formula. While earlier Final Fantasy games had troubled heroes, Final Fantasy VII was the first to truly run with the concept to the point of presenting a hero that turns out to be an Unreliable Narrator questioning his existence. As a very specific example: the first few seconds of the opening sequence, with the camera panning out slowly from a classic piece of shiny magic rock to a dark futuristic city, were initially meant to be shocking. Can you imagine?
    • Final Fantasy VI. Getting rid of the Crystals, which were a key staple of Final Fantasy before this game, was highly controversial at the time, and the game paved the way for the Anachronism Stew and Schizo-Tech that the series is most widely known for. The exclusion of the Crystals is lost on most modern fans, and a common criticism is that the cast is shallow and unexplored and the gameplay is easy and simple. The game's Big Bad Kefka is frequently written off as a goofy Joker knock-off, but prior to Kefka Final Fantasy villains fit the generic Tin Tyrant/Evil Overlord mold, and Kefka's insane wise-cracks and clown-like appearance were a huge departure. Similarly, rather than turning into a generic monster as the Final Boss, Kefka became a Physical God, and the final battle had many parallels to The Divine Comedy. These days, JRPGs including Final Fantasy frequently have angelic and divine final bosses, and Faux Symbolism is par for the course, especially with Final Fantasy.
    • How about the original Final Fantasy? For its time, it was groundbreaking. Instead of just saving a princess, you save the world. You have a fully customizable party. And most importantly, it apparently saved Square from going bankrupt, even though Rad Racer came out around the same time and sold much more copies. These days, it shows its age, with the clunky interface, Save Game Limits, repetitive Random Encounters, and a variety of Game Breaking Bugs that render many spells either not as effective as they say on the tin, or worse, outright useless. Even its remakes don't get off much more easily.
  • Dragon Quest created many of the tropes still used by JRPG's today,, to the point where the older games are often labelled 'archaic' or 'outdated', very much acting like the Seinfeld of JRPG's.
    • The series has been doomed to almost-niche status abroad due to the following: long localization holdups with the 8-bit generation games rendering them either obsolete or in competition with the new 16-bit generation, the temporary foldup of Enix's American wing, and last but definitely not least, the game to break the genre in the west and define it, Final Fantasy VII, stood in stark contrast, being more about outrageous battle systems and cinematic spectacle.
  • Golden Sun has a hatedom that has pretty much attacked the game for being a "generic Game Boy Advance RPG" - without realizing that there wasn't really that much else available on the Game Boy Advance at the time (maybe in Japan). Considering that the Game Boy Advance was a new format in itself, Golden Sun still had some rather detailed environments and perhaps the best use of the Game Boy Advance sound systems for a while -- it was perhaps one of the first games released on the format to actually use a lot of the potential technology it had, other than a few others like Bomberman, Advance Wars, and maybe Mario Kart, amongst a slew of remakes (like Breath of Fire and Super Mario Bros.) and licensed games.
  • The original Half-Life, being the first modern, highly scripted first person shooter with adaptive AI, now seems somewhat typical after being endlessly copied, ripped off and modified by just about every first person shooter that came after it.
  • Hydlide, originally released in 1984 for the PC-88, was one of the first Action RPGs ever (along with Dragon Slayer from the same year), but by 1989, when the NES version was first released in North America, it was much more primitive than other similar games (especially the The Legend of Zelda and Ys series).
  • The first Mega Man Battle Network game definitely fits this trope, especially if you've played even the second and third games (considered the best with the fifth and sixth often competing). It was released in 2001, when the Game Boy Advance was still a very new format. Nowadays, it can practically pass for a Touch-screen telephone game with how bare-bones it is compared to even the second, which introduced style changes for replay, the third which added customization outside of and in addition to style changes, and so on and so on until you get the Surprisingly Improved Sequel of the fifth and sixth. It can only compare to the franchise-killing fourth. It practically seems like an Obvious Beta when you play it, nowadays. (Very few wood chips, HP gets recovered, bosses top out at a thousand HP, game just gets disgustingly easy.)
  • |Atelier Iris. In an odd combination of Seinfeld Is Unfunny and No Export for You, when it finally came over to the U.S. in 2005. "So it's a standard JRPG with "alchemy crafting"?" While the "standard JRPG" bit is, well, not exactly false for Iris, what a lot of Western consumers fail to understand in shrugging off the crafting system is that the progenitor of the Atelier series, Atelier Marie, was the first JRPG to not only feature a very robust (in the case of Marie, absurdly robust) crafting system, but was the first JRPG to feature alchemy heavily. After Marie and its sequel sold a quarter million copies each, you suddenly had alchemy coming out of the woodwork in Japanese pop culture and nearly every JRPG in the wake of Marie has featured some kind of crafting system. The problem is, due to some poor business decisions on the part of multiple parties, practically everything else that was influenced by Atelier crossed the Pacific before it did, and the original games never came over at all. So the Atelier series is regarded as punctuation in the story of RPG history in the West, when in fact it seems to have had nearly as much influence on game design in Japan as other staple series.
  • GoldenEye 007, one of the first Video Games based on movies that didn't suck (in some ways, it was better than the movie), now suffers from this. At the time, the game was basically the first console First-Person Shooter done right and is, in many ways, the reason why the genre became so popular on consoles (before, it was almost entirely PC based). But by today's standards, its lack of online play (not its fault, since it was on the Nintendo 64), crude aiming system, heavy dose of Escort Missions, lack of voice acting (again, not its fault, it was on the Nintendo 64 and was an early game on the console to boot), large amount of linearity (which is ironic, since at the time GoldenEye was possibly the least linear game on the market) and dated graphics. Ironically, there was a James Bond FPS for the N64 that vastly improved graphics, control, missions, and plot. Anyone remember that one... anyone?
    • Golden Eye 1997 was the first time many, if not most, gamers of the day ever had something like a sniper rifle to play with. Today, it's hard to realize how cool it was to take your buddy out from 300 yards away in ANY FPS, not just a console game.
    • Among the PC gaming crowd, Halo itself may count as well. Most shooters nowadays have regenerating health [1], let you carry only two weapons at once, use the weapon you're holding as a melee weapon instead of using a separate weapon that you have to switch to (e.g., a crowbar), allow you to throw grenades without making you switch to them first, have enemies drop their weapons and equipment when they die instead of just having weapons pre-placed on the stage, etc. All of these elements were around before Halo, but never all in the same game. Halo was all that in one game, and on a console. It was also the first console game to include networked multiplayer, which soon gave birth to online multiplayer.
      • For the console players, it was the FIRST time ever being allowed to multiplay through local network, up to 16 players at a time; by hooking up tv sets and systems; network play over the internet was available since doom, but it was considerably harder to set up properly; Quake 3 Arena and Counterstrike predate true online multiplayer for PC by a couple of years; in fact, what really constitutes a seinfield is unfunny option is the SERVER BROWSER, it is unthinkable today to ship a multiplayer game without a server browser or online match up making system on consoles; but there was a time wher you had to manually search for games; and in that regard Halo was indeed the FIRST FPS on console to feature a robust match making system.
  • Doom. A Space Marine Is You, demons, Foreboding, Benevolent, and Malevolent Architecture, futuristic techbases... I've Seen It a Million Times already.
  • SimCity was at one time considered to be a great achievement for gaming, bringing in the whole Wide Open Sandbox and Simulation Game genre in, as well as providing interesting gameplay. The original SimCity can quickly get boring because there are a very, very limited number of things you do in that game, but its sequels would up the ante and make the game even more intriguing (and provide odd sense of humor with llamas. Now these days, most people won't want to try it because they find it too boring and difficult to get interested in.
  • The Sims. The original game, without any form of mods or expansion packs seems quite dull in of itself. There's no form of direction to what you can do (And you don't have to follow your Sims' wishes, you know), several meters like "Comfort" and "room" that meant absolutely nothing, you were rather limited in how much you were capable of doing compared to even a bare-bones The Sims 3, and there was no aging whatsoever.
  • Elite. David Braben and Ian Bell's game was completely groundbreaking when it was published in the mid-80s with its open-ended trading/shooting gameplay and massive universe of stars and planets to the extent that it's still talked about with fondness by those who apparently spent hours at a time playing it back then. And yet to many who didn't play it in the '80s it's hard to see what all the fuss is about.
    • The immediate successors, however, either due to slightly improved interface (or perspective shift), customization, or storyline, did not suffer so terribly. Chalk most of it up to youngsters these days being untrained to deal with vector graphics and unable to gauge depth properly. It is still a commonly used and cherished game mechanic, since it's tough to mass-produce this sort of thing to the point of disgust without sinking a company. Starflight and Privateer to name just a pair of the oldest.
  • Super Smash Bros.. The original game is often considered just normal now, even though no fighting game like it had appeared at the time.
  • The remake of the first Fire Emblem game ever created (Shadow Dragon), received a lot of criticism about how "The plot is cliché," "The game is very simplistic," and "There's not a lot of character development" on top of the cries of "Where are the supports?", "What happened to branching classes?", "Why's Marth not promotable?", "Why are the magics just linked into one family?", and "Why is my priest able to use fire and ice magic when they could use only Light magic in other games?" from fans of the game. (Both long-time fans who've been playing since the No Export for You era, and the fans who joined in at Fire Emblem 7 when a lot of elements were added or refined.) It's rather quite amazing how even old-school Fire Emblem (even ones who first started with a ROM of the NES or SNES versions) fans criticised the game for being loyal to the 1990 version, when at the same time, if Nintendo and Intelligent Systems had taken the time to completely overhaul the game, their Unpleasable Fanbase would complain that it isn't loyal to the originals. Sure, it's not by any means the best game in the series, but there was a time in which 90% of the stuff that it and Shining Force did was an incredibly new thing for gaming, combining turn-based strategy gameplay one is used to seeing in wargames and adding fundamental RPG elements and a story that was more than just-another-recreation-of-a-historical-battle.
    • However; the game actually was praised for changing a couple things, such as how the game could be made almost unwinnable if you missed a key item (The Falchion) and with how many units were actually usable because in the original, only some units could promote.
    • For that matter, a lot of Fire Emblem games - Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones was criticized as being "too short". While it is possibly the shortest game of the series (Seisen no Keifu aside, which compensates by having larger maps) it actually has about as much content as Fire Emblem normally does. It wasn't a case of Sacred Stones being short - so much as Blazing sword being longer than average. These criticisms weren't present for Fire Emblem Tellius, which were shorter than Blazing Sword but still way longer than Sacred Stones. (But with less replay value outside of challenge or optional content in Radiant Dawn)
  • Point-and-click adventure games. Mostly due to a combination of Guide Dang It, You Can't Get Ye Flask, and GUIs becoming popular (and more easy to program) it can be a little hard for even some fans of these to pick up old Sierra adventure games such as Laura Bow, King's Quest, Space Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry, text games like Zork, and more.
    • And it isn't just the ancient parser adventures - even the most advanced of Interactive Fiction games get overlooked now, because who wants to type their commands in, after years of You Can't Get Ye Flask leaving a bad taste in peoples' mouths?
  • Star Ocean. This happened primarily to the first two games when they were each given an Enhanced Remake. The first Star Ocean game was actually, for the most part, drastically different in story than most other RPGs (with a few exceptions like Fallout and a couple Shin Megami Tensei games who often used elements of Science Fiction) and the fact that this game was actually credited as the one that pushed the SNES's technology to the limit. People often criticized it as "There isn't enough Sci-Fi, there's magic so it's not Sci-Fi", "It's Short, So It Sucks", or "They Changed It, Now It Sucks" regarding the changes to their PSP versions. The plot for the first Star Ocean game is very similar to an episode of Star Trek, and the plot for the second one (called a Cliché Storm by some reviewers who had played the PSP remake) was actually far more original for the time than it seems now. The entire skill system (which was actually pretty in-depth and thorough) is often ignored, and the amount of recruitable characters and somewhat complex recruitment-branches (giving some more replay value than the typical "You get these eight characters but can use only three or four at a time"-RPG) is considered just one part of a Cliché Storm. Let's also not forget that it was one of the first games that featured optional "Private events" to develop characters since the plot was written with only the required characters needing to be involved.
    • However, some justified criticisms of the game are that it's an Obvious Beta; and the PSP remake doesn't really help it too much. It's possible to beat the main story in about 15-20 hours. For a handheld game, that's not bad, but compared to games like Pokémon or even Final Fantasy Tactics Advance that can take much much longer, it was criticised for being short. Then again though, it's worth noting that if you beat the game in about 12 hours, you probably missed a lot of optional content.
  • Tales of Phantasia. This was a complaint when it had finally been localized, even though part of it was the fact that Namco had pretty much tried to port a Playstation game onto a Game Boy Advance and lead to some "Chugginess" during battles. The first two Tales Of games (Phantasia and Destiny) may also be somewhat hard to get into with how their battle systems (which was actually a rather major change in what RPG gamers have been accustomed to since the days of Dungeons & Dragons and what was just showing up in action games like World of Mana and Secret of Evermore) are much slower and simplistic than in the more recent games in the series like Vesperia and Dawn Of the New World. You were restricted to just a 2D plane, there wasn't a lot of comboing, and the action froze to display spells & Special attacks. Also added was the fact that in Japan, Tales of Phantasia was called "The game that sings" for having a theme song, unlike most other games at the time. Nowadays everyone more or less expects the games to be fast-paced action or else they don't fulfill the Action Quota produced in part by Phantasia and Destiny. And having a theme song? Psssh... nearly every game's got one of those now.
    • Some of these were subverted by the Enhanced Remakes the two had. (The second Playstation Portable version of Phantasia is considered the best version of Phantasia.)
    • For that mater, play many of the early Tales (series) games. Many of them don't exactly age well, with Tales of Destiny II being hit the hardest - it wasn't until after this game that they decided to start becoming a Deconstructor Fleet, so it can be a bit jarring to see how blatantly Mary Sue-like that Kyle and Reala are without any form of deconstruction. The Playstation version of Tales of Destiny also falls right into the valley...in part because the Enhanced Remake was just that much better.
  • Dragon's Lair. When new technology opened up new potential doors for media for the video games' storytelling, it can be rather hard to appreciate some of the early attempts at adding voice and cutscenes to games beyond this game's rather simplistic gameplay. Especially games like King's Quest V and VI or the first two Lunar games. King's Quest V was a rather early example of adventure games and RPGs using more media to spread information and the story. Nowadays people will probably view the cutscenes on YouTube and just laugh at the stiff animation, the voice acting, or the syncing (Usually a fault of the software used to put the file on YouTube), often praising games like Daggerfall for "doing the FMVs right" without acknowledging that even the most recent of those games (Eternal Blue) was made at least two years before Daggerfall was even finished. (And even then, Daggerfall's videos could all be counted on one-hand.) Despite how rather laughable the cutscenes and voice acting is nowadays, one may have to consider that with the exception of Lunar: Eternal Blue (which was made in 1994), all of those games were released within the range of 1990-92, and even then, the technology was rather new for the time. (King's Quest V, for example, showed a lot of people the potential of using CD-based games as opposed constantly switching out floppy discs.)
    • Another funny example are the people saying that Ghaleon is just another silver-haired pretty villain who is a result of developers trying to create another Sephiroth. Now take one look at the release dates mentioned above and try reading that again with a straight face... By the time people watched Sephiroth burn down Nibelheim, the exploits of the Magic Emperor Ghaleon were already five years old. And when he returned for round two? Three years old... and don't even get some of these people started on the rather effeminate looking Zophar (who really isn't that effeminate looking on the Sega CD until he absorbs the power of Althena) who is also considered another Sephiroth ripoff... despite trying to take over the universe of Lunar at least three years before Sephiroth did.
  • Full-motion video. Many early attempts in the 90's are seen today as really, really corny. (Morgan Webb of X-Play said on one episode that there was once a time in which community theatre actors could find work in games.) Heck, the full-motion video games nowadays have this really "Grainy" appearance, while the old attempts at CG-I now look like everything is made out of plastic and rubber. It can be hard to appreciate some games like The 7th Guest, which was one of the first games period to even use the CD format, let alone combine live-actors acting out scenes and pre-rendered CG-I. (Of course, the game in question may be hard to get into for other reasons beyond how dated it is.)
  • Voice Acting. Many classic games from the late 90's such as Silent Hill, Resident Evil, and to a lesser extent, Metal Gear Solid have some pretty Narmy voice acting by modern standards, but at the time they were considered revolutions in video game story telling. Indeed most of the best remembered video games of the PlayStation Era where hits because of the then fresh and exciting "3D graphics, voice acting, movie inspired plots" formula.
  • This was actually what one of the criticisms when the Sega Saturn version of Magic Knight Rayearth came out. The reviewer found no problems with the game itself, he considered the localization of a game that was 3 years old already a wasted effort.
  • Hydro Thunder has fallen victim to this. It's very hard to imagine how it was innovative when pretty much every aspect of it (outside of the boat racing) has been immitated (mostly very poorly) and used. Mention it to anyone who wasn't around or into the arcade scene in the late '90s and you'll be bound to hear a bunch of groans complaining how they've seen it all before.
  • Metroid. Samus Is a Girl. So what's the big deal? It's quite forgotten that the original was released at a time when female protagonists (or any female fitting any trope besides Damsel in Distress) in video games were essentially unheard of, even the trend of required token females in fighting games hadn't started yet. A rather dull twist today was one hell of a shocker at the time.
  • Mortal Kombat. The violence of the first game, and its depiction of digitized characters mutilating, decapitating, and just plain murdering each other with their Fatalities caused quite a stir during the early-1990's with both, players and parents. Nintendo caved in to the Moral Guardians when it came to "their" version of the game for the Super NES, which had all the blood removed and some of the Fatalities Finishing Moves changed, resulting in significantly less units sold than its uncensored Sega Genesis counterpart. Arguably, Mortal Kombat could be cited as the game that single-handedly created the ESRB. Nowadays, the violence of the Mortal Kombat series seems cartoony and tame compared to some of the more disturbing games released since the rating system has been established, such as Manhunt and Silent Hill.
    • Mortal Kombat 4 specially suffers from this. While the game was nothing specially in the gore department, the use of swift good-looking 3D graphics made it a successful game. If you check the reviews of the time, it usually got pretty decent scores (6.5/10 to 8.5/10). Most people nowadays considere it a horrible game, forgetting that it was the first Mortal Kombat 3D game not to hit the Polygon Ceiling.
    • Night Trap also helped cause the ESRB to be formed, or was one of the prime motivators. Seeing it now it's amazing to think of how it was supposed to be so offensive on the Sega CD. Of course, even then, there wasn't any actual violence (implied, not actually shown), and many of the things that were shown were so fantastical people couldn't possibly replicate it. (As it was filmed) However, the sex... oh boy... a girl in a nightgown that looked like something in the 50s. SCANDALOUS!!! (However, the game's biggest criticizers at the time were people who hadn't actually seen it.)
    • Admittedly, Mortal Kombat did drift from its harsher origins over the course of the series. Fatalities in later titles were less about the raw violence and more about the spectacle. Kano went from ripping people's hearts out in the first game to using his Eye Beams to blow up his enemies by the third. It's still a finishing move, but the extremeness of the MK3 fatality just lacked the cold-bloodedness and disturbing vibe the first game had.
  • Phantasy Star. A lot of the tropes of JRPGs in general come from this series, including the mash-up of sci-fi and fantasy elements, customizing party lineups by swapping out party members, and the emotionally shocking but dramatically effective storyline deaths of important protagonists[2]. Now it's all par for the course.
  • Final Fantasy Legend has its leveling system (an improvement of Final Fantasy II's), which was improved in the following games, making it look rather old by comparison.
  • Quake. The original game was an immense hit in its day due to its technological innovations. But its once-shocking 3-D graphics now look... underwhelming, due to low polygon counts and lack of texture filtering.
  • Street Fighter. The ORIGINAL Street Fighter. Back then, arcade games were almost universally simple affairs. Punch, kick, jump, shoot, duck, defend on occasion, maybe if it got really wild you had an alternate weapon. Large sprites, one-on-one gameplay, a pair of analog buttons which produced a variety of strikes (later replaced by the now-standard six-button grid), holding back to block, super-lethal attacks unleashed by secret joystick movements, and unique opponents with a variety of styles and attacks... all of these were amazing innovations. Especially for Capcom, which at the time had almost nothing but platformers and various Shoot Em Ups. It was a HUGE success, better than anyone could've imagined. Today, good luck finding someone who remembers that this game existed, much less will admit to liking it.
    • Street Fighter II ACCIDENTALLY introduced animation cancelling, and as a result, the entire concept of combos in fighting games. This small mistake single-handedly extended the life of video arcades for a decade. Today, the system seems clunky and sometimes unresponsive; then again, it was a bug, and not an integrated component of the game engine.
  • Super Mario 64. A lot of people complain that it is unwieldy and unimaginative, unaware that, outside of a couple crappy (even for their time) games, there really didn't exist 3D platformers in 1996.
    • Or, hell, even the original Super Mario Bros for the NES. This one's famous enough to avert a lot of this, but there's still some people who don't realize that one game kickstarted Nintendo's juggernaut of a series. There was no such thing as jumping on enemies' heads to kill them before SMB. The number of people who have ripped off Miyamoto and Tezuka's work likely ranks up there with Shakespeare, Mozart, Disney, Rodgers/Hammerstein and the Beatles. And let's not forget the fact that it was one of the first, if not the first platformer to feature a moving screen.
      • Not to mention, platformers in general. Look say... Ape Escape. Nowadays, the game is plagued by Damn You, Muscle Memory! and what is now considered terrible camera controls (in part because a standardized control scheme is "Right analog stick for camera, left analog stick for movement".) However, at the time, that game was a huge experiment in 3D control... as well as for the Playstation in general. For one, it was the first game to require the dual-analog controller.
  • Tomb Raider. Before this game most women in video games were only there to be rescued or be sidekicks (sometimes both). In other cases where you could actually control a female character, she would only be an option to the main, heroic male lead character. Lara Croft started a trend of women becoming the sole protagonist in action games. The game was also praised for its detailed, realistic interactive 3D environment and use of set-pieces, which was groundbreaking at the time. Nowadays, the original game rarely gets the respect it deserves, and even then it's mostly the Fan Service that is mentioned rather than the many other things it did and the major part it played in establishing the 3D Action Adventure genre in general.
  • The System Shock games, System Shock 2 in particular. Despite being one of the most undersold games ever, never really moving beyond Cult Classic, System Shock 2 was a very well put together and innovative PC game. It was so good it has at least 2 Spiritual Successors. Both BioShock (series) and Dead Space copy its sold blend of Survival Horror/shooter in a Sci Fi environment with vending machines, upgrade stations allowing for a good deal of customization, and special powers (often used in puzzle solving), and a plot where everyone's turned into monsters and the only normal people are either on the other end of the radio, die five seconds after you meet them, or are the villains. However, improved graphics and gameplay, combined with the fact that not as many people played System Shock create such moments as Dead Space being described as "like BioShock (series), but on a spaceship." Uh, excuse me, where exactly do you think BioShock (series) came from?
  • The Tokimeki Memorial series as a whole, being the series which made non-H Dating Sims and Otome Games popular, and having created or popularized a number of Romance and Harem Series tropes along the way, suffers from this nowadays. Especially notable in the case of Tokimeki Memorial 4, the latest game in the series: it's generally accepted that it's on par, if not superior to the best episode in the series, the back-then groundbreaking and extremely popular Tokimeki Memorial 2; but it's mostly shrugged off by critics and gamers alike as "so Nineties" and "so old-school", being used by games such as The Idolmaster and Love Plus.
  • Ultima. Yahtzee once described the series as "needlessly obtuse", which would make sense if there was anything better available at the time the games were released (which is only true for Ultima IX and perhaps Ultima VIII).
    • The early Ultima games were often described as "RPG/adventure hybrids" at the time, because they brought into RPGs such revolutionary elements as talking to NPCs and solving puzzles beyond "use key on door".
    • It also was pretty much the first source of a morality system in an RPG, in Ultima IV.
    • The Ultima Underworld games, along with The Elder Scrolls: Arena, revolutionized RPG's with 360 degrees of 3 dimensional freedom, before the term FPS had even been coined. It looks less impressive compared to today's RPG hack-n-slashers.
  • Virtua Fighter is horribly bland if you've played any 3D brawler game that came later, yet words fail to describe how innovative and astonishing it was when it came out. Of course, the very name indicates that it was made to demonstrate something new at the time.
  • Welcome to Pia Carrot. The first game was made in 1995. Like many other adult games and dating sims, it lingered in No Export for You territory. By the time a Fan Translation of the PC-FX port was made in 2009, the art style looked quite old. (On the other hand, only a few other similar games in English in 2009 had simulation-style gameplay.)
  • The original The Legend of Zelda. Compared to the newer games, it would look like it's missing a lot of the elements that are staples of the series (such as towns full of NPCs, traveling by way of a horse or vehicle, and lots of dialogue and cutscenes) but at the time, it was an epic adventure the likes of which was almost completely unheard of in a console game, just because you had a more free-range environment, a whole arsenal of inventory items and needed a save feature just to finish it (this was an early NES game, and most of those games at the time were the kind you could finish in a single sitting (at least in principle)).
    • For that matter, the Nintendo 64 games. They were a spectacular Video Game 3D Leap at the time, and are the base for every third-person game that exists now, having introduced features such as the now ubiquitous Camera Lock On. However, just like Super Mario 64, the low-poly graphics and mostly square environments don't look nearly as good today, especially when compared to newer games.
    • But still, the good things people say about Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask kinda make up for it. Don't forget that Ocarina of Time is still considered the best Zelda game by many, and even considered one of the best games of all time.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog evokes this trope in two ways: firstly, the speed which the eponymous Blue Blur ran through the levels in the first game in the series really seemed quite blistering to gamers of the day, even if nobody would think twice about it now. Also, in order to truly see the heavily promoted "edginess" of the character, you really need to be aware that when Sonic first appeared in 1991, the vast majority of platform heroes were promoted as squeaky-clean and cutesy. A teenage hedgehog with a spiky hairstyle and a self-confident smirk was enough to seem uber-cool by comparison.
    • Actually, many fans nowadays feel like Sonic has slowed down in recent games.
  • Logistics and diplomacy in a wargame. From the west came Virgin Interactive with Overlord, MULE with trade, military pacts, and planetary bombardment, and from the east came Koei, with Nobunaga's Ambition. Both were the first in their genres to combine obsessive resource management with the trappings of a standard setpiece wargame. How much your troops had trained and with what. How much food you had. The market of the food itself. The market behind your weaponry. Spying. Assassinations. Treaties. Aid pacts. Black markets. Taxation. Dividends. And in Nobunaga's case, even marriage was accounted for, as an alternative option to uniting your empire with another's. The information overload was staggering for its time, possibly even for some now. This was not merely there to bolster the wargame part ala Total War either. It was vitally important to do all these things at once lest you fall behind and face unexpected defeat in the coming battle.
  • The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series is a microcosm of this trope. When the Marine player character in the first game is permanently killed by the nuke in "Aftermath", it was a huge break from other FPS games of the era. The fact that you controlled a dying character in the middle of a nuclear blast zone (and had no say over whether he lived or died), and that all your efforts in the American campaign were for naught was a huge deal then, and flew in the face of conventional video game tropes. The sequel, however, does the same thing 3 separate times, and for players who played MW2 before the original, the effect of the "Aftermath" level is lost.
  • The Baldur's Gate games are considered Western RPG landmarks. Try telling that to BioWare fans who got on board circa Knights of the Old Republic, if not later, when the developer had started going more for the cinematic angle.
  • The original Battle Arena Toshinden was one of the most highly-rated games for the original PlayStation when it originally came out. It was one of the most advertised launch titles for the platform in America, as well as the third game to ever get a score of 98% from Game Players magazine (the other two being the SNES port of Super Street Fighter II and Final Fantasy VI). However, the sequels got progressively worse reviews (the fourth one wasn't even released in America) and the original game is now seen as a joke by hardcore fighting game enthusiasts compared to the original Virtua Fighter and Tekken (which had its console releases around the same time).
    • Graphics-wise, they're comparible (with Toshinden arguably a notch above). Gameplay wise, VF and Tekken hold up. BAT... doesn't.
  • The SOCOM series lately looks like a candidate for this trope. Back when the PlayStation 2's internet play was available, the SOCOM series blended the best aspects of PC tactical shooters (mainly Counter-Strike, Delta Force and Rainbow Six) and made the gameplay palatable for console gamers. Combine this with the ultra-popular PlayStation 2 and the result? Six million total sales between the first two games alone (with SOCOM 1 getting the 3.45 mil bulk.) Unfortunately, SOCOMs relevance was mostly symbiotic with Sony's problematic online gaming support, which worsened overtime. Xbox Live's reputation eventually surpassed the PlayStation 2 online service, thanks to the lack of a built-in hard drive causing numerous issues (mainly with cheaters and being dropped from games). Then Halo 2 exploded in popularity. And then the worst combination for the series: Play Station 3's problematic launch handicapping sales for years, and developer Zipper not making a SOCOM game for years after the Play Station 3 launched, all while many different tactical shooters have flooded the console market (e.g., the Tom Clancy line of shooters, Metal Gear Online, Gears of War, Battlefield variants, and especially Call of Duty). With that, SOCOM became increasingly niche and dated in comparison. By the time SOCOM 4 was released, only longtime fans remained interested, while everyone else moved on. Worse, SOCOM 4s attempts to convert new fans was a failure, and the remaining fans are caught into a bitter civil war with the franchise. Give or take a few more years, and the franchise's impact on console online gaming will be mostly forgotten.
  • Genre Savvy people are predicting this to happen to the original Defense of the Ancients because it was released on an engine considered "outdated". A lot of other early MOBA games in general after other games like Demigod, Heroes of Newerth, League of Legends and DotA 2 improved and played with the formula a bit more.
  • The first Persona game. It was made in 1996, and... quite honestly hasn't aged very well. It kicked off a series, and was a cult hit, but the sequels (even the second games, which followed the original formula, not the madly popular dating sim) polished the franchise so much better the first game is much much harder to just pick up and play than the later installments. This is one of those games where you spend either a couple hours poking around constantly finding the items... or five minutes with a guide.
    • If you think that the Literal Split Personality or the escapism are cliche, it's worth noting that you'd be hard pressed to find any more of that back in 1996.
  • A couple of Super Mario World hacks have actually fallen into this category as well.
    • The Second Reality Project was one of the first major Super Mario World hacks. Completed in 2002 (around Lunar Magic's really early years), the game just had level edits and nothing else. But the creator did do a remake incorporating newer graphics, levels and other things.
    • Heck, Rob-Omb's Quest probably looks lousy today compared to other Super Mario World hacks, but around the time it came out, (many) people were impressed by the custom Super Mario Bros 3 music, overworld and level ideas.
      • Even the SMB3 music seems bland compared to the custom music that can be inserted into a SMW ROM hack now.
    • ExGFX? Well, although some people still like playing Super Demo World: The Legend Continues, it still doesn't have all the ASM and custom music that newer SMW hacks nowadays have. It's still a great hack to play though.
    • The first hack that demonstrated what ASM editing can do? Brutal Mario was pretty famous for the custom bosses, sprites and other features, but had bad level design. Nowadays, there are many other hacks that incorporate ASM.
    • Kaizo Mario World. Remember that at the time, all those cruel tricks were actually original, and even things like the Kaizo Trap or invisible coin blocks were used sparingly and in a clever way. And things like invisible/underwater Bowser, that Big Boo boss in the second, the final Reznor fight and many of the levels were actually fairly well designed, it's just the imitators that came since copied so much of it that the game itself is old hat.
  • Breath of Fire II, for the Super NES. Compared to today's games, its mild swearing (a single "damn" and "hell"), explicit references to death, and religious themes (including a Corrupt Church and explicit references to gods) may seem tame; nonetheless, it was definitely Darker and Edgier than anything ever before seen on a Nintendo system.
  • Resident Evil did for video games what Night of the Living Dead did for movies. Zombies. Used to be, zombies were about as common or less likely for one to encounter as the old 1980s stand-by enemies, the robot and the ninja. Then Resident Evil came along. Now-days, zombies are almost as ubiquitous in games as crates. Not to mention the entire shift in what a Survival Horror title even is. These days, the genre is more focused on action, with combat being quicker and more frantic and story and level progression more fast-paced. This is a far cry from the "tank/turret-style" controls and complex puzzle-oriented gameplay of the first Survival Horror titles.
  • Renegade was the first "belt-scrolling" Beat'Em Up and pioneered such features as throwing enemies. The Japanese version launched the Kunio-Kun series, and the Westernized version was popular enough to get its own line of sequels. Even as a Beat'Em Up it gets little respect nowadays, likely in part because even the arcade version lacks the Co-Op Multiplayer that became a staple of the genre. Seanbaby, describing the NES port as one of the "Top 20 Worst NES Games," claimed sarcastically that "there just weren't any other games involving guys walking around and fighting bad guys on the street." To a large extent, there weren't: it came before such better-remembered games as Double Dragon and Final Fight.
  • Similar to Kaizo Mario World, Fire Emblem ROM-Hacks. Mageknight404 mentions that Blitz Tactics Universe is really dated, but at the time was probably the best rom-hacks of Fire Emblem Elibe. However, playing it now, you'll notice that the characters are obviously splices or edits, while some of the custom faces fall right into the Uncanny Valley. In addition, the custom music will seem out of place, the events will seem weird, there are glitches (Such as brigands with sword ranks) amongst other things.
  • Grand Theft Auto III was massively controversial for the time, as it was the first game to popularize the Wide Open Sandbox genre. Many of the elements it is responsible for bringing into the mainstream would be copied ad nauseum over the next decade, making III look quaint in comparison.
    • Players could run around in an open world, kill absolutely anyone they wanted (hero and/or villain alike), pick up hookers (then rob them) and run anyone off the road. It was named "Most Offensive Game of the Year" by GameSpy and several other publications. Nowadays, you can pick up any Wide Open Sandbox game and beat up or kill bystanders without batting an eye.
    • III was one of the first games to have an all-star voice cast, with notable actors lending their voices to both major and minor characters. It's uncommon these days to see a triple-AAA title where the voice cast isn't comprised of notable actors.
  1. Halo is one of the few that accounts for regenerating shields in its story; health is depleted separately in the first game and Halo: Reach and does not replenish on its own
  2. Technically, Final Fantasy II had protagonists meet their demise over the course of the story but they were the fourth party member and not any of the main three