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Hello there again, another gaming topic here. However, this topic isn't about a particular game but rather games in general, and how nostalgia can affect one's judgment of a game.


Now when it comes to the gaming experience, nostalgia is definitely a key part of it. It helps establish the tone of the world you're playing, along with leaving you awe inspired. However, in many cases, this quality tends to cloud a player's judgment of a game. I have dubbed this the "Nostalgia Syndrome".


A great example of this would be Skyrim. Now don't get me wrong, Skyrim is a fantastic game and is one of my favourites. During my first ten hours of gameplay, I thought it was the best video game I ever had the pleasure of being immersed in. However, there were several key flaws I began to notice after the "Nostalgia Syndrome" wore off. 


The first major thing I noticed was the overall story. You have to battle dragons, resolve a long-lasting conflict between the Stormcloaks and Imperials, save Tamriel from the World Eater, Alduin!!! There are also several interesting side quests like becoming a werewolf, an immortal vampire lord, an assassin lurking in the shadows, a powerful mage, and a clever thief. The side quests previously mentioned are well-done for the most part. What gets me is what is supposed to sell you, the main story. 


WARNING: Spoilers ahead!!!!!!


You're a prisoner waiting his execution when suddenly a dragon lands on a tower and calls forth balls of flame from the sky! You must escape, either with your fellow prisoners or your captors. Once you do, you go to Riverwood to recoup and then set off to Whiterun to deal with the dragon threat. You eventually discover that you are dragon born, and thus sent on a quest to exterminate these beasts by devouring their souls and unlocking new powers of your own! And that's where the excitement ends, really. The main questline is extremely short without any major events. Even finally facing Alduin in a final confrontation was honestly... a bit of a bore. The battle was easily won (Difficulty: Master) and Alduin didn't really present anything knew from the previous dragons you faced... other thank calling a storm of fireballs, of course. All of which one could easily dodge without having to even pay attention. Or hell, retrieving the Elder Scroll, the most important artifact in the game as it gives you one of the most useful shouts, was honestly not that enjoyable to do. It felt like a chore... sure, you got to explore a dwemer ruin, but it was like every single one before... just with a very easy puzzle at the end with some confrontation with a dumbass elf that decided to get in your way. What also really disappointed me was the discussion period between the Stormcloaks and Imperials regarding their ceasefire... there was no challenge to it, it wasn't interesting, or really like a political confrontation of any sort. It was easy to establish agreeable compensation for both sides so they would have a ceasefire until the threat was neutralized. I think this should have been explored more, because I really LOVED Dwarvan politics in DA:O.


Another issue I had with it is that most of the sidequests, other than the "mini-main quests", were not really memorable. I can only name two quests that really stuck with me: Blood on the Ice and The Forsworn Conspiracy, of which I enjoyed the latter more than I did the former. [Note: Loved every Daedric Prince quest, fun as hell] Besides that, every other quest was just... meh. Really bland and boring. Retrieval of a specific item that looks exactly like an item you found the last time, slaying an enemy, clearing a den of bandits, or missions that are very similar to these.


Now for the most part I did enjoy the combat. It was dynamic for its time and very fluid. However, magic wasn't really all that great. Now don't get me wrong, I did enjoy playing as a powerful mage, but compared to its previous edition (Oblivion) the magic skills were heavily downgraded. Now I can understand the reasoning behind this, they had to build a MASSIVE WORLD from the ground up and make it look good (which they did). However, the magic tree was severely lacking. Oblivion's magic tree(s) was so diverse and unique respectively with each magic skill. There was a spell that would make you FLY goddamnit! Imagine flying in the skies battling a dragon, that would have been severely badass!


These were the main flaws I had with the game revealed after the nostalgia wore off. There are some minor gripes like with unique weapons/armour/staffs/etc not actually being unique or not being able to marry Serrana and Frea. However, that doesn't really affect the quality of the game IMO.


Don't get me wrong, the major flaws I listed (that I found anyway) does not mean this game is by any means bad! However, it isn't a 10/10 game like a lot of people rated due to nostalgia. If I were to actually rate it, I would give it a solid 8/10.It is a superb game with good gameplay, crafting system is excellent, compelling stories for the most part (other than the main questline), and intriguing lore.


Anyway, back to the main point of what I was saying earlier. Many people, including myself initially, rated this game a high 10/10. It was new, fresh, and was just overall badass. But that was because of the nostalgia; our judgment was clouded with all the good looking graphics and the dynamic combat. We couldn't see the "chore quests", the main questline, or the downgraded magic systems. Or hell, all of the graphical glitches or a few game-breaking ones (which is to be expected with a game on this scale). I even had some qualms with the leveling system as I preferred the old one in Oblivion. Only when the nostalgia wears off, if you allow it to, can you see all the flaws that don't make it a 10/10 game. Fallout 4 is another great example of what nostalgia can do to cloud the judgment of players (although the nostalgia wore off faster with this game because the plot is just overall terrible). However, I wont get into it because then I would be writing an entire novel on "Nostalgia Syndrome".


Screw what I think, tho! I want to know what your opinions are. Do you agree with my opinions? Do you disagree with them? What other games do you think caused some "Nostalgia Syndrome"? Discuss below!


BTW, I focused on a singular game as an example mainly because it would have been easier to explain with just one example, and also since it was (is) glorified by most players/critics, Just thought I'd let you know.


Anyway, cheers!

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+rei+    34428

I uh, don't know how nostalgia factors into that, I feel like you're using the wrong term. 

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Dank Memeston    1716

I think Skyrim is a great game the first time you play it and doubles as an easy in to RPGs. There is nothing complex yet it provides so much depth. It has this endearing feel about it which is reinforced a bit when you learn about the company - and this is further supported by a very large and active community of modders. The worst part of this game is found in many other Bethesda titles which is that in order to support this modder community they basically have a hands off approach to patching and updates, mechanical depth, etc. This has lead to many great things in the modding community but for the basic player on their second playthrough the flaws and bugs in the base game become very evident. That is really all I can say with certainty about Skyrim/Fallout 4. Oh, Also: check out Zharic Zhakaron, I think you may like him.





I get where you are coming from but rei is right. I think what you may be expressing is the exuberance mostly everyone felt when the combination of simple game mechanics, a unifying aesthetic and open ended gameplay works so well that you actually believe in this small world. A downfall in belief is inevitable as you start to notice the patterns in the AI, cave design, dialogue so that your world crashes around you and you wonder why? Why did I get wrapped up in this dumb ass fucking game and why can I not stop playing it? (if mods) Why can I not stop modding it? Why does nothing work and what have I lost?



What have I lost? What did I have? What was taken from me? Who did this? What kind of a person would ever release something so infuriatingly full of bugs and bad graphics and shit AI and boring magic and unrefined quests, and such an undetailed and incorrectly scaled world??? Who the fuck does that and why is there name Bethesda (game studios)?




Skyrim is a great initiation into the world of smaller worlds for those who have never glimpsed it outside of movies. It puts you 1st person into a world you think it pretty detailed on the outset. Lots of explore and learn and fight - this game provides everything but it fails at one of the (what i am starting to assume) pivotal flaws of RPGs: they hardly ever provide a satisfying ending. Since one of the main themes that strings between these fantasy RPGs is ugrading your ability to world shattering stardard or killing God.... what can the developers really do? They can either have you kill God and wrap up the rest (DA:O does this well, ME3 fails to deliver who heartedly) they can do the whole neverending story thing (DA:2+3+onwards, Dark Souls, etc.). Skyrim does the first but fails at so many points in convicning you the story actually matters that even if you do it you don't feel the satisfaction that the game engine could never provide. This may make some people feel slighted... and to make matters worse all the signs where there along the way so they may feel slgihted again for not listening to themselves.




What I'm trying to say is that with regards to Skyrim people are nostalgic about that first playthrough.... wait, that first 30 hours... those times you didnt know every trick up the developers sleave, when you were innocent. But you were never innocent, only ignorant. You had the skills to beat this game, you just refined them a tiny bit. You had fun in the game, but you forgot about it when you were overannalyzing everything to figuring out what went wrong. Just like all 1st times experiences this game is unique in and of itself and should deserve a 10 on that merit alone...  o wait there are other games? Maybe I should make this a 10 because that is a simple answer for the uninitiated into this RPG landscape so that they can feel the pure bliss of dozens of hours wholesomely spent only to be realized into wasted efforts later when I break myself and get onto this never ending journey from RPG to RPG trying to find that one game I consider best. That one game THAT ONE GAME> GIMME GIMME?!??!?!??!?~!??!~!@K


But why does it matter at all? Why care at all about the time spent or the slights felt? Why not just follow the critics and hope their experience is worth your 10 seconds skimming through their article to get you that one last word that means "buy" in some context or another. We need more people to get onto this cash train of games and games journalism so that they become salty sea biscuits and create memes which unintentionally just reinforce all of their bad habits.




Ummm, I really can't say anything else here other than actual nostalgia for old games causing new ones to come out is probably an issue for the advancement of gaming but tbh it has created a lot of interest in areas unexplored by the classics. (thinking about Hollow Knight)

Edited by Dank Memeston

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BuildTheWalia    168
On 2/9/2018 at 1:01 AM, [DNF]Red Eyes Ultimate Dra said:

-unique weapons/armour/staffs/etc not actually being unique


-not being able to marry Serrana and Frea. 


-the downgraded magic systems. (aka "It's Not Oblivion")

-Or hell, all of the graphical glitches or a few game-breaking ones


-I even had some qualms with the leveling system as I preferred the old one in Oblivion.



-Unique Uniques: https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/33292


-Marry Serana: https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/28685

 Marry Frea: Console Commands


-Apocalypse (adds 100+ spells): https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/16225

 Path of Sorcery (overhauls perk system): https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/68587


-Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition Patch: https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/71214

 (fixes A TON of bugs)


-Oblivion Class System: https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/16736/

 Oblivion Attributes System: https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/13968


A lot of the problems with Skyrim aren't able to be fixed (Main Quest, tedious side quests, etc.), but the overwhelming amount of mods for the game keeps me constantly coming back and provides hundreds of hours of additional gameplay. Skyrim still remains a solid 9.5 for me.


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anduril38    358

Have to agree. In spite of Skyrim's crippling flaws, its the sandbox and modding capability that keeps me coming back.

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Aaron    1986

I see your point and this applies to everything in life. People to struggle to admit things move forwards.


Its the same with football players etc. 


I think what people find disappointing is given how much tech/experience and man power that game developers have at their disposal, they still manage to fall short so often. 

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