Funny video games leading this era

12.01.2023 0 By admin

Every once in a while a game comes around and just changes everything.

It shows us something completely new and it takes forever for everyone else to catch up.

Hi folks, it’s Falcon,
and today, on Gameranx,

10 games that were ahead of their time.

Starting off at number 10 with “Crysis.”

Now, 2007 was an all-time
great year for games.

We have “BioShock,” “Modern
Warfare,” “Mario Galaxy,”

“Halo 3,” “God of War 2,” “The
Orange Box,” and “Crysis.”

And just looking at these games,

you can tell that one of these
things isn’t like the others

because “Crysis” was
just light years ahead

of everything else visually at the time.

Now, maybe in art direction,

you might like some of the other
games I said a little more,

but in purely technical terms,
“Crysis” was a cut above.

Like compare it to 2006’s
“Elder Scrolls: Oblivion”

and it is no contest.

“Oblivion” looks downright
decrepit compared to “Crysis.”

The game had dynamic lighting
and shadows, HDR rendering,

dynamic environments, real-time clouds,

and a lot of new effects.

It took four years before the game

was able to be ported
to the Xbox 360 and PS3,

and even then they had to cut
out a massive level of detail

’cause it was just too
much for systems to handle.

In general, those ports

were severely compromised
versions of “Crysis,”

and we wouldn’t get a decent
console version of the game

until the next generation.

Now, of course, with all
these fancy graphics effects,

it meant you needed a
beast of a PC at the time

to actually play it.

There’s a reason “Can it run
‘Crysis’?” became such a meme,

it was a question people
were legitimately asking

for years after the game came out.

In gameplay terms, there’s
not a lot going on here

that wasn’t done in
the original “Far Cry,”

outside of the Nanosuit powers,

but graphically this game
is so far ahead of its time,

it’s almost hard to describe.

– Post your position.
And keep a low profile.

If they spot you, they’ll
call in reinforcements.

– At number nine is “Eternal Darkness.”

Now, compared to “Crysis,”
graphically “Eternal Darkness”

is definitely nothing to write home about,

and that’s not a huge surprise,

considering it was originally

meant to come out on Nintendo 64

before development moved
over to the more modern

but still early-2000s GameCube console.

What makes this game so ahead of its time

isn’t the graphics, but the ideas.

The game’s most impressive feature

is how it plays tricks on the
player using the sanity meter.

As your character gets exposed

to the Lovecraft-esque
horrors looking around,

the sanity meter slowly drains.

As it gets lower and lower,

the more likely you are to
experience hallucinations.

At first, they’re relatively harmless,

strange noises, blurry vision,

but when the sanity meter was low,

you get fourth-wall-breaking stuff,

like the game making it look
like the console crashed,

the TV disconnected.

Some of the nastier tricks are like things

where you think the
controller wasn’t working

and your save files
are erased or whatever.

It’s kind of stuff that had been done

in isolation in other games before,

but the way “Eternal
Darkness” messed with players

was just entirely original.

And it was the originator

of a lot of the
fourth-wall-breaking tricks

we see in so many games today.

At number eight is “NieR,”

which was released in April of 2010.

Now, “NieR” saw some pretty mixed reviews.

Most of the complaints focus
on the game’s ugly visuals

and not particularly exciting gameplay.

And it really didn’t get the
kind of attention it deserved

regarding the interesting
things the game did

regarding its story.

Like Joystick, which is now defunct,

gave the game a literal zero out of 10.

Reviewers mostly did not like this game

and sales weren’t high.

But in the past 10 years,

the game’s gotten a major
critical reevaluation

for its innovative and
mature storytelling.

The gameplay still isn’t great.

The original version of the
game’s pretty stiff to control.

The remake, in which they made
it handle a little bit more

like PlatinumGames’ “NieR:Automata,”

yeah, way better, even
if not perfect still.

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But the reason why it’s
so ahead of its time

is so obviously how it presents its story.

Instead of everything simply
ending after beating the game,

you’re given the option
to play through it again

but this time with new scenes

that give greater context
to what you’re doing.

Certain events become completely different

after multiple playthroughs
too, which is strange enough,

but the game also isn’t afraid
to go on weird tangents,

like there’s this entire section

where you’re in choose
your own adventure game.

It’s a game that just marches
to the beat of its own drum

and a lot of creators credit it

as a major inspiration for their games.

At number seven is “Demon’s Souls.”

Now, back when the original
“Demon’s Souls” came out,

the gaming landscape was just
a really different place.

Pretty much everything about the game

went against conventional
wisdom at the time.

The game was hard when games
were becoming more accessible.

It was obscure in a time
where everything had

unskippable tutorials that explained

every single aspect of the game.

It had a major focus on boss fights

when boss battles were
being de-emphasized.

All that’s really cool, but
not exactly ahead of its time.

I mean “King’s Field” was
a markedly different game,

but it wasn’t so far
removed from “Demon’s Souls”

that you can’t see the DNA between them,

and that’s from like 1994.

FromSoftware goes back ways.

What was trailblazing
about “Demon’s Souls”

was actually the asymmetrical
multiplayer component.

You could team up with other
players, you could fight them,

you could leave messages to offer clues

and look at people’s blood
stains, see how they died.

It turned what is, I mean,

technically a pretty lonely experience

into a weirdly communal one.

It’s a brilliant feature

that’s been copied by so
many games at this point

that it’s hard to keep up.

Now “Demon’s Souls” is famous
for its unrelenting gameplay

but the thing that really
makes it ahead of its time

is that multiplayer component.

At number six is “Planescape: Torment.”

like “NieR,” “Planescape:
Torment” isn’t ahead of its time

because of some gameplay
features or technical wizardry,

but storytelling.

In terms of story, this
game was simply a cut above

everything else in 1999.

And this was a time when
stories were evolving rapidly.

Like “Final Fantasy VII” came out in ’97,

“Metal Gear Solid” came out in ’98,

and those games were
absolutely revolutionary

in not only how mature their stories were

but how they told them.

That said, “Torment” was still
something very different.

What’s unusual about the game

is that the goal isn’t
to stop some great evil

or change the world,
it’s much more personal.

You’re the Nameless One,

an immortal being with
no memories of who he is

or why he’s even immortal
in the first place.

All the RPG staples are
here, there’s some combat,

but in comparison to
“Baldur’s Gate” or “Fallout,”

there’s much less a
focus on fighting here.

Like you’ll be spending
far more time talking

than you will be fighting in this game.

Only recently have we started to see games

that use more RPG mechanics everywhere

but aren’t primarily
about killing enemies.

Like this goes back much further.

At number five is “Shenmue.”

Now, you can’t do this list

without mentioning the granddaddy

of all the open-world games.

In comparison to “Grand Theft Auto III,”

“Shenmue” seems like a game
that came from another planet.

Rather than being about
creating a large world

and filling it with
potential for arcade action,

“Shenmue” was about building a small

but believable slice of life.

And that did not always
translate into fun gameplay.

But just the simple fact you could open

every single drawer in Ryo’s house

felt like a huge step forward

in interactivity in video games.

Instead of just throwing
you right into the action,

the game’s more about building a mood

and letting you get to know
your neighbors and friends.

It’s almost closer to
a life simulation game

than an open-world action game.

There is some combat eventually

but the real meat of the
game is in the mundane.

You can buy toys, play
arcade games, get a job,

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all things that, at the time,

people were not playing video games for.

Now you can make a video game
about literally anything.

You could do farming, trucking,
even playing arcade games.

But “Shenmue” was the first
game to do any of that.

(electronic whirring)
(upbeat music)

(electronic beeping)

At number four is “Live A Live.”

To the West, this game was
relatively unknown until 2022

when it got a remaster, but
now that it’s out of Japan,

you get to see how unique
and forward-thinking

this seemingly inessential RPG really was.

There’s a lot that’s unusual about it.

It’s an RPG,

but instead of being in a
fantasy world it’s set on Earth,

and each of the seven playable characters

comes from a different moment in history.

There’s RPG mechanics,
like turn-based battles,

but there’s a lot that’s
unique about the game as well.

Like the “Twilight of Edo Japan” chapter,

where it’s possible to play
through without killing anyone.

It’s much easier said than done,

requires a lot of trial and
error and puzzle-solving,

but it is possible.

This section has been cited
as the direct inspiration

to the creator of “Undertale,”

and it’s one of the first games

to have a legitimate
nonviolent gameplay option

that’s actually worth doing.

Probably the most unusual
chapter in the game

is “The Distant Future,” which stands out,

in that it’s almost entirely combat-free.

This section also contains
maybe the first instance

of the unkillable stalker

that pops up in a lot of
horror games nowadays.

Like the only way to survive

is just avoid the creature or runaway,

years before that mechanic popped up

in “Amnesia: The Dark Descent”
or “Alien: Isolation.”

Those are two examples of the ways

that this game was ahead of its time,

but they’re far from the only ones.

It was basically an experimental RPG

that was probably a little too
weird for the US back in ’94

but its influence can be
seen pretty much everywhere.

Oh, yeah!

And while we’re talking about
survival horror influences,

“Sweet Home” is another
game that basically invented

the survival horror genre,

but it has random battles rather
than an unkillable stalker.

At number three is “Super Mario 64,”

like you didn’t see this one coming

Like, it’s easy to take for
granted though, to be fair,

how much “Mario 64” was a step forward

in video games as a whole.

While every other third-person
game had a fixed camera

and unwieldy controls, Mario
controlled like a dream

and had what is probably

the first actual third-person
camera in a video game.

It took years for any other developers

to quite match what Nintendo
did with “Mario 64.”

Hell, games today still struggle to match

how natural Mario feels
to control in this game.

With this game, they basically
invented the 3D platformer,

and for a first go, it is
a remarkably complete game.

The camera is probably the biggest issue.

The mechanics behind it are revolutionary

but the actual camera
controls were not great.

– Whoa-hoo!

(light upbeat music)

Whoo!

Ha-ha!

– The moments that the
camera did work, however,

are incredible though.

And that comes down to the way

the game would combine
a controllable camera

that would switch to on-rails
camera at certain moments.

This sort of thing is seamless these days,

and while it didn’t
take long for developers

to at least approximate
movement in a 3D space,

it was a long time
before the mix of locked

and free camera controls became standard.

The technology used for the game

was also ahead of its time in many ways,

like the way the game would
switch between high poly

and low poly models
depending on the distance,

among other things.

It was just a highly influential game,

and it took a long time
before anybody really cracked

what made it feel so good to play.

Like, pretty much every
single 3D game today

owes something “Mario 64.”

At number two is the
original “System Shock.”

You don’t get a lot more

ahead of its time than “System Shock.”

It was released in ’94,

and, at that point, most FPSs
were just trying to be “Doom.”

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“System Shock” though, way
more way, way more ambitious.

Basically like a sci-fi dungeon crawler.

“System Shock” introduced
a lot of staples in games

that would be lumped together

as quote, unquote “immersive sims.”

This game lets you explore,
collect items, read logs,

which expand your understanding
of the story and place.

And you get popped into some
scenarios in multiple ways.

You upgrade your character.

I mean, compared to other FPS games

that were out at the time,

this was moody, mysterious, and immersive,

and it came out before “Doom II.”

To say this game was influential

would be a ridiculous understatement.

Games like “Thief,” “Deus Ex,” BioShock,”

“Dishonored,” “Prey,”

all these games owe a
huge debt to this game

for all the ideas it introduced
to the gaming landscape.

(heavy industrial electronic music)

(lasers blasting)

One lesser-mentioned feature the of game

that was actually even
more ahead of its time,

is all the ways you can
change the difficulty,

which are actually similar

to accessibility options in modern games.

Like you can change the combat difficulty,

puzzle difficulty, story difficulty,

which affects the time limit that

you have to do certain things
like the mini-game difficulty,

and all these things
have separate sliders.

And “System Shock” came out 20 years

before those things became commonplace.

And finally, at number one,
“Trespasser: Jurassic Park.”

So up until now,

every game on this list is
at least pretty good, right?

Most of them are great.

This one, it’s a mess.

It is unfinished, it’s super buggy,

it’s incredibly awkward to play at times,

but it was also beyond ambitious.

The people making this game

clearly wanted to make
something revolutionary,

but the technology to do
what they wanted to do

just wasn’t there yet.

So many features in this
game were revolutionary.

There was no HUD, except
for this weird heart tattoo

on your character’s cleavage,

you could look down and see
how much health you had with.

But, beyond that, no HUD.

When using guns, there
were no ammo pop-ups,

instead, your character would say

how much ammo was still in the weapon.

– Eight shots.

Heavier than I thought.

Five. Four
(guns blasting)

– At the time, this type of
stuff was just unheard of.

But we’re starting to
see more FPSs nowadays

kind of get away with this HUD-less setup.

It’s generally more
story-oriented FPSs, but still.

Also, the dinosaurs in this
game had advanced AI routines

that were meant to
control how they behaved

but were basically just
all set to aggressive

because the developers couldn’t
actually get them to work.

And this game had a fully
functional physics simulation

in 1998, six years before “Half-Life 2.”

The size of the island was also
impressive for the time too,

as well as the environmental storytelling

that was surprisingly mature for a game

where you look down at your boobs

to see how much health you have.

“Trespasser” is a game
that swung for the fences

and fell flat on its face.

It was so far ahead of the time,

that it wasn’t possible to do
what they were trying to do.

And when it came out,

the game was just
considered a total disaster.

I do like to think of it
as a noble failure though

because, I mean, the stuff
that they came up with

people were doing eventually.

Anyways, that’s all for today.

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