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How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

Reminiscing about the games you played, movies and shows you watched, music you listened to, and books you read when you were younger, seems to be pretty in vogue, these days, especially for the people of our generation.

As such, perhaps you've probably felt compelled to return to some of those things from time to time? If so, have your reactions to those things changed? Do they seem to be the same they've always been, or have you noticed new things about them, with your broader, wider understanding of reality and the world around you? Have you found a new appreciation for things you casually dismissed? Or does something that seemed profound just seem like rubbish now?

I can easily say that, within the past 10 years, I definitely see some things differently now.

Final Fantasy VII and VIII, I used to think that Cloud and Squall were two of the most badass heroes ever. These days, I'd say that they're two of the most depressed characters ever, but I still kind of hold onto this image or impression of them being badass, because it was firmly entrenched into my mind when it was still developing. These days, anti-heroes that're like "I say I'm only doing it for the money, but I really actually have a heart of gold" characters just irritate the sense out of me. L'Arc, from Arc Rise Fantasia (Wii), and Kazuma, from Kaze no Stigma (anime) are just two examples of this. I guess the whole anti-hero what-the-f**kery has just been so overdone and poorly done, that it has lost its appeal, but I've also realized that people who're like that in real-life are just putzes. Devil May Cry, the series and gameplay I like, but Dante would just be an annoying person to deal with in real life ("Need to take a piss? It's in the back!")

Xenosaga, after having come off of Neon Genesis Evangelion, I used to think had real profound things to say about psychology and human nature, but watching it again now, I can only ask, "What IS the point they're trying to make?" The translated dialogue comes off as overly verbose and roundabout, I really can't make sense of it. What I got from the ending was "Yay, free will! Power of the resiliency of the human spirit!" Like that hasn't been done before.

Last edited by Dartannian (Jun 7, 2012)

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

I've been enjoying a resurgence in older games lately, especially ones of the SNES era, when they were more streamlined and frequently, harder. Newer games are prettier but they often feel less imaginative.

I'm pretty much JRPGed out at this point. I played a good chunk of them this generation (handholds excepted) but the only ones that really impressed were Tales of Vesperia and (especially) Xenoblade. The rest were either painfully average (Lost Odyssey) or godawful (Eternal Sonata, Star Ocean 4). The plots might have been simpler in past generations but they were also more concise, with less of the anime tropes and philosophical mumbo-jumbo which have been weighing down the genre for years.

I'll also freely admit that being in my early 30s, I'm no longer the target audience for those games. As a teenager, controlling a bunch of 15 to 18 year-olds was wildly entertaining but now, I just wish the characters would act more like, well, adults.

My tastes in music have remained the same for at least a decade now. I strongly dislike more popular genres and only really listen to classical, with some film music and video game material on the side.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

I'm WAY more open to a wider variety of music now. I used to be such a hater.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

Wanderer wrote:

I'll also freely admit that being in my early 30s, I'm no longer the target audience for those games. As a teenager, controlling a bunch of 15 to 18 year-olds was wildly entertaining but now, I just wish the characters would act more like, well, adults.

Every time I hear this complaint, I feel compelled to recommend NieR.
Did you ever play that?
It's a rare example of a JRPG where the main character is a middle-aged man, and it works brilliantly.
Love that game, great soundtrack too.

As for me, I don't think my tastes have changed that much.
JRPGs are still my favorite genre, and that probably won't ever change.
I've noticed I've grown a bit more open towards FPS games, but not very much.
Also, I play a LOT more Western games now than I did, well, in the entire age up to the current generation.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

i am thankful that i DON'T have any 15-18 year olds to have to worry about controlling (or getting out of control and me getting stuck with the bill).

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

Amazingu wrote:
Wanderer wrote:

I'll also freely admit that being in my early 30s, I'm no longer the target audience for those games. As a teenager, controlling a bunch of 15 to 18 year-olds was wildly entertaining but now, I just wish the characters would act more like, well, adults.

Every time I hear this complaint, I feel compelled to recommend NieR.
Did you ever play that?
It's a rare example of a JRPG where the main character is a middle-aged man, and it works brilliantly.
Love that game, great soundtrack too.

NieR had a good story, I just didn't care for the gameplay itself. It felt very unpolished.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

Wanderer wrote:

NieR had a good story, I just didn't care for the gameplay itself. It felt very unpolished.

It was a bit rough around the edges, sure, but everything else more than made up for it, I felt.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

I don't know if my tastes have changed or if I just want a little more respect from developers. I want games to be made with less filler and more wonder. I want less obnoxious hand-holding, but I don't want puzzles to be so obtuse that the entire internet has to work together to solve them (Fez). I want developers to understand that I'm busy and I don't have time to walk in a circle fighting random battles for four hours before I go to the next dungeon. I want games to wow me, one way or the other. The first time I played the demo of Xenogears that came with Parasite Eve, I was blown away. The first time I played Mario Galaxy, I was in love. I want games to make me feel like that, regardless of genre. Remember when you fired up a game for the first time and you just knew, intuitively, that this game was going to be amazing. The first time you played Super Metroid. The first time you played Link to the Past. You knew, right away, that this was something special. That's all I want from video games. Wow me.

Last edited by XLord007 (Jun 8, 2012)

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

Am I the only person in their 30s that doesn't care about playing as a younger protagonist?  I mean, I never minded reading books or playing games or whatever with older protagonists when I was younger, so why should I have a problem with the opposite now?  Most of the time, anime/game "teens" don't really act way older than real people the same age would anyway...

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

Qui-Gon Joe wrote:

Am I the only person in their 30s that doesn't care about playing as a younger protagonist?  I mean, I never minded reading books or playing games or whatever with older protagonists when I was younger, so why should I have a problem with the opposite now?  Most of the time, anime/game "teens" don't really act way older than real people the same age would anyway...

No, I'm not bothered by it either, but it would be nice to have a change of pace every once in a while.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

What I really appreciate about NES and SNES games, is how they play so much more quickly in comparison to the contemporaries that exist out there. Final Fantasy II/IV (SNES) can be finished in about 20-25 hours, but Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX, and X all require NO LESS than 60 hours. Battles and level-building take much longer, and I attribute that to all the lengthy, flashy graphics and animations that take awhile to load and play out. A half hour in Final Fantasy II/IV, you've maybe finished a dungeon or two. Final Fantasy VII, that's about the length of a single battle!

Secret of Mana only takes about 5-7 days worth to complete, Super Mario RPG, about 3 days. All those PSX Final Fantasies? A month, at least, but as much as half a year.

What's really exasperating is trying to come back to a game in the middle of it, after not having played it for awhile, and trying to remember what you're supposed to do.

Thankfully, NPCs in older games seemed to be better about relaying objectives, while they're just there as filler in newer games, because newer games have a section of your menu you can just use to look up your objective. Final Fantasy XII, I actually liked how not all NPCs said anything to you, and were just there to make cities feel populated, thereby cutting down on the amount of unnecessary filler.

Smeg wrote:

I'm WAY more open to a wider variety of music now. I used to be such a hater.

I'm the same way, as well! I used to be pretty Puritanical; I used to be like one of those 1950s types who contended that rock n' roll was for delinquents. It wasn't until after I got out of high school that I started finding rock that wasn't the kind of tripe the MTV and Capital Records like to pump out.

I basically have MTV to thank for thinking that ALL popular music is rubbish; it's also bullocks when you notice that they rat out artists that they promote (Avril Lavigne, for one), so they can connect with both people who like a particular artist, but also people who hate that same artist. They're like, "Here's Avril Lavigne's new video! Check it out!" and sometime down the road, you can find them saying, "Yeah, man, Avril Lavigne is teh suxxorz!" I like harping on MTV a lot. Have you noticed? They're just such a bunch of posers.

Otherwise, a lot of my tastes have really been shaped by video game music. I probably wouldn't have even thought to look into all the different ethnic musics that I do, if I hadn't been introduced to those styles by game soundtracks. Discovering that you like something is one of those pleasurable mysteries of life!

Without game soundtracks, my palette would be strictly limited to classical and jazz.

Last edited by Dartannian (Jun 8, 2012)

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

While I don't agree with this, seeing as I casually went through FFVII several months ago at 35 hours (including some leveling)...

Dartannian wrote:

Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX, and X all require NO LESS than 60 hours.

... I can absolutely get behind this:

Dartannian wrote:

Without game soundtracks, my palette would be strictly limited to classical and jazz.

Just replace "classical and jazz" with "rock and metal", and you have what my overall music collection would look like if I hadn't found VGM. It's exposed me to lots of genres, including jazz and classical, but now I'm more open to more world music and minimal/ambient and lots of other styles. On the other side of things, my girlfriend heard some stuff from FFXII and said she dug the music but would have loved to hear it with a full orchestra.

VGM: bustin' down boundaries.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

Qui-Gon Joe wrote:

Am I the only person in their 30s that doesn't care about playing as a younger protagonist?  I mean, I never minded reading books or playing games or whatever with older protagonists when I was younger, so why should I have a problem with the opposite now?  Most of the time, anime/game "teens" don't really act way older than real people the same age would anyway...

It gets tiring because that's pretty much your only option in that genre. There are occasionally older people in the cast and they're made fun of for being in their 30s or older.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

Dartannian wrote:

What I really appreciate about NES and SNES games, is how they play so much more quickly in comparison to the contemporaries that exist out there. Final Fantasy II/IV (SNES) can be finished in about 20-25 hours, but Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX, and X all require NO LESS than 60 hours. Battles and level-building take much longer, and I attribute that to all the lengthy, flashy graphics and animations that take awhile to load and play out. A half hour in Final Fantasy II/IV, you've maybe finished a dungeon or two. Final Fantasy VII, that's about the length of a single battle!

You're joking right? Because on my playthroughs (PAL-versions even, so they're slower) I never went over 60 hours unless I wanted to explore every location twice or grind. Heck, my first playthrough of FF VII was around 35 hours.

And my taste hasn't much changed in the decade or two, still like rpgs, racing games, hockey games, sandbox games, good platformers. And occasional silly fps.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

You're joking right? Because on my playthroughs (PAL-versions even, so they're slower) I never went over 60 hours unless I wanted to explore every location twice or grind. Heck, my first playthrough of FF VII was around 35 hours.

Yeah, that's about right. I'd say all the later FFs except 9 (which is a little longer) clock in at around 35-40 hours, without being a completist. There are very, very, very few JRPGs I've played for longer than 50.

Lost Odyssey took 55. Xenoblade was 85 and the grand mama was Dragon Quest VII, at 105.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

I feel like my tastes haven't changed as much as everyone else's tastes have changed.  I think the reason that I still gravitate to Nintendo while other "gamers" keep moving away from them is that they're still giving me relatively simple, fun, colorful stuff instead of wave after wave of shooters, hack-and-slashes, and other things that just don't interest me that seem popular on the other consoles.  Even though I thought E3 was crappy this year, at least I got to see Pikmin 3 and New Super Mario Bros. U, while the other conferences showed me lots of things that I just couldn't bring myself to care at all about.  Even The Last of Us, which I was kind of excited for, looked super cool until the first gun was picked up and it just turned into another game where I kill people.  Great.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

My tasted haven't changed it's just the amount of time I have to actively spend video gaming.  I used to enjoy spending 3-5 hours gaming at a stretch when I was much younger and didn't have as many responsibilities.  Now sometimes if i spend that long gaming I feel like i've somehow wasted my time because there's so many other things clamoring for my attention - tv, movies, real life (!), sleep, etc.

One thing - I haven't never been into shooters and never will be.  that's just me and my opinion.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

Wanderer wrote:

You're joking right? Because on my playthroughs (PAL-versions even, so they're slower) I never went over 60 hours unless I wanted to explore every location twice or grind. Heck, my first playthrough of FF VII was around 35 hours.

Yeah, that's about right. I'd say all the later FFs except 9 (which is a little longer) clock in at around 35-40 hours, without being a completist. There are very, very, very few JRPGs I've played for longer than 50.

Lost Odyssey took 55. Xenoblade was 85 and the grand mama was Dragon Quest VII, at 105.

Well, FFVII I couldn't beat without leveling like a devil, much less beat the current boss I was on without grinding 5 or so levels above the boss's level.

Final Fantasy X was the same in way, in which they MADE you grind and get those ultimate weapons in order for you to beat the final boss AT ALL.

FFVIII and IX, I think those games' narratives just MADE them long.

FFVIII, you could breeze through with the Enc-None ability, but at some point, you still had to level build, and FFVIII's string of final bosses were impossible to beat without Lionheart; the other bosses in the game were dust instantly if you spammed your Summons.

Xenogears took me about 60 hours. All that slow-scrolling text...

Wanderer wrote:
Qui-Gon Joe wrote:

Am I the only person in their 30s that doesn't care about playing as a younger protagonist?  I mean, I never minded reading books or playing games or whatever with older protagonists when I was younger, so why should I have a problem with the opposite now?  Most of the time, anime/game "teens" don't really act way older than real people the same age would anyway...

It gets tiring because that's pretty much your only option in that genre. There are occasionally older people in the cast and they're made fun of for being in their 30s or older.

I've noticed that, too, for example, Greg in Wild Arms V, Will in Tales of Legendia, or Jade Curtiss in Tales of the Abyss (all of them on the PS2); why ARE they hanging out with a bunch of kids younger than them, anyway?

Last edited by Dartannian (Jun 9, 2012)

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

Razakin wrote:

You're joking right? Because on my playthroughs (PAL-versions even, so they're slower) I never went over 60 hours unless I wanted to explore every location twice or grind. Heck, my first playthrough of FF VII was around 35 hours.

Are those 35 hours on the in-game clock, or 35 hours in real life?

I also played the PAL version, and I had the distinct impression that the clock was not representative of how much time I spent with the game. In fact, like you mentioned, the PAL versions are slower, which I believe influences the clock as well, so 1 hour in the game was actually about 1 and a half hour IRL.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

Amazingu wrote:

Are those 35 hours on the in-game clock, or 35 hours in real life?

I also played the PAL version, and I had the distinct impression that the clock was not representative of how much time I spent with the game. In fact, like you mentioned, the PAL versions are slower, which I believe influences the clock as well, so 1 hour in the game was actually about 1 and a half hour IRL.

In-game clock. And I recall the clock not being influenced, should recheck someday. But still, FF VII-X are easy and 20-30 hour mark rpgs, which do not require much grinding at all.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

I don't think my tastes have changed much at all over the past decade, haha. I was already out of high school for awhile a decade ago, more or less an adult, so I'm not too incredibly different.

I think the main thing for me is that I'm losing patience for long games. A big thing for me now is trying to looking up a game's length before I start playing. It's a side effect of owning as many games as I do, with a backlog of hundreds and hundreds of games. I don't want to spend forever on a single game. If they were great from beginning to end, that'd be one thing, but I feel most long games are just really bogged down and tiresome, especially with modern games. The amount of content and level of variety need to suit the length of the game, but most long games don't have enough to keep themselves interesting till the end. So I'll be having fun for around 20, 25 hours, and then it starts to transform into a big slog to the end. It doesn't help that I'm very much a completionist too. I'm pretty OCD about reading every bit of dialogue, finding every secret, etc. I also tend to play slowly. As much as I enjoy completing a game quickly, I want to savor my time with it too. So if I hear that a game is, say, 40 hours, I'm going to assume that I'll take 50 or 60.

So with my continued love for RPGs, it's a real conundrum because they only seem to be getting longer. I blame young video game fans. I want to wring the neck of every teenager who thinks "longer = better", haha. I know kids have a ton of free time and not so much money so they want a game to last as long as possible, but they're ruining it for the rest of us who want developers to get out of the game length wars, realize that brevity is a virtue, and focus on good design, not how they can fill out their games with fluff. Why can't more RPGs be like Chrono Trigger, where you can do everything in about 20 hours and every second of that time is well-paced and well spent?

I will say, though, that my perspective tends to shift slightly over time, as games get older. Years ago, I had a similar outlook on N64 and PS1 games. I thought that most were too bogged down, and while some definitely are, I think I can better recognize them now as having a refreshing simplicity, when I compare them to the modern crop of games. Maybe in time, I'll start to see PS2 games as less bogged down too.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

Razakin wrote:

In-game clock. And I recall the clock not being influenced, should recheck someday. But still, FF VII-X are easy and 20-30 hour mark rpgs, which do not require much grinding at all.

Hmmm, I think you might want to recheck all of them then, because there's NO WAY that FF7 - 10 are only 20 to 30 hours unless you deliberately race through them. FF9 had that special Excalibur sword if you could reach the end of the game in 11 hours or something, so it's possible, sure, but the average play time someone is likely to spend on any of these games is going to be closer to 40 hours, I'm pretty sure.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

I think my playtime was between 40 and 50 hours for all of FF5-10.  The earlier ones were shorter, while XII I think I put in like 75 hours.  I tend to do a lot of optional stuff and do not rush.

Shortest RPG I've ever played... perhaps Panzer Dragoon Saga?  I seem to recall it being somewhere under 20 hours.

The Mario RPGs are all fairly short, too.  I don't think any of the Mario & Luigi series goes much higher than 20, though I'm a little fuzzy on how long the Paper Mario games are.  Maybe more like 30?

The two LONGEST times I've ever sunk into a (single player) RPG would be Persona 3 (125 hours - easily 75 hours longer than I wanted it to be and it dragged BIG TIME) and Xenoblade (135 hours and worth every single blissful second - going to have to take a break from other RPGs for a while because they'll seem awful in comparison, I think).

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

Amazingu wrote:

Hmmm, I think you might want to recheck all of them then, because there's NO WAY that FF7 - 10 are only 20 to 30 hours unless you deliberately race through them. FF9 had that special Excalibur sword if you could reach the end of the game in 11 hours or something, so it's possible, sure, but the average play time someone is likely to spend on any of these games is going to be closer to 40 hours, I'm pretty sure.

Nah, no need to even race them. Just play the game, and get used to the game mechanics early on, and don't waste time on summons especially on FF VII/VIII. tongue And Excalibur II is possible easily on both US/PAL versions, you can even do a 'perfect' game with US version and get Excalibur II in time. And that means doing the hippaul races and other stuff.

Anyways, to show some racing, here's speedruns for FF VII-X;
FF VII PC Version in 7 hours and 41 mins
FF VIII PC Version in 7 hours and 58 mins
FF IX Version in 8 hours and 32 mins
FF X Version in 10 hours and 25 mins
All of them are segmented runs, though there might be a single segment attempt of FF X in the brewing. And there should be playstation versions of FF VII / VIII coming up someday I figure.

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Re: How Have Your Tastes Changed over the Past Decade or Two?

Nope. I still play action games a lot and ignore jrpg games. I used to play Pokemon excessively (the non-cheater way). I do not ever want to feel like I have to grind characters ever again (work). Playing a game should leave me wholly satisfied throughout. The experience should be balanced from beginning to end. When I start thinking "what is the point of playing this?" it's time to put the controller down and the game away.

Also, while I did hate on MS and Sony and loved Nintendo, SNK, and Sega I still played the shit out of GTA and Halo. So, I guess I never had any hangups on playing certain games regardless of my fanboy associations. I certainly need to play more games on the Sony and MS's game library.

I also have changed from an individual who would buy a game every month to someone who is playing through a backlog. Perhaps that will change again one day to keeping up with everyone else in this vertigo of consumerism.

Last edited by vert1 (Sep 1, 2013)

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