Kids Can't Handle Old-School RPGs Anymore


Vocal SJW
Nov 15, 2009
Pff. I have a problem, first place I go is the manual, supposing it is a gameplay issue. The bigger the manual, the better, right?


New member
Sep 25, 2008
So, what was the conclusion? What was the point? That games back in the day weren't as accessible to players? That people were more intelligent? More patient? That games were more limited and thus required documentation rather than in-game tutorials?

Or that Ultima IV doesn't live up to todays standards?


Hmm.. what's this button do?
Nov 2, 2009
Abbott believes the "gap separating today's generation of gamers from those of us who once drew maps on grid paper is nearly unbridgeable."

I don't know if I'd go that far and to be honest, Ultima was a little boring. It had some cool ideas but if I remember correctly, even the game's original designer was frustrated with how it was produced. Also, and this is very recent too, I've been wanting to play old pen and paper kind of games, as well as several of my friends, who find modern games too restrictive. So I don't agree with that statement at all.

(Planetfall is an excellent choice though. I love that game.)


The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
Guess shows how much we have advanced in a way, and those who did not grow up with it, simply cannot use it


Level 80 Legendary Postlord
Dec 4, 2007
I think the greatest hurdle in getting into old games is almost always the interface. I don't mind bad graphics or reading manuals, but if I have to press 12 different keys just to change the equipped weapon, that does put me off.

I'm a big Ultima fan but I haven't been able to get into earlier Ultimas because of the interface barrier. It's just not enjoyable to me like that. On the other hand, I regularly play old games that had a good interface.


New member
Apr 6, 2010
OMG! Drawing maps on grid paper! Me and a buddy spent nights and days doing that with the Eye of the Beholder back in the days. Those were awesome times for gaming. :D
May 25, 2010
The pussies.

But seriously, those games are unbelievably complicated but a good lot of them are worth exploring and experiencing fully. There are even complicated RPG's these days, like Persona 4. Of course, they are nowhere near as confusing the older ones were, but still pretty damn challenging and worth tinkering with.

Oh and btw:

A third: "I tried for awhile without any walkthroughs to get the full gamer experience sort of thing and within the hour I gave up because of a combination of bad controls and a hard to get into story for me at least. It reminded me of a bad Runescape."
Runescape is already bad. :D


New member
Aug 9, 2009
Well yeah, they're incredibly complicated games anyway- having to then pick one up when it use a vastly different mechanics to those we currently use is a big ask.


New member
Aug 28, 2010
I beat this game on the atari 800XL in the late 80's. It had two 5 1/4" disks that had to be swapped/turned over all the time and if you attacked lord british you got your arse kicked into next week.


New member
Mar 18, 2009
mjc0961 said:
1985? Oh good, so I wasn't even alive yet. Now I don't feel bad about having never heard of it before.

Also, those students seem a bit silly. Sure, I'd probably try to play first without the manual too, but once I was confused as all hell, I'd go back to the manual and read it instead of just giving up.
Nowadays manuals are just used for reference and controls and such are mostly explained in tutorial gameplay. The testers may have been expecting a similar thing.


New member
Sep 17, 2010
burntheartist said:
baka52 said:
interesting and kind of weird as im young myself i like ultima 5 more than FF13
Well to be fair, I love paddle ball more than FF13.
lol, took the words right out of my mouth. i barely managed 5 hours before i just couldn't take it anymore. i lost all motivation to play


Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
Actually, I think this kind of shows why you can't have a class on computer games. Or, that if your going to have one, why you need to put some strict standards on who can take it. This is not the first thing I've read on this class, and it seems more like a sociological experiment in seeing how current people react to older games in practice, than anything really educational.

I think the "OMG, they expected you to read the instructions?" bit is sort of indicative of the problem of what has happened with gaming becoming mainstream. Most of these guys probably would never have been able to get a Commodore 64 or Apple 2 running well enough to be able to game regularly.

Ultima 4 is a very deep game, and involved a lot of elements that I actually miss in games today. I regularly rage about how RPGs in paticular are constantly being dumbed down.

But then again, as a lot of people besides me have pointed out, this is what happens when anything gets marketed based on the lowest human denominator. The market just can't handle a game that can't be adequetly explained by a 15 minute tutorial, or any real exploration or ambigious goals.

Ultima, especially Ultima IV, and Might And Magic were both kind of cool to the gamers of the time (who were also frequently pnp RPG gamers) because half the fun was exploring, and "adventuring" in the truest sense, and gradually figuring out what the exact objective was and how to go about it. Although admittedlt both games gave a good hint hin the title ("Quest Of The Avatar", and "Secret Of The Inner Sanctum")


Sci-Fi & Shakespeare
Nov 13, 2007
It's not limited to kids, or gamers. All consumers are spoiled brats who refuse to read instructions. You can put "READ THIS" in fifteen-inch-high letters on the front cover, and people still won't read it. Half of the tech support calls in existence wouldn't take place if people would just read the goddamn manual that comes with their stuff.


New member
Apr 15, 2010
It's not the students' fault if they were not told to read the manual first. For games today, the manual is where you can read up on the prologue, controls, and other aspects of the game, but it never helps you actually progress. I always try to beat a game without any help, whether from a friend, strategy guide, the internet, or even the game manual, and I would've done the same thing these students did.
I've drawn plenty of maps on grid paper in my life- most of them for Zelda. I remember how much I wanted a map in the original Zelda, so I made one of my own. The grid layout of that game made it very easy and satisfying, and within a few hours, I had a beautiful reference for the entire game world. Completing it forced me to discover the locations of all the levels and several heart pieces, helped me travel from point A to B in the quickest manner, and I found it to be extreeeeeemely gratifying. I probably would've done the same thing for this game. I just wish one of my classes was the study of videogames......


New member
Feb 9, 2009
To be honest I couldn't handle Ultima IV on the PC. On the NES however it felt like an entirely different game, one that I sunk countless hours into.