"Nostalgia Pandering" - Does it ruin games for you?

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"Nostalgia Pandering" - Does it ruin games for you?

Postby Clownman » Wed May 09, 2018 9:55 am

Hey, It's been a while. I've briefly touched up upon this subject before albeit in a somewhat irrational way discussing specific games so I figure I should make a thread explaining the issue more in-depth.

Nostalgia Pandering typically is when a game makes constant fan service to one particular entry (mostly set in it's hay-day) over and over to the point it dominates the whole series as a result. Some good examples include the "dark age" Mario had during the Wii U era, constantly reusing themes and enemies from Mario 3 over and over (Not to mention constantly reusing the Koopalings as bosses) and even going as far as to over-simplify other entries in the series such as Paper Mario. This is because a lot of "Classic NES" fans from what I've heard complaining about things like Sunshine and even the Super Mario Land games for being "too weird", Some even going as far to have complaints about the series straying from it's roots since 64.

Another good example is how "safe" Sonic has been with constantly reusing Green Hill Zone and Sonic 1 badniks since 2011. It was cool at first, but now it's worn on peoples' nerves.

Again, For me: The problem with nostalgia pandering is when it constantly calls back to one game and refuses to change it's focus to another one or something new entirely. It's great to have respect for your franchises roots unlike something like Banjo: N&B. But staying too close to your roots can also be harmful to the point it causes stagnation and fatigue. Nostalgia Pandering has been an increasing issue since the new 2010's, so I do have to ask how you all feel on the matter? After all this should be less about me and what you think. It's not often I hear peoples' thoughts on this subject.
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Re: "Nostalgia Pandering" - Does it ruin games for you?

Postby wildweasel » Wed May 09, 2018 10:05 am

on June 20th, 2017, Shadelight wrote:I'm sorry that people have different tastes than you do. It's shocking, I know. But it's getting pretty tiring seeing the same posts and discussion every single time from you.
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Re: "Nostalgia Pandering" - Does it ruin games for you?

Postby Clownman » Wed May 09, 2018 10:13 am

wildweasel wrote:
on June 20th, 2017, Shadelight wrote:I'm sorry that people have different tastes than you do. It's shocking, I know. But it's getting pretty tiring seeing the same posts and discussion every single time from you.


This is less about me and moreso just me wanting to hear others thoughts on this type of subject... For any game. I don't mean to drag this on but I have seen a few people complain about this particular subject matter on the forum in the past.


I'm not going to judge your thoughts on the matter, granted I will say things I have said before have certainly been irrational and not handled well.
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Re: "Nostalgia Pandering" - Does it ruin games for you?

Postby Scripten » Wed May 09, 2018 10:16 am

If a game is good, I don't really care whether it counts as "pandering" or not. Long-running series are going to have callbacks and, while some fall flat, it's nice to have devs acknowledging that some of their fans have been in it for the long haul. The sins of the Sonic series are far less about how often Green Hill gets used and much more about the fact that SEGA released a lot of utter shit.

This is fairly similar to my viewpoint regarding the subjects of the other threads you've made, really.
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Re: "Nostalgia Pandering" - Does it ruin games for you?

Postby Shadelight » Wed May 09, 2018 11:32 am

Clownman wrote:
wildweasel wrote:
on June 20th, 2017, Shadelight wrote:I'm sorry that people have different tastes than you do. It's shocking, I know. But it's getting pretty tiring seeing the same posts and discussion every single time from you.


This is less about me and moreso just me wanting to hear others thoughts on this type of subject...

How is it not about you? Most of the time when you post these threads it ends up being about you!
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Re: "Nostalgia Pandering" - Does it ruin games for you?

Postby Clownman » Wed May 09, 2018 11:39 am

Shadelight wrote:How is it not about you? Most of the time when you post these threads it ends up being about you!

Except I'm trying explicitly to avoid it this time and I merely want to hear peoples' thoughts on this mater rather than end up replying and bashing others opinions. There's a reason I've been lurking more. I'd rather not have this derailed either much like my other threads with a huge string of reply arguments.
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Re: "Nostalgia Pandering" - Does it ruin games for you?

Postby Trance » Wed May 09, 2018 11:49 am

I find that nostalgia pandering is less of a thing nowadays than it used to be. The bits of pandering I've come across in recent games which aren't well-executed are pretty soundly skewered by the fanbase, but they're thankfully more rare than in the past. But I didn't grow up on Nintendo or Sega, so I'm not seeing the same set of examples in my everyday experience.

For me the modern problem comes from the opposite direction, of new additions to a game series not doing enough to establish a connection with their roots. The deluge of reboots in the last decade have, more often than not, been efforts by new teams of people to forge their own paths on top of existing IPs, and the games frequently don't feel like they belong in that series.
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Re: "Nostalgia Pandering" - Does it ruin games for you?

Postby insightguy » Wed May 09, 2018 8:01 pm

There are 2 kinds of nostalgia pander in my opinion:
1.They use the nostalgia to enhance the product, taking the best parts while reworking what did not work
2."LOL look at this reference I made to this old ass video game" or "LOL see we can do old school graphics"

Be the former, not the latter
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Re: "Nostalgia Pandering" - Does it ruin games for you?

Postby Reactor » Wed May 09, 2018 8:28 pm

Nostalgic pandering can be perfectly fine, as long as they don't fall at the other side of the horsey. Like the Call of Duty-series (which, by the way, had nothing spectacular or memorable in it anywhere). For instance, in Doom games, Cacodemons will always be welcomed, no matter how old the original Doom is. Same goes for Arachnotrons or Mancubi, these monsters are true legends. I remember how disappointed I was when I witnessed the new Arch-vile design, which is not an Arch-vile anymore...it looks more like some Yugioh-GX Arcana Force monster. When done right, they can really make games tasteful.

Also, making a reference to an old video game isn't really nostalgia pandering, it's more like an Easter Egg. I have no problems with them at all, as long as the Easter Egg can be reasonably identified as one. In such cases, the older the Easter Egg reference is, the better (usually).
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Re: "Nostalgia Pandering" - Does it ruin games for you?

Postby Chris » Wed May 09, 2018 8:52 pm

Nostalgia Pandering on its own is neither a good or bad thing. What matters is whether the game is good. You have games like Pillars of Eternity I and II, which are clearly pandering to the nostalgia of the old CRPG crowd, but the games are good and can stand on their own too. Shovel Knight is also clearly pandering to the nostalgia of the old 8- and 16-bit platformer crowd. Another way of saying "pandering to nostalgia" is "a love-letter to fans of its predecessors".
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Re: "Nostalgia Pandering" - Does it ruin games for you?

Postby GAA1992 » Wed May 09, 2018 8:54 pm

Can it be good? Depends. Let's say it has something to do with the game story. Take Resident Evil 5, as an example.

You play as Chris Redfield! But the game is STILL TOO GODDAMN TERRIBLE.

BUT, if we are talking about a nostalgic reference that acts more as an easter egg/game style than a functional thing, it's hard to fail. Even Duke Nukem Forever had some funny references to Halo. =p
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Re: "Nostalgia Pandering" - Does it ruin games for you?

Postby Clownman » Wed May 09, 2018 9:23 pm

I'd say Nostalgia Pandering moreso as if something is referenced overdosed, Again - Sonic 1 and especially Mario 3. I could go into why the later 2 NSMB games were so underwhelming to me aside from mostly relying on "Hey look! remember this?" but I think I already explained myself, personally. Nostalgia Pandering doesn't always ruin games granted considering I am somebody who considers Sonic Generations a great game still after all these years, Granted it managed to use it's assets a bit more creatively with Classic in Modern era levels and vice versa, And then there is also Sonic Mania where my only real criticism is the reused zones like Green Hill and Chemical Plant.

But I guess I cut those games slack because they feel far more polished to me and mixed things up a bit more (Especially Mania's newer content and stages) whereas NSMB2 personally just made me wish I was playing SML2 or SMW instead. Maybe it's me not caring too much for SMB3 in comparison to so many other titles (I get it's the fan favorite) but still, I've met plenty of people who were getting sick of Mario 3 references and callbacks, especially the reuse of the usual world themes and the Koopalings.

Not to argue, but yeah. I will say at the time of NSMBWii, I was fine with all this as I didn't expect it to mutate into what it did during the Wii U era and was going to merely be a rare "milestone celebration" sort of deal. Then every game afterward started using these for the basis of every Mario game without really changing it up. Then again I am one of those weirdos who never really cared for Mega Man 9 and 10, personally either. ((I tolerated 9 but by 10 I just wasn't interested))

Not arguing with anybody, but I hope you can make sense of what I mean. I'm usually fine with nostalgic callbacks and references... When it changes the entry it's referencing to the max the next time. If it stays the same, then yeah... I personally start getting sick of it.
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Re: "Nostalgia Pandering" - Does it ruin games for you?

Postby GAA1992 » Wed May 09, 2018 9:50 pm

We have a saying around here, "don't mess the winning team". It's used in the same situations as "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Take Sonic as your example. If it got a good response from the fans to re-use the Green Hill Zone, why change it? Next time, it'll be a sure success again, maybe even more improved.

I DO, however, prefer those kinds of "hey, remember this?" stay out of the canonic line the player has to follow. Put it as an extra, DLC, secret stage, cheat, password, microtransaction, whatever. But shoving the "good times"down your throat don't make them exactly spontaneous.
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Re: "Nostalgia Pandering" - Does it ruin games for you?

Postby Arctangent » Wed May 09, 2018 11:39 pm

GAA1992 wrote:If it got a good response from the fans to re-use the Green Hill Zone, why change it? Next time, it'll be a sure success again, maybe even more improved.

it hasn't though
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Re: "Nostalgia Pandering" - Does it ruin games for you?

Postby The Ultimate DooMer » Thu May 10, 2018 4:31 pm

Clownman wrote:Another good example is how "safe" Sonic has been with constantly reusing Green Hill Zone and Sonic 1 badniks since 2011. It was cool at first, but now it's worn on peoples' nerves.


Green Hill was re-used in most of the 90's games too :P

(look at every starting zone)
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