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It happens often with games that require memorization. When I was a kid I could go to lvl 11 or 12 in prince of persia (never beat it) but I think that if I try now to reach level 11 I'll die or let the time goes many times before reach it. Sorry for my bad english.
Bard's Tale III. I remember I really enjoyed this game back in the day, all the cool worlds with their cool enemies. I thought it was the best of the series. I went back to replay the Bard's Tale classics a few years ago, I completed the first one (enjoyed it) and II (even though it was becoming a grind), but gave up midway through III. I just don't have the patience anymore to slog through all the random encounters while I'm exploring each map.
Post edited April 29, 2014 by 01kipper
I can't really tell if games are more difficult. Not having a lot of time to dedicate to gaming means that you I don't feel like repeating the same level again and again to get better, and I think that in the past that's what made games feel easier. In short, I think it's more a matter of practice than losing any ability (though possibly that's also part of it).
Not really the case for me. As a matter of fact, I completed Super Mario Land in one sitting, about 1-2 years ago. When I originally played it about 20 years ago, I would only complete it occasionally. Yes, some games like Smash Bros Melee, Guitar Hero, Ikaruga and Mega Man seem difficult till your reflexes come back, if you haven't played them for a long time, but when they do come back, you kick asses and take names once again.
Metal Gear Solid is a good example for me. I fail miserably playing it on normal these days. I find with games these days my hands hurt very quickly when playing them so I find it harder to react as fast as I use to.
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Grargar: Not really the case for me. As a matter of fact, I completed Super Mario Land in one sitting, about 1-2 years ago. When I originally played it about 20 years ago, I would only complete it occasionally. Yes, some games like Smash Bros Melee, Guitar Hero, Ikaruga and Mega Man seem difficult till your reflexes come back, if you haven't played them for a long time, but when they do come back, you kick asses and take names once again.
That's my experience with these old games as well. When I was younger I could not even beat the ice level in Probotector/Contra, but when I played it again a few years ago, I was able to beat the game without using a single continue. I was also able to beat Probotector 2/Super C on my very first attempt without using a single continue (I had not played it when I was younger).
I was also able to beat a game that I was just horrible at when i was young, and that was Journey to Silius.
It's the other way around for me. ^^
Not really about completing, but I used to be a lot better in Unreal Tournament. Single player campagin still isn't really a problem for me, but back in the day I was close to unbeatable in multiplayer,b ut when I came back a few years later I got slaughtered every time. It seemed like there was lead in my boots, I could barely move.
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MaximumBunny: It's the other way around for me. ^^
Thats nice.
On most of the very retro games (C64, ZX Spectum and old consoles) i think i'm actually quite better now... the only one that comes to mind where i can't replicate my younger performances is Gyruss on the C64, which i used to own using this piece of beauty

Recently, i retried briefly the first Max Payne just to see how it worked on modern systems, and i was a bit surprised at how much i was dying in the first few levels... i didn't remember it being so hard when i first beated it, but maybe it's me sucking a bit.
I have to take another shot at it sometime.
I think I finished Xenon 2 back when I was a kid. Yes, that Xenon 2. The game that I can't beat the fucking first level of these days, although it may be partly due to using browser-based versions.
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ET3D: I can't really tell if games are more difficult. Not having a lot of time to dedicate to gaming means that you I don't feel like repeating the same level again and again to get better, and I think that in the past that's what made games feel easier. In short, I think it's more a matter of practice than losing any ability (though possibly that's also part of it).
Mostly this, we have less time to play games and at this point probably have had a taste for some extremely well designed games that draws on the mistake of their forebear and which makes us far less patient with more dated tedious design patterns and conventions.

Furthermore, the adage "use it or lose it" is extremely pertinent for the human brain.

We are extremely adaptive, but our ability to retain things to near perfection is rather limited so what will usually happen is that whatever you are doing right now will be fresh in your mind and other things will get rusty (the longer you wait before using them again, the rustier it will get).

It's not that bad. It just means that you can't context-switch between too wide a range of topics at will (including games). You'll probably need to brush up on something a little at some point, but it will be a lot quicker than learning it from scratch, usually. You'll usually re-learn it at the speed a prodigy would learn it the first time or even faster.
Post edited May 02, 2014 by Magnitus
Pretty much any game. I must be getting old or something.
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Ghorpm: So, I recently dug up this little gem (basically all three Myth games alond with Chimera and the Total Codex expansions) from my collection and went straight into the first game, Myth: The Fallen Lords. Everything was peachy, cool intro, native wide screen resolution, everything just perfect. The first WTF moment was when my dwarf blew up half of my team (himself included) in the very first mission but OK, I remembered that they were always loose cannons. Quick restart and everything went more or less smoothly. Second mission? Not a big deal. Third? Err... had to replay it three times. Fourth? I had to try it seven times. But the fifth mission (Flight from Covenant)? "Myrmidons are coming! Fall back, fall back! Now, seriously guys flee for your life! I said flee! Just do it! Oh... you know what, never mind. Let's try again. Gah! Here they are again!" I swear it I just can't beat that mission and I've tried more than ten times already :D I get my ass delivered to me every single time! Isn't that hilarious? ;) Even more so because I did complete this game years ago and while it was a difficult game I didn't have so many problems right from the beginning!

The same can be said about Knights and Merchants: years ago I've finished it without many problems. Last year, when I decided to play it again, it was a struggle right from the beginning until the very end (yup, I finally managed to win every mission)

Is it normal that after some time you start sucking at certain games? Do you have similar experience? But I must admit (even though it may seem crazy) I'm loving it! It's so good to have a challenging game to play! And winning each mission is super-rewarding!

Oh, and it's a pity that we don't have Myth games here.
I just recently bought the total codex myself. Brand new, still shrink-wrapped, for a few dollars on Amazon. A tried Myth 1, which I positively loved and was awesome at. The controls were terrible, but they just took some getting used to. But even so, I couldn't beat level 1. I tried it 3 times and couldn't do it. Finally, I gave up and went to a guide to help me with my strategies. It's a tough little game!
Not getting worse at any games, slighty better at some though.

But I often find myself impressed that I managed to even play some games when I was a kid considering that english isn't my main language and the complexity of some games.