Is the art of high scores lost?

#1zeppo_basicPosted 7/19/2014 7:21:47 PM
What I mean by that is do you feel like in order to get into a game it needs something more to it than just playing it? Say a leveling system, or some kind of unlocks, or achievements, or whatever else devs throw in nowadays to entice players to buy their games? Or can you play a game where the only goal is simply to see how far you can get and how high of a score you can rack up?

I ask because recently one of my wife's friends (who is a gamer herself) observed me playing the original Pac-Man on one of the old tabletop arcade machines in a local bar, and she noticed the score that I was racking up. She asked what the point was to it, what it was that I would unlock by getting a higher score? I simply responded that it was nothing but my own satisfaction. Not only did she not understand this, it seemed to upset her. She could not possibly fathom a game that recorded my progress yet did not offer any type of reward for it other than my own sense of accomplishment. She thought it was dumb, and was willing to write off a classic of gaming simply because it didn't have any point to it other than scoring "meaningless" points that would all be erased as soon as I died.

Now mind you this girl is a bit younger than me, and her introduction to gaming came in the PSX era whereas I have been playing since the original days of the NES. But still, it blew my mind that she really couldn't grasp the simple concept of setting a high score. No achievement, no trophy, no level up, no unlocking new powers or characters, just a simple number with my three initials next to it and the knowledge that I am better than anyone else who has played that particular cabinet. Is this a really a concept lost on younger gamers?
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#2Granadico_Posted 7/19/2014 7:28:52 PM
Yeah games don't seem to do that much anymore. Its a shame, achievements pretty much destroyed that.
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#3Run_2_the_HillsPosted 7/19/2014 7:35:58 PM(edited)
unless it's single player high scores dont mean much. even then most people are more impressed by speed run/handicap runs in single player since youtube can show all this now.
#4DorotimusWitikPosted 7/19/2014 7:36:40 PM
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#5Granadico_Posted 7/19/2014 7:37:37 PM
Run_2_the_Hills posted...
unless it's single player high scores dont mean much. even then most people are more impressed by speed run/handicap runs in single player since youtube can show all this now.

Speedruns are kinda the opposite of high scores though.
high scores are usually how long you can last in a single session, whereas speedruns are how fast you can complete something in a single session.
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#6ssjlinkxPosted 7/19/2014 7:38:43 PM
No. High Scores still exist. In most cases they are called Leaderboards. If you want to explain it in a way she can more clearly understand: A high score is an offline leaderboard
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#7Run_2_the_HillsPosted 7/19/2014 7:46:12 PM
Granadico_ posted...
Run_2_the_Hills posted...
unless it's single player high scores dont mean much. even then most people are more impressed by speed run/handicap runs in single player since youtube can show all this now.

Speedruns are kinda the opposite of high scores though.
high scores are usually how long you can last in a single session, whereas speedruns are how fast you can complete something in a single session.


i never said it was the same. i'm just saying more (not everyone) people like seeing speed runs over high scores.
#8snake_5036Posted 7/19/2014 7:49:41 PM
Well, racing games normally keep high scores alive in the form of shortest completion time of tracks. Some games also have leaderboards for xp, k/d ratio, etc. Some of these can be abused (especially k/d ratio), but I wouldn't say that high scores are dead. They're simply tracked in a different way than a number of points from eating pellets or whatever.
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#9Neonwarrior1243Posted 7/19/2014 7:54:45 PM
I find for some games I get bored of trying to go for the highscore since some people set them so high from playing hours and hours straight, that I just end up letting myself die since I feel like I'm wasting time.

Though if it has a lower goal then just trying to have the top score like unlocking a character or whatever I'll usually keep trying until I can get whatever it is.

For a game like Contra though I would play it until I could beat it without getting killed at all after that I would stop.
#10AkaneJonesPosted 7/19/2014 7:55:35 PM
Highscore is something that was sort of killed off as games progressed from endless stage modes. It's something that only matter to old school style puzzle games of if there is a rare shoot em up. As stated Speed Runs are often opposite to Highscores. Actually A Max coin run in Mario Galaxy is closer to Highscores, but so few Mario games track your coins you can't do it.