Game Glitches: Worse than the Past?
In today's era of console games getting patched and youtube showing every bug imaginable in each and every game, you often hear people saying how developers have just gotten lazy these days. Games weren't so buggy in the past when they couldn't patch games, why are they so much buggier now? Reasons are thrown around like, games are more complicated now and open world games allow gamers to do more stuff that developers can't foresee. This is all true. I have another reason for you: THEY AREN'T.
Nostalgia does a funny thing to people. It makes them see everything through rose-tinted glasses. Remember that game that we loved so much? Remember that amazing game there? Those are so much cleaner than games today. Sure, in some cases, that may be true. In the case of glitches and bugs, however, they existed before just as much as they exist now.
I obviously can't describe every bug from every game older than 10 years but here are a couple titles. Remember the original Final Fantasy? Remember how it basically created the JRPG genre alongside Dragon Warrior? Remember how it hardly worked? Yeah, certain spells didn't even function and some had opposite effects from what was intended. Sprites randomly disappeared, some never appeared to begin with. The intelligence stat literally has no effect. The game was buggy as all hell and yet it spawned one of the longest running franchises in gaming history.
That was a particularly bad case though, I get that. How about Super Mario Bros.? The minus level? Many people think about that as an easter egg but it's definitely not. It's a bug in the game that allows you to access an unfinished level. If you don't believe me, play one of the re-released versions that removes this glitch from the programming. If it was an easter egg, why remove it from later editions?
A lot of people are complaining about the bugs in Pokemon X and Y right now. Remember Missingno from Red and Blue? Even Mew was obtained via a glitch in the system, albeit it was probably either intentional or, at least, re-appropriated by the developers. By the way, save corruptions happened in those games too even without partaking in the other glitches. In fact, check out bulbapedia.net and they have an entire page dedicated to glitched pokemon and other glitches from each generation. The one from Gen 1 is huge.
Remember in games, how you could sometimes get stuck in the walls or the floors? How about just falling through floors to your death? I don't have to mention specific titles here because anyone who spent any time playing games in the 80's and 90's has had this happen to them on more than one occasion in any number of games.
If you still aren't buying it, I challenge you to google search the name of one of your favorite games with the word glitches or bugs after it. Most games, especially popular titles, will have huge lists of glitches while less popular ones will still frequently have youtube videos or blog posts about glitches found.
Nostalgia is something that affects all of us. I used to think the same way about glitches in games and how they were getting worse over time. Sure, some games just suck or are released way too early. Fallout: New Vegas, in particular, probably could have used another month of development, but to say that patches are making developers lazy is ignoring many of the glitches we used to see all the time.
A big part of it is also that we look at bugs differently now than we used to. Now, they are annoying, game-breaking and are a scar on the face of gaming. In the past, we used to pride ourselves in finding bizarre glitches. My elementary school days were often spent sharing Pokemon secrets with my schoolmates like how to find Missingno and the item duplication glitch (or "trick" as we called it then). These weren't evil abominations, they were half the fun. While the internet has done many great things for us, I feel that it has taken that aspect away from games. Glitches are no longer secrets to be learned but wounds to be healed.
Save corruptions are never fun and we have all seen things in games that we can't believe weren't fixed by developers during production. Just remember that old games had these problems too, not just new ones.