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Topics - Warmsignal

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Modern Video Games / Are "triple A" games dead?
« on: August 05, 2023, 07:01:32 pm »
Maybe a bit dramatic to say, but maybe not.

I'm still unwilling to jump on the bandwagon of those bashing the PS5 as having no purpose to exist. Some like myself, certainly appreciate the spec upgrade compared to the PS4... the problem is, and I'm sure you're aware, what are developers doing with it? Hardly anything. Because it's starting to feel like triple a game's are dead. They barely come out anymore, and when they do, they're broken and completely burn all enthusiasm on day one.

Even putting that issue aside, it's like the triple a scene never recovered from the pandemic. The attempts made are very few, and far between now. I guess the last $70 game to drop was Final Fantasy, fair enough it wasn't that long ago. But what came before that? I think there's been maybe two or three major releases this year that even caught my eye. Granted, it's difficult for me to recall any release that I just had zero interest in. But I think it was just Forespoken, that's about it for me this year. I don't think Atlas Fallen will be a $70 game. Indie games far, far outnumber larger project on PS5.

I dunno, it's weird. Last gen, it was like some major release was hitting shelves every month it seemed. 7th gen, the better part of retail games were all mostly consider major releases aside from the shovelware. Here we are ten years later, and major game releases are almost non-existent, and 9/10 of them bomb spectacularly.

General / DK Oldies? A scandal, or just another smear campaign?
« on: April 07, 2023, 12:44:14 pm »
I'll be the first to say, I'd probably never buy anything from DK Oldies just because the prices are high, and you don't get to see the actual item they're shipping to you. While I think it's true, they do cut corners and don't fully "refurbish" anything, I'd say for a small business catering to the more casual retro gamer crowd, they do a fair enough job of just cleaning up the outside of a console or controller, the pins on a game, or resurfacing a disc and calling it a day. Maybe they shouldn't call it "refurbished", but personally I don't really think that's an affront to anything. As cruddy as most of the retro reselling market standards are.

Over the past month, there's been a campaign of hate directed at this company, and it's employees and customers, where prominent YT personalities make countless videos about how DK Oldies "is a scam" in their words. They would buy products purely to test the quality of them, basically expecting a like-new console that was flawless outside and in. When it wasn't they'd go on a rant about how it was a scam and false advertising because the inside of the console had some dust or residue on it, or maybe there was a ding somewhere on the unit.

Now I don't have any stake in DK Oldies, but I feel the hate they're getting and the damage being done to their public image as a small business, is unfair and uncalled for. These YT personalities are only profiting from the countless videos they put out, as it's become something of a viral trend or a meme to talk about how "DK Oldies is a scam". It's obvious they're just doing it to milk clicks, and they don't truly care about DK Oldies or what they sell. They've never been customers in the past, and won't be in the future. To me, this is just another example of how people on YT will do, or say anything for their own personal gain, and basically grift to an audience who'll hang onto every word they say...

I dunno, it just annoys me, and I think the whole campaign is kinda messed up. I don't think the DK Oldies customer base gives a damn about dust inside of a console they don't even know how to open up, they're not the hardcore techy type of customer base. Most people don't know what "refurbished" technically means, I don't even know exactly. It just means more thorough cleaning, fixing and testing. It doesn't mean the product is brand new. Most of their customers do not think that, and do not have the expectations these smear campaigner's are attempting to hold them to... but now they're being made to feel like they're getting scammed and ripped off, for buying from this business. They otherwise would be happy with their purchase, but are now being told they shouldn't.

Internet smear campaigns are a vicious thing, and should be reserved only for politicians who verifiably lie about important things. Not a small business because they inaccurately used the word "refurbish" in their description. Somehow, this gives people the right to personally insult and harass their marketing manager and employees on a daily basis for over a month? If someone wanted to point out that they think DK Oldies doesn't truly refurbish products and explain their position, that's one thing. To go on a month long campaign of stirring the pot for drama and harassment of individuals involved at DK Oldies, to stir up rumors of lawsuits for false advertisement and even going as far as trying to encourage Nintendo to sue them for calling themselves DK Oldies, is quite another. If you aren't going to be a customer, then say your piece and move on.

The smear campaigning is just gross, and frankly immoral in my opinion. It's far worse than the offense of DK Oldies using the word "refurbished" in their description. I loath this sort of Internet-mob mentality of just everybody dog-piling on someone/something you're supposed to hate, because it's fun to be involved in the villain's misery/downfall. It just makes me hate the nature of the Internet and what it brings out of people.

General / Yellowing screens of moderns handhelds?
« on: March 28, 2023, 09:27:22 pm »
All of the screens on my handheld devices seem to be going bad. I cannot find any concrete explanation, it seems to be worse on Nintendo handhelds, but Sony ones are not immune. To address a common question, no, there is no smoking or anything of that sort going on in the home, or near my stuff.

One theory is that the screens do this when they go long periods without being powered on. Which would make sense, since the Wii U is powered on far more often than the rest. However, the Vita is powered on very rarely, and the screen actually looks the best of any. The DSi has probably gone the longest without power, and yes it's by far the worst. If that theory is bogus, I can't begin to explain what else could be causing it. I pondered if there's some more insidious environmental factor that could be having adverse effects on my stuff.

 Surprisingly enough, this issue seems to be a rare thing that many people of the online gaming sphere have not encountered. I fully expect to baffle most of you with this post, but I wish I could find some answers. This is a lot of screens to replace, and a lot of headache the lies ahead of me if and when I attempt.

General / Is "hype" for games dying off along side of physical media?
« on: November 15, 2022, 02:24:43 pm »
I was really starting to notice this recently as it's technically the holiday season, and yet I don't feel bombarded with advertisements about the hottest must-have games this year. I just noticed that a new Call of Duty game recently came out, and while I've never been a fan, I feel like anticipation for that game was mild at best. It used to be that every GameStop in town did a midnight launch and had lines of people waiting for stuff like that. I feel like that didn't happen.

That sort of coincides with my point about the death of physical media also signifying the death of hype in a certain, tangible type of way. It used to be that people were excited for games, and you'd feel that hype IRL, not just on some social media page, or on a forum like this.... but among people you know and gamers you encounter in the real world. The hype was palpable. Now that physical media is all but gone, it's like you don't perceive that anticipation anymore. In similar fashion to the music industry's transformation, now that physical media is becoming irrelevant, everyone is kind of off in their own bubble as far as what they're watching for and anticipating, and there's no certain subset of upcoming games which dominate the hype-train. Digital distribution is so broad and caters to many, many interests. The publications don't tell you want to get excited for, you just find your own hype. There's no one game that every one you know personally, just HAS to have.

I feel like this shift has really impacted the way a holiday season like this feels, regarding new video games. Although plenty of people care and are into new games, it almost feels like no one does because the hype just isn't there IRL anymore. A COD release came and went, feeling like a breeze this time. Where were all the COD bros in their t-shirts and camo pants, lining up by the hundreds and frothing at the mouth to their hands on the latest and greatest? It's an obsolete notion now. It doesn't need to happen, they just download it when it goes live. Gaming is now more than ever becoming a hobby you do quietly, and out of sight of others. It creates this illusion that the hobby itself is dying out.

With retail presence of video games dwindling, there's little to no physical association of what it is to be a "gamer". It all just sort of occurs on set top box in your room, that you share with virtually no one else. It's no longer the 90's, you aren't going over to your buddy's house and popping in that new game you just rented for some couch co-op. Technology has certainly transformed the social aspects of gaming, and hype is just one of those aspects that has changed in the way that people share (or don't share) about the upcoming games they're most looking forward to, and the ways those games are marketed. With the loss of physical media, an element of hype regarding video games as we've always known it has also perished.

I increasingly feel out of touch going into GameStop and expecting to find physical copies of games I want, only to be disappointed time and again because the corporate game store isn't getting any games on their shelf for me to buy. With my rosy reds, I just keep thinking back 10 years and how different it was. To walk into a game store, overwhelmed with the sheer volume and the bustle of people digging through piles of games and conversing over the good and the bad. Huge holiday sales spanning countless games and accessories, and those must-have titles behind the counter in huge stacks, just waiting to be sold. That entire experience is forever lost, replaced now by... the nebulous nature and anonymity of online. Social media, forum posting... meh.

It's a common term that you hear a lot today in game collecting - getting priced out. It just becomes too expensive, so you admit defeat that you will never own that particular title. I typically bow out of any possibility to own a single holy grail game before reaching 300 bones these days. So there's quite a few games now that I would never be able to buy in today's market. Which games are you now priced out of owning?

One such game that does kinda sting for me, is OG PS1 Klonoa. I never dreamed it would reach the price that it has today and don't think I'll ever own it now. I've considered maybe selling some of my stuff in order to afford it, but even then it hardly seems worth it. It's just a collector's gem at this point. I wouldn't suspect anyone who just wants to play the game, is actually buying it at this point.

Another is Powerslave on the Saturn. I contemplated buying it many times when it was a $100 game, then again when it was a $200 game... and now it's selling for $400. Don't think it's justifiable anymore, although the PS1 version is still affordable. The Saturn version which runs on a different game engine, was a unique experience for the system and one that I had always intended to get around to buying, but never did.

The Panzer Dragon Saga ship sailed a while ago, but I'm not too bothered by that one, as I'm not a hardcore JRPG fan. Really, it's not my type of game as much as the rail shooter PD games are. Saturn unfortunately, has long been very much a collector's system. Many collect for it purely for the collecting aspect, and try to go for complete sets just because the library is relatively small, and that has always been a huge factor in driving the prices of Saturn games up.

I'm sure I probably have more examples, as I often revisit old wish-lists only to find something I wanted is now x10 the price of when I last checked.

Classic Video Games / What is the best PS2 launch title?
« on: August 01, 2022, 06:02:16 pm »
I thought this might be an interesting point of discussion that perhaps could become a running subject if anyone wants to make additional posts regarding other platforms. What is your pick for the best (or favorite) launch tittle on the PS2?

I didn't personally pay much attention to the launch of the PS2, as I was busy with my Dreamcast at the time. In fact, I didn't get my PS2 until around March of 2001, so many of these games were already becoming lost in the sauce by then. As such, my perspective will be somewhat skewed. I'd say there are a number of good/interesting launch games here. List below provided by IGN.

    Armored Core 2 (Agetec, Action)
    DOA2: Hardcore (Tecmo, Fighting)
    Dynasty Warriors 2 (Koei, Action)
    ESPN International Track and Field (Konami, Sports)
    ESPN X-Games Snowboarding (Konami, Sports)
    Eternal Ring (Agetec, RPG)
    Evergrace (Agetec, RPG)
    FantaVision (SCEI, Puzzle)
    Gun Griffon Blaze (Working Designs, Action)
    Kessen (EA, Adventure)
    Madden NFL 2001 (EA, Sports)
    Midnight Club (Rockstar, Racing)
    Moto GP (Namco, Racing)
    NHL 2001 (EA, Sports)
    Orphen (Activision, RPG)
    Q-Ball Billiards Master (Take-Two Interactive, Simulation)
    Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2 (Midway, Sports)
    Ridge Racer V (Namco, Racing)
    Silent Scope (Konami, Shooter)
    Smuggler's Run (Rockstar, Racing-Adventure)
    SSX (EA, Sports)
    Street Fighter EX3 (Capcom, Fighting)
    Summoner (THQ, RPG)
    Swing Away (Paradise Golf in Japan) (EA, Sports)
    Tekken Tag Tournament (Namco, fighting)
    TimeSplitters (Eidos, First-Person Shooter)
    Unreal Tournament (Infogrames, First-Person Shooter)
    Wild Wild Racing (Interplay, Racing)
    X-Squad (EA, Action)

My pick would be SSX, as it's one of the best all-time snowboarding games. I was a big fan of Midnight Club back in the day, but as a whole OG Midnight Club just isn't as fleshed out as SSX. Definitely some other games on the list that I think are also solid launch titles. Some consider this a bit of a weak launch, not sure how as there's plenty of good stuff to play here.

Site Feedback / Category statistics page?
« on: May 07, 2022, 06:54:33 pm »
Perhaps this is already a thing, or not. I've noticed how each item has a page which shows how many people have a particular item in collection, wish list, sell list, etc. I think it would be cool if there was maybe a way to see a condensed view of each video game platform, showing in order from most to least, the number of "in collection" logs for each game.
Yeah, you can go through each individual page and look at the number, but it would be cool to see a chart the lays them all out. I think it would be interesting to see which games for each platform that most people on the site have in their collection, and which ones almost nobody has. This came to mind when I was adding items into the collection and noticed some of them are in the 20s and 30s, with other games have hundreds and closer to a thousand users which also have them. It could be somewhat of a indication into just how uncommon, or common certain titles actually are, as far as the games.

Just a thought, and maybe this is something that's already possible unbeknownst to me.

General / What do you do with price tag stickers and receipts?
« on: February 26, 2022, 11:06:23 am »
Are they meant for the garbage?

The former me would agree with that. However, as my obsessive compulsive tendency continue to spiral, I've increased my habits on this in last 5 years. Well, actually I've sort of always saved my store receipts since the early days of game collecting... and now I even save the price tag stickers. I don't really have a good reason to save those, I used to rip them straight off and trash them. Now usually place them inside the game case. I guess it's to reflect back on how much I paid. It would have been interesting to have done this more often in the past, especially with systems like the Nintendo DS, showing where every game I paid $12 for is now a couple hundred complete.

Of course, this stuff is just trash ultimately. I have a shoe-box full of receipts and lot of receipts are also inside of the cases. To me, it just feels like an obsessive habit that I wish I didn't have, but maybe some day someone will find it all the more intriguing to see the evidence of where all this stuff originated from.

Video Game Database Discussion / Xbox One - Xbox Series X games
« on: February 12, 2022, 10:56:03 pm »
What if a game is designated as both Xbox One and Series X on the cover. Is that an Xbox One category, or an Xbox Series X category? Or both?

Site Feedback / Database search function improvement
« on: January 18, 2022, 11:04:50 pm »
Part of the reason why I stopped logging my games here, and didn't want to go back through a figure them all out is because the database search is too cumbersome, because it's too rigid and specific. Unless you type it exact charter for character the way that the title is entered into the database, you get 0 results, or irrelevant results. On top of that, what you've typed is then forgotten by the quick search bar. This makes it a struggle to add titles to collection or wishlist.

It took me 2 to 3 minutes to add Little Big Planet 3 to my collection, because I didn't know the title for my version had been entered as "LittleBigPlanet" all one word, and the database does not simply include all results that matches key words regardless of run-on. My result came up with a different edition of the game someone had entered WITH spaces. I was forced to then browse the entire PS4 library to find the version I actually wanted to add, because I couldn't figure out the riddle of how my search was wrong.

The database desperately needs to be able to show all results with matching key words and numbers regardless of being broken up between spaces, or weather special characters like colons, semi-colons, dashes, etc, are included in the search or not.

Take for example, another cataloging site that I use called RF Generation. Searching their database for "Little Big Planet 3" shows all results with "little", "big", and "planet" with the number "3" all somewhere in the title or edition of the item. This keeps my results relevant and they are the only ones given, despite having entered spaces that were not supposed to be there. The VG Collect database search should work like this. I should not be getting results for LittleBigPlanet 2 when I entered "3" as a key phrase or Stuart Little 3 when "Stuart" was not in my search. It should automatically exclude anything with a 2 or with Stuart, and anything that doesn't have little, big, or planet in the title with a 3.

I don't know if it's a specific kind of integrated site building software we are using to perform these searches, or if you guys designed the search somehow on your own. It really needs some help.

Most of us are season collectors and have been gaming for many years. Sometimes you think you've seen it all, and then you come across a game and realize you've never even seen that title before in all of your travels and researching, it somehow eluded you. This happens to me every so often and it's odd to make those discoveries.

My first example, "Ninja Assault" for the PS2. Really, Ninja Assault? You're gonna tell me that's a game that exists? How is there Namco title on PS2 I've never heard of in my life??! Well, apparently it's a thing.

What are some classic games which have inexplicably eluded your awareness for many years after they had any reasonable expectation of doing so?

General / Which games cover art completely turned you away from the game?
« on: February 14, 2021, 10:22:47 pm »
Has a cover art ever been so bad in your opinion, that it made you completely dismiss the game entirely without even looking into what the game was like, only to find the game isn't near as bad as the cover?

For me, and example would Rival Turf on SNES. It makes me think "corny 90s teen rap music video trying to be edgy". It looks so much like what was marketed as "rad" in the early 90s towards the young teen demographic. I always passed over the game, like "WTF is this junk?". Little did I know, it's a decent Final Fight clone called Rushing Beat in Japan. Cover art still wasn't great there, but at least it conveyed the idea of beat-em-up or fighting game of that era. Rival Turf just looks like some shovel-ware junk at first glance.

General / GameStop brick and mortar is all but dead
« on: December 07, 2020, 12:13:53 pm »
As if they couldn't find enough nails to put in the coffin, before burying this once unbeatable chain of stores. They've done gone, found another one.

As part of their most recent efforts to flounder about until the company dies, their new revamp comes with a brilliant new focus. More trinkets in store, less games. If you've stepped into the store lately, you'll find the Xbox, PS, and Nintendo walls rather condensed from what you remember. This is because they've taken away game browsing. Each game the store carries, is now located in the back, with only a generic preview box on the shelf, indicating both the NEW and PRE-OWNED price on the preview box. So much for browsing through used inventory. If you're concerned at all over condition or completeness, you'll need to ask them to pull out every copy they've got and show you.

It's kind of a non-issue for me, since I stopped buying current gen games in pre-owned condition as the prices rarely make sense when you can go online and pick up a sealed copy for the same price as a booger smeared trade-in, 99% of the time.

But it kind of represents an end of an era, short of the chain completely going out of business which is very likely to happen. I almost want to say that they deserve it, because their supply chain is freaking abysmal. GameStop. You know, the video game store.... usually has less stock of non-AAA titles than their competitors. It's so pathetic that I can't even walk into my local GS and pick up 90% of anything that's been released on Switch this fall. It's just not there. The employees look at me like "WTF is that game?". This place use to be all encompassing, everything video games. Now if you don't pre-order at least 3 months in advance, the store isn't getting that game. At all. Freaking pathetic, as a brick and mortal establishment. Even their online inventory tends to run out a lot faster than competitors, leading me to think they probably didn't have that much to begin with.

So now with this latest store revamp, there's almost no reason for me to go into one of these stores again, unless I pre-order a game and go pick it up (not to mention they often can't get the game to me by the guaranteed release date). I used to hit these places up several times per week, back during the 7th gen era. Now there's no inventory browsing, there's no niche games coming in, there's no rewards program. There's basically no GameStop. It's already dead as we knew it. Sad.

General / Finding random PAL games in NTSC territory
« on: November 02, 2020, 01:10:23 pm »
I'm my days of game hunting, there have been a few instances where I'd come across PAL region games in the United States. I always kinda wondered how they ended up here? Nowadays, it's common to see PAL games being sold online across region since most modern systems are region unlocked. But back in the day, most weren't. Also, importing games was a lot more obscure. There was no Internet.

I've often wondered how and why I've come across some retro PAL region games while out hunting in the wild. In all instances, they were always games that also came out as NTSC, and never any PAL exclusive ones. So I wonder how and why they ended up here. Were they allocated to NTSC region by the publisher on purpose? Or did someone actually go to the trouble to import a game they could have bought at their local store? I actually have a couple PAL "Mega Drive" games in my collection. I've also came across some GameBoy games with the PAL markings.

I dunno. I mean, sure import a game if we didn't get it here, I understand that. Otherwise, it's a bit curious.

Can't help but sense that it's not really as big of a thing anymore for veteran collectors among VGC. I know there are people who are still just getting into it. But a lot of us who've been doing it for a while, it kinda seems like there's not much enthusiasm for retro in general. There seems to be more activity in the modern games discussion here. Although discussion in general is down across these boards, retro seems particularly dead.

I know I've seen a number of vets here say that they're wrapping up their collecting and have pretty much everything they want, or they're feeling burnt out and don't game hunt anymore. I suppose a number are still participating in the X amount of games challenge thread, but this sub-forum in particular is kinda quiet and has been for a few years. As far as retro collecting, things are still booming over on Reddit like it's still 2010, but many of those people are not veterans to this, so it makes sense to find them elated to come across a console and a stack of games. I guess VGC is a slice of the game collecting community that is of a particular age regarding the hobby, and it does not really change hands over time. I occasionally notice a few new regulars posting, but not a lot that stick around here.

As much as I wanted to be among the people saying "Okay I'm done collecting, I've got everything I want, it's not worth looking anymore", I can't do that. I find myself still sucked into it. I'm opening my mind up to more, I'm still wanting to collect, and I'm having fun doing it. Because there's always more, and it's always fun to do (IMO). I long for the days of VGC where many of our current regulars engaged more about retro games, expressed more enthusiasm about the collecting hobby, I miss some of the various former VGCers who've since disappeared from the boards. I liked to read about their finds, their adventures, all the trails and tribulations of being a game collector.

Who knows maybe I'm looking back with rose colored glasses, as I do. But sometimes I kinda wonder, do regulars here still actively collect? Are you still interested in retro?

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