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Topics - Warmsignal

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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?

Site Feedback / "Use to own" category
« on: November 01, 2020, 11:25:01 am »
Might have recommended this before, I honestly can't remember and I can't filter my own posts by the topics I've created. I've noticed that some sites have a "used to own" category within the cataloging tools that would go along side collection/wishlist/sell list, etc. Could be a useful feature for those of us wanting to keep tracking of what we've owned and gotten rid of.

Obviously, the traditional way would be to look at upcoming release information, note the release dates, maybe mark them on a calendar or something. But I'm lazy, and I don't want to research games that are coming out. So basically, what I try to do is just look at whatever has released within the week or month and if it piques my interest that's pretty much how I discover new games.

Problem is, that's trickier than it sounds, and especially with physical releases at retail. I'm not even talking about "limited run" type low key releases (and I know some folks here cover those release dates diligently), but I mean just standard retail. That's tricky too. What always ends up happening is games get released without me noticing them. Then I just kind of stumble randomly upon games, like "What's this? How long has this been out?", etc. I've always tried to use retail website lists by utilizing the product filters, but often results in being shown wrong or inaccurate listings. GameStop has always had the most competent product list filter, so that you could filter physical games by release date and see what was newest without being shown a bunch of crap like digital only, or coming soon/ pre-order and other things I don't wanna manually scan through to try to figure out if it's something I should even be looking into. But lately, their filter has become completely busted so now I'm out of luck.

There's got to be a website out there somewhere, that'll give just straight up info on CURRENT physical retail releases, ordered by the most recent ones to date. Right?? Just a list of your standard retail print games, as of today, and hopefully thorough enough to not miss some of them.

Could be obvious, but I don't know where to find that. Any ideas?

General / Consoles you got at launch versus ones you waited and got later
« on: September 18, 2020, 01:15:56 pm »
So here's a fun little collector's poll. Which consoles did you end up getting at (or near) the launch window, and which consoles did you wait a long time to finally pick up? This question is regarding pretty much any generation of console.

The current/outgoing gen I did get a Switch about 8 months after launch, but the PS4 I didn't get until 2017, and the XB1 I didn't get until 2020.... Really the only consoles I remember acquiring anywhere near when they were first released would be Switch, Dreamcast, and N64. Most of the other consoles I've gotten over the years were out at least a few years before I picked one up. I usually don't get new console fever when something releases. Like, I would never be one of those people lined up outside of a retail store at 4 AM trying to buy the new game console. That's way overboard. Even if it's a new console that I'm interested in, I can easily wait months if not a few years to grab one.

I'm sure everyone is doing cartwheels over the PS5, but a new PS or XB console is not even on my radar right now. It could be years before I consider it, it's just not a bid deal to me. I've got so many games and consoles as it is.

Off Topic / XM Radio
« on: July 28, 2020, 11:05:14 pm »
I'm just kind of wondering where it fits in today's landscape of options for music listeners. Like, how many you listen to it regularly?

I ask because I recently bought a new car, and it came with a free trail for XM radio. I didn't expect much, but it kinda grew on me. Where I live standard radio is terrible, there's no selection of worthwhile stations to listen to. It's all pure crap. However, I was surprised to find that I actually enjoy quite a few of the channels on XM. I'm hearing a lot of stuff that I like, both familiar and new.

I've always been one for the compact disc format, myself. I usually would just throw a CD of something I like in, and let it cycle through the tracks until I'd get sick of it, and that's pretty much how I'd listen to most music. I never downloaded anything, and never stream music either. Which brings me to my only real complaint with XM, and that is fidelity. Same issue as with streaming from online. The playback is something like 192kbps in quality. It doesn't sound great. I'm a stickler for the best possible quality in sound, when listening to music. That aside, I do like the variety available. I once tried Pandora briefly and didn't like how it would play a lot of the same songs over, and over, and the advertisements were annoying, while XM is mostly ad free. I'm considering actually subscribing to it.

Does anyone here subscribe? If so, what do you mostly listen to? Apparently there's a lot of extra channels available through the app as well, but then you're cutting into data usage and I don't see that as a convenience really, since it's supposed to be satellite radio and all, but I'll probably look into it.

General / What if PlayStation didn't happen?
« on: May 21, 2020, 11:45:21 am »
I thought it might be interesting to do a "what if" on this topic. As we all now know - the PlayStation we've come to know as an unstoppable force in modern gaming almost never happened. Originally, the PlayStation was a project formed from a joint venture between Nintendo and Sony, to create a CD based add-on for the Super NES to be called the PlayStation. However, Nintendo went back on the deal they had agreed to with Sony, breached their contract and insulted them by creating a frivolous partnership with Sony's main competitor at the time, which was Phillips. This ultimately led to Sony making the decision to design their own gaming hardware independently and release the PlayStation as we know it today.

But what if that didn't happen? What if Nintendo had stayed the coarse with Sony and released the PlayStation add-on? How would that have changed the gaming landscape for the upcoming 5th generation of consoles, and what would the console gaming landscape look like today? Would SEGA have survived their rocky patch of the later 90s? Would Nintendo and Sony stayed in partnership for generations to come, or would Sony break away and do their own thing later? Would the Nintendo 64 have been a CD based console? Would the 3DO or Jag have fared better without Sony? Would their be another major contender in the console market that would have broken through, and if so, who? One thing that's for sure - the CD-I Mario and Zelda games would not have existed. But would we have gotten FMV ridden Zelda and Mario games via the PlayStation add-on? FMV was all the rage, at the time.

Personally, I think SEGA would probably survived the 90s had it not been for Sony taking most of their market share. There might even be a SEGA console on the market today without a Sony one. What are your theories as to how console gaming would have played out if Nintendo and Sony were officially partnered by the mid-90s?

Modern Video Games / Always online and the era of disposable games
« on: March 06, 2020, 05:22:02 pm »
The other topic about upcoming games got me thinking of this topic again. It seems like almost every major developer is trying their hand at an always online game nowadays, otherwise known as a here today gone tomorrow game, with no single player option available. Effectively, this makes them long-term rentals, and forces the consumer to move on when the company no longer sees them as profitable. Do you support the no single player, always online formula? Do you buy these games?

I've bought one begrudgingly, but I don't plan to continue supporting this model. There's no legitimate excuse in many cases to exclude an offline mode from the games. It seems to be just another brick in the wall for the forced removal of physical media that publishers have been frothing at the mouth to phase out since the early 2010s. What better way to maximize overall profit for a game company, than to charge gamers to play a game that they don't really own, and aren't entitled to keep playing? That's a publishers dream.

I was in GS earlier and heard yet another preview for an upcoming multiplayer game. It's getting tiresome at this point... I'm actually thankful some of these attempts have gone horribly awry, like Fallout 76... they deserved it's failure. Steep doesn't need to be a game that's always online.... it's a snowboarding game. It's getting ridiculous. I hope how soon this stuff proves disasterous for as many companies as it takes for them to cut this crap out. I think most of us want to own our games. We want to be able to play them single player as well as online. I'm not really all that interested in an a game that I only have a window of opportunity to ever play. I've not opened my copy of Sea of Thieves yet, and I've contemplated selling it so as not to support this model. It looks like a fun game, but it doesn't need to be online, and in 5 years probably won't be available to play anymore. I know some have voiced a boycott of all always online games, and I'm essentially one title away from considering the same.

Off Topic / What are your thoughts on Reddit?
« on: January 26, 2020, 08:19:05 pm »
Nowadays, I can't stand that place. I don't know what it is, but almost every sub-reddit community I've tried to engage with is super toxic. To me it seems like the people are on there just looking to troll, or flame any post. On Reddit it's absolute herd mentality required, or you become a target rampant abuse and down-voting (which effects the karma score they give your account). This is even the case in a lot of the gaming sub-reddits there. It's like you can't post anything without someone doing some kind of mental gymnastic so that they can flame you, and it's usually some snob who's time is much too valuable to "explain" to you why you're wrong about something, and apparently a moron to boot.

I just freakin' hate the place. Which is sad, because I use to love it. Then it got super mainstream and it changed. It's a far cry from this tight-knit community here at VG Collect, where even though we may have differing opinions, we're still decent to everybody and keep the drama to a minimum. Reddit would never be able to replace small communities like this.

Do you have any experience with Reddit? Do you like it, or dislike it?

Such as series collections, remasters, and remakes?

I'm very torn about this in most cases. I have a hang-up about having the same game in multiple forms within my collection. I have a hard time justifying it. For example, I wouldn't buy the Shenmue 1 & 2 collection, because I feel like that would invalidate the necessity of my owning the originals on Dreamcast and Xbox. Although it is enticing to own an upscaled version, or play it on a modern console, I feel like if I were to buy it then I should just sell off my original copies. Because then, am I ever going to play my originals again? It's not enough for me to say that I need to own copies of a game purely for nostalgia.

I figure a lot of collectors feel pretty much the opposite. If a new release of an old game they like comes out, that's an obvious must have... I'll only consider it if I don't already own the original.
Maybe there's some kind of flaw in my logic here, but that's usually how I feel about buying re-released games.

I have to admit that I usually do this. When a game is re-printed with added content, the cover art gets compromised in the process with all kinds of writing, badges, and revisions. For example, Nier Automata GOTY is on sale right now for as little as the first print edition, but the cover is kinda crap in comparison. This is usually the situation for most GOTY, or deluxe editions. They kind of look like a greatest hits afterthought that muddles up the packaging.

So the question becomes, do I want that supposed bonus content that comes with it, or do I want better looking shelf-trinket? I can still download the bonus content if I really wanted it. This is what is currently keeping me from jumping on this deal for Nier, it's that lackluster re-worked art. Looks like crap. Would rather just have the first print of the game.

To me, it seems this generation of games was primarily defined by a certain set of recurring themes, where basically a bunch of developers would just copy whatever is successful by other developers and essentially produce a slew of samey mush for mass consumption.

The eighth gen can largely be defined by the following:

- A post-apocalyptic world, filled with zombies or mutants and a mission to brutally slaughter hordes upon hordes of them in order to survive and rekindle hope for humanity.

- A burly warrior of the middle ages wielding shields and massive swords, obliterates an army of vague evil and mythical demon-like creatures and in a sword swinging frenzy of grey and brown.

- A zany cast of other worldly characters gather together for no apparent reason in an ultimate battle royale of slapstick violence and shooting mayhem.

- A race comprising all manner of vehicles requires you to first learn how to properly accelerate and brake, before you can go racing a class of sub-compacts at blistering speeds of 40 MPH (on the straight parts of the track).

- A platoon of army men run around a small map and shoot one another endlessly for bragging rights and internet cred, no back story required.

- A sleuthy band of swordsmen or gunmen infiltrate the heart of corruption and bring down the impending syndicate / tyranny single-handedly through hacking and sneaking.

- Your favorite comic book series or movie franchise transforms into a universe of LEGOS.

Basically, these are what has defined this entire generation. Some of them I don't mind so much, others I'm entirely sick of hearing about. There's far too much of the same stuff being over produced this gen, and I feel like it's been more than enough, if not everything we've been offered. Anything that doesn't squarely fit into these cliches, is most likely something that I would consider picking up, but it most cases, that means it's a budget title, or a lesser known game of the gen.

What do you think of these cliches, are they're burnt out? Do you love em? Can you think of another one that I missed? Do you wish the gaming landscape was more diverse, or do you wish that literally every game was a zany battle royale of slapstick violence?

Marketplace / For Sale - Among The Sleep and Teslagrad PS4 Sealed
« on: January 16, 2020, 12:25:34 am »
Selling these as I'm planning to re-buy on Switch. Both are brand new, sealed. Tesla has a little snag in the cover I guess from the factory somehow. Make me an offer for both.

Classic Video Games / 25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn
« on: December 20, 2019, 09:47:58 pm »
Well, technically this happened back on November the 22nd, when the Saturn was launched in Japan in 1994. But better late than never.

What were your memories of this console, and what do you think of it today? What are some of your favorite games?

As for me, it ranks as one of the biggest curiosities from my childhood. I only ever heard of this console mentioned in passing back in the day, nobody that I knew owned one. I had never even laid eyes on one by the time it was retired. Frankly I was too absorbed into the SNES, and later the N64 to pay much of any mind. By late 1998, when I was first contemplating another console purchase I was interested in the idea of a PlayStation, or possibly as SEGA Saturn. I knew very little about either. Everyone reassured me that I should go with the PlayStation, so in 1999 the PS it was. By then, I probably didn't have much of a choice anyway. It wasn't until the retirement of the Dreamcast, that I began to delve into finding out exactly what the Saturn was.

My initial experience in buying one off of eBay in 2002 was not impressive, at the time. Even then, I struggled to find any games, or at reasonable prices. I didn't know what to make of the meager selection I had then. I took me many years even after getting heavy into game collecting, to realize that the Saturn was in fact, a great console. It's one that has risen in the ranks for me a lot over the past few years.

For the longest time, I wrestled with the fact that Saturn wasn't/isn't another console conceived to follow in the footsteps of something like an N64, or a PS1. But in fact, it was/is intended to be something other than that. It was designed to excel at sprite based games, and to simulate SEGA's arcade-like game experience on a home console. It just so happens that the end product was modified to accommodate for the industry's big push for 3D and polygon based adventures. In my opinion, it does both well.

It's easy to ruminate over the could-have-been's of this console, but I've come to appreciate what actually is. Even though the domestic library is modest, a lot like the N64, there's a lot of great games if you are a fan of late release sprite based games, and early polygon type games. The Saturn has a lot of really solid platformers, shooters, fighting games, and even racers. Nights Into Dreams, Panzer Dragoon, Clockwork Knight, Darius Gaiden, Alien Trilogy, Last Bronx, Fighting Vipers, Night Warriors, SEGA Rally, Daytona USA, and the list goes on. Then there's lots of deeper cuts like Virtua Racing, Diehard Arcade, Virtual On, High Velocity, Dark Savior, Guardian Heroes, and of course the excellent Saturn Bomberman. There are so many great games for the system if you are willing to give it a shot, and that's not even accounting for the imports.

Sadly, it's become one of the most "collectible" consoles of all time in the past couple of decades. Perhaps more collected than actually played. Many people seem to collect full-sets for the system, despite not being Saturn diehard fans. The cost of admission has become far too high for many at this point, which is a shame. Without any doubt, it remains IMO the most underrated "failed" console of all time and certainly ranks within my top 10 favorite consoles.

Every other console which features component as an output, there exists cheap third party cables. However, for GameCube it seems there is not hence all of the offensively high prices for the official Nintendo ones.

What makes GameCube so special that no one else can design a component video cable to work with it? Usually, a video cable of any sort is one of the most easily replicated accessories for any system.

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