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Topics - Warmsignal

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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.

General / Why is Pokemon a popular game series still?
« on: October 22, 2019, 01:32:26 pm »
I don't know if this has been discussed before. But I've always noticed a lot of hardcore gamers and collectors tend to own a lot of Pokemon games. Admittedly I did play Pokemon Red back in the day, but I was also still young and I was totally bought into the whole Pokemon fad that was going on at the time. However, the Pokemon games did not stop coming, even after the fad died out (to my knowledge). Every console generation has seen at least 3 or 4 installments of (Pokemon this color or that color). Once they ran out of colors, they started just picking random objects and naming the after those things (Pokemon Sun, Pokemon Moon, Pokemon Cheese, Pokemon Doorstop).

To me, this stuff is like Assisin's Creed or COD. It's the same thing over and over every year. What is different? The roster of Pokemon on each game? Why do people (primarily the older crowd) still care about Pokemon enough to own all of these installments? Is it just that fun to collect random Pokemon and level them up in random battles that doesn't matter how many times they rehash it? Is it pure nostalgia for the era when Pokemon was cool? Is it OCD? Gotta catch em all? Why so many Pokemon games, and why are they still so relevant 20 years later?

I own zero Pokemon games and have no desire to, although I could probably justify owning one. I don't see the point in owning 4 or so, per console generation. I could only see that if you were super into the Pokemon universe still. Which outside of games (and I never hear anything about the actual games either) it seems like nobody is, over the age of 12. But everybody owns them all. So, what it is?

General / Game prices ranting thread 2019
« on: October 16, 2019, 07:54:35 pm »
I realize that complaining about the prices of games at this point is beating a dead horse. I'm sure we can all agree that prices have gotten out of hand long ago, but what astonishes me is that in 2019 they still continue to climb. I remember complaining when it seemed like every other game had reached a baseline price of $5. That was a long time ago.... then I remembering complaining that the base price had become more like $10. I thought that was absurd. I've kind of been out of the loop for a while on a lot of this stuff, and holy crap. $20 is the new low end price on most games? ****ing $20?! Of course the premium, more popular titles are more like $40.

Who is paying $20 per game these days? Are they insane? Of course I'm referring strictly to "retro" platforms, and primarily any given title that is not licensed shovel-ware and decent in game play. $20 seems to be the new go-to baseline price, at least online. That blows my mind. Prices are starting to rival that of recent and current releases. I've heard some around here suggest that prices were reaching a plateau, but I don't see it. If it is true, then it's an extremely recent change because 2019 prices make 2016 prices look cheap by comparison. I did a little bit of digging around and found a number of random titles with significant price spikes in this year alone.

Take for example, Top Gear Hyper-Bike. Probably the least known and least quality Top Gear game on the N64. It was always one of those bargain bin games with a price tag of next to nothing. Then over the summer of 2019, it's suddenly perceived to be a $25 game. This is by no means a unique case. Just an example of how prices are still arbitrarily inflating.

I'm lucky in the fact that my local retro store has a massive selection of stuff, and they haven't re-priced since 2015-2016 for the most part. It really gives you an idea of much things have changed since then. After having a heated debate over the quality of GBA on the forums last week which I still maintain is not a high quality platform, I decided to take a look at their GBA selection and wow. Compared to eBay, their GBA games are dirt cheap. I picked up $40 worth today and saved about $80 versus buying those on eBay. At present day prices I would not consider buying anything GBA, but for 2015/2016 prices I'll bite.

There has often been threads discussing how much is the most you would be willing to pay for a rare or expensive game, but the better question is what's the most you'd pay for a common game? For me, it's no where near $20, or even $15. I'm still expecting a price tag of $10 or less for most of the common or less popular titles. Seems that ship has sailed. The phrase rich man's hobby has been thrown around for years, but it's never been more true. For those just getting into the hobby now, it's probably better to just settle for just a select few games per system. I can't imagine that'd be much fun. I'd recommend an everdrive, virtual console or a modded console at this point. Prices are beyond absurd nowadays. Building a large game collection is out of the question unless you have tons of disposable income.

Feel free to rant or rave, or completely disagree and explain to me how these super high quality retro games are totally worth $20-40 a pop. How are you guys dealing with the terrible pricing in 2019, or are you mostly finished and no longer actively collecting? Of course, I should be finished by now myself, but I keep getting drawn back in and having my mind blown by the continued difficulty and absurdity of it all.

Marketplace / Cooking Mama Games - Come and Get EM!!!!
« on: October 12, 2019, 10:49:16 pm »
I bought these on eBay and didn't like the condition of them. Jerk seller wouldn't let me return them and now I'm just trying to get rid of them. Condition is acceptable, they're all complete, manuals and booklets are nice but cases have some wear and tear - bumps, snags and creases along the edges and whatnot as you can see in the pics. If that stuff doesn't bother you, then make me an offer on the lot them and I'll send em your way! Entire lot only, don't want to separate.

General / Game collecting addiction
« on: October 09, 2019, 01:14:43 pm »
Have you ever been addicted to game collecting to a point where it was unhealthy, or financially reckless? How overboard did you go, and how were you able to stop yourself?

Lately I've been on somewhat of a game collecting binge. I've been buying up games left and right without much restraint. Granted they are all games that I think I really want to have, but I'm simply buying so many of them so fast it's alarming. I've spent hundreds and hundreds in the past few weeks. Subconsciously I think I'm trying to make up for the year or so I didn't buy any games. I'm just so tired of not having certain titles, and just thinking "some day". I'd rather have them all now.

I think that if I keep rage-buying I'll actually reach an end goal and feel satisfied, but with collecting games I don't think that's truly possible. There's just too many, and interests shift and change over time. You want to be done, but you never really want to be done. Then there's always the fear that what's affordable today might not be affordable tomorrow. Sometimes you will come to your senses and realize how silly all of this actually is. It's just pieces of plastic with names printed on them. Every single one of them could be downloaded onto a hard drive or multi-cart and played for free if playing the game is actually the end goal. Games aren't even something unique or exclusive to collect. They can be had elsewhere for less, or no money at all. It's just plastic with stickers on them. What's the big deal?

But I digress. Has your game collecting ever gotten completely out of hand? How bad did it get? What made you snap back to reality?

General / The downward spiral of GameStop
« on: July 26, 2019, 05:56:11 pm »
Although I'm sure there will be some clamoring on over their demise, I hate to see it. I find it to be an unfortunate sign of the times, and not simply a matter of this one company. The writing really is on the walls for GS though, more so in the past year than ever. Aside from greater overall mismanagement, the acceptance of download one-time purchase only games is finally doing it's damage. Following in the footsteps of the now mostly defunct FYE, most GS stores now feature more gaming merchandise than actual physical media and the company is not going to survive on selling trinkets.

For some of us, it's the last brick and mortar store we can somewhat depend on to actually stock the modern games we want to buy physical copies of. However, that is more and more often not the case as of late. In terms of Nintendo Switch games, a lot of my close-by GS stores do not receive a single copy of a new release if nobody pre-ordered it. More baffling, most of the newer releases go quickly out of stock or were never available to order from their site to begin with. It's pretty bad sign when a video game store does not carry a lot of new video games. My local GS stores probably only have 1 or 2 of the past 10 Switch games to release.

A GS employee told me they're becoming really vigilant about not ordering copies of games that nobody is going to buy. I was told that many GS stores are still sitting on more than 50 unsold copies of Smash Ultimate, because so many people just downloaded it instead. If they can't depend on selling big name franchise games like that, then they're really in trouble. If they don't sell them, that means no pre-owned copies, which means their bread and butter is diminishing rapidly. That also means a lot less physical copies of these games will be floating around in the wild later on.

I've spent thousands at GS, picking up obscure and essential games to own when literally nobody else in town would even have them. With the loyalty card, I always got a decent deal on anything pre-owned. When GS is gone, I'll have to order most of my modern games online. There's just no fun, or satisfaction in doing that for me. But I'll continue to buy physical copies of games until they are no longer made. They will certainly become a lot more obscure once the major retailers that sell them, like GS, cease to be a thing. I honestly expect the first big wave of GS closures to begin after a "dismal" holiday 2019 season. Mark it on your calendars. Three to five years, they're all going to be gone.

Off Topic / Amazom Prime membership really worth the $12?
« on: July 22, 2019, 09:57:41 pm »
I don't think so. I just cancelled actually. Reason being I was under the expectation that you would actually receive your orders in 2 days. Nothing I ever ordered with Prime came in 2 days, and yes I'm only counting business days. All of my Prime orders have came within 3 - 5 days. I get the same speed of shipping, or faster from random eBay sellers.

I think they make 2-day shipping sound like you'll literally get it that fast. Customer service told me no, you won't. They can take however long they want in processioning, and they do in order to save themselves money. So why was I paying a bunch up front for Amazon to ship my stuff at a standard rate of speed? Made no sense. So I cancelled. I kinda see it as a scam. Deceptive advertising. Lousy company. They also treat their employees really poorly or so I've heard. I hate what they've done to the retail business. Amazon is the evil empire.

Off Topic / Your favorite amusement parks and rides
« on: July 05, 2019, 06:59:27 pm »
For those who are into this sort of thing. What are you favorite parks and rides?

The parks I've been to are - Dollywood, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Carowinds, Six Flags Great Adventure (no longer operating), and Cedar Point.

Of all the rides I've ridden, my favorites are Tennessee Tornado, Blazing Fury, Hurler, Lochness Monster, Big Bad Wolf (no longer exists), Villian (no longer exists). Millennium Force was also memorable, but I can't say it was a particularly great ride, personally. I think it's a bit overrated, and almost too intense to be fun for me.

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