The current state of the channel plus a few really interesting games for you to check out!
The current state of the channel plus a few really interesting games for you to check out!
After being understandably leery of any Resident Evil games beyond the shit show that was Resident Evil 6, I was cautiously optimistic about the upcoming latest installment. There were promises to go back to the franchise’s roots and while I was still … Continue reading →
***This article wraps up my 3-part look at the audio goodies I’ve obtained recently. Be sure to check out my impressions of the Turtle Beach 420X and the Logitech Z323 as well*** A full disclaimer before we get into my impressions: … Continue reading →
We hear it all the time: “The Xbox One has no games.” It’s become common knowledge at this point. Gamers across all forms of social media and video game websites consistently lament this stone cold fact. Believe me, I was … Continue reading →
In the early ’90s I couldn’t get enough Sonic the Hedgehog. I loved the flagship series as much as any good Sega fan boy would and I was over the moon about my hardware manufacturer of choice having a mascot … Continue reading →
As I may have mentioned before and will probably continue to do so ad nauseam, I grew up with Sega. Fast forward to now, and I’ve recently been able to enjoy a ton of NES and SNES darlings for the … Continue reading →
***NOTE: The finds posted below are not intended to impress you. Just some examples of what you used to be able to find regularly while out hunting for games.***
If you’re into hunting for video games, you know full well that the glory days are over. You don’t just waltz in to a big flea market at 10AM and have your pick of the litter. There’s no more old ladies with cardboard boxes containing an NES and 12 games for the price of “I just want to get rid of it.”
Nowadays if you like flea markets, you’ll probably want to get there around 7AM. Most booths won’t be open mind you, so plan on getting your steps in. You’ll be doing laps around the entire grounds hoping to spot some games that are just being unloaded from a seller’s car. Even then, nothing is guaranteed. In all likelihood there are at least a couple others out there with you that have the exact same intentions. Maybe garage sales are more your speed though. You can still find some good deals at those.
Now the problem you’re going to have there is that it’s not as simple as picking out some Craigslist ads and jumping in the car. At some point people decided to not only get to those earlier than you, but to e-mail every single potential ad to ask if they were selling video games. If they got a “yes”, the next question would be if they could come over a day early to look at said games. It’s gotten insane to the point where your best bet is to take a leisurely drive around the suburbs and look for signs pointing to yard sales. That way maybe, MAYBE, you’ll find a nice sale that’s not posted on the internet. Doesn’t mean they’ll have any video games, but it’s worth a shot. At least that’s what I tell myself.
Long ago my first console I re-bought was a Sega Saturn and a few mostly common games for $35, which today looks like a steal. It wasn’t until just a few years ago I started to really get heavy into retro collecting. The first summer was great and looking back I should’ve gone out more. The next year was also good, although I noticed that if I didn’t want to lose out to another collector I’d have to arrive 30-60 minutes earlier than I would usually plan for. That was a sign of things to come.
The past two summers have been brutal, to the point where I had made a hard decision: There were so few games to find out there the last couple of years that my time was clearly worth more than scouring the town anymore. Sleep in both weekend nights, or not sleep in all summer and find one or two uncommon games every few weeks? The choice became simple. There were (and still are) just far too many collectors out there canvasing a 25 mile radius to make it even remotely worth it. I’ve spent the last couple of years treating myself to a reasonably priced eBay auction every month or two.
That was the extent of my collecting. I went from bringing home boxes full of games for all kinds of systems to having virtually no intake. My goals of complete Master System and especially complete Genesis collections seemed laughable. How can you complete a set of something when you never add to it?
It was only this past week that I realized I was going to have to get off my ass and find some games though, and guess what? I did actually uncover a couple things I was legitimately happy to find. Check out the podcast later this week for what I found plus impressions. Two games is two games. Nothing special, but it’s something. You have to be a little more clever these days to find gold and figure out how to zig when everyone else is zagging, or you can just fly in the face of it all and show up whenever the hell you want. Maybe a few sellers arrive later than expected, and maybe a few early bird buyers leave before something great gets set out on the table and you find it. Who knows?
The point is it seems like it’s still worth trying out there, even if it might not be as fruitful as it used to be. You might have to cherish those two games a week, or one game, or none, a little more. The best thing to do is still get out there but enjoy your time doing it. Maybe I’m old but I like just taking a drive, and if a friend or significant other comes with then it might not matter if you find anything. Maybe you’ll find something other than a video game that you could use *shudder*. Also finding a ton of games is preferred but it can also be diminishing returns. Again, I found two games this past weekend. I played one and figured out it was just okay. Played the other one and now it’s in my regular rotation. I wish I found more games but the silver lining here is I actually gave everything I found the time of day and really got to experience them. Nothing went on my shelf and was forgotten about five minutes after I got home.
What I’m getting at is that regardless of how many games you find it’s still worth it to get out there. I definitely was jaded for awhile there, but I’m going to try and get back into it this summer and so far I’m 1-for-1 on weekends attempted. Maybe the big scores are gone but if you let go of the pressure that comes with trying to rapidly acquire piles and piles of video games you’ll figure out that there’s still stuff to find here and there, and in some ways you might even appreciate those small finds more. That doesn’t mean there isn’t any other big fish out there to catch though. You’ll only find out if you make some kind of effort though, so get out there and find some games! I promise you’ll at least find something to make it worth your while. Well no I can’t promise that, but probably! Actually you know what? Sleep in. I have too much competition as it is……….
Ever play Guacamelee? If you haven’t, it’s kind of a non-linear beat ’em up amongst other things. It’s a cool game where you play a luchador who hits people a lot. The control feels good, the dialogue is fun, and there’s plenty to do. I just can’t get past one thing though:
I just don’t dig the art style, and it’s not a BAD art style. As you can see it’s colorful, light-hearted, and even somewhat unique. It’s just really not for me though. I don’t like the sharp edges and sometimes minimalist approach. I understand that’s what makes it stand out to some extent, but when it comes to video games, anime, comic books, and artwork in general, it doesn’t matter how eye-catching it is, it’s either my taste or it’s not. Depending on the severity of where it lands on my own personal taste scale, this can often be a deciding factor in whether or not I enjoy a game. I’m not sure why. I suppose when you picture certain characters or archetypes within a certain context or setting you get an idea of what they might look like in your head, and if that doesn’t match the finished product there might be a bit of a disconnect.
I have no doubt many are unfazed whether a game adheres to one certain art style or another. That’s probably a good thing. As the old saying goes, gameplay is everything, and it pretty much is. I still enjoyed Guacamelee but I could’ve enjoyed it more if not for this pesky habit of the art having a nagging influence on my perception of a game. It’s very much a first impression type of thing too. A game or movie or whatever may have to do a little more (undeserved) work to impress me if I’m turned off by the art at first glance. I doubt I will ever play Battleborn after getting a real look at it today. The aesthetics just turn me off right away.
Don’t even get me started on the Clone Wars animated series, or how much I prefer old style cel animation to the CGI standard in movies today. I still like some of that stuff despite how it’s presented stylistically, and I try to keep that in mind should I feel the urge to dismiss something out of hand for that same reason. Kill la Kill was a wacky, goofy, and self-aware anime that I thoroughly enjoyed, but I wasn’t crazy about how it looked, even if it did fit the show. I would’ve never given Fire Emblem a try on the 3DS if I never got over the stubby in-game character models. “Don’t knock it ’til you try it” is what I keep telling myself, but a good game at least stands a small chance of being downgraded from “cool!” to “meh” if I don’t like how it looks.
Is it a deal breaker for you? What about something else that has nothing to do with the gameplay? Is it art style for me and something else for you?
Eye color, hairstyle, body type, gender, eyebrow shape, ear shape, nose shape, lip shape, scars or no scars, face width, eye width, nostril size, fingernail length, armpit hair hue, I think I had about enough of it all.
There was a time when being able to create your own character in a console game was only a dream. In the early 90s, the very fact that you could change Ryu’s karate gi in Street Fighter II to a different solid color was met with delight. Nowadays the options are exceptionally vast. In recent years there has been many I time I thought “If I really wanted to, I could make it look exactly like me!”. I’ve never gone so far as to actually do that, but the suite of options offered in current gen games on all major platforms is really impressive. It hasn’t been talked about much just how damn limitless the character creators are within games these days, and I think I know why.
Simply put, we’ve all created a character after our own image or our own fantasy enough times now that frankly it’s gotten a little old. It started back when you named your town “Assville” in Sim City. Then the aforementioned Ryu’s gi came along, and a couple of generations later you were picking skin tone, physical build, and a few other options. It made games more personal, more tailored to you yourself, and separated your copy of the game from the millions of others that had been stamped out on an assembly line and shipped to the same store everyone bought their games from. As the years went on more and more was added to everyone’s delight. You can’t have too much of a good thing supposedly. Why complain about more options?
Believe me I’m not complaining actually. I just don’t want to do it anymore. At this point to me I treat character creation with slightly more enthusiasm than unlocking new camos for guns or bonus artwork that I’ll never look at. I’m glad it’s there, it’s just a little played out for me. It’s actually somewhat of a paralysis that occurs when I’m presented with so many options, as many games do these days when you’re creating your cyborg/heroin/mutant badass that has a tattoo from the one time they blah blah blah. I usually make a few easy decisions, maybe play with a few sliding scales, and then I want to play the game I paid for. By the time I’m exhausted with the character creator I figure whatever I’ve come up with will still be unique to my campaign, to my story, so what’s the difference? Oddly enough I also find that for all the options there are times when I can’t find the right one. I’m still figuring out why Fallout 4 went so safe on the hairstyles you could choose from. That’s one option you can go crazy with.
So overall it’s like I either freeze because there’s too much to choose from or I’m shockingly not finding what I wanted. I think today there’s just so many games that admirably put the work into character creation that you find yourself creating too many damn characters. Obviously there’s no way to transplant a general character build from one game to another. I suppose within the same company’s games (Bethesda comes to mind) and on the same platform it could work, but that sort of integration might not be worth it in the eyes of the people that actually have to code for it, and I wouldn’t blame them.
In short, I want my cake and to not eat it too. I want the options there because a lot of people still get a kick out of spending the first hour or so of a game making their character just so. I’ve fallen out of the habit, but it should still be there and the effort still put into it.