Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category
This generation has become a bit of an anomaly. Instead of a throng of new intellectual properties (IP), fantastic sequels, and even downloadable titles we are inundated with re-hashes from the last generation. Don’t get me wrong, last generation was fantastic and I can’t say enough good things about it, but my fear is that we have lost our identity to the concept of the remake or remaster. Look at the release list of the Xbox One or the Playstation 4 and it’s clear that touch up work on games less than a decade old, some of them within the last few years, have become the norm. I can’t scan a news blog on a gaming site anymore without hearing about it. Video game consumers have become churn factories, now abandoning the old hardware at the same moment that the new hardware releases. I guess it was only a matter of time in an age where we upgrade nearly thousand dollar iPhones every year for a new model that barely bumps the specs of the old, but I hate that with those purchases comes the loss of the software they supported. It’s odd that the first generation to abandon backwards compatibility reveals the strong need to keep the feature, if only to prevent these re-releases from coming out at the rapid pace we are seeing. When I buy a new iPhone I still get to keep all the apps from before, so why are games insisting on being different? Then it dawned on me. We need these remakes and remasters because unlike apps, movies, books, and really any other medium, video games can consistently improve with age and games thought lost and abandoned can become new again. The problem is not that we are getting remakes, it’s the selection of remakes that we are getting.
Guys, lets face it, nostalgia is a bitch. I even wrote an article about this in the past, but beyond my casual forewarning, I would like to extend a realistic look at what is going on today in gaming. Some big fans are trying to re-write history with how much they love games that, in hindsight, weren’t all that good. You’ll notice that I said “how much they love games” and “in hindsight”, which I would like to break down. People who are massive unapologetic fans of fair-to-poor quality games should not be told they are wrong because they aren’t. Your opinion is your own and without even a discussion you have a right to it, not to mention those that can properly make an argument for why they love a game, but realize your opinion is shrouded in nostalgia or just a lack of basic sense.
This weekend I was allowed to see an advance screening of an upcoming summer movie. I did tweet what the film was prior to going to view it, but when I got there a very specific NDA (non-disclosure agreement) has me not wanting to give any more information. There still is a point to this post, I assure you. The thing about NDA’s, for example, is that they are vague and pretty much don’t want you talking about anything, but yet I often feel compelled to follow them provided certain circumstances. I was not brought in to see this movie because of this site or any affiliation, in fact I’m betting the production company doesn’t know or care that this post exists provided I leak no information on what I saw, including the title of the film or my opinion. I also want to point out that while this site does receive review copies of games from time to time, there is no connection between this film and games directly and thus there’s no fear of retaliation associated with my compliance. While quite rare on the Internet, I intend to respect the NDA because it’s the right thing to do. Rest assured I am writing the review while the film is fresh in my mind and it will release when I get the permission to do so.
In a recent article, I gave my personal tips into how to get the most out of the car boot sale. However, if your hungry for more games finds there’s more than one place to hunt. In this article I’m going to go through the other places I have located gaming deals.
This has always been a fascinating one to me. I know people that will literally avoid charity shops like the plague because they don’t want to be looking through other peoples junk. This is a real shame as you can genuinely find some amazing deals in charity shops (in America this will be like your Goodwills). In the UK the majority of charity shops are linked to charity like the British Hear Foundation, Oxfam, Cancer research etc. Charity shops take donations usually from the local community, Oxfam however, actually does send stuff to various stores through donation bins found at supermarkets. Most charity shops generally will have a dvd rack somewhere with a couple of games thrown in. Now it will really depend on the the staff at the specific store to whether the games are priced reasonably or not. If there is a volunteer that is into gaming there is actually a possibility they will take the games for themselves and leave the stuff they don’t want for the shelves. This is of course is a pain but its something you just have to put up with. Some staff have no idea about pricing games usually they will sell them for the same value as DVDs or even CDs. But then I have seen examples of staff over pricing video games because they think they are worth more than DVDs. What is quite sad in the UK is I have heard stories of charity shops receiving donations of loose consoles and carts but they consider these junk and throw them away. This doesn’t happen everywhere though, I have actually found loose N64 carts in an Oxfam store before but this is quite a rare occasion. Some advice here is if you feel brave enough you can actually say to the staff you are looking for old games and if they see any loose carts or consoles you will be whiling to take them off their hands. Most of the time the staff will feel uncomfortable with this and will give you nothing. But on that rare occasion someone might take note and even bring out some stuff they were intending on chucking possibly for free. But remember this is a charity shop so its only fair to give a donation if you get lucky here. It’s also only worth doing this with the stores that are close to where you live, unless of course you enjoy travelling far out to stores.
BEST SCORE: A couple of rare N64 loose carts including Mystical Ninja: The legend of Goeman, Mystic Quest, Diddy Kong Racing, Shadowgate 64, and The World is Not Enough
It’s that time of year again where people from all over the country go through their lofts and garages and find various junk they don’t want any more. They then throw it in their car drive to a field somewhere and sell it members of the public. Yes people, car boot season (or flea market if your American) is here. I have been heading to car boots with my lady friend for the last couple of years looking for good deals on video games. As a collector of old video games the car boot is a great chance to possibly find a game for a reasonable price that would otherwise go for some ungodly amount on eBay. In this article I’m going to give my personal tips on how to make the most out of the car boot.
Recently in the UK news there was an article stating that a head teacher would report parents to the local authorities if they discovered any of the children in the school were playing mature rated games, citing that the parents would be accused of “neglect.” While I feel accusing parents of being neglectful is not entirely fair it does pose the question: just how mature are games these days? This article is going to cover my own experiences of mature rated games as I grew up and how I feel about the subject now. [Editor’s Note: Fred wrote an article in the past dissecting mature rated games in the US, that perspective is here.]
Depending on who you ask, perhaps pinball shouldn’t even be on this site. It’s not a video game at all and in truth the only thing pinball even has in common to video games is that they both tended to occupy one another in arcades, bowling alleys, bars, and various other popular locations of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. This doesn’t mean that you can’t appreciate both and thanks to some great physics engines and crafty programming games like Zen Pinball/Pinball FX and Pinball Arcade exist and do a nice job of bringing that thrill home. But it isn’t pinball. No friends, those of us who love pinball and played the games growing up would not consider T2 on Pinball Arcade to be the same as sitting in front of the cold steel original pinball machine with the gun handle for a launcher. At the same time a T2 pinball machine runs you around $2,000-$3,000 and that doesn’t even factor in getting to and into your place of residence, so the relatively cheap $10 price for the table on console is a better option for most of us. If you buy the actual pinball machine you’ll probably enjoy the game for less than six months before it needs service of some kind – assuming it was in perfect working order when you purchased it, which is almost never the case. Even if you have a pristine new Stern pinball machine that gets professionally set up, routine maintenance and cleaning is part of the role that any pinball owner has, whether it’s handled by the owner personally or they have a professional come out for routine service. That’s why pinball is a much larger investment than arcade machines: you have to know how to care for an afford to maintain it. Not only that, but the machines are specific so you can’t just drop a T2′s guts into a Funhouse machine without a lot of time, effort, and basically rebuilding it. All of these factors are why pinball emulation may be the best option for the average pinball enthusiast that’s ready to pony up that initial investment, but doesn’t want all the hassle of actually owning a pinball machine.
Yes, it finally happened, Jam got a SNES. A retro console he never thought he would actually own due to the kinda crazy prices the games sell for in the UK. He appears very happy with this and wants to dedicate this video to good friend Mr. SieOne who has been a huge support to GH101 and to all the content we have provided in the past.
This weekend, thousands gathered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to celebrate the Midwest Gaming Classic (MGC), the Midwest’s largest retro gaming show and I was lucky enough to attend. While the convention proper didn’t officially start until Saturday, Friday night was chock full of great activities and great people already eager to get a sneak peek at what MGC 2015 had to offer. I hadn’t been to MGC within the last few years due to my daughter being born and me moving out of the local area, and in that short time it has grown from a Convention that took over chunks of the Sheraton to completely taking over the hotel itself. There are perks to that, of which this article will discuss, and if you wanted to spend 48-72 surrounding yourself with games, gamers, and optional sleep, that was completely possible. It was a blast, complete with Gaming History 101 having its own panel, and whether we are invited back or not, GH101 will be at MGC 2016. Here’s an overview of just what the show had to offer and what you can expect where you to attend next year.
Video game pricing: this is a topic that sparks a lot of debate in the community. In this article I wanted to give you a brief history of video game prices in the UK while I was growing up and give my personal thoughts on the topic. Since this is quite a deep topic I’m only going to spend this article discussing new retail games. [Editor’s Note: This article uses prices in British Pounds (£). For reference, at time of writing £1 = $1.48]
I have been quite lucky to see the early days of video game pricing to what it has generally become today. Back in the eighties when I was a very young fellow I distinctly remember seeing ZX Spectrum games being sold for the nice low price of £2.99. This was very common with micro computers, but the ZX Spectrum by far had the cheapest and arguably the most shovel ware as a result. The Microcomputer and PC for that matter would always be cheapest place to get your retail game fix. This is of course back before the internet was even a thing, my family certainly didn’t even have the internet until the late nineties. What was commanding the high price points was the Sega Master System and Nintendo Entertainment system, games would sell between £29.99 to £49.99. Nintendo had quite the reputation for expensive pricing in the UK. What was quite interesting is the used game market wasn’t a big thing at retail at this stage. But you were able to purchase used games from market places or car boot sales along with a ton of bootleg copied Micro computer games. Once the Sega Mega Drive and Super Nintendo rolled around I started seeing games rock up to prices as high as £59.99. Nintendo once again was the main villian for these prices. While this may sound rather high we just have to deal with it. This sort of pricing became a standard affair for me, hence why my brothers and I would probabaly only purchase just one or two new games a year.