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About game_escape

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    Space Invader
  1. This is exactly the case. The beta-test strikes me as nothing more than a paid product placement (ironically, paid by the beta-testers) to top off the last run of pre-orders while driving views and subs to certain channels. And, perhaps I am getting old and curmudgeonly, but I am tired of these kind of blatantly disingenuous YouTube marketing schemes. MVG's video, while inoffensive, was really not that informative and did in fact gloss over a lot of the "hiccups" that have plagued this console for the past year. Sarumaru's streams do show many different games played on the unit, which is useful, but not really a technical analysis. Beyond these two outlets, I have yet to see or read anything from the other beta-testers. And, as godslabrat points out above, can a beta test of 5 units really be viable? I had genuine interest in this console for a long time, but everything about its roll-out is extremely suspicious. Early on in this thread, godslabrat made the point that this company is behaving like they don't have the means to deliver on the pre-orders they've already received. I couldn't agree more. I have a hard time imagining that, after all these delays, Polymega will release this console on July 6th, in the immediate aftermath (hopefully!) of the greatest financial downturn since the Great Depression, with global supply chain disruptions that will supposedly affect even the largest electronics manufacturers. I want to have a reliable, easy-to-use backup for playing my Saturn collection, but I just can't see this thing succeeding. I hope I am wrong.
  2. A friend of mine was going through something similar and it turned out to be something called "Non-Functional Gallbladder." He was basically experiencing all the symptoms of gallstones without actually having them. His doctor confirmed this with something called HIDA scan, which showed that the gallbladder was not emptying fully. He got his gallbladder removed and is doing better.
  3. As I approach my mid-30s, an issue in gaming has been weighing on me more and more over the past few years. I find myself increasingly frustrated with how modern games attempt to structure my game time in ways that are often incompatible with my responsibilities and commitments. While I was never a gamer of immense skill, as a kid I could play through difficult, long ,or mediocre games and enjoy every second of the experience. Gaming was my "thing," and it stuck with me into adulthood. I don't like going to the movies, I don't watch TV, and I care less and less about sports. When I want to relax after work or on the weekend, I turn to games, and I find that my mood, energy level, and amount of free time really determine how much I can put into a game. After a long day of work, I might want to relax with a retro game for an hour or grind away on a 3DS JRPG before going to bed. If there is a new release in a favorite series that comes out and I can build time into a weekend, I can enthusiastically marathon a game. Sometimes I like to test my skill and give myself a challenge: racing rFactor 2 or Assetto Corsa with no assists or ranking up in Tenhou Mahjong at peak hours (yes, I have odd tastes). The point is that the restrictions of my adult life dictate how I engage with games, and nothing irritates me more than games that do not take the time constraints of mature gamers seriously in the design process. There is no good reason for this other than stubborn adherence to traditional practice, and it should end, because we are the gamers with the disposable income to buy the most releases. Here are a few specifics that I find increasingly intolerable: · Forced tutorials: As a fan of JRPGs, I detest the many needlessly complex, layered systems that require (in the most egregious cases) a full hour of tutorial time to introduce. The worst offenders often do this via pages of text instructions within the game. If I have to click through 10K words to get going, I'm putting the game down and selling it. Sports games are also offenders here, as they introduce new gimmicky systems every year that force you to re-learn skills or re-adjust techniques. · Fetch quests and forced crafting: While a properly designed fetch quest can be fun, many are just boring, derivative content that exist solely to give you more stuff to do. Crafting works the same way. I simply don't have the time to hunt around a huge map to find a stone to enchant my sword. Zelda BOTW really put me off with the constant foraging and cooking needed to advance in the game. These mechanics should be optional for those who enjoy this sort of thing. · Cinematic Cut-scenes and Hollywood Storytelling: I should not have to sit through a cut-scene for the sake of story exposition. Modern games have gotten better about giving you a skip option. But more irritating still are game sequences and dialogue integrated into the action to advance the narrative. The joy of gaming to me is that it is not a movie, and, in the past, was largely free from the nonsensical "story beats" and clichéd sentiments of Hollywood and TV. Now, however, development resources are being poured into to making games "cinematic experiences," and the results are mediocre at best, with a few notable exceptions. · Difficulty Gaps and Spikes: Some games seem to have wild gaps between easy, medium, and hard modes, with the result being that casual and time-constrained gamers are shafted. Sports games are the worst offenders here. Easy, to my mind, should mean that I find myself in an exciting, competitive game that I have the skills and talent to easily win. Instead, easy mode is often completely uncompetitive, whereas normal and hard force you to master all of these useless and overly complex yearly mechanical "upgrades" to have a shot at victory. The only solution is to tweak pages of sliders to get an acceptable experience. Action games are getting better in this regard, but are not perfect yet, and can sometimes include sequences or segments that frustrate otherwise smooth progression (like the tank sequences in Arkham Knight). · Time and Money Trades: The fact that modern AAA games are borrowing freemium monetization strategies is disturbing. Those games use the design process to frustrate players into prioritizing time investment vs. money investment, and with both resources being scarce, this robs gaming of its fun. If I have the sense that a game is forcing me into a time/money trade, I will assume that it's rigged and get rid of it. · Save Points: It's 2017. I should not have to tell my girlfriend, "Sorry, I can't come to dinner, I need to find a save point." I should not have to wonder, "Did I hit that checkpoint yet?" Players should be able to suspend and continue a game whenever they wish. If I lose game progress because of a save issue, I will likely not continue playing the game. Time is precious, and I can't reinvest more time to make up progress in a game that was lost due to an inadequate save structure. What I am advocating for is a design philosophy that allows gamers to explore the content of a game at a pace that is suitable to a player's needs and commitments. We are, after all paying for this content, and it should not be locked away behind a time investment model inconsistent with our own priorities. Developers need to be flexible and creative in how they allow their games to unfold, and give players control over and options for how they experience a game. Some games have done this well. Take, for example, the adjustable encounter rates in Bravely Default and GTA V’s offer to skip a gameplay sequence and just progress the story or mission. Are they the "ideal" or "pro" ways to play the game? No. Should you get trophies for this approach? No. But the option should be offered to players who are passed the part of their lives where game skill matters. Yes, there are some favorites that I can still play at a high level and play seriously but, for the most part, I could care less about trophies, death in a game, or how I stack up against the pros. My goal, at this point in my life, is to relax and enjoy a game, not hone my skill. Let's take the newly released Sonic Mania as a case in point. I find the game to be much harder than my beloved Genesis Sonic games. I'm dying way more frequently than I ever did back then, and I really need to work through levels, memorize patterns, and give the later levels a number of runs before I can beat them. I think this has to do with the fact that I'm not 12 anymore, but also because the levels are larger and have more obstacles, and the 1UPs seem pretty scarce. Because I have some vacation time, I'm playing through it, beating the challenges, and repeating it for Knuckles and Tails. During a normal work week, however, I probably would have put the game down. What could be done to make this wonderful game "aging gamer friendly"? Give the user the ability to save between Acts, so that playing Act 1 after a death is not necessary. Let the user select how many lives Sonic can have (up to, say, 7), so that deaths are less significant to the less skilled. And have the debug code unlocked from the get go. This would allow people to run through the content they paid for at their own pace. All games can and should be adapted this way. Give me the option to use this assistance as often or as infrequently as I choose, and know that this issue will only become more urgent as the generations who were kids in the 70s, 80s and 90s age to the point that their reflexes and cognitive abilities are drastically reduced. No one should have to age out of gaming, whether because of family commitments, job responsibilities, or inevitable physical decline. Games should adapt to our needs and time constraints, not the other way around. I want to be the master of my gaming life. I've earned it! I'm old and I've given this industry tons of my disposable income, from my first allowance to my latest bonus. And the brutal reality for developers is, when many of us find ourselves saying "this isn't worth my time," we will find other outlets for that time and money.
  4. I may not be a "serious" gamer, but I think you make some great points here. Simple and engaging concepts tend work best in games, and the systems you mentioned turned that design philosophy into truly wonderful series/systems that have entertained for decades.
  5. So for those who picked up Sonic Mania, what do you think? I was looking forward to this all summer and I'll offer my quick, and spoiler-free thoughts below. Pros: Wonderful retro aesthetic. Levels, while riffs on the classic Sonic levels, seem bigger and have some nice verticality to them. Music is true to form. Lots of fun homages to some off-beat aspects of the Sonic tradition. Negatives: The controls feel slightly off and slightly less responsive from the Genesis days. I think this could be down to the PS4 controller, which I think gets less accurate with age. Not a fan of the bosses after each stage. Feels unnecessary. Some jumps and level design elements feel harder than the classic series. Either that, or my reflexes are declining with age.
  6. I just got the mass email from Eli this week. I thought the following: "Hmmmm, Game Gavel, I forgot I had an account there. Wait...Isn't Game Gavel the outlet associated with the RetroVGS/Chameleon guy? Oh well, I hope the new ownership makes a go of it. I don't have a ton of interest, but maybe I'll check back in a few months." After reading Eli's defensive and condescending posts in this thread, all interest is lost.
  7. I agree that the 3DS is becoming an afterthought, even if Nintendo are keeping it afloat with a few staggered releases. It is, however, an amazing system and I will definitely be collecting for it well into the future. I've even gone so far as to say that it is my favorite Nintendo system since the SNES. Even if you can't find it on store shelves, there are tons great games to hunt down and enjoy, many of which are firmly entrenched with the design concepts, pacing and art styles from 90s, which is a bonus if you are nostalgic and like JRPGs.
  8. Wow, what a fiery and entertaining thread. I need to come by the forums more often. I know I'm late to the game here, but I'll offer a few observations. On YouTubers ruining retro gaming: I think they are "ruining" it in two ways. I do believe there is a strong correlation between big YouTubers videos' and the prices of retro games, and that the more exposure a game gets, the more the price spirals upward. In that sense they have unintentionally limited access to the hobby for younger people looking to learn about and experience gaming history. I also think that the nature of the YouTube business model pushes lots creators to make derivative, boring, standardized content that has diluted the community over the years, thus ruining it a second way. In fact, I call this the problem the "retro personality" syndrome. Once the formula for "retro" was established by the PeterDorrs, HCGs, and MJRs of the world, the rest of the scene seemed to develop the same nostalgia for the same games, the same sense of fashion, and the same in-jokes. So while the act of retro gaming is still rewarding, the cost of entry and sense of community have suffered greatly. On the financialization of gaming: Regardless of what one thinks of capitalism or how market incentives poison or propel hobbies, I don't take issue with people trying to maximize their profit when they sell games. If someone is willing to pay X, why charge less? Money is a finite resource for many of us, and there is no reason to leave it on the table when it is not necessary to do so. Yes, it is bad for me if I want to buy a game, but at the same token, I have no real need to play games on physical hardware, so if I can emulate something or get it on Steam or the Virtual Console, I am okay with it. As I get older, it is more about the experience and the memories and less about the fetish of physical hardware. On monetizing YouTube channels: I personally believe in the value of good criticism and fair assessment, and believe that this work should be compensated. I'm a small-time YouTuber and I've monetized my channel, because it would illogical not to try and earn some money on the time invested, even if I ultimately invested that time because it was a hobby. That having been said, I've encouraged people to run adblocker on my channel if they are bothered by the ads. It is ultimately their choice if and how they want to support what I'm doing. The problem, again, is the business model of YouTube. That is what can lead people to compromise their integrity and produce click-bait. And I know that I, as a viewer of YouTube, am watching less and less because of this. Very sad for such a promising medium. I think we acutally need a Consumer Reports type outlet for gaming journalism in general- completely independent (or as close to it as possible) and financed by subscribers. It won't happen, because there probably isn't a market to pay for it, but one can dream....
  9. I didn't realize that you could post your auctions here in the forums so, even though this ends in a few days, I figured I'd give it a shot. For the record, I want nothing near the BIN price, that is just a place holder. I know that lots aren't exactly popular, but I wanted to put together something unique and see what happens with it. Let me know if you have any questions. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Instant-Rare-Game-Collection-CIB-NIB-Lot-Looking-for-Best-Offer-/191980151916?hash=item2cb2e8a46c:g:i78AAOSwYIxX6HZt This is also on CL in NJ/NY if someone wants to do a local transaction.
  10. It is funny. I was thinking the same thing. It is actually pretty amusing to slot this in with the other questionable portrayals of "gamers" in video game advertisements. Whenever advertising execs try to invent their version of a gamer, the ads fall flat-from the overly excited NES family from the late 80s to Marcus, the trash talking urban kid that tried to get us all to buy PSPs. I found the Switch ad to be especially bad. Yes, it it good job of showing off the system's functionality, but the idea that the target audience is a bunch hip millennials who are always on the move--whether walking dogs, taking business trips, playing b-ball, attending spontaneous rooftop parties, or filing into a stadium to watch Splatoon--was utterly absurd. But Nintendo is not alone. I recently saw a commercial in which a sexy 20-something drove her sporty new Toyota Carolla to work a job in a food truck. It really shows the disconnect between a lot of these companies and their customers, and the result is they just throw nonsense against a storyboard and run with it.
  11. I was very lukewarm about the trailer. It is exactly what I thought it would be, but I really can't envision myself using the device in the ways they depicted. The bridge that my hipster pick-up basketball league plays under just doesn't have great WiFi... Anyway, I think the Switch could be in danger of becoming a jack of all trades, master of none kind of deal. If it is running a Tegra K1 or something similar, then it won't have the graphical horsepower to be a place for AAA games, which means its "impressive" third party support will probably fade away, as it did on the Wii U. If it doesn't differentiate between hand-held, 3DS style releases and console exclusives, then the content could suffer. Will the games be hand-held games on a TV or console games ported to a hand-held? It will be interesting to see how Nintendo deals with that. I am also not convinced that an adult audience will really make use of the local network, mini-controller multi-player concept. It could be cool for kids, but I think a lot of us older folks just want to sit down on the couch, relax, and play a game. I totally agree with their attempt to blend console and mobile gaming, but I am not sure this is the most well-executed idea. That having been said, I'll buy it because, after all these years, I still love Nintendo-developed games.
  12. As promised, here are the results from the survey. The quickest way to access the info is simply to click on the link above the video, which will download all of the responses in a sortable Excel spreadsheet. https://thegameescape.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/2016-north-american-retro-gaming-survey-results/
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