Tag Archives: xbox

My “Deserted Island” Games — Xbox edition

Image by Flickr user david-o.net
Image by Flickr user david-o.net

It registers now as kind of odd to me now that we never had an Xbox since we were so on top of the video game consoles of the time. But a close friend of ours owned one, and it was open to use whenever we wanted, so we never actually needed one. I also have to admit that the Xbox was rather strange to me at first. I mean, Nintendo and Sony had been offering the world lots of gaming goodness for awhile, and suddenly, in walks Microsoft with its giant, black box and a new Halo title and I’m just expected to bite? I dunno… That said, I wasn’t about to turn down some new gaming fun when given the chance. So whenever we went over to our friend’s house, the Xbox happened; and among his small catalog of games I found a few that I really enjoyed. (A fair portion of my experience with original Xbox games actually happened later on the Xbox 360.) When it came to choosing games for my island, the choices came down to those games I had played the most, and only four rose to the top.

Continue reading My “Deserted Island” Games — Xbox edition

A Demon In Our Midst

Dlc, if you have dabbled in gaming at all during this generation you know what this is. This is the 40-80 dollars you spend after your initial purchase of a video game. We may hate ourselves for it, but we get excited when it’s announced, froth at the mouth and ready our wallets for it’s beautiful release. A forbidden pleasure.
What is dlc really? In some cases, I’m sure it is probably exactly what they tell us it is, added content to expand our enjoyment of the original game. I don’t believe for a second, though, that this is always the case. In most cases, especially in day one dlc, or dlc released within the first week, It is just a way for game producers to milk us a tad more for a game we just bought. I can’t blame them completely, I know as well as anyone that video games are a business as well as a pastime, but I feel like there should be a limit or a basic set of rules to how they can do this.
I remember the old days, before consoles were connected to the internet. Games back then were complete the day you bought them, they didn’t need dlc. When you bought a game it was either a deep and compelling game that was worthy of your investment, or it was a horrible waste of your time, and you used it for target practice. There was no dlc, you got what you payed for, and you knew what you were buying yourself into. Games back then it seemed like were just made better than the games of today.
Nowadays, I feel like games are released incomplete on purpose. Sure, you can complete the story, save the damsel in distress, whatever. The games, though, don’t always feel complete without the dlc. Honestly, I’d rather just pay an extra amount on my initial purchase and feel like I bought a completed game. Dlc is an infection, and we the consumers (myself included) continue to buy into it. The worst kind of dlc isn’t even the expansion style dlc, which some is totally worth your money, It’s weapon skins and character outfits, this dlc is truly money-grubbing and just plain stupid.
I think the moral to my story here, is that we as gamers should evaluate the content we decide to pay extra money for. If it’s an expansion that you will blow through in 3 hours, don’t buy it, because that’s exactly what they want from us. The only exception to this, is if they offer you a bacon weapon skin, in that case you should buy it because bacon is amazing. Anyways happy nerding, hope to hear back from you guys!

Some Backwards Thinking

Screenshot by Flickr User: TheStouffer
Screenshot by Flickr User: TheStouffer

Like so many others at the start of a new year, I made a short list of resolutions with the ultimate goal of getting my life in order.  At the top of the agenda: clean out my stuff from the parents’ basement.  The task was meant to be a sort of gift to my mother, who I am sure is tired of looking at piles of junk covering an otherwise-serviceable living space.  Granted, I tend to keep my assets meticulously organized and well-maintained, but they remain massive piles of junk in the basement, nonetheless.

You see, I have a tiny habit of being a packrat.  A more accurate description of my character would reveal that I am a hoarder who keeps nearly every item that enters my possession.  But after two trips home this year, I have made my way through half of my treasure stores.  Thanks to the efforts of my wife, I have parted with several items: old school papers and receipts have been recycled, unneeded clothes and furniture were donated, I have even managed to gift or Ebay some of my massive collection of gaming memorabilia.  But no matter what anyone says or offers, I cannot get rid of a single video game that I own; the games of my past are simply too precious to throw away.

Many people have tried to reason with me on this matter.  “When was the last time you played your NES?  Do you really need all of this stuff?  Can’t you play this on your computer?”  All of these are valid comments.  It has been quite a while since I hooked up my old Nintendo; the old girl cannot even run on a modern television without a conversion cable.  Certainly I do not need any of my old games.  I have piles of newer titles that I have not even started, so I am in no short supply of entertainment.  And of course I have emulated much of my older collection for the sake of convenience.  In spite of all these criticisms, I will not budge.

Let’s look at this from another angle.  Now that all the hullabaloo of E3 has died down, it has become clear that yet another console generation will abandon backwards compatibility with the previous systems.  All of the games I purchased for the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 will only run on their parent consoles.  On top of that, my digital purchases for the Live Arcade and Playstation Network will not carry over, so these titles are tethered to my current consoles until the end of time (or when they break down, whichever comes first).  Despite all of the technological marvels displayed at the latest E3, it seems that even going back even one console generation is proving too much for Microsoft and Sony.

What about Nintendo and the potential of the Virtual Console?  At this time, there are 27 titles available to download on the Wii-U eShop, most of which are licensed Nintendo properties.  Combined with the games available on the Wii eShop, which covers eight different consoles from several companies, players have roughly 450 titles available to purchase.  While this is a great library of games to choose from, these offerings are hardly comprehensive.  Just looking at the games I have stored away reveals dozens of titles that are not included on the eShop, and probably never will be (sorry, Monster Party).

How about buying older items from your local used game store?  Earlier this year, GameStop voided all Playstation 2 transactions, which limits their products to only current gen offerings and smart phones.  This relegates all previous consoles and their games to Goodwill, flea markets, and online dealers.   Oh sure, some of the more fondly remembered classics will get re-releases and bundle packaged, but so many great games are getting tossed out the moment something shiny and new comes along to be sold (and resold) by GameStop.

This leaves the argument of simply emulating all of my old games and pitching the physical copies.  After all, I could make a pretty penny off of some of the more beloved titles in my collection, and keeping my games in a digital format would free up some space.  But there is something lost when playing hunched over a computer screen with the cold embrace of a keyboard.  Call it nostalgia sickness, but playing older console games just isn’t the same without a controller in hand and sitting on a comfy couch.  I am the sort who would prefer to pay for an ideal gaming experience as opposed to piracy or emulation.  But if no one is offering, what choice do I have?

It seems that for the near future, I will be keeping my old games and consoles.  I want to preserve these games and the unique experiences offered by each one, so I can share them with new friends and loved ones.  Besides, no one really uses the basement anymore; Mom can handle the clutter.

-Chip, Games I Made My Girlfriend Play

Going to the Backlog

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6202/6033366195_7d7bd332f9_b.jpg
Image by Flicker user paige_eliz

Even though I don’t have tons of time to game, I like to keep at least two games in regular rotation at all times. That way, when I have only an hour to play, I don’t spend thirty minutes of it deciding on the game. I also prefer to only play one game per system to prevent overuse/overheating. Right now the 360 is on lockdown with Dragon Age 2, which means that the other game I choose has to be on another system. Since I don’t feel like spending money on games right now (despite all the goodness of offer, I know, I know), I guess it’s time to head to the backlog…

Oh, the backlog. That notorious shelf (or shelves or rooms or data storage devices) containing a selection of games that one intends to play. These games were purchased new or on sale, stolen borrowed from friends, retrieved from yard sales, or rescued for other terrible fates. We hold onto these games because we want to play them but just don’t have the appropriate time. We’re too busy with life and/or the latest games. Or we’ve moved onto other systems entirely. Or we’re collectors. However you want to look at it, most gamers have backlogs of various sizes. I know mine is pretty small compared to some, and it consists of games I’ve never played or started but never finished:

Continue reading Going to the Backlog

When You Know It’s Right

Image by Axel Pfaender: http://www.flickr.com/photos/axor/5775058735/sizes/o/in/photostream/
Image by Axel Pfaender (source)

I’ve been playing Dragon Age II (very slowly) for a couple weeks now and I think, finally, we’ve clicked. How do I know? Because the gameplay and my characters from the game pop into my thoughts when I’m not playing. And when that happens, distracting as it may be, I starting thinking about where I’m going to go and what I’m going to do next in the game.

And then I start thinking about just playing the game – being in my house, controller in hand, calm and comfortable, ready to explore the unknown. [happy sigh]

How do you know when you’ve hit your stride with a game? Is it love at first play or does it take awhile to build up a relationship?

Continue reading When You Know It’s Right

100 Theme Challenge No. 6: Break Away

(The Duck currently has a bunch of posts started but incomplete.  My brain is feeling lethargic today.  So I am posting below a recent post from my own blog until I get these posts done.  I have been writing different topics from the 100 theme challenge, and this is #6.  Behold!)

Okay, today’s 100 theme challenge topic is Break Away.  What in the world is that supposed to even mean?  When I think of those two words, I think of, well, breaking something.  Or possibly being in the grips of a kidnapper and breaking out of their hands with your swift, ninja skills!  Which luckily has not happened to me, but that is strangely on my mind when I think of this topic.  But, neither of those are good topics.  I don’t break things, and as I said, I haven’t had to “break away” from a kidnapper.  Or a duck-napper, either. Continue reading 100 Theme Challenge No. 6: Break Away

The Duck Discusses the GCN, PS2, and XBox Generation: Part 2-The Box

Hello, the Duck is back to discuss the next console of the GCN, XBox, and PS2 generation, the hefty, yet powerful XBox.  This console was the very first video game console made by Microsoft and so the brand is a relative newcomer.  While the console, by virtue of its newness, did not feature classic series that had been around for a while like other consoles, it still gained quite a following, probably helped greatly by the fact that it had the extremely popular “Halo” series.  And now I present you with a little list of pros and cons of the XBox.  (I used Wikipedia for a little extra information.) Continue reading The Duck Discusses the GCN, PS2, and XBox Generation: Part 2-The Box