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No GravatarE3 week has rolled around yet again and that can mean only one thing:  It’s the perfect time to look at your backlog!

Wait, what?  But Days Gone is coming and there’s  Anthem from Bioware and Destiny 2 and Super Mario Odyssey and The Last Night looks fantastic and and and ad nauseam!  This isn’t when you want to look at old games!  Or is it?  The average gamer has more games than they have time to play these days.  On top of that, the industry has normalized the idea of preordering games up to several years in advance just to get your foot in the door when they come out, even though virtually no preordered titles get under-printed.  So with E3 just getting underway, I thought I’d take a look at all the things I still haven’t played yet…and that’s a lot.

I’ve been collecting since the mid-nineties, ever since I sold my copy of Final Fantasy III for the SNES, decided I wanted to play it again, and then couldn’t find a copy for months.  Ever since then, if I buy a game, I keep it until I play it and decide if I like it.  But in the 90s, games came out much more slowly.  By the time you’d rented the game (yes, you could rent games at a corner mini-mart or video store back then), played it to death, and moved on to something else, the next game you were waiting for still wasn’t out.  That simply isn’t the case anymore.  There are so many games out and coming out that it’s hard to even keep track of what might be interesting, let alone everything that’s been released.  And that’s why backlogs are such a problem.  There are more good games coming out than most people have time to even try, much less play through.  Most people simply buy what looks good, get sidetracked, and end up with a bunch of things they don’t even have time to open.  It’s a ridiculous consumer feedback loop that doesn’t benefit anyone but game companies and retail stores.

For example, I still have Super Nintendo games that I haven’t gotten around to playing yet.  I bought them in the nineties!  It’s a habit that becomes a compulsion; the fear of missing out on the next Suikoden II or Shantae or Panzer Dragoon Saga.  What if you don’t buy it and when you go to get it, you can’t afford it anymore?  But will you ever play it?  Do you even have the time?  Assuming you work a 40 hour work week or go to school full time, you likely have limited time for gaming.  Add a commute, a relationship, or even a child to that equation and you have even less.  You might get three to five hours of game time in a week.  The average game takes around 20 hours to complete.  That’s ten weeks to finish one game, assuming you don’t play anything else or get bored of it.  You might be able to finish five games a year at that rate.  Round it up to ten for people with summers off or extra free time.  But even at ten games a year, you aren’t remotely scratching the surface of what comes out in any given year, and that’s just looking at mainstream titles!  If you have PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold, you get four to six games free every month on top of what you purchase.  If you have Steam, GOG (Good Old Games), Origin, or uPlay, you might get another 5-10 games free a year if you pay close attention online.  That’s well over a hundred games excluding retail purchases if you use all of those services.  At an average of 20 hours each, you’re looking at roughly over 2000 hours of gameplay, and following our formula that says we have five hours a week, that backlog becomes 7.7 years of gameplay.

Over seven years of gameplay just in random titles from online services.  Then we add in the AAA titles that most people buy and tend to play more heavily and the average serious gamer has a backlog of up to ten times what they could realistically play at any given time.  A quick look at my collection made me nearly nauseous when I used this formula.  On Steam alone, I have 1003 games, many of which I have never even installed.  For the PS2?  128.  The DS?  101.  The PS1?  72 games.  That’s over 1300 games and doesn’t include about two-thirds of my collection.  And don’t forget about flash carts.  I have access to every single US and Japanese game for the NES, Genesis, Turbografx 16, and DS.  Thousands of titles.   My Steam library averages out to about 77 years of backlog.  Statistically, I will literally die before I can possibly play every game on my Steam account to completion.  An actual, honest-to-goodness lifetime of gaming is at my fingertips at any given moment.  And yet I still I buy games all the time, but I literally cannot play them.  I’ve talked to other gamers that have backlogs on Steam of up to 3000 games.  It’s almost a status symbol for them.

We don’t need this much media.  But as we buy more and more, faster and faster, we show developers that they don’t need to take their time or fully playtest a game for us to buy it.  Half the time, we stick it on a shelf and don’t get to it for six months.  Or a year.  Or five.  Or even ten.  The situation has degraded so much that there are even sites like www.backloggery.com that allow you to track not only your collection but your completion rate as well.  Steam does this for you automatically, and it can be rather disheartening to see right there in black and white.  I’ve been a Steam member for 12 years and I’ve only managed a 13% completion rate.  However, even that is inaccurate because that number is calculated on the achievements you’ve earned, not the games you have finished.  I wouldn’t hesitate to say that most people don’t end up finishing the games they start these days due to the nature and volume of the market, and it almost doesn’t matter that the developers haven’t properly programmed and playtested those games.

So what does all this mean?  To me, it means the market is utterly flooded; inundated with content ranging from indie games to AAA titles to the point where it’s hopelessly diluted and difficult to have a pure gaming experience.  Very few games end up being memorable and at the same time, we’ve created a sub-culture where people brag about all the items they own but never actually use them.  There are too many games and we can’t play most of them.  A lot of the most highly advertised titles end up being terrible too, due to compromises made to appeal to wider audiences.  Reviews are bought and sold like commodities and it’s very difficult to judge for yourself what might be good.  E3 is the perfect example of this, creating massive hype for titles that test well with audiences and critics, overproduced shows of products that won’t be coming out for some time, and generally driving a multi-billion dollar ad campaign that sucks dollars out of the pockets of hard-working people.  As I write this, Xbox has wrapped up their E3 presentations and already most of the bigger titles are available to preorder on Amazon, even though the release dates are as far away as next fall or later.  Money is flying into the pockets of companies as we speak for nothing more than a promise of things to come drifting on the wind.

Gamers need to stop and think about how excited they were for the items that are already sitting on their shelves when they were announced.  We can’t let that feeling of wonder end the second we get the actual product.  If we all stop to play what we already have, perhaps it will make the industry also reconsider the type of games it is releasing and the volume it is releasing them in.  Having a backlog says a lot about a person, but it also speaks volumes to the way marketing and consumer culture affect us as individuals.  That’s a message many of us need to heed more often.   So take a look at your shelf.  Make an effort to try that game you’ve always been meaning to but were never in the mood for.  You might just recapture the magic in gaming by popping in a hidden gem.  And you might find that the entertainment you’ve been scouring the net looking for is something you already had the whole time.

A Contest And An Addendum

In writing the above article and looking at my backlog, I also realized that in addition to a ridiculously large backlog, I also have a ridiculous number of games sitting about unused on my Steam account and other digital accounts.  These are extras I’ve gotten to give as friends, freebies that came with purchases, and just random extra codes I’ve acquired over the years.  I thought to myself, “What better use could I have for all these games than to give them away to people who will play them?”  And so, The Great Real Otaku Gamer Steam Backlog Contest was born!

For those of you that are interested and want to put in a minimal amount of effort, I’m going to give away my extra Steam codes!  But the rules for winning are something a bit different.  The winners for this contest will be the entrants with the smallest uncompleted backlogs!  After all, in this day and age with everyone oversaturating themselves with media, maybe the person who actually finishes what they start deserves a reward!  So please take a moment and head on over to The Great Real Otaku Gamer Steam Backlog Contest right here on Real Otaku Gamer and drop an entry my way!  You might just win a new game to play…and it might even be good!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 20 Jun, 2016 At 06:56 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarNintendo has announced that more Pokémon games will be coming to the Wii U VC starting on 6/23.

This Thursday, three Pokémon™ Mystery Dungeon titles come to the Wii U™ Virtual Console™ service: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team from the Game Boy Advance™ library of games, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team, and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky both originally Nintendo DS™ titles. Rediscover these great games or try them for the first time on your Wii U console, and look for more Pokémon Virtual Console titles coming later this summer.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team & Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team

What if you woke up one day, and you were a Pokémon? What if all of a sudden you find yourself in a NEW world, where you can speak and interact with other Pokémon? The adventure begins when you and your partner Pokémon set out on rescue missions in a world ravaged by natural disasters. But, what is your true purpose and destiny in this Pokémon world? That’s the REAL mystery…

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky

Become a Pokémon and Save the World! In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky game, players become a Pokémon and team up with a partner Pokémon. Together the two set out on an adventure of exploration and discovery, ultimately saving the world from destruction. This game is a great starting point for players to enter the world of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon and for returning players to discover even more secrets.

While I doubt that the mainline Pokémon games from the GBA and DS will come to the Wii U VC, I do hope we see more spinoffs such as Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Stadium and more. I haven’t played a lot of the spinoffs so I hope to enjoy these for the first time.

source

 

By otakuman5000 On 24 Apr, 2011 At 03:35 PM | Categorized As Editorials, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo DS | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIn a quick interview, Sam Kennedy has revealed that Nintendo won’t be using friend codes for the Project Cafe, also known as the Wii 2. Even though Nintendo has yet to make an offical comment on the news or the possibility of this, Sam was confident in saying that friend codes won’t be appearing on Nintendo’s new Hardcore system.

 

Is This Project Cafe???

 

This brings up a barrage of questions about Project Cafe, on top of everything else people have been asking since rumors first surfaced. How will Nintendo be approaching online gaming without using the Wii Friend Codes they are known for? Is there a new version/iteration of Nintendo’s online service in the works? We all know that Nintendo will be having the Wii 2 online compatible, it could even be possible that they are taking a page from either Microsoft’s or Sony’s approach to the online gaming scene.

 

Possible Photo and Controler Blueprints of Project Cafe

 

At the current moment there, there are more questions and very little answers. Hopefully, E3 this year will shed some light on the elusive new console Nintendo has cooking up for us.

 

Original Source—- http://mynintendonews.com/2011/04/24/nintendo-wii-2-no-friend-codes-for-nintendo-wii-2-project-cafe/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles On 30 Mar, 2011 At 01:12 AM | Categorized As Nintendo DS, Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarWay back in the late 1990s, it was impossible to go anywhere without seeing something related to Pokemon. As a fad, it hit like a truck, with a video game, animated television series and best-selling collectible card game. The main driving force behind the wide appeal of the phenomenon was centered around the popular Game Boy titles Pokemon “Red” and “Blue.” The games, which were simplified Japanese-style RPGs that revolved around a boy collecting and training creatures known as “Pokemon” or Pocket Monsters, were devoured by fans young and old, thanks to their extremely easy gameplay and the task that you “Gotta catch em all,” as the jingle went. Indeed, the collectibility of the monsters themselves often overshadowed the battling itself, as fans traded with each other in order to catch those rare and unique monsters that only appeared once throughout the game, or were lost forever. As the series went through its successive generations of “Gold/Silver,” “Ruby/Sapphire,” and “Diamond/Pearl,” the games began to add new material, longer and more developed stories, and, more importantly, more Pokemon. What began as 150 little critters (or 151, if you could actually FIND the infamous “Mew”) eventually ballooned to 385 by the end of the GBA generation, and shot even further to 493 with the massively successful transition to the Nintendo DS.

Sigilyph: Someone was seriously smoking too much peyote this time around.

This past March, the DS received what is its third, and most likely last, generation, Pokemon Black and White. (For the purposes of this review, I will be referring to the game Pokemon Black, as it is the one I purchased.) This game added another 156 Pokemon to the mix, along with a massive new region of Unova for players to explore. While this may seem like a further expansion to an already massive series, a few things need to be taken into account.

Firstly, unlike other games in the series, Unova is based not on a region in Japan, but rather on a very simplified United States. Over the course of the game, players were visit cities like “Castelia,” based on New York, “Driftveil,” akin to Las Vegas and “Nimbasa” (which to me felt like Scranton, PA, but I doubt the designers were thinking the same). These cities are much larger and more richly designed than in other games in the series (especially  Castelia, the first fully 3D rendered city in Pokemon history) and are full of unique people and shops.

We've come a long way from Nurse Jenny and a Chansey.

In addition, the Pokemon Centers have all be fully revamped, now including a built-in Pokemart on the main floor (along with a sporty 3D refinishing). Add to this the fact that, for the first time, the seasons and weather change based on whatever month it is in the real world; there is now “high grass” where the rate of encounter is increased and double battles occur; and the new “rotation battle” system, and you have the richest, most expansive Pokemon world developed to date.

The Gyms have also been dramatically overhauled. Multi-level challenges, often with mazes and puzzles are the rule of the day, more than in any other entry in the series. (One stage requires you to navigate via elevators, while another actually fires you out of cannons to reach the gym leader.) These fancy new digs come with even more personable Leaders, who no longer just sit around waiting for you, but actually take a much bigger hand in the developing story, and have a cluster of personalities as eccentric as any would expect from the United States. (Especially Clay, the 5th Gym Leader, who speaks, acts and dresses like a Texas Oil Baron.) And when their part is done, they put up some of the best challenges of any recent Pokemon title.

Oh no, we've been ambushed by LARPers.

Much like the other Pokemon games, the story is extremely simple. Team Plasma seeks  to “rescue” Pokemon from what they feel are selfish trainers who abuse them. That’s about it. While the idea of protecting defenseless monsters from oppression is a noble goal, and an interesting look into Japanese social philosophy, they barely get any deeper than the surface, and I often found myself nostalgic for earlier games in the series. While definitely a step ahead of the “Team Rocket”- oriented Gold/Silver generation, it lagged behind the twists and suspense (yes, I said suspense) present in 2009’s near-flawless Platinum. The addition of a questioning rival (who felt to me like a foreigner) and the Dreamworld were very welcome, however, and gave the game a bit more depth than just running around looking for fights. That, and Plasma’s uniforms looked kinda cool.

But this is all secondary stuff. The real meat of the game comes down to the Pokemon themselves. After all, what would a new Pokemon game be without more monsters to collect? Right off the bat, Pokemon Black differentiates itself from every other game in the series by ONLY ALLOWING YOU TO CATCH AND USE POKEMON FROM THIS GENERATION. That’s right- to all the players who like to send over their wickedly powerful minions who they’ve been training for the past 5 or so years, too bad. This time through, everyone starts out on the same playing field, with the same choices. (Well, not everyone- if you were lucky enough to go to one of the Gamestop events over the past 2 months, you received a shiny legendary that can be

Triple Threat Battle

sent over to the new game for a nice, tricky Zorua/Zoroark. And if you managed to get the game before April 6th, and have access to wifi connectivity, you can obtain the Liberty Pass and catch the game’s first legendary, the versatile and powerful Victini.) Traveling through a world populated by new Pokemon returns the series to its original roots, mostly because you have no idea what any of these Pokemon do, and unless you feel like looking up a guide, most people will choose their party based on type and appearance, much like they did way back in Red/Blue.

 

Gothorita: Are you trying to tell me something, Game Freak?

As far as the new Pokemon go, they are a colorful bunch, but most do not stand out from earlier versions. Sawk/Throh are this game’s Hitmonchan/Hitmonlee, Timburr and its line are the Machops, Patret is the new Rattata (in moves, not utility) and the bugs are still there essentially unaltered. In fact, until you pass the first few cities, there is little reason to use the Pokemon you find. Later on, you get some true powerhouses- Sandile is a ground/dark type that can slaughter just about anything by final form. Gothita starts out as a “Lolicon” psychic type that eventually learns some very wicked Psychic/Dark attacks and Darumaka completely outclasses the Fire starter by miles. There’s even a Togepi-like flyer called the Sigilyph that blends air and psychic attacks and can wreak havoc on a underprepared party. The designs of these Pokemon are absolutely perfect, though, and a welcome change of pace from “more of the same” as I’ve encountered in recent entries.

For the starters, this is yet another game that loves Fire, gives a very useful Water and a completely pointless Grass type. Tepig, the Fire starter is a powerful, but VERY slow sweeper that packs a huge punch, but even with EV training often acts last in a fight. Oshawott, despite looking completely ridiculous, is a solid Water type in a game lacking a lot of solid Water types. Snivy looks the best of all three, but also has the fewest uses in game. (In fact, there is little reason to even have a Grass type in Black, and the Pansage is a better choice overall.)  Also diverging from other games, you get a “second starter” in the form of a “legendary monkey” when you reach the first city. This monkey is always weak to your starter, but strong to the first gym, and learns a solid move set should you choose to keep him around, just don’t make the mistake of evolving him right away, as he can no longer learn moves after evolving.

Duel Screens

The moves themselves are different, now TMs are no longer used up after one application. This gives them the potential to be abused frequently, but also

allows for a deal of “customization” between battles. Just don’t get too carried away, HMs still need to be unlearned as before. The moves themselves are exactly the same as in previous games also, so don’t expect anything new like the Pokemon. At least you know what they’re going to do at any rate.

All in all, Pokemon Black is a very welcome addition to the series. It’s not perfect by any means- I wish the annoying C-Gear system was replaced by something more useful, like the touch screen menu in SoulSilver, I wish some of the Pokemon were more useful and not just move-clones of older critters, I wish they kept the sprite of your lead monster following you, and I wish the story was closer to Platinum, or at least came with an awesome monster to hunt, but all in all, Pokemon Black is a very nice addition to an aging franchise, and the “reboot” many older players were asking for.

As for my party: Devawott, Galvantula, Zoroark, Krookodile, Sawk and Victini saw me through the entire game and through the Elite 4 multiple times. I especially recommend Krookodile- that thing can one shot the entire Elite 4 with relative easy.

 

By otakuman5000 On 25 Feb, 2011 At 04:54 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured | With 2 Comments

No GravatarVideo games is one of the fastest growing forms of media in our generation. People who play video games on a regular basis, or gamers, use video games as a means of personal enjoyment, competition, or socialization among other gamers. Some would be as bold as to call video games their favorite past-time, maybe even compare video games to that of any Olympic sport. While one would be enticed to immediately indulge himself or herself in the joy of gaming nonstop for hours, one must always remember that every good thing almost always comes with something bad.

The great days of gaming

The original concept for the creation of video games was to create a fun experience for the player. There are many people that become immersed with the fun factor a game can provide. So much sometimes, that they neglect and ignore most of what is going on around them, and can even neglect life’s most basic functions; this can include eating, going to the bathroom, and sleeping. In November 2008, a boy from Sweden died of an epileptic seizure from playing World of Warcraft for more then 24 hours straight. This tragedy was due to the boy becoming too immersed in his game and not realizing that his body could not last as long as his mind could playing the game. A tragedy that could have been easily avoided if he took breaks to eat or sleep while possibly having his character do something that did not require his immediate attention. This is only one of many other easily avoided tragedies that have occurred due to lack of common sense.

Oh so sad….

Competition is a huge aspect in the world of gaming. Many gamers that have reached a point where they are confident in how well they play may decide to take their love of the game to the next level. That next level is being able to enter tournaments and compete with other players for different prizes, most usually and preferably cash prizes. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to win money for playing a video game, the lengths people are willing to go in order to win can be troublesome for most people. In a documentary titled “FRAG”, the directors follow the lives of a few competitive gamers and learn of the inside stories of being within the competitive field. Some of the tales told are people who want to win prize money so badly, they would willingly sacrifice their futures and personal health, without second thought, for a chance to come out on top. Most of these risk would include people dropping out of school as early as middle or high school, not finding a job with benefits, and even resorting to just consuming food and drinks that are loaded with caffeine and guarana. Taking such a plunge, without first thinking of the consequences is something that many people would consider to be not smart. Risking one’s whole future on the hope of winning a lot in a specific game is not a viable way of making a living in today‘s day and age. There is no retirement plan or annual benefits for playing a video game, nor is there a guarantee for a constant means of income. The game is just as it has always been, a source of entertainment, not a foundation for living. Pure common sense.

This is not a great way to work towards retirement

Since gaming has always been meant to be a fun activity, it is only natural that gamers would gather together with other gamers to share the fun. This socialization is the end result of multiplayer gaming at its best, that is if it is assumed that all those gamers have more then their fair share of common sense. It has been growing increasingly more noticeable that stories of people fighting, injuring, and at times killing other people when playing a video game at the time. In Harlem, a 9 year old boy was stabbed to death by a 24 year old man over a game of Tony Hawk’s Pro-Skater. Even those with an unbiased eye would still be one of the first to jump up and call this sheer stupidity. In Kansas, a man was beaten to death by three of his friends for allegedly cheating in a game of Madden 2011. Again, although having every right to be upset over someone cheating, sheer stupidity. What these and many other tragic stories out there have in common is that someone acted impulsively while playing a video game. Gamers need to remember to think before they act, even when in a state of rage. Killing a person because they played a better game is not worth the consequences of such action, it makes the perpetrator look that much more foolish. Fully thinking out and using rational reasoning in a situation is a another aspect of, yet again, common sense.

Case and Point

This now brings up the most important aspect of gaming, and probably any hobby that has ever existed on this earth. Balance. That is the ultimate form of the use of common sense and rational reasoning that any person can utilize when playing video games, or doing any hobby. Being able to plan out your time and reasonably approach playing video games is the best thing any gamer can do with their hobby. The more balanced the time and effort spent between playing video games and dealing with life’s trials, the more stable and healthy a gamers’ life can be. It has always been said that too much of a good thing can certainly be bad for you. Being able to obtain that perfect equilibrium between life and pleasure is probably the greatest challenge any gamer can strive to achieve.