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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 22 Jun, 2017 At 09:19 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Opinion, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Nintendo Switch is getting a good amount of fighting games, with Ultra Street Fighter 2 having come already, and Arms having just released, with Pokken and BlazBlue coming. As well, there have been several great Neo Geo fighting games that have come to the Switch via Arcade Archives.  However, there is another fighting game coming to the Switch that people should not overlook, and that is Pocket Rumble.

Pocket Rumble is retro-inspired throwback to the Neo Geo Pocket Fighting games, and it has a lot to offer on its own, as seen in recent builds of the game. Pocket Rumble feels like it will be right at home on the Switch. It has a control scheme with a perfect setup and according to those who have played the Switch port, the game plays well the analogue stick.  Speaking of the analogue stick, this is another game that has built-in multiplayer via the Joy-Cons and that helps increase its value even more.

Pocket Rumble has a unique charm that will make it a perfect fit for a game on a Nintendo system. It combines the nostalgic feeling from a retro game along with the excitement you get from modern twists in fighting games. Some have said they feel that the art takes a little too much influence from the SNK games, but I do not feel that is a bad thing. Not too mention, you can alter the scan lines in the game, which does make the art look a lot more unique and offer more visual variety

The game’s simplified yet still intense controls are made even better with the fact that HD rumble is planned for the game to help create a more immersive experience. The multiplayer in the game promises smooth online with GGPO and the local multiplayer opportunities with the Switch will help make this game a fighter that feels like no other. Given the numerous additions since the game was shown in the Nindies direct, I feel this will be a truly epic experience.

I honestly feel this has the chance to help show that there is room for more creative and unique fighters on the Switch and I would like to see some tournaments for this game on the system. Nintendo is building up a roster of games that are outside of their usual titles for their systems and this only helps create more variety for themselves. This game is a match made in heaven.

 

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The above is the opinion solely of the author and not necessarily that of ROG or its staff

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 20 Jun, 2017 At 09:49 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The news from yesterday’s Nintendo Switch Firmware update is still coming out.

It has now emerged that fight sticks are compatible with the Switch now. there are reports that fightsticks with Brook Universal Fighting Board in them are compatible and players have reported using them already for Ultra Street Fighter II.

This is big news for fighting game fans and pretty exciting. Now bring on more fighters!

 

source

By Jonathan Balofsky On 20 Jun, 2017 At 02:23 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Here is something surprising. The Nintendo Switch Firmware update 3.0.0 has made the Mayflash GameCube Adapter compatible with the Nintendo Switch. This is surprising as Nintendo’s own GameCube adapter is not Switch compatible yet.

This is likely due to the update also making the Pokken Tournament fightpad compatible, and this does provide some interesting opportunities. Maybe its time to pick one up for when Nintendo brings GameCube games to the Switch eShop? Or maybe it might be good to use this for Pokken Tournament? Or could this be a sign that Smash is coming? We will have to wait and see

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 19 Jun, 2017 At 08:42 AM | Categorized As News, News, News, NINTENDO, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Here is some surprising news. Bandai Namco and Capcom have entered into a cross-licensing agreement for online matching for games like Street Fighter.

Capcom stated

The purpose of this agreement is to improve the user experience while accelerating the production of titles and reducing development costs for both parties. Further, with this cross-license for online matching, Capcom aims to effectively utilize the patents it has been granted in game series such as Street Fighter in order to deliver even more exciting content to game players.

With this agreement as a starting point, Capcom will continue to explore cross-licensing opportunities in order to safeguard its patents while improving the user experience and contributing to a healthier game industry.

This is really exciting news, as the two companies working together to use their patents to better online gaming could be a (no pun intended) game changer for the industry. This could usher in a new era for online gaming, for Street Fighter and Tekken and other such games.

Source

By Jonathan Balofsky On 18 Jun, 2017 At 02:11 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Dragon Ball Fighter Z is coming for PS4, Xbox One and PC next year, but Switch owners are not down for the count yet.

In an interview with Gamesblog, the developers revealed they may bring the game to Switch still, but there would need to be a large amount of demand for it.

Well, if that is the case, then fans should show demand and let Arc System Works and Bandai Namco know they want it on Switch,

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 12 Jun, 2017 At 12:21 PM | Categorized As News, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Nicalis sent out the following

 

Independent publisher/developer Nicalis, Inc. is revealing four upcoming console games during the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The announcements are sure to please fans of recent Nicalis neo-classics like The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ and Cave Story+.

The company’s 2017 line-up includes Tiny Barbarian DX (Nintendo Switch), Ittle Dew 2+ (Nintendo Switch), Blade Strangers (Switch and PlayStation 4) and The End Is Nigh (Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4).

  • Inspired by heroic fantasy fiction, Tiny Barbarian DX is the action-packed adventure of one Barbarian’s quest for vengeance. Developer StarQuail Games has combined engaging 2D platform action and combo-based hack-and-slash combat with retro-style pixel art and a pulse-pounding chiptune soundtrack for Nintendo Switch. The game offers two-player cooperative action, unlockable game modes and multiple homages to classic 8- and 16-bit games in each of its four lengthy episodes.

  • Sassy adventurer Ittle and her reluctant flying friend Tippsie return in Ittle Dew 2+, an upgraded and expanded Nintendo Switch version of the action/adventure puzzle game from developer Ludosity. Stranded on a mysterious island and armed with a few weapons as well as a magical map, our heroine explores the three-dimensional landscape in search of valuable loot and the eight scattered pieces of a raft that could be her ticket home.

  • From veteran Japanese developer Studio Saizensen comes Blade Strangers, a hardcore old-school fighting game with online multiplayer battles for the Switch and PS4. Its refined four-button control scheme makes it easy for beginners to jump right in, but tournament-caliber players will relish the intricate combos, counters and specials. The fighter roster includes characters from previous Studio Saizensen games (like Code of Princess and Sayonara Umihara Kawase), Nicalis games (like Cave Story+) and other surprise entrants.

  • The brand-new game from The Binding of Isaac creator Edmund McMillen and Tyler Glaiel, The End Is Nigh is a sprawling adventure/platformer. Players control Ash, a little black glob trying to make a friend out of the body parts he finds scattered throughout a post-apocalyptic world. As Ash leaps his way through a never-ending onslaught of decaying, mutant creatures, he can collect assorted tumors and hidden video-game cartridges that unlock fully playable mini-games.

This is a really cool lineup, with some awesome games.  Blade Strangers sounds interesting as does Tiny Barbarian DX. Nicalis is making a lot of great moves here.

 

Source: PR Email

By Jonathan Balofsky On 9 Jun, 2017 At 12:18 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Nintendo is making it clear they want to get into the world of eSports and just took another step forward in that pursuit.

The company has opened a new twitter account called Nintendo Versus, which will serve as the company’s eSports focused twitter account. it will discuss tournaments and other evemnts.

You can see their first tweet below.

This is big for Nintendo and for eSports. Good on them for taking this step.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 9 Jun, 2017 At 10:31 AM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Bandai Namco and Arc System Works have announced a new Dragon Ball fighting game, Dragon Ball Fighters.

Dragon Ball Fighters will use a three-versus-three team battle system, and allow players to determine  what compatibility they want and select a team. The game will also incorporate the “ultra high speed battles” and “flashy special moves” from the series..

According to producer Tomoko Hiroki, while Dragon Ball titles of recent years have been 3D, they chose 2.5D this time because there were some things that can only be done in that style. While it looks like 2D animation at first glance, it has a broader range of expression as they can shift camera angles and incorporate a lot of unique production not possible in 2D alone.

This is really cool news, and the game sounds absolutely amazing. A traditional 2D Dragon Ball fighting game is something many want and now we are getting it.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 6 Jun, 2017 At 12:38 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Here is some great news for fans of Pokken Tournament who are planning to get the deluxe port for Switch. The game is in fact compatible with the fight pad that was released for the game on the Wii U.

 

This information comes directly from the official site, so if you want the game and a fightpad, you better get one now.

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