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United States

Mon 16th Aug 2010

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retrox commented on Marvel Pinball 3D a Separate eShop Game, not DLC:

Have money, will spend.


There's nothing quite like the real thing. I'm pretty good with the silverball on real tables, but it still took me lots of practice to re-adjust to playing on a handheld. You CAN pull off advanced tricks and maneuvers (traps, passes, bangbacks, etc.) on Zen, you just have to time everything perfectly as, obviously, there isn't as much surface area on those tiny little flippers... hence they are very unforgiving. I've played Excalibur probably a hundred times and I still have trouble hitting the right orbit consistently.

The big draw for me is that I can cram all those tables into my pocket and take them with me.



retrox commented on Review: Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword (3DSW...:

Okay, yeah, yeah, I get it. Enough already. Nintendo, I've had it with you. Seriously. I have OTHER things to do besides play your @&(#$! games all day, you know. Could we get just a couple of shovelware titles in between all these great games lately? Is that asking too much? I mean really.

At the rate Nintendo is flooding the market with this... this... awesome crap, I'm NEVER gonna finish Skyrim. Or Mutant Mudds. Or LoZ:SS. And I've all but abandoned my Hall of the Mountain King project in Minecraft. It's just not right!

We get it. You rule. Now knock it off.



retrox commented on Review: Mutant Mudds (3DSWare):

Hm, the last platformer I really, really enjoyed on a handheld was Hatsworth. Might be time to spend some of that money in my E-Shop account that's been sitting there gathering dust.



retrox commented on Talking Point: First-Person Shooters and the 3...:

Oh come on! What's so bad about the thumb strap? I dominated in MPH with that thing! I mean sure, it's not exactly a marvel of modern handheld technology, but I racked up tons of kills with that tiny little plastic piece of crap.



retrox commented on Talking Point: First-Person Shooters and the 3...:

So am I the only person on the face of the planet who played MP Hunters / Dementium with the thumb strap? And dual analog is better than this... how? Again? Huh? Has everyone gone mad?

What someone needs to do is come out with a peripheral similar to the thumb strap, but with a little nub on the bottom or something that more closely mimics the precision of a stylus. Perfect aim, no hand cramps.

I'm a mouse/keyboard FPS player. Not interested in dual analog FPS'ing in the least. THUMB STRAP people!!!



retrox commented on Turns Out You Can Delete Pac-Man & Galaga Save...:

The review is already fixed, Henmii.

Thanks NL for staying on top of these stories, though. I hope we don't see many of the persistent-save data games in the future, but I hope you guys will continue to report on them if we do. Maybe the RE debacle scared everyone straight...



retrox commented on Uh Oh, Now Namco Goes for Single 3DS Save File:

By my count, this is the fifth 3DS game to utilize the persistent save data model. Considering the relative youth of the console, I think it's safe to say now that this is clearly a marketing strategy to decrease second-hand value and to encourage consumers to purchase games new; in much the same way that other titles grant bonus content for preorders to encourage day-one sales.

If you're okay with that, fine. If you're not okay with it, fine too. But if you don't see it and call it for what it is, you are either blind or a fool.

It has nothing to do with it being an "arcade" style game or a "high-score based" game, or anything of the sort. It has everything to do with game makers trying to corral consumers into purchasing games on the company's terms, and not the consumer's.

Bad, bad business. But they'll get away with it, and I predict we'll see more of it in the future. Most people don't seem to mind being herded. I don't mind so much, as most of my interests these days lie elsewhere, but it saddens me to see the gaming industry choosing these paths and their loyal customers obediently bending over for it.

Whatever, I guess.



retrox commented on Uh Oh, Now Namco Goes for Single 3DS Save File:

Wow, this new anti-consumer trend is saving me lots of money that I can now spend on awesome indie games for my PC.

Ah, who am I kidding. I wouldn't have bought this anyway. But at least now I get to yell on the internets about it!



retrox commented on Capcom Will Not Repeat Mercenaries 3D Save Fil...:

@ Traxx

Yeesh, sorry I'm not a professor in video game history. No need to go all caps on me. And don't worry, I've still got about 27 games on various other platforms to fall back on. The best part of all this is that I can resume looking forward to Revelations! Adios!



retrox commented on Capcom Will Not Repeat Mercenaries 3D Save Fil...:

I'm willing to give Capcom the benefit of the doubt and chalk this up to poor planning on their part. I'm still not convinced they weren't testing the waters for a new retail strategy, but even if that's the case I think we've made our point.



retrox commented on Talking Point: The Growing Storm of Operation ...:

Stuff it, I'm moving to Japan and Europe. At the same time. Somehow. I'm going to pull an Office Space on my Wii if I can't get Xenoblade.

I think Operation Rainfall is a great idea, and I hope it's not just a flash in the pan. I wonder if it would be feasible for the group to get official not-for-profit status, set up a PayPal account for donations, and then use those proceeds to promote their cause.

As Token_Girl points out, lack of brand recognition outside of Japan is a major stumbling block.



retrox commented on SEGA, Aksys and Konami All Use Permanent 3DS S...:

Great read, spot on.

Good points. Ugh, Wizards and Warriors. Haven't thought about that one in a while. I'm a huge D.W. Bradley fan.

I feel your pain, but even as our favorite IP's wither and die, for whatever reasons, I think there will always be other great ones being born as the years go by to fill in the gaps. We've just got to stay hopeful and, like you say, keep fighting the good fight with our wallets as best we can.

And yeah, it feels totally wrong calling the ability to delete/restart games a "feature." I'm just not used to not having that option, you know? And I'm pretty sure I'll never get used to it, even if the publishers of these 3DS games insist that I should. It's kind of a big deal to me, just on principle.



retrox commented on SEGA, Aksys and Konami All Use Permanent 3DS S...:


Yes, I understand that argument completely. It seems to be the only one with any potential validity whatsoever. I just don't believe it's entirely accurate. Aside from the obvious bits, like publishers not seeing a first hand return-on-investment from second hand consumer transactions, most of your talking points are without merit because they're... well... conjecture. Maybe Wii Music isn't a higher seller because everybody waited to buy Arkham City used, maybe there were just more people in the world when the game hit shelves who wanted to play Wii Music. Or maybe Wii Music had seven hundred thousand super-cute TV commercials running 24/7 for the month leading up to it's release and Arkham City got a few banner ads on a few gaming sites. It's a sin, I agree. But prove me wrong. Let's see some data. I'm not challenging you, I'm just pointing out the futility of this argument (although if you can produce data, I'd be interested to see it).

Am I to believe that exceptional games don't generate plentiful piles of revenue for publishers because of all the poverty-stricken, destitute gamers who wait for used copies to show up on shelves before they invest their meager cash reserves? Isn't the concept of that just a little self-contradictory? The used market is a product of consumerism, not some evil plot cooked up by a bunch of lousy cheapskates to undermine the greater causes of capitalism. Games, cars, furniture, electronics... Craig's List. E-Bay. Carmax. Are the people who use these venues somehow cheating Ford and Toshiba out of their rightful dues? I realize you said you don't have a problem with used game dealers, but you only said that after you'd finished waggling your virtual finger at the people who use them. So nyah.

Do you honestly ever expect an announcement from Konami that the Castlevania series will be discontinued due to poor sales because of the proliferation of used copies that are draining all the precious money away? Seems to me that the proliferation of used copies is due to one, or some combination of, three factors: either a crapload of people bought the game new at full market price, the game isn't good enough to make people want to keep it, or there is something else new on the shelf that they want more but can't justify paying full price for. Want to keep used copies off the shelf? Make games that are so good people want to keep them forever. Want to encourage people to keep their beloved old games forever? Re-evaluate your pricing on the new stuff. If you can't figure out a way to do it without losing at the bank... you fail. Business.

This is not about profit, it's about profit maximization. Also a goal of corporate capitalism. There are guys who pull in six-figure salaries every year who sit around board room tables and discuss different ways to do it, whether they're called Nintendo, Toshiba, or Ford; and sometimes those guys get sneaky, sometimes they forget how they got to where they are, and sometimes the great decisions they come up with in the boardroom turn out to be horrible mistakes in the marketplace.

If this truly is a move to marginalize the used games market (and Occam's razor is telling me it is), then it qualifies as a horrible mistake. It's going to cause nothing but anger and frustration amongst the people who are the most important: The people who can afford to buy the game on day one. We're the ones who get stuck paying 10 dollars more for a product with fewer features. All so that publisher X can sell 904,394 units instead of 889,273.

Hell no. Think about it, brother. If you want better games, you better start making those six-figure suits think outside their cozy little boxes once in a while.



retrox commented on SEGA, Aksys and Konami All Use Permanent 3DS S...:

This raises so many questions... If retailers agree to purchase used copies of these crippled games (and I refuse to refer to them as anything but crippled), albeit for greatly reduced prices, how cheaply will they re-sell them?

For example, if Amazon's buyback rate for games with no save management is roughly 1/2 of what they would normally reimburse for a recently-released used game with save management, does that mean they will re-sell that product for around 12-15 USD? 100-125% is still a healthy profit for them.

If those of you who insist that the perma-save issue is no big deal to most gamers are correct, doesn't it stand to reason that activity in the used games market could actually increase?

I mean, if I don't necessarily care about not being able to reset save data, and I want a game that happens to have this "feature," why the heck am I going to pay 40 bucks for it when I can get it used for 15? That's an additional savings of roughly 20 bucks when compared to the average going rate for second-hand games. Pretty substantial. I've never purchased a used game in my life, but man. My gaming budget really likes the look of those numbers.

Granted, the idea is probably to crush resale value to the point of it not even being worth the trouble to trade in... but is that how it's really going to work? Let's all wait with anticipation and see!

I should probably stop thinking about this and go play a game or something. Bah, who am I kidding, this is the most fun I've had with my 3DS yet.



retrox commented on SEGA, Aksys and Konami All Use Permanent 3DS S...:

Good job, guys. Whether it bothers some people or not, this information needs to be out there so that everyone can at least make informed decisions about what to buy and what to avoid.

So is it safe to call this a trend for 3DS publishers yet? I would love to hear Ninty's perspective on this. Matter of fact, I think I'm done purchasing new 3DS games altogether until that happens.



retrox commented on Talking Point: The Resident Evil: Mercenaries ...:

I wonder if Capcom, Aksys, and Sega bothered telling any of the retail giants who deal in used games that their new 3DS titles would not allow second-hand consumers to experience their games in the same way as the original owner. Capcom obviously didn't tell them, but they damn sure know now. They'll know even more once the 3DS used game shelf starts filling out and pissed-off people start bringing back used games with undeletable saves demanding refunds.

Folks, get ready for a clash of corporate giants when this undeletable save thing comes fully out into the light of day. Break this story, NL. Do it before Gamespot/IGN/1-UP do it. You will absolutely pwn all.

Is Nintendo supporting third-party publishers with this scheme? If so, I wonder if GameStop will be so eager to move Nintendo's hardware for them? Talk about a crazy conflict of interest. Holy crap, considering the amount of revenue used games generate for brick-and-mortars like GS, the implications are staggering...

Break this crap, you guys.



retrox commented on Talking Point: The Resident Evil: Mercenaries ...:

Yeah, so this is an entirely new form of DRM exclusive to a brand new platform, so I'm not surprised Monkey Ball and Blaz slipped under the radar. I can just hear the Capcom execs now: "Well, some publishers have already utilized this method with no discernible effect on new unit sales. I see no reason why we shouldn't use it with our new titles as well!"

And then there was much clapping of backs and guffawing as the wine (sake?) was passed around.

Regardless of 23's questionable choice of wording, it's on the radar now. Game on.

edit: Wow, 23 knows what he's talking about. Get on this stat, NL. This could be a story to shape the future of 3DS game sales. I'm kinda at a loss for words... Wow. They're assaulting the used games and rental market right under our noses...

edit2: JAMES! Serious. The more I look into this, the more nefarious it seems. Amazon has the trade-in value of RE at $6.75, well below average for second-hand 3DS titles. And yet BlazBlue and Monkey Ball 3D, which are hampered by the same persistent save scheme, are not de-valued at all. Dude. Somebody get Ninty on the horn, something stinks awful.



retrox commented on Talking Point: The Resident Evil: Mercenaries ...:

Thanks very much for continuing to bring attention to this story, James.

As far as I'm concerned, Capcom can take a long walk off a short bridge. As much as I love my Monster Hunter, I'm blacklisting them for this. Now Atari doesn't have to be lonely all by itself in my A-C column.

It's kind of funny, really: I probably wouldn't care about not being able to reset my unlockable/achievement data if I bought the game new, which I certainly would have; if not for the fact that Capcom decided they didn't want to give me the option to reset my unlockable/achievement data if I chose to do so. I think the worst of this is that their PR response to the backlash thus far is comprised of some of the most disingenuous, half-truth-laden-double-talk corporate drivel I've read since the rise and fall of Master of Orion III for the PC. Their official statement reads more like an advertisement than an explanation. Bad thing, because there definitely needs to be an explanation as to exactly WHY they chose to omit such a fundamental game feature as player data management from their game. The "arcade experience" thing? Nah, not buying it. If the game contained zero unlockable content fresh out of the box, sure.

It's an insult to my intelligence, really, and most folks don't take kindly to that.



retrox commented on Rumour: The Mercenaries 3D to be Recalled in A...:


Yeah, and that's the most infuriating thing of all. Their "testing the waters" business model with this title has already proven itself a resounding success in Japan and they have the audacity to just blatantly lie about their original intentions to us dumb westerners? Are we supposed to believe that the resale price for this game being so low in Japan is just a convenient side effect of them programming it to encourage us to replay it? What am I, 9 $@&!! years old?

Deep breath. Ahhh. Resume.



retrox commented on Rumour: The Mercenaries 3D to be Recalled in A...:

Disappointing that EB didn't stick to their guns. I'm sticking to mine: Utterly finished with Capcom and their sneaky half-baked attempts at free market manipulation. Oh, and also lying to me. The suit who came up with this scheme must not have realized there was an "M" rating attached to this particular product, hence not a candidate for consumption by young gamers who don't understand how capitalism works (and who don't recognize a bald-faced lie when they read one).

I don't give a flip about not being able to delete a save file, either. That's not the issue most of us have, I suspect.