But why old games?

The site has been a bit neglected over the past week, but I needed the time to embark on a psychotic, OCD-driven cleaning spree. In the process of organizing and Tetris-ing various suitcases and tubs full of stuff collected over the years, I came across numerous games that had gone missing. Games like the unexpectedly great Game Boy adaptation of The Lion King. The surprisingly enjoyable racing game that is Beetle Adventure Racing. The greatest baseball game ever made (Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr.). I also found two copies of Goldeneye despite having no memory of ever re-buying it. That’s not even mentioning all of the SNES games discovered, all of which still have perfectly functional save batteries despite being 20-odd years old now. While going through and testing all of my newfound treasures—including a once-broken Playstation 2 that somehow de-broke itself over years of neglect, opening up an entire new gaming library to explore—I was overcome with a sense of longing for these older games. Nostalgia isn’t even a factor, because I suddenly wanted to buy copies of games I’ve never played and see if they still hold up. That’s normal for this site, of course, but I’ve never really talked about why I like playing old games and new games side by side so much. Read more →

Steam’s DRM removal myth

Let me start off by saying that this isn’t going to be a hit piece. I don’t hate Steam, or at least not like I used to; the offline mode was a mess and would stop working every other month back when I first started using it, but it’s been solid for quite a few years now and I’ve discovered fun tools like Smart Steam Emu that help with preservation to the point where Steam’s DRM—which not all games even use—is practically a non-issue. For me, at least. That’s not to say that I don’t have any complaints about it, but this isn’t really about Steam itself so much as the seeming myth about the store and its DRM. It’s a claim that you’ll sometimes see pop up out of nowhere with no attribution or proof whatsoever in the middle of Steam-is-DRM arguments: “if Steam goes out of business, they’ll patch the DRM out of all of the games!” Read more →

It’s weird when evil corporations make games about evil corporations, right?

Take a second to consider just how many games eventually turn into a scrappy underdog story where the little guy/gal becomes filled with righteous purpose and takes up arms against an unfeeling corporation, usually one that’s hellbent on control over the populace in some form or another. Now consider how many of those games are made by the very same types of corporations that such a description would apply to. This is something that’s been bugging me for awhile because it’s starting to feel like self-flagellation. Or maybe the developers working under these evil corporations—cough EA cough so subtle cough—are taking out their pent-up aggression by effectively turning their bosses into game villains? Whatever the case, I can’t help but think that it’s kind of a weird situation for everyone involved. Read more →

9 games missing from the SNES Mini not named Chrono Trigger

If you’re like me, you saw the news that the SNES Mini was a thing and felt excitement at the prospect of a new generation potentially discovering numerous classics, followed by crushing disappointment and seething rage at the conspicuous absence of Chrono Trigger. For all their talk about how much support Square-Enix was going to give Nintendo this time around with the Switch, they really aren’t doing a whole lot to prove their friendship here. Once the initial irritation at CT’s exclusion passed, however, it dawned on me just how many other amazing games weren’t included despite being some of the best the system has to offer. Read more →

PS4 Spiderman may be killed by QTEs

Oooh, now there’s a clickbait title for you. It’s definitely reflective of how I currently feel, however, because having had Youtube recommend the E3 2017 trailer for the new PS4 Spiderman game, I think I might be the only sane person left on the planet. All I’ve seen is effusive praise for it, and yet I was incredibly underwhelmed by the fact that the supposed gameplay trailer was about 25% actual gameplay and 75% in-engine cutscenes and QTE sections. It certainly looks nice, but it appears that it’s going to have long, Telltale-esque sections of doing nothing but watching things happen and occasionally mashing a button. And sometimes running in a direction and pressing a button. How exciting! Read more →

Let’s talk about: Denuvo

As I’m writing this, it’s Halloween and the festivities have me thinking about all kinds of scary things. Ghouls. Goblins. Politics. Very scary stuff. Really, though, there are few things that inspire as much fear as the anti-tamper product Denuvo. The big bad gaming boogeyman. I won’t touch anything that uses it, personally, but rather than perpetuate the same lies I’ve seen paraded around about how it messes up SSDs and significantly impacts performance (which—let’s not kid ourselves—do seem to be lies and/or exaggerations), I thought it’d be more productive to talk about some of the deeper problems with Denuvo and some inherent problems with the gaming industry that it potentially exacerbates. Read more →

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