White Flag of Freedom – Why not give up on a game?

There is something almost therapeutic about finishing a game. Another accomplishment, another disc to put back on the shelf (metaphorically if you are not obsessed with collecting slowly decaying physical media), and the freedom to move on to another game without the slightest twinge of guilt, regret, or sense of failure.

Completing games has been enshrined in the culture by sites like Backloggery and How Long to Beat. I have a 6 year old spreadsheet I use to track what I finish and know other people who do the same. Gaming forums have threads on backlogs frequently; many of us feel the weight of our unfinished games.

Why do we want to finish games, and should we?… Shining Post: Legacy of Great intention

Gran Turismo 7 is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I don’t play Gran Turismo, but if you spend even a little time reading video game news, you’ve probably seen something about the game’s many post-launch issues. Things like the in-game economy making it difficult to purchase vehicles without ponying up real world cash, the online requirement even for single player, and the fact that in-game car prices are partially linked to and based on real world prices, at a time where all car prices are insane (meaning prices for cars that are old, rare, and fast are even worse).

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about these developments. The game is clearly trying to position itself as a Live Service (even if Sony doesn’t want to admit it), and they clearly want even the Single Player audience to pony up for some good old “Recurrent User Spending.”… The Adventures of Cookie and Read

Rare Loot: The Games We Treasure – Pat Edition

Welcome back to Rare Loot where I quiz the ancient beings that rule over videolamer land about the treasured gaming stuff they’d sell their own children and or body parts for. The inaugural Rare Loot was with videolamer’s own Captain Picard, so it made sense to pick on a bearded womaniser next. Say hello to Pat who has beamed in from a planet made purely of pocket lint to tell us about one of his treasures.

Cunzy: Before we start proper, how would you identify your collecting habits? We know from Jay’s rare loot you co-own the Library(tm) but does this extend into trading cards, full body pillows, and giant Pokemon plushies?Ys: The Article of Napishtim

Who was brave enough to pioneer unique console names?

The first video game console was the Magnavox Odyssey. The follow up to that system was a series of consoles that appended a number after the word Odyssey. This was just good business sense. Why confuse customers by changing the name of your product? Atari saw the wisdom in maintaining a name and followed the 2600 with the 5200, publicly declaring it twice as good. There are other generational products beyond consoles but my mind jumps to the automobile as a template for how to treat new models. It would be bizarre to rebrand the Honda Accord next year with a new name (the Honda Discord, obviously) and then continue to do so with each significant rehaul.… Sounds mildly entertaining, I guess.

Many More Thoughts on Final Fantasy VIII

I felt compelled to write a little bit more about Final Fantasy VIII. This is a collection of additional observations about its design, and some remarks on things I did like about it. I don’t have much of an overarching point for this piece, other than to perhaps reinforce my previous points.

How to get Magic

Let’s talk a little more about how to obtain stocks of your magic spells. As previously stated, there are four main ways to do it:

  • Drawing from enemies
  • Refining crappy magic into better magic
  • Modding Triple Triad cards (or items) into spells
  • Using Draw Points

Drawing from enemies is the most obvious way, but it’s a pain.… Monster Reader 4

Some Favorite, Disappointing, and Interesting Games from 2012-2016

At least 9 games came out in the dozen years videolamer went on sabbatical to backpack around Europe and really find itself. We did not have the opportunity to talk about any of these games in a timely fashion because the site was focused on getting its groove back, but that will not stop us from discussing these games absurdly late. Here are some of our favorites, disappointments, or just generally interesting games from the years after 2011 but before 2017.

Matt

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes

It’s a weird argument to make, but the paid demo for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a more satisfying version than the full release.… Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Post

Exclusive Details on Rumored, Still Unannounced PlayStation Plus Tiers

Sony’s recently announced changes to their Playstation Plus platform was met with mixed reaction by industry analysts and gamers. The service will be available in three tiers: Essential, Extra, and Premium.

Luckily for those of us unenthused by these announced tiers, the rumor mill is abuzz with likely extra tiers Sony will be making public some time this week. It is unclear if these additional tiers were always in the cards or quickly developed to save face after a mediocre showing last week.

Rumors for additional tiers are flying quick and loose but we stake our reputation as a news outlet that at least all of the following tiers of PlayStation Plus will, in fact, be rolled out this year.… God of War: Readnarok

Remembering to Forget to Remember Sega

The original sin that man is responsible to

Part of being a jerk on the internet is having unnecessarily heated arguments about irrelevant things with strangers. One of my go-to topics, mostly borne out of authentic emotion, is Sega and their current state. Unlike sane people who see the branding on a box of some Total War game, notice Yakuza doing well, or wonder why there are so many Sonic games and intuit Sega is a moderately successful company, I think they died almost twenty years ago. 

What’s the problem?

I am haunted by nightmares every night

There was a distinct Sega-ness that was removed from life support the day they were acquired by pachinko manufacturer Sammy in 2004.… Katamari Damaread

Final Fantasy VIII is a Weird Game

There are countless examples of games that were trashed at release, only to have their reputations rehabilitated years later upon being (re)discovered by retro game enthusiasts. Usually this is because the game in question was misunderstood or otherwise ahead of its time, both revelations which are only revealed with the hindsight and context provided by the future.

On the flip side, there are games that were beloved at release, only to be trashed years later as retro gamers discover that it didn’t age well, or that launch-day opinions were misinformed, or whatever the case may be.

But there’s a third option as well, one in which the initial impression of Game X was accurate, and remains accurate once it hits retro status.… Theme Postital

Maximum Spoilage: Persona 5 and Apathy

The Maximum Spoilage series of writings is focused on discussing aspects of a game that would spoil said game to any normal person. Please continue reading at your own risksona. Note that this Maximum Spoilage entry also contains spoilers for the Mass Effect trilogy, in case you somehow haven’t either played or read about how terrible the ending is.

Persona 5 starts off with a bang. It ends with a whole ton of narrative confusion, meaningless (or even meaning-killing) twists, and the age-old “power of friendship” and “determination to move on” saving the day.

The first antagonist, Kamoshida, is arguably the best. He’s a former pro athlete turned high-school coach, and his reputation from his old job allows him to run roughshod over anyone else in the school, since it brings the school fame and money.… I’ll read you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!