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Messages - Ian Sane

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Since the Canadian dollar fluctuates with the US dollar, my game prices have been quite different over the years.  Right now brand new games often cost between $80-90 CAD.  Back when game prices "increased" to $60 around the Wii era the Canadian dollar was about on par with the American one so while our new games were $60 that was a decrease from the $70 games of the Cube era (and N64 games were $80 because of the cart format).  If they increased to $70 USD then they'll probably be $99.99 CAD which would frankly SUCK.  Videogames are already too expensive new in Canada and this will just make it worse.

Though used games, provided they aren't old enough or rare enough to have been affected by the high prices of retro gaming, still remain affordable and non-Nintendo games still drop into the Wal-Mart cheap bin 9 months after release.  You can still afford things easily if you're not insisting on playing new games on day one.

But the PS5 is practically a digital-only console since you have to pay a premium for one with a disc drive.  There are no used digital games and no need to be clearing out old stock like a physical store does.  So price drops are entirely at the whim of the publisher.  So they nearly eliminate the few options available for people to buy games for current consoles at a low price and then increase the price of new titles at the same time?  Yeah, that's not a coincidence.

There were apparently devs who literally just bought a Vita Devkit right before the announcement was made. The whole thing was a trainwreck.

This is probably what convinced them.  Could they potentially have gotten sued for that?  This was probably a situation where the left hand didn't know what the right was doing so they decided to pull the plug without realizing that dev kits were still being sold.  I'll bet they're not selling dev kits anymore and they'll resume ending the store once they've reached the minimum amount of time the lawyers have determined would be sufficient to cover their butts.

I am in shock that they actually reversed their decision on the PS3/Vita store.  I guess lots of people were buying stuff before it disappeared and the suits saw the sales figures and decided to keep things going.

I was planning on buying the Mega Man Legends games before July 1 but now I can get the first one and see if I like it first without pressure to grab the sequel and Tron Bonne at the same time.

General Chat / Re: The COVID-19 Virus is Coming For Us All Thread
« on: April 12, 2021, 01:30:47 PM »
Today Penny Arcade had a script about getting the vaccine.  The strip's creators are a few years older than me and it hit me of how different the situation is in Canada.  I work for an American company and in a recent meeting the discussion about offices re-opening came up and a manager remarked how "most of us" had received the first shot by now, and all the Canadian employees were like "uh, what?".  In Canada the vaccine rollout has been extremely slow. If you're of working age there is no real thought about whether or not to take the vaccine because it will be months before you're even eligible.  My father just received his first shot a few days ago.  He's 72 and was only eligible because he has health issues.  He was told he would get the second shot in 4 months.  The manufacturer's recommendation for the second dose is up to 6 weeks.

The extended period of time between dosages has contributed to apprehension for receiving the vaccine among people I talk to.  The concern is that it may make the whole vaccination ineffective, so why risk any side effects by taking it at all?  Or if you can't even get the second dose what effect does "half" a vaccine have?  And if the vaccine rollout takes too long then couldn't the virus mutate to a point where the vaccine has no effect?  Defying the manufacturer's recommended time between doses have given a lot of ammunition to the anti-vaccine narrative that Canadian citizens are being used as guinea pigs.

I find the whole situation very frustrating because the vaccine was supposed to be the light at the end of the tunnel.  Vaccinate the population and this whole nightmare is supposed to be over.  But at this rate widespread vaccination even months from now seems like an impossible goal.  And this only works if a significant portion of the population get vaccinated and the botched rollout has increased anti-vaccination sentiment.  And this only works if the four month period between dosages isn't a mistake.  And this only works if the rollout occurs faster than the virus mutating into something immune to the vaccine.  The whole situation feels like crossing your fingers and hoping that everything works out.

The original Xbox has a battery in it that will leak and damage your system if you don't replace it.  The Turbo Duo and Game Gear have lousy capacitors that need to be replaced.  This isn't a new thing and isn't necessarily planned obsolescence, it's just that making a product that lasts for 50 years isn't a priority.  The logic is more that they're making a product that will be available for maybe 8 years and if the product can last for 15 then the R&D guys did a good job.

The one element that makes physical media appealing though is that it's not all-or-nothing.  Your system could fail but you might be able to fix it or find another one and all your games are still fine.  With digital you can have games stored on a system's hard drive but if the hardware goes and the server to redownload the games is offline then everything is gone at once.  The hope really is down to hackers.  The game executables will be backed up somewhere and it's really just a matter of being able to get something to run it.  I don't think too many games will become lost like some silent-era movie, at least not until streaming gaming is the norm and the users never have any files stored locally at all.

The future of playing your old games is unfortunately going to have to involve hacks and piracy, where as before you could just pop your old cartridges into the old system and everything was easy and legal.

General Gaming / Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2010-present
« on: March 30, 2021, 07:27:11 PM »
I heard the rumours about the PS3 store going down so my brother and I were spending a good part of the weekend downloading patches for all of our physical releases.  We only recently started living in the same house again so we had amassed independent PS3 collections over the years.  So I was going through a stack of his games downloading the most recent patches on the off-chance I might play his games someday and he was doing the same with mine.

Meanwhile I had bought some huge Capcom Humble Bundle years ago and had downloaded and installed a few of the key games I was interested in but had not downloaded a good 8 or 9 games because I was running low on hard drive space.  I had demos I didn't need anymore that I could delete but that was not a time sensitive job so I kept putting it off.  I also wouldn't have enough room for all the games anyway so I assumed I would have to upgrade the hard drive.  Well I deleted the demos on Saturday and started downloading the remaining games, often over night so as to not affect any internet performance for the rest of the family.  The lack of space was resolved by installing some of the biggest games on my brother's PS3 since he has a bigger hard drive and now that we're in the same house it really doesn't matter which PS3 "my" game is on.

Of course now it turns out you can re-download stuff so presumably this was all unnecessary.  Well, it still got me off my butt to do something I had literally put off for years so it wasn't a total waste.

I recently cleaned all of my N64 games and gave them a quick test.  I spent a bit of time in the evening playing F-Zero X.  That X Cup really is something special as you can just keep playing it again and again.  The tracks are not as good as the pre-made tracks of the other cups though.

Something odd happened though that I wasn't expecting.  At one point the sound started messing up.  I was getting loud crackling sounds in a pulse type of pattern.  The TV I was playing on is an old CRT so I thought maybe it was giving up the ghost.  I have a couple of consoles connected to it on a switch so I paused F-Zero and turned on the Genesis and it was fine with no sound issues.  So it must have been the N64.  I was on the final track of the Joker Cup and my brother suggested I go into the settings to try to the turn the sound off and continue the race.  But when I did so the game just died and the screen went black.  Resetting initially wouldn't turn it back on until I took out the cart and put it back in a few times.  The console itself wasn't warm or anything.  Odd.  Never seen an N64 game crash like that before.

Part of the appeal of F-Zero: Maximum Velocity was just how impressive it was to see something similar to the SNES F-Zero on a handheld.  Playing it today as just a "regular" videogame, it doesn't seem remarkable.  But at the time it was possibly the greatest handheld racing game ever made.  But should you buy it now?  Nah.  Only if you really dig the SNES F-Zero and want more.

While F-Zero GX is the high water mark for the series, I think F-Zero X is still a brilliant game.  They compromised the graphics to hit 60 FPS so as a result the game doesn't feel old, it just looks it.

TalkBack / Re: Nintendo Buying New Panels For Upgraded Switch?
« on: March 05, 2021, 03:24:43 PM »
The Switch is four years old and the other companies have started a new generation.  Couldn't this be as simple as Nintendo planning for their next generation system?  Five years is pretty standard, maybe they do 4.5.

I'm glad that at the very least Analogue has acknowledged that there were problems and has said they're going to address them.  Can't change the past but you can improve for the future.

Since the Pocket pre-order I've bought a few Game Gear games which is somewhat silly since I currently have no way to play them and if any of them were defective I won't be able to confirm that until well after the point where I could get a refund.  But I don't see Game Gear games every time I got to a retro game store so I have to take advantage of the situation, right?  I have not bought anything over 10 bucks so I have shown some restraint at least.  I got Shinobi, a few Sonics and some of the Disney games that I heard were good.

It's interesting to observe the history of re-releasing old games.  Originally we got retro compilations, usually of arcade titles, around the PS1/PS2 era when games were on cheap optical discs and the hardware could do the emulation.  But on the GBA we got SNES ports.  Then we get the VC and now retro games are released individually but as downloads only and at a low price point.  Then the next gen third parties realized they could make more by making their own retro compilations so they moved back to that and at the same time we got the "HD remaster" idea where literally games from the previous gen got ported to the current consoles which coincidently usually launched with a small lineup of original content.

A Skyward Sword remake doesn't surprise me because Nintendo has been remaking other Zelda games so this was logically going to get its turn.  I can't help but be amused by them putting in normal controls.  During the Wii years I hated motion controls and expressed that 99% of the time they were just mapping gestures to binary on/off actions and could thus do the exact same thing with buttons and get more responsive controls out of it.  But Nintendo was so adamant that these games would only work with motion controls and I like how that marketing spin is being debunked years after the fact.

The play of Mahomes throwing the ball while horizontal only to hit his receiver in the facemask is a pretty good summary for the night.  He played the best football he possibly could, but it was clearly not enough.

Last night was a textbook example of a superstar player being let down by his teammates.  While the calls were ticky-tacky, Mahomes was on the sideline while his defense gave up two touchdowns almost entirely on penalties (including lining up offside on a field goal, what the hell?).  His offensive line couldn't block **** and then he would escape and throw some miracle pass only for his receiver to drop it.  It really shows his composure that he didn't throw his teammates under the bus in post-game interviews or have a Philip Rivers-style freak out on the field.

At half time my entire family was cursing out the refs for some iffy calls on the Chiefs, but they had the second half to come back and couldn't seem to do anything right.  Their first drive in the second half looked promising and then both Hill and Kelce slipped on downs that looked like easy receptions, despite it not having raining and no one else slipping and sliding everywhere.  It was just that kind of game.  Ever have a situation where you rave about this restaurant you've been to and when you finally get friends of yours to go there with you it's the one time the food gets burnt and the waiters mess up your order and your friends and all like "what's the big deal with this place?"  That was the Chiefs last night.  I tell my parents they're the most impressive offense ever and then they completely **** the bed in the one game my parents watch.

I don't care for Tom Brady but my brother made a good point that one thing you have to give Brady credit for is that he does not squander opportunities.  If you slip on a banana peel he will finish you off, and I've seen hundreds of games where one team was just begging the other to defeat them and they didn't do it.  The guy always shows up ready to play and takes advantage of whatever opening there is.

TalkBack / Re: Nintendo Releases Third Quarter Fiscal 2020 Results
« on: February 02, 2021, 11:48:40 AM »
I think Nintendo's all ages approach has been assisted by the passage of time.  Around the N64/Gamecube eras the "kiddy" label was the kiss of death.  But keep in mind that at that point kids who grew up with the NES were in their teens and early 20's, so they were at an age where they're very sensitive about appearances and peer pressure.  Children have always loved Nintendo and now you also have middle-aged gamers that want to play games with their kids.  Or even middle-aged people without kids are perfectly fine with playing whatever games look enjoyable to them, regardless of whether a 15 year old thinks it's "kiddy".  The demographics for videogames has expanded where there are now two generations of people that grew up with them.  When Nintendo was "kiddy" you were in big trouble if you didn't have the teenager demographic but now that's only a section of the full market.

General Chat / Re: Official NFL Discussion: Great Googly Moogly
« on: February 01, 2021, 12:43:56 PM »
My brother and I have gotten into the habit of referring to Goff as "Jared Goof".  The guy got badly exposed in the Superbowl a few years back.  The Patriots realized that Goff was relying entirely on Sean McVay's playcalling so they would hold off on setting their defensive formation until after the headsets were turned off.  Unlike good quarterbacks, Goff couldn't react on the fly to the defense and the offense went nowhere.  Oddly enough Goff's huge contract came AFTER he was exposed as a fraud and the Rams organization would logically have known he was a fraud the entire time.  Never made any sense to me.

Goff is a quarterback that succeeds because of the organization around him while Stafford has probably succeeded despite it.  So in theory the trade makes sense for LA.  There is a lot of risk involved of course.  But if they win a Superbowl I doubt Rams fans will care if they have no first round draft pick for several years.  I suppose in theory if this all fails and they need the picks back they could probably get them by trading Aaron Donald or flipping Stafford again since there is always someone desperate for a quarterback.

General Chat / Re: Official NFL Discussion: Great Googly Moogly
« on: January 24, 2021, 11:30:31 PM »
You are in the red zone down 8 points with 2:05 to go and it's fourth down.  Let's review your options:

1. You attempt to score a touchdown and fail.  The other team gets the ball with a one score lead.

2. You score a touchdown but fail at the 2-pt conversion.  The other team gets the ball with a one score lead.

3. You score a touchdown and get the 2-pt conversion.  The game is tied.

4. You kick a field goal.  The other team gets the ball with a one score lead.

If you're leaning towards option 4, you're the Green Bay Packers head coach and also a stupid person.  Note how in all situations except option 3 the result is exactly the same.  But in option 4 you do not even attempt to tie the game and the field goal gains you nothing.  The worst case scenario of trying to tie the game and failing is the exact same result as choosing to kick.  When fearing failure this idiot intentionally chose failure rather than merely risking it.  I swear this should be used as some quiz for HR departments to test a job candidate's decision-making capabilities.

TalkBack / Re: Wrestling Empire (Switch) Review
« on: January 18, 2021, 04:39:58 PM »
Somebody reads the Blog of Doom. :)

Making a wrestling game that looks like an N64 game doesn't quite make sense.  If I want to relive the old Aki wrestling days I have my copy of No Mercy.  But what I wanted was a proper wrestling game using the Aki engine on the PS2/Cube/Xbox generation of consoles.  THQ switched devs so Aki made Def Jam Vendetta and Ultimate Muscle for that gen.  Those were good games but they weren't proper wrestling games.  Meanwhile the N64 games are rather dated with very slow gameplay.

The N64 games are dated and the Gamecube games are not proper wrestling games.  Either experience is compromised but if Aki had been able to make a WWE game, or even a TNA game, during that generation we would have had a title that stood the test of time.  That's the money game for an indy dev.

General Chat / Re: Official NFL Discussion: Great Googly Moogly
« on: January 11, 2021, 12:31:25 PM »
Well my Seahawks played like garbage.  I think there was on good kick return that put them in position to get a touchdown but there was otherwise nothing to cheer.  This was against the Rams playing their back-up who got hurt and for some reason Goff, who had a broken thumb on his throwing hand, was the only other QB suited up and had to play.  You would assume that such circumstances would allow for an easy win but apparently not.  Early in the season Seattle was being talked up as Superbowl contenders and Wilson got MVP talk.  Something happened during the bye week because they have been terrible ever since.  Wilson went from MVP candidate to looking like someone that would have gotten benched if he didn't already have such a strong reputation.

On a side note, the Rams third QB is Blake Bortles.  How bad is Bortles that they didn't dress him despite Goff having had surgery on his thumb?  I assumed they dressed Goff to throw off the Seahawks so they wouldn't know who was starting until the last minute.  Wouldn't you dress three quarterbacks to accommodate the potential situation of the starter getting injured?  Even if you're willing to play Goff, wouldn't he be at a high risk to re-injure his thumb?  If that happened they would have had to snap to the running back or something.  They thought risking that and using a roster spot on an extra special teamer or whatever was preferable to Bortles playing, which I find hilarious.

I found myself enjoying the Browns game.  I don't particularly dislike the Steelers but for some reason I found a lot of enjoyment in seeing them fall behind early on.  I guess I can't help but like the underdog in games where I otherwise have no skin in the game.  I also was sympathetic to the Browns since their head coach was in quarantine and that would be a really lousy way for a season to end.  But when Pittsburgh started crawling back and actually got it close enough that they could have come back I couldn't help but think of the possibility of the Browns losing.  I figured it would be called "The Collapse", using the typical Cleveland sports misfortune naming convention.  If any fandom was going to have their team go up 28-0 in the first quarter in a playoff game against their most hated rival and end up losing it would be the Browns.

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Official Sales Thread
« on: January 08, 2021, 07:42:46 PM »
What does the PS5 have as a killer app for the Japanese market?  Sometimes it can be as simple as that.

The SNES Classic is a near perfect machine.  Obviously Chrono Trigger is the big omission and Kirby's Dream Course is the obvious title to swap out for it.  But I also think that DKC2 should take DKC1's place as it is the better title.  Though I get why Nintendo put the first game in since it's the one that has Donkey Kong as a playable character and is probably the more well known title.  But if you really want a SNES Greatest Hits and can't put in the entire trilogy, DKC2 is the one to include.

General Chat / Re: The Fast Food Thread - Would You Like Posts With That?
« on: November 23, 2020, 07:33:43 PM »
I have a couple of times waited for In-N-Out burger for around 3 hours or so.  The Langley Cruise-In is a local classic cars show and In-N-Out used to (maybe still do; haven't gone in years) have a food truck at it.  This was a big deal because at the time the closest In-N-Out was in Redding, CA, a good 12 hour drive and a border crossing away.  So we would get there early to get a ticket to wait in line for 3 hours.  We did this two years in a row and decided it was not worth it anymore.

But we were waiting for a one-day-only chance to get In-N-Out in our area.  We didn't wait forever for a location that was permanently going to be in our town.  When Popeye's chicken sandwich was creating a frenzy I had no interest in going out of my way for it because I knew that in time the locations in my area would have them readily available, which they do now and they're delicious.  I probably would show up at a new In-N-Out if there was one opening here (or in Northwest Washington in a post-covid world where I can cross the border) but if I saw a lineup wrapping around the mall I would get something else to eat and return at a later date.

I tend to use dee's, should I replace them with doo's?
"That's the same thing. You just replaced dee's with doo's.


Going through different songs named "Carry On" I found one by Spacehog which is not the song I was looking for but sounds similar enough that I'm sure that's what Google was suggesting.  Fortunately the song is great and I'm glad to have found it!

I tried this out but it didn't seem to pick up most of what I tested with.  Maybe I suck at humming the tunes?  I tend to use dee's, should I replace them with doo's?  Day Tripper was one song I could get to consistently work, since it has a very distinct riff.

I tried a song that I remember hearing on the radio in high school once that I have never been able to find and it has been so long I probably am singing the one line I think I remember completely wrong.  It couldn't figure it out except one time it suggested "Carry On".  The problem is it only mentions the song name, not the artist.

TalkBack / Re: Bethesda Acquired By Microsoft In US$7.5b Deal
« on: September 22, 2020, 01:29:48 AM »
For their first two generations I felt like the Xbox brand was growing and it made sense for Microsoft to play the long game.  The first Xbox didn't come close to the PS2 but it was able to contend with Nintendo and it gained a foothold in the market.  For your first go where you planned to not make a profit to establish the brand that went quite well.  The Xbox 360's generation is a weird one because the Wii outsold the other consoles but it was like it wasn't even in the same market.  The Xbox 360 had the best third party support and appeared to be the console of choice for hardcore gamers.  I feel like if the casual audience didn't embrace the Wii that the Xbox 360 would have won that generation for sure, at least for the western market.  Coming off that generation you figure the Xbox One was a no-brainer for getting green lit.

But that should have been the time all the pieces fell into place and it didn't.  The Xbox One is the least relevant.  It's like the system you bought at launch but you regret that you didn't pick the PS4 instead.  Sony has the high-end console, Nintendo has the hybrid.  There really isn't room for a third product (and has there ever been?  Always seems like number three is struggling to hang on until the next gen).  And this isn't a new brand.  Xbox has been in the console business longer than Sega was.  By now I would figure if it was going to be profitable for them it would have happened already.  Maybe they're playing the REALLY long game where they feel they have enough money to survive longer than everyone else and will make a profit when they're the only ones left.

TalkBack / Re: Bethesda Acquired By Microsoft In US$7.5b Deal
« on: September 21, 2020, 11:36:39 AM »
So is the outcome of this going to be that Microsoft's game library improves or will it be a Rare situation where they just squander Bethesda and only accomplish keeping others from having them?

MS easily has the weakest first party lineup of the big three, and since third parties try to make games for all platforms whenever possible that made the Xbox One a very unnecessary system.  So I get why MS did this as it secures tons of valuable IPs as first party exclusives.  Of course it's all IPs in the grand scheme of things.  It ends up an expensive purchase if they can't get talented people to make those games.

Unfortunately this brings us that much closer to a situation like the film and music industry where only a few companies own almost everything.  That was probably inevitable, but frustrating just the same.

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