Jun 2, 2018

Purge Box #1: Mass Effect, Deus Ex, Ninja Gaiden & Wii U Outliers

Mass Effect 3, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge for the Nintendo Wii U are the worst versions of each respective game. They're not bad; they're just better elsewhere. I don't love the games on any platform, but I especially dislike their random appearance on a Nintendo console, so I'm putting them in my Purge Box to be traded into Gamer's HQ at the next opportunity.

Oh, and Mighty No. 9 too, just because I don't like it.

Welcome to the Purge Box.

May 30, 2018

Favorite Shelf #3: Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection (PlayStation 3)

Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection (PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360, 2009) surrounds a great list of games with nice presentation, accessibility and extras. It's one of the best games of all time in my favorite genre of all time, and it's taking its rightful place on my Favorite Shelf.

May 27, 2018

Favorite Shelf #2: Street Fighter 2 (PC Engine)

Image result for street fighter 2 champion editionSuper Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition for the PC Engine (1993) is a great home-console port of a great first update to a great Capcom arcade game, Street Fighter 2: The World Warrior (1991), within the great Street Fighter series. Did I mention that it's great?

More importantly, it's a perfect example of why I chose the system and the first game I sought out specifically. That's why it's taking its rightful place on the favorite shelf.

May 25, 2018

Favorite Shelf #1: Dragon Quest VIII (PlayStation 2)

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (PlayStation 2, 2005) is the perfect inaugural entry onto my Favorite Shelf. It's a great game, an interesting landmark in the series, and also happens to be my favorite game of all time. It's a great representation of what my Favorite Shelf should be, which is a great representation of my leisurely self.

I'm also a sucker for a (corny) happy ending, and it has a tremendous (corny) happy ending.

Apr 27, 2018

Trimming Down My Video Game Collection

Collections are trees that require careful pruning to stimulate beauty and growth. #Deep, right? Sometimes collections need pruning. It can stem (pun intended) from necessity and major life changes, or simply an itch for maintenance and evaluation.

I currently feel both.

Not so long ago my wife and I moved into a spacious home with disposable time and income to spare; the growth of my collections (video games, collectible cards, memorabilia, etc.) during that time correlates appropriately. Now we’re on the move again, but this time we’re downsizing, preparing to (try to) grow our family, and planning a sustainable lifestyle where time and income are concerned. I also decided to pluck some of the weeds and invasive species (#plantmetaphors) from my collection when I stumbled on a group of bad, forgotten, boxed Game Boy games that I would neither play nor display, ever. Sorry, Quest for Camelot; I didn’t like the movie either.

After a couple hours of enjoyable, nostalgic digging, I’d filled several shoeboxes with the most forgettable one percent of my collection. I took them to my local game store and swapped the entire pile (and $10 extra) for two PlayStation titles I’ve always wanted. Seeing tiny item-by-item credit amounts is disappointing, but trading a pile of inconveniences for a pair of desirable commodities felt great. It was like trading a cow that no longer produced milk (the reason Jack’s family parted with it) for magic beans (#moreplants), but without a seething, starving family to judge me.

I felt the best when I saw the results. The collection emanated as much nostalgia and happiness as ever, but with more clarity and direction, and in a (slightly) smaller space. It was useful mental exercise to reevaluate what the hobby means to me, and to make difficult-but-thoughtful choices. As a bonus, I think the experience will resonate as a meaningful memory every time I see one of the games I got in return.

***

If you have a story about a time you had to purge your collection, I’d love to hear it! I’m fortunate that my experience was positive, but I’d love to hear your tales of more challenging times, and how you adapted and moved on.

Video Game Dads, if you read this, I recall an episode with Norm the Gaming Historian in which he said he’d gotten rid of all but a handful of his games when moving to Kansas City. It’s a tremendous episode, and since listening to it I often wonder which games I’d keep if I had to sell the majority of my stuff, which is an entertaining mental exercise. That idea helped motivate me to do this (and to tell the tale), so thank you! Also, I’d love to hear your collection-pruning stories.

***

As an aside, I wanted to list a few of my notable purges below, in reverse chronological order.

Spring 2018 – Video Games
As mentioned above, I sold a small portion of my collection for the sake of size-reduction and using the money to add a couple more meaningful titles to my collection.

Spring 2017 – Games, Memorabilia, Accessories
Prior to moving to my second home, I sold a lot oddly-shaped and/or difficult-to-move gaming items including memorabilia, video game accessories, and game room storage.

Fall 2016 – Trading Card Games
I wanted to upgrade my (terrible) Yugioh zombie deck. I sold more than half of my collection of Yugioh, Pokemon and other trading card game collections, primarily comprised of obsolete and duplicate cards.

Summer 2014 – TurboGrafx-16
I’ve written about it before, and it still stings. When I was in high school, a former foreign exchange student at the was selling some things at his host family’s garage sale. He sold me two TurboGrafx-16 systems, one TurboCharger adapter, two controllers and several games. (I had no idea what they were at the time, but quickly and excitedly did some research.) I sold one system to my friend Tracy to help me cover the cost. About a decade later, I realized how expensive and difficult the system was for which to collect, and that I disliked the very limited library anyway. I’d also set my sights on the far cheaper, more interesting, fleshed-out and durable Japanese version, the PC Engine. I traded in the system and games an excellent stash of credit from my then-local game store which I effectively spread out over a year. More importantly, the following summer (2015), I had saved enough money on the side to purchase the mother of all Hudson consoles, the PC Engine Duo-RX, and a small-but-sweet bundle of import games. Playing the amazing Duo-RX helps me forget, but doesn’t completely erase the pain.

Spring 2012 – Sports Cards
Before graduating college, I trimmed down my sports card collection by nearly 20,000 cards. I kept everything sentimental, and made a few dollars I needed badly prior to moving and getting married.

Mar 5, 2018

Breath of the Wild 1 Year Later: Great Game, Average Legend of Zelda Title

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a great game. Metacritic rates the Nintendo Switch version 97/100, landing it in the aggregator's top 20 games of all time and behind only the 99/100 Ocarina of Time in the storied franchise.

It's a refined pinnacle of modern gaming. It has a massive open world full of depth and nuance for expert gamers. More casual gamers, or non-talented ones like myself, can appreciate its artistry while playing linearly or wandering around. It's not an RPG and yet is entirely immersive in its protagonist, story and world. It doesn't defy system limitations or push hardware (see the WiiU version), but uses everything in Nintendo's arsenal. It's a triple-A gaming done right.

Still, despite the accolades, it's nowhere close to being my favorite Legend of Zelda game. It's not science - the two categories are apples and oranges - but it's fun to consider the differences between critical and personal preference.

Feb 22, 2018

Why I'm A Video Game Collector But Not A Library Completionist










I recently listened to (and really enjoyed) Video Game Dads podcast episode 26. They revisited a facet of video games and collecting in general that I often ponder (when my mind wanders while at work); complete video game libraries. I love collecting video games, but completing a console library is something I don't think I can do.

Feb 21, 2018

Forbes Wonders If Video Games Should Cost More (& other geek news)

THIS WEEK IN GEEK NEWS... has been quiet, but I love digging through the headline scrap-heap for gems.







Forbes wonders if
video games should be more expensive,
to keep up with inflation, then quickly counters the idea with several valid points:
  • DLC, passes, microtransactions, etc. are already additional costs;
  • Digital distribution shrinks production cost and used market; and
  • Increased costs could shrink the market during an optimal time for expansion.
I have just one comment on this article. Forbes, how dare you risk giving EA ideas?!

Feb 20, 2018

ESPN Main Page Confirms LeBron James Better Than Actual News

LeBron James will hit free agency in the Summer of 2018 when he'll become the biggest free agent to hit the market since... himself back in 2014, or himself four years prior to that in 2010. There's a massive spread on ESPN.com's front page to remind you.

The new-look Cavaliers are 3-0 since their trade deadline purge. The fallout from the trade deadline is intriguing. The NBA All-Star game was as competitive as it's been in decades. Four teams have better records than the Cavs, including the defending champs who've been (almost) an afterthought. James' Cleveland squad is surging at the right time, and the 2018 NBA Playoffs should be the most exciting in years.

March Madness is right around the corner. We're closing in on what should be a crazy NFL free agency period. Baseball is nearly here. Fergie ruined the National Anthem on a massive stage. The Winter Olympics are happening! Right now! What an exciting time to be a sports fan!

But don't forget about the theoretical decision LeBron James will make this July.

Feb 19, 2018

Disney is Black Panther's Biggest Fan

Black Panther's launch is projected to break $400 million, and had the most successful opening of any Marvel movie not named "The Avengers." No one loves it more than Disney, who is happy to grow what is already the highest-grossing movie franchise of all time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The part of my brain that likes comedy wonders of which underrepresented group Hollywood will take advantage next. The part of my brain that likes movies is sincerely curious as to where Marvel/Disney will go next, because this movie is excellent for cinema in general.

Feb 14, 2018

I'm A Loser & I'm Bad At Collecting Video Games


Related image
I'm bad at being a nerd, but does
that mean I'm a bad nerd?
I'm a loser and it's okay. In fact, it's not bad at all.

I'm a loser because I collect video games. There's nothing inherently wrong or loser-esque about collecting video games; I live in an era where it's more accepted and popular than ever to do so. I have a good job, own a home, am married to a wonderful woman that has no qualms with my hobbies, and generally can't think of any reason I shouldn't collect video games.

Let me rephrase my thoughts. I'm a loser because of the way I collect video games.

Jan 16, 2018

Road Rage, Nickelback and Pandora

I want to tell you a story about Pandora, the convenient-but-frustrating online audio streaming service. First I need to set the mood for this story, so let’s start with a talk about road rage to get revved up (pun intended).

Jan 14, 2018

Midway Arcade Treasures


Midway Arcade Treasures Coverart.png
Midway Arcade Treasures (2003 - PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube - Digital Eclipse & Midway Games) doesn't live up to the excitement it implies. It does pack enough uniqueness and nostalgia for its low price to merit a place in many collections. Compilations  should be held to different standards, and this one scrapes by as decent.