Tag Archives: Console Games

Console Gaming Has An Amnesia Problem

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I’m very late to post here about the latest discussion over emulation and the distribution of video game ROMs. If you haven’t heard, a little while ago Nintendo sued a couple well-known distributors of pirated classic games — LoveROMs and LoveRetro, both of which are gone now. Soon after that another big one — EmuParadise, decided to shut itself down after 18 years, out of fear of the same fate. Downloading ROMs from places like that pretty much is piracy, and Nintendo is absolutely within its legal right to do what it’s doing, but you may have seen a lot of people recently either defending the ROM sites or criticizing Nintendo’s approach to fighting piracy.

Let me say this: The shutdown of those ROMs sites is such a big deal because the console video game industry is uniquely bad at preserving its history. I say “uniquely” because gaming console manufacturers ignore their history in a way no other entertainment medium or software industry does. Literature, film, music, even PC gaming and mobile gaming, all do a better job than console gaming at keeping legacy works easily available on modern hardware and services. Continue reading

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What Actually Makes For A Good Old School RPG?

Octopath Traveler, a JRPG for Nintendo Switch.

Octopath Traveler is out now, critics are receiving it well, and it’s even doing well commercially, as Nintendo Switch owners wax nostalgic about Japanese RPGs and hail the coming of them to another Nintendo handheld. I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about the genre. Some of my favorite games are JRPGs, but it’s actually been some years since I’ve played one to completion.

The common criticisms some people levy at JRPGs might center on things like turn-based combat being obsolete, or shounen anime tropes, but my issues with them are a little more complex. There are games where those things will get on my nerves, but at the same time some of my favorite JRPGs feel very old and traditional. I think it’s less about specific features and more about a general feeling each game tries to impart upon players. Continue reading

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The Nintendo Switch And The 3DS User Base

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I think for about the last two or three years I’ve been writing posts about how resilient Nintendo’s 3ds has been. Now we’re midway through 2018 and the thing refuses to die. Nintendo is talking about keeping it going, even in the face of its portable/console hybrid — the Switch.

In an April financial briefing interim President Tatsumi Kimishima said Nintendo actually has plans for the 3DS in 2019 — the system’s seventh year. At the June shareholder meeting, new president Shuntaro Furukawa said the company hasn’t even let go of the possibility of a 3DS successor aside from the Switch. Continue reading

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Microsoft Ran Its E3 2018 Media Briefing Like A Streaming Service Would

Microsoft's studio acquisition announcements from E3 2018

One overarching subject came to my mind during Microsoft’s E3 2018 media briefing when the company was revealing the video game studios it had acquired for the purpose of making exclusive games. When people were cheering these acquisitions I realized you’d probably never see reactions like that in other entertainment industries, not for a platform holder or service provider locking up future content exclusively to its platform and services. E3 has almost always been a vehicle for platform wars, and that’s one of the things that’s still really peculiar about console games. Continue reading

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Virtual Console, And The Two Ways Platform Holders Are Maintaining Classic Games

 

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Virtual Console, one of my main hopes for the Nintendo Switch, isn’t coming to the system. Oh classic games are being and will continue to be released for the system, but that wasn’t the point. Virtual Cosnole represented the prospect of something Nintendo seems to have left behind today. Today there seem to be two main ways in which companies are bringing back classic games. Continue reading

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Why Some Games Really Do Deserve Remakes

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I finally started catching up with the Yakuza series a few months ago. I’d played the games since the English version of the original came out in 2006 but fell off at some point after Yakuza 4. After recently finishing 5 and Zero I’ve just started Kiwami — the remake of the original. To me, it feels oddly like a PS2 game, for better or worse. Continue reading

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Are We Ready To Talk About PS5?

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Some rumblings about a “PlayStation 5” have been going around lately. I either haven’t laid out what I think might happen with the next Sony console or just haven’t done so in at least a couple years. As the current console generation drags on almost two years after the release of upgraded consoles and going on five years since the initial launch of this generation, how much longer do we have to go? Continue reading

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The Nintendo Switch Is Mostly Getting Ports. That’s OK. (Part Two)

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After the Nintendo Direct in January I said that the Nintendo Switch mostly receiving ports of games from other systems was fine. It still is after this week’s Direct. In fact I’m satisfied with this direct because Nintendo announced the Switch was getting some ports I’ve been waiting for (and there’s at least one other I hope gets announced later).

What we’re seeing now is really a shift in the purpose dedicated handheld gaming systems serve alongside a shift in how third party game developers operate. If you didn’t complain about all the ports for the PlayStation Vita, you can’t really complain about the ones on the Switch. Continue reading

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The Last Demon’s Souls (For Real This Time)

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Twice before, Sony Computer Entertainment said it was shutting down the servers for Demon’s Souls, but this time it actually happened. I managed to get a little bit more time with the game in before the online features at its core were shut down on February 28th. It’s still my favorite Souls game, and is still arguably my top PlayStation 3 game. Playing it this pats week just reinforced my feelings about why it’s unique, even apart from its sequels, the Dark Souls games. Continue reading

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“Games as a Service” In Itself Isn’t A Problem

Elite Dangerous Horizons

As the debate goes on over loot boxes, microtransactions, and the general strategy of “Games as a Service” that the gaming industry is employing, I’ve started to ask myself: “what is actually working?” This brought up an important distinction to make, that making games serviced-based in itself isn’t the real problem some are complaining about, it’s how those services are monetized. Continue reading

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