Monday, March 31, 2014

What is Your Favorite Game? and Why this is a terrible question.

I get asked what my favorite game is all the time.

It is literally one of the hardest questions anyone can ask me. I am sure people think something along the lines of "oh man he has a ton of games, he must love games, he must know a lot about them, he is probably an authority on this topic so his opinion holds weight. I'll ask what his favorite is. I wonder if it will be something I haven't heard of, or maybe he will confirm what everyone else says, or maybe it will be a game I have played." Okay that sounds a little ridiculous, I am sure most people don't think that much about it. Some people do think that much about it though, and when they do, they look at you with expectant eyes. They hope something profound comes out, but in truth my answer is flexible, long, and not straight forward. I do not always have the same favorite game, they fulfill different needs.

I am sure many of you have suffered against this question as well. It might not have been about video games, maybe it's board games, comics, favorite song, or movie. The point is, if somebody asks you about your favorite anything, it isn't usually an easy answer. The main reasons it isn't easy can be reduced to: time invested in the subject matter, expertise or knowledge of the subject matter, and sample size. Large amounts of any of these three factors can make the "What is your favorite?" question very difficult to answer at best. I can tell you my favorite Katie Perry song no problem. It's easy because I don't really care about Katie Perry or her music, also the sample size is small. I can tell you  my favorite Star Wars movie, even though the answers has changed as I grew up. Currently it is Empire Strikes Back, but when I was 5 it was Return of the Jedi, and ROTJ still has some of my favorite moments in the Trilogy. Even though I know a lot about Star Wars telling you my favorite is easy because the question is focused and the quantity I have to choose from is small. Compare "What is your favorite Star Wars movie?" to "What is your favorite movie?" Suddenly the pool goes from 6 movies (strictly counting the two trilogies), to thousands. Now the question is too big and ungainly, it has all the subtly and precision of a napalm strike. It is the same for games.

I can't tell you how many games I have played, over a thousand I am sure.  If I had to guess I would say I have probably beat over 500.  This is just a guess, maybe one day I will sit down and count. For now let me ask you to revise this question to "What are a few of your favorite games?" or "What is best game you have played in the last year?" Better questions make for better answers.

So I guess since you have read through my lecture, you might now be asking why?  The answer is easy enough. I was asked "What is your favorite game?" and I decided I did not like my answer or the question. I wasn't offended at all, I just didn't have a good answer so I decided to think about it more. The end result of me thinking it over is this entry, and my next entry which will just be a list of my top 50 games 60 games.

Thank you for reading, and be sure to check out my next post.

I have a Facebook Humor Page: Why Is Everybody So Bad At Everything? If you like the little jokes I put in the links, this is of the same ilk.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dark Matters Redux for Sega Dreamcast & Hucast Review

Greetings Readers, Reader, Random person who found this blog by doing a Google search for something else but this was the link that appeared first.

It has been awhile, but that is pretty typical for me. As I have mentioned before I like to take breaks from collecting from time to time, but especially around the holidays. This year I took an extended break, but now I am back and ready to get back int he swing of things. So lets begin with a review of Dark Matters REDUX, and the company that makes it HuCast.  To start I offer a picture. If a picture is worth a thousand words, well then this picture is worth one thousand and nine words and none of them are positive.

Regret does sum it up. Before I go too far let tell you what Terrible Title Dark Matters Redux is. This is a new game made for an old system, (the Dreamcast) that was crowd sourced on Kickstarter. The game is a SHMUP (Shoot'em Up) set in space much like R-Type, Gradius, and the like. The Campaign started in  May 2012, and the delivery was set to be in December 2012. I thought that the delivery date was ambitious, and it was. The game arrived in February 2014. That is quite a piece further down the road then Dec 2012, but things happen. It seems that video games are always delayed, so I wasn't surprised or upset by this delay as I was pretty much expecting it.

As this a collecting based review I won't say much about the game play. It's a SHMUP, if you like them, you probably like this. I found some enjoyment in it.


The Shipping: Holy Mother of Cats, wtf? The worst shipping I have ever seen. Seriously Hucat, what is wrong with you? This game was shipped in a yellow mailer, a YELLOW FRICKEN MAILER!!! The choice of shipping packing material is mind bogglingly stupid, made worse by the fact I bought the Collectors Edition Steelbook.Within the yellow, non-padded mailer was no bubble wrap or foam, or paper or anything. Yup just a steel book flopping around in some sad, limp, yellow envelope. Needless to say mine has a few large dents. Also, the discs all came loose and were semi scratched. The 4 disc soundtrack that came with it also had all of it's CD's come loose. Serious Fail.

The Case:  So when they added the Steel Book Collectors edition to the Kickstarter it wasn't pictured and it cost $100. I upgraded figuring it would be pretty sweet given how good the Kickstarter campaign and initial art looked. I was wrong, so very very wrong. Please review the picture above. You might notice that the super awesome collectors edition steelbook turned out to be just a plain steelbook with a shitty sticker affixed to it (the back has no art either). If the sticker didn't tell me this edition was special I surely wouldn't have guessed.

The Art: What art? Please read the bit about the sticker again.

The Extra's: A sticker and the soundtrack. The sticker is a sticker, I am not a 6 year-old girl with a sticker album so I couldn't really give two F%^Ks about a sticker. The soundtrack is scratched so yeah.

The Cost: For $100 this should have been better. If you want to subtract $10 for shipping, well even at $90 it should have been better. Hucast really cut some corners and after several good experiences on Kickstarter I didn't expect my first bad one to come from a company that does this for a living.

The Final Verdict: This was a waste of money, Hucast did a terrible job on delivering this product. This is a niche product in a collectors market. Hucast clearly didn't understand who their target market was when they decided to make a special edition. If I was Hucast I would be embarassed  of the way things played out at the end. Please pass on any Hucast goods, I cannot in good faith recommend them.

A rebuke to anyone asking about "The Game". I am a collector first, gamer second. I bought a product that was geared for collectors, if I just wanted to play I could have paid $10 for a digital copy.

Thank you for reading,

I have a Facebook Humor Page: Why Is Everybody So Bad At Everything? If you like the little jokes I put in the links, this is of the same ilk.