Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4) (REVIEW)

Anyone who follows my blog probably knows I don’t often do reviews. The reason being, I feel like everyone does reviews and probably does a better job either because they do them professionally or because they have played every or most games in the franchise and played them to 100% completion or at least near to. However, sometimes I feel like I simply want to write a review, for whatever situation. In this situation it’s because I’ve never actually played a Spider-Man game before this one. I’ve never been too interested in the Spider-Man franchise of movies, TV or games before but in recent years after getting into console gaming and following gaming news, seeing how good Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 looked, I knew I had to at least try it.

I mean, I guess in the past the concept of swinging from building to building as the main means of traversal and beating up bad guys just never did it for me, I was more of a GTA guy or open world action adventure guy. The closest thing I ever played to Spider-Man before was Batman Arkham Asylum, which I also enjoyed but, I guess I didn’t get the hint. That a superhero game done right, is bloody good, even if you’re not too engrossed in the franchise.

Now you’ll have to forgive me as someone who’s not into Spider-Man lore like other people, the last Spider-Man movie I remember watching was the one with Tobie Maguire back in 2002. However you start the game working for Dr Octavius working in his lab working to perfect robotic arms that are controlled by the mind, the game starts with one robotic arm that functions very poorly, but as you progress through the game they begin get better and better. Dr Octavius does most of the work, but Peter helps through little mini-games. I found these mini-games fun, however I can appreciate many wouldn’t one in particular is alot like the game Pipe-Dream or Pipe-Mania which is often used in games to simulate hacking. As someone who has learned some hacking basics at University.. it’s nothing like hacking, but you know, pretty fun anyway. The other mini-game is a little different, and I actually thought it was quite clever.

Further there’s the FEAST story line. FEAST is an organisation run by Martin Li and Aunt May to help the homeless and provide them shelter and food. You often return here to check on Aunt May and when Martin Li turns out to be ‘Not who he says he is’, Peter investigates and finds Martin Li was doing a little bit more than just helping the homeless.

The the romantic story line between Peter and Mary-Jane also, where Peter and Mary-Jane spend the entire game flirting with each other, resulting in well, what you would expect I guess. To the games credit through, the romance between Peter and MJ which I’m aware is present in the Spider-Man movies too, wasn’t at all over the top and I always enjoyed the scenes of them together.

Lastly the main story line of Peter swinging throughout New-York stopping crime working behind the scenes for the police. Escalating into a plot ran by Li and well.. a certain doctor (This was news to me, but I guess most people probably knew this was going to happen) to release a bio-weapon into the city infecting millions of civilians.

Along the way, there are a number of side missions to do and things to collect. All of which I found pretty enjoyable, however there was one where you had to find people in New York based on a photo of the area they are believed to be in. This was enjoyable at first, but repetitive after a while. However I’m not normally one to want to complete all the side missions and collect of the objects etc. But I felt compelled to in this game.

In terms of actual game play, I remember watching people play the game on YouTube, a little concerned I’d find the game play difficult, you know as I’d never played a Spider-Man game before, but the game eases you into it. To be honest, there was a little learning curve for me to master the web swinging, but once I had, it was alot of fun and as fluid as it looked in the trailers.

The fighting mechanics, for me at least, were difficult to master, but they eased you into it and provided you kept using all the abilities in your arsenal on occasion just to get the muscle memory down, it made things much easier when you needed to rely on them later in the game. When you have a solid grasp on the fighting mechanics it becomes a unique fighting experience and alot of fun.

The progression was great too. As you collected or achieved certain things within the game, you unlocked more web and fighting abilities, better suits and better suit abilities. The things you unlocked generally had a very tangible impact on the things you could do in the game. I remember most of the time, when upgrades were available, there were things that I genuinely was excited to upgrade and be able to unlock.

Which brings me to the whole reason I’m writing this review, as someone who’s never played a Spider-Man game before, I could not be happier that I played this one. Honestly I’ve had a bit of a lull in my game playing, by which I mean, it’s been a few months since there’s been a game I just couldn’t put down.. or if I put it down, I’d want to pick it back up in like a few hours. The web slinging  and fighting mechanics were enjoyable, the graphics were incredible, the story line to me was very interesting, the side missions were enjoyable and felt worthwhile. I really enjoy games that give a sense of freedom, where you can just run around and explore, usually it’s in car or on foot, but for someone who hasn’t played Spider-Man games before swinging around and climbing up buildings I think is my new favorite way to traverse a video game world.

I now feel cravings to play some of the older Spider-Man games, watch the movies and get into the lore of it a bit. Which for me is the sign of a good Single Player game, when I want to explore the lore of it after finishing it.

Rating: 5/5

Rating based on enjoyment. Although I could fault some repetitive aspects of the game, to me repetition doesn’t prevent me from enjoying the game if basically every other element is super fun.

Featured Image:

Screenshot I took of Spider-Man in game after unlocking the Vintage suit. I think it looks really cool! and it makes the world look hyper realistic juxtaposed with the cel-shaded style of the suit.

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Gaming on a budget

So it’s been a while since my last post, and there are a number of reasons why I’ve slowed down (and hope to speed back up a bit moving forward). One of which is the fact I recently changed jobs, to a job where I now earn less, (because it’s less hours and eventually may be more hours), I’ve bought a loan for a car because I desperately need a new car, I bought a new phone, because I desperately need a new phone. All round my financial situation has changed, where I unfortunately have far less money to spend on video games.

I sat down today determined to write something, and all I could think about was how little I’ve invested into gaming lately because of my current financial situation. However I certainly haven’t stopped gaming. I’ve invested little, but continue to play games as frequently as always. Which is something I think is important. I think people often see gaming as an expensive hobby but I grew up gaming on a budget and only the past couple years have I been fortunate enough to binge on new systems and games etc. However it doesn’t need to be this way, and there are options offered to people these days to play a variety of games for relatively small cost.


So here are my top ten tips for gaming on a budget:

10: Hop off the hype train

In today’s interconnected world it’s very easy to be surrounded by the hype of new games, new systems, the latest accessories etc. There are people who collect and buy as soon as games and systems come out and post it all over Facebook and Instagram. It’s very easy to want to have what everyone else seems to have. However hype trains in gaming tend to come and go, because there’s just so many good games that come out, people move on to the next thing within a month. So as much as you think you need Red Dead Redemption 2 or Spider-man or Assassin’s Creed Odyssey which in Australia are $100 each, maybe calm your jets a bit, remember that not everyone is buying all of these games at once. It just seems that way because people love posting about their new games because it helps justify their expense and so they can talk about it with others. It’s hard, but totally worthwhile because…

9: In one year the games can be found for $30

Patience.. Assassin’s Creed Origin’s is currently only $28 on eBay. Now I appreciate Origin’s is an older game now and not many people are talking about it, but as I’ve said.. You Cant Buy Every Game People Are Talking About Straight Away.. unless you’re rich. Also it’s pointless because people tend to stop talking about new games pretty quickly after it’s release.. hell.. the hype for Spiderman is almost gone and that hasn’t been two months yet! So patience is key, note down the games you want, maybe buy one.. but maybe wait until the rest come down in price, because it only takes a year. Why not browse the specials find some older games at bargain prices!?

8: Good games never stop being good games

A point which I make numerous times on my blog. You just need to think about the NES classic, the SNES classic, the Playstation classic, virtual console, Ataribox, #retrogaming, etc. etc. etc. People love old games, there are communities based around old games. Most are bargains, some have increased in price due to rarity, but old games still are bargains. Now many would say retro gaming is completely different to a game that’s a year old, retro gaming is it’s own thing, games that are a year or two or five years old, are just old.. well, lets be honest. Games on the OG XBOX, PS2, Gamecube and even Dreamcast are only just starting to fall into the retro gaming genre, but the reason for playing retro games and the reasons for playing 2-5 or so year old games is the same. That good games never stop being good games, they don’t all of a sudden start getting good because they’re ancient (Unless you’re particularly nostalgic to some games), they simply are good. I regularly play older games, I recently finished Catherine and read through some forums about alternate endings, and low and behold many people still talk about the game now.

7: Know where to look for bargains

So if we’ve established that good games never stop being good games, that means the entire world is open to us to find good games. Which means go to op-shops, search eBay, Amazon, search clearance sections both online and in-store. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as finding an old game you used to love for $2-3 at an op-shop.. but if you can’t find it at an op-shop, then generally $5-8 at the pawn shop or $8-12 on eBay.. for something like God of War 3, or garage sales are good places to find old games too. Bargains are everywhere, depending on where you live there could be hidden treasure troves full of great cheap games somewhere. Even some retail stores have clearance bins that have some great surprises in them.

6: Zippay and Afterpay are good if you have self control

Many people are a bit dubious about using these types of payment methods. However I’ve never had a problem with them and I think the key is don’t use these methods unless you can afford the things outright, just prefer not to. With a bit of self control they can be very good options which a growing number of online gaming retailers are offering these days! I’ve bought games and systems using these methods, so that I can manage my finances a bit better. As an adult there are alot of expenditures to make, many which creep up out of nowhere like car rego (ridiculous amount of money), and other bills that you can’t pay off week to week. So why not pay off your games or things you want week to week instead. If it means you can afford the bills and the games.. to me, it works.. certainly not for everyone however, and if you’re a little trigger happy with gaming expenditures, maybe just trial it with something quite inexpensive to see if it works for you before moving on to more expensive options.

5: There are alot of hidden gems out there

This is a little bit like the ‘good games never stop being good games’ point, however it has nothing to do with old games. I’m talking about indie games that fly under the radar. That come out for $5 and are great. There are heaps of great, cheap, unknown games, that are worth checking out. Two great sources for hidden gems are BeatEmUps and MetalJesusRocks on Youtube. BeatEmUps is great for Switch hidden gems and MetalJesusRocks is great for basically any console out there. I mean you don’t necessary have to get the games on the platforms they show, it can simply give you idea’s of great games to try out. Most of the time they are relatively inexpensive.

4: Don’t be scared of Xbox Game Pass (and similar gaming subscription services)

I was.. as a collector I always thought “I can’t get Game Pass, it would undermine my desire to collect physical copies of the games.” You know.. maybe it does. Maybe me playing Forza Horizon 4 on Game Pass undermines me getting it physically. However I’m incredibly doubtful of this, because I can always buy it later. Currently on Game Pass I’m enjoying Forza Horizon 4, Ryse: Son of Rome and Gears 4. For $10.95 a month. I’ve also downloaded some indie games through it because why on earth not… and you know, if I like the games I can buy them physically and my progress continues over from the Game Pass copy. I don’t know if this is how PS Now or other gaming subscription services work, but at this stage it’s working perfectly for me.

3: There are more options out there than you know

So you’ve realised, you can’t wait. You have to have Spiderman and you have to have it now!! Then just calm down for a minute and realise there are many ways to get it and get it cheaper than the nearest EBGames or GameStop etc. Now I certainly don’t know about the US or other countries but in Australia there’s the website www.ozbargain.com.au where I go maybe once every couple of days to find out about specials and sales and cheap games that are either brand new or maybe a few years old. We also have a website called Press-Start which is very good at making bargain guides for upcoming AAA titles, letting you know where in Australia it will be cheapest, including retail stores, online stores and digital. It’s not too hard to find new AAA games for $69 AUD or even less at launch and quite often you can find one that does Zippay or Afterpay at that price and then the expense becomes rather minimal.. (but don’t do it too often!)

2: Milk the games you already own

I’m definitely guilty of this one. Moving onto other games once I finish the campaign of a previous game. Nothing particularly wrong with it, unless you’re complaining about having no games to play. Maybe do the new game plus for a change, try and 100% the game, complete the side quests, get all the collectibles. Maybe run through a game you used to love but haven’t played for years, why not, you know you’ll have a good time again! Saving money whilst playing games you know you’ll enjoy is a pretty good combination in my opinion!

1: Explore the world of gaming for free

This blog was founded upon a desire to talk about more than reviews and upcoming games but to explore all aspects of the world of gaming from the history of the companies, to speculating about upcoming systems, to exploring gaming as a hobby and what makes it so appealing. I love reading up about gaming history because SO much has happened in the past 40 years that there is a never ending stream of interesting information out there to soak up and most of the time it’s free. Two good YouTube channels for this are G4Icons and DidYouKnowGaming.


For me the hardest, yet most important thing is to get off the hype train and appreciate the games I already have. There are many I’m still yet to play and it doesn’t cost much to buy even more if they have aged a few years.

Of course I appreciate everything you lose by buying an older game, especially with multiplayer games, but if money’s tight then you have to make a few sacrifices, maybe instead of buying all the amazing games coming out around this time, just buy one and maybe buy a few older games for $4 each to go with it. Then maybe in a few months time you can buy another.

It’s not easy sometimes, but when you’re on a budget you can sometimes appreciate the things you buy alot more, because you worked hard to get them and you have time to enjoy them because it’s the only game you could afford to get, so always look on the bright side and play some great games!

Nintendo Online – Part Two

TL;DR After 12 days of using the service, I will conclude that in it’s present state.. it’s about worth the amount you pay…

For me, I was most excited about the classic games, and I feel they’ve been implemented really well. For anyone who wants a refresh this link sums up what’s currently available, as well as what’s to come in the following months. In particular Super Mario Bros. 3 takes me right back to my childhood so I’m currently working through that. I’m also keen to run through Double Dragon and Legend of Zelda. Then later in the year, Metroid is definitely a standout for me. I’m a big fan of revisiting the origins of popular franchises. The online side of things was a little disappointing for me as it seems only available for whoever is on your friends list, or split screen two player is available too. I was kinda hoping for online multiplayer with whoever, but it’s still pretty cool that you can play online with friends for games that never originally had that functionality.

Otherwise I really like the ‘Nesflix’ style of ‘Virtual Console’, if this is the replacement for virtual console. Back on the Wii’s virtual console I was always hesitant to buy old NES games they I’d heard of but never played.. so I never bought them. Now I can try out NES games I never had the opportunity to play, without having to invest more money than I otherwise would. I appreciate this isn’t for everyone.. but I like it. Hopefully Nintendo expand to SNES and N64, as there are many titles for these systems I never got to play as a child as I never got these systems till I was an adult. I also have a Retropie, but I find it really clunky for playing anything beyond just testing a game to see if I like it, but I find the ‘Nesflix’ to be really simple and easy to work with. For me the $30 AUD a year is worth it for the NES games alone.

The cloud saves have received some clarification. We have since learned that the saves stay in the cloud for 6 months after an online subscription expires. To me this seems perfectly adequate in my opinion and it’s also similar to what Sony offers. However once  the subscription expires, you must resubscribe to the service to be able access them within the 6 month period. Which is a little annoying, but if you were in a pinch, you could sign back up to the online service for a month to get access to the cloud saves and then let it lapse again once you’ve sync’d them from the cloud.

I don’t think people are asking for too much.. I think they just want a little reassurance that if they forget to renew their subscription (If they don’t have it set to Auto Renew), or if they accidentally cancel it or can’t for afford it for a little while or for some reason, they’re membership lapses. Their saves aren’t gone forever, and further they know how long they have to organise a way to sign back up. The opportunity for piece of mind goes a long way when people are giving you money for a service that needs to be adequate and reliable. That being said, it is unfortunate not all games support cloud saves.. especially Splatoon 2, however at least the information is available to see what games are and aren’t supported. Most of the time people, or at least me, just want transparency of what is offered by a service.

I have yet to use the phone app, (except a couple times for Splatoon 2 back in the day). However I’ve heard it isn’t that bad (you know.. for what it is..), it’s quite quick to connect and start a chat session with people for the classic NES titles for example. So at least it works well…. *sigh*…

Beyond that there’s the actual ‘online’ component to the service.. which you know.. we’ve all had up to this point so there’s not much to say. Except that in the Nintendo Switch Online section of the eShop there’s a list of games that Nintendo Switch Online supports, which may be handy to some.

Lastly there’s the special offers which I hope is incoming and decent. So we’ll see. But all in all in it’s present state, it’s about worth the cost. I would like it to be better over time and I hope Nintendo improves on it over time. Maybe full online support for classic titles, maybe removal or at least the option of not having to use the phone app; SNES and 64 games in the classic games line up, all games supporting cloud saves in the future? There’s alot Nintendo can do, as always it will be interesting to see what happens.

Featured Image: 

Courtesy of Nintendo does not need attribution as it doesn’t meet the threshold of originality needed for copyright protection.

Nintendo Online – Part One

Ever since the Nintendo Switch came out March last year, the one thing I’ve been wanting to know more and more about is Nintendo Online. Courtesy of the WayBack machine, here is a snap of the landing page for the service as it was on January 13, 2017!.. Lets all take a moment to truly appreciate the Wayback machine and it’s amazing-ness

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Remember when fall 2017 was the launch date… ?

Now I’ve been through some stuff about the online service before, however it’s changed alot since, which I’ll let any potential readers do you’re own investigation about such changes, I noted some here (Mostly about the monthly games service).

Anyway I’ve been very invested in the online service, in terms of, refreshing the page to see if there’s any more information about it, or listening to other people’s thoughts. So I figured it would be interesting to do a couple of blog posts. One on my thoughts about the online service just before it’s released, another on my thoughts after.

Now I’ve been on the fence in terms of positive/negative opinion forever… since I first learned about it and hearing people’s opinions etc. In these sorts of things, I generally err on the side of ‘lets wait and see’.. ‘I trust it will be okay’.. However the more I learn, the more I realise, hmm.. maybe it won’t?

To start with the elephant in the room.. to me.. it makes sense that Nintendo doesn’t have an ideal solution for voice chat, it sounds like they never really did. The more I think about it.. Xbox is Microsoft, Playstation is Sony, Nintendo is .. Nintendo. Microsoft and Sony both huge companies with well developed voice solutions, both in software and hardware spanning decades! Microsoft and Sony have zero excuse to provide poor voice chat solutions. Nintendo kinda does because it doesn’t have any other brands executing voice chat or voice over internet solutions beyond it’s past console’s. In alot of ways it’s no surprise they want to use a mobile app instead. To leverage technology that is ubiquitous and well developed across a world wide infrastructure. So it makes sense, but just because something makes sense, it doesn’t mean it’s something people want. Now we all know why people don’t want the phone app, but for me, I’ll probably never use it because I just want to pick up my switch and play, not connect cables everywhere. My phone is old and needs replacing soon and voice chat would run poorly through it, but I’m sure as hell not replacing it just for voice chat. So we’ll see what happens here, I don’t voice chat much anyway, obviously it’s hell on earth for most people, but for me, I’m just not going to voice chat.

However I’ve since come to learn over the past week and in further detail from my favorite ranting youtube gamer RGT85 that cloud saves are deleted upon an expired subscription. As soon as it expires. Which isn’t good. Further not all games even support it. I mean I appreciate that Nintendo doesn’t market itself as trying to compete with Xbox and Playstation, but it could at least provide comparable services to other consoles, especially if people are expected to pay for it. However for me cloud saves just sound like a risk if they’re deleted upon an expired subscription, what if you forget to renew or can no longer afford it so decide to cancel, simply forgetting you’d lose your save data. I mean I assume there’s a local copy created on the switch. But I’m pretty sure some would be deleting their local copies to save space and things like that. To me, it sounds unreliable, and untrustworthy, people want a cloud saving service, that sounds solid and persistent and user friendly. Without these qualities, it seems better to keep things locally. For me however, I’ll keep my local copies and a cloud copy when it’s available, but I’m certainly not going to rely on it. Hopefully local backups become a thing soon…

Finally according to here. NES games require a weekly check-in or else you will no longer have access to them. I assume it’s to ensure people are in fact still subscribed to the online service. If the check-in doesn’t occur, it seems the games will become inaccessible as the service would assume you are no longer subscribed. However it does sound like as soon as you connect to the internet again the NES games become available to play again, which is a little relief. However for a portable console, it’s simply ridiculous. One month would sound more reasonable, or hell maybe for the length of the subscription? Surely it could just disable if been disconnected for the length of time left on the subscription. I mean if every time the switch was connected to the internet the online service copied the expiration information to the switch locally. So if it ever disconnected, it kept checking against a local copy of the expiry time until it either got a refresh from the server, or ran out locally? Surely this is more sensible?

So yeah, a whole bunch of reasons it sounds very bad. Further people complain they’ve had access to online for a long time for free, why now put it behind a pay wall? Which will be a huge problem when it goes live in two days time, complaint wise. However I have no problem with paying as I’m excited about the NES games and the discounts.. literally the only reasons it sounds good to me, I don’t care about any of the online stuff at this point.

I’d have to say the thing that gets me more than anything is the delay on the online service. Fall 2017 was it’s initial release date. Which is Spring 2017 in Australia by the way. They delayed it an entire year because it needed work, when in the most part, it sounds exactly the same as last year. What have they been doing for a year, because it sounds like they’ve been making it worse.

Nonetheless, I’ll get the service and we’ll see, I’m kinda excited for it because it still has things I’m interested in, however for most.. and I mean for most:

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It sounds like absolute garbage.

What are other people’s thoughts, will you be getting the online service?

I’ll try it out and post my thoughts next week about it. Maybe it’s better than it sounds, or maybe they improve it upon release or a few weeks into release.. who knows? But they’ll need to improve it soon or people make start making a different kind of ‘Switch’.

Featured Image:

Courtesy of Nintendo does not need attribution as it doesn’t meet the threshold of originality needed for copyright protection.

Post Images: 

First Image: Courtesy of Nintendo and the WayBack machine,

Second Image: Courtesy of Youtube

The Cost of Retro Gaming (on original equipment)

I was thinking about my retro gaming collection the past week and how my collecting has unfortunately slowed down (for various reasons) … and thought I’d discuss some of the challenges I’ve had when it comes to retro gaming. Maybe there are people considering collecting for retro gaming or ones who share the same sentiments I do.

Obviously there’s two sides to the equation, there’s the games, and the consoles. There’s also, parts, accessories, compatibility with modern technology, aging of games and equipment causing faults and glitches etc. The first problem I ran into was simply getting old games to look good, after trying numerous things including an HDMI upscaler that takes in a composite connection and outputs to HDMI, I finally settled on just buying a CRT TV. Then I had to remember how to tune consoles in that only had RF connections on them, then I had to be okay with the terrible quality to play the games I wanted to play. I might sound a bit ‘ranty’ but I recall it being a little frustrating at the time. Worth it in the end though because older games, basically a good chunk of generation 6 (unless you have a decent upscaler, or play the right games that support HD), I’ve found look best on a CRT. Not only best but really crisp, like modern retro inspired games look.. but actually retro games. However old games were made for CRT’s so this is to be expected anyway.

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Doesn’t Sonic look bored, looks great on my CRT, just not as great from my phone camera

The best moment I had was getting an old Atari 2600 to work, and work considerably well. My dad had this Atari 2600 sitting in the back room of his place for as long as I can remember. It was in a box, covered in dust and chalk (for some reason), it would’ve been about 20 years worth of dust (Because it was sitting there since we moved in, 20 years prior). He had a few games laying around for it as well. It didn’t work at first, however I got to it with a tooth brush, opened it up and cleaned the pins, blew it out. That’s all it needed. This was early on in my retro gaming collecting and after this I think I fell in love with the idea of collecting for original equipment. I mean it’s just amazing to me when old technology that looks beaten up and ready for the bin.. is still fine! Nowadays I’m kind of a defender of old technology, because you never know what might still work.. and alot of older technology tells a story, of what came before and what was to come.

However the great thing about Atari is it’s well known, which means aftermarket parts still exist and there’s plenty of troubleshooting tips online for them. I have still yet to get my Soundic TV-Sports (Pong clone) up and running as there’s almost nothing online about it. However just last year I bought an aftermarket Atari 7800 power supply that worked flawlessly. Consoles that are well known are easier to repair, easier to find parts, lesser known ones are difficult if they don’t work. Buying rare consoles, if they do work, they cost a fortune.. which I can’t afford.. so you know I’m stuck with trying to fix broken equipment, which admittedly I enjoy.

On the topic of cost, the cost of games is equally as difficult to fathom. Retro gaming has made the prices of old games soar, the rarer and/or nicely packaged, the significantly more expensive. This makes sense. However it is unfortunate when it starts happening to almost all games for a console. Like I find the cost of GameCube games to be a little too much, obviously they range from $5-10 AUD for largely irrelevant sports titles, through to first party games, which are a large part of what draws me to GameCube collecting, sitting at around $100 AUD. I bought Super Mario Sunshine for $70 AUD. It’s worth $70 AUD, but it’s also 16 years old, I don’t feel like it should still cost $70 AUD.

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Once again looks great on my CRT, but from my phone camera.. not so much. 

That being said collecting for the PS2 or PS1 or OG XBOX, all much cheaper. Atari 2600 games are also quite cheap, but 7800 games are probably double the price. There’s almost a direct correlation. The better a console sold the cheaper it’s games (and hardware) remain, the worse it sold, the more expensive. However if you want to collect for the Bally AstroCade or some obscure console like that, good luck. Yet on the upside, the more obscure or poorly selling the console, the less to collect for!

There is almost a curve, to collecting, that stays true for every console, across all generations. A plot of cost against time, the older a game the cheaper it becomes, up until a point where it begins to get more expensive. However the curve isn’t the same for every console, it’s different for every console and for every game. But the pattern is the same. I mean can you imagine how much the first party Wii U games are going to cost in 20 years? I think alot. The factors over all are basically popularity, how well the console/games sold in the region (PAL/NTSC), how good the game/console was in popular opinion, whether it was a first party or third party game, how much time has passed, it’s relevance and the condition the game/console is currently in.

A popular game from 20 years ago from a console that sold poorly compared to it’s competition, made by the company that made the console, will be expensive. However any sports title from anything ever, will (with some exceptions) be a bargain basement price, making them great for testing purposes!

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The last thing to mention is genuineness (I looked it up it is genuineness). Collecting for retro gaming is in it’s nature a quest for genuineness. Sometimes compromises can be made as a temporary measure, but in an ideal world, everything would be the original equipment. Personally I even scoff at the new GameCube controllers made for Wii U, I want what existed back in the day! I want the equipment that was bought and used back when the console was in it’s hey day. The cost for genuine accessories, I’ve found is just as pricey as games and consoles, the only difference being, you can compromise on accessories but you can’t on games and consoles. However I really don’t like doing it and depending on the compromise it can be risky. For example, a third party controller, no problems. A third party power supply, be careful!

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All in all, genuine, original retro collecting is an expensive quest, but one that can be cheap if you’re smart and can be a lifelong hobby if you let it. If you have even slightly thought to yourself “Maybe I don’t want to sell my PS2”, don’t sell it, or “Maybe I should keep my N64 collection”, definitely keep it, unless you’re on the verge of homelessness or need to sell it for an emergency. These things aren’t getting cheaper, and are worth collecting. If you are a gamer, hell even if you aren’t, but you’ve always thought “You know, it would be nice to collect one thing”, gaming ‘stuff’ is a good, fun thing to collect. But being smart is key to making it ‘super fun’. Be patient, keep your eyes and ears out for garage sales and goodwill’s or other op-shops. There’s always someone who doesn’t realize Stadium Events for the NES can sell for up to $25,000.

But I’m not saying hold onto your gaming equipment because it could be worth something… well I am, but I’m also saying, if you enjoy gaming, 10 years down the road, you may find yourself regretting selling your old games, you may want to play them again. You may have memories and friends with similar memories. You may find yourself connecting with a friend that you used to play Spyro on the PS1 with and wish you kept it because for you, the remastered edition just isn’t the same, but Spyro for PS1 sits at $50-60, and then you need to get a PS1 and a CRT TV and two controllers. Which sounds like alot.. but it isn’t alot, if you just kept it all to start with and maybe made a retro gaming corner and were the envy of all your friends. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think retro gaming is cool. My wife is very much, not a gamer, but even she thinks it’s cool.

So yeah, sell your gaming equipment if you know you’ll never play it again, but if you think maybe one day you might, then I’d recommend keeping it, as there’s a likelihood it’s an experience you’ll never get to have again (unless you start collecting now!).

Relevant Links:

Featured Image:

Taken by the author of Gaming Detour, one console from every generation.

Post Image/s:

  • Game Cube Wii U Controller: Courtesy of BagoGames under (CC BY 2.0)
  • Stadium Events Image: Copyright belongs to Bandai, fair use laws permit “the use of low-resolution images of game cover art to visually identify the game in question.”
  • All other images are taken by the author of Gaming Detour.

My Thoughts on Xbox in 2018

So I recently bought the Xbox One X. For a number of reasons. Most aren’t even related to the 6 TF of power it sports, but some definitely are.. Although I’m writing today not so much about what the pros and cons are of the One X but more about the decisions leading up to making an investment into Xbox’s top tier console when, at least in this generation, it’s often seen as the under dog in the console wars?

Well.. for starters.. I like underdogs.. but more it’s because Xbox is ticking all of my boxes. Unlike PlayStation. PlayStation was my original favorite this generation because of it’s sizable number of exclusive titles, not just more games the better, but games I really wanted to play, like Uncharted, like the Quantic Dream games, like Persona 5 etc. Most of my friends have a PlayStation and at least at the time, the online was a bit cheaper and offered a bit more. Although I feel like over the past year, PlayStation has become greedy and Xbox has become more generous.

As cross play started becoming more prevalent across consoles and PC, PlayStation did not want to take part (as we all surely know by now). Which is fine I guess, but not when you are locking down my 3rd party accounts because of it. PlayStation raised the price of online by $1 AUD/month (I know.. it’s just a $1 but still..), they also announced they’ll soon be stopping PS3 and Vita titles as part of their monthly games for PS Plus. Further their support for backwards compatible titles has always been a little mediocre in my opinion. I appreciate that some of that has to do with the architecture of the PS3, but still when Xbox allows you to pop your Xbox 360 disc in your Xbox One it is easy to wish could PlayStation do the same.

Which brings me to Xbox, which I feel has gone in the opposite direction, they last year announced backwards compatibility with the original Xbox, not only this, they showed off the Xbox One X touting full ‘X’ support for all these titles from the Xbox and Xbox 360. Xbox supports cross play 100%, and has a very satisfactory Netflix style gaming library unlike PlayStation’s, where you can download the games as opposed to just stream them, and they are good, some even are brand new games. Xbox also is making a push for more first party titles, with taking on 5 new development studios most of which are studios I really like.

So the shift that has happened the past year has certainly been an interesting one. It’s clear that Xbox is trying to remove some of the stigma it’s suffered this generation of being the lesser powered console with not much to offer except generally being cheaper. To a situation where it’s the most powerful console on offer, in the future will likely have a decent array of exclusives, and there doesn’t seem to be any slow down on the support for backwards compatibility. Plus I genuinely like the CEO of Xbox Phil Spencer, I have alot of trust in this guy’s ability to bring Xbox from what was starting to seem like the brink of demise, to being a genuine rival with PlayStation like it was the last generation.

For me, as silly and irrelevant as this may seem to some. I think my buying an Xbox One X is beyond most other things, simply because I want Phil Spencer to have my money far more than I want John Kodera, because the trust I have in the direction each CEO is taking each brand. I feel like buying an Xbox One X will remain a safe investment for many years to come because Xbox will keep it relevant and keep it compatible, I don’t have the same level of faith in PlayStation as I just feel like what I buy there is pretty locked to PlayStation at that generation level.

But I guess lets be honest, I’ll probably buy future hardware from both companies and Nintendo, and maybe whoever else is popping in to the console wars out of the 4-5 other companies seemingly attempting to. However as far as cross platform titles are concerned, I’m leaning towards getting them mostly on Xbox as I feel like that’s my best investment at this stage. I mean I’d see Nintendo as an equally good investment if it wasn’t for lack of backwards compatibility. The poor graphics quality obviously factors in too however the portability adds a different dimension that kinda even’s out the playing field a bit, in my opinion of course.

So yes, I bought a One X and I’m satisfied with it, it’s obviously far better resolution than the One S and slightly better than the PS4 Pro. These things are obvious. However I have a prediction that it will remain relevant for far longer than people think. Maybe people can give me their two cents on this, but I think the One X may become the entry level for the next generation of console’s. Like they’ll release the Xbox Two and the Xbox One X will gain complete or near complete forwards compatibility with the generation. I imagine like an update pops up on the console that says “Would you like to update this console for the next generation?” Maybe there’s the opportunity to opt out, but if you say yes, the upgrade will convert the interface to the Xbox Two interface and will support Xbox Two games with complete backwards compatibility.

Obviously this is complete speculation but because Xbox is being so good lately, I’m willing to err on the side of clever, innovative, generous ideas for now.. until one day 10 years from now when Xbox is ahead of the game and it’s PlayStations turn to start offering up generous features that benefit the consumer.. but for now.. I’m genuinely enjoying watching the little guys, both Xbox and Nintendo clawing their way back up the ladder. Because they are, and it’s working, and I look forward to seeing what all 3 companies have in store for us in the coming years.

Featured Image: By dronepicr (XBOX ONE X Gamescom) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

My experience with the PC gaming VS Console gaming debate.

I’m really enjoying doing comparison type posts of late, so here’s another! A little bit different though as it’s more one from my experience rather than a factual debate (plenty of those exist already!). Well.. it was going to be a little more from factual standpoint however as I started writing it turned into a life story about my gaming history etc. and because I was enjoying writing it, I kinda pivoted to making about my experience on the matter. It is a popular conversational topic for sure, and one which rings very close to home for me as for the longest time, I was solely a PC gamer.

My gaming timeline is roughly like this:

  • 1991 (Born) -> Wooden Blocks
  • 1995 -> Atari 7800
  • 1996 – 1999 -> NES and Master System
  • 1997 – Now -> PC Gamer
  • 2004 – PS1/Mega Drive and SNES
  • 2008 – 2011 -> Nintendo DS
  • 2012 – 2014 -> Nintendo Wii
  • 2017 – Literally everything else

Most of you may look at that and have a few questions, but the main point is that I dabbled in consoles as I had the opportunity to do so, however I never really invested in them as I had a PC and that’s where I played games.

However I lost interest for about 5 years, although I occasionally played on the Wii and my PC, generally speaking I didn’t play games at all until early 2017 when I was so intrigued with the Switch that I bought it and instantly fell in love with it. Honestly if it wasn’t for having some money to spare (Which barely ever happens) I wouldn’t have bought it because I simply thought I’d never play it.

I mean, during this 5 year lul of games I always wanted to play them, I enjoyed the idea of them and enjoyed following the evolution of gaming hardware etc. But every time I sat down to try and play a game I all of a sudden wasn’t interested. This wasn’t the case when I bought the switch. All I wanted to do was to play it and I played alot of it, and still do. However what truly got me into where I am now, which is owning most consoles and playing most consoles, is the lack of titles on the Switch to start with. I was running out of games I wanted to play, I mean I have 300+ games on my Steam account, but I was still completely uninterested in playing them so what was the solution?

Well to buy an Xbox because it was on special for the E3 sales, then I was like, but I want to try VR and play Playstation’s exclusives so I bought a PS4, then I was like gee I’m enjoying gaming, why don’t I collect those old consoles from my Dad’s and see if they still work and maybe start a bit of a collection. Then I was like.. well now I have about 10 different consoles in my house, why not collect the ones I still don’t have.. then I started an Instagram and a blog and here I am…

.. and my point is, that, I kinda exploded into the console gaming universe like someone who really wanted to game, but had no idea how to get back into it.. and then figured that out.. and then completely emptied his wallet on the solution.. and has no regrets about doing so. I mean I used to be quite a heavy drinker and since abstaining from alcohol after numerous regretful actions, I’ve instead poured that money into gaming, which I feel has been a far more worthwhile investment.

Which I think is quite a profound situation to be in. To really want to play video games, but simply aren’t sure how to get into it, or where to start. I have heard many stories of people who got back into gaming because of the Nintendo Switch, I think the console is such an adaptive piece of gaming hardware, where instead of you having to conform to the constraints of the console, the console has to adapt to you and your lifestyle. This was a very engaging way to help me get back into the swing of things.

I think for me alot of it was just losing interest in gaming on my PC, where my PC became a place of work more than pleasure and still is. My PC used to be in my bedroom in my parents house, then my bedroom in my share house, then my study in mine and my wife’s house, my PC has evolved into a tool for my career more than a tool for gaming. Because of this I feel like I don’t want to finish studying or whatever I’m doing, then close MS word and open GTA 5. I want to go into another room to play GTA 5, or Uncharted, or Zelda. For me I found, the physical separation both of room and hardware was necessary to get me back into gaming. I mean, I still occasionally play games on my PC, but not for long, it’s kinda sad really, I have many games still to complete or even play on my Steam account, but they just lay dormant because I can’t bring myself to finish them (Except for Skyrim and Tomb Raider).

I used to pride myself on being a member of the PC master race, of having the superior graphics and superior controls for FPS and MMORPG games. But now I don’t care at all. It’s far more about, what relaxes me the most. I’m not particularly competitive, I just want to relax and enjoy a video game. I can do that now.

I know that PC’s are superior in a bunch of ways, but I think that console’s are so popular because they aren’t trying to be the best piece of hardware. They are just trying to be the best console experience. Because a console experience holds alot of weight for a lot of people. Some people are like me and don’t enjoy gaming on the same hardware they work on. Some don’t like adjusting all the graphics settings and fiddling around with computer settings and installing drivers and setting up controls etc. for the PC, they just want an easy out-of-the-box experience. Some want a more family oriented experience where multiple people can sit around a console and play/watch on the TV screen… and then PC gamer’s want the ability to adjust and tweak performance, max out their settings, upgrade their PC’s etc. I used to love doing these things too, hell I kinda still do but then I just play the game for 30 minutes go “Oh wow” and then close the game down.

One day I’ll have to buy/build a dedicated gaming PC, place it in another room and see if doing so helps me enjoy PC gaming more, but for now I really enjoy console gaming and feel like I’m getting everything I’m after by that experience…

.. so I think if you are in the strange situation of wanted to get back into gaming but find you just can’t, maybe try a new experience that’s vastly different, maybe you’re the opposite to me and find console’s just aren’t cutting it for you and you want more control over your gaming experience, PC’s are great for this .. One of the exciting things about gaming is it comes in so many different forms. I strongly believe there’s a gaming experience for everyone, even people who say they aren’t gamer’s, like my wife says she isn’t a gamer, but then I see her playing games on her phone ..

So as with most things it’s personal preference, but furthermore it can sometimes just be needing a change of pace.. and there’s a level of comfort in realizing that at least in the world of gaming, there’s always a video game or a console, or computer, or phone, or tablet, or handheld device etc. that will meet your gaming desires and may too rejuvenate your long lost love of video games.

Featured Image: Taken by the author of Gaming Detour

The Landscape of Retro Gaming

My initial topic was ‘Retro gaming vs Rom gaming’, but after writing a short draft I realized there was far more to the discussion. These days it has become so popular to play retro games that the options aren’t limited to rom’s, there are ports, remasters, virtual console has been a thing for a long time, collections of vintage games re-released on modern consoles. The scope for playing games from decades past is becoming so vast that it’s not even solely about nostalgia anymore, rather companies appreciating the consumer base’s love for their IP backlog and spinning ways to make money from it, whilst also giving a little to the experience to make it work for today’s ever expanding gaming audience.

In many, if not, every way, there are no downsides to this. Companies re-releasing their old games on modern hardware, allowing today’s generation’s the opportunity to play some of the best and/or most pivotal video games the world has ever played, when all they have is an Xbox One, or even an iPad, or PC, or any modern console, or anything really. It’s given rise to a new generation of retro gaming, where 8-bit/16-bit games are back in trend and the lines are starting to blur between what a game from the early 90’s late 80’s looks like and what a modern game made yesterday looks like (provided it’s made in the 8-bit/16-bit style).

It’s great! we’re seeing anyone and everyone enjoying any and every game and the emphasis is moving away from the best graphics to the best game play, at least, somewhat, because obviously people still want the highest definition graphical experience they can get with the best frame rate possible. But frame rate is beginning to matter far more than graphics, and I think the way the gaming landscape has evolved to fit different art styles inspired from decades of gaming history has alot to do with such an evolution in popular opinion.

So retro gaming is now popular, and companies know it, and there are solutions to fit every audience. However a large part of me feels a little empty from the modern retro gaming offerings. To the point that playing the rom of an old Sega game through an old Sega emulator running through Dos-box is the new nostalgia, yes, it’s nostalgia-ception. I guess it feels a little fake to me, a little too new, like because it’s been worked on it’s not the original game.

I don’t know about other people, but there is something amazing, a very joyous feeling about being able to put an original game in an original console, neither of which have been changed since they were released in the late 80’s and being able to play it the way it played three decades ago. Maybe it’s a novelty, or maybe it’s a preference of how to play games, whatever the case, I don’t care because I love it so much.

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The difficulty to get original games, the best ones cost as much as modern games, once I get it, it feels like I’m buying a new game for my console, much the same as buying a new game for my PS4 or Switch. The feeling that I spent hard earned money on something I really wanted, not just wanted for the past few months, but wanted literally for the past 10-20 years, and to be able to play it on the original console, feels like fulfilling a childhood memory. If it’s a game I’m not nostalgic for and simply want to try, maybe I bought it as a Garage sale or 2nd hand store, then there is a very warm and fuzzy feeling I get to just play the game in an original console as if it were the early 90’s again.

I kinda get a similar feeling from rom’s as I used to play roms via emulators on an old PC many years ago, back when the PS2 was new, NES and SNES, Master System and Mega Drive, so even this has a little nostalgia, however the interest waned as with rom’s the opportunity to obtain is too easy, the reward is too small, and playing on rom’s just feels like too much an effort, at least it did back in the day. Even now my RetroPie I made up recently to see if rom playing was something I might enjoy again, has just sat on my shelf gathering dust, because it’s simply not my thing, my investment is in original equipment, I enjoy the controllers, the consoles, the CRT display’s, inability to save state’s, it’s a different experience.

I say different because I don’t think it’s better or worse, it’s simply my preference. I certainly see the appeal of modern retro gaming opportunities, for example I love Mega Man on my switch because I’m terrible at it, however I used to watch my brother play it when I was young, but I wasn’t good at it so I didn’t bother, now I can enjoy the game and rewind when I need too. Which brings me to playing games on modern equipment. Simply, it is a different experience. It’s for those who can’t afford to buy original equipment, or certainly those who wouldn’t want to go to that effort or simply aren’t interested. When there’s a new collection released on modern consoles, take for example the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis classics collection. I don’t own it, but judging from reviews it’s an awesome collection of a number of great Mega Drive games made to work very well on modern hardware. You don’t need to set up a different console, or make sure you have a TV that supports RF/Composite inputs etc. etc. it’s a very simple and easy experience. One which I look for in my modern gaming, but in my retro gaming, not so much, I think the effort of setting up an old console, on a CRT TV, reaching behind to plug it in and tuning it in on the screen is something I’m also nostalgic for, as at my house we never really left consoles set up for long. However I completely appreciate the plug and play of retro games on modern equipment, it’s very appealing even as I write this, but I know as soon as I turn on my PS4 I’d want to play Far Cry or some racing game, rather than my retro games.

So it’s one of those personal preference things, as with most things. Retro gaming is hugely influenced on personal nostalgia, what games do you want to revisit, what experiences are you nostalgic for. But beyond nostalgia, what experience do you enjoy when video gaming, is it about the graphics, game play, FPS, popularity. I think retro gaming is slowly becoming recognized as ‘gaming’, very very slowly. I mean many people still watch old movies, why not old video games? If we take away the old aspect of games, it simply becomes a question of how do you enjoy playing games, on original equipment or are you okay if it’s all lumped together in a collection on a different device like Wii’s Virtual Console or a Retro Pie?

I’m a huge advocate for retro gaming to be seen as less of a niche and more of a regular gaming experience. I’d love to see more stores stock old games and equipment, more offerings by companies for their old IP and more ways to enjoy games from the past, today. They aren’t bad games most of the time, just old. The way we jump on new games and discard old games is simply not my thing to the point, I don’t really understand it beyond the fact many retailers promote it. I’d far prefer to see new games that come out as simply more games to play. In a landscape of an ever growing collection of gaming experiences that exist across an ever growing number of years.

 

Featured Image: All taken by the Author and turned into a collage.

Post Image: Taken by the Author

Is the Wii U worth buying in Mid-2018?

Specifying “mid” simply because of the amount of Wii U ports to the Switch that have happened this year… Which is why I thought discussing such a topic was worth while.

When Nintendo is porting almost every first party title to the Switch, and we can probably assume ones that aren’t, will be,

Is the Wii U, still worth purchasing?

My personal answer is yes, but by personal I mean, me, not necessarily other people, and as with most gaming related purchasing questions, it really does come down to the individual.

For me, I’ve made it a hobby of mine to collect as many consoles as possible, not like as in hoarding consoles, but simply one of each, or maybe if there are different models, one of each model (eventually). So for that reason alone, I knew I wanted one. Beyond that I love first party Nintendo games and the Wii U has a number of stand out titles (many of which are coming to the Switch, I’ll talk about this later). Virtual Console exists on the Wii U and serves as a great option for playing retro titles in a handheld format, or on the TV. It’s still a relatively new console, coming out in late 2012, for comparison the XB1 and PS4 were only a year later, coupled with this you can often find consoles and games for bargain prices because the Wii U is becoming ever more obsolete thanks to the Switch. Also I wanted to play some of the gimmicky games that it has (I am indeed one for gimmicks).

So for me, that was enough. Which really is enough said, if this resonates with you:

  • Nintendo first party titles
  • Virtual Console
  • Cheap games that are still relatively new
  • Cheap consoles
  • Gimmicky titles

Further it has a suite of applications for the Internet and Youtube etc. and it has a clever way of handling the Internet on the Gamepad and the TV if you want to swap between the two. Secondly it’s completely backwards compatible with the Wii, games, controllers, accessories, all work.

It’s drawbacks, at least in Mid 2018, are of course they are no longer produced, so you’ll have to get a second hand one, it has limited titles beyond the first party ones, and I’ve found the interface to be sluggish especially when popping into the settings and the store. Lastly of course there’s the simple fact that most games are being ported to the Switch anyway, so if we assume that the Wii U eventually becomes rendered ‘redundant’ will it serve any purpose at all?

It once again, depends on you. For me it will because I bought a bunch of cheap Wii U first party titles that I didn’t need to fork out full price on the Switch. Virtual Console exists and can be played from the gamepad or TV. Also it’s completely backwards compatible with the Wii, including all games and peripherals. Which I think makes it stand out as a console worth buying if you want a HD system, that can play your Wii games, has Virtual Console, and is cheap as chips for most things, it could serve you and/or your family as a great all round system to buy.

However it’s worth noting that beyond this, it may not be worth it. All the games being ported to the Switch, reportedly play better there, along with extra features. The Switch is a new hybrid console with games still coming out on it, including plenty of cheap indie titles, so if you are on a budget you can save up for larger titles and stay occupied on a few cheap games on the eShop. If you have a Switch and virtual console doesn’t interest you too much (pending how this Nintendo Online library goes), if you really want to play Yoshi Woolly World, or Super Mario 3D world, but literally nothing else, it really depends on you if you think that’s worth picking up a Wii U for. Personally I think these two games are a couple of exceptions of first party titles that won’t come to the switch. But if you want a huge number of these ports like Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 1 and 2, Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, and aren’t too interested in the extras that have been added to the titles on the Switch, then I would recommend a Wii U because if you look around, these games are dirt cheap, anywhere from $5-30. For example I recently bought Bayonetta 1 and 2 for $5 each second hand for Wii U as opposed to the $50 and $80 asking price for each game on the Switch.

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My Wii U collection at this stage. All between $5 and $30 from various online stores.

To conclude, I think the Wii U is an underrated console. Poor marketing and weak first party launch titles, lent many to simply sticking to their Wii’s and current gen systems. However during the four years it was Nintendo’s flagship console it had a bunch of solid AAA first party titles released on it. Many coming to the Switch, some likely aren’t, but if you do want to play alot of these Switch games that are Wii U ports, just don’t want to pay the ‘Switch Premium’ it may be worth the investment.

Featured Image: Free Image from Wikimedia Commons of the Wii U
            Attribution: By Takimata (edited by:Tokyoship) (File:Wii U Console and Gamepad.jpg) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

Post Image: My Wii U collection taken by the author of Gaming Detour.

 

 

 

Sonic Adventure (Review)

Most would argue Sonic Adventure doesn’t need a review, however in a world where every new 3D Sonic title is ragged on for being buggy and a poor representation of Sonic. Sonic Adventure reminds us that Sonic can be 3D it just hasn’t been done right in quite long time.

Now I’m not going to lie, I played through Sonic Adventure recently and it was my first ever playthrough. I did play the sequel for a couple hours on PC about a decade ago, but I didn’t enjoy the gameplay using a keyboard, so this time I played the original on the Dreamcast. Lets just say it was definitely made for that controller because it controls much better using the original controls. Not to mention I was also blown away by the graphics for a 1998 game. There’s nothing quite like playing a retro game on it’s original equipment just to be officially blown away by the quality. In 1998 I was still playing games on PC with ‘Wolfenstein 3D type’ 3D graphics at best, I could never afford a Dreamcast until recently, so in all honesty I never really knew what quality was on offer back then.

Onto the game itself, you start with some cutscenes, and an introductory boss battle and action stage mixed in, that help show the player the basics of gameplay alongside setting the plot of the story. Personally I found the Chaos 0 boss battle at the start a little jarring, not so much because it was out of place, but because in terms of Sonic games I’ve played the past 10 years, it didn’t feel familiar. It was an incredibly easy battle anyway, and obviously simply a way to address combat mechanics and get used to working with Sonic in the first ‘true’ 3D Sonic game. You then jump into Emerald Coast which is a very familiar 3D Sonic experience and very Green Hill esque, very ‘un-jarring’ and a great introductory action stage to start with.

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The game introduces you to a hub world and as you play through, you find further hub worlds called ‘Adventure Fields’ and you find out how to unlock action stages as you progress. You also unlock other playable characters throughout Sonic’s story including Tails, Knuckles, Amy Rose, Big the Cat and E-102 each with their own story and abilities.

There’s also the Chao garden where you can interact with Chao and level them up via small animals you find when defeating enemies throughout the game. These Chao can be raced in Chao Races or transferred to the VMU for a minigame ‘Chao Adventure’ where you make your Chao faster and stronger.

However what was potentially the most interesting thing about the game was how ‘non-buggy’ it was for a 3D Sonic game. In the recent years as many people would know, most 3D Sonic games are kinda glitchy, or the gameplay mechanics are kinda poor. Things like ending up underneath a 3D object and having to try and get out. Things like Sonic being unreasonably slow or not jump correctly, or somehow warping to a different location, or controlling.. just terribly.

Of all the things Sonic Adventure does right, it’s refined gameplay, very few glitches and very good speedy Sonic gameplay, as well as some clever gimmicks, but these gimmicks never get in the way of core Sonic gameplay. As someone who’s played a number of recent 3D Sonic games, jumping back to an old one I was instinctively waiting for a glitch to happen at certain places, but it never did, even when the graphics were not quite keeping up with the gameplay, the game mechanics remained true to what it was attempting to achieve. For example, If the models in certain areas of the game were particularly ‘short on polygon’s’ the collision detection would still work as intuitively as you would hope for.

Which is why I say at the top of the post “Sonic Adventure reminds us that Sonic can be 3D it just hasn’t been done right in quite a long time.” It really does show us that Sonic works as a 3D game, without having to be buggy and with gameplay mechanics on point. I think we’d all love to see Sega/Sonic Team create a new Sonic game as polished and refined as Sonic Adventure, one that felt like a game made because the creators love Sonic and love game development and genuinely want to make a polished title worth buying. I’m sorry if that is the intention with recent 3D Sonic titles, but it honestly feels like they are churning new Sonic titles out because Sonic sells and that’s it, that’s certainly how Sonic Forces felt to me. Imagine a 3D Sonic with the same love and dedication put into it that Sonic Mania had?

But to get back on track with Sonic Adventure specifically, as mentioned, it is a solid 3D Sonic game and would recommend it to the following people:

  • Those who haven’t played it but:
    • Love Sonic games
    • Love Dreamcast games
    • Rag on 3D Sonic games all the time and suggest Sonic can’t be 3D
  • Those who have played it but:
    • Miss it
    • Have forgotten what a good 3D Sonic game is like

It is kinda hard to fault the game, if I were to fault it would probably simply be that it tried to achieve things that the graphics of the day, and controller weren’t quite equipped for. I mean the controls and graphics for the time were awesome! But for someone playing in 2018, it really is a little jarring. Otherwise a very solid 3D Sonic game.

Rating: 4/5

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Featured and Post Images: All images are taken by the author of Gaming Detour.

I must apologise for the quality of all images included, I don’t (currently) have any equipment for taking screens from the output of my consoles, hence I use a phone camera, which I maintain, is better than nothing.

 

An exploration of the world of gaming through the eyes of some random bloke from Western Australia.