Sunshine Blogger Award

Thanks to Red Metal @ Extra Life Reviews for the nomination of this award. It’s really appreciated, and I enjoy doing these sorts of things 🙂

Rules

The rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award are:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions they ask you
  • Nominate 11 blogs and write them 11 questions
  • List the rules and display the logo in your post and/or on your blog

Q1: In which cases would you deem the manga superior to the anime on which it’s based?

As someone who doesn’t really read manga it’s very hard to say. Honestly I may have to skip this question because any possible answer I could give would only prove I don’t know what I’m talking about! Maybe I should read some more Manga huh!

Q2: Which game do you feel has the best soundtrack?

Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega Master System closely followed by it’s sequel. With more modern games I don’t pay much attention to the soundtrack I just find the sound tracks in retro games to stand out so much more and much catchier. Alot of the games I play now are open world adventure games and they have some amazing music, but nothing sticks in my head quite like 8-bit music on the Master System which was my favorite system as a child.

Q3: If you could revive a dead video games series, which one would you choose?

Well some on this list are technically still alive.. but not how I’d like them to be alive:

  • Tony Hawks Pro Skater (Because 5 doesn’t count)
  • Portal
  • Katamari Damacy (A completely new one as opposed to a remaster)
  • Elite Beat Agents / Ouendan
  • Midtown Madness

Q4: What game did you have a particularly difficult time adding to your collection?

Definitely Super Mario Sunshine because it’s really expensive, the cheapest version in reasonable condition was $70 AUD. I ended up biting the bullet and getting it because I really wanted to play it. It took me a long time to work up the nerve to pay the money though, but I used an eBay gift card my wife gave me for it. Apparently some people don’t like this Super Mario game but I loved it.

Q5: Do you prefer to see a film at home or in the theaters?

At home usually, however I can appreciate why people enjoy seeing one at the cinema’s and if I’m in the right mood it’s an appealing option. But I just prefer at home so I can pause it and run to the loo, prepare a few snacks, relax, shout and talk and carry on, be myself.

Q6: In what cases did you find yourself siding with critics over fans about a work’s quality?

Hmm the best way I can handle this question is instances where the game was objectively good but maybe it deviated from what fans were after in the game. But it’s hard to pin down a game that the fans collectively didn’t like, if I were to pick some I’d say Pokemon Lets Go, Final Fantasy XV and Super Mario Sunshine. All great games, but personally I’ve seen some fans of the franchises be kinda frustrated or annoyed with them usually because it was a deviation from expectation or something like that. But I enjoyed all these games alot.

Q7: In what cases did you find yourself siding with fans over critics about a work’s quality?

Probably the later Sonic games like Sonic Forces, Sonic Boom, Sonic Lost World, I enjoy all of these games, critics generally dislike them, many fans of the older Sonic games also dislike them. But there are heaps of fans out there that appreciate the new Sonic games flaws and all, I’m one of those people. A better example might be the newer NFS games, iuno. I’m pretty easily pleased with franchises I’m familiar with, but I tend to avoid games with poor reviews and ratings if I’m not familiar with them. I’m a bit weird like that.

Q8: What is the most difficult game you’ve completed?

In recently memory the first thing that pops into my head is the final boss battle from Beyond Good and Evil, I say recent because I only played it last year for the first time. I found Crash Bandicoot Remastered on the PS4 particularly difficult. Also Tropical Freeze on the Wii U. It’s hard to pin down the most difficult but in recent memory, these ones had me banging the controller against the couch numerous times out of frustration.

Q9: Which game series have you been following for the longest amount of time?

Definitely Sonic the Hedgehog… I mean I’ve been following other franchises too but Sonic’s the only one I never took a break from following. I didn’t necessarily play all the Sonic games (I’ve only recently started playing the ones only available on consoles) but I’ve kept up with them and watched footage of them and read up about them, gone back and played the classics numerous times etc.

Q10: In what ways do you feel video game critics to be ahead of their film-loving counterparts?

I’m not a film critic really nor reviewer of film so I guess I’m not particularly the kind of person who should answer this question but if I was to take an uninformed stab. I simply feel like video games are really dynamic and interactive and have alot more moving parts and these interactive moving parts are also a huge part of what a critic must look at and assess. Whereas a film reviewer can also look at the moving parts that a filmmaker would’ve used to create the film, but in terms of critiquing the film vs a video game it’s a completely different level. Like the most important thing in a film is the story that’s told, but the most important thing in a video game is the game play and I feel like the game play has alot more moving parts than the story which a critic must assess and express to their audience. Apologies if I’m completely wrong, but this is just how I see things. Feel free to correct me in the comments 🙂

Q11: How does hype factor into how you ultimately feel about a work?

This is an interesting question. I think a huge amount of people buy games (or watch films) based off the hype surrounding them. If I was to comment from my perspective, I personally think that hype really influences me, probably too much and certainly more than I’d like.. but also probably less than other people I follow and friends etc.

I guess the number one thing hype does for me is it makes me curious, I never simply go out and buy a game because it’s popular, but I’ll google it, watch game play, seek out reviews and read up about it etc. more so than a game that had no hype. I feel I’m pretty good at making a decision based around my interests, however I feel like I’m definitely swayed toward the research of finding games that suit my interests.

And beyond that if there’s a sale on at Ebgames (Or Game-stop if you’re American) and I see a game that had in the past recieved alot of hype I’ll pay $5 for it no questions asked because I generally do want to see what the hype is about, especially if it’s still receiving hype 2 years or more after being released. I’m always open to playing games I wouldn’t necessarily think I’d be into as I’m open to finding new genre’s and kinds of games that I’ll enjoy.

Nominations

Questions

  1. Which game got you into gaming?
  2. What is your favorite game franchise?
  3. Favorite game to movie adaptation?
  4. Favorite game developer and why?
  5. Most memorable video game?
  6. Favorite genre of video games?
  7. Which game were you most excited for prior to it’s release?
  8. What game do you keep coming back to even though you’ve already 100%’d it
  9. What games in your backlog are you most looking forward to play?
  10. If you could be a character in a video game for a day which character would you be?
  11. Since you first started gaming until now which console (or device) do you think you’ve spent the most time gaming on?

References

  • Sunshine blogger award picture taken from Extra Life which is also the WordPress site that nominated me
  • Super Mario Sunshine image was taken by the Author of Gaming Detour
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All about video game controllers

I’m not sure about everyone else, but I feel I’ve certainly overlooked this as a topic of conversation. Although game controllers are, in my opinion one of the most important aspects of a gaming experience, because how you interface with a video game really defines the experience you have.

For example, sometimes, when I go back and play some older 3D games that don’t really have the standardized left analog stick to move around and right analog to move the camera; or they have that but the right analog is inverted; or maybe they don’t have camera movement at all because they literally only have one analog stick. Well, it can get a little frustrating!.. But then, if the game is good, I can push past the frustrating controls and get used to them, and enjoy the game how it was intended.

Super Mario Sunshine is a great game, so I could look past the inverted C-stick controls for the camera.

In alot of ways we look at game controls now and say ‘they are the best they’ve ever been’, I mean personally I think that’s true in terms of being versatile enough to cover a wide array of games, to the point that almost all games can be played on a modern controller. However that’s not to say games are best played on a modern controller. I’d take the original NES controller any day for playing NES games.

.. but I don’t feel the same way about the Master System controller. I think when it comes to Master System, at least these days I prefer using the Mega Drive (Genesis) controller which is backwards compatible with the Master System. The buttons are more tactile and the directional pad is an improvement.

Then, as games started taking a 3D turn we came out with controllers with only one analog stick, most notably the Dreamcast controller and the Nintendo 64 controller.

Personally I’m not a huge fan of the N64 controller, but the Dreamcast is okay, what it lacks in buttons for more modern games, it makes up for in comfort.

Then for someone like me with a background in PC gaming, I have to mention keyboard and mouse controls. Loads of easily map-able buttons and very precise aiming. I was primarily a PC gamer for a solid 12 years so it’s no surprise that even when it came to racing games I was better at these in keyboard and mouse than on a controller, at least ‘back in the day’.

My current gaming keyboard and mouse

I still advocate that FPS’s and probably strategy games are best played with keyboard and mouse, but for everything else, I prefer controller these days. Especially today’s controllers, where they have all the buttons you need and the control scheme is almost a de facto standard across most controllers and games.

Admittedly, my favorite of these three is the XB1 controller. Pictured is the Elite controller, but my opinion remains for the standard also.

Except during that weird motion controller phase everyone on the planet went through all at once.. and in alot of ways are still going through if you’re a VR gamer.. or just really love playing Nintendo games with the motion controls.

Farpoint.. also known as ‘spider’s in your face regularly’.

It’s interesting to consider the evolution of controllers. From the humble beginning’s of the Joystick, through to what we have now

It’s clear that at the start console manufacturers had their own ideas of the best way to interface with a game, the best control scheme, how much input is required from the user and for what actions. Certainly the technology available shaped the games and the mechanics, and therefore the degree of input required or possible from the user to perform to play through the game. Leading us to what we have now. Dual analog thumb sticks, four shoulder buttons, a directional pad, plus four action buttons. Sometimes this isn’t the case, but usually it is. However it is worthwhile to appreciate that it took a long time to come to a control scheme that works so well it’s been adopted by basically everyone.

Or maybe we think the opposite, maybe we think it’s not enough and controllers need to be more adaptable or have more buttons. Maybe controllers are starting to define games more than games defining controller design. However you can consider companies like Microsoft with their adaptive controller, third party manufacturers with their own custom form factors and of course every now and again certain games have their own custom controls; or you can consider the keyboard and mouse which breaks rule entirely because you can map 100+ buttons however you want. Maybe as keyboard and mouse setups for consoles become more popular well see if there’s any change to how console gaming operates and the control scheme’s that underpin them.

It’s an interesting thought but for now, I’m happy with my modern controller, relaxing on the couch and playing a variety of very different games all from one very comfortable, very versatile controller.

References: All images were taken by the author of Gaming Detour

An Appreciation for Playstation

To be clear, I have a background as a PC gamer, as some of you may know. My parent’s bought a PS1 back in.. sometime early – mid 2000’s, because it was dirt cheap and I think they thought that console models went up and down in the same steps as PC’s did. My dad has a history with consoles, but not anything post 3rd generation, which is great because he is also a bit of a hoarder and hence I was able to get his old consoles to add to my collection. But not so great because when he lost interest in gaming, he no longer kept track of “what the kids are into these days” and my next console wasn’t until the Wii which I bought myself in 2012 (and a DS in 2008).

Me replacing the laser of the PS1. Works much better now.

My point is that I never really had experience with Playstation’s brand until 2017, not anything more substantial than “Cool this PS1 still works.” I love the PS1 now, but I didn’t appreciate retro gaming until around 2014 when I first dug out my Dad’s old NES and set it up in what used to be my bedroom and it worked!.. after alot of blowing on the Super Mario Bros 3 cartridge.

As I was growing up especially my late teens, I’d come across games that I really wanted to play. Then I’d look them up and see they were only on console. This used to disappoint me, but this was a time when I had no money so I was comfortable enough to see it as ‘just how it is’. I guess I figured that if I didn’t know what I was missing out on, then I wasn’t missing out on anything. By this time the people I knew were more PC gamers anyway, and if they gamed on console, they were games that came out on PC like COD and Battlefield etc.

After buying a Switch in 2017 which I became instantly addicted to, my next console was an XB1 which I enjoyed.. but shortly after I wanted a PS4 because I was having buyers remorse, thinking “maybe I should’ve bought a PS4”. So I bought a PS4.. and it was a good decision. Don’t get me wrong, my XB1 was and is great.. but at the time I think the PS4 really filled the hole in my gaming experience I was looking for. This was around the time when the switch had about 30-40 games on it and I’d played all the ones I wanted to, I was enjoying gaming in the lounge and on a console and simply wanted more.

Apologies for the poor quality

This was my first PS4. I bought it mid 2017 for $220 second hand it smelled like cigarette smoke, and was kinda gross.. but not as gross as the controller was.. but it worked well and I cleaned it up as much as I could and became very happy with it after that.

It was at this point that I began to appreciate the PS4, and understand why people loved it more than the XB1. I don’t think it’s necessarily completely about the exclusives, but it kinda just feels like a system completely for gaming. There are no distractions, the interface is quite simple and the games are really good. To this day the PS4 to me still feels like it has a better interface and sometimes when I turn it on and see all my games sitting in a row on the screen it feels much more welcoming than the XB1 interface.

From this point I systematically went through and played all the games that I couldn’t get on any other system:

I started with Heavy Rain and my latest was God of War. I haven’t played all of the above but of the ones I have played, I’ve never been disappointed, Sony has some great exclusives. Obviously you can see PS3 and PS2 games in there too.. well I went and bought a PS3 and PS2 later in 2017 also.. and to be honest.. the exact same thing, not disappointed. Sony throughout the generations has some amazing exclusives.

Me trying to take a stylised picture of my PS2 and PS3 next to each other

I’m not trying to say Sony is better than the other console companies (or Xbox in particular).. which is what alot of people tend to say. I’m simply saying I understand why people say it. If you’re only getting one system, you can have confidence that you’ll be satisfied with Playstation. If you want to turn your system on and get straight into a video game. In my experience this is a very seamless experience.

So for someone like me growing up with PC most of my teenage life, I feel like the Nintendo Switch is what got me curious about console gaming after many years of purely PC based gaming. But it’s the Playstation that sold me on it. The PC for me, at least my PC became a place of study and work, I lost interest in gaming on it and PC’s in general because of this association. I wanted a different location and a different interface and a seamless experience that just worked and I feel like Playstation does this the best, at least in my experience.

With all this said the truth is that now I probably game most on my Xbox One X. I might decide to explain why in a later blog post. However I will always see Playstation as the system that made console gaming really enjoyable for me and now I’m simply addicted to it.

References: All images were taken by the author of Gaming Detour

I still love the Sega Master System

Sega Master System

Above is a picture of one of my first gaming memories. The Sega Master System. The one pictured is the very same I played on back in the 90’s, obviously a little banged up but still works like a dream.

My Growing library of Master System Games

Above are the Master System games that are currently in my collection. Most are, once again, the exact games from my childhood. However some I repurchased only to realize later they were in a closet at my parents place even though I’d already scoured their house for everything retro.

I most fondly remember Sonic 1 and 2, Rescue Mission, Wonder Boy and Teddy Boy, loved all of these games. Bank Panic, Shinobi, Dick Tracy, Hang On, California games, Arcade Smash Hits I also have fond memories of playing, however never got into them quite as much. I recall my brother loved Shinobi though and was always much better than me at it.

I had some fun playing the above titles recently. Some serious nostalgia from all games especially Hang-On which I remember always being the first thing I saw if a game didn’t boot properly as it came built into the systems memory.

Rescue mission was really surprising as I found the graphics to be quite detailed for an 8-bit system and the light gun worked incredibly well on my CRT.

I love Teddy Boy

One of the games I’m still a fan of is Teddy Boy. I’m not great at it.. but it’s just a fun little game with an addictive tune. I wish I was better at it, but to be able to still play it on original hardware. It’s just a great experience.

We also owned a couple of Master System 2’s which back in the day I always thought was a better system, but now I’ve come to realize that it really isn’t beyond the fact that it comes with Alex Kidd built in.

It lacks a Sega Card port and any A/V output, neither of which bothered me back in the day but now I come to realize it was really just a cut down version of the console, something that companies to this day just love to keep doing!

So what are other people’s experience with the Sega Master System? Absolutely love it? As I say it’s basically my childhood console narrowly beating out the NES, but I feel like it was ahead of it’s time and heavily overshadowed by the Mega Drive, obviously a great system too but the Master System deserves it’s fair share of love.

Post Images: All taken by the author of Gaming Detour

Slightly new direction

The posting on my site has kinda dropped off lately. For a number of reasons, but I’ve decided to get it going again in a slightly new direction.

For a number of reasons that I won’t get into, I’ve taken a break from Instagram and deleted the app from my phone. I’ll leave my Instagram up and it will still be accessible from my blog, but I won’t be making any new posts, not sure for how long.. but lets just say, I’ve decided to take a break from it.

In lieu of this, I figured I could ‘reinvigorate’ my blog. Instead of posting photos to my Instagram, post them to my blog and include a few paragraphs about it. In a diary like fashion, reliving memories etc. I’m sure alot of my followers have dropped off during my period of inactivity, but maybe there can be some sharing of memories amongst followers and have a discussion about various consoles and games, maybe it’ll help me or other’s get into some classics or just have a fun time learning and reliving memories.

I’m not 100% sure how well this will work, but I’m excited for the future direction of my blog and hope to expand it and grow it, potentially to the point of gaining a big enough following to get the paid version of WordPress and bring something enjoyable for both myself and my followers.

Looking forward to it!

Regards,

Christon.

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.

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 really bad!

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.

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