It’s the weekend and I’m browsing around EB Games, looking for some new software to aid me in my never-ending quest to amuse myself for a few hours. I’ve got a hundred bucks I’m willing to spend, so if I shop carefully I should be able to get at least two games.
The PC section of the store is now three “racks”. Not those huge, floor-to ceiling racks that the consoles use, but ones so short that they are unable to hold anything at eye level. One of these three racks – or dividers if you will – has a bunch of exotic PC hardware like steering wheels, $80 mice, and various console controllers adapted for the PC. So what we really have here are two racks of diminutive shelving units for me to search, in hopes of finding a new game. Let’s see how well these few titles can compete for my gaming dollars.
Here we go:
Hmph. Another version of Civilization is out. Geeze. Looks… just like the old one. Which I have. I also have a couple of other games that use the same formula. The older version(s) are fairly complete. Plus, these system requirements look a little absurd for what this game does. Pass.
Almost a full shelf is consumed by The Sims, The Sims 2, and enough expansion packs to make me worry that perhaps Will Wright may have died an early and tragic death, crushed to death under a mountain of money. Is there any aspect of human behavior they have left unsimulated? It’s possible. I didn’t see “The Sims: Goin’ to the Bathroom ’til Their Legs Fall Asleep.” So, while I suppose there is still some open territory for further expansion packs, I’m pretty sure we’re well past the point of diminishing returns. Nothing against The Sims franchise, but a little of that goes a long way. I played the original and I think I’m still good for another decade or so at least. Pass.
Oh look. Here is the expansion for Oblivion. Looks like they increased the minimum system requirements. Since the original system requirements on the game were a lie, it’s tough to know if this increase is to bring the stated requirements in line with the actual requirements, or if they added new ways to tax your graphics hardware. It doesn’t matter. Oblivion was riddled with bugs which they refused to patch, and I don’t see any reason to believe they’ve repented. I can’t bring myself to reward them for this sort of behavior. Pass.
Here I see the final (no, really this time) episode of the venerable Myst franchise. Looks good. Oh wait. Here on the back it says the game has copy
protection restriction that makes it incompatible with “some” DVD burners or drives. So… I could buy this, find out I have a forbidden sort of drive, and be unable to play (or return!) the game. Pass.
I see Neverwinter Nights 2. I pause for a moment to rue the $50 I wasted on this title, and move on.
I see STALKER. Looks interesting… Oh wait. I hear the game is a morass of bugs and brain-dead AI, and suffers from poor performance even on a high-end system. (Which I do not have.) Plus more bugs. And annoying interface issues. Sigh. Too bad. Pass.
Pffft. BioShock. Yeah, I could buy this, but it won’t run on my machine, as I have both a kernel debugger (Developer Studio 6.0 ohhh! spooky!) and process explorer, both of which are software packages that obviously have no legitimate use outside of hacking and pirating software. Plus, I’ve seen the cries from the people in the 2kGames Forums who can’t get the game to run, despite meeting the system requirements. Plus the activation is a stupid and pointless pain in the ass. Plus the people at 2kGames eat babies. Pass.
Here is a whole shelf dominated by old Blizzard titles. Warcraft Battle Chest. Starcraft Battle Chest. Diablo Collecters’ Somethingorother. These are A-list games from a previous millennium. It says something that these games are still selling eight years later. I’m betting the rest of this stuff won’t be around just two years from now. At any rate, these are great games but I already own multiple copies of all of them. Pass.
I reach the end of the rack and wander out of the store, my $100 still in my pocket. Gosh, I can’t imagine why the once-dominant PC platform is relegated to a shrinking island of shelf space. Must be those dang pirates.
Just keep doing what you’re doing, publishers. I’m sure this will all blow over soon.
Stop Asking Me to Play Dark Souls!
An unhinged rant where I maybe slightly over-reacted to the water torture of Souls evangelism.
The Witch Watch
My first REAL published book, about a guy who comes back from the dead due to a misunderstanding.
Charging More for a Worse Product
No, game prices don't "need" to go up. That's not how supply and demand works. Instead, the publishers need to be smarter about where they spend their money.
Diablo III Retrospective
We were so upset by the server problems and real money auction that we overlooked just how terrible everything else is.
Dear Hollywood: Do a Mash Reboot
Since we're rebooting everything, MASH will probably come up eventually. Here are some casting suggestions.