It isn’t uncommon for me to sit in my game room and complain about not having games to play – you hear it frequently on the web. The irony of that statement is that I have over 500 video games staring me in the face.
Despite having a huge library of games, I often find myself struggling to pique my own interest. This past weekend I sat back to reflect on my video game collection. Mixed with classic retro titles, indie releases and triple AAA smashes, I pretty much have it all.
So why am I losing interest in my game library? Here are five reasons why I feel that video game collecting has lost its lustre.
1. There are too many games
There are too many games being released and not enough time to digest them all. This was covered in another article here on Nitchigamer back in February.
The author (Stephen) felt the same as I do: that we are always playing catch up. As a collector, I have to have the physical game copies. That doesn’t mean that I don’t buy digital games but, 99% of my library is physical.
I look back at the games I purchased over the holiday season and most of them are still sealed. Many of them are a fraction of the cost I paid for them as well. As much as I try to keep up with the new releases, adult life kicks in. I just don’t have the time.
2. Mobile Gaming
Mobile gaming has grown immensely over the last few years alone. Every company is looking to get in on the mobile craze. I also play games on my mobile device. You could even say that I sometimes spend as much time on mobile as I do on console.
It’s just so easy to sit on the couch and swipe at my screen. It’s pretty lazy when you think about it, but it brings me joy.
3. Indie Influx
In some of my earlier articles, I covered how indie titles were being brought over to consoles in physical form. Sites such as Limited Run Games and Strictly Limited to name a few. All releases are created in small print numbers which becomes a pit for collectors who feel like they may get something valuable.
It started as a release every few weeks and today it’s multiple releases on a weekly basis. I can’t blame the companies for running a business but, it makes me think about a time where things were more simple.
4. Collector’s Edition
Collector’s Edition games are just devilish. Let’s briefly look at an upcoming AAA – Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for example. There are 8 different versions of the game. Starting with the base game, each tier adds something additional. For any huge Assassin’s Creed fanatic, they would have to spend hundreds of dollars to collect each version.
I personally enjoy seeing what companies come up with next, but I can no longer justify spending the cash. Whatever happened to just a standard and a deluxe?
I must make a small confession before I begin. I spend $5 here and there on my mobile games for a little edge. However, I am reluctant to pay for additional goodies for console games. I grew up during a time where video games were released complete. I never had to pay for DLC or cosmetic items. You would beat the game and everything would just unlock.
Today kids can pay their way to the top of the rankings. It’s just a sign of times where things just get easier and easier – where’s the skill? My parents always told me that I had things easy and now I know what they meant.
In conclusion, I feel that I need to backtrack 20 years and go back to a time before the internet took over gaming. A time where kids hung out together in one room to enjoy games.
As my age grows I become wearier that everything I loved about gaming will just wash away. With that being said, I have decided to collect retro games only. I will still buy the triple AAA titles that really stand out to me, but with retro at least I know what’s out there. I may even take a leap forward and just buy many of them digitally.
It’s time to do what really makes me happy as opposed to playing what I feel everyone else is. It only took me 31 years to realize this.
My grandmother was 21 years old when the Second World War ended. Even though she was not herself a child born of war, she remembers the stigma and negative attitude that existed around children with a German father and Norwegian mother; the war didn’t necessarily end for some of these poor children. I remember her telling me stories that for her family, it was the drastic change in society that made the biggest impact.
Before I continue, let me explain the word “Lebensborn”. During World War 2, children of German soldiers and Nordic women were registered to the Nazi’s “Lebensborn” program and were just one of many examples of the Nazi’s twisted look on race and genes. When the war ended, the Lebensborn children became especially vulnerable to injustice and abuse, both through adoptions and placement in children’s homes and by the treatment from general society.
Made by the Norwegian game developers Sarepta Studio (also the creators of Shadow Puppeteer), My Child Lebensborn tells the difficult story about children born of war, and the hardship of surviving the aftermath of the Second World War in Norway. You adopt either Karin or Klaus, young children abandoned by their parents. As the sole caregiver for the child, the player has to help them survive in a post-war society filled with hate.
My Child Lebensborn is a story-driven nurture game, where each day is split up into four parts, morning, midday, afternoon, and night. During each part of the day, you have two or three “energy bars” – each action you take depletes one of these bars. I have to feed Karin, give her baths and take care of her; reminding me very much of Tamagotchi in terms of gameplay. This also involves buying and making the food, fixing her clothes, and reading bedtime stories.
Karin goes from being a happy child, feeling hopeful and eager to meet the future – to becoming a child that questions her own existence, the spark of life taken from her. And it is my job, as her protector, to restore it. Weighing your choices carefully is important because they shape and form the child as a person – will you fix Karin’s clothes because they were ripped up by the mean children at her school, or read her a bedtime story to calm her down after other the kids were picking on her? Work overtime to earn more money for food or go home to a child that is lonely and scared?
Prioritising is painful in this game, and I constantly wish that I had more time. The dialogue is as sweet and joyful as it is brutal and honest, and it’s up to the player to balance resources and the child’s emotional needs, where each choice you make will have an impact on the child’s personality and view on life.
Parenting a child born of war is far from easy; as the child becomes older, Karin eventually starts to question her own history, wanting to know more about her parents, and why the other children at their school are being so mean to her. This is where the interesting parts of the game come in; the events that happen in My Child Lebensborn are based on real events, which makes them all the more powerful. While it baffles me that people have the ability to be so cruel to a child – or to anyone for that matter – it hurts me even more that I feel helpless to do anything about it.
Because of the game’s design, the only downside would be the inevitable pattern of repetitiveness. Except for some days that carry special events, most days are exactly the same gameplay-wise. Because of that mechanism, I felt like the story went a little bit too slow. When I wanted to know more about the story, I still had to finish every chore before I could move on to the next day, which was frustrating when the storyline peaked. But I guess it’s like that by design; we’re supposed to be on edge, eager to see how the road is being paved for this child.
You don’t have to be a Norwegian to play this game, nor have much knowledge of the country’s history. Even though this is a story being told from a small corner of the world, they are not exclusive to Norway – children from all over the world suffered the same fate, regardless of the conflict, where they are, or what their cultures are.
Audio can sometimes distort the meaning, can change the perception of something. We can witness an event, but we hear someone else’s story or whilst we are witnessing the event the ambience can alter what we have clearly seen; we doubt ourselves.
Sometimes we just need to cut the talking and just watch, a picture can tell a thousand stories and gazing upon a canvass, silent movie or a photo is when we truly find something about ourselves; no external influence, only our internal thoughts to delight or dismay us, we, you, I…
The Inner Friend
The Inner Friend is a game developed by Montreal ‘s Playmind studio. Previously working on AR, VR and interactive installations, they have taken their experience on these projects onboard to develop The Inner Friend, a narrative told through the visual exposition of surreal landscapes – based on the psychology of a child and supported with an ambient/cinematic score.
As you go into the subconscious mind you need to restore memories but the further you drive the darker the world becomes – you must escape or fight horrid creatures.
Can The Inner Friend accomplish its goal? Will its minimalistic and surreal visuals draw us into the world? Will the puzzle and combat help to compliment its meaning or will it hinder it?
Like gazing upon the canvass… We will all walk away with our own thoughts and our own interpretations.
A picture can tell a thousand stories. The Inner Friend will release this year on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
The heat is exhausting out here, the only time you get shade is when the sun sets and then, you still want to be under an umbrella. For me, well I just get on this hoverbike over here and ride, for pleasure, for pay; it makes no difference.
Racing RPG Desert Child Game
The hot air turns cool. Of course, it can get pretty hot then let me tell ya – but when I ride, it’s like, what’s the word, Zen, you know… Free. It’s then I forget about the earth and its bullsh… ha, sorry kids, its nonsense. That’s not the life for me; the life for me is up there, Mars; and I’ll do whatever it takes to get there. Me and my trusty Judy here, my hoverbike.
Hell, I’ll race, hunt bounties and deliver drugs; whatever it takes… Oh, you don’t like that? Listen, kid, you may snarl away to yourself as you’re reading this on your phone, tablet, but out here you do what you can for a buck. Breaking the law? Nah man, it’s survival. It’s the difference between having a meal and rummaging in the bins for scraps.
To me, I see as I’m playing some RPG, life-sim, racing game; the more points I get, the better the ranking, the bigger the taking. Man, I sometimes see the scores with my very own eyes I get that absorbed in it. Pfft, don’t look at me like that, I’ve got rent to pay and noodles to eat. I might even customize I, Judy, here.
I know you don’t understand but look, kid, if you want to survive out here you should do the same, earn what you can and get your ass to Mars.
You’ll see me soon kid, by Q3 you’ll understand and if you see me, you’d better shoot first kid; like I said, just think you’re on your PS4, Switch, Xbox One or PC… It makes it easier.
The 1980’s have come full circle again: the rise of vinyl records; the now 80’s dream-turned reality VR headsets; synth-pop labelled as Dream pop; the release of Ready Player One, and last but not least, the threat of another cold war; you know, fond moments.
Set in the sci-fi version of the 80’s we all know from our imaginations and pop-culture references – neon lights, fog thicker than a smoking area at an airport, and one where everyone wants to kill you…
Anyway, you climb a procedurally generated tower that changes, influenced not just by your actions, but other players. The knack is you’ve only got 18 minutes to do so before your character’s heart explodes, starting you from the very beginning.
You’ll be playing through 6 dystopian zones with an arsenal of over 50 weapons in the side-scrolling platformer that has taken a strong influence from bullet hells. You can play with a friend in a co-op mode too.
Black future looks like a great game just to blast on for a couple of minutes – when you have, you know, just those few minutes spare.
But it’s frantic style of gameplay also may make you think: ‘Just one more try’. Before you know it, two hours have gone by and your cat is staring at you with that glare of: ‘Make me food, you lazy humanoid’.
Yes, sir, Black Future has all the ingredients for an indie classic! It’s out this year on PC, and hopefully, the consoles will follow.
If you like top-down shooters, VHS-era B-movies and the Switch, take a look at the latest gameplay trailer for Garage from studio Zombie Dynamics and tinyBuild:
Garage Switch Gameplay Trailer
You play as Butch, an ex-drug dealer who destroys zombies with axes and blasts the rest with assault rifles. Garage doesn’t take itself too seriously, then. There’s nothing wrong with that, although it’s clear that development is being taken earnestly:
“I announced Garage during tinyBuild’s HelloSwitch2 event, and we’ve been working like crazy with studio Zombie Dynamics to get the game done”. – Alex Nichiporchik.
In a nutshell, it’s a Resident Evil and Splatterpunk-inspired quirky shooter with a high difficulty and lots of blood. It’s due out on the Switch May 10th as an exclusive title – for now.
It reminds us of (no surprise), Mr. Shifty, and that’s a very good thing indeed. That game? A bit of a hidden gem if you ask me.
There’s a chance we’ll be seeing Oddworld: Soulstorm, the remake of Abe’s Exoddus, and the next title in the Oddworld series as one of these Nindies. It’s set to be a follow up to 2015’s New ‘n’ Tasty and has been teased for next week. Can you guess when? Yep, March 20th:
By kicking off the registration phase for Indie Game Expo at QUO VADIS 2018, organizer Aruba Events extends a long-standing tradition; up to 60 selected indie studios have the opportunity to present their works at their own booth.
QUO VADIS 2018 – The Indie Game Expo
QUO VADIS 2018, Europe’s longest standing developer conference enables aspiring studios to present their viral hits of tomorrow to an expert audience.
Up to 60 indie developers will be selected and can choose between three packages. All three comprise a booth with furnishings, include wide-coverage media presence for the first time, as well as a contingent for the matchmaking platform MeetToMatch and more.
In time for the Indie Game Expo registration kick-off, the website received a redesign to give a better overview of the conference’s many attractions. The improved appearance offers a more engaging interface for the confirmed speakers and bundles all details about schedules, event location, offers into an inviting package.