Video Game News and Miscellany

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The N64 definitely used a save card as well, since not all cartridges came with battery backup saves on the cart
It had a (technically optional) memory expansion slot, but I think only a couple of games actually needed it, and every cartridge still came with their own saves as far as I remember.
 
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Reminder that Steam has Family Sharing and it hasn't ruined things for them, yet.
Steam has family sharing, that requires only one person be using the library at a time, so 2 people can share, as long as they don't want to play at the same time. Also the library you are sharing requires the person with the shared account to log in to the PC at least once, which I suppose is a way Nintendo could get it to work.
 
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It had a (technically optional) memory expansion slot, but I think only a couple of games actually needed it, and every cartridge still came with their own saves as far as I remember.
That's not what I was referring to. The memory expansion was ram and inserted into the system, the memory card for saved games plugged into the back of the controller, the same space the rumble pack used. Some games did require this as they didn't have on-cart saves, usually as a cost cutting measure.
 
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That's not what I was referring to. The memory expansion was ram and inserted into the system, the memory card for saved games plugged into the back of the controller, the same space the rumble pack used. Some games did require this as they didn't have on-cart saves, usually as a cost cutting measure.
I clearly never played any of them then, because I don't think I ever actually used that slot. I assume it was 3rd party games?
(I remember being really mad that Majora's Mask only had 2 save slots, and not much else from that era though TBH)
 
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The N64 definitely used a save card as well, since not all cartridges came with battery backup saves on the cart
This was the worst, by the way. The N64 console has an internal expansion slot where you can install a RAM upgrade for better gaming performance (upgrading the console RAM from 4MB to 8MB), but NOOOOO "memory" (i.e., save) cards have to be installed as a cartridge in the slot in the controller. So if you wanted to play, say, Ocarina of Time, you had to make a choice: Do you install the Rumble Pak to be able to detect the hidden underground treasure spots? Or do you install the Controller Pak so you can save your progress? Or do you instead go pony up for a second controller for your single-player game just so you can have both plugged in at the same time? Ugh.

--Patrick
 
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This was the worst, by the way. The N64 console has an internal expansion slot where you can install a RAM upgrade for better gaming performance (upgrading the console RAM from 4MB to 8MB), but NOOOOO "memory" (i.e., save) cards have to be installed as a cartridge in the slot in the controller. So if you wanted to play, say, Ocarina of Time, you had to make a choice: Do you install the Rumble Pak to be able to detect the hidden underground treasure spots? Or do you install the Controller Pak so you can save your progress? Or do you instead go pony up for a second controller for your single-player game just so you can have both plugged in at the same time? Ugh.

--Patrick
Ocarina of Time did not use the memory card.
 
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This was the worst, by the way. The N64 console has an internal expansion slot where you can install a RAM upgrade for better gaming performance (upgrading the console RAM from 4MB to 8MB), but NOOOOO "memory" (i.e., save) cards have to be installed as a cartridge in the slot in the controller. So if you wanted to play, say, Ocarina of Time, you had to make a choice: Do you install the Rumble Pak to be able to detect the hidden underground treasure spots? Or do you install the Controller Pak so you can save your progress? Or do you instead go pony up for a second controller for your single-player game just so you can have both plugged in at the same time? Ugh.

--Patrick
That's why you bought a 3rd party Rumble Pak that had a memory card built in.
 
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Here's some more in the saga of the Shenmue 3 debacle. People who Kickstarted it (sometimes in the areas of hundreds of dollars) will NOT get pre-order bonus content without paying for it.

https://www.resetera.com/threads/sh...ceive-preorder-deluxe-edition-bonuses.128243/

Dear Antonio,

We apologize for the long delay in responding. Your feedback is appreciated and we will look into having your noted points in future updates.

Standard and deluxe versions released through retail sales are not affiliated with the crowdfunding campaign, so will not be included with backer pledges, however, they will be available for sale separately. Kickstarter Backers will receive the Kickstarter version, Slacker Backers will receive the Slacker Backer version. Both have unique content respective to their versions not available in the retail versions.

A season pass is not included.

Trial version release date info has yet to be confirmed and will be announced in the updates when details are available. You will be receiving your trial trial version, but we must ask for your patience for a little longer.

There will be more information following in the days ahead concerning updates.

Sincerely,

The Shenmue III Team
Jesus Fucking Christ.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
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Konami has announced a TurboGrafx-16 mini. It's Konami, so they'll probably find some way to fail at this, but the announced games are:

In both NA/Europe and Japan:
- Ys Book I & II
- Dungeon Explorer

NA/Europe only:
- R-Type
- New Adventure Island
- Ninja Spirit
- Alien Crush

Japan only:
- Bonk’s Adventure
- Dracula X
- The Kung Fu/China Warrior
- Super Star Soldier

A longer list of launch titles has been revealed, along with the fact that it will be sold exclusively through Amazon. "No price has been announced for the U.S. model, but the Japanese one will cost 10,500 yen or around $100. "

"The game library will be almost identical across all three systems, including 24 American versions of games and 26 Japanese versions. There is a little bit of overlap between the two—for example, both the U.S. and Japanese versions of the action RPG Neutopia are included. "

The article isn't clear on what the regional differences are, though. Articles on other sites seem to think the games list will be identical for all regions, but no one seems certain.

A 5-player multi-tap will be sold separately, which seems pretty necessary to get the most out of the Bomberman games.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
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RetroArch is coming to Steam

I'm not sure if this will offer any advantages in the future, but for right now it seems like this is to give RetroArch and Libretto more visibility, and I guess it makes it easier to install for most people.

EDIT: In reading more about this, one of the possible upsides to future Steam SDK integration is better controller support. Instead of relying on X-Input, and it's very limited feature set, emulators (and other programs) could have full access to the motion sensors, and touchpad of the Dualshock 4 and the Steam Controller.
 
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figmentPez

Staff member
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Well, the much delayed 8Bitdo SN30 Pro+ finally has a release date, August 7th. What delayed its release seems to be it's enhanced functionality. With the 8Bitdo Ultimate software, the controller can be configured, in it's firmware, to remap it's buttons, adjust sensitivity of it's analog sticks and triggers, and program macros.


I'm hoping they've managed to find a way for it to have both analog triggers and gryo/motion support on PC, but even without that it might be a pretty damn good choice at $50.
 
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Well, the much delayed 8Bitdo SN30 Pro+ finally has a release date, August 7th. What delayed its release seems to be it's enhanced functionality. With the 8Bitdo Ultimate software, the controller can be configured, in it's firmware, to remap it's buttons, adjust sensitivity of it's analog sticks and triggers, and program macros.


I'm hoping they've managed to find a way for it to have both analog triggers and gryo/motion support on PC, but even without that it might be a pretty damn good choice at $50.
I'll admit my nostalgic heart likes the image with the SNES-style button coloring.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
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Batten down the hatches, the rumor mill is grinding up again.
Valve may be working on a new game code-named Citadel

The information was found in a "low level update to DOTA 2", according to the article,

"Initially, Citadel appeared to refer to a level in the still-unannounced Half-Life VR project, but McVicker says that it eventually became apparent that it's an entirely separate Source 2 project. What it might actually be is anybody's guess, but it "has a lot of things related to stealth, AI pathfinding, and a top-view minimap," and according to McVicker is definitely not the "flagship" VR game Valve teased earlier this year. "
 

figmentPez

Staff member
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And Fallout 76 gets another microtransaction that isn't cosmetic. Now they're selling "scrap kits", a special item that will convert junk items in your inventory into scrap, and automatically deliver that scrap to your storage, without having to go to a workbench like usual. So, one of the most annoying, bullshit parts of Fallout's game mechanics, now has an option to pay to make it as convenient as it should have been to begin with.

 

figmentPez

Staff member
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I'm not sure why, but this article about Destiny 2 caught my eye. TLDR; A quest to get special loot in Destiny 2 involves getting a lot of kills with a grenade launcher, and basically that means lots of people are spamming grenades and it just generally sucks for both the people trying to get the quest done, and those who have to put up with their shit.

Which is making me think about something that's been rattling around in my head about game design for a while. There often seems to be a huge disconnect between what games ask players to do, and what's actually fun to do; also between showing off the game's visuals and hiding loot.

The disconnect between certain gameplay goals and fun is a difficult thing. Personally I loved the "Guardin' Gnome" and "Little Rocket Man" achievements in Left 4 Dead 2 and Half Life 2: Episode 2, but I imagine that other people found it tedious trying to escort a garden gnome through the games. However, I think it's pretty clear that some games ask players to do stuff that no one thinks is the best way to spend their time. It would be nice to move away from valuing grinding.

More clear, I think, is the problem of asking gamers to spend their time looking at the ugliest parts of maps. I get that shadowy corners and out of the way spots are the least likely to draw the eye, and thus make them difficult to find, but should difficulty really be the goal here, when anyone can look up a guide on the internet? Shouldn't the goal of placing collectibles and items be about showing off the very best of the game world that's been created? It's easier to spot a chest or macguffin when it's placed on a scenic overlook, but isn't getting the player up there to admire the view worth that?
 
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I'm not sure why, but this article about Destiny 2 caught my eye. TLDR; A quest to get special loot in Destiny 2 involves getting a lot of kills with a grenade launcher, and basically that means lots of people are spamming grenades and it just generally sucks for both the people trying to get the quest done, and those who have to put up with their shit.

Which is making me think about something that's been rattling around in my head about game design for a while. There often seems to be a huge disconnect between what games ask players to do, and what's actually fun to do; also between showing off the game's visuals and hiding loot.

The disconnect between certain gameplay goals and fun is a difficult thing. Personally I loved the "Guardin' Gnome" and "Little Rocket Man" achievements in Left 4 Dead 2 and Half Life 2: Episode 2, but I imagine that other people found it tedious trying to escort a garden gnome through the games. However, I think it's pretty clear that some games ask players to do stuff that no one things is the best way to spend their time. It would be nice to move away from valuing grinding.

More clear, I think, is the problem of asking gamers to spend their time looking at the ugliest parts of maps. I get that shadowy corners and out of the way spots are the least likely to draw the eye, and thus make them difficult to find, but should difficulty really be the goal here, when anyone can look up a guide on the internet? Shouldn't the goal of placing collectibles and items be about showing off the very best of the game world that's been created? It's easier to spot a chest or macguffin when it's placed on a scenic overlook, but isn't getting the player up there to admire the view worth that?
Gaming's currently at odds with it's original design philosophies that were based around limited graphics and it's current blockbuster status, which revolves around visuals. You gotta remember that the same people who were making video games when they first came out were basically the same people playing/making Dungeons and Dragons; the designs interbred. As such, the concept of "Hide Loot/Secrets= Fun Stuff" in a video game comes from the same school as doing it in a dungeon. Back then, there was in even the possibility that some people would never find stuff because guides didn't really become a thing until the 90's. There was still fun to be had in the search.

But now? Yeah, secrets are still fun to find but unless it's VERY elaborate or archaic to find, people are going to post details to it online. The internet has kind of destroyed the hidden stuff game for all but the most devious of developers and the most persistent of players. It's not the same.
 
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They're sure trying, though.

Also, a quote from that article:
I don't know what all the fuss is about. I'm taking his word for it that Google will be every bit as committed to Stadia as it was to Trips, Nest, hangouts, Google Plus, Inbox by GMail, Allo, Chomecast Audio, Googles, Tez, Tango, Glass OS, Spaces, Picasa.....
--Patrick
 

figmentPez

Staff member
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Yeah, they'll be all behind Stadia... as long as it makes them money, and they have control over what content gamers see while using their service. If users end up with too much control over their content, like Reader, it will get shut down. If people start paying too much attention to unprofitable games, and they can't figure out how to funnel them to profitable games (like they do with YouTube videos), then it'll get shut down.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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Google will be every bit as committed to Stadia as it was to Trips, Nest, hangouts, Google Plus, Inbox by GMail, Allo, Chomecast Audio, Googles, Tez, Tango, Glass OS, Spaces, Picasa.....
--Patrick
.... and Reader, and Google Radio Automation....
 
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