Stuff (new article on Retro Domination, podcasts, etc)


Just a heads up – yes, I’m still alive but real life has been keeping me from blogging much lately (all good stuff, but the kind that keeps you busy). Plus I’ve been trying to make more time to play games rather than just write about them, which I’ve been doing by spending some spare time playing Popful Mail on the Sega CD, Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3 (Shutokou Battle 3) on the PS2, NES Remix on the WiiU and Bravely Default (well, only the demo so far) on the 3DS.

Anywho, a while back I put together some articles adapted from my travels in Japan for Retro Domination – part 1 went up last year and part 2 is now online. I got into a bit more detail into prices and stuff in those ones compared to what I wrote in my series, so I’m hoping others will find it useful.

I’d also like to plug three things I’ve been enjoying lately:

  • Yakumo from Segagaga Domain has been working hard on his latest season of Retro Core and has recently started a new series with his trademark take on retro gaming called Battle of the Ports. Connoisseurs of HD quality will be pleased to know he’s recently started uploading 60fps versions, which look spectacular.
  • Retro Domination is an awesome site for Australian retro gaming articles and tid bits (admittedly I’m a bit biased as I’ve been fortunate enough to know some of the guys from the site for a while now). Their podcast in particular is great fun and a regular feature on my playlist when commuting to/from work. You should listen to it too.
  • I’ve started listening to VGMpire following their guest appearance on the relaunched Retronauts podcast. If you enjoy critical discussion of game music laced with Simpsons jokes, you’ll be in nerd heaven. Another one on my playlist for the daily commute.

So yeah, just a quick one for today (well, quick by my standards). I’m hoping to write a bit more as the year goes on, but I’m not prepared to make a schedule at this stage because a lot’s happening. Expect some musings on games at some stage, and I’ve also put together my to-do list for mods this year, but I don’t think a Modding March is going to happen in 2014. A “Modding May” may well be an option though, as I should be able to get the components together and have some of my commitments settle by then. Maybe 🙂

I think Capcom hates gamers (Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D and DRM)


Capcom’s Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D continues to question how much Capcom actually appreciate their market, or if they plain-old hate gamers. Here’s a snippet from DVICE:

It’s been confirmed that Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D for the Nintendo 3DS is a game that once finished, cannot be reset for complete replay. According to both the U.S. and U.K. game’s instruction manual “saved data on this software cannot be reset.”

Basically what Capcom has done is make Mercenaries 3D a one-time play affair. Once you’ve unlocked all the goodies and played the entire game, you will not be able to erase the game’s save data and start fresh as if it were a new copy. Consider this: lending Mercenaries 3D to a friend, a little brother or sister will be worthless because they’ll only be able to continue playing the game with your saved settings and create their own.
(Source [via Tiny Cartridge, via Eurogamer], and GameStop’s follow-up)

Capcom have made some terrible decisions with DRM in the past (Final Fight Double Impact and Bionic Commando ReArmed 2 need to “phone home” before you can play them on the PS3), and its disappointing to see them acting in such a hostile way towards consumers. While some may argue that this is potentially an act to sabotage second-hand game sales (as they derive zero profit from the on-selling of games once they’re past the first run at the retail counter), it’s important to consider the dependence many gaming stores have on second-hand sales in order to make up for the relatively slim margins offered at retail. Mind, I won’t go into that topic in more detail here, as it’s beyond the scope of this post and has probably been argued more intelligently elsewhere.

Returning to the topic at hand, I think this hurts a little more as I genuinely have a soft spot for Capcom games, having enjoyed so many of them over the years (during the Saturn and Dreamcast era, my purchases [at retail no less] led to many gaming sessions). This is the kind of move I would expect from some of the more aggressive players in the market, but not from them.

It also seems incredibly short-sighted in terms of being able to enjoy your purchase over time – I still crank out Atari 2600 cartridges every now and again, and the notion of anti-consumerist DRM would render this kind of thing impossible in years to come for new games. This means that, in the case of Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D, I can’t reset the game back to factory settings to start it afresh; or to give another skew on this topic, in the case Bionic Commando ReArmed 2, I probably won’t be able to play it in 10 years time despite having paid money for it in 2011.

It marks a very dangerous point on the slippery slope of DRM and anti-consumer licensing enforcement on behalf of gaming publishers. Whilst only a handful of games on consoles are toying with the concept of DRM that is ultimately detrimental to the gamer, it’s a dangerous path. I hope Capcom is taking stock of the reaction from consumers to what they’ve tried slipping through with Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D and don’t attempt this kind of tomfoolery in the future.