Options to occupy your time will be at a plus one on Tuesday.
The Playstation Vita, the successor to the Playstation Portable, is being released. Or at least those who pre-ordered a bundle. The full American release date is one week later on Feb. 22. Why? Who knows, Sony loves to make some odd decisions sometimes.
Anyway, unlike the last generation when the only competitor for the PSP was the Nintendo DS, the Vita will be battling it out with both the 3DS and mobile gaming.
There are about a thousand articles online everywhere claiming that both 3DS and Vita are doomed because people like their cheap $1 games and don't want to pay $20-50 for hand held titles anymore.
Sure, sales are not going to be as good as they once were. That's what happens when you have competition. But for gamers like myself, that aren't all that interested in five minute time wasters like Angry birds, systems like the 3DS and the Vita are must haves. Now that I'm married, I find myself using my DS and 3DS more than ever, since the wife wants to the TV and I still need to spend at least some time with her at night.
And games offered on the Vita, like Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Hot Shots Golf: World Inviational, would not run on a smart phone. Not to mention the lack of buttons to play the games. These are games that took more than a week to develop while someone was working out of their basement. I'm not knocking indy games. They are great fun for what they are, they just won't occupy nearly as much of your time as many titles found on a dedicated gaming handheld.
Everyone's got their preference. And the nice thing is, everyone can find what works best for them. Regardless, you're shelling out $150-plus for either a system or a smart phone. The smart phone will hit you with a $30 data plan charge, or you can opt to buy a game a month for around $30 for a system. If you got money to burn, do both! I certainly don't fall into that category, so a dumb phone I will continue to carry.
I'm sticking with just the 3DS for the time being. Vita doesn't have my favorites on it, but I know it will work for others. Heck, for the time being, Pushmo continues to be my favorite game to pull out for 20-30 minutes and let myself escape for the world for a bit. And in the end, that's what we are all aiming to do.
Remember back in history class, when we learned about Abraham Lincoln's vampire hunting hobby? Yeah, me neither. But don't worry, there's a movie coming called Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, based off a book apparently, that is coming out. I died a little when I saw this.
Valentine's Day is Tuesday. You forget to buy your significant other something as well? Yeah, that's going to be a fun adventure at the store on the holiday itself...
One does not amass a massive gaming collection without spending some money.
But it sure does help to buy games on sale to keep the hobby from being too expensive.
Over the years I have used several different methods to get as many games as I could with the little money I've had. Buying used before Gamestop made that not a cheap endevaor. eBay was great for years until they decided everything that is shipped will cost $8 or more, making that $5 item you just bought not seem so much of a steal.
Now I rely on a number of websites to let me know when things go on sale. Beyond Amazon, which seems to have things 50% off all the time, there are several sites to find cheap video games (and other stuff too if you want. Slickdeals.net allows users to submit sales and they are favorited to the front page. Google's "shopping" feature actually does a nice job of finding the cheapest place that sales any item. For a video game specific version of that, there is now gamepric.es which works well and can alert you via email when a game you want hits a certain price point. There are too many twitter accounts to mention worth following that can lead you to deals as well.
So why bring this up? Well, I've been looking for a second controller for my Playstation 3. I have Little Big Planet 2, which is a good game to play with the wife. But PS3 controllers are $60. I'd get into how much of a rip off that is, but that's a whole different topic. Well, today Best Buy decided to have a heck of a sale. Get a Move controller (normally $100), with Resistance 3 ($40) and Killzone 3 ($40) and a big gun accesory ($3) all for $60!
I saw this early in the morning, but it was already sold out online. No problem, I'll just go to the store at 11 a.m. when it opens. I get there at 11:15, and they are already sold out. OK, so there was also a deal for Move, the gun accessory and Goldeneye for $70. Yes, I know, the deal with only one game cost more than the deal with two games. Silly - but also sold out. I got sad until the Best Buy Employee pointed out they still had another bundle on sale. I could get the Move controller, big gun and JUST Resistance 3 for $80. Yes folks, I could have gotten Resistance 3 AND Killzone 3 for $60, but take out Killzone and I have to play $20 more. Something tells me someone screwed up their sale prices, but whatever.
I thought about it, and decided the deal was still worth it. So head home and enjoy my new game and controller, right? Heck no. I went straight to The Exchange, a competitor of Game Stop here in Northeast Ohio. Why? To sell Resistance 3 and that big gun. I really didn't want the game, or the gun. Just the controller. So I traded them in for store credit, getting $28 back. In other words, I just picked up a second PS3 controller for less than $60 AND I have $28 to put toward something else.
In fact, I have $54 in store credit thanks to Black Friday when I bought the PS3. It was on sale that morning, $200 for the PS3, Little Big Planet and Rachet and Clank. I didn't want Ratchet and Clank, so I sold that for $26. What I do want is MLB The Show 12, which comes out March 6. I can pick it up next month and pay the $10 difference only.
So for those following along at home, I'll end up spending about $95 for a Move controller and MLB The Show. Normally I'd have to pay $160 new for the two combined. And that my friends is how you save yourself some money.
And totally unrelated to video games, but just finished watching Super Bowl XLVI. Watching the New York Giants - or any New York team for that matter - win a championship makes me sick. I'll be thinking of Eli Manning the next time I'm killing people in Call of Duty, that's for sure.
Dusting off the Wii.
It's a term used way too often on the Internet the last five years and probably didn't have true warrant until 2011. The idea there is nothing to play on a system is absurd. Sometimes you have to go back to games you missed buying the first time around. They're cheaper usually, and we can all appreciate that.
But I digress. I finally get to use this term, only with my Playstation 3. I picked up the system on Black Friday back in November, with the main reason being the Blu-Ray player. After all, I have a 3DTV and have not been able to utilize that function due to not having cable, instead going with good old rabbit ears.
Rabbit ears, you ask? If you don't know what I'm talking about, all you need to know is that it's probably more humane to use real rabbit ears to try and find a clear signal some days than it is fidgeting around with these suckers.
Anywho, since Black Friday, the PS3 has basically been a Netflix device. I have three games for it, but I've been playing through the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword among other games. Sunday though, I finally decided to fire up the machine and actually use it for its main purpose.
Call of Duty: Black Ops came free with my TV. It's supposed to be super fun and gorgerous first person shooter and all that stuff. I'm not a huge fan of the series, so I figured I would quickly plow through it. Plus, when I installed the game - what is this, a PC? - it downloaded an update with 3D functoin. So hey, I pulled out my 3D glasses and low and behold, COD in 3D!
The game is fun enough, though I could use a wider variety of color behind black, white, shades of grey, shades of brown and of course red. I've seldom been wowed by graphics, and this didn't exactly do the trick either. Still, it's a fun thing to break in the machine. What I'm really looking forward to is MLB: The Show 12 in March. Being a big baseball fan, this is supposed to be the prime franchise to play. Let's face it, when you are a Cleveland sports fan, the only way to see one of our teams win a championship is through a video game.
So will the PS3 be dominating my playtime now over my Wii? Not a chance, but hey at least it doesnt' feel completely unloved. And Final Fantasy XIII is sitting on the shelf. I feel a need to play that soon seeing as the sequel just came out. Yeah... I'm really behind on my gaming.
Oh, and finally. I was at my father-in-law's birthday party Saturday night. My quasi-nephews (they are my brother-in-law's fiance's sons) made their own cards to give to him. This was on the back of one them:
I mean what 55-year-old man wouldn't want this wonderful DSI XL on the back of his birthday card, especially one whose never played a video game before in his life? Well, if nothing else, kudos on the drawing. I wish I could say I could draw that well, but writing is as far as my pencil talents go.
Finally. I'm accomplishing a dream of some sort with this first blog. I am able to talk about video games and call it work at the same time. Achievement unlocked!
When I heard about the national blogs we are doing, and all the topics that would be covered, I noticed this glaring omission. Video games. When I asked our regional person if I could write about video games, I got the same look I've gotten almost everytime I meet someone as an adult when I tell them I play video games. Still?
As many people know, video games are for adults too now. They have been for a long time, it just didn't become mainstream until the Wii arrived. Well, I've been playing video games way before that happened.
It was 1991, I was in first grade and at my classmate's birthday party. I went to the basement, and a couple of people were playing Castlevania on the NES. When they got bored and stopped, I jumped at the controller to see what this magical device was. About an hour later, my friend's mom asked if I wanted to go outside and play with the other children. Oh yeah, I'm at a birthday party. I guess I should be social.
Less than a year later, my first communion came around. The best part about that was the party afterwards and all the money I got. Half went into the bank, the other half went to a NES which came boxed with Super Mario Bros. 3.
Twenty years later, I still have that NES. And Super Mario Bros. 3. And the box. Yes, I still have the box.
Yes, I'm that kind of gamer. I own nearly 400 games between an NES, N64, Gamecube, Playstation 2, Wii, Playstation 3, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Game Gear, DS and 3DS. And let's not forget the PC I'm typing this on with its quad core processor and 10 gigs of ram.
I know what you're thinking. All those gamer stereotypes have popped in your head.
What, a guy with nearly 400 games is married? Yeah, but don't get me wrong. When I started dating my now wife, I didn't allow her to see my collection - most of which sits on the shelves seperate by system and in the order in which I bought them - until I was pretty sure she wouldn't run away. Thankfully she didn't, but she does have names for my DS and 3DS which I can't repeat here.
So, what are my plans with this blog? Well to discuss games, duh. I play both new and older games. And by old I don't just mean games that came out a year ago. I'm talking real retro. The 20 3DS ambassador games given to us Nintendo loyalists for buying the system early has renewed my interest in NES titles and the like.
But I do love new games and last night I downloaded Pushmo from the 3DS eShop. After a couple of hours, I can already see this is some new form of crack I'll be playing the heck out of in the coming weeks.
See ya for now, Mallo is calling my name and there are some fluffy children to save.