Yes, this could have been posted in BoG's suggestion thread, and I have brought up these issues before, but no one has addressed the problems or even hinted that it may be addressed in the future. I also can't help but feel that the suggestion thread is full of outlandish suggestions for expansion rather than fixing up little things on the site. Sorry if I'm repeating myself in this case.
Platforms need to be searchable and taggable. We're nearing 100 platforms and not everyone visits GiantBomb looking for the first 3 consoles that show up from the current generation. I'm trying as much as possible to fill out some of the more obscure consoles and in general make GiantBomb a resource for all gamers, not just those of the modern era. I also had plans to write guides for specific consoles, however, they are not taggable so it would be worthless to do so.
Writing guides needs to be somewhat more rewarding. This really ties into the fact that consoles need to be taggable, because no one is going to read anything I write unless they find it under the guides section of a certain platform. That fact, and the fact that I have a guide written about video game collecting, which really doesn't belong into any particular category. The guide is huge and informative, yet I can't help but feel almost no one will read it because it can't be tagged under anything. I'm sorry if such articles are outside the bounds of what GiantBomb is trying to acheive, but I'd really like to because a guide author for GiantBomb, but it's worthless to the site if no one will read anything I write. Points obviously isn't the solution to this problem; I just want some kind of way for people to find work of mine.
Let us suggest consoles to be added to the database. More than 93 video game platforms exist in the world, how can this fact be disputed? I've posted, messaged mods, and even PM'd Jeff about adding the RDI Halcyon to the database, and I get almost no feedback about this. It just doesn't seem possible. I'm just trying to make GiantBomb a place that goes beyond the 14 year olds who only live in the past 5 years, and I feel rather ignored in my venture. If you're going to make a video game database, why don't you want it to be complete?
I realize I'm just a small member of the community, but these problems are glaring in my eyes and as far as I can tell rather easily fixable. I'd appreciate feedback from someone with the power to change any of this. I want to be a more active member of the community, however I enjoy video game hardware as much as software, and truly enjoy writing guides, and these are 2 areas in which GiantBomb needs work!
So game hunting in New York City... I hear it's expensive. I hear it's not even worth going unless my pockets are insanely deep, but being me, I had to check it out anyway, seeing as I wound up in Manhattan today anyway. So I walked all around Manhattan checking out the little gaming venues that anyone like me would likely visit, all with a little research online first. My first hit was Nintendo World, then i'd go to 2 little game shops: J&L Game Trading and Videogamesnewyork, and finally end up in Virgin Records and Toys 'R Us. The day wasn't too bad overall, but for the trip, I might as well have stayed home and shopped online.
Nintendo World was underwhelming as hell. For those who haven't been there, the first floor is a desolate wasteland besides no less than two dozen Nintendo DS stations set up at various tables or chairs. Pictochat doesn't work on the DS; damn. I guess they were worried about profanity, oh Nintendo. Besides the DSs, the only other thing on the entire floor is Pokemon stuff. I promptly found a Mudkip fig for a mere $3.49 or so, but nothing else was even remotely interesting, or so I thought. Upstairs they had an impressive display of DS variants, the gulf war gameboy, some nasty apparel, and a boatload of Wiis behind the counter. I should've picked up a Wii to resell, but i'm too nice. They even had this Nintendo computer i'd never heard of, and it looked awesome. The shirts were absolutely horrid. Mach Rider? Wild Gunman? I'm sorry Nintendo, why didn't you make some better shirts like... Oh I don't know, Mario, Metroid, Zelda? The selection of Gamecube games was pitiful. Geist, Zelda TP and Donkey Konga 2. There were at least a dozen or so screens up here all playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I assume that people were meant to play together, seeing as it's a multiplayer game but every single person I saw was playing 1v1 against a COM. Must be the morning people.
There's really nothing exciting here. I expected special items for sale or generally more interesting things than bad shirts and MSRP Wii games but the atmosphere was inviting, no employees breathing down my neck, it was a happy place. Time to move on, I've got long walks ahead of me. I take my Mudkip down the register and am just bombarded by cheap Nintendo goodies. I pick up 2 packs of gum, 3 energy drinks, and a pack of NES mints. Awesome. Total came to $20, quite reasonable for my little haul of Nintendo swag. After a subway ride and a short walk I arrive at destination #2: J&L Game Trading. I was forewarned to expect bad prices and meh selection but oh well, i'm here. Wow this place is small, but it's crammed with stuff. First thing I see, $350 Wii. Oh great a game store scalping Wiis, this should be good. What's this? $65 Xbox games? No thanks. Oh look more above-MSRP Gamecube games... What the hell is this place? There's no retro things to speak of unless you count a few Neo-Geo games that were about $100 too expensive for what they were worth. I saw a whole pile of cool-looking stuff in the back but of course I wasn't going to ask to see any of it or what ridiculous price they wanted for it. The staff completely hovers over you the entire time you're in the store. Can I look at the overpriced items on your back shelf without you breathing down my neck? Thanks. As I was looking at the Gameboy games (all of them) the guy at the counter hovering over my casually says "That's an import, worth more" No, it's not an import, it's a smattering of 200 or so Gameboy games, and no, not even close to half of them are imports, but yes sir, you do overvalue everything in this place. Nothing here was even priced close to reasonably and while they had an OK selection of modern games, absolutely nothing retro to speak of and the prices were simply obscene. How does a place like this stay in business?
Ok I heard Videogamesnewyork should be better, lets head over there. A mile walk and a delicious lunch at Katz's Deli and I see the big, dirty Mario statue welcoming me in. Holy crap is this place dark. A few employees are hanging around the counter talking about SSBB, guess they won't bother me. In fact, the store is in a "U" shape so if you're in one end of the store, there's no one looking over you whatsoever, which is kind of nice when you just want to browse through stuff and it works perfectly for this store because this place is an absolute museum. They have just about everything you can think of, import or domestic, and the prices are obscene so they'll be sitting there for ages. But wow, PC-FX, all kinds of Neo-Geo systems and games, walls of Atari, NES, and even the more obscure things like Microvision or CD-i. This place has it all! They're all boxed and even labeled with release dates and such. It's a really impressive collection the owner must be showing off, cause these things are NEVER moving!
Videogamesnewyork might be worth a visit just to look at the sheer number of interesting consoles they have, and the staff won't bother you at all while you go through it. There were boxed of overpriced stuff on the floor, and these people were absolutely meticulous in their pricing. They made sure not a single game was accidentally marked less than $10. Sure they had a bunch of cool things, import shooters, DS flash carts, import rhythm peripherals, even the new PS2 Nights game, but it was all marked around double what you could expect to pay online and sometimes many, many times more. Intellivision? $150. PC-FX? $300. I thought the Mario's Cement Factory Coleco arcade game was $14.99 and I was ready to pick it up because that's a good deal, but my friend quickly corrected me that it was $114.99. Jesus Christ! So that sucks, there really isn't a good place to get obscure, import, pirate, or otherwise interesting games in Manhattan unless there's another overpriced store I didn't visit. I'd actually recommend checking out Videogamesnewyork just because it sort of feels like you're rummaging through an attic but it's a museum at the same time. Difficult environment to describe I guess. No joke though, you're looking at paying $25 for loose Genesis sports games and $35 for ultra-common NES games. These guys mean business. Time for the long 3 mile walk back to Times Square, to Virgin Megastore since my friend wanted some obscure music. Whoa! They have more NES crap than even Nintendo World had! They even have Atari 2600 shirts here, at $20 which is too much for my taste, but still, the selection of "retro-is-cool" NES apparel and gadgets was awesome. I picked up that Zelda Majora's Mask shirt for $13, sweet. Of course as for games, the selection was great but all MSRP sadly. One of the 360s on display was red-ringing, which definitely made it worth the visit. Wish I brought my camera.
A final stop was Toys 'R Us, where I intended to look for more Mudkipz goodies or maybe a cheap game, when I was smacked in the face by a DDR SuperNOVA machine. What the hell is that doing in a Toys 'R US? The line was disorderly; I wish people still used coin rows, but the machine was quite decent. Finding a SuperNOVA machine that wasn't in D&B in the middle of Times Square is just as big a find as any retro game. Unfortunately, there were no Mudkipz to be found here. Did I mention I got my picture taken as I walked in? Does Toys 'R Us think they're Disney World or something? So that was my trip. New York City really is as worthless and overpriced as they say for retro games. If you're in the area, go to Nintendo World which was the best stop of my day by far, but I brought $100 with me that remains unspent since I couldn't find one single item to purchase at either of the other stores. Videogamesnewyork is around Cooper Square, right where 3rd and 4th Ave meet. If you're in the area, stop by for a cool look at some vintage consoles you don't normally see in one place, other than that, NYC is a huge bust. I should've listened to you internet.
No this isn't an article about the life and death of the golden age of game journalism in printed form. In fact, I don't care about half the game mags published during the 90s. This post was prompted by the fact that EGM was giving away free subscriptions again, and now the mag has announced it's last issue will be this months. For those of you who haven't picked up an EGM lately (It is free after all) the once great mag has been replaced by a shell of it's former self. It's barely as thick as a sheet of paper, and every other page is basically an ad. I suppose it's difficult to publish a ton of original content with few ads when everyone gets your mag for free, but seriously a 20 page magazine with 10 ads is almost not worth the free, especially when any information, even that they claim is exclusive, is available online weeks in advance. You could read the reviews, which is really the part I skip to in any game mag, but of course they're probably last to the punch with most games, and scans of any mag are available for big reviews.
Flashback a decade, enter Next Generation. In 1995 Next Generation started publishing the greatest non-denominational magazine of all time (Nintendo Power still wins after all). Next Generation was massive. You probably breeze through an issue of EGM, or even Nintendo Power in an afternoon. Not so with Next Generation. Three hundred pages of pure game industry news, not bullshit. Sure it had it's ads and BS sections but it was full of editorials, industry news, features about gaming jobs and development, game design; hell they even had a section where they criticized game design and detailed how to make games better.
No bullshit awesome. How many mags would list 3D0 before Nintendo? Or specifically state that they cover SNK? It was a magazine targeted toward a mature gaming audience; towards hardcore gamers actually interested in games. Imagine if the feature article in an issue of your magazine was about game pricing and the costs and making a game rather than the latest GTA4 screenshots or pro tips on how to beat the latest Spyro game? Each issue had a cardstock cover rather than a glossy sheet as if to say "This is a tome of video game greatness that should be preserved through the years." It was fantastic, for a few years anyway. After a while the name was shortened to NextGen. The mag became thinner, they got rid of the cardstock covers. In 2002, they succumbed to the market. People wanted their shitty, inane mags filled with walkthroughs and cheat codes. Does anyone remember Tips & Tricks? It was a game mag dedicated to game codes and secrets. Lame. (Ok, ok, maybe people discovered the internet in 2002...)
Come to think of it, the 90s was filled with shit like Ultra Game Players and GamePro, and we all know the only reason you subscribed to PC Gamer and PSM was for the demos. Sure the internet killed the gaming mag, but with an encyclopedia of greatness like Next Generation, I'd throw a publisher $20 a year to read it. NextGen turned into a website, next-gen.biz, but it's industry focus isn't truly enough to separate it from bigger sites out there. Next Generation was different from anything in the market, that's why it was great. Bring it back dammit, it was such a great magazine. 2 Comments
As I was browsing Gamestop today, I noticed a ton of 'Collector's Edition' Xbox 360 games on their used shelf, which of course at Gamestop are all priced the same as the normal edition games, a good thing I suppose. My problem was that, there were loads of them; in some cases more than the standard edition of the game. What's going on here? I thought Collector's Editions were for... well you know... collectors or at least people who love the game they are purchasing. All the CE games I saw on the shelves had a tin box, a bonus DVD with some crap on it, and at the very most they were supposed to come with a figure. (Gamestop didn't have the figures believe it or not).
Case Study: Devil May Cry 4. Snazzy tin case? Check. Bonus DVD? Check. Art book? Maybe check depending on your region. Anything unique? Nothing at all! Everything in here was factory pressed, you don't get anything to differentiate you from the masses and in 6 months you'll find this up there on the Gamestop used shelves for $10, the same price that DMC4 regular edition will be. Why? Because there's nothing special about it. If they ever run out of stock of these, they can just print some more up. A collector's edition game should be just that, something for collectors; something special; something very unique. It shouldn't be something with just as big a print run as the standard game where the developer is just trying to milk another $10-20 out of the average idiot who thinks the bonus content is worth that much. Call that crap "Bonus Edition" or "Extended Edition" and for god's sake dont' call something "Limited Edition" if it has a print run of 50,000!
So you're probably wondering what my ideas are for a true collector's edition game? I could say have the development staff sign each copy by hand and walk a way, but that's far too easy, and signed games aren't anything special. How about this, include an art book drawn by hand by the artists themselves. Include an alpha or beta build of the game on a separate disc. Include an actual animation cel or concept sketch that wasn't used in the game. Have an artist hand draw the box art. Include a CD of music and sound FX that didn't make it into the game, and make each disc unique so that the owner will be the only person who has those tracks. Print up 30 copies, charge $450 each for them. This is the crap that would make a game 'Collector's Edition.' Would it make you any money? Nothing compared to what you would get with a simple "making-of" DVD and a fancy box for $10 above MSRP, but if you're going to call a game Collector's Edition and it's just a worthless overpriced copy of the same game, rename it to something more suiting like "Dumbass Edition."
I don't know if there has been a plea for this before but GiantBomb.com is in desperate need of editors for submissions! Sure moderators can deny things for excessive spelling mistakes or poor grammar, but chances are if there is a decent shell of an article and it contains some kind of relevant content, it is more valuable to accept it and have someone clean up the mess later. I've been editing the Personal Computer article and the mistakes I've encountered have ranged from minor typos to insane grammatical travesties. It isn't the severity of the errors either, it's the sheer number of them and general poor writing style I've seen in many entries here.
"What's different between PCs and consoles are you can easily take apart and replace parts of a computer."
That sentence should not be allowed to exist in any form. Just, simply put, we need people to edit poor submissions before they are published to the site or the moderators need to take over that task. It might also be of value to put up a basic writing guide to write in an objective manner, avoid addressing the reader, etc. I'm hardly a writer myself, but I was quite surprised to see the article for an entire platform, the PC, in such terrible shape.
Then again, I could just be ignored me because I'm just one of 30,000 members and a relatively inactive one at that. Alas, in addition to filling out retro game pages to their deserved glory, I shall make an attempt to edit as many popular articles as possible to hopefully get Giant Bomb in the spirit of using punctuation, spelling correctly, and understanding basic grammar. Update: So my changes got published on the PC page, and a little over a half hour of editing and revising got me 4 points. Editing needs to be more recognized than that! Anyone can vomit information onto a page but changes need to take place so that this information is either submitted in presentable form the first time or editors are recognized for their efforts in making that information presentable! Update 2: Nevermind I don't know how points work, but who does? I got like 200. Yay.