GOG Holiday Sale: Half off almost every game.

gog holiday sale banner
gog holiday sale banner

So you are a little short on cash this year, but you are a classic gamer and you need your fix. Well Good Old Games has just launched their holiday sale that gives you 50% off pretty much every title they have. The offer is good from December 14th, 2010 until January 3rd, 2011.  In addition, GOG is also giving a free copy of Tyrian 2000 as a virtual stocking stuffer.

Check out just some of their awesome games:

gog sale list
gog sale list

And that is just a few of over 290 games they have on sale so head on over to GOG.com and tell em Obsolete Gamer sent ya.

Are game reviews valid?

Are game reviews valid? by Honorabili

You might read a game review and be enticed to go buy or play a game but is a review really valid? How long did the reviewer play the game? Does it take into account replayability and updates over the life of the game?

The Quality Triangle
The Quality Triangle

I’ve written a bunch of game reviews but I often find myself with the dilemma of when I sit down and think about how effective the review really is. One of the reasons I created Obsolete Gamer is so that I can honestly review games in a reasonable and realistic manner. It’s really really hard to play a game that hasn’t come out yet or has just come out and play it like a crackhead non-stop to try to simulate having played it over a series of days and weeks. The problem with even doing that is that the game will still be new to me within a week timeframe as opposed to the game having been around in my collection for months. One would be more excited about a new game rather than an old one, unless it’s a really old game that was your favorite and you haven’t played in a while and you just found it because you lost it for some reason.

Planet Side cover
Planet Side cover

This question might not just apply to games but to maybe some movies or things like electronics and cars as well. Most reviews that just get mass produced will say this thing is “the next best thing since sliced bread and you must have it!” but they don’t take into account that for instance a car might have a defect that you will only see after owning it for a year or a game will get ruined by the 5th patch because they changed something that fucked up game balance and it will make people flee playing a game like a sinking ship. This especially happens for MMOs which are changing all the time. PlanetSide comes to mind, which a ton of my friends used to play when it was really, really popular. Your best bet it to read a game review by somebody that has the same tastes as you or to read a review written recently about an old game (like what we write here often, ahem).

A problem I have sometimes running Obsolete Gamer is that some reviews I’ve written, in order to keep them valid, I have to go back and play a game and update the review. One game that does this a lot to me is Nation Red, which updates like at least once a month, with new content added ALL THE TIME! I keep track of this for Obsolete Gamer but many sites will just pump out an article and just file it forever in its archives, never ever updating it again. In my book that makes those reviews useless. If you haven’t already checked out our game reviews do so in this section of the website.

Civilization 5 Crash
Civilization 5 Crash

So what’s the point of reviews? I see many as pieces of writing intended to get the reader to buy or play a game. Many get used to hype up the expectations of the potential and existing fanbase to a game or product. Some are genuinely written to try to warn people to stay away from a particularly poorly made game that would just be a waste of time and money for the player. Sure, I’ve played some games that have gotten bad reviews and found them somewhat more pleasant than this horrible picture the media painted for me. For example, I gave Elemental War of Magic a fair chance and actually it was sad that I enjoyed it more than Civilization 5, a game I had pre-ordered for $50 and now hate with a passion. The media crucified Elemental War of Magic because of its many bugs and shortcomings and yes even Stardock admits screwing up and it resulting as a flop but the difference here is that Elemental War of Magic got patched to the point where it’s very much enjoyable now but it still has a bad reputation as opposed to Civilization 5, which is PRAISED to be the strategy game of the year, although in my and in the eyes of every true Civilization game fan, it’s the biggest pile of shit ever made with the Civilization name. The game is months old and still has most of the bugs and missing features I mentioned in my early review of the game. It’s disappointing especially when they are still selling this turd for so much money. If you want to see this rage, visit the Facebook Civilization Page to join in on the fight!

Psychonauts Box, groovy huh?
Psychonauts Box, groovy huh?

This kind of hypocrisy has been around for many years, and not just in the gaming industry. Whatever has the biggest budget will get hyped up and up and some stuff that does deserve attention will sink into obscurity. Let’s look at small games though because it’s easy for people to say that Call of Duty or Halo or World of Warcraft are the best games EVER but let’s look at small games to see where the industry nailed it and where it dropped the ball. The industry rightly praised Plants vs Zombies and Trine and rightly so but it dropped the ball when it came to a classic gem like Psychonauts. You might say “Yeah, Psychonauts got famous later as a cult classic” but seriously, the people who made it needed the money from the game when it came out, not 4-6 years later! Most people pirated Psychonauts or bought it on Steam for $2 when they had its sale or even from Good Old Games. Think about how many people might have been laid off because the game didn’t do well when it was fresh.

Games are sort of like cars in the economic sense: they degrade in value over time. The money they make for the developer the most is earned when they are new and fresh. When they are on sale because they flopped or they’re old is marginal. The money the developer gets from ebgames or some other place selling you a used copy is NOTHING. I’m not saying go out there and buy every game because I do believe some stuff should have never come out and is not even worth downloading a pirated copy (a topic for another article), but if you do LOVE a game, whether you played it a friends house, got a demo, or are playing a warez copy, do try to buy it to pay back the creators and people whose life was spent writing that game. The economy is a democracy in the sense that you vote with your wallet. If you like the games made by certain authors and programmers and studios, keep them in business. Don’t you want your friends to do well?

Odium, a game few have played with like no reviews
Odium, a game few have played with like no reviews

I’m getting sidetracked, so going back to reviews, if you can’t find a good review for a game or a review at all, do a little research instead. See if there are people who posted information on forums regarding the quality of a game. Some stuff might be too new and small for people to review or it might be just really really BAD. Sometimes that’s a way to tell but sometimes the game might just be a lost gem that you have found. Give games a chance and don’t always go with what the mass media wants you to play. I don’t know how busy your life is, but try to not let people make a decision for you. This also doesn’t apply to just games as well but life as a whole. Discover something you will like. Try out a new genre if you’re bored of gaming in general or go out and do something else to get a new perspective. This might keep you from burning out on something.

Who knows what may happen? You might just find a game that becomes a new favorite of yours and you might end up like us writing reviews on them yourselves and websites like this one or maybe this one as well. ;] Just make sure that you honestly share your opinion on a game… To yourself be true and to others as well, if you can. Save people the aggravation of buying a lemon!

GAMES TO BUY: CONSOLE EDITION: NOV 30 2010

video Game Store Japan
video Game Store Japan

My theory as to the reason for the lack of good games for the week after Thanksgiving is that companies feel people will be tired of buying after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Seriously not to dump on anyone’s game but this week the pickings are a slim as leftovers at my house. Anyway I will try my best to bring you something but don’t expect any high scores or anything.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn

It’s been a long time for fans of the Golden Sun series but finally the follow up is here and Camelot has delivered a good RPG game for your Nintendo DS. Dark Dawn is thirty years into the future and deals with the effects from releasing the golden sun onto the world. You play as the son of the hero from the previous game against a new villain Blados.

The good thing about Dark Dawn is they kept the gameplay of the first and just updated the look to work with the additional features of the DS. You still have the turn based random combat encounters and you can still interact with the environment. There are tons of magic spells to use and over 70 Djinn which are magical creatures based on the four elements that are spread across the world. When you find these Djinn you can add them to any of your characters to add or increase their magic ability.

For those of you that haven’t played Golden Sun or don’t remember the story well there are hyperlinks within the game that reference you to the in-game encyclopedia which will give you information on the backstory. In addition there are hints and hidden messages scrolled on the walls throughout the world to help you keep on task.

All in all if you have a DS and are a Golden Sun fan, a RPG fan or both then this title is worth a pickup.

Buy Worthiness: $$$

Epic Mickey

Even if you aren’t a fan of Disney you have to admit many of their games are beautifully done and fun to play and from the looks of it Epic Mickey continues that trend. The game was created by Warren Spector who you might remember from Deus Ex and System Shock. The game itself is based on various projects, scripts, character and ideas that never quite made it past the creative offices. What this means is that while there will be a lot of familiar Disney sights and characters in Epic Mickey there are also twists and differences alone with new characters and places within the game.

In a nutshell Mickey is kidnapped and brought to a world that has various reimaging of characters. There are a ton of bad guys including a character called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit who is jealous of Mickey’s success. Mickey interacts with the world primarily by using paint and thinner to create, fill in or erase parts of the world. You can also use the paint and thinner to attack enemies, but it is not always effective.

What’s cool is how you use the paint and thinner effects everything from the quests and items you get to even how Mickey looks and acts. If you use a lot of paint it is considered good and your appearance matches that. If you use a lot of thinner it is considers bad in a sense because you are destroying things and thus you change over time to Scrappy Mickey, while not necessarily evil this is considered the lesser choice.

Overall, this games plays like a platforms mixed in with an RPG and the paint and thinner aspect not only is cool but works well with the Wii. This one looks like a winner and is worth a look.

Buy Worthiness: $$$$

Broke Friday

Nintendo wins this week which isn’t saying much considering. I know most of you will be broke after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but these two games are still worth a shot if you have the cash. Next up is the countdown to Christmas so stay tuned for more Games to Buy.

GOG Sale – Interplay Action-comedy Games

MDK1 Cover
MDK1 Cover

GOG Sale – Interplay Action-comedy Games

This weekend only, you can pick up MDK 1, MDK 2, and Giants: Citizen Kabuto for $4.19 each from Good Old Games. These are the finest action-comedy games made by the old Interplay (back when it was good and run by Brian Fargo!).

MDK 1 is a 3rd person shooter that is a ton of fun! You take the role of a janitor that works in a space station and this crazy scientist commissions you to get into this badass powerarmor, morphing suit and go down to the surface of the planet and blow up a bunch of asshole aliens. The game involves a shitload of bullets being fired, jumping, sniping, and gliding with your morphing suit. It is simply BADASS! On top of that, the game is hilarious.

This game came out in 1997 both on PC and Playstation 1. It was the first game I remember seeing from Shiny. The Good Old Games version of the game comes with the manual, hi-res wallpaper, the original soundtrack, and avatar.

MDK 2 is the sequel to the awesome MDK 1. It’s longer, looks much better, but it’s a lot like the previous game. Difference here is that you don’t just play as the janitor but also as the professor and as his doggie, which has 4 arms and can fire 4 guns (pistols, uzis, etc) at the same time. More boom boom! MDK 2 is also much, much harder!

The Good Old Games version of MDK 2 comes with the manual, hi-res wallpapers, the soundtrack, artworks from the game, the storyboard artwork, and avatar.

Giants: Citizen Kabuto is the last kind of game of these action-comedies that Interplay put out. There are three different factions to play in this game: space rangers which crash landed their ship in these world while drunk flying, a super-hot heiress to an evil sea kingdom that cuts everything apart with scimitars, and the Kabuto (a giant Godzilla-like monster that goes around terrorizing the citizens of these worlds). There is just so much variation of gameplay in this game that it is such a classic, since it is basically like 3 games in one, each of those being a great game itself. The humor in the game makes fun of other kind of similar games as well and some of it is pretty braindead in a good way.

Conclusion:

You will like these games if you like action games. You will like these games if you are a fan of games like Ratchet and Clank. If you like off the wall humor in games and want to blow shit up, you will also like these games. You will like these games if you like Psychonauts. You will also like these games if you like the game Armed and Dangerous.

Click here to go to the sale!

I only recommend sales for games that are worth owning and that are actually worthwhile. 😀

Steam Sale – Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare 1 for $14.99

Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare 1
Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare 1

Steam Sale – Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare 1 for $14.99

If you are a fan of FPS games and you still don’t have Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, you have been missing out. Now is a good time to pick it up for $14.99 from Steam.

CoD4-MW1 is a total hit of a game and it actually lived up to its hype. The single player campaign is a lot of fun and is exciting. My favorite part of the game being the sniper mission and another part which I won’t tell since it would be a spoiler. It is shocking, though. ;-]

The game is worth buying especially since you can find a lot of players still playing this game, although a lot will be playing its sequel, Modern Warfare 2. Still, since there is a problem with the people who made this game (they fired them), I’ll take as much Modern Warfare from the original Infinity Ward team as I can.

Click here to go to the sale.

gog.com sale: The Longest Journey & Sanitarium 50% off

Sanitarium cover
Sanitarium cover

gog.com sale: The Longest Journey & Sanitarium 50% off

Two of the most amazing adventure games from the late 90s on sale by our friends at Good Old Games! You can get either one for about $5 each or slightly under $10 total.

Sanitarium is probably my favorite creepy adventure game. You play as a man with a bandaged head that keep slipping further into insanity and hallucinating being in weird places and being weird beings. The voice acting is phenomenal for the game and it’s an unforgettable experience.

The Longest Journey deals with being a Shifter, someone who can travel to different dimensions. In the game the protagonist has to deal with a growing problem in between a world that’s all about magic and another one that’s all about science and technology.

Click here for the gog.com sale, if these games sound interesting to you.

gog.com sale: UFO Aftermath and Aftershock 50% off

UFO Aftermath
UFO Aftermath

gog.com sale: UFO Aftermath and Aftershock 50% off

For about $8 you can check out two great XCOM clones. Never played XCOM? It’s one of the top games all time for tactical squad combat, as well as killing a bunch of aliens that keep trying to take over Earth.

UFO Aftermath and Aftershock are more modern remakes of the original XCOM with better graphics.

The link to the sale is the following.