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My name is Eric and I am a 30 year old video game collector. I have been playing games since I was 4 years old starting with Atari and have gotten all of the main stream systems from then until now throughout the years. I currently have over 2600+ games in my collection spanning over 20+ systems from Atari to Wii U. I am a big collector of video game related things in general such as t-shirts, some figures, posters and other such stuff.

I was a former Game Crazy (former video game store; attached to Hollywood video) employee for 5 years before the company went bankrupt in June of 2010.

I enjoy video game music, be it original scores, symphony, chiptune, remixes, or whatever else. I also listen to metal/hard rock. I am currently listening to bands like Poets of the Fall, Skillet, and Mudvayne. My all time favorite band is Soundgarden, and my all time favorite artist is Chris Cornell.

I am also a wicked sci-fi nerd, primarily Star Trek. I also love Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, Sliders, etc..etc..
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As many people are aware, the Xbox One and the PS4 are not compatible with their previous versions, Xbox 360 and PS3 respectively. This is a touchy subject for many people and I think I have some insight as to why.

Some may say the industry is changing. "Why would I want to play Xbox 360 when a new system is out?" They may shout! Well, besides the fact that they're still going to make games for the 360 for 1-2 years, it's so we can play games we currently own.

Many know me as a video game collector. By the end of 2013 I'll own over 2,700 games in my 26 years of gaming (I'm 30, been playing since I was 4). As a result of this, I own MANY video game consoles. One of the best parts about backwards compatibility is that I don't need to keep every single one hooked up. Now granted... I DO have them all hooked up, but the convenience is there for many, like me, who keep their old consoles. Many people believe that backwards compatibility is a relatively new thing, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

With this new generation of gaming, I am harkened back to the days of Intellivision, Colecovision and Atari. I would EASILY think of them as Xbox One, PS4, and Wii U. Many don't realize that Atari made 3 versions of their self-titled console: The 2600, the 5200, and the 7800. The 7800 was almost fully compatible with 2600 games. Hell, the Intellivision II (remodeled version) had an adapter to play Atari 2600 games! Cross compatibility right there! So to say there's no room for backwards compatibility in the gaming world is ludicrous!

Let's jump to the NES era. In this era you have NES, Sega Master System, and the Atari 7800 battling. Atari dies out and the NES wins over the SMS. But think of some fine points about Sega for a minute. They made a handheld console called the Game Gear, maybe you heard of it. Well this has an adapter to play SMS games on it! 

Then comes the SNES, Sega Genesis era of gaming, which to me is still the best. Now granted the SNES couldn't play NES games but with the help of an adapter, the Sega Genesis could play SMS games which was great! When the Gameboy came out, Nintendo came up with Super Gameboy and I don't know about you but I lost my mind! The fact that I could play my handheld games on my big TV (20 inch TVs were big back then for a kid to have in his room) was a great incentive to stick with the SNES.

But the consoles were not the only form of gaming to get compatibility by this point! Gameboy games worked on the Gameboy Color which, even though the GBC is an upgraded Gameboy, it still counts as you could toss your old GB and strictly use the GBC. Then the beloved GBA comes out... that thing could play GB, GBC, AND GBA games.

So now we advance, the N64, Sega Saturn, PS1 era lurks. Once again we get struck down with no backwards compatibility. This marks the first time in in 5 generations of gaming that we can't use our older games. Now I'll admit, I don't think many of us were even thinking of backwards compatibility back then, despite having it, since it didn't really have a name yet. But you COULD use the same video cable for the SNES/N64/Gamecube so there's that! But thinking back on it now, yea it kind of sucked. Luckily for us there was tons of games for older consoles and back then trading games wasn't really going around in full swing like it is today. Hell the first used game I ever bought was Mario Golf for the N64, and the battery inside was dead and I had to swap it for another copy.

So now we hit arguably the most popular gen of gaming, the sixth gen with PS2, Dreamcast, Gamecube, and Xbox. PS2 could play 99.5% of PS1 games. I leave out 0.5% cuz there's about 10 games that don't work completely. I found this out playing Mortal Kombat Trilogy which plays fine in VS, but go play single player and try to see your characters ending, the game will freeze on Shao Kahn when he gets ready to explode.

PS2 was an amazing all in one system. Oddly, I was an Xbox fan and actually bought that, then GC and PS2 dead last. I still own the very last fat model they made and it works great. I had a DVD player so that wasn't a priority to me. But then we move to Gamecube. Gamecube couldn't play old CONSOLE games, but, with the GBA player, you could once again play GB/GBC/GBA games on your TV which was an amazing feature. The Xbox has nothing jumping into this gen and took a gamble, but I say they're doing pretty good.

Let's not forget more handhelds. The Nintendo DS could play GBA and DS games, and our beloved 3DS can play DS games, furthering the compatibility into this gen. But next we get to the current gen, Xbox 360, Wii, and PS3. These 3 consoles are simply amazing and I am glad to own them all. Once again this gen I went 360, wii then PS3. Even now I haven't played a PS3 game in over a year (don't worry Santa is bringing me The Last of Us). But let's look at this gen closely.

It all began with 360. Now the 360 can play a good amount of original Xbox games, and sadly Microsoft stopped despite claiming eventually all would work. This however proves that updates could be done for compatibility. Now I don't pretend to know how to create video games, but compatibility, on a superior system, should fairly easily be done using software and not hardware, right? Someone correct me on the specifics but it seems odd to not have it. But at least SOME games worked on the 360. The Wii could play almost every Gamecube game which drew me in so I could let my Gamecube rest for a while (only to be resurrected to play GBA games on my 40 inch HDTV). The PS3, at first, could play PS2 games because it had the actual PS2 hardware. But... Sony realized they could remove that and sell PS2 games as PS2 Classic games and make more money, but hey, the compatibility was there initially. We don't talk about PSP and Vita because well... they did a poor job when it comes to this topic. Hell, the PSP Go made it so you couldn't even play PSP games on it unless you downloaded them.

So now the next gen is upon us! in 6 days it's be in full swing with Wii U, PS4 and Xbox One all coming out. This Gen I already own a Wii U, but I am going Xbox One. I am not picking it due to my fanboyism, I simply chose it because I am a die hard Dead Rising fan and I NEED DR3. That and the PS4 has no exclusive games I care about except God of War and even then Ascension sucked. I am sorry but it's the worst in the entire series but that's for another day.

So what does everyone think? Is it weird that only 2 generations of gaming didn't have backwards compatibility? Did you notice it or not? I always knew it, but it never impacted me as much once I truly realized that we've had it almost all this time. To be nice, if you didn't want to read this blog, here's a compatibility rundown (if I am missing something please add it:

(C/W= compatible with)
(C/A = Compatible with adapter)

[u]Compatibility thru the ages:[/u]
- Atari 2600 C/W 7800
- Atari 2600 C/A Intellivision II
- Sega Master System C/A Sega Genesis and Game Gear
- Gameboy C/A SNES
- Gameboy C/W Gameboy Color
- GBA C/W Nintendo DS and DS Lite
- GB,GBC,GBA C/A Gamecube (via GBA player)
- PS1 C/W PS2 and PS3 (earlier models)
- Xbox C/W Xbox 360 (Limited)
- Gamecube C/W Wii
- Wii C/W Wii U

The 5th gen is the only one to have zero compatibility since the 8th (now current) gen has Wii to Wii U, and the 3rd gen had at least SMS to game gear and Genesis.

But sadly no 360 to One, or PS3 to PS4. Not even digital games ::shrug:: You'd think by now we'd know how to use software and allow it, especially if I paid for it digitally on 360.. Why they wouldn't think I'd wanna play it on the next console, when digital will be the 9th generation of gaming most likely, is beyond me. Don't worry, they'll be gracious to add older games to XBLA (or whatever Xbox One will call it) and make us pay for them again, such is gaming. 

Long story short, there's been WAY more Backwards compatibility than not, so why remove it now?

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Like most gamers of today, I started out as a young child at age 4 with a little system called the Atari 2600. It all started when my father gave me his Atari system when I was around 4 years old (26 years ago since I am now 30). Now while I cannot say this is when I fell in love with video games, since i was only 4, but this was my first time actually playing games. The first game I ever played was called Kangaroo. This was your basic old school platformer where you have to make the mama Kangaroo reach her baby at the top. I played this game, and many others such as Pac man Jr, Dig Dug, and Missile Command, which simply added to my future love for gaming.

So come age 5 I finally received my own Atari 2600 Jr... but that's not where it all began. This is simply because in Christmas of 1988 I received my NES. This is when gaming got its hooks in me and would from then on never let me go. Now growing up as an only child, I was spoiled rotten. While my parents didn't buy many games for me, they sure as hell rented plenty of them. Twice a week my dad would swing by the local Major Video (which would later become Blockbuster Video and then later become an empty building) and get me a new NES game. I would play games for hours on end after school right up until bed time. I still went outside and played with friends, but as an only child, when my friends weren't around, what else was a boy to do? Growing up I owned MAYBE 16 or so games during the NES's actual lifetime (I now own 253 NES games thanks to my game collecting addiction), but renting was the thing to do. I must've killed hundreds of NES games as a kid and I definitely miss it more than you know.

So then we move onto the SNES/Genesis generation. Good lord what a time this was! I remember waking up on Christmas morning (not sure on the year) and opening up my SNES and hooking it up all by myself to our TV in the den and playing Spider-man/X-men and Super Mario World. Now this was not the first time I played the SNES, I had previously rented the console 2 times from some mom and pop video store. Both times playing Joe and Mac and Super Mario World. Renting consoles was a thing many people did since they couldn't afford to buy them unless it was a holiday. But I definitely remember the day I played MY SNES for the first time quite well. I rented the Sega Genesis about 3 times, playing the likes of Sonic The Hedgehog, Altered Beast, and Dick Tracy. I also rented tons of games over the years, the same as NES, for both consoles.

Long story short, I moved through the ranks of every major console. I chose PS1 over the Saturn (I own one now, however), I got an N64, Dreamcast, and everything in between leading up to the Wii U. I have every major console or handheld released in the US and played thousands of hours on an original Gameboy playing such titles as Tetris, Quarth, Gremlins 2, and other such obscure titles as well. But the time that got me into gaming was that time between NES and SNES.

So here we are, 26 years after playing my first video game, and I still love it. I currently own 2,614 video games spanning countless systems. I own an Atari 2600 (2 of them), Atari 2600 jr, NES (top loader and 2 front loaders), SNES, Sega Genesis gen 1 (with Sega CD gen2 and Sega 32x), Gameboy (and a Gameboy pocket), GBA SP (NES style), Mario Kart edition Nintendo DS, DS Lite (2 of them, one black and one Zelda gold edition), 3DS, Turbo Grafx-16, N64, PS1 (original and a PS One with monitor), PS2 (last fat model made), Sega Saturn, Sega Master System, Atari Jaguar, Gamecube, Xbox, Wii, Xbox 360 (2 of them one non-HDMI white and one halo 3 special edition), Virtual Boy, PS3, PSP slim, and a Sega Dreamcast. I might be leaving some out but I think that's it.

So to say I am serious about video games is quite an accurate description. With the dawn of digital gaming, I am sadly losing interest in the next generation of video games. I will always have my games to play, however, as my backlog is over 1000 of these games. If 26 years later I am still into gaming, it's pretty obvious I will remain so, whether it's with new games or simply playing all my old games. Either way, gaming is who I am.

I can't say what the future of gaming truly holds and if I will embrace the digital age of gaming for sure, but I am definitely not as in love with the games of today as I was when I was a child. With having to work 35-40 hrs a week, spending time with family, friends, or my fiance, and the fact that many of my friends aren't as into gaming as me and never really was, there's not nearly enough time to play games as I would have liked. I do try my best to game at least 1-2hrs a day if I am lucky but such is life. While my gaming addiction may have started with the NES, it will not end until the day i die and that is a truth that you can bet on when it comes to me. Here's some fun stuff I drew a few years back, for some classes in college, thus further showing my love for games. Here's some Atari characters (and its 3ft by 4 ft in size), 3 megaman drawn with alternating mediums (based on a pic I found online but hand drawn not traced), and a close up of Chris Redfields alt attire from the RE1 remake)

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Now I love a difficult game as much as the next person, but good lord what have I gotten myself into this time? Now back in the day I remember when DOOM was a new game. My friend got the shareware version and we played "knee deep in the dead" over and over. But when I was a kid, I wasn't much for challenging games and I think that's common even today. You bet I used all the cheat codes and played on ultra violence. I've only ever beaten DOOM and DOOM 2 on normal without cheats maybe once or twice. So I've decided that now is the time to kick this series in the ass and beat all 5 major titles on Nightmare...Good lord I am in for some pain.

So I started playing Ultimate DOOM on the Doom 3 BFG edition on Nightmare... Let's just say this is definitely going to be a challenge. My goal in this is to beat these games all on Nightmare:

- (Ultimate) DOOM (Xbox 360; plus the hidden Xbox only e1m10 on the Xbox doom 3 special edition)
- DOOM 2: Hell on Earth
- Final DOOM (original PC version I have that's been collecting dust)
- DOOM 64 (N64 version; Duh)
- DOOM 3 (Xbox 360 version)
--Plus Resurrection of Evil and Lost Chapters and probably all 21 Master Levels primarily on the Xbox version for a level by level structure setup and then the 3 missing levels on PC

Why do I want to do this? I don't truly know. Call me a glutton for punishment I guess. I mean maybe in the last 10 years or so I decided that I enjoy difficult games and difficult challenges. I mean I've beaten every Halo game on legendary solo (except Halo anniversary so far since I beat Halo CE on legendary before and Halo 2... good lord I hate you halo 2. Difficult isn't even the word). But I like a challenge and this seems like an amazing one. I also love DOOM as a series and always have wanted to do this so now is that time.

My main focus is to beat the levels. I am not out to kill every enemy and find every secret item, I WILL however beat every mission in these games, secret ones and all. Now I am only on E1M3 in DOOM but it's all about trial and error. Lets see the facts. While you get double the ammo from all ammo pickups and enemies do way more damage... enemies RESPAWN! I thought the Arch-vile resurrecting enemies in DOOM 2 was bad enough, now all enemies respawn. Yipes! I never knew this about Nightmare and man oh man is that difficult. The name Nightmare truly does this difficulty justice.

So I urge anyone who wants a super challenge, try the DOOM games on Nightmare. It's punishing but when its all over I always get a sense of personal accomplishment. I mean.. I have a 100% gamerscore on Dead Rising... it almost made me go absolutely insane but now that it's done, I actually enjoyed doing it... next stop, finish my achievements for the other dead rising games.... once I am done with DOOM.. and by the looks of things, that could be a while. Wish me luck!

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Have you ever heard someone say phrases like "Oh that game didn't age well" or the term "Nostalgia Goggles"? I don't know if I too am afflicted with the dreaded disease of Nostalgia or not, but I don't believe in the word. As you know if you read one of my previous blogs, I own way too many video games. The majority of them are from the classic gaming era. Consoles such as NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis are just a few of many that plague my very existence. But, like most people who enjoy the classic games, they were the highlights of many of our lives.

I can go, right now, and play Goldeneye 64 without even thinking about it. I have NEVER said a game didn't age well because I don't compare games of yesteryear with the games of today. It makes no sense to compare an SNES game to a PS3 game. Remember Toejam and Earl? The game is still fun as hell, at least to me anyway. I play classic games in the same mindset that I played them when I was younger and not as a side by side comparison of how games look today. Every generation of games has their great moments. Does gaming get better? I say no. I say games get DIFFERENT. Video games, much like music, simply change with the times. Why did they make Megaman 9 and 10? If Megaman Legends was so much more amazing due to its 3D platformer graphics why would we have made "throwback" games? Hell, 2D fighting games are STILL bigger than any 3D fighting game franchise. Now granted, some 3D fighters are great. But some games need to stay 2D while others can evolve to 3D and be great like the Super Mario Galaxy series or Prince of Persia.

Still amazing fun after all these years

See, in my youth I played LOTS of video games. As an only child, whenever my friends weren't around, what else was I going to do? Read? Throw a baseball to myself? Jog around the block repeatedly? I had fish growing up so I couldn't go play with the family pet and I was the first grandchild on my mom's side of the family (my dads's side of the family all live further away) until I was 7 so I couldn't even hang with cousins until later in life. I turned to video games as something to do as a child when I couldn't go see my friends which happened often for reasons I don't really know because I was young. I would wake up, go to school, come home around 2pm and play games until 10pm. Then I'd fall asleep watching back to back episodes of Star Trek TNG and Star Trek DS9. But take that example of a day in the life of GrimmTrixX, and make it 5-7 days a week and multiply it numerous times.

My dad would rent games from Major video (then it became Blockbuster video; now it's an Eb Lens...) twice a week. He'd pick a different game for me every time and I would kill the games and move onto the next ones. This happened for years so as a kid I played hundreds of games and every game blockbuster had to offer during the NES-N64 eras of gaming. So looking back on old games and playing them brings back fond memories but they're also insane fun even now.

They remind me of a simpler time in gaming when game companies focused on if a game was good and not if it could make them money. Sure I can go play halo 4 right now or Black Ops 2, but then what? Are they great games? Sure. Will I remember them in 20 years and look back on them fondly? Probably not. Why? Well I am an adult now. I have so much more to think about today then when I was younger that playing games of this generation, while fun, are harder to enjoy because I cannot invest nearly as much time into them as I could in the past. I cannot attach meaningful life experiences to many video games made in the last 5 or so years. But if we play Kickle Cubicle on the NES I remember my friends first cat being hit by a car, because that's the game we were playing when it happened. Go figure.

One reason I love classic games is that they were quick to pick up and play and even beat.I don't even know how many times have defeated Super Mario World? I have beaten and re-beaten that game so many times I lost count. It's still my all time favorite SNES game and I could go play it right now and have as much fun as I did back when it had first come out and beat the game again. Old school games have ultimate re-playability to me. But with Xbox 360/PS3/Wii/WiiU era games, once I beat it, I'm done. You can throw all the alternate endings at me you want, once I beat it, good or bad ending, it's over. The only series this gaming generation that I really replay is any Dead Rising game. Something about that series is just plain enjoyable.

Proximity mines on Facility...best gaming years of my life

All i am saying is, I hate the hate that the term Nostalgia gets. It's used more as a put down than anything else. Do I deny that games today look more realistic? Of course not. But does that mean better? How many lush and vibrant worlds exist in RPGs today, yet some can't hold a candle to greats like Final Fantasy VI or Chrono Trigger? Why do I have more fun playing ANY SNES game over half the things that came out in the last 5 years? I mean sure I must have some kind of bias, since I own over 2500 video games, but keep in mind, I own almost 100 Xbox 360 games. I own 280 PS2 games, etc..etc.. My collection spans the gaming universe from Atari To Wii U. i love all things video games, I'll just always prefer gaming from The 80s-00s over any video game era even when I an a super old man. The difference is, I will keep playing new games and evolving to new consoles, unlike many people who get into their bubble and don't advance. My dad hates movies of today and hates any music made after the 80s unless it was made by an older artist who started in his time. Our generation needs to evolve with technology lest we be defeated by it.

Gaming, in itself, is an opinion. We like what we like and that's that. I won't ever tell someone what they like sucks and is terrible. Believe me I have played and I currently own LOTS of terrible games but if you come to me and say Black Ops is the best game you ever played, and you truly believe it, then enjoy the hell out of it because I am glad you found what you enjoy to play.

I just want everyone to be a gamer. I want everyone for years to come who is just getting into games to feel how I felt all those years ago when I started with Atari and NES back in 1987-88 when I was 4 or 5. I love looking at and playing my old school game collection both as current and past enjoyment. My "Nostalgia Goggles" are forever super glued to my face and I wouldn't ever change that. If I like something now, I like it forever. I don't ever change the things I once enjoyed over time. I don't like rap music... but do I hate rap music I once liked? Hell No! Bone Thugs N Harmony is still my all time favorite rap group and always will be. I still love music from the 80s and 90s, I still love watching classic cartoons and TV shows I once loved and enjoy them just as much today such as: classic TMNT, Star Trek TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY, Power Rangers, He-Man, etc..etc.. hell, I have a large collection of action figures from the 80s-90s and they were all obtained just by buying them in the store as a kid with my parents. I didn't go to ebay and buy them like I had to with my huge gaming collection (namely because buying all these games at full retail would've never happened and would've cost SO much more than obtaining them used or for free by working at a video game store for 5 years and customers would give me classic games for the hell of it or sell them to me dirt cheap).

So to end this somewhat shorter blog than I normally do, I just want to say there's nothing wrong with nostalgia. Without it, how do we know about the history of gaming? I'll someday be that 80 year old man telling his grand children about a man fighting a giant gorilla or about a female bounty hunter Samus. And while they won't get the reference (maybe.. depends on if my game collection lasts that long and if TVs/electricity still works roughly the same in 2063). But if you love old games like me and still enjoy them then feel free to leave a comment. I will forever miss having hours upon hours to play games, but the sad truth about growing up is you truly have less time to do the things you love because 30-40 hrs of week just steal that time and energy away...Now if only I could win the lottery...

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Remember a time when you bought an extended warranty for an electronic device like a game system or, in my current case, a smartphone, and it covered anything? If the item was smashed, shocked, fried, or struck down by the hand of God himself you could bring it to the store, swap it for a new one right then and there, and be on your way. Well I guess times truly do change when you don't pay attention to the way things are worded in this day and age.

Now I am not new to a cell phone. I, like most of you, have had numerous cell phones and at least a new one every 2 years. So color me surprised when my recent new phone, the lovely Samsung Galaxy S III, took a slow motion nose dive out of my over-encumbered hands and onto my nice, ice cold, paved driveway. Now the phone survived the fall, as in, the phone still worked. The screen however, was not nearly a lucky. Smashed in 2 primary spots, the screen screamed in pain. Spiderweb cracks engulfing all but a slight spot in the center, rendering a finger swipe useless if not painful. I mean, in order to use it safely I even put the sucker in a clear ziploc bag, which oddly enough the touch screen still worked when i touched it; quick fix successful.

I think I see a skull in the middle right side

Here's where it gets ugly. On the 18th of January after a boring 8hr shift at my job, I quickly flew to my nearest Verizon store to, as I assumed, simply swap out my phone and get a new one and be on my merry way. I mean after all, I pay $6.99 a month for this "warranty" which is $83.88 a year before any taxes, so it makes sense to me that I can just swap it. You see, a few years back, before smartphones like the iphone and other such devices came out, my girlfriend had 2 phones break on her. We had the same priced warranty back then, and both were swapped out in the store, no problem. One was the phone just simply no longer worked and the other she had dropped it. No matter how it happened, both times she got a new phone and that was that.

So now we are deeper into the digital age. It's The age of the smartphone and cloud storage as well as the age of controller-less gaming and 3D movies in your living room. Sadly, it is also the age of cell phone "Insurance." Now for starters, when did phones become that important that they needed to be insured? I can't drive it. I can't live in it. I most certainly cannot pay for a funeral with it (although the prices some of the phones go for, perhaps you could). So why, did that word "warranty" go and change to "insurance.? I'll tel you why and it is also summed up in one word: Deductible.

This is a word most of us adults fear the most. Deductible.... The word just sounds disgusting and vulgar and makes me want to punch someone in the face, most notably the person who invented this word. In any case, I get home and go online to Asurion's website. After making a claim, here's the dreaded word "Deductible" and it is for a whopping $99. So you're telling me I pay $6.99 a month so I am then allowed to ONLY pay $99.... for a phone I paid $199 for thanks to the discounted upgrade. I bought this phone in late November... and now, because I finally broke one of my many cell phones over the years, this is what I get? Whatever happened to bringing it in, they swap it out, and I leave a happy customer knowing my $6.99 a month was worth it? Oh and guess what... they don't even send you a new phone! The one they sent me plainly says "re-manufactured in the USA." So not only did I have to pay $99, and pay $6.99 for this, but then they send me a refurbished phone?! What is wrong with our country!?

Old cell phone memories...and I have no idea why I still have these

Over the years I've run the gamut of phones from prepaid Nokias, to some garbage t-mobile phone, to some LG phone that was ok, to a krazer (which was still my favorite phone ever before smartphones existed), to a special edition Star Wars R2-D2 Droid 2 (which was my first smart phone and I loved it) and now to my Samsung Galaxy S III. Never have I been so furious at an extended warranty plan. I have two Xbox 360s, both have red ringed TWICE EACH and not ONCE did I pay for a new console. My original PS1 broke, FREE swap. My Sega Dreamcast broke years ago, FREE swap. As I mentioned earlier that 2 of my girlfriends phones broke, FREE swap BOTH times. Is anyone else seeing the pattern here? On all of these items I had extended warranties, hoping I'd never need them, and when I had to use them, I got my item swapped out and all was good. Now it's 2013 and I truly see how our future in this country will be, when things like cellular phones need insurance.

I understand they're probably more intricate and expensive to make, I understand that $99 is reasonable considering if I didn't have it I'd either have to pay my $200 upgraded price or worse, but why is that the case now and it wasn't before this time? Is it because Cell phone companies just thought of this in the last few years and realized it was easy money? I mean if I had a regular cell phone I still would've had to pay $45 for a replacement. Shouldn't we all simply just get an automatic extended warranty and just make us pay $99 to replace it? I wouldn't be mad if I wasn't already paying $6.99 a month and I wouldn't be mad if I didn't have to pay that in the first place and could pay $99 for a replacement, but both is just ludicrous and wrong. My Droid 2 never broke on me so I never had to use the warranty which is why i am finding out about this now. Hell I have dropped my Droid 2, 3-4 times, in the SAME driveway and the worst thing that happened was the plastic case I had flew off, that's it. So how do we not get a "one time it's free and anything after that you pay" kind of system that most products today still have?

Ahh... the old R2-D2 droid. I miss your indestructibility

Now granted I didn't have a case on my phone yet, so maybe that's my bad, but realistically, should I have to buy body armor for my cell phone? Perhaps a sleek Kevlar lined cover? Should they manufacture something that will break after being dropped one time? Certainly in the year 2013 this technology must exist. I mean after all, I am pretty sure shatterproof glass and other such materials exist today. But as fate would have it, I DID order a case for my phone and guess when it arrived? The day after I dropped the phone. Does that qualify as irony? I don't know but either way it wasn't enjoyable at all.

So be careful when you get that extended warranty. Get it in writing that they replace it, because I never looked at this "$99 deductible" garbage because I made the mistake of assuming something as insane as this could never exist. Why is my state of the art gaming system able to be swapped for no extra cost but not my phone? Why can I blow out stereo speakers and have them swapped out no problem? I paid $99 for a re-manufactured phone that I just bought for $199 new less than a full 3 months ago and that just doesn't seem right to me.

Nerdy new phone case that arrived a day late...I'm aware it won't protect the screen, per se, but it does shift the phones weight so maybe it'd fall backside down next time...

Did I mention when they first sent me the phone it didn't come with a SIM card and I had to go to the Verizon store to get one and the guy was going to charge me $20 but thankfully hooked me up and didn't? Yea...I love not being able to use my new phone until 3 days after I get it and then have all this happen 3 months later. But hey, it's not all bad, I get an extra charger, battery and a SIM card for all my hassle...

So if anyone agrees with me or has a similar story they would love to share I am all about it. If I sound unreasonable and you disagree, feel free to comment too, I need to know what others think of this policy and if I am just starting to show my age.
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Have you ever had a huge backlog of games that you've been meaning to play? You go to work and day dream about just what game you will play and how far you'll get, only to realize time is not on your side? Take right now for instance. I sit here, after working 9+ hours, full of free time to play games, but what am I doing? Writing this very blog. Now while some may say this is counterproductive on the game playing front, I like to think of this blog as the beginning. Here is my lovely tale of gaming from the beginning to current events, as well as a rundown of my gaming collection by the numbers (not an actual list of my games, just how many on what system).

Me and my gaming setup/shelves

The Road to 2500 games has been a long and arduous journey. It started with my 4 year old self being given his father's Atari and immediately getting hooked on games like Dig Dug and Kaboom. The first video game I ever played, however, was a little game called Kangaroo. Then I received the first console that was ever officially purchased for me and me alone... The Nintendo Entertainment System. I would play Mario and Duck Hunt all day long. My dad even played and showed off shooting all the ducks with his back to the TV while only using the NES Zapper and a small mirror. My dad used to rent me tons of games as a kid since they didn't have money to buy me tons of games but renting was the best! I would get 1-2 games a week and burn through them like crazy. Sometimes I picked them and other times he would pick them on his way home from work.

So many memories with my NES. I can remember the game my friend and I were playing when his first cat died and it was Kickle Cubicle. My friend and I used to watch his dad play Legend of Zelda, Legend of Zelda II and Faxanadu all while learning how to figure out our first endeavor into any kind of games with RPG elements. In my friends case, he always got the new Nintendo systems all because his dad wanted to play Zelda games. haha But one would assume I've had tons of games all my life, which isn't the case. I actually only owned about 16 NES games during their actual years of production, the bulk of my games came much later since I rented a lot more as a kid than actually bought/received games. I also didn't get a Sega Master System until mid 2012 so no fond memories of that system, but at least I do own one now! Somewhere amongst this madness I got a Gameboy and loved it. I also once left my gameboy in my pool bag in the trunk of my moms car (we used to goto a pool club when I was a kid for fun summer swimming times) and the screen got all black and burned out. Luckily, my mom had bought me another Gameboy the following Christmas but hid it because she forget she bought me one, and so then I was all set!

Then came the 16 bit generation! Sega Genesis and SNES battled it out for supremacy of the gaming world! I initially rented consoles at this point as a kid and within the first year of its existence I rented the Sega Genesis about 2-3 times and I got one for Christmas the following year in 1991. Then Christmas of 1992 I was blessed with an SNES along with the packed in Super Mario world and Spiderman/X-men in Arcade's Revenge. I can remember waking up early, opening it up, and hooking up the console myself just to play them on christmas morning. I had also rented the SNES numerous times before getting it and i still remember my first SNES game due to renting the consoles/games, Joe and Mac. I even played in the Blockbuster Video Game championships for 2 years in a row, and was in the lead during the year they had Donkey Kong Country in the tournament. But the 3rd and final day I lost by 100 bananas and was mad cuz my dad told me it was cumulative from all 3 days (which i wouldve won) but it was just by the top score and I lost. The other year was some random games, i forget which ones, but didn't do well there. Somewhere in this gen I got a Sega Game Gear. it was fun but ate through 6 AA batteries every 3 hours. But they made a charger pack and all was good. I also got a Sega CD, only for Night Trap and Willy Beamish... and Night Trap got pulled from shelves 2 months before I got a Sega CD. Sure I got one years later, but it crushed me as a kid and the only real game I played, and still play, is Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side.

One of my dirty old Atari's and some of my handhelds

Next is the amazing PS1 and N64 era! I leave out Sega Saturn namely because I didn't get one of those until maybe 3 or 4 years ago. PS1 and N64 were both amazing consoles, which I am sure you all know. This was the generation where my parents said they wouldn't buy me any more video game consoles unless I saved my money, little did I know this was a trick to see if I could save money, and I sure did. Think of it, what 13 year old kid can save any money? Well I showed them and I saved any money I received. So the N64 came out and I was still saving and running to Blockbuster Video to play their stand up unit that Reset every 15 minutes or so but I didn't care. Then it was November and I was ready to go buy it after school with my mom. I had enough money for the system and a game. Then my dad comes home...and what does he bring me, an N64! Remember that infamous video of N64 kid? No that wasn't me but I was pretty excited nonetheless. They were proud that I had saved my money and could tell I really wanted it so I was able to spend my money on another controller and some more games, what a great memory that is and always will be.

PS1 wasn't as exciting of a story, it was more of a "ask for it for Christmas, get it, love it" kind of thing. By this point my parents knew I would always love games and so decided to lift the "no more consoles" embargo. However, my parents fooled me big time that year. Resident Evil had been out for a while and my friends had it, so of course I needed it. So I wake up christmas morning 1997, got some stuff, but no PS1. They told me maybe another time I could get one. So we went to my Aunt's for Christmas and BAM PS1 city! They even got me my first 2 PS1 games, Twisted Metal 2 and Resident Evil! I couldn't play Resident Evil because my younger cousins were around, but I could play Twisted Metal oddly enough, probably because the gore isnt as real, and I didnt play it long there anyway so it wasn't a big deal.

Then by this point I am older. Dreamcast came out, I wanted one, got it for Xmas in 1999, loved it. My friend bought one too (not the same friend from earlier) namely because it could play burned games and he was all about that, so he went from having an NES and never getting another system until Dreamcast and then getting and eventually modding his Xbox after the warranty ran out. lol But my first 2 Dreamcast games were NFL 2k and NBA 2k because they came with the system in a bundle. I never liked sports games, (i still don't and don't really like sports altogether) but NFL 2k was fun as hell and I loved the series until its demise with NFL 2k5 and I suck at Madden and just hate how it plays so I never got into sports games anymore.

Spliced image of my 2 major game shelves and my strategy guide rack in the middle

Then the infamous PS2/Gamecube/Xbox generation. I, unlike most people, got a PS2 last. I got Xbox first because I was sure it was the best one after reading magazine and checking online sites and I was hooked. To this day I still say Xbox and Xbox 360 are my favorite consoles of the last 2 generations. Then I bought a Gamecube ONLY because Resident Evil had to go and be remade on it and I also wanted Super Smash Bros Melee. I also only bought a PS2 later in its life (last big model PS2 but right before the slims were made) and that was only because I am a huge WWE fan and I wanted the Smackdown series. Flash forward to today and I own more PS2 games than any other console in my collection. Sure that's because PS2 games dropped to dirt cheap at the game store I worked at, but still I love it nonetheless.

Here we are, Current gen. Even though it's now almost over, My time with the Xbox 360/PS3/Wii has still been fun. Sure not as many fond memories, but still great games. As always I started with Xbox 360, not just because it was out first, but I loved the Xbox and so this made sense. I got a Wii at launch just because we had an extra console at my work and I got it cuz I new it'd be hard to find later. PS3 I didn't get until the Slim models came out and even then I only got it because God of War 3 was coming out. I literally haven't played my PS3 in over a year, it's my blu-ray player/Netflix/Hulu Plus machine. I only have it for those reasons and for system exclusives, of which I am not really into many of them apparently. If its multi-platform I always go Xbox 360. The Wii is always a fun system and it got my girlfriend more into gaming so that's always a plus.

Gaming area with most of my consoles. Replace Wii with Wii U, add in a Turbo Grafx 16 and you get the idea.

Many of my systems I received during my days at Game Crazy. Some I got for $10-15 at the store from customers (since after a while we couldnt take more old games in so we could then make offers). Systems like Saturn, virtual boy and 32x. While I had rented them, I never bought them til 4-7 years ago. But it was those 5 years (2005-2010) that I ludicrously blew up my collection by 2000+ of my now 2500+ games. During the all of the consoles actual life spans (not including current gen) I probably only owned 10-15 games. Fun fact: The first system I owned over 30 games for while they still produced games for the console: Gameboy.

So what's in store for this generation? The Wii U is cool, I have one, but I'm not quite in love with it yet. The 3DS is fun but still JUST as fun as the DS was as I am not all "Wowzers 3D sure is nifty wifty!" So we'll see what's to come for the next 10 years of gaming.

Just playin' me some Wario Land on the old Virtual Boy!

So here's what people come to see: The Collection. My collection just this week has hit an astonishing 2504 games... Ponder on that one for a minute... 2504 games... yowza.

Here's a rundown of the sickness:

NES - 250
SNES - 166
N64 - 150
Gamecube - 89
Wii - 74
Wii U - 2
Gameboy/Gameboy Color - 172
Gameboy Advance - 101
Virtual Boy - 5
Nintendo DS - 125
Nintendo 3DS - 14

Sega Master System - 9
Sega Genesis - 179
Sega CD - 52
Sega 32x - 7
Sega Saturn - 16
Sega Dreamcast - 71
Sega Game Gear - 23

PS1 - 202
PS2 - 280 (highest amount in my collection)
PS3 - 30
PSP - 102

Xbox - 171
Xbox 360 - 187

Atari 2600 - 16
Atari Jaguar - 5
Turbo Grafx 16 - 4
N-Gage - 2 (I have 2 games but no actual N-Gage system...yet)

= 2504 games...yipes

NES - 3 (1 top loader, 2 front loader)
SNES (original)
N64 (original)
Gamecube (Indigo)
Wii (launch)
Wii U
Gameboy - 2 (1 classic, 1 pocket; oddly enough I don't own an actual Gameboy Color...yet)
Gameboy Advance SP (NES Classic design; I don't own an original GBA or a GBA Micro...yet)
Virtual Boy
Nintendo DS - 3 (Mario Kart original DS, Black DS Lite, Legend of Zelda DS lite)
Nintendo 3DS

Sega Master System
Sega Genesis (ver.1)
Sega CD (ver. 2)
Sega 32x
Sega Saturn
Sega Dreamcast
Sega Game Gear

PS1 - 2 (original PSX and the smaller PSone w/ attachable monitor)
PS2 (original)
PS3 (slim)
PSP (silver slim model)

Xbox 360 - 2 (one old white pre-HDMI slot model and one Halo 3 special edition model)

Atari - 3 (2 Atari 2600s, 1 Atari 2600 jr.)
Atari Jaguar
Turbo Grafx 16

So that's a nice little rundown of what my collection consists of these days. I also have 250 Strategy guides and about 20 or so Art Books. I also have posters, pre-order gifts, many special editions of games, and other such video game related items. I even own a 2-3 ft Master Chief statue that we had at Game Crazy and I was allowed to take it! On top of all this I also own over 60+ Star Trek Original Series novels, tons of comics/graphic novels as well as a nice collection of video game based novels.

Some of my Video game Novels, handful more bought afterwards

But what is to become of my beloved hobby in the future? Mom and pop stores have caught on to the internet and now sell their games for the outlandish online prices, Gamestop is still overpriced for most of their games and have almost eliminated any games from the PS2/GC/Xbox era and earlier, and as i get older my money becomes more and more needed and less usable for things such as this hobby/addiction. But above all else, as I get older, time moves faster and I am more conscious of it.

I love the thought of being able to never run out of games to play, or to just be able to play whatever I want whenever I want. Yes I am aware of virtual consoles and digital downloads (and believe me I dread the console generation after this coming one because the rumors are it will all be digital). I just can't do digital downloads and the only ones I own are those that are ONLY digital such as Super Meat Boy or older but now have online play like Street Fighter 3: Third Strike.

I also own about 10-15 PC games, but I am not a PC gamer and havent really ever been. Sure I played DOOM and Worms World Party when I was younger but PC gaming never stuck. I always preferred console gaming, initially because PC controllers were terrible back in the day and I hate using a keyboard and mouse for gaming. I'm way better at FPS games with a controller than a mouse and keyboard. But because I am a console game collector and not a PC game player or collector, they simply do not count to me as part of my collection. But if other people count PC games and digital download games in their collections, well then I hit 2500 games months ago.

As you can see from my cover photo, thats my collection. That is, back when it was only at 2300 about 1 or 2 years ago. The shelves have slightly changed but the insanity still remains. Thanks to Destructoid I have talked to others who have huge game collections and it's cool to know I am not alone in this at all. So I hope you all enjoyed this (those of you who bothered to read before or after my list of games/consoles lol) and feel free to ask me questions and/or comment! I leave you with this:

Kangaroo, Baby!
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