I bought Pocket Fighter off the PSN sale and it got me thinking about why I purchased this title. Sure it's a good game, not something I actually really needed in my life. Even weirder is the fact that it's one of the only PSOne Classics that isn't compatible with the PSP. The game is pretty adorable though.
I guess the reason I bought it stems back to my childhood. I remember renting this from my local Blockbuster and enjoying the cutesy graphics and sprites. It is a solid fighter. It was original enough and was enough fun that I wanted to own a copy back then. Sadly, I didn't have the funds to purchase the title at the time. I do now and so I have.
Which brings me to a question I've been pondering. Why do I feel like I owe these companies for games I should have purchased years ago? We have all heard of retro goggles or glasses or whatever term you use for a blind folded nostalgic love one has for a game. However, when does the guilt come in to play?
I'm feeling this more and more recently as games are starting to get rereleased in to the market. In fact, the only thing that I find interesting on PSN is the PSOne Classics line they've set up. Not only is it giving me games I failed to pick up in my teens, I can get games that weren't even available for me back then. I'm now stuck in a mental back and forth over what classic I should spend the other $6 in change that was left over from Pocket Fighter.
Do I throw it in to Vagrant Story or in to Arc the Lad? Vagrant Story is from a director that I would put on a list of "Video Game Director's I Actually Care About." It's not a gameplay system I'd prefer for him to use, but he deserves a chance in everything he does.
Arc the Lad falls in to the same category that Pocket Fighter did. However, I've never played it. So I guess this will be a side category, I dunno. Back when the PS2 was the big badass that was so powerful it could potentially launch missiles, Arc the Lad was released for the PS1. Unfortunately, I couldn't risk paying $59.99 for a last gen game, even though it was 3.5 games in 1. This was actually a thought process as my Best Buy had a copy on it's shelves for months while I walked past it. Always eyeballing the neglected last gen SRPG.
I feel bad about never pulling the trigger. I actually do. From what I've seen of this game, I'd have loved it. Such a wasted opportunity. Now I'm debating the long term investment of buying each game in the series. While $21 isn't that much for a game of this magnitude, it all relies on me buying PSN cards. That's something I do infrequently as I can pass by a physical copy of a game for maybe just a bit more than a PSN card. Simply, I get distracted. I know where I want my funds applied, but I turn back to my argument over whether I want Vagrant Story or Arc the Lad.
I'm given too much choice and well, I'm terrible about breaking down my options in to a must have list. There are simply too many options to do so. We're not even talking about those weird missed games like Xenogears and Parasite Eve that I never got to.
Even the magnificent Sonic CD is rumored to be coming to a digital network near you. As a person that has never owned a SegaCD, this is huge news for me. Finally I will get to see what all the hubbub is about. Crap, that means I have to get some MS Points or PSN cards for that too! Maybe this means Sega is working on emulating their old games on new hardware.
Either way, I'm slowly being tied to the money that sits in my digital wallet. As if my real life wallet doesn't have enough of a hold over me.
Right now, I'd like to talk about the games I've demanded get released or even rereleased.
Now just because I don't put this face on with the nice people of this website, doesn't mean I'm not a spoiled ass. It's true dear reader. Sorry to shatter your world.
When a game like Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is announced for PSN/XBLA, I'm happy. I've gone out of my way to create an account on Sega's forums just to demand a console release. Because I knew those moderators had some lean on AM2 development. Without my one post, this never would have happened.
My dedication to this little fighter is so high that I've actually purchased all 3 "DLC" on disc item packs. Yes, I knew they were on disc. Yes I know they are only glowing little lights. I simply wanted to support this game. This was my Horse Armor.
But really, why didn't I feel this way for Virtua Fighter 4?
Virtua Fighter 4 came out in what I'm pretty sure was my senior year of high school. Games at this point were either good enough to own or were never worth my time. I missed plenty of good games during this era because I just couldn't pay for them. I had to buy ramen Atlus. I'm sorry.
So Virtua Fighter 4 which I'd saved up enough to own, came out with an evolved version about 4 months (give or take) after I purchased the original. The fresh new version came with 2 new characters (one of which would be my main in VF5), a quest mode, and a host of other options that would define the game in the same way that MGS3: Substance did. I was pissed. I traded back my copy of 4 and I refused to pay for the upgrade.
I'd like to think extra walking around money has made me a bit cooler under the collar these days, but at that point in my life, I was done. However, I'm a Virtua Fighter kid at heart. So I own Virtua Fighter 5 in it's complete form. Now it's been announced that Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is coming in 2012. I couldn't be more excited. I really want a retail copy of the game too. Yes, I understand how hypocritical this is all sounding.
I just have to wonder what really changed my mind? Extra money and online play, I guess. Though I could have picked up VF4 Evolution any time I wanted for pretty cheap, so it has to be online. I like playing this game with everyone, though I want to pay for a full retail release. I want to play with friends and take this game to their house like we old cronies used to do. Instead, I'll have to settle on wanting a digital copy. C'est la vie. I know people complain about multiple rehashes of the same game, but I don't get that. Street Fighter 2 is the basis of all fighting games today. It also has had plenty of reiterations that we all grew to love. Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown will definitely be worth the cash thrown down on it.
Maybe I've been in a gaming news funk lately, but I'm actually really excited about this.
During the Mega Man Legends NostalJourney, Wry Guy made the point of saying that he didn't find the Misadventures of Tron Bonne to be worth the high asking price of $80 on eBay for it. After this point was made, I have drifted back to the idea that a game couldn't be worth its asking price. We as gamers are more than willing to pay $60 for any number of mediocre games that come out. More if we buy the Limited Edition. Many of us will defend that piece of garbage too. Why is a PS1 classic so hard to understand at $80?
Maybe it lies in the fact that the original creator won't see a penny of that resale. For many titles however they have a distribution method in effect that they could try to push the game on. I guess an assumption that it will be redistributed in a cheaper form is a factor. Though, I know that games like Rival Schools can't be redistributed with the licensing issues, so that makes the console version the definitive copy. Would that still not be worth the asking price?
I'd say that emulation is the death clutch of many classic games like this. Really though, if a game truly is good enough to warrant your attention, shouldn't you pay something for it? I guess logic doesn't actually apply to piracy.
Maybe the competitive market has spoiled our entertainment dollar, but I would consider Final Fantasy Tactics worth $50 today. I'll bitch and moan all day about the direction the PSP translation took, but I still bought my friend a copy of the game for Christmas. I don't think he's even unwrapped it, but if he ever got an itch to play it one day and found he liked it, that would have been well worth it.
Every time I see an original copy of Tactics, a little voice chirps up in my head and tells me that this copy is a steal if it even costs less than $50. In my heart, I feel I must reach out to buy this copy. I don't, because another little voice tells me I need to leave it so that some fresh new gamer can come pick it up and enjoy it for all that it is. That person could view the game in the same way I did. I leave it there for that certain someone. So really, the point of all this is I hear voices.
My point is that entertainment has started to have a predetermined cost to own variable dropped upon it. I know I'm guilty of this at times. My $60 failure with Arc the Lad proves it. However, the entertainment factor seems to be losing the value it holds. Honestly, that seems weird to me as I get older. We all complain about price, but I remember when I couldn't afford a lot of games. Heck, some months I still can't. Does that mean though that some special something that distracts me for a fairly long period of time isn't worth it? How much is a distraction truly worth in life?
When I thought of not being able to play Pocket Fighter on my PSP, I had this doubt of whether the game was worth it or not. That's a pretty silly thought looking back on it. It most assuredly was worth $3.
Anywho, this is what went through my head when I bought Pocket Fighter earlier this week. I honestly don't think that one game should have this much control over my thoughts, but it is Pocket Fighter. Chibi crossover Capcom fighters bring so much out of me.
I really did owe Capcom some money for this game. Now I only ask that they make more games like this. It has simply been too long since we've seen anything like Pocket Fighter enter the world.
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