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There has been a lot of "hate" tossed out at the Xbox One since it was unveiled the other day, and you could argue that some of that "hate" will likely be applied to Sony's Playstation 4 as well after more details are released. However, there is really just one aspect that truly bothers me: the attitudes towards the used game market.

I have been reading several opinions on this topic, but nothing sticks out to me more than some comments from Ben Kuchera at Penny Arcade:

Without the used market sucking up all those sales and all that consumer money, it's very possible we'll see Steam-style sales on older or bundled games on the Xbox One. It's not a sure thing, but killing used games is going to free up a ton of money for companies to try new ideas in terms of sales and pricing. The people who get innovative and take advantage of this structure will thrive. The rest are likely to slowly choke on the new economics of game development.

It needs to be made clear, if all the studio closings and constant lay-offs haven't made this explicit: The current economics of game development and sales are unsustainable. Games cost more to make, piracy is an issue, used-games are pushed over new, and players say the $60 cost is too high. Microsoft's initiatives with the Xbox One may solve many of these issues, even if we grumble about it. These changes ultimately make the industry healthier.

What about this stands out to me? Find out after the jump.

E3 is just around the corner, and it's about time we all jump aboard the hype train! Everybody's preparing for the event, and surely you have a few ideas of what you'd like to see at the conference, so we'd like to hear them! Ubisoft is sure to show off great titles like Watch Dogs and Assassin's Creed IV, while the next installment in the hit Call of Duty series will likely be shown in greater detail either on the show floor or during a few big presentations. Meanwhile, Nintendo is actually forgoing the traditional E3 conferences in lieu of a Nintendo Direct broadcast streaming form their website at 10:00 AM, EST on June 11th.

Of course, everyone has hopes, everyone has expectations; we want to know what yours are. Head to the comments to share your hopes and to see what your fellow Gamnesia readers are most hyped about. We hope to feature some of our favorite comments from this article in a fan gallery next week, so don't forget to speak up! Also be sure to head past the jump to see my own hopes for the conference.

UPDATE: Banjo-Kazooie Symphony is now available on iTunes, plus we've added a few demos from our favorite songs on the album for you to check out after the jump!

Banjo-Kazooie Symphony is the latest endeavor by Blake Robinson, an accomplished musician well-known for his collection of orchestrated video game music on YouTube. Featuring 30 tracks and 72 minutes of music, Banjo-Kazooie Symphony aggrandizes nearly the entire soundtrack from the beloved Rareware title Banjo-Kazooie — which is already no easy feat — and yet Blake Robinson has succeeded with great aplomb. If the idea alone catches your interest, head on over to Loudr or iTunes to pick up your copy, but if you need further convincing, head past the jump to read all about the exciting tribute that is Banjo-Kazooie Symphony!

Look, I don't like Apple. They crank out a similar product each year and charge an arm and a leg for it. I'm nearly positive that they have invented the iPhone 20S and planned backwards from that. However, whatever your opinion is on smart phones, there is no denying that the technology is affecting modern gaming, and that they impact the industry greater than you may think.

Yesterday, an EA employee spoke out and stated that "the Wii U is crap," and "Nintendo should have pulled a Sega." He also says "the casual market is on mobile/tablet now." Many comments on this news piece Nate wrote criticized the mobile market, stating mobile games do not matter.

I do disagree with the EA employee and I'm positive that the Wii U will recover, but I also recognize the increasingly foreboding force of smart phones and tablets. Yes, many of these so-called "games" are cheap cash-ins. Yes, the App Store for Apple users has layout problems. However, the market for tablets and smart phones is ever-growing, and it is cutting into the video game industry.

More after the jump.


I love video games. I also happen to love television and film — particularly television and film with good scripts. I write a lot of my own stuff, so I tend to be that guy who says things like "huh, that was well structured" while a dude's getting hit in the balls. Naturally, I love it when my areas of interest overlap; like the Zelda documentary being made, or the Redwall video game currently being developed.

Unfortunately, there are times when the overlaps aren't pleasant to sit through. Usually, the overlap happens in one particular area; when a film or television program discusses video games, they do so with almost no integrity whatsoever. It's an incredibly frustrating issue to me, and one that I've ranted on a handful of times to various friends.

Jump inside for examples and complaints; your favorite!


This is a guest article written by James Widdowson. If you would like to submit your own guest article, we encourage you to do so here or email your work to colin@gamnesia.com

The video game crash of 1983 was a pivotal moment in the history of video games. When Atari released the Video Computer System — known today as the Atari 2600, although that never became its official name until 1982 — they managed to bring a niche product, video games, to the mainstream. In terms of historical significance the Atari VCS is widely viewed today as one of the greatest consoles of all time, and the one that our entire modern industry is built upon. Atari had huge success in the late 70’s and early 80’s, a success that other companies such as Coleco, Bally, Milton Bradley and Mattel also wanted a slice of. All these companies in turn released their own consoles, all superior to the VCS in the technical department, but none of them could come close to matching its success. The Atari VCS was the king of the industry, and the competition was nothing more than its court jesters. But as the years went on the overabundance of consoles and bad, cash grabbing games on the market (such as the infamous ET: The Extra Terrestrial) meant that the industry couldn’t withstand its own weight, and it inevitably crashed.

The video game crash is widely acknowledged today as an event that we wouldn’t want to see repeat itself, but I don’t understand why that is the common view. Although the crash nearly destroyed the industry before it really hit the big time, from its ashes Nintendo carried its Famicom system across the seas from Japan and brought the industry back from the brink. If you look at those immediate five or ten years following the release of the NES it marked the golden age of video games, a unique time in history marked by continual innovation and new ideas. On paper the crash may have appeared to be a bad thing, but as a result, we all received something far greater than what we would have gotten had the industry stayed the way it was.

Head past the jump to keep reading!

I am going to share my perspective on Nintendo's performance of late. If you'd like a primer, see Nathan's recently-posted article and its comments. We all know it's been a rather 'new' window period for Nintendo. By that I mean that we have a new console, we have a new future ahead, we have the unknown. So it's during a time like this when it helps to communicate and formulate your views on things. I express those views but I will address myself as if it were meant to reach someone at the Nintendo headquarters.

To whom it may concern at Nintendo,

Somehow, some way, things are not being carried out as I wish they were, as many-- many, of your followers wish they were. Let's start simple..

There's been quite a bit of controversy on the site today concerning pirates. Nate's piece Piracy is Never Justified was published earlier, and many comments criticized the writer of ignoring key issues such as availability and price of products, although Mr. Rumphol-Janc states quite clearly that he believes video games to be a luxury, rather than a thing a person is entitled to.

My fellow staff member Colin followed up on the issue by reposting a piece he wrote in 2012 entitled Piracy: the Good, the Bad, and the Future. In this piece, Mr. McIsaac-san brings up the idea that "piracy bridges the gap between supply and demand." Pirates can be both a good and bad thing, but it has to be executed in a way respectful to the game creators.

Want to know my opinion? I don't give two hoots about either of these pieces. Hell, I love piracy. The industry has proven to us time and time again that pirates aren't hurting the industry, but rather making publishers profitable. It's amazing what pirates can do to the video game market!

How you say? Hop inside to find out!


This article was originally published to Zelda Informer on December 26th, 2012. Following our recent piece, "Piracy is Never Justified," by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc, I believe this is an appropriate time to bring this article back to light. This article is intended to serve neither as a rebuttal nor expansion to "Piracy is Never Justified," but rather an exploration and alternate viewpoint of this touchy issue.

Since the beginning of civilization, one form or another of piracy has been a pressing concern. Though piracy in modern times has, in most cases, outgrown cannonballs and rotting teeth, it’s as threatening an act as ever. This is perhaps due to the coevolution of the crime and those who commit it.

When we think of the term “piracy” in its modern sense, we tend to think of the morally reprehensible. Media moguls spent years combatting piracy by conjuring up disheveled images of thugs and depictions of malevolence, along with the line “You wouldn’t steal a car,” but this sort of propaganda couldn’t be farther from the truth. No longer is piracy an act of devestation performed only by the wicked, but as piracy’s negative outcome has weakened, its rates have proportionally skyrocketed. Nearly everyone in the digital world, even the most righteous, has pirated something at some point in their lives, be it a movie, a song, or in our case, a video game.

Head past the jump to keep reading!

Party Members! They valuable assets in video games, most notably in RPGs, but more often than not, you are given more than you need or can use. Sometimes the amount of possible party members borders on the ridiculous, Final Fantasy VI had over 30 party members (granted over half of which were temporary), but some are mild like Persona 4 which featured 7 possible characters to choose from, including yourself. 

Players in Persona 4 of course control, their blank avatar who they name and whose personality is shaped around the player's decisions. Along the way players quickly build up their first full party consisting of Chie Satonaka, Yosuke Hanamura, and Yukiko Amagi (Depicted to the left). Of course, as the game continues players are given 3 more members to choose from, Kanji Tatsumi, Teddie, and Naoto Shirogane. But switching out any of your previous party members for a new one isn't exactly easy. 

By the time a new party member comes into play you've usually become attached to your current party and having working strategies set up around their movesets, stats, and abilities. Some have no problem switching out the old for the new, especially in games like Pokemon where it's better to switch out a water type to a fire type to fight a grass type gym leader, but some people find a workaround to avoid such problems because they can't bear to change their party for some personal reason. So I want to know, what keeps you from changing party members in RPGs like Pokemon or Mass Effect?


2001 introduced gamers to the wonderful world of Luigi's Mansion, a game which deviated from the traditional Mario scene and featured the younger, greener Luigi in the starring role. Twelve years later, Dark Moon has arrived, and introduces players to the Evershade Valley, where the wonderfully spry Professor E. Gadd has relocated in order to study ghosts in a closer environment. But when the Dark Moon is shattered and the playful ghosts start destroying the professor’s work, it's up to Luigi to get them back under control. Equipped with a handy new Poltergust and his signature brave face — or lack thereof — the other brother sets foot into five nearby mansions to restore the Dark Moon and tame the harum-scarum specters.

How does Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon hold up to its hype? Head past the jump to keep reading.

Valve is perhaps the most beloved publisher / developer in the world right now, and for good reason. The constant influx of quality games, fabulous customer relations and a business model that does not feel like giving a blowjob to 500 pound rednecks named Buck in the back of a convenience store for games are all very positive things. However, Valve has set themselves up for the biggest backfire in the history of gaming, and it's called Half-Life 3.

Just today we have seen a new stream of rumors concerning the imminent announcement of Half-Life 3 (source), and I wholeheartedly expected my fleshy insides to tingle with excitement. Instead, all I felt was last night's leftover lunch becoming much less solid and much more brown. The truth of the matter is simple - Valve is pushing it. There's only so much teasing that the gaming community is willing to absorb, and giving the rapid (SEVERE UNDERSTATEMENT) decline in overall customer satisfaction with the industry, even the goodwill that Valve has amassed among its fans is starting to wear thin in this particular regard. However, that is not the crux of the issue, a "it's ready when it's ready" mentality is not necessarily a bad thing, and it won't matter once we have a release date and eventually sit down to play the game.

It's no secret by now that EA's support for the Wii U platform and the 3DS is practically non-existent going forward. That isn't to say they haven't released "any" games for the platforms, but it's well known they are keeping major franchises away from the systems previously and will continue to do so moving forward. Even games that were fully running and ready to go out to the production line, such as Crysis 3, were shelved due to Nintendo and EA essentially not getting along.

Lets set aside, for a moment, that EA has been making some questionable decisions in terms of how they are running their business. Let's also not place entirely all the blame on EA themselves. We will get into this in a moment, but Nintendo is responsible heavily for rifts with EA. However, the better question is, could we finally reach a point in the future where Nintendo and EA's relationship is just like what it is with Ubisoft? It always possible, and I have some sure fire steps that need to be taken on both fronts to make this a reality.

Do you remember the days when we only used one term to describe a console’s power? Twenty years ago, what people saw as “bits” were all that mattered and we could tell when one console was better than another simply by looking at the games. One needn’t any more insight than his own eyes to see that Donkey Kong Country was more advanced than the arcade’s Donkey Kong or that Sonic the Hedgehog could do more than Alex Kidd in Miracle World.

Fast forward to today and how do we compare consoles? Jargon. Twenty years ago, people didn’t debate the relative merits of a “Customized 6502 CPU” and a “Television Interface Adaptor Model 1A” because a system’s power could be easily described by marketers as “bits,” and every generation self-evidently doubled the power of the last. But those days, as you certainly know, are gone.

These ever-improving graphics were always one good reason to buy a console, but alongside visual improvements, each generation’s new technology brought us bigger and better ways to play our games. The new Mode 7 technology of the Super Nintendo, for example, allowed racing games like F-Zero and Super Mario Kart to take off, while the jump to 32 and 64-bit consoles allowed for full 3D gaming, which was a monumental advancement in its own right. During this time, advancements in technology went hand-in-hand with advancements in gameplay, but when the core fundamentals of a video game have reached their limits, companies look for other, less essential ways to improve the experience.

Head past the jump to keep reading!


Did Nintendo accomplish anything with the Wii besides being a money-raking, disruptive piece of hardware? Last time on nextract, I mentioned that at some point the Wii could offer up any kind of game one might imagine themselves wanting to play. To which a reader replied: 'You don't seriously believe that?' 

Yes, I do. And inside, I attempt to explain why.