“plenty of digital-only licensed games that have utterly disappeared”
January 29, 2018 9:45 AM   Subscribe

Where do downloadable games go when they die? [Eurogamer] “A digital-only game based on licensed content is doomed to die right from the outset. At some point, months or years from now, that licensing agreement will expire - at which point the publisher can no longer sell the game. It will be summarily pulled from digital storefronts - sometimes with little or no warning - and is unlikely to ever resurface, unless the publisher is willing to negotiate those licensing deals all over again. Last December, a slew of Transformers games were suddenly removed from Steam and PSN (and later from the Xbox Marketplace) with no warning from publisher Activision. Among them was Transformers: Devastation by renowned developer PlatinumGames, which had only been released two years previously. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Marvel titles published by Activision have suffered a similar fate.”

• How to Make the Best of Working on Licensed Video Games [Waypoint]
“Shipping a licensed game is a pain in the ass, but making one that's worth playing? That's even harder. Most developers can't pull that off, which is why there's a good reason to avoid games based on a license. It explains how most people zipped past Gemini: Heroes Reborn in early 2016, a game based on the ill-fated return of NBC's superhero series. But those who gave it a chance were treated to a surprisingly fun action game with inventive time travel powers. Thing is, you don't always get to work on your dream project. Sometimes, you might be asked to develop a port of a mediocre mini-game collection for the launch of a new console, as was the case when designer Steve Bowler was handed a lead role on Game Party Champions for Wii U. "I never want to work on another Game Party as long as I live," said Bowler in a call with me recently. " [laughs] I hit my limit. But the whole reason I agreed to take on that first Game Party project was because it was a growth opportunity and the challenge." Bowler is used to games with unique challenges; after shipping Game Party Champions, he was seen as someone who could shephard others like it to the finish line. It's how he ended up as lead designer on a mobile tie-in game for Zack Snyder's Superman reboot, Man of Steel.”
• Remembering the Identity Crisis of Licensed Video Games, Through the Lens of ‘Alien 3’ [Waypoint]
“The 1980s and '90s were a time when licensed video games could and often did excel, regularly surpassing the qualities of their inspirational movies or television shows. DuckTales on the NES is a great case in point—the series was passable Saturday morning fare blessed with a nagging theme tune, but the Capcom-made platformer of 1989 is regarded as a genre classic (see also: the Mickey Mouse-starring Castle of Illusion). But these games could also come out in peculiarly different guises, depending on their destination platform and, in some cases, which developer owned what rights to produce the adaptation. The 16-bit games based on Disney's 1992 animated movie Aladdin are (in)famous for their stylistic differences. Released in 1993, the Mega Drive/Genesis and Super Nintendo versions were the work of different developers, Virgin Games and Capcom respectively, and while both ostensibly similar platformers, closer analysis reveals quite individual aesthetics. [...] But it's Alien 3 that I immediately think back to when considering how games based on a movie could vary wildly from system to system. And what's most interesting here, I think, is that the tonally distinct 16-bit versions of Alien 3 came from the same developer, Britain's now-defunct Probe Software Ltd, and were both published by Acclaim in the UK.”
• The Problem with Licensed Games [TV Tropes]
“Of course, the ability of licensed games to sell on name alone is a major reason for their poor quality, but it's hardly the only one. Developers are often pressured by movie studio execs to have the game ready for release alongside the movie (which, in the studio execs' eyes, practically equates these games to tie-in action figures, lunchboxes, and other low-grade merchandise), which can shorten development time. Stretching the plot of a 100 minute movie into a twenty hour game can lead to a lot of filler material or serious diversions from the movie's plot. Sometimes the diversions are not the fault of the developer, but rather down to the game being based on a draft or early version of the property, only for the final product to radically depart from the initial concept - a character heavily featured in the game can be cut entirely or a major concept is removed or changed due to poor audience tests. This can happen late enough so there is no time to alter the game to more closely match the finished property. Licensed games also attempt to emulate the most popular genres at the time in an effort to maintain appeal — side-scrollers and Fighting Games were popular in the 1990s and more recently, Grand Theft Auto clones and shooters are common as well.”
• Publishers Are Missing a Major Opportunity With Licensed Games [Kinja]
“I don’t miss all of the shovelware and publishers trying to make a quick buck. What I do miss is when talented game devs take a license, understand what people like about it, and deliver great experiences. I miss Spider-Man 2. I miss X-Men Legends II. I miss Turtles in Time. I miss Marvel vs. Capcom 2. I miss the excellent Aladdin and Lion King games made by Westwood Studios. There are a lot of reasons why good licensed games are such a rarity in 2016. For one, modern licensing agreements have greatly cut down on the amount of licensed video games we see. From 1989 to 2000, Capcom, Paragon, Sega, Konami, and LJN all had cracks at making X-Men games. Some were successes, others were failures, but consumers had tons of different options to play games based on these characters. From 2000 on, all of the games were developed by studios under Activision. They started off strong, but a string of critical and commercial failures have seen these games all but vanish. Sadly, X-Men has only seen two home console releases in the past 10 years: X-Men: The Official Game and the disastrous X-Men: Destiny.”
• Activision Needs to Stop Making Bad Licensed Games [IGN]
“I could go back further, but you get the idea: with a consistently bleak track record like this, it certainly looks like Activision never intended for any of these tie-in games to be good, and is knowingly creating and selling junk-grade games on console and PC. It’s a cynical approach to game development that rides the coattails of the source material’s marketing campaigns in order to sell sub-standard games that couldn’t have succeeded on their own merits. Worse, these games exploit the genuine enthusiasm of fans who love a universe and its characters and want to interact with them. The apparent intended marks in this bait-and-switch con are young children or parents of young children, which makes the practice of targeting them with shovelware-grade games particularly scummy. To be clear, Activision is doing nothing illegal by charging money for bad games - and every publisher misses the mark sometimes, for a variety of reasons. It’s also worth noting that other publishers continue to produce poor tie-in games for iOS and Android, which is only less objectionable because those games are usually free, which means no one is parted with their money unless they decide the game they’re playing is worth it.”
posted by Fizz (48 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Magnum PI, A-team, Scooby Doo, Charlie's Angels, the possibilities are endless.
posted by Beholder at 9:57 AM on January 29


I still have my copy of the "City of Lost Children" game. I should finish it one of these days.

I love how they're sure to disclaim that Activision isn't doing anything illegal. The ethical standards of our day.
posted by rhizome at 10:04 AM on January 29 [3 favorites]


I am regularly torn between buying a physical copy of a game (which can be cheaper if not as immediate) and all the annoyances of dealing with a physical copy versus the convenience of paying for a digital license and the rapidity of downloading it, but not having that digital license work on the other PS4 in the house unless if I'm logged in to that machine.

Harumph. My wife will never know the joy that is Polybius.
posted by Kyol at 10:06 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


There was a period in the mid-90s where you could get a bunch of CD-ROM games from cereal boxes. I think I have some Lucky Charms game floating around in a box somewhere.
posted by Fizz at 10:20 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


You take that back about Duck Tales.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:22 AM on January 29 [3 favorites]


I think I have some Lucky Charms game floating around in a box somewhere.

Details please?? I think we need evidence of this...
posted by Melismata at 10:23 AM on January 29


Melismata, I'll see if I can find something in the basement.
posted by Fizz at 10:24 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


I love River City Ransom and I'm still bummed that I'm never gonna get to play the Scott Pilgrim game.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:26 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


You take that back about Duck Tales.

No. They're right. Duck Tales on NES was one of the greatest platforming games of all time. The Moon Theme alone is better than the entire Duck Tales series. That's not to say Duck Tales is poor cartoon fare, it's also one of the best animated series of all time, but Duck Tales on the NES was utterly incredible.
posted by Talez at 10:26 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]




The Inception tie-in app for iOS -- created by the RjDj team in 2010 -- received a system compatibility app update mid-2016 from a third party a couple years after RjDj shut down and five years after the movie left the theaters. I don't know what went on behind the scenes, but RjDj itself doesn't exist any more and the founders have gone on to augment.audio. Given how iOS app signing works, this sort of handoff must have not been a trivial task, and it makes me wonder whether somebody at UJAM is a dedicated fan of the app or was doing a favor.
posted by ardgedee at 10:35 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


Details please?? I think we need evidence of this...

Oh yeah, game CDs in cereal boxes was a thing! I'm mixing it with a memory of those Galaxy of Games shareware CDs that we probably got free after rebate from CompUSA, so I can't quite put my finger on what the games actually were.

Huh. I'm also remembering some DVDs, like Muppet movies and the like.

Anyway, Google remembers some drama!, but Reddit delivers the goods. Now I remember! We used to play the CD-ROM Game of Life all the time. It had these wacky 3d animated cutscenes for all the different event cards.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:36 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


We used to play the CD-ROM Game of Life all the time.

Why in a world where Jones in the Fast Lane exists would you want to play this?
posted by Talez at 10:37 AM on January 29 [5 favorites]


I think I've mentioned it before (it's not like this topic is new), but property-based games seem to work better when there's no movie release date the game has to be gold by.
The Warriors got was released two decades after the movie, and it handled the IP the best it could. Enter The Matrix was a tie-in that sorely needed a lot of work around the edges and Path of Neo, while not exactly a stellar game, kinda did it better. It was released two years after the final movie. Scarface was a GTA derivative, and instead of re-imagining the first movie, it puts the player in the final minutes of it. Godfather was another GTA derivative, but was a game I had a lot of fun with. Both were also released decades after the corresponding movies.

When it comes to licensing, apparently it's also a big problem with games that make extended use of licensed assets - allegedly one of the reasons PGR3 and 4 was not in the backwards compatibility program (despite being one of the most popular racing games in the 360) was that MS no longer has the licenses, and this kind of backwards compatibility legally is essentially re-releasing the game. It also happens a lot with soundtracks, there's a reason why there are mods to have the HD remake of Crazy Taxi with the original Offspring and Bad Religion soundtrack.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:44 AM on January 29


yet more evidence to the fact that everything Activision touches turns into some corporate, taste-tested-to-death bland product that already steals from existing good ideas

(looking at you Overwatch, ya Team Fortress clone)
posted by runt at 10:44 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


That's not to say Duck Tales is poor cartoon fare, it's also one of the best animated series of all time,

They called it PASSABLE. This will not stand, you know, this aggression will not stand, man.
posted by solotoro at 10:45 AM on January 29 [6 favorites]


The one counter-argument to the "licensed games are usually bad or at least weird" has been the Lego games. They're basically a genre at this point and usually very fun.
posted by sleeping bear at 10:49 AM on January 29 [5 favorites]


Oh yeah, game CDs in cereal boxes was a thing!

I got one out of a box of Chex once. It was basically Doom but with the explicit violence removed and about cereal in some unclear way.
posted by Copronymus at 10:49 AM on January 29 [7 favorites]


I am of such mixed feelings about this.

On the one hand, I think it's a mistake to think of keeping every digital thing ever around as an unqualified good. Yes, there's a ton of media from the past we wish had not been lost (due to lack of foresight, or bad/nonexistent archiving, or catastrophe, or whatnot). However, if we could go back in time and somehow "save" every bit of written word from the beginning of time, I think it would be way more chaff than wheat. Knowing about general themes and having representative examples is great, but literally having every random political screed ever printed on early printing press is of fairly marginal value.

So: I feel weird about how much people want everything digital to stay forever. It's like parents who collect random tchotchkes around some theme and then they die and their kids have to decide what the heck to do with them all, with all the guilt that comes with that process of deciding whether to throw out the 20th deck of cards from Las Vegas or whatever or keep it all in a box in the attic till they pass the problem onto the next generation.

On the other hand, it's a real shame that the creepy weirdness of Sneak King has been largely lost to the ages.
posted by tocts at 10:50 AM on January 29 [8 favorites]


Also:

The one counter-argument to the "licensed games are usually bad or at least weird" has been the Lego games. They're basically a genre at this point and usually very fun.

Previously true, currently false IMHO (and very sadly). I love the various LEGO games but the last few have morphed into like 50% non-interactive cutscenes and 50% annoyingly long boss battles that are more or less a cutscene. All the charm of the open-ness of the earlier games has been wrung out in service of showing off one more licensed hero or villain, and it's a damned shame.
posted by tocts at 10:53 AM on January 29 [3 favorites]


The one counter-argument to the "licensed games are usually bad or at least weird" has been the Lego games. They're basically a genre at this point and usually very fun.

That's because they gave it to Traveller's Tales and Jon Burton is one of the best video game developers of all time. He probably drills his ethic into his staff.
posted by Talez at 11:01 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


I got one out of a box of Chex once. It was basically Doom but with the explicit violence removed and about cereal in some unclear way.

Chex Quest is fondly remembered by many! The files are pretty easily available online since nobody cares, and they'll run with nearly any Doom source port.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:01 AM on January 29 [10 favorites]


We used to play the CD-ROM Game of Life all the time.

Why in a world where Jones in the Fast Lane exists would you want to play this?


Because Missy scratched the Monopoly CD we got with our Count Chocula. THANKS A LOT MISSY!?!
posted by Fizz at 11:53 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


*Missy is what we call my sister. I'm still angry that she scratched the CD. That was a legit fun game to play on the computer.
posted by Fizz at 11:53 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


So: I feel weird about how much people want everything digital to stay forever. It's like parents who collect random tchotchkes around some theme and then they die and their kids have to decide what the heck to do with them all, with all the guilt that comes with that process of deciding whether to throw out the 20th deck of cards from Las Vegas or whatever or keep it all in a box in the attic till they pass the problem onto the next generation.

I agree that "everything digital" is a little much, but if we're talking about published games, we're talking about things that probably consumed at least man-years of effort. Even if the game is holistically a piece of crap, very often some of those man-years went into work that was interesting or novel in some way. I don't think it would be bad if we had a way of cheaply archiving all the physical objects that people spent that much time making, either.
posted by value of information at 11:57 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


The Scott Pilgrim game is about a million times better than the movie or the comic books (blaspheme, I know), and all I have left is this soundtrack and being a fan of Anamanaguchi.

Also, re: we shouldn't save everything for the sake of being saved.

One man's trash is another man's treasure. Tell that to the guy who dug up all those copies of ET for the Atari 2600. Tell that to all the game nerds who absolutely flip out when a game that was rumoured, but never came to fruition, is suddenly found as an incomplete demo of some sort (Fallout: Van Buren, comes to mind).

In my life, I've seen the internet take incomplete films and finish them (The Thief and the Cobbler) and I've seen fan-game-makers become game-makers (a Sonic fan game gave birth to Sonic Mania, the arguably only good Sonic game in the last fucking decade), and I've seen entire games be rebuilt from scratch by fan-teams (Black Mesa Mod, which turned into Valve giving their blessing and just becoming Black Mesa, a recreation of Half Life).

Part of the problem with the attitude of "we shouldn't save everything, there's too much chaff" is who gets to decide what is chaff and what isn't? Unlike wheat, which we separate from chaff for the purpose of using it for food, thus the separation has a valid reason to be there, there arguably isn't the same simple demarker for culture and things like books, films, games, music, and the like, are all cultural artifacts. So unlike separating wheat from chaff, separating "good culture" from "bad culture" (if those are even good names for what we're talking about, probably not) is a hell of a lore more subjective of an issue.

It's saying to tons of people who probably all have some chaff only a handful of other people care about, and telling them that it doesn't matter that that specific chaff matters to them, that history has decided it's worthless, and so fuck your memories and fuck your feelings and fuck any desire to be reconnected with that game or film or book that brought you so much absolute joy as a child or as a young adult or whenever.

I keep this little cartoon film around from my childhood to remind me of it. The Elmchanted Forest is probably one of the most badly animated and badly conceived animated pieces I could ever come across, but as a child, it meant so much to me. As an adult, it means very little, but I keep it around in my files, just because, really. Because it's in my memory, and knowing it really exists and isn't just some foggy childhood nonsense does matter to me, even if I glean no enjoyment from it now. (Also, beyond that, technically the film actually has historical significance of being the first feature length animated film to be produced in Croatia and Yugoslovia, meaning even my dismissal of it as being bad and badly animated is dismissing the film history of small eastern European countries.)
posted by deadaluspark at 1:00 PM on January 29 [11 favorites]


Oh yeah, game CDs in cereal boxes was a thing!

I guess in 2018 it would just have a download code or be an amiibo like the recent Super Mario Bros. cereal they released.
posted by Fizz at 1:15 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


Duck Tales the show and Duck Tales the game are both great. You don't have to tear one down to make the other appear better.
posted by Brocktoon at 1:25 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


It's saying to tons of people who probably all have some chaff only a handful of other people care about, and telling them that it doesn't matter that that specific chaff matters to them, that history has decided it's worthless, and so fuck your memories and fuck your feelings and fuck any desire to be reconnected with that game or film or book that brought you so much absolute joy as a child or as a young adult or whenever.

It's saying nothing of the sort.

It's saying: if this thing is important to you, that's cool, keep it. However, let's not pretend we have to literally save all the things. Culture is not going to be measurably poorer if 50 years from now we haven't saved every blog post, every tweet, every facebook status update, every medium rant, every random mash-up video that was funny for 15 minutes and even a year later is incomprehensible, etc.

There's literally more media being created in a year today than any one person could consume in a lifetime. It's OK if some of it (most of it) is ephemeral. In fact, it's not just OK, it's necessary. Future generations don't exist just so we can drop our cultural detritus on them and declare that it's their job to keep this up and that they had better not decide they want to spend time creating their own culture based on what's important or relevant to them.
posted by tocts at 1:35 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


I guess in 2018 it would just have a download code or be an amiibo like the recent Super Mario Bros. cereal they released.

I've seen some candy with free stuff for mobile games, likely codes or tokens or whatever for the low-end micro-transactions.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:42 PM on January 29


It's saying: if this thing is important to you, that's cool, keep it.

Right, it's saying that, but as our current situation shows, whether you're actually legally allowed to be able to keep it currently isn't your choice. I mean, that's kind of the thrust of this whole thread here. People would love to save those things for themselves. They can't. They are disallowed. For no good, valid reason other than to keep some company happy that they can keep their copyright safe and screw people building their own culture, because they copyrighted culture.

There's literally more media being created in a year today than any one person could consume in a lifetime. It's OK if some of it (most of it) is ephemeral. In fact, it's not just OK, it's necessary. Future generations don't exist just so we can drop our cultural detritus on them and declare that it's their job to keep this up and that they had better not decide they want to spend time creating their own culture based on what's important or relevant to them.

You're right, but in twenty years, whose voices will still be there? Whose voices will be the ones who didn't get destroyed and tossed into the ephermal. Oh, it's the same rich twats who have endlessly fucked up our society and planet and are completely fucking disconnected from what real life is like? Oh, and all the people who produced art and essays and thought about real life, because they're fucking experiencing it, oh well they didn't have the money to build their own fucking website and host it for twenty years. So while technically I don't disagree, it still certainly feels like we're going to be putting regular people's history down the drain and the only history left will be that of Forbes and BusinessInsider. Because we're not allowed to keep or propagate culture without paying some fucking faceless corporate behemoth because they bought the rights to some fucking idea that already existed in the public sphere (It only took six months for Mars to file trademark for the phrase "Random Acts of Chocolate" after the first news articles were posted about the subreddit "Random Acts of Pizza."). Because we're poor, so our opinions are considered not worth considering or saving, despite the fact that our so-called elite leadership are some of the most obviously stupid, old, dumb, Alzheimer's-experiencing motherfuckers on the planet. No, we've got to log their words for all of history, Donald Trump's stupid fucking dipshit tweets will be saved for propriety, as will Nancy Pelosi saying "Well, we're capitalsts." when faced with why she dislikes things like Universal Healthcare.

Future generations don't exist just so we can drop our cultural detritus on them and declare that it's their job to keep this up and that they had better not decide they want to spend time creating their own culture based on what's important or relevant to them.

Why don't you go tell that to fucking Disney, who has been shoving Mickey fucking Mouse down our throats for nearly a hundred fucking years. Who got to choose that Mickey was important to keep for history's sake? Disney, their lawyers, their lobbyists, and Sonny fucking Bono. Not exactly the general fucking public.
posted by deadaluspark at 1:52 PM on January 29 [3 favorites]


Culture is not going to be measurably poorer if 50 years from now we haven't saved every blog post, every tweet, every facebook status update, every medium rant, every random mash-up video that was funny for 15 minutes and even a year later is incomprehensible, etc.

Understanding of a civilizations culture at a future date, makes understanding their path through history easier.

deadaluspark did not suggest keeping the ephemera - games/movies/books required some significant effort to create, they are not the same as a tweet/facebook status update.

But even those can be useful, for future historians... Take a peek at the graffiti from Pompeii. (At the very least, it proves that human nature hasn't changed fundamentally in a long, long time...)

If you do not care - why rain on the parade of people who do? What exact harm occurs to you, if people keep things you are not interested in? Show me ... on this doll, where the Internet Archive touched you...
posted by jkaczor at 1:52 PM on January 29 [6 favorites]


Tell me on this doll, where the Internet Archive touched you...

Haunted Doll Watch! Someone get to the McElroy signal!
posted by deadaluspark at 1:54 PM on January 29


Future generations don't exist just so we can drop our cultural detritus on them

Time to stop making Star Wars movies. Retire the mouse, should we really be allowing today's youth to access Dr.Who?

Old is new again, over and over - why should you decide what gets left to future generations? Chances are - even with careful preservation, bit-rot and inability to read older media is going to send alot of things to the digital dumpster anyways...

Someday, somewhere, someone will write a thesis paper on the cultural impact of "Sliders", or the Chex version of Doom...
posted by jkaczor at 2:05 PM on January 29 [3 favorites]


In the 90s I worked at a store that sold video games. One holiday season, we decided to put all of the licensed games front and center on a prominent shelf near the door. The reasoning on that was pretty straightforward:
  1. Most of the licensed games were crap.
  2. Because they were otherwise scattered through the store, sitting next to games of similar style and genre that were almost inevitably better in every way, people who actually played games tended to not buy them.
  3. Non-game-playing-people who buy games for other people, in particular clueless grownups buying games for their kids / grandkids / nieces / nephews / neighbor kid / whatever, mostly have no idea what makes a good game, but a familiar license is gold. Familiarity is fucking magical, man. "George? George, look at this... Bobby loved Back to the Future, right? You remember Back to the Future? With that nice boy from the TV show? Oh, this is perfect! We'll take this please!"
And yeah, it worked like a charm. We couldn't keep that stupid Back to the Future game in stock.

So I'm sorry, 90s kids in the Midwest who got shitty licensed games for Christmas. I apologize on behalf of all of us underpaid lackeys working in game stores in the Age of Acclaim*. Yes, we did that intentionally. I'm sorry, it was the only way to sell that crap.

* and other purveyors of shitty licensed games, but yeah, I'm lookin' pretty hard at you here, Acclaim. Admit it, you were the Uwe Boll of the games industry.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 2:18 PM on January 29 [7 favorites]


At a point, I wanted to write about the almost ban of FIFA 99 and Actua Soccer 3 in here for featuring the Portuguese league, as the exclusive rights were sold to a trivia game (not sure if it was developed here, or was adapted from one of the many shovelware trivia games developed in the UK at the time). I couldn't find anything about the game other than some ads, let alone the actual game.

Look, it's likely a shitty, bog-standard trivia game. However, it was part of a story that left the portuguese national football team outside FIFA games for one year at a time there was a bigger push in the national market (99 was the first to have a localised cover).
posted by lmfsilva at 2:21 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


I apologize on behalf of all of us underpaid lackeys working in game stores in the Age of Acclaim*.

Everyone likes to shit on "Batman Forever the developer" but Psygnosis shoveled far more dreck out the door.
posted by Talez at 2:42 PM on January 29


Psygnosis shoveled far more dreck out the door

True, but Psygnosis also gave us Shadow of the Beast and Lemmings, so they earned some slack (from me at least).
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 2:53 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


game CDs in cereal boxes

This brought to mind a very vivid memory of something I hadn't thought of in many years. My sister and I played many hours of Cap'N Crunch's Chrunchling Adventure.. Wow. I've never considered this as part of a phenomenon.
posted by soy bean at 3:27 PM on January 29


I'm looking at a copy of Sneak King for the Xbox right now. Is it really that rare?
posted by postel's law at 5:16 PM on January 29


So I'm sorry, 90s kids in the Midwest who got shitty licensed games for Christmas.

Ah, so you're the reason I got Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:20 PM on January 29 [4 favorites]


> Kyol:
"I am regularly torn between buying a physical copy of a game (which can be cheaper if not as immediate) and all the annoyances of dealing with a physical copy versus the convenience of paying for a digital license and the rapidity of downloading it, but not having that digital license work on the other PS4 in the house unless if I'm logged in to that machine.

Harumph. My wife will never know the joy that is Polybius."


Or, as I discovered as being gifted a physical copy of Destiny 2 as requested for Christmas (go Mom!), my 3Mbps DSL was unimpressed with the plastic clamshell case only containing a cardboard disc with a code on it, and a preorder bonus exotic weapon code you could only claim AFTER finishing the story mode.
posted by Samizdata at 8:13 PM on January 29


> tocts:
On the other hand, it's a real shame that the creepy weirdness of Sneak King has been largely lost to the ages."

So, you murder people by leaping out of hiding and jovially watch as they choke to death from the Whopper you forcibly slammed into their screaming, terrorized mouths?
posted by Samizdata at 8:18 PM on January 29


(Ducktales) was passable Saturday morning fare blessed with a nagging theme tune

Not to my knowledge, it is very fondly remembered among its target audience.
posted by JHarris at 9:55 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


game CDs in cereal boxes

Whereas here in the UK, back in the '80s, I think we had to collect and send in tokens in order to get the cassette tape of Weetabix Versus the Titchies for our BBC Micro. Funny, but I remember it as being much harder than this playthrough video suggests... maybe I wasn't very good at computer games when I was seven...
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 7:03 AM on January 30


In all fairness to Acclaim, Xtreme G, Smash TV and Mortal Kombat 2 were great.
posted by ersatz at 9:59 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


I Have No Mouth Yet I Must Scream was the boringest, most bug-laden POS ever made.

That’s all I got.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:11 PM on January 30


I've mentioned this previously, but back in the 80s and early 90s, it was not conceivable to me that games could be badly made or had bugs. Childhood naivete, of course, but it's not like we had an overwhelming glut of options, at least compared to today.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:29 PM on February 4


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