Ask the Kliq: Lucky 7 Edition

Ask the Kliq #7

Every once in a while, you will think about video games and then ask yourself a question that has no rhyme or reason, but that just happened to pop in your head at that exact moment. In some rare instances, not even Google or Wikipedia can provide the answer you need. Sometimes you wouldn’t even need an answer to that question.

This is where we come in.

Our panel of experts is here to take on all of your video games-related questions, no matter how serious or silly they may be. With each new edition, we will submit a question to this elite committee, which will in turn try to provide you, our beloved readers, with the most accurate answer they can come up with.

Do you have a question for us? Shoot us an e-mail at kapoutman AT with the subject line “Ask the Kliq”, or leave a comment below. The best questions will be featured in an upcoming column.

This Week’s Question

After a couple of weeks of questions relating to the news, we now have a practical question. It comes from a man who simply wants to be known as “Dan” (I bet it’s not even his real name). I’ll let him ask his question in his own words:

“I have been trying to build a collection of games that would make my friends jealous as soon as they step into my home and see the shelves filled with memories from another era. I have discovered that Playstation games (the first one) sell for cheap in pawn shops. What are your suggestions for a rare but fun PS game that I absolutely need to add to my collection? I already have all the classics like Metal Gear and Twisted Metal, so I would like something I would be playing for the first time.”

It’s pretty clear cut as a question, but let me say it again so I can underline it and make the format of this column fit with the other ones:

What are your suggestions for classic Playstation games that are fun but rare?

Christopher Bowen: If there’s one thing the Playstation excelled in, it’s having games that have become rare collector’s gems while also being good games.

For most of these titles, this seemed accidental; Sony had to basically beaten into allowing 2D gaming. Strangely enough, a lot of these are 2D based.

I’ll make a short list, as well as an estimate EBay price listing that one can expect, taken by looking at bids today. These are only for NSTC games:

* Grandia, $35. This is a bargain if you like JRPGs.
* Herc’s Adventure, $40 (underrated game, a good addition)
* Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete + Lunar: Eternal Blue Complete (with extras such as Omake boxes, standees, cloth maps, hard-cover book, etc., aboout $60-65, and there’s an $80 Buy It Now for SSSC as of the 26th.
* Suikoden II, $150; Suikoden 1 is a virtual prerequisite to play this, but there’s a $6 downloadable version on the PSN store if you have a PS3 or PSP.
* Persona 1 + 2, $100 each (fair warning, Persona 1 had some serious localization issues)
* Einhander, $65
* Arc the Lad Collection (complete), $80
* Ogre Battle, $75 on a brilliant Buy It Now that I might suck up by the time this goes live; if I or one of the other sneaky bastards I write with get it first, then raise that to about $80.

If you’re a stickler for black label games (instead of Greatest Hits), then there’s also Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Final Fantasy VII, though your mileage with FFVII will vary. There’s also the matter of imports, if you want to get really exotic and have a modded system.

Ashe Collins: While my list may not be rare, it’s what I consider ‘must-have’ for any PS1 owner. Most of these were not hard to get when I did pick them up but I imagine a few of them will be spectacularly hard to grab now.

Vagrant Story – Panned and adored, this was one of the last titles to hit the PlayStation before the PS2 thundered out of the gates. It’s a different type of RPG with no store to buy gear and you have to craft yourself. Set in the same game world as Final Fantasy Tactics, the world feels a bit different than other SquareEnix (Squaresoft at the time) offerings at the time. It’s also very well done visually and really pushed the PlayStation to its limits.

Valkyrie Profile – Arguably one of the better RPGs on the PlayStation, this one will be hard to find and the price hasn’t dropped for it since it got a revamp for the PSP either. It has a unique side-scrolling engine to it and the artwork is still fantastic.

Lunar Silver Star Story – Another one of the greats. My wife and I have both but I prefer the first game. If you can find it with all the swag that came in the box set all the better. It’s a fun 2D rpg that looks fantastic and is a blast to play.

Final Fantasy VII – I’m probably going to catch hell for this one, but it’s one of the innovators on the PlayStation. It moved Square away from the 2D RPG and put them firmly in the 3D world. If you can get around all the extra retcons that have been tacked on since, it does have a decent story and for the time was visually stunning.

Parasite Eve – A horror RPG with customizable weapons and fantastic visuals that still make you go ‘Ew gross!’ to this day? Sign me up! This is one of those one that we played and played. Love it.

Silent Hill – Yes this monster of survival horror got its start on the PlayStation right along with Resident Evil. It’s not nearly as… pretty or polished (do those words even work with Silent Hill?) as the sequels, but it’s got a fantastic story and that siren going off for the first time still gives me chills. Let’s not forget an eerily fantastic soundtrack.

Resident Evil Director’s Cut – Speaking of the big RE, this one is also a must have. Although I prefer Code Veronica, it’s not on the PlayStation and the first game is. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the Director’s Cut had more oomph to me than the original.

Spyro the Dragon – Sure it may seem a bit kiddy, but this game was made when Spyro was actually a decently crafted game. I logged many hours playing as the little dragon and still pull this one out to play on my PS2 from time to time.

Street Fight Alpha 3 – One of the better arcade to game console conversions out there. Visually fantastic and plays great, well for a 2D fighter on the PlayStation anyway. Absolutely loved this one.

Alex Lucard: I have to admit, this question pisses the shit out of me off. Why the hell would you get a game just because it is rare? Why would your friends be jealous because you own a game they don’t? That’s called “Hordecore gaming” where you have titles for name value rather than playing value. There’s no point to owning a game unless you plan on playing it over and over again or have some very special memories attached to it. Owning a game for the sake of owning a game neither makes your dick size bigger nor your overall status appear cooler. If anything, if makes you look like a fucking lame poseur.

“Oh I own the Japanese version of Persona: Be Your True Mind because it has the Snow Queen Quest.”

Well have you played it?


“Do you even know how to read or speak Japanese?”



Every game I have ever imported is because I really wanted to experience the game, not because I thought it would impress people that I owned it. Hell, I’ve imported games that I knew would be bad simply because I had reason to – like Vampire Hunter D or one of several light gun games. I’ve also imported classic jewels that I knew would never be released stateside like Segagaga, Sakura Taisen Perfect Collection and Touken Retsuden 4.

Honestly, rarity of a game shouldn’t enter into it – not for a second. it’s the quality of the game, the enjoyment you get from beating it and the knowledge that you’ll play it for years to come or whenever your system gets out, which ever comes first.

That being said, here’s a list of obscure but amazingly fun games. Gamers may not bow to your feet for owning these games but seriously, why would you want to associate with someone that confers status upon your gaming collection.

1. Azure Dreams. Easily the best Mystery Dungeon type game ever made
2. Board Game Top Shop. What if Monopoly was made by the Japanese while on copious amounts of LSD
3. Clock Tower. There is no excuse not to own this.
4. Echo Night. A hard to find adventure/survival-horror game but when you do it’s only about 3-5 bucks.
5. Grandia. Although the Sega Saturn version is superior (As almost all things are when they are available for both systems like SOTN, or any SNK/Capcom fighter) only the PSX has an NTSC/English language version
6. HELLNIGHT. The best horror game ever made, albeit an ugly one. Import this for about 10 quid
7. Koudelka. The very first game in the Shadow Hearts legacy.
8. Valkyrie Profile. Okay, it’s not cheap, but seriously, it’s the best game for the PSX par none and the best RPG ever made. It’s worth the money.
9. Vanguard Bandits. A nice little tactical RPG with mechs. It’s probably the cheapest of the Working Design titles for the PSX. Well, SilMirage is cheaper but that’s because no idiot would ever buy it.
10. Knight and Baby aka Guardian’s Crusade here in the states. One of the most overlooked and underappreciated games for the PSX yet it drew rave reviews from every Japanese critic when it was released. Go see why.

Again, I want to admonish the idea of owning a game just to have it lying around collecting dust. Every game in your collection should be one you want to play. Don’t be a hordecore gamer. That is about as lame as a gamer can get. Own a game for the right reasons. Get something like Arc the Lad because you loved Working Designs or because it’s three games in one awesome collection. Don’t get it because it’s from an out of print company that you know will only grow in value. That’s what killed the comic book industry in the 90’s and I’ll be damned if I want to see that happen here too.

Guy Desmarais: I’m trying to think of fun little games I used to play over at my friend’s place back in high school (I never owned a Playstation myself. I was an N64 guy) and I’m having shoddy memories right now. Here is a list of games I do remember liking:

Devil Dice: A nice puzzle game that I used to hog while my friend would listen to Wu-Tang and read magazines. Its mechanic was somewhat hard to understand for me at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s one of the most addictive game of the genre.

Tomba!: It was only a rental, but as a platformer fan, I have to give it two thumbs up. I might even have to grow a third thumb so I can give it up too. It’s quirky, it’s fun, and the art style is simply amazing. With the mission system, it kinda played like a 2-D Super Mario 64. If you can find it cheap, you have to give it a try.

Bushido Blade: The one-hit kill system at the time was like a revelation to me and seemed like the greatest thing to happen to fighting games. I haven’t played it in a decade, but if it’s still as good now as it used to be, then it’s a must have.

I also remember trying the Wu-Tang game as well as the Star Wars fighting game, but my memories of these are not as good. I also would have killed to try the Simpsons Wrestling game back then, but from what I’ve read, it’s a good thing I didn’t.

Aileen Coe: Hm…so many choices…

Some off the top of my head that I remember gluing me in front of the PS1 for hours on end:

Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together: This one’s nigh impossible to find and goes for an arm and a leg these days. While it didn’t have as many classes and abilities as its descendant Final Fantasy Tactics (which is also a great game), it had three different paths and distinct characters for each.

Elemental Gearbolt: Going through a shooter meant to be played with a light gun should be an exercise in frustration that most would probably quickly give up on. But despite the lack of a light gun, I’d find myself coming back to this one over and over. It was fun switching between the three weapons, though I did tend to favor the lightning weapon a bit more.

Alundra: It had a bizarre storyline that grew progressively darker as it went on and puzzles that…well, let me put it this way: if you’re masochistic, you’ll love the whippings this game likes to hand out.

Persona 2: Eternal Punishment: This was one of the only blind purchases I have ever made – and I’ve never regretted it one bit. It also served as my introduction into the Persona/SMT franchise.

Parasite Eve: I loved the dark and science-heavy plot, even if the plausibility of some of the science put forth is questionable. I started a new game right after beating it so that I could ascend the Chrysler Building and unlock the new ending.

And of course, the Suikodens and the swag-heavy Lunar games are also must-haves, if you can get your hands on them (though with Suikoden I on the PSN, you’ve got one less to worry about on that front). Vanguard Bandits was another one that kept me coming back until I unlocked every ending.

Ian Gorrie: I’d have to go back to PSX since I was in handheld hibernation for most of the xbox/ps2 console era.

I was in airports and hotel rooms playing GBAs, PSPs, my sweet assed Neo Geo Pocket Color, and whatever was playable on a laptop over congested hotel and wifi connections. These were very dark times.

I can’t really think of any rare games that were extra special. I guess I’m not much of a game hipster looking for unpopular and unloved games. I tried to play what was fun on a somewhat timely basis.

Sure. I loved Symphony of the Night. I completely enjoyed FFVII. Everyone did.

Some other less popular notables that I loved to death included:
Wipeout XL
Intelligent Qube
(even though I sucked at it)

I think it might be a little more interesting to list the PSX games that I always intended to get around to playing but have not yet:
Final Fantasy Tactics, though I did play it on PSP
The Persona series
Vagrant Story

I still smile and think about joyful times when I think about the first time I went through FFVII or cleared some of the difficult boss characters in Symphony of the Night.

I know my list isn’t what you wanted, dear reader, but it’s what I’ve got for you.

A.J. Hess: Dan,

Why not adopt a kitten? With proper care and feeding, a kitten can provide years and years of affectionate, loyal companionship. They can even keep pests away!

Oh, you wanted to impress friends with a gaming collection, and not your cute, fuzzy companion? Well, Okay then. We will take a different route. Instead of just buying up a bunch of games, why don’t you funnel those energies into something else? Why don’t you build a gaming setup that would make your friends envious? Get a pair of LCD lights that move, and set them up so that they gradually approach each other. Then place them below your television, so that you look like you have the main viewscreen of the starship Enterprise. Then find a craftsman (or do it yourself. I don’t know how well you work a plank) and craft a Captain’s Chair and a few Officer’s chairs. Now you have a den that looks at home in the Final Frontier.

Don’t have that much room? Keep the idea going, but make the pilot and co-pilot chairs from the Millenium Falcon. Or, if you have loved ones who won’t let you express what is clearly the best idea for redecoration that you’ve ever had, try to find something that you all can agree on. Many furniture stores have what I can only call a “Sports Couch.” These are three to four seat units that have a step up, a higher than normal viewing level, built-in cup holders, and if you really shell out, they recline. Kind of like theater seating, but without sticky floors. Now you know exactly where everyone is going to get together to game-your awesome basement.

Wait, you want something slightly less opulent? We are gaming in a recession, after all. Dan, here’s my final thought – and it is from the heart. Ignore a classic collection. Why? Do you really need it? How many old PS, Dreamcast, N64, SNES, Gameboy, and TurboGrafx 16 games do you need? Sure, there are some gems in there. And if you want to get the best ones, you should know what they are. You don’t need to stock up on obscurity at the expense of quality. Let’s face it, the Smithsonian isn’t going to contact your great-grandkids and say “We need Dan’s stuff for the Video Game Branch of the Institute. Here’s a million dollars.” We would all like that, but it just isn’t realistic. Also, well, what does everyone play? The new stuff. Believe me, I know. I’ve been to the houses where everything from Atari to Sega is sitting there, waiting to be played, smiling silently, maybe getting ten minutes of face time before the controller gets dropped. Meanwhile, your five best buds are clustered around the new console, two of them playing Soul Calibur or Dead or Alive, and three of them eating pizza and waiting for next. Gaming isn’t about a crazy title that you’ve never seen before. It’s about getting together with your friends and having a blast. Make them jealous of the time spent with you, not what’s on your shelf.

Matt Yaeger: For the original gray box that rocks:

Silent Bomber
Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter (though the load times sort of blow)
Rising Zan: The Samurai Gunman
Parasite Eve (not sure about the rarity of this one)
Area 51
Point Blank 2

Adam Powell: For the original PSX: The Misadventures of Tron Bonne.

I lent my copy out and never saw it back. Damnitall!

Mohamed Al-Saadoon: I’ve always liked SkullMonkeys for the PS1. A completely crazy Earthworm Jim style platformer with claymation graphics. It’s definitely rare and will run you around 35$.

Another game that’s extremely obscure is Diver’s Dream (known as Dolphin’s Dream in Japan). It’s a diving game similar to Endless Ocean except instead of a free roam enviroment, there were several levels you could go to to explore and collect artifacts to sell in the game’s town and buy better diving equipment. It was so rare I couldn’t find a FAQ for the game and never made it past the third story mission. I only found one person on ebay selling the japanese version so you might have to dig around for quite a while.

How’s that for answers, Dan? You get both the suggestions you were looking for AND some you were probably not expecting when you first sent us your question. No matter which option you end up choosing (the kitten?), you cannot really go wrong. After all, the original Playstation had such a nice variety of games that you are sure to find something to suit your tastes in the lists we provided, even if your tastes include watching your games on a shelf accumulating dust.

Do you have a question of your own which you want our experts to answer? Take Tony’s example and send an e-mail to kapoutman AT with the subject line “Ask the Kliq”, or leave a comment below. We’ll put our team right on it.







7 responses to “Ask the Kliq: Lucky 7 Edition”

  1. Luckardattack Avatar

    OK, where to begin…

    Attacking someone who obviously was asking a fun question about rare Playstation gems, that no one else but you seemed to have a problem with, comes off as angsty and holier-than-thou. I get your point, but you really sound like a douchebag presenting yourself that way.

    Also, PLEASE don’t say that SOTN for Saturn is superior to anything, unless that anything is canine feces. No reviewer I’ve ever seen would agree with you, and I certainly wouldn’t either. EGM/1up even had interviews once-upon-a-time with Iga and other Castlevania staff who lamented what a terrible version that was. Iga for god’s sake!

    Another headturner was your naming of Valkyrie Profile the best rpg of all time. Great game, but it had some serious problems that really keep it from attaining that lofty title.

    There are plenty of reasons for not owning Clock Tower (any of them), including the fact that it’s pretty lame in 2009, and was mediocre way back when. Same goes for Echo Night.

    This last one, I’m really sticking my neck out on, but I can’t fathom that Hellnight is remotely close to being the best survival horror game ever made. No, I’ve never played it, but I have played countless other games in the genre for a multitude of platforms. Does that discount me from offering an opinion? Yes, in fact, it does. But…there’s hardly a rare game in existence, spanning decades and continents, that isn’t exalted by some sect of the gaming community if it is truly deserving of such accolades. And you’re the only mofo I’ve ever seen claim it has any real redeeming qualities. After everything I’ve read in this article, I can’t imagine your opinion on gaming holds any water.


    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      Wow. Where to start with the hilarity of your comments.

      1. Try reading the article a bit better, I’m not the only one that attacked the idea of owning games for the sake of owning games. I was just the meanest about it. Anyone who collects games for status or name value is a dumb ass, pure and simple. If I come off like a douchebag to you, maybe that hit just a little too close to home for you.

      2. Ziff Davies publications hasn’t had a reputation for honesty for a very long time. Also check actual Japanese reviews of SOTN. All you’re doing is giving second hand commentary from a bunch of Americans who never played the Saturn version. You’ll find most of the people that claim to have played the Saturn import version actually haven’t. Personally, the soundtrack is far enhanced in the Saturn version and the little extras on it more than make up for the slight frame rate reduction. Plus you know, considering I pull in a paycheck from Konami of Japan and I talk to several people on the Castlevania dev team, I know for a fact that the guys at Konami itself prefer the Saturn game. So who do I trust? Actual employees of Konami, or american “journalists” who haven’t actually played the game and were weaned on Sony PR? Not really a hard choice there.

      3. You’re the ONLY person I’ve ever heard use the phrase “serious problems” in conjunction with Valkyrie Profile. The best “insert genre” here is always subjective and every game is both someone’s favorite and most hated, but the lowest score VP ever recieved when it came out was a 6/10 from next generation and it won award after award in 2000, so good luck being in the vast vast vast vast VAST minority there with that statement.

      4. Again, “Pretty lame” and Clock Tower is a statement very few people would agree with you on, especially people who play a lot of Adventure games. The game pretty much grows in cult following with each passing year, but I can’t disagree that if you’re a more action/ADHD oriented gamer, it’s a very hard game to get into.

      5. Hellnight’s not actually rare at all. it was just never released in the U.S., hence why most americans haven’t heard of it, much less played it. You can import the PSX version from the UK for about 10 bucks with shipping, but it is in PAL format. It’s pretty ugly graphics wise by todays standard, and it was ugly even for a PSX game, but story and gameplay wise, you won’t find a better game in the genre. Again, check Euro and Japanese reviews, and you’ll find a strong contingent of fans who love this game. Or, check the various commentaries on this site about the game. Even thought I generally don’t like these sites, Gamespy loved it (mainly for the plot), a certain site now part of the UGO network put it in the top ten horror games of all time, Capcom and Konami frequently site it as one of the best horror games outside their companies, and the Japanese seem to adore it. Try looking it up in conjuction with the Japanese name of “Dark Messiah,” but be careful – you’ll get a lot of Might and Magic entries under that name as well.

      As always dude, you stick to a very narrow minded view of gaming with most of your comments and opinions formulated by second or third hand commentary rather than actual experience with the titles in question. I know you like to try to troll the site, but each and every time you just come off looking foolish and ignorant, especially with a different handle each time. Do some research and more importantly, play some of these games before you make a blanket statement like “XXX is lame because I say so.” if you want to be taken seriously here, or anywhere really.

  2. Lucardattack Avatar

    Thanks for replying. While my message my have been contentious, it wasn’t a personal attack. It was simply to draw out a problem I see from your writing time and time again, which is ridiculous fanboyism, bombastic claims of ‘this is the greatest ____’, and a constant boasting of your own credentials (which you makes you almost a parody of everything the public hates about ‘game journalists’).

    I’m honestly not sure how you treating a reader of your site with total disrespect (which, if you’d like, I can pull out repeated examples of this from your writing), is supposed to ‘hit close to home’ to me. I respect other peoples thoughts and values, even when they may vary greatly from my own. If I speak in opposition to them, like I’ve done here, I do so without the rantings of a teenage twit.

    I suppose I should have been clearer about a few things, and that is my own fault. I’ve played and owned, at some point, Valkyrie Profile (LOVED IT), Clocktower, and Clocktower 3 (US versions of all 3 games), as well as having played the JP Saturn version of SOTN thanks to a disc and system loaned to me from my brothers game store (I’ll resist the cheap plug).

    I’m pretty sure this qualifies me, every bit as much as you, to offer an opinion on said games. If you find time, take a look at reviews/post-mortems on some of those games a few years removed from the fact. I noticed the problems then, but maybe that’s just me. Valkyrie Profile’s issues kept it from being accessible to most, and made it frustrating for many. While that in no way precludes it from being a good game, it does prevent it from being ‘the greatest’ in my opinion.

    Clocktower’s (any of them) reviews speak for themselves. Decent, but they fail to come close to any of the entries from the Silent Hill series, and most of the Resident Evil Series (the majority of which I’ve played), and many other games from the same genre.

    You can say what you want about my reliance on gamerankings/metacrtic review aggregates, but it’s usually the loan voice of opposition who gets labled irrational. If every career gaming journalist loves Shadow of the Collosus, and one dude from a small website hates it (just a scenario), that doesn’t make the game horrible. It EXTREMELY LIKELY means that game fantastic.

    Say what you want about Ziff, but a vast majority of those journalists (Games For Windows, EGM, 1up, etc) worked hard, cared alot, and provided amazing coverage and inside info that a website like this or its former print self could never DREAM of providing. It just doesn’t have the resources or leverage.

    For all your talk of being on this payroll and that payroll, you hafta admit that if you had access to the major players in the industry, you and your peeps would be posting interviews and info from them left and right, rather than reviewing games that most websites and publications won’t even waste the space on.

    I think I’m the only person that’s ever even bothered to comment on anything that any of you have written lol. I actually like that you (the site) talk about older games from time to time, and that you will review the occassional title of quality that others overlook, but I can’t help but be frustrated by shoddy efforts and fanboy statements. Frustrated for you, not for me. Me? I’m doing great, thanks for asking :) You? You guys have a site to run, among other things I’m sure. Would be nice if there was some standard of quality being upheld here.

    Last, let me address my ‘narrow minded view of gaming’. I’ve been playing video games for over 20 years. There’s hardly a system in that time that I haven’t owned or played to excess. I enjoy games of every genre, and dabble in import gaming from time to time. While this site is wasting time reviewing outdated pc graphic adventure games and Wii shovelware, I’m playing games of quality across all platforms, and loving every minute of it.

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      Again dude, you’re making several mistakes including

      1) Your opinion as fact
      2) Not reading the mission statement for the site
      3) Mistaking candid statements for “boasting”
      4) Making easily disproven comments without researching or fact checking
      5) Assuming that you understand what goes on behind the scenes in terms of who writes to us, who reads us, and why we pick the games that we do.

      I warn people with every Pokemon or Konami review that I do that I do in fact recieve a paycheck from these companies. That’s not “boasting of my credentials.” That’s called journalistic integrity. It’s saying, “There is a chance of personal bias here, so take this with a grain of salt.” It’s also why we do tend to have big name Nintendo or Konami reviews up before even the larger sites. That’s about as far as I’m willing to abuse my contacts, because the point of this particular site is to focus on those smaller publishers who don’t have the advertising budget to buy scores from gamespot or 1UP or plaster ads all over other gaming journalism publications. It’s letting them get their titles out to the general public, even if they’re complete crap. I’m more than willing to be upfront about who pays me, and who gives us review copies unlike almost every other site out there. More importantly I’m not afraid to tear into games by companies I work for if I think they suck (Pokemon Trozei or Pokemon Emerald for example.)If you choose to read that as boasting then hey, that’s you’re call. Almost everyone else goes, “Thanks for the honesty.”

      This is where you again show that narrow minded view of gaming ” While this site is wasting time reviewing outdated pc graphic adventure games and Wii shovelware…” I hate to break it to you, but those are the titles most of our readers come here for – mainly because they know we’ll be the only ones to review them. EVERY site will review Say, Resident Evil 5, but what’s the point in that? In reviewing a game literally thousands of other sites will, your voice is generally lost in the crowd. But in not reviewing a title that the larger sites ignore because it don’t have the money or name value behind it? That’s unfair to both the smaller publisher AND one’s readers. If the other sites want to be shallow and provide only a modicum of coverage with reviews merely a paragraph or three long, that’s their call, but I (and the rest of the staff here) feel that’s wrong. Sometimes the best games are by out by smaller companies but they’re ignored by awful games with awful controls but a really nice budget. Call it the THQ factor if you will. ;-) We’re here to prevent that. It’s far more important to help those struggling, small independent gaming sites than it is to write the 10,000th review of a well known franchise title people have already made their minds up about before it’s even available for purchase.

      Again, you miss the complete point of Diehard GameFAN and as such, you miss why we review the games we do. You’re very much stuck in the mindset that the bigger sites are right because they are bigger and the majority is right. History tells us quite often that the majority is often wrong due to mob mentality, and more importantly, that accepting the majority on face value is a dangerous way to think. With gaming journalists, sites tend to make up their mind about a game before it even hits print. The first review out there generally sets the tone for the game’s score and then everyone clamours over it, afraid to express a different opinion. Then you have to factor in swag, bribery, writers unable to seperate emotion from criticism and the fact that for profit gaming sites/mags don’t really care about the audience – they care about making money first and foremost. This is true of all businesses, but it also makes it impossible for any of them to be truely neutral or critical. One of the reasons we currently are able to put up more reviews a month than even the late EGM or Game Informer is because publishers from Nintendo all the way down to the tiny dudes like Zoo or UFO prefer our reviews because we are highly informative, very detailed, don’t allow our readers to skim down for a numerical score, and even if we trash a game we go into every reason why we dislike a game and then still give that title equal coverage with everything else. We’d rather be small and respected than large and forgetting the journalism/critical analysis aspect that all the large sites long ago gave up.

      As someone that as been offered a job with Ziff on several occasions I can tell you without batting an eye, They did not “worked hard, cared alot, and provided amazing coverage.” Which is why I said no to employment with them. I find it hypocritical that you would claim fanboyism here or disrespect to readers when EGM/1UP is the poster boy for that type of behaviour.

      Dude, you can make erroneous statements and the attempts to get over your opinions as facts. That’s fine. But no one here cares. If anything, I feel bad for you that you try it so much that the site’s spam filter automatically tags you as such (Hence why it takes a few days for your comments to appear sometimes…). You obviously have personal issues with me in particular, and that’s your perogative, especially as there’s some level of defensiveness in you that takes comments that every other readers that writers to us gets but you don’t. I almost constantly say, “This is my opinion. My word is not law. Think for yourself. I have very European/Japanese gaming tastes which don’t always mesh with Americans.” Yet you somehow miss these time and time again, meaning you’re either skimming, or just choosing not to notice these for the sake of trolling which is sad. Especially with the constant handle changing. It could be as simple as my writing style and your reading comprehension styles just don’t mesh. It happens.

      It’s also fine that you both miss the point of the site and that you don’t like my writing or some of the other staff. It’s all opinion. Again though, you turn yourself into a hypocrite by making statements like, “it’s usually the loan voice of opposition who gets labled irrational. ” when you are the sole voice thinking a lot of the things you do. Again, if that’s how you choose to write and think, that’s fine, but it makes it impossible to take you seriously without thinking, “It’s the troll” again because of the constant contradictions and fallacies made by you. This isn’t meant to be mean – anyone who knows me can tell you I’ll probably the most laid back person you’ll ever meet. All I’m saying is that a lot of this is cooked up in your head in regards to my own tone/voice which is understandible considering it’s the internet. Don’t ever think we won’t enter into a dialogue with you. Just know that your tastes and opinions are different from not only me, but the other writers and most of our readers as well. No one will ever agree (nor shoud they) 100% with anyone, and everything is open to intepretation and subjectivity.

      Seriously, keep reading the site, but don’t read it for the wrong reasons. We’re doing this because it’s fun, because we’re able to get some things out before the big three, and because we believe in giving those smaller companies a chance to shine instead of judging their titles before we play them – unlike the majority of gamers, once again proving that sometimes…the majority is wrong and that the only answer is to think for yourself and find something that best blends with your own opinions.

  3. Mark B. Avatar
    Mark B.

    Anyone who collects games for status or name value is a dumb ass, pure and simple.

    Actually, I don’t agree with this, and I didn’t answer the question this time around for that reason. We live in a world where people pay lots of money for first print runs of novels or signed t-shirts of famous athletes, so I don’t personally think the idea of collecting video games is too ridiculous. The only reason I even own Radiant Silvergun at this point is because it’s collectible, and I don’t know that it’s wrong to feel that this is a correct way to feel about things.

    I don’t think the question was phrased in the way I would have asked it (I don’t think I’d have included the line about making my friends jealous, for example), but I don’t think it’s an unfair way of thinking about things, either.

    On the other hand:

    Also, PLEASE don’t say that SOTN for Saturn is superior to anything, unless that anything is canine feces. No reviewer I’ve ever seen would agree with you, and I certainly wouldn’t either. EGM/1up even had interviews once-upon-a-time with Iga and other Castlevania staff who lamented what a terrible version that was. Iga for god’s sake!

    Uh, two things.

    One, did you actually PLAY the Saturn version of SOTN? Because it was absolutely goddamn outstanding and, yes, it was better than the PSX version. Sorry, but it was.

    Two, seeing as how Koji Igarashi is the reason Castlevania: Legends is no longer part of the official series continuity, I hear I don’t give a shit what he thinks about the game. I also hear that I hope he falls down some stairs.

  4. Lucardattack Avatar

    First off, to both you and Mark B: I never state my opinion as fact. You guys repeatedly do that in almost every article you write.

    Second, please point out all of my easily disproven comments. I agree that I haven’t ‘read your mission statement’, and I admit that I was wrong in thinking that you guys would want lots of readers, want to provide them with quality reviews and inside scoops that they actually want, and wrong for thinking you actually care about anything more than writing about games YOU like or shitting on games that YOU don’t like. My apologies good sirs.

    If you’ll re-read what I wrote, Mark, you’ll see that I have played SOTN for Saturn, and you’ll see what I base my opinion on, as well as what I base my opinion of how the game was perceived by the gaming community. Again, note the word opinion. Of COURSE it’s opinion. No one ever granted me the title of GOD OF VIDEO Games, just the same as no one ever granted it to you guys. But it starts to become laughable to hear you guys rant about things that are so out of whack with the rest of the gaming community. Also, it’s poor taste to wish injury or death on anyone, and I’m sure you can be more clever than that. I’m also sure you know that it sounds desperate to pull out one word from my lengthy response (“boasting”) and focus on it. I do agree my choice was off, as I doubt I nor anyone else is impressed by whatever random company you or anyone else works for, unless you play Point Guard for the LA Lakers or something. Their fortune is not your fortune, though kudos on employment (it’s not as common as it once was I hear lol).

    I understand how history works, btw. It’s how I got one of my lowly Bachelors. Wish me luck on my JD! But this isn’t history. This is analysis of gaming software based upon a loose set of widely accepted and established criteria. In the realm of cinema, it’s how rational people know that Godfather II was great filmmaking (regardless of whether they enjoyed the film or not). Those same rational people know that if you call it ‘a piece of shit’, you’re probably just being overly angsty and aggressive for god knows what reason, or have a poor concept of what to look for in a technically sound piece of work.

    I’m not calling you guys bad at your job. Not calling you bad writers, or lacking in knowledge of gaming. But I admit to being ired repeatedly but your assertive opinions of things that stray so far from the majority. If you want to continue to make yourselves appear to most gamers as having stuborn and uniformed opinions (yes, opinions should be INFORMED and not just opinions for the sake of having them GASP!), then be my guest, by my guest, put your reputation to the test.

    But as for me and my house, we’ll decide things for ourselves first, and then consult IGN, 1up, and Gamespot (don’t laugh) if we need a second opinion. It’s been fun going back and forth with you guys, and probably it just shows I care more than you’d think. Even with the interspersed smarmy comments. Thanks and take care.

  5. Mark B. Avatar
    Mark B.

    First off, to both you and Mark B: I never state my opinion as fact. You guys repeatedly do that in almost every article you write.

    Technically, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing. The idea is to write a piece that comes from ones own experiences and presents ones self as an expert on the subject matter. That’s what professional writers do: they state their opinion as fact, essentially, while making it known that this is their opinion.

    Also, it bears mentioning that I do take the time to make it known that what I write *is* only my opinion, in most cases, unless I’m purposely being a jerkoff, in which case I make it known that I’m right and you’re wrong.

    If you’ll re-read what I wrote, Mark, you’ll see that I have played SOTN for Saturn, and you’ll see what I base my opinion on, as well as what I base my opinion of how the game was perceived by the gaming community.

    Two things:

    1.) The entirety of your observation was that professional reviewers wouldn’t agree with Alex’s assertion that the Saturn version of SOTN was better, nor would you, which doesn’t, in fact, actually explain WHY you dislike it, only that you do. From that I’m assuming you disliked it because reviewers told you to. Is that correct? That’s what it sounds like.

    2.) “The gaming community” is a fairly broad term, and frankly, I could, I am certain, find just as many people who agree with me as agree with you. In fact, I can find two other people ON THIS SITE who agree with me, meaning I don’t have to go very far to find corroborating evidence that I am, in fact, not crazy.

    I’m going to assume that your beef with the game is the occasional graphical glitches in the product, and I’m going to argue the counter-point in advance here by noting that the Saturn version, aside from featuring an extra playable character and two more (admittedly recolored) familiars, also featured new areas and items, and frankly, the graphical glitches were fairly minor in comparison to all of the neat shit that was crammed into the game.

    Again, note the word opinion. Of COURSE it’s opinion. No one ever granted me the title of GOD OF VIDEO Games, just the same as no one ever granted it to you guys. But it starts to become laughable to hear you guys rant about things that are so out of whack with the rest of the gaming community. Also, it’s poor taste to wish injury or death on anyone, and I’m sure you can be more clever than that.

    Attempting to be more clever than that would require me to rant about things that are out of whack with the rest of the gaming community, so I’m just going to go with “Nope. Fuck him.” and be done with it.

    I understand how history works, btw. It’s how I got one of my lowly Bachelors. Wish me luck on my JD!

    In fairness, as I’m working on my Bachelors, I’ll actually wish you sincere good luck here. Especially with getting a student loan. Woof.

    In the realm of cinema, it’s how rational people know that Godfather II was great filmmaking (regardless of whether they enjoyed the film or not). Those same rational people know that if you call it ‘a piece of shit’, you’re probably just being overly angsty and aggressive for god knows what reason, or have a poor concept of what to look for in a technically sound piece of work.

    Considering we have a guy on staff who actually used to take films other people thought were masterpieces and then, in fact, DID call them pieces of shit, that might not be the best comparison.

    That said: this is a wholly fair observation, to a point, but technical proficiency and good plotting don’t make for products everyone is going to like, and if someone wants to call something a piece of shit, they’re welcome to do so.

    I think Shining The Holy Ark is one of the five best RPG’s ever, but if someone told me it was a piece of shit because it looked horrible and played weird, I’d get that, and I’d like to think that if I said that I thought Final Fantasy VII (yes, again) was a piece of shit because of what it does that most folks would understand. Both games are technically proficient and well designed, but both could put off people for any one of a number of reasons. If someone wants to climb onto the mountaintop and scream “THIS GAME SUCKS!”, I couldn’t possibly care any less. I have my opinion of a product and a forum through which I am allowed to express it, and if you do or don’t agree with me, that’s your choice. I like to think that, in my reviews, I maintain a decent amount of professionalism (though I’m sure others would disagree), but in columns? Nope. That’s me and my soapbox, and if that’s something others disagree with, the BACK button works wonders, man.

    But I admit to being ired repeatedly but your assertive opinions of things that stray so far from the majority.

    “The majority” paid out about $40,000,000 to see Epic Movie in the theater and voted Curious George in for a second term, so you’ll excuse me if I don’t really care what the majority thinks.

    Anyway, aside from hating Beyond Good and Evil and giving Dead or Alive 4 a low score years ago, I’m not even certain what I’ve said in the past two years that one could consider all that against the majority, so I’m going to assume you’re talking to Alex.

    It’s been fun going back and forth with you guys, and probably it just shows I care more than you’d think.

    You named yourself “Lucardattack” and got into a fight with someone on the internet. I already made the assumption that you cared about this dialogue a lot more than either one of us did, frankly.

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