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Everything posted by dumpster

  1. I've done an exceptionally long post on this forum about the EB/Game takeover but that's the crux of it Game were a way bigger business, they had more stores, they were larger stores, had the better reputation and most importantly, they believed that they were doing really well. But no-one seemed to be aware that preowned margins were way higher Electronics Boutique swooped in and made an offer on the company and everyone couldn't believe it. From the day of the takeover, Electronics Boutique hammered the introduction of loyalty cards, the ten day return policy and the pre-owned. I had to go to my local council offices and ask questions about second-hand retail licences that very first day, because pre-owned, loyalty and 10 day returns were being introduced to the stores NOW. And that's the key thing, because no-one at Game seemed remotely aware of how much business they had been losing to EB. You could buy a game with no risk - if it's shit, bring it back. If you complete it in ten days, bring it back. Then you could use your loyalty vouchers. And if you had no money, trade stuff in. You'd make a fiver on a new release if you were lucky, so trading a game in for £5 and selling it for £15 was three times the profit. Game got bought by EB, the smaller company, because no-one at Game discussed margin, and EBs margin was way higher, to the point they could buy their bigger rival. It felt like Pound Bakery buying Hard Rock Cafe but with hindsight, Game was all about the bottom line and many managers didn't have the business awareness. All the company talked about was bottom line figure and growth from the previous year. When EB came in we have KPIs for so many different areas of the business, and it seems crazy looking back how much autonomy I had working for a.big national chain, doing pretty much what I liked.
  2. I'm reminded today of a manager of Game (Pre-EB takeover), when we used to sell VHS films and music CDs. Personally, I'd stick Murder Ballads by Nick Cave on while cashing up, to the point where I bought it because it was clearly second hand. But another manager in our area either got fired, or at least disciplinary action because he went into the back of the store after closing and watched the Penthouse Pets softcore pornography we used to sell. He didn't realize that the system was still switched on front of house, so 25 TV screens all over the store, some in the windows, all playing the same content. Passers by apparently complained.
  3. Quick addition as it just popped into my head reading this thread, but there were a lot of games (Sega comes into my list very heavily here) where over the 20 years or so since release I've never got any better. Specific titles include 18 Wheeler, Crazy Taxi, Harley Davidson, all games where I run out of time in pretty much the same place every game. You can continue if you choose but has anyone ever completed 18 Wheeler off 1 credit and if so, how? @Anne Summers did a good thread here about the difficulty settings on arcade machines and I remembered Sega Rally, a game which I was very good at. But at Alton Towers, you'd complete every track with the time run out and car slowly creeping over the line, even using the HyperCar cheat. As a self proclaimed expert I couldn't even finish lakeside and it was a huge challenge even to get to that stage.
  4. God that post brought back a triggering memory, you sound like you had the same situation as me.... Where Future Zone for bought by Electronics Boutique, I worked for Game for a few years, loving it, before EB bought them too. And like you say, we started approaching every customer that walked in, pressure selling, upselling etc. What specifically was an issue for me was that my Game store was twice the size of EB 2 doors away, my bosses had briefed me to "bury EB" and we did everything we could to steal away their business. We'd accept their gift vouchers, make jokes at their expense, beat prices, we even opened with 20% off everything across the whole store, in the run up to Xmas. Then EB bought Game and the manager and Area Manager I'd been very sarcastic to for weeks became my bosses. Gulp. EB brought product loan, but other than that their business appeared to me to be entirely run by humourless bastards with no interest in the subject. They started off as a greetings card company and would have been equally happy selling anything - it was weird to have a boss calling our regular customers dorks, and having no interest in playing a game. I'd never been stressed and miserable at work and suddenly I was, doing ostensibly exactly the same job in the same store where I was really happy.
  5. Finished on easy. What a game. I think I'll avoid spoiler tags in a game that's 15 years old, but it's incredible how well many of the set pieces work so well on VR. Weirdly, there are moments in RE4 that suit the VR view better than anything in Resi7 or 8. The bit with the massive statue with the moving hands is exactly the same as it always was, but my god how high up is that? It just works. Brilliant. Now onto Mercenaries!
  6. There must be a calculation on return of investment that the arcade machines use. I remember looking into buying an Outrun 2 machine back at the time and a single player cabinet was 60K. Now I'll be generous because my memory may be incorrect, but even if your arcade opens at 10am, closes 8pm, 7 days a week, that's 10 hours a day, 20 games an hour (5 minutes each) means that machine earns you £200 a day assuming it's in constant use every second of every day that you're open it would take 300 days to pay for the machine. Actually, when you put it like that it doesn't seem too bad. But realistically, to have an arcade with all the latest games in, you need money in that slot so frequently the last thing you want is an expert player spending all day on one credit. (Saw that in Blackpool once, a group doing 1 credit on Bomb Jack over the whole day).
  7. I had Jamma boards for the Gradius series, and I remember me and a mate taking it in turns for hours trying to complete Vulcan Venture. You couldn't pause it, and we came to the conclusion that if you lost one life later in the game it was impossible to complete. You needed the power ups you lost, and the last level is insane.
  8. You'll be out and about sometime this week, thirsty and 50p short for a can of Coke, shouting "Damn you, Deluxe Gravel"
  9. I believe it's linked to the shift from Jamma based interchangeable cabinets to big dedicated monsters. For example, games like Pac Man and Mr Do go on forever until they crash. Arcade owners don't like you playing for an hour for 10p so games started to have defined endings. Bubble Bobble can probably be completed in one coin but it's a challenge (and if you activate the power up mode the arcade owner chucks you out. 10p for an hours play, doesn't even cover the electric). But that game has dynamic difficulty. Keep getting extra lives and see how hard it gets. Not sure if it's possible to 1cc it. Then as machines became more expensive and cabinets became dedicated, gameplay design changed to give you absolute dead ends. For example, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (still Jamma) with the simultaneous 4 player mode had a beautiful bespoke cabinet with great artwork. Gauntlet, Simpsons, 6 player X-Men, all with weirdly unfair bits. Unlimited lives if you keep ploughing in the money but Christ that game becomes right bastard tough. Time Crisis is a good example, for me I can finish it on two credits if I'm lucky but that involves what I consider to be a perfect playthrough avoiding everything you can avoid, and being hit by the stuff that I've never worked out how to avoid. I don't know if the game is possible to do a no-damage run, because you get hit in the same places every time. Arcade games also have the super hard barrier level sometimes referred to as "Billy's Wall of Coconuts". The first example in my head is Arkanoid. Level 3 is just a total pain in the arse and if you have the patience and skill to get past it, you'll probably be OK for the next load of levels. But Level 3 wants your money. You'd often hear arcade players complaining to staff at the change booth, "I want my ten pence back - that game is pure Billy's Wall of Coconuts". One aspect of this post isn't true.
  10. Bloke goes to the doctor, says Doctor Doctor, I'm a married man with a beautiful wife but I'm starting to doubt my sexuality, I think I might actually be gay, but I'm not sure. Doctor asks, well, is there anyone that you're attracted to other than your wife? Bloke says, yes, Jeanette Krankie. Doctor advises, well in that case, you are straight, and gay, and a pedophile all at once.
  11. It's funny to read these comments, so many differing views. For me, Gravel felt the most like Sega Rally out of any of the recent games I had tried. I love NFS HP, but find it's just too hard. I've probably only seen a quarter of what is has to offer and I find myself with a choice of events, none of which I can do. Needs an easier mode. It makes me smile to see the full game of Gravel at £2.99 and the deluxe version with all DLC at £3.50. Does anyone sit at home thinking "50p is 50p, I can get half a twix with that" and buy the cheaper one? The dlc on its own is £15 I think.
  12. I thought the first episode of Better Call Saul was poor because it tries to be all things to all people. The courtroom scene where the guys broke into a mortuary is played for laughs but isn't funny enough and Tuco shows up and it gets violent. The tone of the episode is all over the place. But I think they wanted Tuco in episode 1 so the Breaking Bad fans would feel at home with it. Episode 2 is pure BB as they go into the desert and torture Saul. But episode 3 focusses on Kim, Howard, Mike, Kettlemans, and the tone changes. Better Call Saul quickly becomes its own thing, out of the shadow of Breaking Bad in series one. It's gone from strength to strength since then. This is why, to me, there was no need to bring Walt and Jesse back. Whoever said earlier that it felt like an SNL skit was spot on. Having Tuco in episode one reassures the viewer, "you'll like this because look! It's Tuco from Breaking Bad and you like him!" But 6 series in we're all in agreement that this show is awesome on its own terms and it doesn't need Walt and Jesse to pop in. I still think we're in safe hands with these writers and I'm intrigued by what the last 2 episodes could be about. But if there's no more Walt and Jesse then the previous scene feels even more like the actors came in for one afternoon of filming and seeing as their involvement didn't serve the story much, it just seems to be fan service. We'll only know after it's all over. I hope something amazing is coming because BCS hasn't had a bad episode but the last two have come close. They feel like Star Wars Prequels or El Camino, telling a story we don't need to see, to keep it going. Breaking Bad ended perfectly and didn't run for 20 seasons until everyone got bored. I really hope these episodes are the set up for some amazing pay off, but we won't know until 2 weeks from now.
  13. Freddy Got Fingered, the Tom Green Movie described as the worst thing to happen in America in 2001, is actually a work of art, a two fingers to the movie industry, a knowing admission from it's star and is frankly, brilliant and hilarious. Red Letter Media did a Re:View episode on this very topic. That explains it way better than I can. But in summary, at a time when sex comedies like American Pie were doing good business some stuffy bloke in a suit, seeing Tom Green's popularity on MTV, chucked a few million dollars at him and told him to make a film. Tom Green made a film about an artist who gets given a huge sum of money by a stuffy bloke in a suit who expects him to come back with a comic book of his characters. Not having any experience and suddenly finding himself with loads of money, he blows loads of it on jewels, and finally takes his finished comic, only to be told the characters have no depth, the story makes no sense and, what, you spent all the money? Which is exactly what the producer of this movie probably said to him, word for word. Reappraised in the present, with the benefit of hindsight, theres a million other movies from the same era that a re just bawdy sex comedies but FGF stands out as a work of art. Roger Ebert gave it zero stars.
  14. Super Fannycom. I remember back in the 80s a fair few people called it "Intendo" as well.
  15. We had a lad on school work experience. A customer tried to buy Revenge of Shinobi and we couldn't find the cartridge. We hunted high and low. The next day I was selling someone else a game and saw it right there, filed in the right place. Turned out the kid on work experience had come in as a customer the week before, asked to try the game out and run off with the cartridge. Sneaked it back in because he didn't realize the mess he caused until he was on the other side of the counter.
  16. Whether it was your area manager who kicked the shit out of a 3DO because they had to witness it being written off, or the Amiga Fan with 68040 processor and 8Mb of ram who hung around the counter and insisted Amiga would never die, the guy who brought his computer in for repair who turned out to be running a brothel, or the customer who's screensaver scrolled "Horny tonight. Julia, let us fuck" , or even the stuff that's gone into urban legend (we really did have a customer who held a sheet of paper up to the monitor and pressed print screen) what are your stories of gaming retail?
  17. Amiga Power was basically Stuart Campbell doing his own thing by the end, but he was right - Amiga didn't compare to consoles for action/arcade games and with piracy through the roof even the best games were lucky to sell 5000 copies. It's apparent with hindsight that the best Amiga games are all mouse and keyboard based (Cannon Fodder, North and South), strategy games, or just "computer" games. When Amiga did console style games they often felt sluggish and slow. Amiga had the blitter and scrolling hardware etc but the slower processor seemed to let it down (Xenon 2, Wild Streets, Yo Joe etc all run at a fraction of the speed of a console equivalent) and pressing up to jump is always terrible (even on CD32 with it's 6 buttons, many games were not modified). Lazy programming and poor conversions didn't help (compare Strider on Amiga and Megadrive). Amiga was the best computer and one of the happiest times for me, but it was all about Protracker, Deluxe Paint, Amos, the demo scene, creativity. Anyone using it solely as a games machine was missing out. But back in the day, certain people would come into my shop and insist that Gloom was better than Doom, Alien Breed 3D was better than Quake, their £500 expansion card with a 68040 and 8Mb ram was a sensible purchase and Amiga had many years left in it. Madness. And it has to be said, only Amiga Power was the voice of reason. Amiga Format seemed totally irresponsible in feeding information to these deluded people, probably because all their money was coming from the advertising of those expansion cards. These guys would hang around the counter telling us all about how their expanded Amigas were theoretically better than a current gaming PC, drowned out by my game of Streets of Rage 2 and the actual gaming PC running Quake right next to where they were stood. The expanded Amiga might well have been a powerhouse but it was all theory. Quake and Doom were great but Amiga didn't run them, regardless of your specification. It had Gloom, a Doom rip-off, highly rated by Amiga magazines but ultimately... It's not Doom. Similarly, Amiga had Great Giana Sisters so who needs Mario World? I'm not buying a Megadrive because Amiga has a PD game called Speedy the Warthog! Christ. Similarly, we had one guy called Tim who came in every week wanting to buy games for the Atari ST, but would only buy them if they were enhanced for the STE. Again, he never seemed to accept that he was the only STE owner in the country and with no interest in Midi or Cubase, why he didn't just blow £129 on a Megadrive I don't know. This has been a 1am Dumpster wall of text for RLLMUK, back to Chris in the studio.
  18. I remember Super Mario 3 being released on PAL and being reviewed after the same magazine had reviewed Mario 4 on import. Jaz Rignal reviewed SMB4 and said it was amazing, then later reviewed SMB3 and said how, in a number of ways it even beats Mario 4 on the Super Famicom. Then when SMB4 launched with the PAL version they said how it was better than SMB3 in every way. I can't remember if this was Mean Machines or not, or whether I just made all that up, or why I'm still typing. Anyway, Submit.
  19. Well, as an update for the "no PC required" approach, for the life of me I can't work out how to do the old Playstation method where you put a second controller on the floor as your reload pedal. Because that's the solution. Point Black is playing really well (although I could do with a bigger screen), but Time Crisis just needs a reload method that doesn't involve continually aiming the other Oculus controller at the screen. The solution is to have a Bluetooth controller as pad two, have that in your left hand and press the reload button. Other hand has the Oculus controller as your gun.
  20. So in advance of the inevitable Turn Your Oculus Quest 2 into a Fantastic Emulation machine, I've been experimenting. I can't use EmuVR because my PC isn't up to the job of runing PCVR - I need an all in one headset based solution. And I'm so nearly there it hurts. You can search this stuff out so I won't go detailed here until I have a full solution but so far the main points are : Switch your Oculus account to be a developer account. Use Oculus ADB drivers to connect your headset to the computer. Use the PC app, Side quest, to sideload standard android APK files to the headset. So download and install the emulator EPSXE for Android in APK format, blast it to the headset, copy across your Time Crisis and Point Blank isos that you made from your legally owned CDs and Bob's your uncle. Except it's not that chuffin' simple because your Oculus controllers are both perfect and useless all at once. The Android EPSXE works perfectly on the Quest 2, but it runs in a window that can't be resized. Ironically it has VR modes but they appear like when you watch a 3D movie on a standard TV, you don't get a full image, you get 2 smaller images side by side. But this is running in a window. It's not a cinema size image, it's more like the browser size you get as default. It's big and it's working but I want bigger. But the main issue is the Oculus controller itself. But changing the controller type on PSX menus you get the Oculus controller working as a lightgun. It's fucking awesome and it's at this point you get really excited because you're playing Time Crisis with a gun on a pretty big screen. But the reload options are mapped to on screen virtual buttons. You have to hold the gun controller in one hand and use the other controller also a gun, firing to shoot the button on screen to reload. It's really rubbish and so frustrating to be 90% there. close but no cigar as they say. Meanwhile Point Blank plays really well because it barely uses the reload button. But if only you could make the screen bigger. I've tried Duckstation and this seems to work but it doesn't register clicks so you can't navigate to point it to your bios and your game files. But this is all too close to being amazing, so as a group, the RLLMUK hive mind, we could work together and find a solution. There's got to be a way to do this, right?
  21. The guy from the OP has done another video. He doesn't say as much on this one as the appalling content speaks for itself. This is truly quite extraordinary, you won't believe the racist comedian... No spoilers, but the fact that the audience loves this makes me sad.
  22. Namco. Please make VR versions of Ridge Racer, Prop Cycle, Time Crisis and Point Blank. Over to you .....
  23. Oh my god imagine Propcycle VR. It would be incredible.
  24. Atari Combat was possibly the first game ever to wrap around the screen, so if you went off the top you reappeared at the bottom. There was a thing I'm only half remembering where years later Atari turned out to own patents on stuff that was totally commonplace but they did it first, and they went around sueing everyone for having scrolling or flick screens or this, or that.
  25. I think that Resident Evil 4 VR, especially for those who haven't played it, sets an unrealistic precendent that you can mod older games and stick them in VR and more companies should do it. Resident Evil VR works for two reasons. First, it's the best Resident Evil game. It's a cracker. If I could have asked for any game from my youth to be converted that would probably be my first choice. But the second reason is that they have done a good job of it. I've never seen the homebrew VR conversions of Resi2Remake etc but what makes Resi4 work is what I call the millennium bug scenario. What am I droning on about now, you ask? Well the millennium bug involved thousands of people and a tonne of money to make sure that planes didn't fall out of the sky and the world's banking systems wouldn't all crash as the clock hit the year 2000. Loads of people went crackers at the man hours, the money spent, the sheer hype of the whole thing and when, at the stroke of midnight, nothing at all happened. A massive waste of everyone's time. Except... That wasn't the issue. The perfect outcome of the work that was done would have been a seamless transition. Nothing happening was exactly what we wanted to happen. The people who did all the work might have been better off if a couple of planes fell out of the sky, they could have said, "look! Our hard work paid off! Only two planes crashed, hundreds remained airbourne thanks to our hard work" . Sometimes you have to do a shitload of work, to make a situation right, and if you do it well enough it's invisible. So that's my second point. Resident Evil 4 in VR is absolutely fantastic, and that's because they didn't just port it over, they spent weeks working out exactly the best way to deal with all the issues VR would present. The result is instinctive, intuitive. You're being overwhelmed by people so you look down, grab a grenade off your chest and throw it. Then you run away. They must have put in so much effort with the development and research, and that's what is making the difference here. Much as I'd love a VR Burnout 2 or whatever they would have to make the experience with as much care and commitment to VR as Capcom have. Hey @CrashedAlex , are you up for a VR Burnout ? I'll contribute to any Kickstarter. You could call it Burn-in-and-out-and-all-around.
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