Game People Calling: The Buy Once Manifesto

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I personally am glad that companies are digitally distributing their old games. The PlayStation Store's PS1 Classics section is a godsend in my opinion, though I do disapprove of the lack of backwards compatibility that is fast becoming a trend. I was too young to enjoy games like Resident Evil 2 and Metal Gear Solid when they first came out. Having an opportunity to get a hold of them now is excellent, and if anything I wish there were more classics available for purchase.

it's time for people to know which game is just copy of previous.
it's time for people to care not to play copies or replay the same stuff.
if that is the case, only then we can expect some real games.

Sporky111:
I think you may have skirted the real point a bit much, and everyone thinks this article is about saving money now. It's not.

It's about console giants selling old games as-is and making a huge profit for it, rather than focusing on new IP or expanded content. I'll stand with you on this, I'm tired of seeing pages and pages of Virtual Console titles and rehashes on the Wii coming out every month, and yet barely anything new is being released that is worth buying.

I'll keep my DS and GBA games, I won't buy a DSi for the downloads. I'll keep my Xbox and PS2.

Thank you. I can understand the argument for portability, but when it comes to old gen games (NES, SNES, Genesis, etcetera) I'll just load up emulators on my PSP. If companies really want me to invest in a game I already own or could get easily for free, they better be providing some extra content. I recently purchased Call of Duty Classic and was quite disappointed with the utter lack of anything, ANYTHING, extra. It didn't even have standard controller layout options. It just smacks of laziness.

While I agree with the argument that new comers will enjoy these repackages, that does nothing the counter the point that they could touch them up. The only effect it would have is to further expand the market.

For the record, GoG and Steam are exceptions, because of the non-resellability of PC games.

Myrph:

BillyShakes:
I see it differently. I see the re-release of retro games as a way for newer gamers to enjoy the classics they would have otherwise entirely missed out on.

This is precisely the reason I like things like Virtual Console and GoG.com. Being a late starter in the realms of video games I missed a heck of a lot of brilliant video games simple because I wasn't alive or old enough to know how to or particularly want to play video games. These sorts of things allow me to play all the games I hear other people talking about, or I read about that I never had a chance to play first time round, without needing to resort to less than legal methods!

I concur. But still, the best option for a gamer at the moment to get good old games on the cheap, is to buy them when they become last gen. (which is what I'm doing with my xbox. Near mint copy of Capcom Vs SNK 2 EO for 2? BINGO!! XD), and older than that, then the price starts to hike up again!

I just wished companies like Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo would be more like Valve.
It couldn't hurt them to put their virtual console stuff on offer once in a while, who knows you might get enough interest, to warrant a new title in that series.

gsf1200:
The real problem is the different formats between manufacturers. If I buy a DVD, it works on ANY DVD player. Why aren't game consoles the same? Money, thats why. I have a NES, SNES, Genesis, N64, Gamecube, Ps2, Xbox, Xbox360, and Ps3 hooked up right now. Its ridiculous! The only thing I play on Ps3 is rachet and clank. The only thing I play on Xbox360 is rockband and MW2. It's stupid to force me to buy a new console for one game. If a third party could develop games for a universal console the market would be tripled! Then more risky games could be developed, instead of re-releasing an old, but guaranteed money maker.

Game consoles work the same way. You can play NES games on any NES console. PS1 games will play on any PS1 console, etc. Try playing a Beta tape on your VHS or DVD unit.

The thing is most people don't keep their consoles forever. If thay want to play an old game they either need to have the original console or have it ported to the console they already have. Since I don't get rid of anything, I haven't needed to re-buy any games. I do buy updated classic when the new version is cheaper than getting the original version. I didn't re-buy REZ or Marvel vs Capcom 2 because I already have the original Dreamcast versions. Yes, they aren't in HD (I do have the vga cable though), but I least I own them. And not have to depend on MS to make sure that I'll be able to access them.

I actually couldn't disagree with you more.
Sadly, some older games are really hard to find now and some consoles are also really difficult to find. Sega Saturn anyone?

I mean, I have my N64, but my old NES and SNES aren't the easiest things to work with. It's hard to find extra (oringinal) controllers or good games for them.

How about buying FFVII again for the PS1? it's about $60, the same price as a NEW games for the PS3? Why not just buy it on PSN for $10?

I understand where you're coming from, but there's a bit of a flaw in your ideal. If I could get the Legend of Zelda: OoT on my Iphone and carry it around, I would because I surely cannot travel with my N64.

I enjoy my old games, I really do, but it's easy to just have them (all) right on hand on a disk. Why buy 60 games for the Genesis when I could just buy 1 disk with the whole collection?

I bought a rake of PS 1 classics on my PSP, like FF7, Populous and Syndicate wars. I still have these games on ps1 but 5-10 euros is a small price to pay to play Syndicate wars or G-Police on a 3 hour bus journey. I think it's the one exception to the idea of tracking down the old carts.

You guys responding to me completely miss the point. It doesn't matter who makes a DVD player, my DVD's work in it. Sony, Samsung, philips, etc. Why do I have to buy a nintendo console to play a nintendo game? Can you play super mario on your Ps3? NO! If the manufacturers could agree on a standard console the market would go way up!

Metroid Trilogy is a spectacular deal unless you already own both of the old games. Even then I think the Trilogy is a good value because it allows you to sell your two "classic" disks to effectively lower the cost.

I still have a working nintendo that I looted from a pile of stuff that came from a bunch of condemned houses. But by working I mean it depends on the moon phase and how recently I sacrificed a chicken to my Miyamoto shrine.

So yeah I would prefer to play Mega Man 2 on my Wii even if i have to pay ANOTHER $8 for it.

If there is a physical aspect of the original that I can't use on modern hardware, (eg game cartridge, microcasette or whatever) then I want republication of a game.

Even in general I don't see the problem of republishing old games, just as you republish books or music why not games? Are all games such trivial creations that we should forget about them once they are out of print (-support)? Sure, ideally they would all go open source after some time, but that would be really unique in the media industry! That being said, some games do open source and their longevity is bound to beat those that didn't--or so I want to believe.

If you really don't want to buy it again, why not play it on the original platform?

Porting a game is hard work; even just dumping images of ROMs and loading them into an emulator still needs testing and verification. Writing an emulator is a serious challenge even to experienced developers. I would expect to get paid doing all of this, if it's to be released through commercial channels.

And, oh, there is a "standard console" already. It's called a computer :P

PS. "The beauty of standards is that there are so many to choose from."

BillyShakes:
I see it differently. I see the re-release of retro games as a way for newer gamers to enjoy the classics they would have otherwise entirely missed out on.

This is the way I see it too.

Although I am getting a little sick of Square Enix re releasing Final Fantasy (one) for the 100th time, I mean why spend so much time and effort on the worst game in the series? And not release some of the games I would rather see?

But yeah I too tend to rebuy my old games :P
Sometimes its just easyer to have it all on one console.

PS: At one point you must discontinue backwards compatability. I mean what would the Wii look like it it had to support NES, SNES, N64 and GC?

Scrythe:
I'll admit, one of the the main reasons why I even bother to purchase PS1 games on the Playstation Store is so I can play them on my PSP.

Having said that: Sony, where the hell is my goddamned Legend of Dragoon? I'd gladly pay double price for that game, c'mon!

I don't think he has a problem with that.
I kind of skipped the ps1 generation but even if I hadn't I would imagine there would've been a couple of games I would've re-purchased for a portable version, even though I didn't do that for any of the GBA games - I didn't re-buy Super Mario World.

As for the spirit of the author's statement: I'm with you brother.
I see the lines being drawn in the sand by these game companies asking themselves: "would they pay for that? and would they pay for that"
And every time, the gamers say "Yea, I'll pay for that." So the companies get more daring to the point where I bet we'll soon have the "privlege" of re-buying ps2 games on the ps3 instead of having BC. These are games they already made their money on so it's all profit. Even if only a handful make the purchase, it's probably worth it to post.

As for me, I only buy games once anyway but then again, my original nes still works.

I got a ton of that retro re-release stuff yet I didn't rebuy any games I already own (except SMB3 since my SM All Stars cart got lost and that was my only version of the game), most of us never had those old games when they were new so we're getting a chance to catch up with games we didn't have the money, console or age to play back in the day.

Gotta love the PC for it's backward compatibility (most of the time).

I have no problems with re-releasing old games. The music and movie industries have been doing it forever because people are still interested in buying yesterday's media. How they choose to do it is up to them, the market will decide if direct ports/emulation or enhanced ports/remakes are what people want.

Personally I think the VC is a great idea, even if the execution (store layout, no accounts, pricing by console, poor LCD support) is terrible. Those games should still have legitimate avenues to be obtained, emulators aren't for everyone even if it is legal where you live.

But for people who own the old copies and don't want to rebuy, the problems are really just beginning. As it is the SNES/N64/PSX/Pal GameCube/etc look outright terrible on an LCD to the point of being unplayable. Fortunately all those systems can either be emulated or played on current gen systems.

As is I already have a fair few systems hooked up, I could unplug old systems as I can still play the games one way or another (legality aside). But next gen unless PS4, Wii2 are backwards compatible it'll be another 2 systems I need setup.

And the current generation consoles are where the real trouble is going to start. If subsequent Xboxes and Playstations aren't backwards compatible (likely if you look how quickly they dropped BC themselves) there will be no other way to play 360/PS3 games other than on the original hardware. The Wii can be emulated somewhat, and Wii2 is most likely to be backward compatible, but due to no accounts for downloads, there is no feasible way of transferring WiiWare or VC games to a new system.

So the transition from this generation to the next is going to be a mess most likely. Now consider this happening every 5-10 years as systems are only going to become more complex the incompatibilities are only going to grow. Unless hardware manufacturers decide to stick with one architecture (somewhat more likely as power is becoming less of an issue) the problem is only going to get worse.

Thankfully things like tying content XBL and PSN accounts will easy transitioning to a new system, on the other hand forget giving old games you no longer play to someone else.

When I buy games I consider if the game is going to stop working on me. I tried the VC but as good as the games are I dislike how the service is run so I'm not going to buy another title. As for re-buying, I'll only do it if there is significant value for me. The only game I've ever re-bought was when I got Prime Trilogy. It was improved, convenient and cheap. For a newcomer its an awesome package, but even as someone who owned the games the new controls and progressive scan (PAL GC's don't have it) were worth the rather low price. Yet I can't think of any reason I'd ever want to spend another dollar on Super Mario World ever again. I spend 20 weeks saving up for it when I was eight, I can't think of anything they could possibly do to improve the game, why rebuy it?

In general I want to see more of what is happening with Steam for Mac, namely if you own the game you own it on all platforms. I'd like to see platform holders make an effort to accommodate gamers in this respect, but I don't expect to see it happen as its totally terrible business practice for them.

Mysnomer:
For the record, GoG and Steam are exceptions, because of the non-resellability of PC games.

Isn't this the whole complaint? I have copies of old PC games on CD with CD Keys and I can absolutely sell them if I want to. The idea that you can't resell PC games is something that has been formulated by developers, publishers and outlets like Steam to stop second hand sales. Tying games to accounts and imposing activation limits is more or less a direct attack on second hand sales as I'm sure they are all well aware it isn't stopping piracy.

If platform holders can get their way pretty soon all console games will be non-resellable too. Will it then be okay for everyone to do this?

TSPhoenix:
As for re-buying, I'll only do it if there is significant value for me. The only game I've ever re-bought was when I got Prime Trilogy. It was improved, convenient and cheap. For a newcomer its an awesome package, but even as someone who owned the games the new controls and progressive scan (PAL GC's don't have it) were worth the rather low price. Yet I can't think of any reason I'd ever want to spend another dollar on Super Mario World ever again. I spend 20 weeks saving up for it when I was eight, I can't think of anything they could possibly do to improve the game, why rebuy it?

That is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Why buy a new version when you could emulate the old? If they release it with bonus features (dungeons in RPGs; translation fixes for older games; overall graphical improvements; etc.) THEN you can buy it, to show you support the idea of updating them. But the more you repurchase a mere port made with no effort, the more you support lazy business.

Mysnomer:
For the record, GoG and Steam are exceptions, because of the non-resellability of PC games.

Isn't this the whole complaint? I have copies of old PC games on CD with CD Keys and I can absolutely sell them if I want to. The idea that you can't resell PC games is something that has been formulated by developers, publishers and outlets like Steam to stop second hand sales. Tying games to accounts and imposing activation limits is more or less a direct attack on second hand sales as I'm sure they are all well aware it isn't stopping piracy.

If platform holders can get their way pretty soon all console games will be non-resellable too. Will it then be okay for everyone to do this?

Yes, you can personally resell them, but no major retailer is going to offer you anything for them. You have to have the internet savvy to sell them. For people for whom that is not an option, it is essentially not resellable. I was not agreeing with this practice, I think it's BS. I was merely noting that I don't find Steam and GoG deplorable because they are filling a good niche in the market.

Aurgelmir:
Although I am getting a little sick of Square Enix re releasing Final Fantasy (two) for the 100th time, I mean why spend so much time and effort on the worst game in the series? And not release some of the games I would rather see?

Fixed.

Demon ID:

BillyShakes:
I see it differently. I see the re-release of retro games as a way for newer gamers to enjoy the classics they would have otherwise entirely missed out on.

I see the logic, though in practise I can't think of anyone personally who has got a game they missed out on, the only people I know who have bought these games are people who have/had the original. Then again, me and my friends could be the exception and not the rule.

I mostly buys games that I've heard were great in the past but I never got around to playing them. Heck the first time I played the first Zelda 9for more than a minute) was on the wii virtual console. I had played it at a friends house back in the day, but not for more than five minutes. I also got Castlevania symphony of the night on the xbox arcade becuase I've heard its good. There are many people like me who do this, I assure you

I don't think it helps that most of the time re-releases are treated like B-grade products. For instance New Super Mario Bros Wii is selling buckets, yet I bet a ton of people who are buying it never played Super Mario World. I already own it on SNES, but for those that don't its an absolute must have as its a fraction of the price NSMBWii is and is every bit as good. Yet there is effort putting into publicising the game or anything on the VC at all. Not much point in re-releasing old games if the only people that know are the people who probably already own it.

I don't worry about rehashes too much, sure they are lazy, but as such they aren't really consuming much in the way of development resources so its not like they are pulling staff away from the latest Zelda to put New Play Control games.

Echolocating:
Wow. I didn't think it could get worse than Pocket Gamer articles. I stand corrected.

Indeed. This is just shameful; once you've descended further than Pocket Gamer, there's no turning back.

OT: Your ire is misplaced. Why should we subscribe to a "Buy Once Manifesto?" Why can't we buy rereleases of older games with a more accurate script (Final Fantasy IV), improved core mechanics (Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver), or a stronger art design (Cave Story)? And why must we fell "cheated" when we buy these rereleases? Sure, backwards compatibility is nice, but far from ideal. How do you propose we emulate the N64 on the Gamecube, let alone a Wii, when the tech to read the information is completely different? Why offer Gameboy support on a DS when it takes away from the system's already meager specs?

When we don't have the compatibility, games are rereleased, not only to have more people experience them, but also to let old-time fans experience them again with a new aesthetic, a design closer to the developer's original intent, or simply due to the lack of ability to play it on an older system. If you don't like them, fine--don't play them. Meanwhile, I'm going to go enjoy my remakes knowing fully well what I'm getting into. Your "Buy Once Manifesto" can go bugger off, for all I care.

I've been reading the replies and I read the entire Original Post and I'm guessing that people aren't getting its actual message.

He's not complaining that they're re-releasing the old games in an updated and revitalized versions, he's mad that they've stopped all backwards compatibility so that there's no longer the option of playing the game you've already paid for (Old systems break down and Nintendo doesn't care for systems that aren't current gen) and still own, leaving you forced to pay for the ability to play the game again which is presented as a "classic game" and is identical to the original, chip tunes and all.

Why offer Gameboy support on a DS when it takes away from the system's already meager specs?

They used to offer it, and it didn't take away from the specs, the old games used a LOT LESS to operate, but it did require a bit more space so that the game could be read and displayed. the new DS' just removed it to save room and to charge more by calling it "more compact".

improved core mechanics (Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver)

Do you know what you're talking about? The Game is near identical to the original, there's a thread up of every change in the remake and to say the least it's a bit disappointing aside from the visual update. Below is a link:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.181466-Poll-New-Pokemon-Games-Lacking-More-Than-We-Thought

How do you propose we emulate the N64 on the Gamecube, let alone a Wii

This is a tired argument, the change from cartridge to disc was a needed change to add much greater amounts of data to games and was unavoidable, this is very much understandable, although if Nintendo would release an attachable plug-in device (like the Game Boy player for the GameCube, although for old NES/SNES/N64 games) that would allow people to play the old games on their system, for a price of coarse, but that's easy to overlook.

HOWEVER for systems like the Playstation series the change was purely for taking away a feature wouldn't provide the most impressive profits (despite many PS2 games being sold even now after all this time, not to mention PS2 exclusives that are now useless) so that the old games could be 100% recycled as is and sold over their online store, how quaint.

But in regards to the OP, I'm with you regarding the idea of not buying identical remakes with those bullshit downloads. I personally collect the old Nintendo Systems and games, ((Particularly the original Game Boy's and their games, owning quite rare and valuable titles such as "Mario Land 2" (As well as 1 and 3, but 2 is quite rare at the moment), the First 3 Mario Party's (2+3 are especially rare and valuable, so check if you still own them! 1 is valuable as well, but to the same extent), Original Japanese boxed copies of Mario, Tetris and Space invaders, Metroid II: Return of Samus, The original Paper Mario, etc etc, you get the idea)) and the hunt of getting the classics is quite fun and enjoyable, not to mention that these crazy pieces of crap forever increase in value whereas a meaningless "virtual download" of classics has no value once the player owns it. With my caring of my old systems and it not being the most difficult to track down certain parts (I order some in advance in case) even when they're no longer being manufactured I'll never have to deal with this kind of bullshit to the extent that others will.

However if a remake has been majorly updated and cleaned up, had glitches and issues cleared up then it may be worth a glance, but not if it's the very same game remade through these kinds of money-milking endeavors.

/END RANT

Double Post Issue With FireFox Sending Information, Sorry There Folks.

In a world where you can find new black label FF7 games at half a grand a pop or so I'll take a re-release any day. Who is it for really and how much do the actual developers make off of it? It's repackaged most of the time reprogrammed so it will run on the new hardware depending on how it's released and who knows how much work it takes? Maybe they don't spend a buck on a new IP but I'd rather play a game that's worthwhile rather than play a new IP that is the modern day equivalent of pop music being compared to 60s classic rock.

Just cause hendrix is dead doesn't mean that "Love and Confusion" is any less rockin'? Not everyone is 40 years plus and has a horde of old records.

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