Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
23 April 2006
What game can't be bought?
When people talk about discontinued games they download instead of buying, they almost always say things like this:
I tend to pirate games I can't get any other way. If I could buy them then I woukd, but with the current market there just isn't space on the shelves for older games and the retailers would make no money off them so wouldn't even want to stock them.
This is just malarkey. I'm seriously asking:
What is one game you cannot buy?
Every game I've wanted I've been able to find for sale. When I've found them I've paid the market price for them or decided I didn't want them badly enough to pay.

Addendum: I want to add that I've learned to be patient waiting for a game. Just because I want it now doesn't mean I have to have it now. If it comes along in a year, or five years, or more, it won't matter.

I am still waiting on a copy of Silent Bomber on eBay that's at a price I'm willing to pay. That auto-search has been running for over a half-year now. Same goes for Nyko Trackball for PSOne. I won't let that one get away again, even if it's more than $50. (Well, ok, and less than $75...) And while I'd really love a Vectrex or an Atari 2600 Crazy Climber, I'm contented waiting for the right deal to come along. It's not like I've exhausted all my other game options.
--Matt Matthews at 10:10
Comment [ 12 ]

Comments on this post:

I have very little money; I can afford only a couple of games a year. How do I know which games to buy? Because I've played emulated copies of games created by those teams and so I trust that they will be of a high quality. Otherwise, I'd never buy any games at all. I don't have the money to buy a N64 or a SNES. I don't have the money to buy a PS1. It is very hard to get the three or so GCN games I buy each year. Anything beyond those is a game which I absolutely cannot get to play legally. However, it should be noted that whenever I find a way to get a legal copy of a game I have played and enjoyed on an emulator, I jump at it.

By Blogger Mory, at 23 April, 2006 13:46  

There's a difference between being a collector and just wanting to play a game. Sure (pre-X Collection), I could have spend over a hundred bucks for a copy. Maybe if I were interested in building a library, I would have paid the (outrageous) market price for MMX3. But I guess I don't have a crisis of conscience about it. Buying up the last existing copies is a zero-sum game, emulating isn't. Paying market price just means you are increasing that price, and increasing scarcity.
Of course, this is all irrelevant because I bought the X Collection, and I am now happy.

By Anonymous Alex, at 23 April, 2006 14:35  

For me Gitarooman for the PS2 was impossible to find, but thankfully they did a new run of copies recently (along with Rez).

The only other game I haven't been able to get so far is the original Icewind Dale and it's expansion. I've never found them in a store, but I tried to purchase one on eBay and ended up getting a pirated copy. I'll still keep an eye out for it though - I think it's the one Infinity Engine game that I don't have.

By Anonymous Luke Reeves, at 23 April, 2006 14:35  

Suikoden 2 and Panzer Dragoon Saga. Games where it doesn't make a difference whether you pirate or not. The problem with them is unless you want to spend $100-$200, you're stuck pirating. It's pathetic -- if they decided to re-print them and sell them at a decent price ($30), I'd buy them in an instant. But I don't feel any game is worth anything more than $50 -- and even that's stretching it.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 April, 2006 20:55  

"I am still waiting on a copy"

That's the issue here - speed of delivery through legitimate channels. It's too slow, and there's no real excuse for not taking advantage of the internet as your delivery channel.

As my T-Shirt says:

"Your failed business model is not my problem."

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 April, 2006 21:02  

Man the excuses drive me crazy. I don't feel like waiting for Tool to be released on iTunes, so I believe I'll walk into Best Buy, take every Tool CD, rip them, and then replace them carefully so that nobody can tell the difference. Better yet, I'll bring in my iBook and rip them on the showroom floor so as not to cost Best Buy any sales whatsoever. Why not? Then I'll just listen until I decide if I want to buy a track. Oh, and until Tool's tunes are offered track by track on iTunes. That's only fair.

As the above proves, I really can't say this any better than I did on usenet two and a half years ago. As if your lives weren't complete before the game was release -- is this really the place for you to throw down the gauntlet and practice civil disobedience?

If so, why? And why not so many other places where the protest would be worth a rat's behind?

By Blogger rufbo, at 23 April, 2006 23:20  

Sorry for the spam, but somehow my old post on usenet is just close enough to eloquent, relatively speaking -- through no fault of my own, I'll readily admit; old dog and treed coons or something like that -- that I'll paste it in here to better explain where I'm coming from:

Unfortunately what you're arguing for is a very simple reduction of peoples' rights to copyright. You're removing value from products. There is a certain value for gaming houses to release games you'll risk full-price on to try without testing first so that you can have the game NOW. Have gaming companies ever cashed in on sequels, banking people will buy substandard games? Absolutely. Made shiny packaging and slapped a popular license on top of a game so that you'd think it's the best since sliced bread, but put very little into the game inside? Of course. People do reward such chicanery with their dollars, and companies in all sorts of fields exploit this. It's their right, I'm afraid.

Don't like the price of a game? Not sure if the game is good enough for you to snap it up? Don't have a local store that rents games? You've still got alternatives other than breaking the law. Try trading time for dollars. Wait and eBay the game later for what you'll willing to risk -- and recoup your losses if it sucks selling to the next schmoe. Nobody says you have to buy now. Your "try before you buy so that you can predetermine your price" takes an end run around capitalism which, for better and quite often worse, is the prevailing –ism around these here parts.

By Blogger rufbo, at 23 April, 2006 23:28  

I would just love to have my own copy of System Shock 2 at last. I have a pirated one, but am still on the lookout for the original. But I am a bit of a collector, anyway, so I buy my games if it is at all possible. And here in Slovakia, you really find some weird choices - you can still now get here the original Rez and first System Shock for 10 dollars (or the very first Pirates! on floppies for a dollar), but some games are just impossible to get.

Luckily, e-shopping takes care of a lot of other games (like strategy games from Paradox, yummy), but strangely, British Amazon doesn't send games over here. And we are already in the EU, so I cannot see where is the problem. But I think the only game I resorted to piracy, because I couldn't get it any other way is System Shock 2.

By Anonymous WanderingTaoist, at 24 April, 2006 03:26  

There are quite a few games that have become extremely expensive that I refuse to buy from some random person on ebay. For instance, Radiant Silvergun commonly goes for $150+... but that $150 isn't going to any developer of the game. I would gladly pay even that amount if it went to anyone that made it, but for a used copy? I'll just get it for free, they make the same amount of profit.

By Anonymous Ed, at 24 April, 2006 15:42  

> If it comes along in a year, or five years, or more, it won't matter.

OK, sure, but that doesn't mean you can say that a game that is unavailable (e.g. a rare arcade game for which the only solution is emulation+rom piracy, or buying a legit vintage cabinet on ebay for $2k) *might* become available.

I agree with you that most often the "but I can't get it any other way" is just an excuse, but there *are* games for which this is the only way to get them. However, this is probably only 0.01% of the titles pirated.

By Blogger kim, at 24 April, 2006 16:05  

Talk shit about console junk all you want.
Some PC games are just NOT available.
Back in the day, we're talking early 80s to early 90s-era here, games were mostly done by independent small teams of 1-4 people, carried out by either "major" publishers (still small as of then), other publishers (which never rose to brandname-fame) or by themselves.
Not to mention, to get one of these games to still execute in today's systems...
And if you're going to be waiting a decade to play a game...well, I'll say you're kind of sad and when you do get that game, you're likely to be disappointed or not even bother since you'll be tied up with one of the newer ones of Y2K+, at least, if we're talking about a PC game such will be the case.

Console people are so clueless...
Contra FTW
WonderBoy for the seconds
Double Dragons for the chuck-norris roundhouse kicks

By Anonymous Ori Klein, at 29 April, 2006 10:45  

Ori Klein,

Right on.

Let's take an all-time classic: Dani Bunten's M.U.L.E.

This game was released for the Atari 8-bit (model 800, specifically) and Commodore 64 computers. It was not released for any model of Apple ][ or Mac, nor DOS/Win3.X or later Windows versions, nor the Amiga. Atari 800 and C64; that's it.

That means, in order to play M.U.L.E. completely in the legal green zone - no emulators, now - you need not only a working copy of the game but also either an Atari 800 or a C64.

What's more, even if you can find and buy a retail M.U.L.E., we're still talking about software stored on cheap disk media 20 years ago. You'd better hope it works. You'd better hope that whoever you bought it from kept it cool and dry, and away from magnetic fields, dust or other contaminants.

Good luck.

By Blogger Brummbar, at 04 May, 2006 20:24  

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