No, I don’t have any Bowser-ette fan art here, but instead, I have all the Dank Art I made to streams last week. It was a bit of a challenge due to how destroyed my hands were from work, but I still managed to paint a few pieces. It seems I have developed an allergy or strong reaction to something I’m touching at work and I had to start using this intense medicated cream. I have to apply this stuff and wear a glove on my hand for a few hours which bites into my drawing time considerably. I put on this adorable knitted green glove with a bow on it to wear, channel my best 80’s MJ and try to suffer thru it for a bit.
I’m excited because the weather is changing to cooler temperatures after a gruelling summer I am welcoming the sudden change. Thanksgiving is next Monday here in Canada and I am looking forward to seeing my parents.
Adventures with Comic Books
Greg & I drove out to Kitchener to go to one of my favourite places to get pulls on Saturday. This place is like a warehouse of comics with an upstairs showroom and a basement with THOUSANDS of back issues of everything from comics to magazines. I like this place as I can always find a few Heavy Metal and obscure gaming magazines when I go.. They also have a Dirty Harry Pinball machine in the basement that I have been taking a liking to.
I always find amazing inspiration material when we visit this comic shop as part of the reason I collect comics and magazines is to expose myself to different styles and other peoples art and writing to improve my own. I also get excited when I find something that heavily inspired me in my own childhood.
The X-Men Annual Shatter Shot Part One was a huge deal comic book for me as a youngster. I would wake up at 5 am every day for school and stack my backpack for a day of survival and this book was always in there. I usually carried 5-6 comic books bagged and boarded in there along with my floppy disks and Magic Card Decks (you never know when someone is going to throw you a loop and pop down a Blue/White mess). The cover alone made me fall in love with Jim Lee’s style and quickly saw how this one cover went on to define the look of the X-Men for years.
I think I was a kid at just the right time to really get into the 90’s boom of Video Games and comic books and it was at a time when it was transitioning into a more digital and technology-based industry.
If you are looking for major inspiration, find a comic warehouse in your community and pick up a few $1 back issue comics in those bins. There are decades of great material just waiting to be found and the fun of finding them makes it all more the adventure.
Mini classic systems are trending enough that Sony is launching their own mini classic system of the PlayStation 1 this December. They’ve already announced a few titles for the system such as Final Fantasy VII, Tekken 3 and Wild Arms and you can preorder now online or at your local game shop.
It’s still a shock for me to see this product on the market because I can always find a solid wall of Playstation games when I visit retro shops. Not just that, there are a few titles available thru the online Sony store making more popular/classic titles still accessible.
Who will buy this?
Well, besides the hardcore Sony fan, I can see a collector such as myself going for this as it is a cute little system I can plug easily into the cheap LCD TV I have via the HDMI cables. There are no game cases to fuss with, and I can pick it up and go to the cottage (if I was one of thoooooooose people) or bring it on trips with me, so I don’t need to go 5 minutes without games.
There are so many amazing classic titles for the PS1 that it would be impossible to put all my favourite games on one tiny system. I would love for there to be a legit way to add more games to these systems, something that I feel was horribly overlooked in the design feature of these games which will push people to hack their classics just to have that convenience of a mini rom machine. However, some might argue that’s a sure fire way to kill collecting physical games and bottom out the market, but I digress.
Will the PlayStation Classic cause the retro collecting market to bottom out? Will classic mini systems keep people away from collecting games? Is collecting retro games dead?
I really don’t think so. I honestly don’t see a PlayStation 1 under every tree this Christmas, and I don’t see people pushing down their own grandmas to preorder this either. You have people like myself who are all “If Parasite Eve isn’t on there then it’s hot trash” or “I already own all those games and still play them sooooo…”. But driving down prices of retro games? I highly doubt it. That’s set by the collectors and their own bars IMO.
I don’t buy as many retro games today, but that’s because my collections are near complete to my satisfaction and also because I need to think about my own habits and physical space where I live. For me, it’s now a conquest for the odd and bizarre where I’m chasing down leads on MSX computers and sitting here tongue in cheek look at the Japan auctions for alternatives.
I can see mini systems being an excellent way for casual enthusiasts to get into collecting by inviting them to experience classic gaming in an accessible format that isn’t downloading a bunch of roms from illegal rom sites. I see a way that the big names like Sony and Nintendo can offer their classic games in a new format that can act as a door crasher into retro gaming for people not wanting to pay crazy prices on a retro system without the fear of hooking them up, hunting down games, and dealing with an oversaturated bootleg market.
I still hunt down physical media in all its forms from books, games and movies. The likelihood that there will be changes to your beloved games is high each time they get rereleased. Even if those changes are for the better, such as the anti-epilepsy effects on the SNES Classic, they are still changes to the original format. It’s that obnoxious “Star Wars” effect; When Lucas changed and added scenes to Star Wars from its initial theatrical release, there were fans who hated it as it wasn’t really needed or took away from some of the scenes original flavour. The first time I noticed this with games was with the releases of Final Fantasy Anthology on the PS1 and saw that the text was different. You gotta think that they will make changes to something when they rerelease it, may it be for a bug fix or for changes to a translation or to fix graphics. The simple fact is you are not playing the original game as it was released when it first came out and though that’s not a huge deal it matters to some fan and collectors. This is what drives some people into the collecting market and if anything I see that as another way prices will stay healthy for collectors.
Love them or hate them, mini systems are invading the market, and only the test of the actual hardware and quality of the games will make or break them.
GDQ Lists are up!
The game list for this years AGDQ have been announced and you can check out the list here to see if your favourite streamer made the cut. The next round of tickets will go on sale this October so make sure you bookmark the page if you are trying to go in person. The first wave of tickets sold out in less than 10 minutes, so if you are planning on going you still have one more chance.