When it comes to the Yakuza series, I’m a bit of a tragic. I love the characters, I love the melodrama, I love the ridiculous sidequests, I love it all. So it comes as no surprise that I love Yakuza 6. While it is pretty much just more of the same old Yakuza that we’ve grown to know and love, there are several quality-of-life improvements that have been made, most of which make the game far more enjoyable. Still, I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite of the series.
On April 26th 2018, Epic Games turned off the servers for their free-to-play third-person MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), Paragon, after only two short years. While the game did manage to build a fervent community during that time, the number of concurrent players just wasn’t enough to sustain ongoing development, and this was unfortunately impacted by the huge (and largely unexpected) success of Fortnite Battle Royale. Given that game’s unprecedented success, Epic needed to shift resources from one project to another, and unfortunately, something had to give. Long live Paragon.
Given our small population and relative isolation compared to many other Western countries, being Australian has its frustrations at times. We lag behind when it comes to Internet speeds, our pricing is driven northwards by the effect of the “Australia Tax”, and we often find ourselves late to the party in terms of innovation and product release (although it must be said that we do tend to be a testing ground for software releases, as going live in Australia isn’t likely to crush servers).
Being a collector in Australia is also impacted by these issues – on the one hand, we have limited access to items as there are fewer people selling them, but more importantly, given we are now an interconnected world, buying online can come with extremely painful shipping charges. This means that something that would ordinarily cost $50-100 locally could fetch upwards of $150-200 when buying from overseas.
So what are our options here? Are we really just out of luck? In this post, I’ve summarised all the options available to the modern collector (well, all the options I could think of, at least).
I am a child of the ‘80s and ‘90s, so I’ve seen video game coverage in its infancy, and watched as it developed into what it is today. As such, I was an active participant in the golden age of video game magazines, and I saw the shift towards the Internet in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. As I myself matured, I wanted to be a part of the fun, and over the last 10 or so years, I’ve had two or three of my own blogs and written for several independent enthusiast websites. Over time, though, it’s gotten harder – for multiple reasons. On the one hand, there’s just not enough actual jobs out there to make “chasing the dream” a worthwhile use of my time (not to mention the fact that the jobs that do exist probably don’t pay what I would need to survive). On the other, I’m just not sure that what I want to do actually fits into what the industry needs. In fact, I’d even go as far as saying that the industry isn’t really sure what it needs right now.
Note: I wrote this so long ago now, that it’s almost too late to post it. But screw that – I spent time on this, so up it goes! Plus, regardless of when you may read this, the games on this list will still be good.
2017 was a great year for games – really one of the better years in living memory. Sure, there were some major controversies and disappointments, but in terms of the sheer amount of quality titles released, 2017 was wallet-cripplingly good. However, I have two young kids at home, so it was a struggle to get across everything – in fact, it was likely impossible. Still, here is my list of best games for 2017 – including games I played, and games I missed that I really wanted to play (and still hope to, in many cases). Sure, some of this is copied from my previous post, but most is new.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Paladins: Champions of the Realm. While I initially loved Overwatch, I soon found space in my heart for this slightly less polished (but equally enjoyable) free-to-play hero team shooter. And while I haven’t played the game so much in recent months, I’ve continued to keep an eye on the subreddit in order to ensure I was across any changes. And boy, were there changes. December introduced the infamous Open Beta 64, bringing with it sweeping changes to the overall levelling system in the form of “Cards Unbound”. This system caused a huge uproar within the community, who made it very clear that they did not think this system was ideal. Well, with one update from the new Executive Producer, it looks like all of that is about to change, in a big way.
Free-to-play games are nothing new – in truth, they’ve been around just as long as we’ve had video games, in some form or another. I thought I’d take a look into how and where the idea developed, and where things might go from here.