Friday, June 25, 2010

Unexpected Down Time

One of the servers that runs VGPC experienced some hardware problems a couple nights ago. Attempts to fix the server failed causing four hours of down time this morning (you may have seen the server maintenance message).

We've now migrated the affected code to a new server and everything appears to be working correctly. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

List of Games Played at E3 2010 - Ask Questions

We wrote up some reviews and impressions on some of the games we played at E3 but we couldn't write about all of them. Below is a list of all the games we played while at E3. If you have a question about any of them let us know, we will try to answer them in the comment section:

Killzone 3 3D (PS3)
MotorStorm 3D (PS3)
Playstation Home E3 Edition (PS3)
Dead Nation (PS3)
Toy Story 3 – Move (PS3)
Gran Turismo (PS3)
Marvel vs Capcom 3 (PS3)
EA Sports Active 2.0 (PS3)
Tiger Woods 2011 - Move (PS3)
Sports Champions - Move (PS3)
Medal of Honor (PS3)
The Conduit 2 (Wii)
Sonic Colors (Wii)
Mario Sports Mix (Wii)
Wii Party (Wii)
Donkey Kong Returns (Wii)
Kirby Epic Yarn (Wii)
NBA Jam (Wii)
GoldenEye 007 (Wii)
Metroid: Other M (Wii)
Zelda: Skyward Swords (Wii)
Epic Mickey (Wii)
Arc Rise Fantasia (Wii)
Ghost Trick (DS)
Professor Layton 4 (DS)
Super Scribblenauts (DS)
Okamiden (DS)
Mario vs Donkey Kong Miniland Mayhem (DS)
Dragon Quest IX (DS)
Ivy the Kiwi (DS and Wii)
The Grinder (Xbox 360)
Vanquish (Xbox 360)
Castlevania: Lord of Shadow (Xbox 360)
Dead Rising 2 (Xbox 360)
Dance Central - Kinect (Xbox 360)
Game Party: In Motion - Kinect (Xbox 360)
Driver: San Francisco (Xbox 360)
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Xbox 360)
Pilotwings Resort (3DS)
StarFox 64 (3DS)
3D Target – Augmented Reality (3DS)
Ridge Racer (3DS)
DJ Hero (3DS)
Dynasty Warriors (3DS)
Metal Gear Solid: Naked Sample (3DS)
Nintendogs + Cats (3DS)
Sims 3 (3DS)
Steel Diver (3DS)
Animal Crossing (3DS Video)
Dead or Alive (3DS Video)
Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS Video)
Kingdom Hearts 3D (3DS Video)
Paper Mario 3DS (3DS Video)
Resident Evil: Revelations (3DS Video)
Mario Kart (3DS Video)
3D Camera (3DS)
Xevious (3DS)
NES Tennis (3DS)
Pac Man Battle Royale (Arcade)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

CD-i Prices Added to VGPC

CD-i Prices
We added 130 Philips CD-i games to the site. Many of them don't have prices yet because there hasn't been a sale since we started tracking them. But we will show the prices for all the games as soon as we see a sale.

You can find the CD-i prices under the "Other Systems" heading in the menu.

Thanks to all the users who suggested CD-i games be added.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Who Won E3 According to Stock Market?

Every year tons of gaming sites announce who they think "won" E3, basically who they think had the best show that year. The gaming press gives their opinion about the best of E3 2010 but its easy to give your opinion when there isn't anything on the line. Stock market investors actually vote with their pocket books and invest in the company they thought had the best E3. So who do investors think won E3 2010?

Microsoft Stock Price During E3 Press Conference

Microsoft E3 Stock Price
Click for Larger Image

Microsoft started their E3 press conference Monday June 14th at 1pm EDT. They showed Kinect, announced a slim Xbox 360, and showed footage of Gears of War 3. By the end of the show Microsoft's stock was little changed, down about $0.20.

Nintendo Stock Price During E3 Press Conference

Nintendo E3 Stock Price
Click for Larger Image

Nintendo E3 press conference started the next day, Tuesday June 15th at 11:30am EDT. Nintendo showed off a string of Nintendo franchises, new Zelda gameplay, and the Nintendo 3DS. By the end of the day their stock price was up more than $2.00 or 6.4%. Investors most have been impressed with the 3DS.

Sony Stock Price During E3 Press Conference

Sony E3 Stock Price
Click for Larger Image

Sony's E3 press conference was later in the day on Tuesday, 3:30pm EDT on June 15th. Sony showed the new Move controller, announced Portal 2 on PS3, and showed Gran Turismo 5. By the end of stock trading (only one hour later) Sony's stock was up about $0.50 or 1.7%.

The above comparisons are only for the actual day of the conference. What did investors think by the end of the show?

Nintendo, Sony, & Microsoft Stock Prices During E3 Week

E3 2010 Stock Prices
Click for Larger Image

The above chart compares the stock price of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo during the entire week of E3 plus the Monday afterwards (June 14th to June 21st).

Nintendo's stock was up almost 20% during this time period while Sony and Microsoft's stock were almost the exact same. Microsoft was up about 2% and Sony was unchanged.

Investors were definitely hopefully about Nintendo after E3. Something they saw at the show convinced them that Nintendo would be making more money in the future.

NOTE: The E3 conference has a much bigger influence on Nintendo stock because Nintendo only sells games. The show covers the vast majority of Nintendo's sales. On the other hand the E3 conference will not have as big of an influence on Sony or Microsoft's earnings because they have other business that are much larger than games. Windows makes a lot more money for Microsoft than Xbox does. Likewise for TV's and electronics for Sony.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pac-Man Battle Royale Arcade Hands-On


This hidden little gem was found today, the last day of E3, and it's a mulitplayer arcade box called Pac-Man Battle Royale.

The general concepts are the same as the Pac-Man we all love but it has 4 players battling for pellets, ghosts, and fruit. The player who lives the longest without being killed by ghosts or other players turned giant wins the round. There are 5 rounds total.

The game is only arcade box currently, a proptype, that will arrive anywhere arcades boxes usually appear. There are currently no plans for XBLA, PSN, or WiiWare.

Nintendo 3DS Review & Game Impressions

We finally had a chance to get our hands on the Nintendo 3DS. The line wrapped all the way around the Nintendo booth and took about an hour and a half to get through. It was all worth it though. The 3DS pulls off great 3D effects without the need for glasses.

The 3DS section of Nintendo's booth is separate from the rest of the Nintendo games and you are only allowed 20 minutes to see/play about twenty five different games. Most of the games are only video demos that demonstrate the 3D effects but a few of the games actually allowed some actual gameplay.

One problem with reviewing 3DS games is pictures and videos will not show up in 3D. So you really need to play the games to fully appreciate the 3D effects. Hopefully Nintendo has tons of demo stations available before the new system launches.

Resident Evil

Resident Evil was just a video, but the game easily had the best visuals. An EA developer told us Nintendo brought Resident Evil around to other publishers prior to E3 as an example of type of graphics developers should be shooting for. The video didn't reveal much about the story or gameplay, it was just a teaser. Nobody at the booth was able to tell us if the game would play like the original Resident Evil's with a fixed camera in each room or more like Resident Evil 4 with an over the shoulder style camera.

Nintendogs + cats

Nintendogs + cats is very similar to the original Nintendogs games for the DS but in 3D and with cats. 3D really helped bring the dogs alive though. The dog would jump onto the screen and hand you a Frisbee. It really felt like they were giving you something.

Paper Mario

Paper Mario is a perfect game for 3D. Enemies shoot items at you during battles, or parts of them shoot off the screen after you stomp on them. The layered effect Paper Mario has used since its creation really come alive with the addition of 3D.

PilotWings Resort

Revisit Wuho island from Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit in a series of flying games. The game will be very similar to the N64 and SNES PilotWings games, but the 3D really makes it feel like you are flying. The plane feels like it is outside the screen and flying into it. Targets start coming out of the screen as you approach them.

Animal Crossing 3DS

The exact same game we have seen since the original Animal Crossing on Gamecube. The town is just 3D instead. If you've played one of these games already, you probably won't need to play the next one unless the game is entirely redesigned before launch.

Donkey Kong Country Returns Preview

Retro Studios, the makers of the Metroid Prime games, is recreating the Donkey Kong Country series on the Nintendo Wii and they are doing a great job.

The game keeps the same platforming charm that made the originals so fun. The mine cart levels, banana collecting, barrel shoooting, and difficulty are all there.

DKC Returns is very true to the original games in terms of gameplay but the graphics are upgraded and they look excellent. The colors are all crisp and bright.

Gamers who remember the originals will have a great sense of nostalgia when the play Donkey Kong Country Returns, but new gamers will enjoy the 2D platforming for the rewarding challenge.

Epic Mickey (Wii) Hands-On

Epic Mickey, what can I say? Well, a lot of things. We literally sat with two developers of this game for 45 minutes watching them play and playing ourselves. There's doubtful a question we didn't get answered, or ask and told they can't answer.

I was initially skeptical about this game when they first announced it a year ago. The concept art, seen above, was good but the gameplay could be be awful. Warren Specter (of System Shock and Deus Ex fame) is the man in charge of the game but he's hardly proven himself in the platforming adventure genre. He'd made some great games but still, I had my doubts.

Well now that I've played the game myself I have no more reservations. This game looks, plays, and sounds great. The game controls, lovingly enough, a lot like Super Mario Galaxy. The control stick on the nunchuck moves Mario, er I mean Mickey, the pointer aims the paint brush, B/Z launches paint and thinner respectively, a swipe of the Wiimote spin attacks, and A jumps around.

The game has a lot of thought put into each and every decision. There's a part where you need to give the shop keeper, a Goofy looking ghost character, three masks. You can either go through and find/jump your way to collect them all or you can find one and give it to him. After he takes it, he puts it behind the desk. You can sneak around the back, erase the shop wall with paint thinner, and steal the mask you just gave him and give it back to him. Here's the catch: if you do that for all 3 masks he'll be tricked because they all look the same and he doesn't know any better. If you do that once and then go grab a new one for the third he'll notice they are different and punish you.

The example above is a perfect example of the amount of thought that's gone into this game, and I loved every aspect we saw, right down to the 2D transition levels. There's even a constant effect where paint is falling upward off of Mickey's ears just like the concept art above. It really is a very nice touch to an all around superb looking game.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

NBA Jam Wii Hands-On

This will be a quick hands-on for one very simple reason, you've played this game before. When it comes to re-creations, NBA Jam (exclusively for Wii) is a great one. The game has the same great feel that the previous game did but with updated graphics, rosters, and modes.

The developer on hand in Nintendo's booth claims there are 100's of unlockables to obtain and every single one from the previous game should be available as well. I asked about Obama being a new unlockable, much like Clinton before, and he could not confirm. All he could do was inform me they are doing all they can to get every unlockable character we all feel are necessary. Obama in NBA Jam confirmed!!!! (I kid, I kid).

But in all seriousness, this game is fun. We played a great 2 on 2 match and immediately after finishing decided we're throwing a VGPC NBA Jame tourny in November when the game is supposed to be released.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nintendo 3DS Official Game List

Official Nintendo 3DS Game List

Animal Crossing - Nintendo
Kid Icarus: Uprising - Nintendo
Mario Kart - Nintendo
Nintendogs + cats - Nintendo
Paper Mario - Nintendo
PilotWings Resort - Nintendo
Star Fox 64 3D - Nintendo
Steel Driver - Nintendo
Crash-City GP - Rocket
VS-robo - Rocket
Sonic (name not final) - Sega
Super Monkey Ball (name not final) - Sega
Codename: Chocobo Racing 3D - Square Enix
Dragon Quest - Square Enix
Final Fantasy - Square Enix
Kingdom Hearts - Square Enix
Carnival Games - Take Two
Dead or Alive 3D - Tecmo Koei
Dynasty Warriors - Tecmo Koei
Ninja Gaiden - Tecmo Koei
Samurai Warriors 3D - Tecmo Koei
Lovely Lisa 3D - Tomy
Naruto Shippuden - Tomy
de Blob 2 - THQ
Kung Fu Panda Kaboom of Doom - THQ
Marvel Super Hero Squad Infinity Gauntlet - THQ
The Penguins of Madagascar - THQ
Puss N Boots - THQ
Saints Row: Drive-by - THQ
Assassin's Creed: Lost Leegacy - Ubisoft
Battle of Giants: Dinosaur Strike - Ubisoft
Driver Renegade - Ubisoft
Hollywood 61 - Ubisoft
Ghost Recon - Ubisoft
Splinter Cell Chaos Theory - Ubisoft
Batman - Warner Bros
Lego - Warner Bros
DJ Hero - Activision
Cubic Ninja - AQ Interactive
Etrian Odyssey - Atlus
Shin Megami Tensei - Atlus
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona - Atlus
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor - Atlus
Resident Evil Revelations - Capcom
Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition - Capcom
Madden - EA
The Sims 3 - EA
Asphalt GT - Gameloft
Music game - Harmonix
Bomberman - Hudson Soft
Deca Sports - Hudson Soft
Kororinpa - Hudson Soft
Baseball - Konami
Contra - Konami
Frogger - Konami
Metal Gear Solid 3 - Konami
Pro Evolution Soccer - Konami
Professor Layton: Mask of Miracle - Level 5
BloodRayne - Majesco
A Boy and His Blob - Majesco
Face Racers: Photo Finish - Majesco
Lion's Pride - Majesco
Martha Stewart - Majesco
WonderWorld Amusement Park - Majesco
Bokujyoumongatari 3D - Marvelouse Entertainment
Dragon Ball - Namco Bandai
Gundam - Namco Bandai
Pac-man and Galaga - Namco Bandai
Ridge Racer - Namco Bandai
Super Robot - Namco Bandai

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (Xbox 360 and PS3) Hands-On

Castlevania has always been a critically acclaimed series. No matter what system it's on (NES, SNES, PS1, PS2, etc.) the games are great. Now, let's just ignore the fact that any 3D version of the series was ever made. Seriously, let's forget it.

2D is where Castlevania is best, we can all agree to that. But with this new entry in the series, a 3D game could be just what the doctor ordered. First of all, Castlevania Lords of Shadow is gorgeous. Everything has a shine in the rain, the stone floor gathers puddles, and the enemies look hairy and ferocious. This game is a visual masterpiece.

Now, let's talk about the gameplay. It's just as good. Imagine a Dante's Inferno mixed with Zelda, mixed with God of War. The game is simple enough to pick up and play, with only two attack buttons, and it never seems to get stale. After a long sitting with hack'n'slash games I start getting bored. That's not the case with Castlevania.

Konami, with the help of Kojima Productions (Metal Gear Solid series), has crafted a well balanced game. At one point you're fighting against a werewolf in a small village, then you're riding a mythical horse while being attacked by Wargs. It does an excellent job of giving you a new gameplay style between all the hacking and slashing.

And to top it off, the cinematics are excellent. But what else would be expect from Kojima? After all, pretty much the entire 2nd half of Metal Gear 4 was a well crafted cutscene.

All in all, Castlevania Lords of Shadow has just moved very high on my list for the 2010 year, and that's a lot considering there are Nintendo 3DS launch games, Donkey Kong, Halo, Call of Duty, Metroid Other M and Little Big Planet 2 this year.

Golden Sun Dark Dawn E3 2010 Preview

At E3 2009 Nintendo announced a new Golden Sun game for the Nintendo DS. Nintendo never mentioned it again until this morning when they showed new gameplay videos at their press conference and said the game would be coming out in late 2010.

Gameplay wise, Golden Sun Dark Dawn is almost identical to the first two Golden Sun games on Gameboy Advance. Battles are all turned based. Dungeons require some puzzle solving to make it through. And the familiar Djinn's make a return too.

Unfortunately Nintendo confirmed Dark Dawn will not integrate with the Golden Sun Gameboy Advance games in anyway. You won't be able to import your Djinn or other items like you could when you started playing Golden Sun Lost Age. You will need to catch all the Djinn again to create the most powerful attacks.

Battles are little changed from the original's battles. You can use the typical RPG options like "attack", "defend", and "items". But you can also use Djinn to attack the enemies. Each Djinn offers a special bonus like "May cause sleep" or "may cause paraslysis", etc. After you've used a Djinn in battle you get the option to combine Djinn into a super-powerful Psynergy attack.

The graphics in Golden Sun Dark Dawn are improved from the Gameboy Advance, but are not the best graphics I've seen on the Nintendo DS. The summons from joining Djinn look really good, but in the dungeons the main characters seem a bit rough around the edges. Nintendo has almost six months until the game releases so hopefully they can clean up the graphics a bit more.

The Grinder Review (Xbox 360 and PS3)

When it comes to Nintendo Wii shooters, there are only a handful of games that warrant your money. So when High Voltage Software released a trailer for The Grinder, found at the bottom, the Nintendo fan world went nuts.

Fast forward to today, The Grinder is now being developed for the Xbox 360 and the PS3, but as a game like Gauntlet with guns. We got our greasy little mitts on the game and we can tell you, despite our disappointment that the Wii FPS version of the game has been put on quasi-hold, we are quite excited for The Grinder on Xbox 360 and PS3.

The game is best played with friends, either on the same console or online (a feature they promised), due to it's co-op nature. This particular demo was heavy on the guns and blood (what good zombie/vampire/werewolf/Frankenstein game isn't?) and it was a serious blast. Pun sadly intended.

The demo allowed all four players, two brute men and two sexy ladies, to cycle through all the currently available weapons at will. There were plenty of blaster guns, flame throwers, grenades, and rockets. Not to mention a baby doll grenade that attracted all vampires (we told you this game was awesome) that made us laugh. Each character also has a melee weapon(s) that allowed for some devastating close combat.

So rest assured, we here at VGPC are quite excited for both the mysteriously missing Wii version and the playable Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. And after talking to the High Voltage guys for almost an hour, we can attest to their commitment. The only issue, we have to wait until October...2011.

Playstation 3 Eyes-On 3D Games

3D is certainly the go-to catch phrase in the video game industry these days. Avatar, (the highest grossing movie ever) was released, Nintendo just announced a Nintendo 3DS, and Sony announced that pretty much every first party game coming out this year would be 3D enabled.

We all know how these games play, as they are all pretty much sequels, so we'll skip the gameplay. The real question is, how do these games look?

I played two of the 3D enabled PS3 games on the show floor today and I can say they are currently shooting 50/50. When I played Motorstorm: Apocalypse, I tried it on 2 occasions, it seemed almost too hectic. I'd like to think I can handle a fast paced game and properly follow the action, but this was just a little too much.

Motorstorm, as a game, just had too much going on in the environments for my head to comprehend what was going on. I literally started feeling a little woozy after only 2 races.

Killzone on the other hand was a beautiful game in 3D. Motorstorm is a fine looking game too, but Killzone really made the 3D effects come to life. I think the game was far less crowded and far more polished. So at least Killzone gives me hope for a positive future for Motorstorm, and other PS3D games.

So all in all, 3D can work on the PS3, and it can work really well. The key is that it has to be done right. If you have the funds to afford a 3D capable TV, 3D glasses, a PS3, and any of the games that allow it that is.

Have any questions, fire 'em off in the comments.

Conduit 2 Wii Review | E3 2010

The Conduit 2 is very similar to the original Conduit for Wii, but with more polish, more levels, more weapons, and more variation. Everything you would expect from a sequel.

Conduit 2 is a first person shooter for the Wii. The story takes place right after the first Conduit ends with Agent Smith trying to destroy a bunch of aliens who have been controlling earth for years.

Conduit 2 Location

The only location shown in the demo was an oil derrick in the middle of the ocean. High Voltage, the developers, wouldn't say what other locations will appear in the game but promise a level from every continent.

Each location can be completed in different ways too. Instead of a straight forward linear way to get through each level, there are sections where the level branches. You can choose which way to go so the game will have more replay value.

Conduit 2 Enemies

One major improvement in Conduit 2 is the AI and variety of enemies. Every human in Conduit 1 behaved pretty much the exact same and didn't react to what you did. But in Conduit 2 the enemies will use objects as cover, will attack you differently based upon what weapons they have, and will pursue you in more strategic ways.

Conduit 2 Multiplayer

Conduit 2 Screenshot
The mulitplayer in Conduit 2 will have more maps and better online support. All the original multiplayer maps will be in the sequel plus about ten new levels. Conduit 2 is one of the first games to use the newly announced Headbanger Headset. So it will be much easier to communication in team based game modes.

Conduit 2 Overall

If you liked the original Conduit, you will definitely enjoy the sequel. The game does not match 360 or PS3 first person shooters in terms of features or graphics, but it promises to be one of the best FPS games on the Wii.

E3 Starts Today | E3 2010

We successfully made it to E3 and are waiting for the doors to officially open at 12pm PST.

We will have small updates through-out the day with brief impressions and pictures. At night, when the doors close, we will post more in-depth articles and reviews of the games we see and play.

Tonight should include reviews of:

Nintendo 3DS
Kid Icarus on 3DS
New Zelda
Metroid: Other M
The Grinder from High Voltage
Sega Games
.... and more

Check back this evening to read the latest.

Also, like last year I will be giving away some of our gaming swag (posters, shirts, magazines, etc). We'll let you know what we get and eventually how you can get it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Microsoft's Project Natal Now Officially Named "Kinect"

USA Today let slip yesterday the new name for the Xbox 360 motion camera. It will be called Kinect and official images have been revealed.

Here is a list of games mentioned by the USA Today article:

Kinectimals lets you train and play with 20 different virtual cats, including a lion, cheetah and tiger.

Joyride, a racing game, lets players use their hands to hold an imaginary steering wheel — pull your hands toward you and push back out for an acceleration boost — and their bodies to execute jumps and tricks.

Kinect Sports has six activities including boxing, bowling, beach volleyball, track and field, soccer and table tennis. To serve a volleyball, you mimic the real motion; in soccer, you can kick the ball or do a header.

Kinect Adventures includes a river-raft time trial and obstacle course, playable by up to four players. On the raft, playing as a duo, you and a partner must lean one way or another to steer. Jumping helps the raft reach special areas for extra points.

Dance Central, in development by MTV Games, incorporates immersive, full-body dancing without the need for a controller.

Star Wars characters and iconic Disney favorites will be featured in separate new games being developed at Microsoft in conjunction with LucasArts and Disney.

There are also rumors that a new Xbox 360 Slim will make an appearance today at the E3 Microsoft E3 Conference. An Italian ad was supposedly leaked, thanks Console Tribe, and you can see it below.

This new SKU is rumored to have a Kinect camera, a 250GB HDD, built-in WiFi, and compatibility with "Kinect."

Friday, June 11, 2010

Activision E3 Lineup

Activision will have lots of games on display at E3 2010.

  • Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • New DJ Hero
  • Guitar Hero Warriors Of Rock
  • Blur
  • Transformers: War For Cybertron

There will probably be some Tony Hawk game on display as well (now rumored to include snowboarding). Any big Blizzard annoucements will probably be saved for BlizzCon instead of E3, so those will have to wait.

Capcom E3 2010 Game Lineup

Capcom announced their E3 2010 lineup and claims to have a few extra surprises instore too:

-Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
-Bionic Commando Rearmed 2
-Sengoku BASARA: Samurai Heroes
-Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
-Dead Rising 2
-Dead Rising 2: Case Zero
-MotoGP 09/10

Marvel vs Capcom at last year's show was fun to demo because there was always a line of people playing and watching. Just like at arcades, the winner stayed and played the next challenger until they lost.

I'm surprised to see another Bionic Commando from Capcom. The first one on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 didn't sell very well initially. Hopefully the second game is better received.

Square-Enix E3 2010 Game Lineup

Square-Enix's line-up at E3 2010 has the usual Final Fantasy games, a few sequels to other series like Front Mission and Kingdom Hearts, plus a few new IP's like 3rd Birthday and Tales of Bearsworth Manor. The full E3 lineup is below:

-The Tales of Bearsworth Manor: Puzzling Pages
-Front Mission Evolved
-Dungeon Siege 3
-Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
-The Tales of Bearsworth Manor: Chaotic Conflicts
-Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light (NDS)
-Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days
-Deus Ex: Human Revolution
-Final Fantasy XIV
-The 3rd Birthday (PSP)
-KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep (PSP)

The list looks really good, but I'm a bit disappointed Dragon Quest IX isn't on the list. The game comes out in a little more than a month and I was looking forward to a test drive before I buy it in July. I'm sure there will be enough at Square's booth to keep me interested though.

Natsume E3 2010 Game Lineup

Natsume is really supporting the Nintendo DS at E3 2010. Their lineup at this year's show is only DS games:

-Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar (DS)
-Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals (DS)
-Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon (DS)
-Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove (DS)

They will also be showing some download only games for Wii and iPhone.

- Wild Guns (Virtual Console) / Released May 31st, 2010
- Shadow of the Ninja (Virtual Console) / Q2 2010
- Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove: Spooktacular Edition (WiiWare) / Q4 2010
- Reel Fishing Challenge 2 (WiiWare) / Released June 7th, 2010
- Reel Fishing (iPhone) / Q3 2010
- Cheer We Go (iPhone) / Q3 2010

I'm looking forward to the remake of Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals. I still haven't played the SNES version and the DS one will give me a good excuse to pick it up.

Atlus E3 2010 Game Lineup

Atlus E3 2010 Lineup
Atlus announced their E3 2010 lineup and you better go pre-order them today, they might already be sold out.

-Trine 2 (Developed by: Frozenbyte)
-Rock of Ages (Developed by: Ace Team)
-Etrain Odyssey III: The Drowned City
-Knights in the Nightmare

I love Atlus games, but they are hard to appreciate at a show like E3. They are usually RPG's and RPG's are hard to just pick-up and play and know if it is going to be good. The battle systems take a while to fully grasp and appreciate the nuances, the story is impossible to appreciate in ten minutes, and the strategy involved in team building is really hard to notice on the show floor.

Hopefully we will be able to give some decent impressions after we try these games out in a few days.

EA E3 2010 Game Lineup

EA is going to bring their usual sports games, Sims games, and Harry Potter games to E3 2010. They're also going to have Dead Space 2, Crysis 2, and Bulletstorm. The complete list of games Electronic Arts is bringing to E3 is below:

-Crysis 2
-Dead Space 2
-Medal of Honour
-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
-RISK: Factions
-The Sims 3 for console and handheld
-The Sims 3 Ambitions
-Spare Parts
-EA Sports Active 2
-EA Sports MMA
-FIFA Soccer 11
-Hasbro Family Game Night 3
-Madden 11
-Monopoly Streets
-MySims SkyHeroes
-NBA Elite 11
-NBA Jam
-NCAA Football 11
-NHL 11
-NHL Slapshot
-Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11

EA's booth is never my favorite at E3 because I know what to expect from the next Madden, FIFA, NCAA, and Tiger Woods. I am excited to see NBA Jam though because I still play the SNES version of that game ("He's on fire") and I hope the recreation is just as fun.

Crysis 2 will be great to see if EA can get more boxes to explode on screen at one time.

Ubisoft E3 2010 Game Lineup

Ubisoft has announced the games they will show at E3 2010.

-Shaun White Skateboarding
-Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
-Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
-Unannounced Titles

I'm hoping one of the unannounced titles is Beyond Good and Evil 2, which Ubisoft teased nearly 2 years ago. There will probably be a Just Dance sequel as well because the first one sold really well for Ubisoft.

Ubisofts's press conference announcing these "unannounced" games will be Monday June 14th at 5pm.

Monday, June 7, 2010

New Look to VideoGamePriceCharts

As you might be able to tell, we've changed the appearance of We made lots of cosmetic changes but also made the site easier to use.

Find Systems by Company

The systems are listed in the top menu and are sorted by company; Nintendo, Sega, Atari, Playstation, and other.
New Menu Design
To choose the system you want hover over the company, then choose the system from the drop-down menu. The systems are sorted by release date for the most part.
Drop Down Menu Design
Moving the menu to the top also frees up more horizontal space on the site so we can add more content to each page.

Bigger Search Box In a New Location

The search box is much bigger now so you have more room to type. We moved the search box to the top of the page so it fits general website layout standards.
Search Box Location

Simplified Home Page

The home page has been simplified to make it easier to find the information you're looking for and explain VideoGamePriceCharts better for new visitors. There are fewer images and less clutter filling up the page.

More Space In Blog

Moving the menu to the top gives the blog more space too so the articles and blog navigation aren't crammed together as much.

Let us know what you think about the new design.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Stadium Events Mania of 2010

2010 will go down in video game history as the year of the "Stadium Events Mania". Prices spiked for both versions of Stadium Events only to plunge back down a few months later. What caused these wild price swings? What can collector's learn from the Stadium Events Mania?

What is Stadium Events

Stadium Events is a video game made for the original Nintendo NES. It was released in the USA and Europe in the late 1980's by the publisher Bandai. The US rights to the game were purchased by Nintendo so they could release the game World Class Track Meet. Bandai recalled Stadium Events but before they could stop the sale, a couple hundred games were sold to customers. Because of the recall, Stadium Events in the USA (NTSC version) are very rare with only about 200 copies believed to exist.

The European version (PAL) is much more common because Nintendo never recalled the game after it was produced. Stores were allowed to sell copies they had on the shelves. The exact number of copies isn't known but there are probably several thousand.

The rarity of the two games are very different but they look almost the exact same. There are only a few differences between the two games (see our Stadium Events version guide), which helped contribute to the mania as we will explain below.

History of Stadium Events in 2010

On February 10th, 2010 a person listed a Nintendo and five games on ebay. One of the games was a complete version of NTSC Stadium Events. The auction ended at $13,105 and was widely reported on mainstream news sites as a $13,105 Nintendo system.

People who were not game collectors started to hear about Stadium Events BUT none of the major articles mentioned the difference between PAL and NTSC versions.

Within days people started listing PAL and NTSC Stadium Events games for sale on ebay. Prices for the NTSC version went from an average of $1,025 in January 2010 to $6,400 in February, a 500% increase. The PAL version also increased nearly 500% from $179 to $1,070.
Stadium Events Price Chart
PAL Stadium Events Price Chart

Buyers Learn Difference Between PAL and NTSC

All the publicity for Stadium Events surrounded the NTSC version, but the PAL version increased in value just as much. In fact between February 11th and February 20th, prices of both versions were almost exactly the same. The average PAL game sold for $1,900 during this time while NTSC games sold for $1,600. The average PAL game was a bit more expensive because there were more complete sets instead of cartridge only auctions.

Buyers were paying the exact same amount for the games because many new game buyers didn't know there were two versions.

By February 21st though bidders started to know the difference. Prices on PAL versions started to plummet going to $700 then $450 and all the way to $350 by the end of the month.

Record Breaking Stadium Events Auction

On February 26th a sealed NTSC Stadium Events sold for $41,300. This was the highest price ever paid for a video game (The seller has never verified that payment was received though). This brought even more press coverage and kept NTSC Stadium Events prices near record levels during March.

One seller bought a Stadium Events auction specifically to resell it a few days later in hopes of making more money. "This game might look familiar, because it is. I bought it just a few days ago" he said in the auction. With lots of hype in the auction description about making tons of money on the game if you buy now. This is a classic sign of a mania as Charles Mackay described in Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds. People start speculating in hopes they can sell it for more to the next speculator.

Stadium Events Mania Collapses

By April 2010 prices on NTSC Stadium Events dropped to an average of $2,500 and have continued to drop to an average of $1,800 in June. This is 72% drop in price within three months.

The PAL version has decreased to $380 in June. The most recent sale was just under $160, an 85% decrease from the high price. Both games are approaching their pre-mania prices.

What Collector's Can Learn From the Mania

Don't get caught up in the hype surrounding high profile auctions. Most buyers are only interested in the games for a month or two and then their interest dies down. Sit on the sidelines and wait for prices to come back to more reasonable levels.

This is definitely one of those classic "easier said then done" statements, but it will save you lots of money as a collector.



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