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(Funny) Gamers will buy anything

Qoyote

Well-Known Member
TLDR; Your bank account is a temple and you shouldn't desecrate it with games like this one

I've been getting back into Pokemon (first love with a Pokemon fanatic'll do that to you) and people keep complaining about the games the last few years. In Dexit/Dexgate (it's really called that lmao), they took out the National Dex so you can't "catch em all" anymore. There's also bad animations or something (idk why they moved to 3D anyway like did anyone really care or did they just know they were supposed to care because better graphics good).

That all sucks, I get it. I hate that any big enough market trends towards "just barely good enough you don't leave our product" rather than real quality. I also think it's hilarious that Nintendo feels threatened by fangames better than theirs :tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy:. But I've been a Dance Dance Revolution fan since I was 6. I know how Konami of all companies treats its side games. And Pokemon fans, you ain't seen nothing yet.

The Evolution of Dance
DDR was that dorky dancing game with the four arrows from 15-20 years ago. If you saw it you'd remember it. If you're younger than that think Friday Night Funkin but with your feet and it doesn't make you want to claw your eyes and ears out.

DDR used to have console games in the 2000's. That's how I got into it. But then the bottom fell out of the home rhythm game market around 2010 and the releases stopped. This wasn't a huge problem though, because of a program called Stepmania. It's a free program that emulates DDR. You still need to buy a pad, otherwise you're just playing with your fingers... which is a big thing people do but anyway. You can download any song for free*. It's technically not a perfect emulation, the timing (extremely important in a rhythm game) isn't EXACTLY the same, but you won't notice unless you're really good.

If you don't want Stepmania, you can find most of the old console games (at least the PS2 ones) for $~10 or even less on Amazon. Don't click the "refurbished" version, keep scrolling and go to used (I've bought four used ones and they were all fine). These include 80 songs, including many classics long gone from the arcade, and all kinds of special features like mission modes and workout modes. Remember that price point.

Another important thing is songs only last 1:30-2:00, not three or four minutes like you might think. So "three songs" is like seven minutes including the time to pick the next song.

Konami released a PC game last year, Grand Prix, and that's what we're here about today. But that's not the first time we saw this game, oh no. When COVID hit they panicked and released the free alpha over a year early... if you can call it that.

*Konami's known about Stepmania for at least 15 years. Unlike some emulators Stepmania doesn't try to hide and people talk about it openly everywhere. The biggest DDR forum keeps a library of songs you can get to from the front page. If any massive company thought it was hurting them they could shut them down instantly, but they never have.

Big Rigs: Over the Club Dancing
Dance Dance Revolution V (which stands for Vic, which I guess stands for Victory, so why doesn't it just stand for Victory) was a disaster. Some people defended it because it was a free alpha, of course it was unfinished, but it wasn't just "unfinished", it was almost unplayable.

Your life started at 0% and you couldn't die. The two notes in a jump (hitting up and down at the same time, for example) were graded separately. The announcer talked every 20 steps so he talked over himself if the song was too fast, you could get the 99% grade with only 90% score, and oh yeah, the hit windows were at least four times as wide as they should be so you could be completely off-rhythm and still get a perfect score. Except they weren't ALWAYS four times as wide because it depended on the song speed!

And sure, it was all free, but Stepmania had been free for 19 years and that's what gets me. Did Konami think we'd just forget about it? Seriously, why would you put this out in a world where everyone knows Stepmania? It's like if Elon Musk made a three-wheeled car that could do 20 and said he invented the gas-powered car. (his biggest fans might believe him but still :p)

Guess that's why it doesn't stand for Victory, the concept of victory's incompatible with this game.

"So, the point emerges"
Fast forward to last August and the game comes out for real. Grand Prix. All the bugs are fixed, and best of all it has arcade-accurate timing so you know getting a score here is the same as getting one at the arcade. Convenient for people like me who live hundreds of miles from a modern version. So what's wrong with that? The price.

See, DDR players love the smell of burning money. I sort of knew that because they always tell you to buy a metal pad, which often cost $500 or even more, like it's no big deal (I don't have one). But this...

So you have two options*. First, you can pay $1.10 to play three songs (remember, three songs = ~7 mins) or until you die. It's limited; some useful modifiers are locked, you can't earn the extra song you can in the arcade, you can't unlock songs (almost half the songs in modern versions are unlocks) and you can't save your scores (the main reason to play this over Stepmania, though obviously you can still write them down, they just won't be verifiable to other players... in a community where most of what you do is score-posting).

If you don't want that, you can pay about $200 a year ($16 a month), a reasonable amount to spend on a single video game you can (mostly) emulate for free (remember triple-A blockbuster games cost $60-70 each so you're buying 3 major games a year to play one game). That lets you play without paying every three songs... but you can only play songs at least 15 years old! If you want the other 70% of the game, including almost all the songs that'd challenge the veterans who'd pay that much, you still have to pay $1.10 every three songs. You don't have those limitations from before, but still! At this point a sane person would realize they're paying $200 a year for the same subscription that costs $40 a year at the arcade (and there's a good chance they have BOTH subscriptions). But again, smell of burning money.

Real quick, you don't pay the $1.10 directly, you pay it for 5 tickets, which you use to play three songs. Why 5 for three songs and not 1? Because you need to pay SIX tickets to get the chance to earn an extra song and the chance to earn some of the unlocks. You can keep playing if you die, which might be worth it, but it's funny that you can pay $200 per year and $1.10 per game and still not get everything unless you pay even more. You can buy tickets in bulk to get better deals, but they aren't very good. Buy 200 tickets, you get 35 free. Buy only 25 tickets though, you get ONE free.

And actually you don't get everything even then; multi-song courses are only a minor feature in the arcade, but they're still there and not here. They're also on those old $10 console games and those let you make your own. You also couldn't do two player or the two-pad Doubles mode for a few months, though now you can.

It's also worth noting this program is way less efficient than Stepmania. It requires four times the processing speed and eight times the RAM (2.8GHz and 8 GB RAM isn't THAT much, but it won't run great on any cheapo laptop like Stepmania will). It takes up 40 gigabytes of space, while my Stepmania install, which has every song in Grand Prix and hundreds that aren't, is a third the size. And Stepmania supports Mac and Linux, while Grand Prix only supports Windows 10 and up.

*Technically three; you can play the new songs (36 out of ~1000), none of which are especially popular with fans, on the easiest difficulty for free.

The Slap Heard Round The World
But yea, the beneficent Konami saved us. Now you can pay for song packs you can play without buying tickets (you still need the subscription but forget that for a sec :D). There are 20 songs in these packs, except the two that have 18 because they each count three different cuts of the same song as different songs. And you can buy these for... drumroll please... $40 each! Goodnight everybody!

The Shocking Conclusion
We all know how dramatic gamers are, so they hate this game, right? No! People were negative at launch but now they talk about playing it like it's no big deal. They'll whine and moan about every new steps that come down the pipeline (admittedly some of them are pretty bad, you don't wanna know what they did to Megalovania), but they're paying hundreds with the other hand.

Despite all logic, despite all common sense, Grand Prix is a success.
 
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Misery

Photo-Negative
V.I.P Member
You think that's bad? (it is, hah)

Have you seen anything about Diablo Immortal recently? Makes Konami look like a freaking group of actual saints. Heck it makes EA look like one too. It's THAT bad. No... it's worse. I've been into gaming for nearly 40 years now. I've NEVER seen anything as bad as that.

And people are gobbling it up, the poor fools.

Well, not everyone. More traditional gamers... the sort that play console or PC games... aint falling for it so much. Most of them facepalmed so hard it blew out a wall. But those primarily used to mobile games? Oh yeah. Eating it up and defending it and they'll die on that darned hill if they have to (and then Blizzard will loot the corpse).

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm so, so, SO glad for the indie side of the industry.
 

Alaric593

Well-Known Member
TLDR; Your bank account is a temple and you shouldn't desecrate it with games like this one

I've been getting back into Pokemon (first love with a Pokemon fanatic'll do that to you) and people keep complaining about the games the last few years. In Dexit/Dexgate (it's really called that lmao), they took out the National Dex so you can't "catch em all" anymore. There's also bad animations or something (idk why they moved to 3D anyway like did anyone really care or did they just know they were supposed to care because better graphics good).

That all sucks, I get it. I hate that any big enough market trends towards "just barely good enough you don't leave our product" rather than real quality. I also think it's hilarious that Nintendo feels threatened by fangames better than theirs :tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy:. But I've been a Dance Dance Revolution fan since I was 6. I know how Konami of all companies treats its side games. And Pokemon fans, you ain't seen nothing yet.

The Evolution of Dance
DDR was that dorky dancing game with the four arrows from 15-20 years ago. If you saw it you'd remember it. If you're younger than that think Friday Night Funkin but with your feet and it doesn't make you want to claw your eyes and ears out.

DDR used to have console games in the 2000's. That's how I got into it. But then the bottom fell out of the home rhythm game market around 2010 and the releases stopped. This wasn't a huge problem though, because of a program called Stepmania. It's a free program that emulates DDR. You still need to buy a pad, otherwise you're just playing with your fingers... which is a big thing people do but anyway. You can download any song for free*. It's technically not a perfect emulation, the timing (extremely important in a rhythm game) isn't EXACTLY the same, but you won't notice unless you're really good.

If you don't want Stepmania, you can find most of the old console games (at least the PS2 ones) for $~10 or even less on Amazon. Don't click the "refurbished" version, keep scrolling and go to used (I've bought four used ones and they were all fine). These include 80 songs, including many classics long gone from the arcade, and all kinds of special features like mission modes and workout modes. Remember that price point.

Another important thing is songs only last 1:30-2:00, not three or four minutes like you might think. So "three songs" is like seven minutes including the time to pick the next song.

Konami released a PC game last year, Grand Prix, and that's what we're here about today. But that's not the first time we saw this game, oh no. When COVID hit they panicked and released the free alpha over a year early... if you can call it that.

*Konami's known about Stepmania for at least 15 years. Unlike some emulators Stepmania doesn't try to hide and people talk about it openly everywhere. The biggest DDR forum keeps a library of songs you can get to from the front page. If any massive company thought it was hurting them they could shut them down instantly, but they never have.

Big Rigs: Over the Club Dancing
Dance Dance Revolution V (which stands for Vic, which I guess stands for Victory, so why doesn't it just stand for Victory) was a disaster. Some people defended it because it was a free alpha, of course it was unfinished, but it wasn't just "unfinished", it was almost unplayable.

Your life started at 0% and you couldn't die. The two notes in a jump (hitting up and down at the same time, for example) were graded separately. The announcer talked every 20 steps so he talked over himself if the song was too fast, you could get the 99% grade with only 90% score, and oh yeah, the hit windows were at least four times as wide as they should be so you could be completely off-rhythm and still get a perfect score. Except they weren't ALWAYS four times as wide because it depended on the song speed!

And sure, it was all free, but Stepmania had been free for 19 years and that's what gets me. Did Konami think we'd just forget about it? Seriously, why would you put this out in a world where everyone knows Stepmania? It's like if Elon Musk made a three-wheeled car that could do 20 and said he invented the gas-powered car. (his biggest fans might believe him but still :p)

Guess that's why it doesn't stand for Victory, the concept of victory's incompatible with this game.

"So, the point emerges"
Fast forward to last August and the game comes out for real. Grand Prix. All the bugs are fixed, and best of all it has arcade-accurate timing so you know getting a score here is the same as getting one at the arcade. Convenient for people like me who live hundreds of miles from a modern version. So what's wrong with that? The price.

See, DDR players love the smell of burning money. I sort of knew that because they always tell you to buy a metal pad, which often cost $500 or even more, like it's no big deal (I don't have one). But this...

So you have two options*. First, you can pay $1.10 to play three songs (remember, three songs = ~7 mins) or until you die. It's limited; some useful modifiers are locked, you can't earn the extra song you can in the arcade, you can't unlock songs (almost half the songs in modern versions are unlocks) and you can't save your scores (the main reason to play this over Stepmania, though obviously you can still write them down, they just won't be verifiable to other players... in a community where most of what you do is score-posting).

If you don't want that, you can pay about $200 a year ($16 a month), a reasonable amount to spend on a single video game you can (mostly) emulate for free (remember triple-A blockbuster games cost $60-70 each so you're buying 3 major games a year to play one game). That lets you play without paying every three songs... but you can only play songs at least 15 years old! If you want the other 70% of the game, including almost all the songs that'd challenge the veterans who'd pay that much, you still have to pay $1.10 every three songs. You don't have those limitations from before, but still! At this point a sane person would realize they're paying $200 a year for the same subscription that costs $40 a year at the arcade (and there's a good chance they have BOTH subscriptions). But again, smell of burning money.

Real quick, you don't pay the $1.10 directly, you pay it for 5 tickets, which you use to play three songs. Why 5 for three songs and not 1? Because you need to pay SIX tickets to get the chance to earn an extra song and the chance to earn some of the unlocks. You can keep playing if you die, which might be worth it, but it's funny that you can pay $200 per year and $1.10 per game and still not get everything unless you pay even more. You can buy tickets in bulk to get better deals, but they aren't very good. Buy 200 tickets, you get 35 free. Buy only 25 tickets though, you get ONE free.

And actually you don't get everything even then; multi-song courses are only a minor feature in the arcade, but they're still there and not here. They're also on those old $10 console games and those let you make your own. You also couldn't do two player or the two-pad Doubles mode for a few months, though now you can.

It's also worth noting this program is way less efficient than Stepmania. It requires four times the processing speed and eight times the RAM (2.8GHz and 8 GB RAM isn't THAT much, but it won't run great on any cheapo laptop like Stepmania will). It takes up 40 gigabytes of space, while my Stepmania install, which has every song in Grand Prix and hundreds that aren't, is a third the size. And Stepmania supports Mac and Linux, while Grand Prix only supports Windows 10 and up.

*Technically three; you can play the new songs (36 out of ~1000), none of which are especially popular with fans, on the easiest difficulty for free.

The Slap Heard Round The World
But yea, the beneficent Konami saved us. Now you can pay for song packs you can play without buying tickets (you still need the subscription but forget that for a sec :D). There are 20 songs in these packs, except the two that have 18 because they each count three different cuts of the same song as different songs. And you can buy these for... drumroll please... $40 each! Goodnight everybody!

The Shocking Conclusion
We all know how dramatic gamers are, so they hate this game, right? No! People were negative at launch but now they talk about playing it like it's no big deal. They'll whine and moan about every new steps that come down the pipeline (admittedly some of them are pretty bad, you don't wanna know what they did to Megalovania), but they're paying hundreds with the other hand.

Despite all logic, despite all common sense, Grand Prix is a success.

Off topic but that personality map you have showing. Where can I find that?
 

Qoyote

Well-Known Member
Off topic but that personality map you have showing. Where can I find that?

Aspie Quiz

You think that's bad? (it is, hah)

Have you seen anything about Diablo Immortal recently? Makes Konami look like a freaking group of actual saints. Heck it makes EA look like one too. It's THAT bad. No... it's worse. I've been into gaming for nearly 40 years now. I've NEVER seen anything as bad as that.

And people are gobbling it up, the poor fools.

Well, not everyone. More traditional gamers... the sort that play console or PC games... aint falling for it so much. Most of them facepalmed so hard it blew out a wall. But those primarily used to mobile games? Oh yeah. Eating it up and defending it and they'll die on that darned hill if they have to (and then Blizzard will loot the corpse).

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm so, so, SO glad for the indie side of the industry.

Just saw the metacritic, critic score 6 out of 10, userscore ZERO POINT THREE OUT OF TEN. Might as well stamp "bribed" or "coerced" on the critic score in red ink.

Seriously holy **** I thought it couldn't go lower than GTA Definitive and this is a third of that! If they used star ratings how would they even display it? It's less than one point on a star!

So glad I don't play many games so I don't have to worry about companies like Blizzard buying my favorite game.

But at least with that game tons of people are dumping on it. No one's dumping on Grand Prix and that's what really gets me.
 
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Misery

Photo-Negative
V.I.P Member
Just saw the metacritic, critic score 6 out of 10, userscore ZERO POINT THREE OUT OF TEN. Might as well stamp "bribed" or "coerced" on the critic score in red ink.

Yeah, that's the dumbest part. The critic score VS the user score. A lot of people in recent times dont trust actual critic sites AT ALL to begin with, and I think what's left of their reputation just took another nose dive after Immortal (though not in as humorous a fashion as the time the Cuphead thing happened).

I mean the game is so horribly predatory that it costs upwards of $100,000 (not a typo) to get a fully upgraded character. One character, not many. Just one. And that's IF you ignore a recently discovered hidden "mechanic" meant for the mega-whales which pushes it up towards $500,000. Yes, really.

For one character. In a mobile game. A non-existent digital guy in equally nonexistent armor on your bloody phone. Note that the game will still pester you about your OTHER character slots. And no, nothing transfers. Nothing at all. And believe me, it gets worse from there.

Whole saga is hilarious, really. The best part is the recent "mass exodus" where suddenly even Blizzard's staunchest supporters dont want to stream or produce content for the game anymore, and their long time tester group (unpaid, of course) entirely dumped them.

The even stupider part is that while the game IS making money, Diablo 3 made way, way, WAY more in it's first couple of weeks (correction after looking it up: It made very, very drastically more ON DAY ONE than Immortal has made since release, that's even funnier) and it's just a "buy game, get entire game" sort of deal. Yeah it had the auction house issue but that was dumped almost immediately and didnt actually hurt the experience (yeah, I was there for release, I actually have the standee from the Gamestop that I won from a contest I didnt realize I'd entered)

All they had to do was make a good game and sell that good game. And they'd probably have profited far more (heck, D3 is STILL going strong even all these years later). That's absolutely hilarious to me. Seriously I cant get enough of following it. Every day it somehow gets more entertaining.


As for Grand Prix, well... honestly I think most people dont actually take Konami very seriously anymore. They're practically a joke of a company at this point. They barely even release things now. That might be why there's less focus on the problems with it. DI is getting a lot of attention not just because of how bad it is but also because of how utterly entrenched Blizzard is in the mind of PC gamers. Everyone takes them TOO seriously.

That's the impression I get from it anyway.
 

Qoyote

Well-Known Member
I didn't expect non-players to care about Grand Prix, DDR just has a really dedicated fandom and none of them make fun of it. It's also funny seeing Pokemon fans so tilted when stuff like Diablo Immortal's happening.

I can't even process that Immortal stuff though. Like I wouldn't even come up with that as a joke, it'd be too out there.

I looked up the game and saw this:

The P2W factor doesn't seem awful in this game (yet). I'm fine with a game having some level of P2W built into it, companies need to make money or the game won't thrive... Companies are always going to create an avenue for people that want to spend money to spend that money. As long as they balance that the game will be fine.

Why is it so hard for some people to bash companies that clearly don't care about them? At least if it was "I won't play this game but if they wanna throw their money away they can" I'd sort of get it, but going out of their way to do free PR for, again, people who don't care about them? Is it a self-respect problem?
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Is it a self-respect problem?

Probably something more indicative of addictive behavior. Enabled by those whose intent is solely to capitalize on it for corporate profit and shareholders equity.

Having worked on the inside of a software gaming publisher/developer some 20 years ago, I can tell you that pandering to their shareholders leaves very little left for those who actually pay good money for their product. That gamers in general are treated with all the respect that a drug cartel would afford to their retail customers. Many years ago I used to loved computer gaming. But being on the inside soured me on it all. :oops:
 
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Misery

Photo-Negative
V.I.P Member
I didn't expect non-players to care about Grand Prix, DDR just has a really dedicated fandom and none of them make fun of it. It's also funny seeing Pokemon fans so tilted when stuff like Diablo Immortal's happening.

I can't even process that Immortal stuff though. Like I wouldn't even come up with that as a joke, it'd be too out there.

I looked up the game and saw this:



Why is it so hard for some people to bash companies that clearly don't care about them? At least if it was "I won't play this game but if they wanna throw their money away they can" I'd sort of get it, but going out of their way to do free PR for, again, people who don't care about them? Is it a self-respect problem?

There's a couple of reasons why people wont bash (and will even defend) a company like Blizzard, and why this whole thing works in the way that Immortal manages it.

1. Rose tinted goggles, and the emotional pull. This is THE thing that Blizzard was banking on with this game and many of us knew it. See, this wouldnt have worked with anything else. If it was the same game but Overwatch themed? No. It'd be dead on arrival (comparatively). Overwatch is popular but it's not at the necessary level. This worked because it wasnt just ANY franchise. It's freaking DIABLO. The legendary series that spawned an entire subgenre of looter RPGs. People who remember what the series used to be, those people want SO BAD for this new one to be that good that when it comes out and is atrocious, well... they cant accept that, mentally/emotionally. They'll do damn near anything to try to reason it out for themselves that "wait maybe this ISNT so bad, yeah, that's it, I'm just seeing it wrong".

2. What I'm now naming the "trained seal" effect. Because that's what a lot of players have unknowingly become. These companies have been pushing this particular line further and further over the years and "normalizing" all of this crap. They've managed to train people.... younger gamers in particular... to recognize this as "well this is just how games work now", so they wont get nearly so angry when this stuff happens. They've been trained to act in the way that benefits these companies the most. Do you remember the whole horse armor thing? Back when Bethesda did that, people were freaking ANGRY. They were angry, they were insulted, and they just bashed it endlessly. How DARE this company try to trick US like that? We're so much SMARTER than that, they said. Because they werent properly trained seals yet. Now they are. And because they are, they'll just roll with it and say "please sir may I have another?"

3. Addiction. These games are literally designed to create addicts. They get you addicted to that sweet dopamine hit that the shiny exploding boxes give you. Know why Overwatch's infamous loot boxes are presented the way they are? With that unnecessary flipping and the bright POP when opened even when it's all common junk? THAT is why. It's the same thing casinos do to create the very same effect. That's why every little thing you do (that involves money) will, in Immortal, involve this huge flashy explosion of shiny whatsits. Get that ol' Skinner Box going, get that addictive brain chemical flowing, and there ya go.

Points 1 and 2 are used specifically to ensnare the prey, and then point 3 is used for the kill. Blizzard (or whoever) now has a loyal idiot who will not only pay them, but outright defend them no matter what they do. While never realizing that they are addicted... often instead INSISTING that OF COURSE they're not addicted, it's not a problem, really it isnt...

The truly sad thing is that point 3 isnt even always necessary. 1 and 2, often by themselves are enough to get people to defend their favorite frozen-hearted corporate machine. Particularly here, where Blizzard and Diablo have that PULL. But once point 3 activates is when you get the really RABID defenders.

Ever seen the leaked "let's go whaling" presentation from a few years back? If you havent, and you're morbidly curious about the details of how these companies are managing stuff like this... creating addicts, loyal goons, and "whales".... go watch it. Just be forewarned, you may feel the need to take like 30 consecutive showers after watching that slimeball guy give that presentation of his. "It's gross" doesnt even sum it up.
 

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