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  1. Ever since video games were first introduced to the masses well over one hundred years ago, the people working behind the scenes on them have been tasked with a never ending mission to make those games even more amazing than anyone ever thought possible. And so far, they've done a pretty great job at that. But the people behind the scenes of the behind the scenes people? They seem to hate you but love your money, and will stop at nothing to take it from you. With that in mind, let's take a look at some games released in the last decade that could end up costing you a fortune in the event that you wanted to own the full game for some reason. But who really wants that? Team Fortress 2 Surely this will protect me from snipers. In development for nearly a decade, Team Fortress 2 finally saw it's release in 2007 with it's inclusion in Valve's Orange Box bundle. The game saw a constant stream of updates over the years that added new weapons, levels, the ability to craft items and most importantly, hats. While normal players are able to craft most hats with enough time and effort, there are special hats known as Unusuals. The only way to get an unusual is to pay actual money to get a key which is then used to open a randomly dropped box to have an extremely slim chance at getting one. These unusual hats are identical to normal hats, except for the fact that they're given one random visual effect. These can range from smiley faces to flames shooting from your character's head. Some of these effects are rarer than others and make them even more desired. Why is all of this so important? Well, Valve released a store where you can use real money to buy these unusual hats from other people instead of going through hundreds of keys looking for your own random drop. These hats can range in price from about fifty dollars up to a few thousand each. If you wanted to own every single hat in the game, you could either drop the cost of a house on the virtual market, or gamble it all on keys that cost $2 a piece and just hope you get them before you run out of money. Dead or Alive 5 Hey, I'm not happy about this either. Now, I've got no problem with fan service. If you want your character running around in a bikini or loincloth, then so be it. But there comes a point where people start to realize that you're really milking it, and that can't be more obvious than with the game Dead or Alive 5. In the old times before downloadable content you would have more than twenty costumes waiting on the disc for the playable characters. Of course, that wasn't always the case, but the fact is that they came included with no strings attached. With Dead or Alive 5, this changed drastically. The average character had about seven costumes in the newest release of the series which was understandable due to the new engine being used and all of the assets being remade. But then came the DLC costumes. Just around $115 worth the first time around. Including the cost of the game, that is $175 altogether. Then Team Ninja went and released Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate. The same game with added costumes and game balancing tweaks. Instead of making this an addon or DLC pack in itself, it was considered a totally new game. So if you bought that $60 version, you officially no longer mattered. To get access to the rest of the game, you now needed to spend an extra $40 for stuff you already bought with a few extras thrown in. Then began the second round of DLC costumes. It is difficult to add up just how much these new ones cost because of different bundles containing the same costumes multiple times and as of yet unreleased DLC, but the number is already over $250. That is after buying what was supposed to be the ultimate version of the game that included everything! NOTE: These prices were obtained by going through the PlayStation 3's digital store and adding the cost together manually. Dungeon Keeper EA still thinks this is something to strive for. Back in the 90's, Bullfrog was a niche studio that pumped out some of the best city management games ever created. Theme Hospital, Startopia, and of course, Dungeon Keeper. Electronic Arts saw this company of plucky do-gooders and promptly destroyed them for no reason at all. Thanks a lot for ruining everything as always, EA. But there was a glimmer in this story of death and destruction. Dungeon Keeper actually got it's long awaited sequel in Dungeon Keeper 2! Only, it was on iOS devices and terrible in every single conceivable way. Garnering an impressive zero out of a possible ten on it's review, I've never seen a fanbase react so poorly to a game before, not even a truly awful game like Big Rigs is as hated as the new Dungeon Keeper, and for good reason. At least Big Rigs understood it was one of the worst games ever and embraced it's fate. EA is just covering it's ears and ignoring everyone's criticisms. And what criticisms are those? Once again micro-transactions rears its ugly head. In an effort to squeeze every bit of dollar out of players, it takes actual real life hours for you to complete even the most simple task, and the only way around this time barrier is to spend gems. Gems of course cost real money, and the cost of about 100 actions is $60. Don't want to spend $60 for an hour or two of gameplay? Then just the act of clearing out eight blocks will take you as long as 48 hours. That is before you even start building the room. Do yourself a favor and just buy the original Dungeon Keeper games. They're less than $12 combined and hours of fun. The Sim 3 Sims 2 Pets? Sims 3 Pets?! Its the same thing! I invented the piano key necktie! I invented it! Have you ever wanted complete control over someone else's life, but didn't want to have to deal with all that stalking and law breaking stuff? Well then, The Sims series is absolutely for you. In the span of a few hours you can raise an entire family and then laugh as you lock one of your eighteen sons in a windowless room so Death can't take him from you. Or you can go to college, there's that too. At least if you're willing to pay, that is. The Sims series has been no stranger to add-ons and expansions. Going all the way back to the year 2000, the original Sims saw seven expansion packs before The Sims 2 released. The Sims 2 was then followed by eight expansions. The Sims 3, however, has seen a whopping eleven expansion packs so far, and it is currently unknown if it will get more before The Sims 4 releases with it's own series of expansions that will end up being nearly identical to the expansions released for the last Sims game. Now, just how much do all these expansions end up costing the average gamer? Try an amazing total of $370. All money spent to watch your fake family go to new towns and do new things. Money that could have easily been spent doing new and cool things with your real family. Of course I'm not one to judge, seeing as I have most of those expansions myself... but you get the point. It is a lot to spend on just making your ants happy. Rock Band A fake guitar made to look like another fake guitar. If you have a closet filled with tiny plastic instruments, then you probably know about the music game fad that hit in the mid 2000's with games like Guitar Hero and, of course, Rock Band. While you probably hung up your guitar years ago, the genre is still going strong and new DLC was released on a weekly basis for the games up until a short while ago. Remember, I said that this fad started in the mid 2000's. That's a lot of weeks passing by with new songs coming out. Just how many songs can you buy?! While the Rock Band series has stopped releasing DLC, they left behind a list of DLC that numbers in the thousands. And with each song averaging a price of $2 each you can see why this is going to get expensive, very very quickly. Of course, you also have to buy the instruments that come with each iteration of the game and pay a fee to get the songs you already bought for the previous game into the new one so the price you have to pay is rising all the time. Thankfully, you don't have to buy all these songs, but if you want the full Rock Band experience, be ready to shell out close to three thousand dollars on songs alone. At that point I'd suggest just buying a real guitar and getting lessons. EVE Online We're all having so much fun! Let's raise the stakes, shall we? EVE Online is a massively multiplayer online game that puts you in the seat of your very own ship to do whatever you want to do in the galaxy. What this means is that you'll be mining a whole lot and hoping that pirates don't wipe you off the Galactic map because, of course, there are pirates. It's space we're talking about here. The special thing about EVE Online, however, is the fact that it has a real money system. The profits you make in the game can be converted to real world funds and vice versa, though the exchange rate of in-game funds is obviously far less than USD worth. But if you do well enough in the game, you can actually make yourself wealthy in the real world as well. While that sounds great, it also means that things in the game can have real world prices as well. Say, a heavily guarded ship filled with supplies could be worth more than fifteen thousand dollars. If it gets blown up, that is $15,000 down the drain with no way of getting it back. Things like this happen a lot in the game of EVE Online, and just recently a very large war broke out. The game's stock market momentarily nose dived as two factions fought it out in the cold dark reaches of space. At the moment, their battle has cost the two sides the insanely high sum of nearly $300,000 in real money. This is due to all of the supplies and ships being sent out to battle. Each ship has a real cost, and the most powerful can get into the tens of thousands of dollars. When one of those goes, its a big deal. And quite a few have been lost already. There is no other game in existence that can boast that wars actually have an impact on the userbase in the same way that EVE does, and that is why it is so fantastic. Do you want to become an intergalactic spice baron? Then be prepared to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars. I'm sure it'll be worth it. As always, thanks for reading.
  2. Let's just face it - there are games we've all been wanting to play even though we know they'll probably never be released. Every big gaming convention goes by, and a little bit more salt gets poured into our gaming wounds. Yet each and every year is the year we hope those specific games are going to be announced. We can't help but hope for their release. Whether it is because we've invested so much time into the originals, or because we've been through so much with the main character, and we just so badly want to see how it all ends. I can easily think up a hundred different games I'd like to see in the future, but for this article we'll keep it down to five. TimeSplitters IV When it came to the TimeSplitters series, many nights were wasted hurling bricks at monkeys with my friends and running from infected AI players on giant levels trying not to get touched by them in some sort of precursor to the zombie craze that hit in the late 2000's. It was a fun time had by all, but now with a full generation nearing it's end, one has to wonder - just where did TimeSplitters go? Well there are plenty of valid explanations. The company that made the TimeSplitters series, Free Radical Design, started off their next gen game development with a little game called Haze. For reasons probably unrelated to Haze, the company went into financial administration and was bought up by Crytek. Its probably for the best. I killed way too many monkeys. After the buyout, TimeSplitters IV was canceled and the company then helped work on Crysis 2 and has now apparently started work on Homefront 2. Fans had constantly asked the company about a possible TimeSplitters IV being announced, but they were all shot down. A fan page on Facebook was opened up in an attempt to get 100,000 members to show their support for TimeSplitters IV, but so far nothing has come from it. While a new sequel being announced isn't completely out of the question, I wouldn't hold my breath. Crytek seems to think the game would never be able to pull in the numbers to make it a success, no matter how much the fans beg them for it. But there's always that hope that drives people forward! Shenmue III Shut up, everybody wants this game to happen. At one point it was even in production as an MMO. We got a freaking trailer for it and everything. While I'm glad the MMO idea didn't pan out seeing as an MMO is no way to end a trilogy, I hate the fact that we haven't heard anything about the game since that one trailer released roughly one hundred years ago. While I, along with the rest of the gaming world, have been dying for an ending for so many years, there is actually a reason SEGA won't give it to us. The death of the Shenmue trilogy is one of the things keeping SEGA alive. Even during SEGA's more financial years, Shenmue was a huge drain on the company. WANNA PLAY A GAME OF LUCKY HIT? With a development budget of around 40-50 million dollars for each game in the series, it was the most expensive game ever developed in it's time. With SEGA practically bleeding money with the Dreamcast, there was no way they could afford the budget of a third game in the series. Now that the damage is done and SEGA is merely a software company, they have to play it close to the chest. If they make another big budget game and it ends up failing when it hits retailers, it could actually kill the company. Finishing the Shenmue series could ruin SEGA for good. So, essentially they're stuck. Either they go all in and hope for the best, or they make a subpar game with a limited budget and it fails anyway, tarnishing the game forever. The best possible scenario would be SEGA either selling off the IP or just plain getting bought out by another company. But even then that wouldn't automatically mean we'd get a new Shenmue game, as evidenced by Crytek buying out Free Radical Design. Either way, I'll still keep my fingers crossed for a new entry in the series. Pokemon Snap 2 I just love games that are jam packed with secrets. The ability to replay the same levels over and over again, finding more and more new stuff every time I play is one of my most beloved features. But the games that do it right are so few and far between it hurts me physically every time I pop in a new game that does it wrong. Noo, don't take our picture! Neither of us have makeup on! One of those games that did it perfectly was Pokemon Snap on the Nintendo 64. You rode on a trail with a few random items and you took pictures of Pokemon. That was pretty much it. But each level was filled to the gills with secrets. Performing certain actions in certain areas could trigger new encounters in levels you already completed. You would need a strategy guide to figure everything out. And now that the Wii U is nearing release, it seems more than obvious that the game should finally get a sequel. First of all, duh, the Wii U's controller is perfect for the type of game Pokemon Snap is. Secondly, Pokemon games freaking print money for Nintendo. And finally, people loved the Pokemon Snap game. So why aren't we getting a new one? WHAT COULD THEY POSSIBLY BE WORKING ON THAT IS BETTER?! Dungeon Keeper 3 This is one of those super impossible ones that will never work for so many reasons, but I'll never stop hoping for it's eventual release. Dungeon Keeper was a game series where you built and maintained dungeons (surprise!) You would build it in certain ways to attract different types of monsters. There was an economy, and you had to keep your monsters happy and fight off those pesky heroes. And it was great. In fact, i would say it was even super great. I don't usually like to play these sorts of games, but the company behind the series just knew how to make me love their games. Theme Hospital, Dungeon Keeper, and Startopia. All pretty much the same type of game, but all great in their own ways. "The time has cometh." Just... Not yet. Bull Frog seemed to think they were pretty great as well. So great, in fact, they included a trailer for Dungeon Keeper 3 with every copy of Dungeon Keeper 2. Unfortunately, not everyone seemed to love them as much as I did, and they were dissolved into the powerhouse company that was EA. AND THEN EA KILLED THEM. Well not so much killed them as totally stopped working on any of the games they were working on, including Dungeon Keeper 3. All of their games then fell out of the limelight and weren't actually supported on newer operating systems until Green Man Gaming stepped in and brought the games back from the dead. While there could always be a chance of a new Dungeon Keeper in the future, all signs point towards a big fat no. The reason why is because of a recently released game called Dungeons. A spiritual successor to the Dungeon Keeper series, Dungeons was supposed to be everything we wanted in a new Dungeon Keeper game. Spoilers, it wasn't and it pretty much sealed the series' fate right there. Sim Earth 2 Imagine if Spore was on the Super Nintendo. Now imagine instead of playing as one set species, you actually played as the planet itself. That was pretty much what Sim Earth was. You were given a boiling hot rock and told to make it sustain life. You did this by causing volcanoes and sending meteorites down at the planet to help cool it down. Trust me, this is edge of your seat stuff here Eventually after a few hours of playing, you would have the first forms of life splashing about in the ocean. From then on out you pretty much just sat back and watched evolution happen. While that sounds boring, it was actually quite fun. It was kind of like having sea monkeys, but at the same time there was that possibility they would kill their planet with nukes. For some reason, Spore was unable to capture this same feeling of amazement. The dominant species would always be the one you made. You never had the chance to actually watch over your planet either. The whole game was just one enclosed single player game. Nothing on your planet really mattered and their was never a feeling of discovery no matter how far out into space you traveled. And that is why we'll never get a true sequel to Sim Earth. Spore missed the mark by so much that I'm doubtful any company (especially one like EA) would ever take the chance on a new Sim Earth, and if they did, odds are they would just end up making another Spore. I would love to get an updated version, but if that is all we have to look forward to we might be better off with the old version. There are plenty of game series out there that deserve to be brought back into the limelight, but these ones specifically are the ones I'm dying to see again even though I know it'll probably never happen. What are some game series you want brought back from the grave? why not post about them in the comments below? As always, thanks for reading.