The “Park Patrol” Problem


I’ve been kept busy all month. Long story short, when I haven’t been busy with actual work, it’s been other things. Namely playing and watching things of which I have limited-time access due to either existing household subscriptions dropping random shows like they have nobody watching or this extended Game Pass trial thing that I’m not sure if I’d extend it further with payment, so I want to get the most out of that as well. I haven’t run out of things to say or complain about, just not as much time to get it into at least somewhat coherent thoughts.

When I mention the “Park Patrol” problem, I don’t mean that I have a problem with the Chibi-Robo DS game itself, that’s all fine as it is. It’s purely a marketing thing. In North America, the game was somehow made as a Wal-Mart exclusive release, because clearly Wal-Mart needed the boost in sales. Clearly that’s also sarcasm. Because of this, I didn’t even get around to picking up the game until several years later, from a bargain bin located in a Wal-Mart. Chances are I probably would have gotten it sooner from a store I more regularly went to at that time closer to release.

The next part I probably could have written about a week ago and still have predicted something would go wrong in the usual sense, but now we just have fact. Nintendo once again decided to make something exclusive to one store in North America, this time Target. Naturally, in the age of massive cartels running rackets on anything remotely limited, despite the supposed efforts to limit this possibility, it still definitely happened, and partly in fault to certain stores going back on the method to just have it be a free-for-all, 50000% MSRP markup for everyone else. I’m certain that some retailers are working directly with the cartels because I could only guess the managers of stores or higher-ups in corporate are getting some under-the-table cut from the resellers. The rest probably goes through cryptocurrency laundering to fund narcotic distribution to children. I mean, I’m only theorizing here, but it wouldn’t surprise me. If any evidence points to a structure like that, it’s probably worth getting to the root of it.

My actual point here though is that retailer exclusivity only causes more problems than… well, I’m not sure it solves any problems to begin with. If you’re familiar with how I think on things, you may be aware of how I’m not a fan of games being exclusive to certain consoles or even PC stores. There are many reasons why I’ve only bought consoles secondhand recently, and that above reason may be part of it. Attempts at economics and environmentalism are others. It’s not like avoiding having extensive hardware supplies at a grocery store either, it’s more like only having a specific food item only at one store when every other store tends to carry both that brand as well as that type of item, but some particular flavor is only available at one store. And I’ve seen that happen firsthand. It just seems strange.

The only reason I don’t shop at Target often is because it’s not as convenient as other stores, by routine or proximity, more so the latter. In addition to the eternal plague, it’s all usual factors. If it was easy to get said mentioned above item added in with items I was actually intending to get from there for more practical reasons, that would be all fine. However, it’s hard to find even the particular practical items I was looking for on that store, so I’m looking elsewhere for those. This has nothing to do with any card packs, and that would have just been a “bonus” of sorts.

Of course, there’s also the “Mario 35” problem. This is more of a time limit than a retailer exclusive thing. Somehow, this is more practical to deal with despite it being implemented poorly. Considering physical releases tend to have limited production runs anyway for the usual industrial reasons, that’s hardly different. It’s the decision to limit the release on their own digital platform which is the standout one. And even when they’d gone back on a prior decision to remove a free game, they opt to stick to their word for paid ones. The trick here was that it wasn’t retailer exclusive, and therefore stores can compete and there actually can end up being stock to go around. Therefore, I actually got a physical copy of the 3D game pack at even a discount, which as I mentioned before, is technically a deal due to how much Super Mario Sunshine tends to go for. Mainly I didn’t have two out of the three games in that pack and I figured it was worth looking into at least.

In any case, it is possible to manufacture Amiibo through as little as an NFC-capable phone and some blank chips. If I had the room for a 3D printer, I’d consider getting one, in part for having a bit of fun with some custom figures. Nothing to bootleg from the real thing, though. I’ve seen many interesting examples that go beyond just writing the name of the data in marker on a blank sticker, and I’d like to go that way if I’m going to end up getting custom Amiibo figured out. Even some different card designs that aren’t just a photocopy of the original.

As well as the company sitting on IPs that have potential but aren’t being realized for whatever reason, it seems better to look more into indie games. I feel like third-party options are what I’ve looked at most on consoles lately, and I’ve only gotten consoles for exclusive games prior. And then sometimes those games become not exclusive, which is great, even if I’d already gotten the setup before. I don’t get bitter about that, and why I usually give it a fair amount of time before I get a console in the aim of getting a game, which is why I was so late on getting an Xbone.

I’ve used my new old Xbone quite a lot recently, thanks to the Game Pass trial and also it being an easy way to put streaming services on a larger screen. I only have two disc games for it, one more than I expected, but I’ve played a lot of things on there I either was only somewhat interested in, had no prior intent to play but it’s there so might as well, or that I found out existed by just seeing it in the game list. As a bonus, it also works on my Windows 10 dedicated games PC, because I didn’t want to install Windows 10 on a PC I do everything else on. Fortunately I figured out enough configuration to make the system work more for me.

Of course, that PC was made for VR. I feel like I got lucky with timing on getting the parts together before the market went to complete hell, as well as having it work almost the first time. For my first total build, it went pretty well, though it was a lot of time and effort to deal with things like screws and getting things to fit flush and secure enough. I’m glad I can do a bit of socializing through VR as well, meeting all sorts of people with less risk of getting stabbed and plagues and whatever else is outside. Not everyone’s there to spam “funny YouTube memes” either, even though I find some fun in the chaos, despite not looking to cause it. That’s not an encouragement to do more meme spam either.

Long story short overall, it’s been a month. And it’s been over a year since I started playing New Horizons. I don’t play it so often now, but occasionally, if I’m not too into something else at the time and something came up there.