Since you (understandably) don't want to sell your advance review copies of games, have you thought about finding other ways of getting rid of them? I don't know what kind of understanding you may have with the publishers regarding what you can and can't do with review copies of their games, so I'm not sure how feasible any of my ideas may be. But I think there are some creative and constructive ways to get rid of them.
Have you thought of perhaps giving them away through the podcast? I think it would only serve as good advertisement for the game, publisher, and even the site/CAGcast, because everyone loves free stuff and giveaways. Maybe you guys could raffle them off, or perhaps even sell copies signed by people related to the project, to help a charity like Child's Play? The possibilities for getting rid of any unwanted games in positive ways seem pretty limitless. I think you guys could come up with some really awesome ideas if you put your heads together.
Originally Posted by Broken Cage
Not to play Devil's Advocate, but in the Atari/NES/Genesis era, you had to read the manual for the story. I'm pretty sure it counts.
Back in the 20s, movies gave very basic story through the use of text-only interludes. Does that mean movies nowadays should still do that? Or have we come to expect spoken dialogue and orchestrated music from our movies? But then again, don't we allow some movies to break conventions for stylistic or entertainment purposes? It's kind of hard to say, I guess.
I'm just thinking aloud here, so feel free to disregard me, but I think games doled out their story through the manual due to primitive design philosophies and technology. Games have evolved quite a bit since then, and expectations have changed. I don't think it's unreasonable to want and expect more from modern games. I'm not expecting Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky, but context for what I'm doing and why does help me enjoy a game more. Think of Portal. It has a simple story that uses plot and monologue sparingly to communicate what and why to the player, and it works very well.