I am a Game Magnet

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been very lucky in being able to find some wonderful games to add to my collection both locally and online.  Some of these things I’ve been looking for over a long while, and others are things I took a chance on without knowing what to expect!  Sometimes you just have to jump on a deal when it surfaces, and I was pleasantly surprised all around!

First up is the Mega Man Anniversary Collection for Playstation 2.  I do own the GameCube collection, but I heard that they did something weird to the controls.  Maybe they switched the buttons around?  I can’t quite recall now, but I was advised to pick up the PS2 version for a more approachable experience.  As someone who has never beaten a single Mega Man game, I’m glad to finally have them all in one place since my physical collection is sparse.  The disc isn’t in the greatest shape, but I’m sure it’ll spin up whenever I get around to testing it out.  Also, the manual here is completely in French!  Sometimes Canadian games came with two manuals for English and French readers, but here, the English one is missing altogether.  My French is terrible at best, so hopefully I can figure things out and won’t need to rely on it too much!

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Sticking with disc games for the moment, I found two for the Wii U, the first of which is Hyrule Warriors.  I think I’m incredibly late to the party on this one and have no idea whether or not it has a story mode for single player, but I’ve never seen this game so cheap and couldn’t resist picking it up.  The disc was in excellent shape overall, but the case itself had a bit of scuffing on the outer plastic and was also really dirty.  I cleaned it up the best I could.

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The second Wii U game is Pikmin 3! I have been looking for the third installment in this series for many months now, and I finally found it for a good price.  It came with all the inserts as well as a now-defunct Club Nintendo code, and like the disc for Hyrule Warriors, this one was in virtually perfect condition.  I still have yet to play any of the Pikmin games, but from what I’ve seen, they look fun and relaxing.  I’m hoping for a Katamari Damacy-like experience when I finally sit down with it.

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I was also really lucky to find two Game Boy games.  The first I bought online, and it’s Dinosaur’us for the Game Boy Color.  This was the turn-based RPG I would’ve never expected to exist in the slightest given how unconventional it is, and after I learned of its existence, I sought it out and finally have a copy of my own.  I didn’t get too far into it, but at a first glance, it involves some sidescrolling platformer action with turn-based battles against enemy dinos.  There’s a whole levelling system with skills involved, so it’s quite the endeavour.  Space Invaders was also a great find.  It’s one of a very small set of games that, when used with the Super Game Boy, gives you the option to play a separate, full game on the SNES.  This one lets you play the arcade version of Space Invaders, which took me straight back to my days of playing the Commodore Vic 20.  What a blast!

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Another game that pleasantly surprised me was an SNES game called Speedy Gonzales: Los Gatos Bandidos.  I took a chance on this one.  Prior to buying, I’d never heard a peep about it, but it is actually really good.  I played it for about 15 minutes to test it out, and everything feels really fluid and smooth, and the music is something else!  I’m very surprised at how good the first few levels felt, so I can’t wait to play it for a longer time and see more of it.  This is probably the worst game of the bunch aesthetically, with a worn label, especially at the top toward the end label portion.  It definitely looks like it was loved.

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On the opposite of the impressiveness spectrum is Disney’s The Little Mermaid: Magic in Two Kingdoms for the Game Boy Advance.  Now, I might be jumping the gun a little on my feelings for this game, but I was not pleased trying it out for a few minutes.  It feels like one of those hand-holders that tutorial-izes every moment, and all of the characters feel like they’re moving at a snail’s pace.  I’m not sure if anyone has played the Sega Genesis Little Mermaid game, but the controls are reminiscent of those in my mind.  Hopefully I’m wrong about the impending terribleness, but for a few dollars, I’m not complaining.  The title screen music was really great at least!

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I recently managed to fight my way through Castlevania and Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse for the NES, and Castlevania has definitely been on my mind more often than not over the past few weeks.  I already owned two other Castlevania games for the DS, but when I saw Order of Ecclesia, I had to jump on it.  It was not cheap, but it definitely wasn’t the going rate on eBay at the moment either, and I’m happy to have finally completed the DS Castlevania trilogy.  My better half has played a lot of this one and really enjoyed it, but he lost his copy a long while ago.  It’s nice for him to have that back again.  Other than a bit of brown gunk on the case, the rest of the contents were in great condition.

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I found quite a few games for the Sega Master system as well.  I have a huge fire under my butt to keep seeking out games for this amazing little console, and I’ve chanced upon some really excellent deals over the past little while.  For some reason, most of the games I’ve purchased haven’t come with their manuals… I wonder what happened to them all?

The first game I bought was Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi.  The game came to me with a wavy case art sheet as if it had been wet at some point, but it’s not damaged in any other noticeable way.  To be honest, I’m not really sure if this game is a good purchase for this particular console, but I’ve heard the Genesis version is pretty awesome and wanted to see what this port might be like in comparison.  I recently found the Master System port of Ghouls ‘n Ghosts to be surprisingly well done and different from the many other iterations out there, so one can only hope that this Shinobi game will follow suit. Here’s a review I did of the GnG game:

Getting back to Shadow Dancer though, there’s a longplay online that takes just over 10 minutes.  Maybe very easy for a seasoned player but a welcome challenge for a newcomer?  Only time will tell!  I need more Master System in my life!

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Next up is Impossible Mission, a port of a game originally released on the Commodore 64, the Atari 7800, and a variety of other early computers.  It’s not to be confused with Zillion, which I feel it strongly resembles.  It seems like an interesting and unique action game from what I’ve seen available for the SMS, and it was extremely cheap.  How could I say no to an adventure?  It does look tough and also seems to require a great deal of mapping, things I don’t shy away from in the games I play.

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Sigh.  One of the games I was most excited to see posted lately was Fantastic Dizzy.  This is a game made by Codemasters and was an unofficial release for the console, and it’s on the more uncommon side.  I immediately pounced on this purchase not realizing that it doesn’t work at all on NTSC systems, and unfortunately I’m now stuck with a game I can’t play at the moment.  I’m going to do a bit of research and see if I can get things working, specifically if there’s a model of the SMS in my region that that might be able to play it.  Otherwise, I might be looking to import a new system in the near-ish future.

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Asterix and the Great Rescue is something I’ve been on the lookout for since I finished up the first Asterix game for the system a few months ago.  Of those on the Master System, it’s quite a bit more expensive than the others.  There’s also a third game in the series that I have yet to find, but this one I got for a screamin’ deal, about $20 under the regular going rate online.  I really liked the first one I played, and this one looks to be in the same vein in terms of gameplay and graphics.  Now to find the last one to round out the trilogy!  Of all the games I ordered, this one was by far in the best shape of the bunch.  Everything looked nice and crispy!

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Last but not least, I found a copy of Ninja Gaiden! This game has been evading me for a very long time and is again one of the more uncommon games for the console from the PAL region.  It usually averages around $110, and I was able to buy it for about half price shipped!  This game is an exclusive on the Master System, and despite not having played very much of this series, I’ve been wanting to give this one a go.  It’s always nice when the price is right.  Woohoo!

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I have some other things on their way to me in the mail, but I thought this might be a good place to break up some of the recent purchases.  Hopefully there will be new games just around the corner.

Thanks for reading!

-GG

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Game Swap Adventures

A couple of weeks ago, we got out to a smaller swap event, and I tell ya, I found some really great things I’ve been looking for there.  Just in time for the cooler weather to settle in, too.  That just means a nice cold winter coming up with lots of great games on tap since I don’t usually partake in beers!

There were a few things I’ve been wanting for NES for a long while, and those were Journey to Silius and The Krion Conquest. I’ve seen a few people play through Journey to Silius in the last few months, and I’m especially in love with the soundtrack.  I think it’ll be a difficult game to master, but I hope to be able to beat it at some point.  And who doesn’t love something reminiscent of Mega Man?  I loved Little Nemo: The Dream Master, so I can’t wait to see what The Krion Conquest is like.

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I was inspired to pick up even more NES stuff since a familiar vendor was trying to part ways with some of his games for cheap.  He was mentioning there’s been a downturn in NES sales lately, so he was looking to offload a few things. The Immortal in particular has a great soundtrack that makes me laugh at how sneaky it is sometimes with all its traps.  There’s something about the battles in that game that crack me up every time I see them going down.  I also made a point to find Kickle Cubicle after I saw NES Friend’s review over on YouTube.  I don’t know what I initially thought this game was, but I didn’t think it was a cute puzzle game!  It looks great and like a nice fun way to unplug my brain which I’m needing more and more of these days.  And Jaws, well… I just wanted it.  It’s one of those games I always see and never pick up because I want other things more, and the price here was too good to pass up.

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I did manage to sneak in an uncommon Game Boy Color game from another vendor that was looking to move his stuff for a reasonable price.  Wendy Every Witch Way is something I’d seen around the internet as a great game that nobody seems to have, so naturally I picked it up.  I almost missed it since it was obscured by some other games in a case, but I’m glad I found it.  It was in very good condition and worked on the first try.  I love when that happens!

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I did pick up Hybrid Heaven for N64 after seeing a few people chatting about it in a livestream.  It was described to me as a Wrestling RPG (oh really?) which intrigued me for many reasons, but mostly because I want to see what the heck this game is and why I’d never heard of it before!  I thought I’d gotten the four total RPGs for the N64, but it seems like I’ve managed to add another to the mix.  There are never too many RPGs, even if they’re seemingly weird and unconventional.

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A nice find for me was Vanguard Bandits for the PS1.  The Demo CD was not in the greatest shape, but the game itself was pretty much pristine.  I don’t think I have too many more PS1 games I want to track down now that I’ve found it.  This, like many other games I’ve bought over the years, smells like laundry dryer sheets!  I’m not sure why people tend to store their stuff around their dryers or with dryer sheets inside their storage boxes, but it’s a weirdly comforting smell compared to something like cigarettes, I suppose.

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A swap wouldn’t be a swap without some Sega Master System things, and I was lucky enough to find a copy of Rambo III in great condition with its manual.  A long while ago my boyfriend bought a copy of a different Rambo game thinking it was this one, but alas… the wrong game didn’t even use the light gun like he was hoping.  We’ve finally remedied this after a long wait, and though it’s probably not going to be my favourite game by any means, I’m definitely willing to give it a try sometime.  My light guns don’t get nearly enough use.

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More Sega always makes me happy, and I did manage to reel in a few loose Sega Genesis games.  I stumbled upon a table that had so many things I never usually see out and about at these kinds of things, and High Seas Havoc was the first thing I picked up from that particular table.  It’s a platformer that people often compare to the Sonic games, and I can’t seem to stay away from things with pirates in them.  It felt like a pretty natural buy.  I also picked up Blaster Master 2, which I’ve heard is a bunch of junk, but it’s the first time I’d ever seen it in the wild.  It’s mine now!

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We also finally got a copy of Gunstar Heroes!  I can’t say how many times I’ve seen this around at a swap and it’s been waaaay more than I was willing to pay.  I’ve been patient, and I finally found a box and cartridge combination for a decent price.  This was much more my boyfriend’s pick than mine, and I think he’s happy to finally be able to cross that off his list.

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Last not but not least, I found a copy of Skeleton Krew for the Sega Genesis.  It’s an isometric adventure game that looks pretty great, and I rarely hear anyone even mention its existence out there in the world.  This is probably the most expensive game I picked up, but thankfully I had lots of stuff to trade to get it.  Apparently a lot of people were interested in it, and I was the lucky person who was able to take it home.  Hooray!

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I’m pretty sure this’ll be the last swap I make it out to for the year.  The weather has turned pretty cold already and there is snow coming up in the forecast, so travel to any remaining events might be unpredictably tricky… back to eBay and scouring the classifieds for another cold winter of collecting.

Thanks very much for reading!

-GG

 

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Video Game Soup for Cooler Weather

Since there are pretty long gaps between the spring and autumn game swaps in my province, there’s a lot of reliance on local discoveries for continuous, year-round game hunting.  Although most of my luck swings between being dry as a desert and as wet as beach sand, it has consistently been on an upward swing over the past few weeks.  With the exception of a few purchases coming to me from online, most things I found after a store that closed a few years ago reopened again (woohoo!)

First up were a few games I found at a game shop.  You may recall a long while back that I found a copy of Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak, and I only picked up this second copy because the store owner must’ve made a mistake on the price: he was selling it for $2 instead of the normal going rate of $30ish.  I didn’t end up correcting his mistake since he didn’t give me a birthday discount… how terrible of me, I know.  Sigma Star Saga is another game I’ve been looking for for a long while.  It’s supposed to be an RPG-shooter hybrid… maybe something in the same vein as The Guardian Legend?  It was an intriguing game when I first found out about it, so I’m glad to finally own it.

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Staying in the handheld variety, I also found a couple of Game Boy/Game Boy Color games from all different places.  Wizards & Warriors X: Fortress of Fear I jumped on after over a year of seeing it priced for $7.99 in a local shop.  I worked up the courage to offer the guy $5 cash and he took it!  For some context, this person’s hock shop has been notoriously overpriced and unwavering with haggling in the past, and I have rarely spent any money there.  It took a lot of courage to save those few dollars!  Bionic Commando came from a video game shop, and I scooped it up after finally playing through the NES game and loving it.  It seems to control the same way so far, so that’s a relief given how long it took me to learn the controls in the other game.  Catrap was a really neat little puzzle game I bought from eBay with catchy tunes and an interesting puzzle-solving mechanic where you can’t jump, but you can shove things around to maneuver around the level and kill enemies.  I need more Game Boy in my life.

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I only lucked into one NES game, and it was Baseball Simulator 1.000.  I initially thought it was Baseball Simulator 1000, which obviously sounds way cooler.  It was in the case at the thrift store, and through the glass and obscured by a few other things, it looked like baseball in space.  Unfortunately it looks like it’s just regular baseball with a few bells and whistles, but it’s promising because there are apparently some interesting modes to try.

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For the Nintendo DS, I found a game called Magical Starsign, an RPG I hadn’t heard too much about until I was perusing through some of my E3 2006 stuff.  I saw some promotional materials for it and decided to look further into whether or not it came to market, and sure enough, there it was!  From what I can find online, it’s praised as being a totally great game that I haven’t heard many people talk about before.  I’m also able to stream DS games now, so I’m hoping to play it that way with people one of these days.

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I was also lucky enough to get my hands on a few free DS cases and manuals for Harvest Moon DS Cute and Harry Potter, Years 1-4.  The guy in town that re-opened his shop was kind enough to gift these to me with another purchase I made from him, and I think the Harvest Moon game is pretty expensive, but will be much less pricey to acquire without needing to get the case and manual.  Hiding in between the two games is a copy of Kirby Super Star Ultra.  I had been hoping to find a copy complete, but this store also had it priced for a few dollars.  I couldn’t let it go for that, even if it was just loose!

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At a Salvation Army store, we chanced upon a few Sega Genesis sports games.  There were some I had and some I didn’t yet, but what was more interesting to me were the coloured cases they came along in.  These had pricing stickers on them from Zellers, a long defunct Canadian department store that I used to frequent a lot as a kid.  That was pure nostalgia fuel for me.  The games were $1 each with the case, so I thought it was totally worth it!

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In addition to the sports games, there were quite a few PC games to be had.  My boyfriend got a few things as well, but I ended up picking up a compilation of Sim games.  I think the only one we already had was Sim Ant, so the rest are brand new to me.  I love the idea of Sim games but I’m also worried to get sucked in and never come out again.  SimTower is the one game I played a lot as a kid and replaying that lately was a ton of fun and something I had a hard time putting down.

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One really, really wonderful purchase I made was EGG: Elemental Gimmick Gear for the Sega Dreamcast.  It’s an action RPG on a console filled with arcade ports, shooters and brawlers, and one of the last games I was truly pining for on the system.  The disc was in immaculate condition, and conveniently, I was able to get it locally from a couple that was driving through town one day and were willing to get together on their journey.  They were some of the nicest people I’ve ever had a gaming-related transaction with.  I hope to spontaneously have an opportunity to deal with them again sometime.

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The Resident Evil 10th Anniversary Collection game to me just in time to get ready for the Halloween season.  Even though it’s still a bit early, the weather here lately has cooled off substantially.  It’s fall in my heart!  This box set came with three Player’s Choice Resident Evil games, including the first game, Resident Evil Zero, and Resident Evil 4.  I haven’t played a single RE game, but I’ve been told they’re worth owning if I can ever get brave enough to try them out.

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For more horror fun, I picked up Clock tower 3 for a smooth $1 from the Salvation Army.  The disc is a little beat up but hopefully if/when I decide to sit down with it, it’ll play okay.  It’s a game I know literally nothing about.  Does anyone know if it’s a good game or not?  I also found Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch as well as Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (the EU version?) at the thrift store here for $5 each.  Both were unfortunately missing their manuals, but I’d never seen either of those games up for grabs out my way before.  With the re-release of Ni No Kuni coming out for Switch, I thought now would be a fantastic time to add that one to my collection.  Now if only I could get my PS3 to be quieter… it sounds like a rocket ship taking off it’s so loud!

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With the news of Duck Tales Remastered getting pulled from digital stores, I decided to pick up the physical copy for Wii U before the price went up.  I snuck in just in time it seems.  I have yet to play the original on NES, but I do own the Famicom version!  It’s such a beloved game for so many that I’m shocked I haven’t run into it sooner, but there is so much to play these days!  Sega Superstars Tennis is a game someone recommended to me a long while back, so when I saw it for a few dollars at a consignment store, I went for it.  It’s so weird seeing this game generations slate of mascots since I haven’t played much of anything more recent than the Genesis.  Hopefully it’s going to be a fun time!

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Last but not least, I bought a terribly beat up copy of the game guide for Fire Emblem for the Game Boy Advance.  It was only $3, and given that I’ve never played a strategy RPG, I very well may want a copy of this hanging around when the time comes.  Hopefully it’ll stay together until then!

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And there it is: another set of games to go on the shelf and into the queue to be played eventually!  There is one last swap we’re planning to get to before the snow flies, so stay tuned for those updates.  I hope you’re all staying warm with the turn in the weather, if it’s any different out your way.  There’s something so calming about fall settling in, but also a sadness that comes along with saying goodbye to summer.

As always, thanks so much for reading!

-GG

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More Sega Master System

Lately I’ve been diving as deep as I can into Master System collecting, but to do that I’ve had to do a bit of research to see which games are worth pursuing.  I’ve had good luck so far with polling people and reading many lists about the best of the best, but one obstacle I’ve come up against is learning more about the PAL library.  The North American Master System game list is quite small compared to what was released elsewhere in the world, meaning that there is an untapped set of games that I know next to nothing about.  I’ve gotten a few good leads and have been tracking a few things down, and here is a collection of some of what I’ve managed to find so far.

This first bunch are games I didn’t feel compelled to try to get complete in the box.  I hadn’t heard much about Wolfchild prior to buying, but I do know it had a supposedly better port on the Sega Genesis.  From what I understand, it’s hard to find on the Master System, and because of it’s ragged label, it was quite cheap to pick up compared to what it’d usually run for.  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is… interesting.  I lost at least three lives in about 30 seconds while trying to punch people with guns, and there’s no music past the title screen in what little of the game I’ve played so far.  I’m not hopeful that this game will sweep me off my feet at any point, but it’s definitely seeming like a challenge to rise up against!

The Terminator and Jurassic Park have a small degree of jankiness that tickles me when playing games from this generation, but they look the most promising of the bunch in terms of action platformers.  Putt & Putter is a fun mini-putt game that I managed to get a hole in one in during the first hole.  That’s the kind of golf game I like!  Lastly, Submarine Attack is a horizontal shooter that is supposed to be easier than other shooter games on the system, but per usual, I got roasted in the first level.  I watched a friend stream the game and it looks manageable with a bit of practice.

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Danan the Jungle Fighter gave me some serious Faxanadu vibes, and that’s something I can’t resist in a game, especially from this generation.  I bought the game in hopes of having another action-packed sidescrolling adventure with RPG elements tied in, so let’s hope that it lives up to my expectations.  I hadn’t previously heard of this one, but I’m really glad I’ll have the opportunity to try it out.  It arrived later than the rest of my games and missed the group shot.

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I did manage to find a few games in their boxes, but the only one I found with a manual was The Ninja.  You might be asking why on earth I’d want to buy this game, and truthfully, I don’t know why I did.  You see, there are too many Master System games like Kung Fu Kid, The Ninja, Black Belt, etc. that became synonymous in my brain.  Truly, I don’t even know now which one of those three I even initially wanted to purchase, but it definitely wasn’t The Ninja.  What a glowing piece of… beautifully crafted 8-bit art to have on my shelf.  It was only a few dollars, thankfully.

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The rest of the games I found boxed with no manuals, and two of them are supposed to be excellent.  Land of Illusion is a PAL region exclusive platformer that is apparently on the same level of awesomeness as Castle of Illusion and other great Mickey Mouse games.  That and The Lucky Dime Caper Starring Donald Duck are absolutely gorgeous.  I don’t know that I’ve ever seen more beautiful environments and character sprites in a Master System game.  Asterix was pretty beautiful to look at but my nostalgia for Mickey and Donald might be pulling me along a little harder.

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I also picked up Batman Returns.  This game came highly recommended to me from someone who has a much more well-rounded and complete Master System collection than I could ever dream of having.  Owazrim streams lots of Master System games over on his Twitch channel so if you’re looking to see some of this library in action, he’s someone to check out.  Daffy Duck in Hollywood looked quite promising from the gameplay I watched, but the camera’s a bit weird… it seems to whip all over the place and the game feels a little too zoomed in, but I only played for a few minutes.  Perhaps a longer play session will reveal more.  Hopefully it was a good choice to buy.

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I found out about Laser Ghost from a random Tweet and immediately bought it.  It’s a horror game where you move a little girl with the controller and need to simultaneously use the light gun to kill things that are trying to hurt the child as you try to get her to safety.  It’s such an interesting concept for a game that I’ve never seen done before!  Now, The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants is a game I grew up playing on NES.  Finding out about the Master System version intrigued me, but good LORD is this game ever bad.  I know that the NES game’s controls are hard to master (run and jump are the same button if I remember correctly) but it feels completely different and worse on the Master System somehow.  They also didn’t have the theme song on the title screen or any Simpsons-related music in what little I got to.  It’s definitely inferior in every single way.

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Last but not least, I bought two games that I’ve always considered must-haves for the system from the PAL region.  I picked up Rainbow Islands and Bubble Bobble, and both came without their manuals.  Rainbow Islands’ something I’ve only played on the PSP, but the 8-bit and arcade versions have always been more attractive to me.  Bubble Bobble’s case art was a little shabby, but given that it’s a bit harder to find and usually pretty expensive, I didn’t mind it being in slightly poor condition.  I don’t like the music in this version as much, but apparently you get double the levels and mini-bosses, so it’s a totally different and expanded game from the NES version.  I doubt I’ll ever see all 200 levels, but I’m excited to try!

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Hopefully that fulfills whatever Sega fix you may (or may not) have been looking for.  I’m so excited about each of these games, and I have more on my list to try to track down in the coming months.  I hope you’ve all been having a wonderful summer.

As always, thank you very much for reading.

-GG

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Summer Game Hunts

With respect to game collecting, this summer has been pretty fruitful so far.  I’ve had no yard sale luck yet, but the classifieds and thrift stores have been good to me, and I’ve also found a few games online for a decent price that I decided to purchase that way.

The first set of games came from an antique show.  We’d heard through some people in town that there might be some video game vendors at the event, so we popped in there to see what was what.  The first table I went to had some really interesting games but the prices were sky-high, the seller was not really negotiable on prices, and I decided to see what else was there.  A little sleuthing later and I came upon a table that had some games for $2 each.  I picked up two NES games: Star Tropics and Legacy of the Wizard.  I already own a copy of both of these, but I hope to put them toward a trade in the future to get something else I might like.  The stickers stuck on the front of Star Tropics are more or less fused with the label, unfortunately.  Legacy of the Wizard was in good shape all around.

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From the same vendor, I chanced upon two Intellivision games: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and Zaxxon. There were several others in the mix but I was pretty sure I had most of them already.  The boxes for both games were in very poor shape, but it’s pretty rare that I’ve run into good condition Intellivision games in my searches.  Advanced D&D came with its overlays and an instruction manual, while Zaxxon just came with a manual.  I’m not sure if overlays exist for that game or not.  The instruction manual doesn’t show anything involving them, so I’m hoping that that’s the case.

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Continuing the trend of $2 games, I happened to stumble upon two at a local thrift shop.  The first was Star Ocean: The Last Hope for XBox 360.  I have yet to start into the series at all, but I’ve heard from many that it’s a pretty decent one.  I’m not sure about what the reviews are like for this particular installment, but the discs were in excellent condition and for a few dollars, I really couldn’t resist picking it up.

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The second thrift store game find was Build-A-Bear Workshop: A Friend Fur All Seasons for the Wii.  I’m usually not one to buy up shovelware, but this game looked like it might have some small degree of promise.  Like Star Ocean, this game was in pristine condition and would’ve been hard to pass up.  I have no idea what’s in store for me with it, but I can’t leave a game behind!  Especially not one with such a lovely friend ship on the cover.

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I also ordered a few games online recently, and one was Plok for the SNES after I was sold on it by a fairly positive review video.  I enjoy a challenge and seem to only have RPGs or commonly known games for the SNES, so this one was an easy decision for me.  The game came in excellent condition, and I’m happy to feel slightly more diversified in what I have for the system.  Just slightly.

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Last but not least was a game for the Sega Genesis: Rolo to the Rescue.  Before I went to the last swap, I had poured over many “best games for X system” lists.  Rolo to the Rescue was mentioned in a top 100 and after looking into it a little, I thought it might be something worth picking up.  It has mixed reviews in other places, but I tend to like games that aren’t quite as shiny as the rest.  It’s cute and it’s Genesis, so what could possibly go wrong?

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And thar she blows, folks.  Another few games to add to the mix with more to come.  I’ve been perusing the Sega Master System’s PAL region library lately, so hopefully I’ll be able to come at you with another post soon once all my mail arrives.

Thank you for reading, as always.

-GG

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Birthday Games

My birthday seems to sneak up on me at the same time every year, but this time around we found ourselves in one of my favourite video game stores perusing the wares for a gift for me!  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the stock in that store had just recently been replenished from a collection sale, so off I went to find some games that spoke to me.

Speaking of games speaking to me, I couldn’t resist picking up the NES version of Ultima IV.  I’m not sure how many of you may have had an experience where playing a game changed your outlook not only on other games but also on yourself and the world around you, but Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar for the Sega Master System provided me with that experience a few years ago.  The NES port is something I’ve been interested in trying out since I absolutely love the visual aesthetic in that one as it’s very much like Final Fantasy.  The second game I got was Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.  Of the few movies I’ve seen, this one has always been one of my favourites.  I watched a friend play through it a few months ago and it had some interesting gameplay that I thought might be fun to try out sometime for myself.

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I also found one Sega Genesis game, Cadash!  As a perpetual Faxanadu lover, this game spoke to me when I first found out about it.  It’s a sidescrolling action game with RPG elements, and one of my favourite parts about it is that you can play with multiple players.  Now if only I could get my boyfriend on board to play this one with me…

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Finally, I picked out two games for the Game Boy: Sneaky Snakes and Kid Dracula.  Sneaky Snakes is the sequel to Snake, Rattle ‘n Roll for NES, a game that’s very nostalgic for me.  I’m curious to see how well the ideas of the first game fit into a sidescroller.  Next is Kid Dracula, a game I first discovered while looking into rarer Game Boy games.  After seeing the price of this version of Kid Dracula, I’d picked up the Famicom game a few years ago thinking I’d dodged a bullet, but I later discovered that the two games are different.  Although this one was a little more than what I wanted to pay, I dove in anyway.  It was my birthday, and I could spend what I wanted to!

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There are seemingly some great adventures around the next corner with the purchase of these games.  I was glad to welcome in 33 with one of my favourite hobbies.

Thank you very much for reading!

-GG

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Someone Else’s Spring Cleaning

Sometimes it’s a matter of luck when you’re coasting through classifieds ads and happen to see one that’s brand new.  Nobody’s looked at it yet and your eyes are the first to take in the goods to be had.  This was exactly what happened to me last week and after getting through to the person selling almost immediately, we were soon on our way over to pick up a substantial pile of games and consoles.

There was nothing new in terms of consoles for us, but buying up extra consoles to trade or sell to fund other games is always something I’m thinking about.  We ended up with four different consoles, two handhelds, and a few games for each.  They took a long while to clean up since they were stored in open containers in a house with at least one cat and two dogs… the amount of dust, hair and mystery goo was exponentially more than I’m used to seeing, but a task I was up to handling nonetheless.

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First, we picked up a Wii.  I’m not usually actively looking for these, but there were a few things I didn’t have in this lot like DJ Hero, as well as Super Smash Bros. Brawl.  DJ Hero and the two Guitar Hero games came with their respective accessories, and goodness are they bulky and hard to store!  Guitar Hero isn’t a game I dive into very often so I imagine we might end up giving the games and guitars away to friends or family since we already have several copies of both of these games on different systems.  I’m not sure if I’ll hang onto DJ Hero yet or not since I’m not sure I meet the coolness requirement to play that one.  There was also a second Wiimote, but batteries had been left inside and had leaked so much that some of the acid came out through the bottom connector port.  I haven’t tried to save that one, but the other was in great working condition.  Sadly, the Wii didn’t have any games downloaded onto it but I did luck out with a 2 GB SD card that had been forgotten about.  One interesting thing I didn’t even know existed was the Super Mario Galaxy commemorative coin that was in the mix.  Because I rarely buy games new, I was never privy to many of these perks.  The coin is really nice, and I’m happy to add it to my collection.

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Next up was a GameCube.  I’ve really only run into black or silver ones when buying on the classifieds, but here we found a purple one!  The system came with a few memory cards, four controllers, and six games – one was stowed away in the Wii but couldn’t be read: Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland.  The only new-to-me game was WWE Wrestlemania X8, but the others will go into my trades bin.  Not all the games came with their manuals and Day of Reckoning was in particularly brutal condition, but hopefully I’ll be able to get something better in exchange for them down the line.  It was very nice to have found four controllers in excellent shape like these.  The only problem was that they were absolutely filthy with hair and sticky goo covering the rubberized buttons, and grime jammed up into every crevice.  I’ve bought some controllers in terrible shape in the past and despite the yuck-factor, these were at least working with all their parts!

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There were also two kinds of handhelds: a Game Boy Color and a Game Boy Advance SP. You can probably see from the photo that the screen on the GBC is a bit scratched up, but it works well regardless.  If anyone might have an idea of how to fix up a screen like that, please let me know!  The GBA SP was really beat up on the outside, but the screen was fairly well preserved given that it’s hidden most of the time.  It also powered on without any trouble.  The two games we got were Pokemon Crystal and Pokemon Yellow, both of which fired up without issue after a good scrubbing.  Their save batteries were also still good.  Pokemon Yellow’s label ended up being a little faded after I had my way with it trying to remove a name and phone number scrawled across it in permanent marker.  These two games were more fodder for the trade bin since I own them both in other forms already.  

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Also included in this purchase was a model 2 Sega Genesis and a pile of games.  Although many of them were sports games that I wouldn’t normally look twice at, lots of them were sports games we didn’t yet own.  I’ve been having a bit of a change of heart when it comes to sports games in general, especially ones from the 16-bit and 8-bit generations.  Some of them have a lot of heart and I’m looking forward to trying more of them out as I get more comfortable with them.  The one real stand-out game from this bunch was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist.  That’s a game my boyfriend’s been looking for for a long while, and the price was definitely right given that we only paid about $200 for everything here.  NBA Jam Tournament Edition was also new, as well as what is reportedly a terrible super hero game called Spiderman X-Men Arcade’s Revenge.

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Last but not least, we ended up with a new SNES and some games.  Like everything else, the console was absolutely filthy and needed to be taken apart and cleaned up.  No official controller was in sight, but we did end up with a working SuperPad.  When I got my first SNES when I was 17 it came with the same controller but it never worked.  It’s not the most responsive but it’ll do just fine.  Games-wise, the three that were new to us were Super Smash T.V., Battletoads Double Dragon and Super Star Wars Return of the Jedi.  These are three games I’ve been casually looking for and am glad to finally cross off the list.  We also got a few beat up copies of popular trade-worthy games like Yoshi’s Island and Super Mario All-Stars, as well as Mortal Kombat 3 and Clue.  I did swap the board in this Yoshi’s Island cartridge for my personal copy with a better label since it fired up the first time.  The other two copies of Yoshi’s Island I have are extremely finicky, and I hope this new board will continue to start up reliably.

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With our trades bin restocked and a hearty helping of new things for our own collection, I’d say that this purchase was a great success.  There are always new things around the corner waiting to be found, and Spring cleaning is still well underway for many people.  I’ve been out to a few yard sales here and there without much luck except stumbling upon some Strawberry Shortcake curtains… they were in the free bin and now live with me.

Happy Sunday, and thank you very much for reading.

-GG

 

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