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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Swap Pickings

The birds are singing and the grass is finally growing here, so naturally it’s swap season!  I found out about an impromptu swap event a week or so ago and scuttled on over there to check out the wares.  Because I had just picked up an enormous lot of games at the last one, I went in a little more conservatively this time around but still feel I made out with some great finds!

The first seller I stumbled upon had an enormous table of Famicom and Super Famicom games, some boxed and some loose.  I’ve been casually picking up lots of Super Famicom RPGs that I hope to feature in a future post, but I’ve been getting those mostly loose.  This guy had a bunch of what I’ve bought recently from eBay, but his prices were more than what I’d paid shipped in most cases.  One thing that caught my eye was a boxed copy of Final Fantasy V.  The only other version I own is on Final Fantasy Anthology for PS1 and if the loading times on Anthology are anything like they were on Chronicles when I played Chrono Trigger, I want nothing to do with that and will gladly settle for the original played with a translation patch.  I do appreciate that it came with a fold-out manual with lots of stats, map info and I’m sure what are a lot of other awesome things.  I enjoy the art inside, but not knowing Japanese even a little bit obviously makes the rest of the pretty information quite useless to me.

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A second Super Famicom game that was glinting at me among the many was Kirby’s Dreamland 3.  I had actually tried to order this game from eBay ages ago for a screamin’ deal, and it never came.  One small dispute later and I was refunded my money, but I went on yearning for a copy of the only early Kirby game I didn’t own.  The North American version of Dreamland 3 is very expensive, so I was happy to go for the Japanese version since I don’t think much language is required to play.  This game was in absolute perfect condition other than the sticker on the box, which I don’t mind so much.  I especially love the lithographic cartridge label and the overall adorable cuteness of this thing!  Soon the humping hamster will have his way with Kirby again… if you don’t know what I’m talking about, the in-game hamster has a horrible animation with Kirby when they’re paired… you’ll see.

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Last from this seller was a copy of one of my most nostalgic games from childhood, Antarctic Adventure for Famicom.  I’ve only ever seen this game on bootleg multicarts, and as a kid I had no idea that most of these games were just pirated Famicom games piled into one place.  Antarctic Adventure and its rendition of Skater’s Waltz has always held a special place in my heart, and now I finally own my own physical copy of the game.  The label’s peeling in a few spots, but for a couple of dollars, I couldn’t pass it up.  The penguin looks much cuter and much less sweaty in-game, though.

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The rest of the games came from one of my favourite sellers that I always make a point to buy from when I see them at these shows.  They always give us a great deal, and this time was no different.  First up are two NES games: McKids and Beetlejuice.  McKids always intrigued me after seeing it covered in various places on the internet, but Beetlejuice is something a little nearer to me.  I know some folks on Twitch that speedrun it, and watching them love this game has made me want to love it too.  That first level music pops into my head often and I just really need an opportunity to try it out for myself.  Despite both of my speedrunner friends being great at explaining why they’re doing what they’re doing when they run it, I still actually have no idea how to play this game.  It should be an adventure, and thankfully it came with the manual.

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A Game Boy game reared its ugly head at me: Bart Simpson’s Escape from Camp Deadly.  I don’t know if I’m a sucker for punishment or what, but I own pretty much every other Simpsons game from this generation and couldn’t say no for $2.  I’ll stuff it into my box of Game Boy games and try to forget about it for a while.  It’ll be a nice surprise when I discover it again!

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Last but not least, there were two Sega Master System games that I wanted to add to my collection.  The first was Spy vs. Spy.  Up until the moment I laid eyes on it, I had no idea that this game had even been released for the Master System.  Also of interest is that it’s a card game, and it was in impeccable shape apart from a broken box hanger, which I couldn’t care less about.  The seller only wanted $10 so I took it home with me.

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And finally, I found a copy of King’s Quest: Quest for the Crown!  At the last swap, I hummed and hawed about a complete copy that was more than I wanted to spend.  When I finally decided to go for it, by the time I got back to the table, it was gone.  For $90, it was a mixed sense of grumpiness and relief.  I was hesitant to spend so much in one place, but I love King’s Quest and the Master System version is a rarer variant I would’ve loved to have in my collection.  Fast forward to this swap, and my favourite seller had it for $60!  It ended up being less than that all said and done since we bought everything together with quite a big discount.  The only bummer is that the manual is missing its front cover, but that’s just the crappy purple-and-white King’s Quest logo.  Nothing too exciting there except that and maybe some warranty info on the back end. I can’t wait to play this game again on a system I’ve fallen head over heels for.  Hooray!

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And that was swap #2 of the summer so far.  I’m not sure what else will pop up for big swap meets over the next while, but I’ve been scouring yard and garage sales without too much luck so far.  Hopefully I’ll have more to report back on soon enough!

Thank you for reading, as always!

-GG

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Odds & Ends

Things have been pretty busy gaming-wise for me the past little while.  Spending time playing through my games rather than collecting them has been an interesting shift in my life, but I’ve been happy doing it.  Thankfully I’ve still been finding a few things here and there on the collecting front, and on an even brighter note swap/yard sale season is just around the corner!

Some highlights of things in my recent gaming life are:

1) Putting out some video reviews.  I’ve really been shifting my focus to video-based reviews on my YouTube channel, and I feel like I’m starting to hit a stride with that.

2) Helping out a local event with a retro video game expo.  We lent them a bunch of monitors and consoles to round out their abysmal selection, and it felt pretty good to get kids and parents together to play some old games.

3) Streaming so many  great games. I’ve been really active on Twitch over the past year and a half just enjoying the games I’ve been collecting.

Now to the collection additions!  Our local thrift stores have been a thorn in my side over the past year or so with their changes in policy around how you can get discounts, but very recently one of them has rescinded its evil ways and you can now get a 20% discount coupon when you bring a grocery bag of items in to donate.  Please bear in mind that these are big box chain thrift stores and not non-profit stores like the Salvation Army… I have absolutely no problem paying more to directly support charity, but I’m talking about for-profit stores like Goodwill and Value Village.

When I popped in the other day to look for something entirely different, they had a few Game Boy games in their case that I was instantly interested in.  The first was a good copy of Final Fantasy Legend III that I wanted to replace my current absolutely horrendous version with a its torn-to-shreds label.  Alongside that one was Captain America and the Avengers with a price tag of $40.  There aren’t too many Game Boy games that fetch such a price, but after comparing to the internet’s going rate I decided to jump in on that one.  When trying it out I died pretty much instantly since beat-em-ups aren’t my strength by any means, but my boyfriend fiddled around with it for a bit, and he was excited about the purchase. Both these games were in absolutely gorgeous condition and it was a no-brainer to pick them up.

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In a local online auction, I was lucky enough to win a few more Game Boy games, including a second copy of James Bond 007 and Tetris DX.  I had to double and triple check my collection before bidding on the Tetris game because I already own at least two or three other versions of Tetris for it.  It’s amazing how many variations they’ve put on that old formula, some better than others of course.

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For NES and Famicom, I picked up a few games online and via local auction including Pinball Quest: The World’s First Fantasy Pinball, Bad Dudes, and The Wing of Madoola.  Pinball Quest looks really cool and mixes up Pinball with RPG elements, two things I never thought I’d see in the same game.  It looks tough but fun, and hopefully it’ll also play that way.  Bad Dudes with its reputation obviously speaks for itself, but I was lucky to find it with its manual.  The manual felt greasy and dusty all at the same time and I really hate touching it, but I’m not really sure how to tidy it up very well.  I want to put it in a plastic bag and observe it rather than ever physically interacting with it again.  All I know about The Wing of Madoola is that it’s supposed to be a difficult platformer/adventure game that is English-friendly, so I jumped all over that.

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I was also told of another English-friendly Famicom game called Dragon Buster that I should consider looking into.  I watched someone’s gameplay video on YouTube and was laughing awfully hard in the first few seconds at how the main character swings his sword around, if you can even call it swinging.  It’s more like flailing!  I went to eBay to purchase it but accidentally bought the second game instead.  I didn’t actually realize my mistake until it arrived in the mail, but I remedied the issue and purchased the first game as well. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if the second game is playable with no Japanese knowledge, but I will look into it.  Either way, the two of them are together in my collection now!

I also enjoy the screenshot from Dragon Buster on the front label. That yellow monster with the grossest-ever bellybutton is the stuff of nightmares.

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Staying in the 8-bit generation a little longer, I also snagged three more NES games from that local online auction I’ve been mentioning.  MTV Remote Control was a game I’d never heard of before and still don’t know too much about, but with auctions starting pretty cheap, I figured it’d be worth picking up.  Nobody else bid on it, so I was an instant winner (not sure if that’s good or bad…).  I had to fight a little bit to get my hands on Quattro Adventure, a game that’s comprised of four games in one.  I’ve had the pleasure of watching games like Boomerang Kid and Super Robin Hood streamed by friends of mine, and I couldn’t help wanting to try them out myself.  I had actually been eyeballing a copy of this game at a flea market over the past year or so, but it was priced at $40 and there was no way I was going to pay that.  This one came to me for a smooth $7, so it was quite the deal!  Deadly Towers was not a game I was actively looking for, but nobody dared place a bid on it.  I felt bad and brought it home too.

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Although I don’t usually make too many purchases for PC, I recently played through King’s Quest V on NES and had King’s Quest fever for a bit.  I stumbled into some copies of three of the games at the thrift store and scooped them right up.  One was the PC version of KQV which I’ve never had the pleasure of owning, and the others were King’s Quest 7 and 8.  I’ve heard mixed reviews about the latter two but it doesn’t hurt to have them and try them out for myself.

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On the recommendation of a few different people, I also picked up Castle of Illusion for the Sega Master System.  I’ve been wanting to expand my Master System collection beyond RPGs for a while now but really never know where to start.  This version of the game has often been touted as its best version, and I got a great copy from overseas that was significantly cheaper than the North American version and will play just the same in my console.  If there’s one thing I love about the Master System, it’s its lack of region locking for the most part.

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It’s rare that I have two Master System-related thing to share at once, but I did buy another game off of eBay recently called Asterix.  I had tried waiting out the game swap to see if I could find a copy there, but my luck ran short with this one since it’s a PAL region-exclusive.  There are usually so few Master System games at swaps to begin with that it was highly unlikely to find this one anway, but I figured I’d try.  I’m pretty excited to give this one a whirl since it appears on many different Top Master System Games lists.  It’s missing its manual, but I hope I’ll be okay without it.

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I also picked up Wheel of Fortune for PS1 and Barbie and the Three Musketeers for Wii.  Most of you are probably familiar with the former, but the latter looks like a genuinely interesting adventure game that I was instantly into when I saw some folks playing it.  I really hope my copy works well since it’s a bit scratched up, but I really couldn’t say no for $3.

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Switching back to a bit of Sega, I recently bought a copy of Gadget Twins for the Genesis.  This one looks pretty cute.  It’s a shooter with little submarines that are fighting other submarines that are sometimes in larger, angrier-looking submarines… if it sounds too cute to be true, you’re probably right!  This isn’t a genre I normally saunter too far into, but it was the right price!

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Last but not least, I bought a Virtual Boy game called V Tetris.  This was a Japan-exclusive game that is very different from the Tetris game that was released in North America, 3D Tetris.  I’m also in love with the fact that the Virtual Boy is region free and hope to continue to take advantage of that as I round out my collection for this console.

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And there it is!  Lots of new games to add to the pile and a few more blog posts coming.  There was an impromptu game and antique swap this weekend and I was pretty successful at those as well.  I’d also like to share lots of the Super Famicom games I’ve been slowly hoarding, so expect a post about that soon as well.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and enjoy Monday tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!

-GG

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