Crossing Things Off the List…

I’ve always been the type of collector that has endless patience when it comes to buying games. I’m never really in a rush since I have a lot to play already, so if the price isn’t right or the game isn’t in the condition I want it in, waiting for another opportunity has generally paid off.

I was lucky enough to catch wind of a friend downsizing his absolutely gorgeous video game collection. He had some really interesting and hard to come by games that I’ve been looking for, and I finally pulled the trigger since I knew they were coming from a good home. This post will feature those games as well as a few stragglers from other online purchases I’ve made over the past few weeks.

To start out, this Trophy Figure from the Legend of Zelda was a gift from my friend that he included with my purchase. It’s the Link Fights the Head of Gleeok edition, one of six possible ones to collect from the time. If you know me even a little, you’ll know how meaningful the first Legend of Zelda game for NES is to me. It’s amazing to have this to add to the shelf.

I also picked up three NES games from him, and the first is Felix the Cat. This is a fun platformer with a medium amount of challenge that I have never, ever seen available for a good price at conventions back when they were happening. Sellers always told me that someone would pay the price they wanted if I wouldn’t, but I’m finally a proud owner of this delightful game! It’s in excellent condition as well (all of these are!) Next is Day Dreamin’ Davey, a game I only know from its corresponding Angry Video Game Nerd review, but something I’ve always been interested to try out. I grew up loving Nightmare on Elm street and the idea of media that takes you into dreams has always felt intriguing to me. This one might turn out to be great after all, and I’m ready to find out for myself. Lastly, I got Gremlins 2: The New Batch. I’ve seen a few people play through this over the years and have always thought it looked great, so here we are. Three more NES games to add to the shelves. I was out of room for NES a long time ago…

There aren’t a ton of games I’m still looking for when it comes to Virtual Boy, but Jack Bros. was one I was thrilled to procure. The English version of this one is astronomically priced, and while the Japanese release isn’t too far behind, my friend’s price for this was definitely reasonable compared to what I’ve seen over the years. The box has a few scuffs along the edges as you might expect from long-lived cardboard media, but the game and the other materials are pristine. I am so excited to finally be able to play this after searching for so long!

For the Sega CD, I picked up a game called Dark Wizard. It’s apparently a tactical strategy RPG, and even though I still haven’t played a single game in that genre to date, I’m happy to have it to look forward to. I’ve checked around a bit and it’s supposed to be a pretty good game, albeit not very well known or talked about very often. It has an incredibly thick manual and I’m curious to see how it’ll compare to other well-loved games like it.

Linkle Liver Story is a Sega Saturn action RPG with a translation patch available for it online. While I might not play this actual disc when the time comes, it’s nice to have this and the reading materials… and no, they’re not in English. It’s a rare opportunity to play a 2D game on a console that was filled with 3D ones, and I can never say no to that.

Pier Solar and the Great Architects is something that’s always been on my radar, but I had initially heard about it for the Genesis. It was released for that console sometime in the 2000s and finally saw a Dreamcast release a couple of years ago. The graphics are stunning and from what I’ve read, it’s been very well-received around the internet as far as I can tell. It’s a traditional turn-based RPG and I think this version offers the ability to play in higher quality graphics or the traditional 16-bit ones from the original release for the Genesis. I hope it meets my expectations when the time comes. It’s also nice to have another RPG for the Dreamcast to look forward to since there were so few initially released for the console.

The allure of the Sega Master System called me like a siren among the rocks… I ended up picking up Alf! The only time I’ve seen this game played was by someone who adores Master System games, and he spent his entire stream swinging at bats in a cave with a salami. I can’t wait to have that experience myself some day, and yes, I mean that. Rocky is also a fun addition to the collection. Deep down I secretly wish every boxing game ever made was like Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, but there are always new gaming skills to hone and develop. I also think it’s funny seeing Sylvester Stallone on the front of this game when lots of other Master System Box art was far less… realistic?

The last thing I picked up from my friend was a copy of Zaxxon 3-D, a game that requires the use of the 3D glasses peripheral for the system. Well guess what? He also sent me a pair of 3D glasses! I am so excited to jump into the small 3D games library for the console. The glasses have one missing arm at the moment so I am looking for a replacement, but they still function beautifully from some brief testing I did the other day. Zaxxon 3-D is pretty fun. There’s a lot more depth than I was expecting from 8-bit 3D so connecting bullets with enemies is tricky, but they always seem to find me without too much trouble. I call shenanigans.

The rest of the items here were bought online from various places, and the first one is Space Gun for the Sega Master System. This has one of the most compelling backstories I’ve ever read for a first person shooter game, and as can be said for many PAL Master System releases, the box art is spot on. I always need more reasons to take the light phaser out for a spin, and this and the next game coming up will help to scratch that itch. I originally thought I’d been scammed since the manual’s ink is black rather than the usual purple you’d see for Master System games, but it feels legitimate? The paper’s definitely not out of someone’s printer. There’s also a smidgen of cartridge label peeling but nothing major. It’s otherwise in excellent shape.

Assault City is another light phaser-requiring title that came to me in worn condition. The manual’s obviously torn and the case art is fraying/damaged along some of its edges, but it’ll be fun to rain down some bullets on otherworldly invading jerks. I think I might now own all of the light phaser games for the system, but I can’t say that definitively yet… it’d be a cool milestone to hit though!

Randomly, I bought a game called Salmon King: The Big Catch for the Sega Genesis. This was completely an impulse buy since I was purchasing a bunch of Nintendo Game Pack card packs from the same site and decided to get this too. On the topic of the cards, I made a video showcasing opening and reviewing 49 packs of them if anyone is interested, but as for the game, I’ve heard it has some RPG elements! Fishing RPGs are a pretty random twist on that old formula so I’m curious to see what this one’s all about.

Last up is a first-person dungeon crawler called Towers: Lord Baniff’s Deceit for the Game Boy Color. I can’t recall where I first heard about it, but after completing Shining in the Darkness for the Sega Genesis over the past couple of months, I’ve been hungry for more of this kind of action in my life. From what I’ve been able to see of the gameplay online, it has some exceptional introductory sequence graphics and all the elements of a good game in principle. Now it’s just a matter of giving it a try sometime down the line. I’ll add it to my very long list.

I think that’s all I might have here for a little while. I don’t have anything else coming in the mail at the moment, and I’ve spent quite a bit on the contents of the last few updates. I’ll get back to scouring for more interesting things to buy in the coming weeks and hopefully have more for you here soon.

May your collecting endeavours be fruitful in the meantime!

Thanks for reading!

-GG

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Packages, Packages and More Packages

With the heat of spring and summer starting to settle in now and no game swaps/meets in sight for the foreseeable future, I’ve been back to hunting for games online. Between a brief moment or two of normalcy between lockdowns and finding a new website to peruse for games, I’ve picked up quite a few new things over the last couple of weeks.

The first bunch here are some Intellivision games. I usually try to find these complete in box or at least with their controller overlays, but I couldn’t resist taking these home loose. Pitfall, Beauty & the Beast and Atlantis are all new to me, and I blanked at the store and couldn’t remember if I had Space Spartans or not. Turns out I did already, but that’s just fine. I was particularly intrigued by Beauty & the Beast just for the ridiculousness of the label art and the fact that it has nothing to do with the beloved movie of my youth. Other than these being extremely dusty and smelling like someone’s basement, they were all in pretty good shape overall.

At the same store, I also picked up two other games: The Official Turbo for Colecovision, and Galaga for the Atari 7800. I don’t even own a Colecovision at the moment, but many months ago I purchased the steering wheel for the system from a local shop. It came with an extremely beat up box and the instructions, but the game was missing. I’m glad to be able to complete the package now. Galaga is something I have in various shapes and forms, but I appreciated that this copy was for the 7800. I only have a couple of games for that console kicking around and although it’s obviously not an exclusive or in very good shape, it’s nice to expand that collection however slightly.

For NES, I picked up Dynowarz: The Destruction of Spondylus (a subtitle I never knew existed until this very moment) and was gifted a copy of Krusty’s Fun House by my best friend from childhood. Dynowarz is something I watched a friend stream a long while ago and it looked interesting to me, with different modes of play… I think I recall seeing some parts as a super tiny vulnerable human character, and then other times you get to be a dinosaur? It’s a faint memory at this point, but the game was dirt cheap and I absolutely love the label art! You don’t see lasers going through dinosaur heads very often. Krusty’s Fun House is a game I played with my best friend all the time when we were younger. She recently sent me a care package and decided to include her cartridge as a surprise for me, which I was really appreciative of. I will treasure it always!

This next photo is something I’ve been wanting to reacquire for many years: a complete in box copy of Faxanadu. If this is your first time to this blog, you might not be aware that Faxanadu is one of my very favourite games. I still have my own childhood cartridge with its manual, but the box is long gone. At one point in my life I had a second copy in its box, pristine and beautiful, that I let a friend borrow so he could have all the materials and the full experience while trying out the adventure, but it never came back to me. I’ve spent many years without this on my shelf in boxed form, and while I usually don’t make a point to chase cardboard down, it’s really wonderful to have this. Granted, it’s not the Canadian version with the bilingual box text/manual, but it’ll do. The box itself is in reasonably good shape, but one of the edges is sun-bleached a little. The manual also has a few small tears along its edges but I thought it was in good enough condition to purchase. I love it and am proud to own it again.

My Game Boy and Game Boy Color collections grow ever-stronger with these two new additions. Microsoft: The Best of Entertainment Pack was a bit of a random thing I decided to buy when I found out it had SkiFree on it. If you were an early-ish Windows user, you may remember the skiing game where you were inevitably consumed by a snow yeti, with your bones used as a toothpick after the meal. I played that game relentlessly in my youth, trying to figure out how to avoid being devoured, but to no avail. It also has Free Cell on it, and I love that one. When I upgraded to Windows 10 and Free Cell was stuffed full of ads and became extremely loud compared to everything else on my system, I didn’t play it anymore. The music in the GBC game is so good. I can’t get enough of that jazzy little tune that plays while I try to figure out what move to try next. Kid Icarus of Myths and Monsters was an impulse buy from that new website I mentioned, and it’s something I’ve wanted for a few years. I played through the NES Kid Icarus game a while back and enjoyed it after I got out of the first few levels, and I’m excited to finally try the sequel.

Limited Run Games just recently released the Game Boy Color version of Shantae. The original game is extremely sought after and runs for many hundreds of dollars at this point, so I had no hope of ever being able to find one for myself. They’re quite rare, and this is one of the few circumstances where I’d consider purchasing a reproduction of a game that already has a physical incarnation on a system. I usually only buy games that don’t have any other options for physical cartridges from these companies, but I am happy to have this one.

Captain Commando is a beat ’em up for the SNES that I’ve had my eye on for a long while. I was actually really disappointed to see the condition that this game arrived in. On the website I purchased from, it was listed as “like new” condition, and it arrived with a huge sticker across the label that I haven’t tried to remove yet as well as a ripped end-label that took most of the title off. It’s disappointing and I’m considering reaching out to see if I can get a partial refund. I had ordered a few other things from them before and they came in the condition as described, so I didn’t think twice before biting the bullet on this one. Either way, even though I am horrible at staying alive in these kinds of titles, it’s a cool game that I’ve heard is excellent and I look forward to taking it for a spin.

Smart Ball is a cartoony, generic platformer for SNES that I was encouraged to pick up by several people. You play as a prince that has been transformed into a blob and you’re trying to get your human body back. It’s adorable and very bright (think Fantasy Zone), and it was relatively inexpensive. I also bought a copy of Captain Tsubasa III for the Super Famicom, a soccer RPG that recently got a fan translation. I don’t know much about it or even the series that it’s based on, but I thought I’d pick it up anyway. A good sports RPG is hard to come by and this one is rumoured to be great.

Boom Blox for the Wii was a pleasant surprise I stumbled upon while watching Twitch one night. It’s a complex multiplayer-optional Jenga-like puzzle game of sorts where you have different goals like knocking all blocks down or not letting blocks fall as you manipulate various blocky structures. It looked like a fun party game to play sometime, either alone (yes, I can have parties by myself) or with my husband. It was a great price too and looked practically unplayed from the disc’s minty condition.

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker for the Wii U became available for purchase recently, and I finally bit the bullet. While I can’t stand Toad in Super Mario Bros. 2 for his inability to jump or any iteration of his voice that exists in this universe, I can always play this one on mute and still enjoy the puzzles. The end.

And back to Sega! For the Master System, I found a few different games and the first is Missile Defense 3-D. I don’t yet have a pair of 3D glasses in my possession, but I have some coming my way in the mail. There’s a bit of “stuff” underneath the plastic on the box which thankfully isn’t on the paper label, and I was super excited to find a Game Catalog inside of the box along with the game and manual. I have a few of the fold-out advertisements for the Master System showing off the game’s library at the time, but I’ve never seen this little catalog booklet. It features some very early games too.

Wanted for the Master System is a pretty action-packed light gun game. Of the gameplay I’ve seen, you ride on horseback and pick off your enemies one by one with gunfire, but there might be more variety in store for me as well. This copy also came with a fold-out “new releases” poster, which showcases other titles for the system. I love this stuff, especially when it comes to me unexpectedly.

Shooting gallery for the Master System is also a light gun game, but this particular copy wasn’t in the greatest shape. You can’t really tell from the photo, but the plastic that usually holds the paper box art in place is broken completely along the spine (there’s a little piece on the floor there… it’s crumbling away for some reason), meaning that any time I pick up the game, I’m contending with two pieces of floppy plastic and a piece of paper trying to escape. The box was also crushed a bit so it tends to snap shut incorrectly, and the manual’s also stained and crumpled. It’s certainly not the most beautiful game, but let’s hope it works when I get around to testing it out.

I love Garfield with every fibre of my being, so I finally got a copy of Garfield: Caught in the Act for the Sega Genesis. I think it’s just a fun mascot platformer, and I can’t quite remember if it’s something I rented when I was a kid. I can’t imagine I wouldn’t have brought it home for the weekend if I saw it at the rental store, but we usually missed out on many of the good titles and had to pick through the leftovers. Psychic World for the Game Gear is another title I’ve been searching for. I adore the Master System version and it was only a matter of time before I took the Game Gear game out for a spin. I hate the label art though… it’s some man’s chin and his soul patch mostly covered up by the title… if I didn’t know what I was in for and was buying on label art alone, this one would have never been discovered.

Light Crusader for the Sega Genesis is another disappointing pickup for me in terms of condition not being accurately disclosed. The box is obviously sun bleached like crazy despite the game being listed in “like new” condition. It was clearly a rental that sat on a shelf for a very, very long time. That said, I’m really into Genesis RPGs and this game looks promising. I hope it’s good!

Last but not least, I bought Sega Marine Fishing for the Sega Dreamcast, and this photo features my arm! It came with the product registration card for the system that I have personally never seen before, so that was a cool surprise to find when I opened it up. I have Sega Bass Fishing already and found it very engaging and funny, and I just had to buy this sequel title. Now, I didn’t really look into this game before buying and I think, based on what I read in the materials, that you can catch dolphins and sting rays while fishing the oceans. That feels mean and wrong to me… hopefully I can pick and choose some missions and avoid catching those sweethearts.

And there’s another post in the bag! I have a few more things coming in the mail just in time for my birthday, so hopefully I’ll be able to update you all soon on what’s trekking north from the US for me. In the meantime, I hope you’re all catching some of this wonderful summer weather and enjoying some sun.

Thank you for reading!

-GG

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The Generosity of Friends

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been lucky to get to know quite a few people online that have similar interests in retro video games, and collecting especially. Once in a while, some folks have offered to send me things they had doubles of or have been amenable to selling to me when downsizing their collections. This post is going to highlight some of those pickups that have trickled in over the last while.

First up are a couple of NES games, Puzznic and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I have never played either of these much, though I have emulated some of the latter in the past. I think once I sit down and figure out how to play it with the instructions, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is going to be a fun time as much as anything else I’ve tried out for NES. Another thing included here was a dogbone controller, my very first! I’ve always played NES with the usual pack-in rectangular controller, but I’ve been told this one’s a lot more comfortable. Time will tell of course, but I’m not sold on the angle of the buttons… I might have to dig out an NES extension cable since the cord on this thing is so short!

Next is MagMax, a sidescrolling shooter from what I can tell from some video from the internet. I know next to nothing about this one, but I also enjoy a surprise once in a blue moon. The back of the box has a pretty significant tear that removed almost all of the story information, but the front and the cartridge itself is in decent condition. No manual unfortunately, but that’s okay. I don’t have a lot of boxed NES so this is a nice addition to that pile.

Ninja-Kun: Adventure of Devil Castle for the Famicom is an arcade port with levels focused on murdering a bunch of enemies as you ascend buildings and other structures. I think it looks pretty cute from a pixel art perspective! I am always interested in expanding my Famicom collection, especially given how great some of the cartridge colours are and how bright and fun the label art can be. I have a Famicom converter for my NES so I’ll be trying this one out soon enough.

Last year I played through the original Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! for NES for the first time, and shortly after I picked up a loose cartridge of the sequel on the SNES. My friend sent a copy of the Super Punch Out!! manual along for me, which is really cool! I’m a big fan of these resources in general and this book will come in handy when I’m inevitably trying to pick apart the idiosyncrasies of this one. It looks like all my favourite people to punch are here too… especially Macho Man. Unless that’s Macho Man’s brother or something. I’ll punch him as well.

I am always happy to add more Master System to my collection, and here we have Predator 2 and Mono… Poly? I don’t know why they decided to spell Monopoly like that on the cartridge label when they clearly knew what it was supposed to be since they got it right on the box, but here we are. Now, I don’t know if I’ve seen Predator 2. I’ve definitely experienced the first movie because it had Dutch’s jungle war cry that I knew from an Arnold Schwarzenegger soundboard I had on an old phone, but I digress. The game appears to be a top-down run-and-gun action game where you’re also saving hostages. Time will tell if it’s a fun one or not, but it looks like the gameplay is nice and varied to say the least. Monopoly is pretty much just video Monopoly, which I like better than the board game. Long ago I had Monopoly for DOS, so this will be a new upgrade to try out sometime.

I once made a statement about Taz-Mania on the Sega Genesis being one of the worst games I’d ever played. I rented it a few times as a kid and it never grew on me, but thankfully there have been a few other games starring the same character that are much better and worth spending time with. Taz for the Atari 2600 is a single-screen game where you’re trying to avoid picking up dynamite while trying to eat all the food items you can get your hands on. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a game about a perpetually hungry Tasmanian devil and I think it’ll be great to play on a variety night for stream sometime. The label is in wonderful condition as well.

I don’t believe that the GameCube broadband adapter can still be used for anything up and running today, but at one point it was used to give GameCube consoles online capabilities for games like Phantasy Star Online. It’s still a neat piece of hardware to have nonetheless, and it’ll be interesting to see if there are any communities hosting online stuff for GameCube these days. Who knows what’s out there? It’s not something I’ve spent much time thinking about. At the very least, if I ever find a bunch of friends that also have these and get them together, I think there is also LAN capability as well.

When this Game & Watch came out a while back I wasn’t sure if I was going to pick one up or not. I have no nostalgia for ones from the 80s and 90s but I was happy to see this surprise in the bottom of the package! It’s very cute and a lot smaller than I was thinking it would be too, but I’m still looking for a permanent home for it to be on display in the game room. It’s very cool to finally own one of these.

I was also lucky enough to receive an exclusive preview guide from when the Sega Dreamcast was first launched. I recently dove into Skies of Arcadia for the system and was featured in a Kotaku article after setting up a mic to capture my Dreamcast noises during the livestreams, and it prompted someone to send this along to me to dive deeper into the library and lore of the system. This was an excellent read and as someone who apparently lived under a rock with respect to gaming when the Dreamcast was brand new, it was awesome to look back at such an exciting time for Sega. It also has an article on the Castlevania Resurrection game that was never actually released but had a demo that was dumped online about a month or two ago.

I picked up a few games from a friend, and the first is Castlevania: Dracula X for SNES. Last summer I played through many of the 8- and 16-bit Castlevania games, and Dracula X is one I was hoping to eventually try my hand at if I could find a copy for a reasonable price. This person was downsizing their collection, so I was able to purchase this and the next two games coming up from him. I’m very happy to finally have a copy of this in great condition, and am looking forward to playing it. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood was a blast and I understand this one is supposed to be a port of that game with some changes that people generally dislike for some reason. I’ll be the judge of that!

Another thing that now belongs to me is the Phantasy Star Collection for the Game Boy Advance. This has Phantasy Star 1-3 but is sorely lacking the fourth game! I don’t know that there were a lot of changes made to the installments that are here except to get them sized properly to run on the GBA, but this copy is currently sealed. I might open this sometime and see what it’s all about. I didn’t realize it was still sealed when I initially struck the deal with my friend, but I am not the type to leave things in plastic wrap forever. I’ve never owned a brand new GBA game either, so it’ll be special to be able to open something like this when the time comes.

Finally, I bought a copy of Castlevania Chronicles for the Playstation. This wasn’t something that I knew much about before seeing the list of games for sale, but I have spent a bit of time with it and it’s got some really interesting music! It’s like regular Castlevania tunes but hyped up for a techno bar somewhere. The visuals remind me of what I experienced in Symphony of the Night and Rondo of Blood, so I don’t have to say much more than that they’re beautiful. I’m coming ever-closer to having a complete collection of Castlevania games. I’m still missing a few including the ones for the N64, but it’s great to keep making progress on these very loose collecting goals.

That, as they say, is that! Other than a few other things I’ve brought in from the internet over the past few months that I’m saving for another post, what I’ve shown here is all I’ve been able to get my hands on. I can’t wait for the day when I can actually go out and purchase games locally again, or even get out to some bigger swap events down the line. These purchases have been a lifeline of sorts to collecting in pandemic times, and I’m extremely grateful for the people that chosen to give or sell these things to me. Much obliged!

I hope you’re all enjoying the (hopefully!) nicer weather and are staying safe out there.

As always, thanks for reading.

-GG

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The Quiet of Winter

Most of winter has come and gone without too much action on the collecting front. In-person meetups are still not safe given the state of the world at the moment, and store availability has been touch and go over the past many months. As a result, about 85% of what I’ve purchased has come from the Great Internet. While I’m hopeful for some kind of game swap in the near future, I doubt it’s going to happen.

The first game I bought was Jackie Chan’s Action Kung Fu for the Famicom (which I think was just shortened to Jackie Chan in Japan). I first discovered this game on a multicart ages ago and was immediately smitten with the graphics. Your sprite is enormous and also very expressive, and even though some of the gameplay is a bit janky, I’m excited to finally be able to play it since no English is really required. The North American version of this cartridge is quite expensive so the Famicom version was the way to go.

I was tricked into buying Legendary Wings for NES after I finished up The Guardian Legend this past fall. I did a tag-team playthrough with a wonderful friend, TheRenesance, who insisted I should try out Legendary Wings if I enjoyed the shooter parts of TGL. Well, while I could certainly manage some of those sections, Legendary Wings completely destroyed me within about 5 seconds of playing. I haven’t tried again since just because of how difficult it felt, but maybe I’ll come back to it sometime and get in a bit more practice.

Ultima The False Prophet (also known as Ultima VI) had an SNES release that I was told would be good to try. There are so many Ultima console ports out there, some with worse reputations than others, but after falling in love with Ultima IV on the Master System, I hope to have a similar experience here some day. The game was in really great condition too, which is always a plus when things arrive as described.

I’m always looking out for new and exciting Game Boy games, and Zen Intergalactic Ninja looked promising. The NES title is totally out of reach in terms of price for me, so the Game Boy game was a nice fallback plan. I found out about this Who Framed Roger Rabbit game from a YouTube video by NES Friend and bought it right away after seeing what it’s all about. I still have yet to play the NES game, but I adored the movie growing up. The more ways to experience this world, the merrier!

The Jungle Book for Sega Genesis was an occasional rental for me when I was young, and unfortunately I had forgotten just how terrible I am at it until testing out this cartridge! It has all of the high points of other Disney games of the time like great graphics and music, but it’s far from my favourite of the bunch. I’d love to find a copy of Pocahontas one of these days… for now, this will have to do!

At one of the brief points when some local thrift stores were open, we checked in to see about any potential games and stumbled upon a few titles for the Playstation. For a few dollars each and with their nearly pristine condition calling to us, it wasn’t a hard choice to take these three home. I think the winner of the bunch from what I’ve been able to find out is Disney’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire. I’m admittedly very curious about Super Star Dance Club #1 Hits though…

I finally added another Sega Saturn game to my collection: Panzer Dragoon. Prices for the original came down quite a bit with the release of the recent remake, and that was just the break I’d been waiting for. This is just like a much prettier version of Star Fox… maybe I’ll finally sit down and play more Saturn!

That just about does it here. While it’s much less exciting buying things online than finding them in the flesh in some form, it’s still nice to have added a few things to the shelves. Hopefully things will get back to normal in the coming months. I hope you’re all keeping safe.

Thanks for reading!

-GG

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Few and Far Between…

As the days turn to weeks and beyond and time seems to be whipping on by, I’ve been able to find some more games by way of internet alone and have had some reasonably good success finding some interesting new things to add to the collection.

The first few things were for the Famicom. Saiyuki World 2 and Konami Wai Wai World 2 both looked like two excellent platformers that don’t require any English to play. I’m always happy to bolster my Famicom collection! Door Door is the game in the bottom right of the photo below, and I first ran into it on a plug and play system I received from a friend a few years ago. The game was so adorable, and you essentially have to let enemies run into open doors and then close the doors behind them. The only other games I really want for Famicom at this point are probably Bird Week or Sqoon, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for them as well.

Battle of Kingdom is a Game Boy game I ended up reading about on an online forum, and it was listed as an RPG that didn’t require any English to play. So far, apart from the menu right at the beginning of the game as well as the opening cinematic, this is entirely true. It’s a bit of a different game where you need to walk down a path and kill certain enemies along the way a la action RPG, and the more points you have, the more special moves you can do or the more/better party members you can recruit to join you. I haven’t quite gotten it all figured out yet, but I am pretty happy with what I’ve played so far.

I was thrilled to find out about Dragonborne, a Game Boy RPG that was just released about a month ago from a UK/German group called Spacebot Interactive. I’ve heard excellent things about it and after playing it for a little while, I’m really looking forward to seeing what the rest of the game is like. It has all the great aesthetic pieces of games like Rolan’s Curse or Final Fantasy Legend. So cute! I think they have another pre-order open right now that’s closing at the end of November, so if this sort of thing intrigues you, get on it!

In an effort to round out more of my Virtual Boy collection, I picked up the Japanese version of Red Alarm. I understand it shouldn’t be too much of an issue playing this version over the North American release, and the only reason I went for this one instead is because of the price point. Game prices seem to have already skyrocketed because of the pandemic in general, but this game was on for a deal that I couldn’t pass up.

Space Squash was a Japanese exclusive for the Virtual Boy that I only found out about recently. This library has to have the quirkiest titles and far too many sports games given how few games were released in total, but it’s something that looked fun by my standards. The mod that we have for our Virtual Boy that allows us to play it on a CRT only uses one eyepiece to create the image, so I hope that not having the “true 3D” of the visor won’t take away from this gameplay experience. Time will tell!

After finishing up Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! for NES a couple of months ago, there was a great deal of encouragement that came straight from my stream audience to pick up Super Punch Out for the SNES. Here it is! It’s not super pristine by any means in terms of condition as there’s some strange wear on the label, but it’ll do. It turns on and is legitimate, so there will be more punching action in my future! Mr. Dream and Macho Man have a date with Vengeance… my secret name is actually Vengeance, in case you lost that train of thought.

Valis III for the Sega Genesis is a game I’ve been wanting for a very long time. To date, the only game from this series I’ve played is Syd of Valis, a super-deformed version of the much more serious Valis II that was released on the Turbografx-CD, and I enjoyed that one. Valis III always felt unobtainable because of the price point, but I managed to find a copy of it that’s a little beat up that was available below the going rate. Now it is mine, and I can’t wait to play this sometime.

And what would one of these posts be without some Sega Master System stuff? To start out here, I picked up Master Games 1, which is a compilation cartridge with three games. Super Monaco GP feels, looks and sounds relatively awful at a first glance, and Columns is just the same old Genesis game with a slightly more ear-piercing version of that wonderful tune. In my opinion, the gem here is World Soccer. It’s such a competent little game and while I normally run screaming in the opposite direction from sports titles, I think I’ll have fun playing this. In addition, I also found a copy of Dick Tracy. I think it’s the same as the Genesis version of the game, which is very different from the NES game. It’s the EU version as well, so much cheaper than the North American variant. I need to see the movie some day.

I’m not quite sure what I was thinking when I bit the bullet on Shadow of the Beast for the Master System, but here we are. There are much better ports of this one, but given that I don’t own a copy of it for any other system, this was too good to pass up since it was in such beautiful condition. The music is probably the biggest draw for me to this particular title, and the Master System’s sound chip does a pretty decent job. I’ll be curious to see how far I can get here, or how it might be different from the other ports.

Streets of Rage for the Master System, you might be thinking? Why yes! This and Streets of Rage 2 were both ported to the console, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it plays. The music’s even quite good. It’s not Genesis good, but it’s still really great. The only bummer is that you have to call for police back-up with the pause button on the console… that’s less than ideal, but from what I gathered watching my other half play through a bunch of it, the game’s easier than the Genesis game and maybe you don’t even need the police as often. That’s what I’m hoping, anyway. I dislike dismantling my game room every time I want to play a Master System game!

Well that just about does it for this time around. I’ve been buying up some more things lately and am waiting for them to arrive, so hopefully I’ll have another update in the near future for you all. In the meantime, stay safe out there!

Thanks for reading!

-GG

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Quarantine Collecting

As you might imagine, in the midst of COVID-19’s grasp, there is very little going on out there in the world for in-person video game conventions and swaps.  All the wonderful summer plans for travelling around the province in search of some elusive titles are cancelled, and that’s perfectly fine by me as long as people are safe and sound at home, where they should be.  These cancellations have left me with very few options for game collecting, but I’ve managed to find some good deals online and keep things rolling, albeit at a snail’s pace, compared to usual.

The first few games I picked up were for the Game Boy and Game Boy Colour.  The first is a Japanese copy of Rockman World 4, which for all intents and purposes is exactly the same as the English version of Mega Man IV, but significantly less expensive. The Mega Man games on Game Boy are typically mashups of the NES titles, with the exception of Mega Man V which is its own standalone game.  And if you know me even a little bit by now, you know I love Peanuts and the characters a ton… Snoopy Tennis for GBC was something I couldn’t resist.  It’s actually a very competent Tennis game, and while I haven’t played a lot of them, I could definitely win a few matches here.  That says something!

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Continuing in the handhelds department, I finally (finally!!!) found a copy of Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge for the Game Boy.  I’ve been wanting to find it for so long and I got one for a really good price online with a bunch of other games.  I was surprised since it wasn’t a North American site I was buying from but it was the US cartridge, so I scooped it up.  I got most of the way through the game up to the second-to-last boss and got wrecked… I’ll have to try it again soon and get that sweet win.  Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles III: Radical Rescue was a game recommended to me by a friend that apparently plays like a Metroidvania game, and loving Game Boy and those kinds of adventures, I couldn’t stay away.  I haven’t played it too much yet, but it does seem like a great game that I’m interested in trying some more.

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Bravely Second for the Nintendo 3DS was also suggested to me as a must-have by a friend.  I picked up the first game recently and the second one here came to me sealed from The Great Internets.  I don’t know when I’ll get around to playing it any time soon, but seeing that the series is touted as one of the best RPG series of all time, I might have to move them up the list.

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I put out a video recently talking about how Life Force for NES is essentially a great model for the immune system, and in the comments section, lots of people were asking if I’d ever played Abadox since it’s apparently really similar.  I’m terrible at shooters and I’m sure that hell will freeze over before I get any better at them, but I decided to pick this up anyway.  It’s a little ugly and I have to give it a good cleaning.  That yellowing on the right side is some dried glue of sorts, and the label’s pretty grimy as well.  Otherwise though, it’s in great shape.

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After playing Lizard for NES recently and loving it, I had a few other new NES homebrew games recommended to me to try.  I picked up Micro Mages and Twin Dragons, both of which are still wrapped up nicely since I haven’t had a chance to try them out yet.  They’re both able to be played on original hardware, so I’m looking forward to seeing what these are both all about.

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Mickey Mania for SNES was a gift from a dear friend that I wasn’t particularly seeking out, but considering my deep love for Mickey Mouse games, I honestly can’t wait to give this one a spin.  I grew up with World of Illusion on Sega Genesis and have really enjoyed other games like Land of Illusion, as well as another Mickey Mouse SNES game with the tremendously long title that I can never remember.  It’s a great addition to the collection and was well-loved by the previous owner.  I’m honoured to have it!

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I couldn’t get away with a collecting post without showing off some more Master System.  Robocop Versus the Terminator is pretty decent despite a bit of a choppier pace than its Sega Genesis counterpart, and Star Wars is probably the smoothest of the bunch.  Double Dragon is… well… interesting.  The NES port looks a lot more playable and the soundtrack is undeniably better there too.  The SMS version plays a little closer to the Atari 2600 one… I don’t have regrets buying it, but it’s an experience.  I’ll just leave it at that.

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Ghostbusters for the Master System came to me in relatively good shape.  It’s a slightly better version of the same game that was released for the NES, mainly because of its superior stair-climbing section near the end that isn’t an abomination like its Nintendo brother.  It still plays the Ghostbusters theme nonstop though, and it doesn’t sound quite as good as the NES version… uh oh.

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The Newzealand Story, also known as Kiwi Kraze for other releases, is another PAL-exclusive Master System game that I actually didn’t realize won’t run properly on an NTSC system.  I thankfully had a third party power base converter to try on my Sega Genesis on hand, and it works just fine that way.  Something in the NTSC Master System causes a few PAL games to be region-locked, and this is one of them.  Either way, this game is in gorgeous condition, especially the manual that’s still white rather than yellowish like some of the other ones I’ve come across lately.  I’ll probably play this one with the volume low because the frantic music here is quite distracting, but the cuteness shall always prevail.

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I mentioned earlier how awful I am at shooters, and yet there were several of those purchased for the Master System that I’ve had my eye on for a while now.  The first is Scramble Spirits, which I was secretly hoping would be more in the vein of something like Avenging Spirit, but instead is just a neat little middle-of-the-road shooter game with a cool soundtrack.  The sound effects are a bit grating, but all in all, it looks rather promising.  I got destroyed in the first few stages, but hopefully I’ll be able to get somewhere with a bit of practice.  Despite being in relatively good shape, a manual was nowhere to be found.

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Ah yes, more shooters!  Sagaia is a port of Darius II for the Master System, and it’s a tough, tough game.  I don’t think I got very far into stage two before I had to quietly turn it off and vow to come back to it another time with my obliterated pride reassembled, but it’s a very sought-after title that I’m glad I now own for the system.  I’m okay not owning the manual for this one, but it would’ve been nice to find it complete.

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Sonic the Hedgehog Chaos is a PAL-exclusive game that is relatively difficult to come by for a good price, but I’ve often heard it touted as one of the best Sonic games on the Master System.  Grabbing this one with its manual was a real bright point for me in these new additions since I love Sonic, but have yet to experience many of the games on the SMS.  I’m really looking forward to trying this one out further than the first level.

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Ah yes. The game with one of the most horrible soundtracks in the entire history of time, and some of the most confusing title screen music has finally weaseled its way into my collection.  Bram Stoker’s Dracula was released for other consoles as well, but the Master System version spoke to me when I was recently playing through many, many other Dracula-centric games like some from the Castlevania series.  It seems like a competent enough platformer with some interesting graphics, but it’s pretty unforgiving from what I’ve played of it so far.  The manual’s a little beat up, but it’s because it’s so thick and doesn’t fit well inside the case’s clips.  Those PAL manuals man… they’re beefy with the 8 or so languages they’re published in!

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More shooters, you say?  Why yes.  R-Type’s release on the Master System came to me with a cool Sega for the 90s sticker stuck onto the label, and the game art glued to the box like some horrible monstrosity.  The outside plastic is missing altogether and there’s no way that art is coming back off again, so it’s an ugly little mess on the shelf (don’t even look at the right edge and corners to see how crooked it is…) but at least I can get myself exploded a little more.  As if I haven’t suffered enough already!

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Last but not least is one of the disappointments of the lot, a Sega Card version of Bank Panic.  I didn’t own this game in cartridge form at all, and seeing the card option was something I thought would be a neat addition to the collection.  Unfortunately, no matter how hard I cleaned it up, it still won’t play.  I know the card slot is working because I have several other games that work first try, and I even tried it on a few different consoles.  I think it’s completely dead, and that makes me sad.  I don’t have the heart to give up yet, so I’ll hang onto it for now and continue to try to think of ways to bring it back to life.

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And well, that’s just about that.  This is obviously several months of collecting, so I’m thinking these posts will continue to be fewer and further between with the state of things out there in the world.  Hopefully you’ve all been keeping well, staying safe, and playing some great games.

Thank you for reading, as always!

-GG

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Vivi: The Character That Defines GG from Hungrygoriya

I’m proud to have submitted a post for a collaboration with Normal Happenings called The Characters that Define Us.  Please check this out! Vivi: The Character That Defines GG from Hungrygoriya

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The Kindness of Others and Other Things

I very recently opened up a PO Box, and a few people kindly asked to send a few packages my way.  I was thrilled to be the recipient of some new games and I wanted to showcase them here.  I’ve also been scouring some local stores and online sites for more stuff too, so buckle in for a wild ride!

First up is Lizard for NES. It’s a homebrew game from 2018, and the creator, who found me on Twitch and has been a regular viewer since, gifted a copy to me.  I recently played through it on stream, and it was a really fun little adventure that really got the wheels in my head spinning while trying to figure out some puzzles and mastering the landscapes.  I haven’t played a lot of homebrew games, but I can definitely vouch for the quality of this one.  Another thing I appreciated was that the cartridges are all brand new versus being made from destroying existing cartridges.  There’s more information on the game’s website if you are even remotely interested, and the game is also available digitally if you prefer that avenue.

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The same person was also kind enough to send me a reproduction copy of Sweet Home for NES.  This is a fairly well-known horror RPG from the 8-bit generation that was a Japan exclusive, but the fan translation has been repackaged into a cart and sold with a box for people that want that experience.  I was happy to take this off his hands since I don’t tend to emulate very often, nor do I own any kind of Everdrive-like device for the NES to play translation patched roms.  I hope to play this in the coming months!

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At the thrift store, I came across a copy of Pirates! for NES.  This is one I’ve been wanting to play for a long time, and it’s an open-world game where you go to different places and either pillage or team up with different people.  I would’ve loved to have found a manual too, but I’m hoping there’ll be a scan online to see what the details are all about.  I also love pirates and pirate media, so it’s right up my alley.

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A glorious purchase from eBay was made!  I finally own a Famicom copy of Faxanadu, my favourite game!  This version has the religious censorship removed and you’re able to name the hero, and although I think most of the main game is the same, these small changes might make my next playthrough a little bit more interesting.  I also love the cartridge colours and design.  It’s so different from the North American version’s art!

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I also picked up PAL Game Boy games, The Smurfs and Kirby’s Block Ball.  The Smurfs looks like a pretty competent platformer, and I was also really impressed by Kirby’s Block Ball.  It’s essentially a more advanced version of Arkanoid/Break Out with extra elements like a charge mode to break through different kinds of blocks.  I can’t wait to spend more time with both of these.

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A wonderful stream viewer sent me Wario Land II and Wario Land 3 for Game Boy and Game Boy Color!  I was really touched, and given that I just finished Virtual Boy Wario Land lately, I’m curious to see how the series evolved and changed with the latter installments.  Apparently these two games are quite different from the ones that came before them and really shuffled the formula up in a lot of ways.  I’m honoured to have these as part of my collection.

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Staying in the handheld realm, I picked up what I thought was a legitimate copy of Doom II for the Game Boy Advance, only to get it home and realize that it was a bootleg.  I think this game is very uncommon and it would’ve been pretty unlikely to find it at a thrift store, but luckily I got a refund for it and had an opportunity to educate the store on what to look for in fake games.  I asked to hang onto it since I can’t imagine ever finding a legitimate copy, but more importantly, I didn’t want them trying to sell the game to anyone else.  I also really liked the little protective case that came with it!

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In what is supposed to be part 1 of 2 of a shipment, a good online friend sent me a few things, the first of which is the manual for Out of This World for Super Nintendo.  The game is supposed to come whenever she can send out another shipment, but you all know how much I love my manuals! I’m really grateful to have this!

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After discovering the fantastic experience of Katamari Damacy, I was hoping I’d run into other games with a similar theme of casual collecting of environmental objects for a larger purpose.  Tornado Outbreak for the Wii captured my interest because not only is it exactly that, but there’s a totally different feel to this game that involves destruction.  You pull things up and away, but you also tear buildings apart piece by piece to flatten them.  It’s not as charming as Katamari by a long stretch, but I look forward to giving it a go!

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These were more gifts from the same person who sent me the Out of This World manual.  Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, Bleach: Shattered Blade and Link’s Crossbow Training are all great additions to the collection, and everything came to me in great shape.  The top two games also had their manuals included, which is always a plus!  I didn’t even realize Tales of Symphonia had a sequel and know virtually nothing about Bleach, but that’s the beauty of this kind of gift!  They’re always full of surprises.

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I can’t have a new games post without including a little Master System, and this time I found myself a copy of Dynamite Duke.  This cover art has cracked me up more than it probably should, but it was a steal for a complete-in-box game.  It’s in pretty good shape overall!

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I don’t usually pick up too many Game Gear games, but these two I couldn’t pass up on.  The first is an action RPG for the system called Ax Battler that is either loved or hated depending on who you speak to, and the second is Revenge of Drancon.  Never heard of that one? Me either until I found out that it’s actually Wonder Boy!  It has a different name in some places and for some systems apparently(?) and I had no idea that they were the same game until I got it home and popped it in.  Here I thought I’d found some cool new RPG for sale, but nope!

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A dear friend sent me her Saturn stuff since she lost her console in a flood, and the first game she put in the mail for me was Shining Wisdom.  I do have a copy of this one already but the disc doesn’t run the greatest.  I’m hoping this copy might fare a bit better, and it’s always great to have a backup in case the worst happens when I finally get around to playing this one.

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Another Saturn game she sent my way was Virtua Fighter 2.  I wonder if this was a pack-in with a console since it’s a Not for Resale version or if there’s some other story here.  I’ve played a bit of the first game and it seemed like a pretty decent fighting game, so I’ll be curious to give this one a whirl as well.  They’re both in lovely shape too!

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Guardian Heroes for Sega Saturn also came from my friend and looks to be a really cool game! I hadn’t heard of it before it was on its way to me, but it’s apparently a beat-em-up with RPG elements, maybe in the same kind of vein as River City Ransom?  I’m not entirely sure, but what I’ve seen of the gameplay looks pretty different from what I’m used to playing. I’m excited for this one!  Unfortunately it didn’t come along with its manual, but the disc is in relatively good condition!

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One of the most anticipated things I had coming my way was Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the Playstation 1.  This is a game I’ve only been able to dream of owning since finding out about it and finally delving into the Castlevania series late in 2018.  It is apparently the best of the best! I’m still missing quite a few Castlevania games to be able to call collecting for that series complete, but this definitely checks off a significant item on the list.

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I’m not too familiar with Naruto, but a friend sent me this Playstation 2 game praising its awesomeness and told me that I’d  enjoy it whether or not I’m into the show.  I’ll have to take her word for it!

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Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection for Playstation 3 also came in the mail, and I’m absolutely thrilled to own a copy of this game. I loooove Sonic and have played Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Genesis to death throughout my life. I just recently finished Sonic 1 again for the second time, and now more than ever I’m looking to get into latter games in the series.  I had a copy of this for another console (maybe PS2?) and it used to freeze on me constantly.  I never did figure out how to get that up and running, so I’m hoping this version works swimmingly!

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Last but not least is something near and dear to me: A King’s Quest V hint book.  I adore King’s Quest V so much.  It was my first saunter into Sierra games and I played it on the NES first.  I have yet to play the PC version, but anticipation of getting to that some day, a friend of mine was kind enough to send along a second copy of the hint book to me so that I could have it. I know that game pretty well so it’s a hint book I’d love to sit down and actually read through to see if there’s anything I’ve ever missed in the game.  I am so thrilled to have a copy of this, and it’s in perfect condition.  So lovely!

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And that just about does it for the moment.  I can’t say enough how grateful I am to have people in my life that want to share parts of their past with me in the form of pieces of their video game collection.  I’m honoured to be able to have the opportunity to play these games and appreciate them! Thanks to everyone that sent anything out my way.

As always, thanks for reading!

-GG

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The Internet Giveth

The classifieds in my area seem to be drier than a desert these days, and consequently many of my purchases have come from various online sources instead. Let’s go!

First up are some loose Sega Master System games.  Tom & Jerry: The Movie was something I took a bit of a gamble on knowing nothing about it before buying, but it does seem like an interesting game.  It’s a weird puzzle platformer where you have to keep Tom out of the way of terrible obstacles that Jerry can easily avoid.  I’m not sure if you’re trying to catch Jerry or what since I haven’t had a chance to track down and read the manual yet.  Arcade Smash Hits was intriguing, and it has Breakout and a few other arcade games on it!  It has what I’d consider a great soundtrack too… very club/techno vibes, which was surprising.  Breakout was one of my favourite games to play for the VIC 20 growing up, so it was really fun playing through a few levels when I was testing this game out.  Marble Madness is another game I don’t think I own for any other system, so it’s just about time I give it a whirl.  I’m pretty sure I died almost instantly testing it out.  Marble Madness was definitely in the worst shape of the three with a bit of label damage, but nothing too major.

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I also rolled the dice on this copy of the PAL-exclusive Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Master System.  It was dirt cheap and in beautiful condition, but from what I understand, not all variants of this game will play on an NTSC system.  I was overwhelmed with relief trying this one out, and it also came with the manual too.  It’s in absolutely wonderful shape.  I’m very happy with it.  I’m pretty sure it’s the same as the Game Gear version.

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Rampart for the Master System was not something I ever thought I’d go out of my way to get.  I own a copy for the NES, and I wasn’t sure what drew me to this other version apart from it being available at a price I couldn’t pass up on, and now it lives in my house with me and all the other Master System games I’ve snatched up lately.  It was pristine in terms of its condition.  It looks like It’s never been played.

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After having luck getting my hands on a copy of Strider a post or two ago, Strider II magically came up complete in box not too long afterward.  The cover is way cooler than the first game’s and Strider II seems like an interesting adventure.  I played for about 20 minutes and found myself mostly jump-floating between battles in my leotard.  I’m sure it’ll make for a great time when I can give it some more attention.

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World Class Leader Board is one of my very favourite golf games.  I used to play the heck out of the DOS game when I was little, and seeing that they kept the draw-in of trees and other things on the courses for the Master System version made me grin from ear to ear.  What a delight it will be to play through this again after all these years, even if it’s in a different format.  I’m anxious to see if there are any voice clips too. I want to hear all about tree hitting and people saying “awwwww” when I miss a putt from less than 12 inches away.

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A friend was extremely generous and sent me two Master System manuals that I was missing!  I have Action Fighter with the box and game and just a loose copy of Space Harrier, so it was very nice to be able to make my collection slightly more complete through his generosity.  He mentioned he’s had these for over two decades, and I’m honoured he thought of me to give them both a good home.

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I was also able to make a fantastic Sega Genesis purchase through a friend I’ve met through streaming.  We made a really nice deal on Dynamite Headdy, Castlevania Bloodlines, Truxton, and Wings of Wor.  I never thought I’d own Truxton or Castlevania, and now here we are!  I was really excited to try them all out a little while back, and Wings of Wor, a horizontal shooter, was certainly a captivating surprise I wasn’t expecting.  I hope to sit down with it again soon!

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While sitting in on a stream of Wonder Boy in Monster World a few weeks ago, someone in chat casually mentioned Chiki Chiki Boy, a game that is aesthetically similar.  I had a look online to see if there were any copies available and ended up getting one for myself.  It looks really unique and quirky, but most of all, it’s a gorgeous game.  I can’t get over how bright and colourful the graphics are.  The cartridge itself isn’t in the best of shape, but at least it was well-loved.  I’m happy to give it a place on my shelf.

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When I was ordering a few games off of a website I’ve been frequenting, I saw a copy of Incoming for the Dreamcast for a few dollars.  I know absolutely nothing about this game but I’ve barely bought any Dreamcast stuff over the past few years except a handful of games and couldn’t pass up on a deal like this.

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I’ve also been rounding out more of my Game Boy collections.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer for Game Boy Color looked so funny when I watched some game footage.  Essentially you flip all over the place and beat up vampires with kicks and punches to wear them down, and then stake them to turn them into dust.  It’s also full of these cutscenes from the show, which make for some good comedy.  I’m not super familiar with the television series, but I know who the characters are at least.  Maya the Bee was also a welcome purchase.  It’s a platformer that was only a few dollars, so why not?  Monster House (which I’ve written out as Ghost House at least three times so far) is touted as being a great little hidden gem of sorts for the Game Boy Advance.  I’ve heard it mentioned by several people around the internet, and it was also dirt cheap. Tiny Toon Adventures: Montana’s Movie Madness was a sporadic buy for me.  I just picked up Looney Tunes for Game Boy not long ago and I hope this one’ll be at least as good as that.  And finally, Batman!  I’ve been waiting for ages to find it and snagged a great deal on eBay.  Batman is adorably small and this game is way less realistic than most of the other games for various consoles.  It’s very charming!

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I dove in and finally got myself a copy of black box NES Golf.  This seems like a pretty golf-centric post, but I swear I’m not a video golf convert yet… I’d rather stick to real life mini-putt, even though I’m bad at that as well!  Also, Cocoron finally arrived in the mail!  It’s a Mega Man-like game for Famicom that I’ve been wanting to buy for a long time.  It has always been really expensive, but I scooped it up for a pretty decent price.  I’m going to have to check into what the first few menus in the game mean, but apart from those, I don’t think there’s much that requires knowing English.

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Since I finally bought a new laptop through eBay recently, I had a little stash of eBay bucks hanging around to spend out.  I was strong-armed into picking up not one but two fairly expensive NES games, Kick Master and Gargoyle’s Quest II.  These were games I never dreamed of owning because of their price point, but when they came practically free to me, it was a really nice feeling.  Now I just have to buy more laptops so I can get more free games I guess.

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One more NES game here is Slalom, complete with the Ned Flanders “nothing at all” butt you get to stare at all the way through this game.  Its majesty is not even remotely captured in the label art here.  I actually watched a video about some NES winter sports games from a great channel called NES Friend, and this person is also responsible for making me aware of Kickle Cubicle which I also bought recently.  Slalom was definitely the best looking game of the bunch from that video.  Its condition is a bit rough with a really stuck-on-there sticker and writing in permanent marker on the front and back, but the label is very nice overall.

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I’m also finally the proud owner of Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams for the Wii U.  I had an Amazon order ready to go but needed to buy something more to get an add-on item, and this was the winner!  I’ve been wanting this game for a long time after hearing The Deviot talk all about it pretty endlessly over the past few years… it’s about time!  He did some wonderful streams of the game, so if you’re not following him on Twitch, you can do that here.

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Last but not least, I picked up a Street Fighter II manual for the PC version.  I had no idea this game existed on PC, but the manual was among a bunch of books at the thrift store and was priced at fifty cents.  Unfortunately they put the sticker right on the cover art and part of Blanka’s arm got torn away when I was trying to remove it, but the book is still in pretty great shape overall.  I’m glad I found it!  I haven’t found much locally in a long time so it was mildly thrilling.

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I’m really glad with how the Master System collection has been progressing, and I’m also quite happy with how I’ve been able to round out some more NES stuff too.  Hopefully I’ll be able to start getting a list together for the spring swap meets.  They’re already right around the corner!  I’m shocked at how fast time is flying, but in the meantime, stay warm out there.

Thanks very much for reading!

-GG

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Post-Christmas Mail

I am wishing you all the very happiest of new years.  I hope 2020 so far has been eventful in the best way possible and that you all had a lovely holiday season.  Of course, I ordered a bunch of things online before Christmas rolled in, but as you might expect, things were very late arriving.  I’ve just started receiving packages again within the last week or so, and I have a smattering of things to share with you.  For some reason, the local pickups have been very, very few and far between over the past month or two so I’ve more or less been buying exclusively online.

First up is a Game Boy game simply called Looney Tunes.  I saw someone streaming this and immediately wanted it for myself.  I was really impressed.  The game looks absolutely gorgeous and each level sees you playing as a different member of the Looney Tunes crew.  I actually ended up popping this one in over several days to play again and again and can’t wait to sit down with it and try to finish it.  I got stuck on the Road Runner level so far.

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Speaking of the Road Runner, I found a copy of that game for the Atari 2600.  This is one of the first 2600 purchases I’ve made in a long while, and it was inspired by revisiting the NES game again for a high score challenge across December of 2019 (I lost, by the way.)  This is a really plain version of the arcade game and is exactly how you might expect an Atari port to look.

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I kept hearing really great things about Bravely Default for the Nintendo 3DS, and although I don’t do a lot of portable gaming, I thought I’d try to snatch it up sooner than later.  I think there might be another game in this series in the works for the near future (maybe for the Switch?) that I’ll have to keep my ear to the ground for.  This copy came with the English and French manuals a la Canada, and a Club Nintendo card.  I wish Club Nintendo was still a thing.

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When I was looking for some Master System games on a site I’ve been frequenting lately, I happened to notice that they had a US version of Nightshade available.  Just when I think I’m done collecting for NES, these deals on games I’ve heard so little about keep coming up and I can’t help myself.  Nightshade does look interesting, like a point and click game mixed with some action, so I hope I like it.  The Quest of Ki is a unique puzzle platformer that uses special kind of jumping mechanic to get your character around the levels.  Everything looks very floaty and fun!  It looks like a great time waster with some interesting twists on tradition for the genre.  I also need more English-friendly Famicom in my life.

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And now into some Sega!  As usual, I found lots of games loose or with no manuals, so I’ll start with those.  First up is Strider for the Sega Master System, which looks quite interesting by the state of the cover art.  In terms of box art for the system overall, this is  the most realistic portrayal of a human being that I’ve seen.  Even still, there’s something really funny about it that I can’t quite put my finger on.  I was also disappointed by James Bond 007: The Duel.  It looked like such a cool game by what I found online prior to buying, but unfortunately it doesn’t work well in NTSC systems!  This is the second time I’ve made this kind of error lately, but there are so many lists out there that contradict one another that it’s never really clear whether it’ll work or not until you have it in your own hands.  What happens is that a lot of visual artifacts that show up in a matter of seconds once you get old Mr. Bond moving around… they crowd the screen and make it impossible to play.  I’m still feeling sad about it.

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Up next were two other games that came sans manual.  The first is Chuck Rock, a visual abomination of a game.  It’s a platformer with no music from what I can tell, but other iterations of the game are supposed to be decent.  I’m not too sure about this port, but I’ll give it a try nonetheless.  Aztec Adventure is supposed to be a maze/puzzle game with lots of different levels to try out, and I think you can hire other characters to fight alongside you.  It’s one of the first Master System games and is pretty plain visually, but there’s a good game in there somewhere.  I just know it.  Both of these games were in reasonably good condition on the front, but Chuck Rock has a big water stain on the back.  It was dirt cheap, so I didn’t mind. I’d like to find some replacement art for some of my more battered games one of these days.

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Cyborg Hunter is a port of a pretty neat-looking game that was also available on the Commodore 64.  It reminded me of something like Zillion that involves some exploration and some puzzle solving as well as action-platforming so hopefully it’s something like that.  Any game involving winged robots that are mildly irritated by laser fire are winners in my books!

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Kung Fu Kid is one of the three martial arts titles I’ve been trying to track down after accidentally purchasing The Ninja, and then Black Belt.  Kung Fu Kid is a side-scrolling kick ’em up and looks really charming, falling somewhere between the aforementioned games and something like Alex Kidd in Shinobi World.  The box art and manual are pretty beat up as you can see here, but the game seems to work just fine.  Of the Master System games I found this time, this is the one I think I’m most excited for just based on the aesthetic alone.

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Last but not least, I finally found a copy of Golden Axe.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  Why on earth would I want a port of a game on an inferior system when there are more excellent Sega versions available?  Well, maybe I like a far slower framerate and downgraded graphics, hmmm?  Honestly, the price was right and I couldn’t pass up that tiny-faced man for my shelf.

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And that just about does it for this time around.  Lots more Master System and a little bit of everything else to fill in some gaps was the name of the game here, and that has been a great trend over the past few months.  I have more things coming in the mail and I have my eyes on the local classifieds like a hawk, so here’s hoping for some new discoveries soon!

Thank you very much for reading!

-GG

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