Conquering Undiscovered Territories

I love being in the right place at the right time.  I decided to go and visit some friends that live out of town and happened to drive by a brand new pawn shop that I found out had only been open for a couple of weeks.  When I popped in, the store was covered wall to wall in video games, and boy was I in for a treat!  The folks there were having a buy 3 get one free promotion, and you could mix and match between platforms.  I was in heaven!  Most of their stock hadn’t been picked over yet, and I never like sales where I’m restricted to just one game type.  What was especially exciting for me was that I could include NES/SNES/N64 games in the deal if I wanted to.  It’s something I’ve never been allowed to do at other stores because the retro games never go on sale.  I like it and will definitely be going back.

Unfortunately for me, many of the older console games the shop had were ones I’ve collected already or ones I had no interest in.  There was one in the bunch that I did want to get though, and that was The Adventures of Lolo for NES.  I recently picked up the sequel to this game but had yet to find the first.  The salespeople kindly took $5 off the game’s price tag and allowed it to be my “free” game at $15.  It was in great shape, and it’s from a great franchise.  I look forward to trying out some of the puzzles and hearing that sweet, sweet level music on loop for a long while!

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I’ve been looking a little more seriously at Playstation and Playstation 2 games recently, and I found three games that fit this bill at the shop.  The first was a Playstation game called Vandal Hearts, a strategy RPG that I’ve heard is excellent from several folks here as well as the internet in general.  The disc was in pretty good shape, and I managed to haggle away $10 because the game did not come with its manual.  I got it for $30, and it’s going onto my ever-growing list of things I need to play.  I don’t know about you folks, but between Vandal Hearts, Vanguard Bandits, Valkyrie Profile, etc., I can’t keep these PS RPGs straight in my head.  I had to phone my boyfriend and ask him if we had this game already because the V-names are too plentiful for my brain to keep track of.

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The last two games I got were for the PS2.  The first was Dawn of Mana which came complete with its manual.  I was surprised to see this game priced at $25 since it has gotten such lukewarm reviews online from so many people, but I think it was priced higher because of its roots in Square Enix and the popularity of the Mana series.  I will give this game a shot someday, and I hope it doesn’t disappoint me!  Also, it’s uncanny how much the girl on the cover of the game looks just like Princess Garnet from FFIX.  And the guy with the giant sword could pretty easily be Zidane.  I’ve been looking pretty hard for a tail.  Just sayin’.

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On another note which I promise is not entirely random, I’m don’t think I’ve ever felt more disappointed playing a video game than I did when I played Dark Cloud.  I know it’s an unpopular opinion since I know many people that love the game, but this was one of the first games where I had to deal with weapons breaking, a confusing interface, lack of restorative items and direction in the early parts of the game, all of which left me feeling frustrated and bitter.  I started the game up again a few years ago and hated it all over again, but when I happened to see a copy of Dark Cloud 2 at the shop for a pretty decent price of $15, I found myself in a bit of a pickle.  I’ve watched/read many reviews on Dark Cloud 2 and have heard nothing but good things, and from what I understand, it built upon and fixed a lot of the issues I had with the first game.  The game came complete and was also in great condition, so I decided to jump in cautiously, feet first and nose plugged.

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I think I really got a good deal on this game.  I’ve seen it going locally and online for around $30, so I can’t complain about getting it for half price.  Let’s just hope that I enjoy it a little more than its predecessor.

All in all, it was nice to finally be in the right place at the right time and discover something new for a change.  Hopefully that place will continue to be fruitful moving forward!

Thanks for reading!

-GG

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25 Responses to Conquering Undiscovered Territories

  1. Looks like an impressive haul! Happy gaming!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Luck was on your side! Every pawnshop I’ve been to is always picked clean, haha. Oh I so hate the weapon breaking mechanic in games… I know it’s probably more “realistic”, but I want to enjoy using them instead of worrying about losing them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have never once played a game where my enjoyment was increased because of weapon durability mechanics. I hate it!

      Liked by 2 people

      • hungrygoriya says:

        Thank you for saying this. I feel like such a wiener when I complain about things like this, and I’m so glad that others feel the same way. I heard somewhere that it’s going to be a thing in Breath of the Wild and I rolled my eyes pretty hard. I hope it’s not true 😥

        Like

      • Yeahhhh, I love The Legend of Zelda.. it’s my favorite series on the planet.. but as soon as I heard that Breath of the Wild was implementing a degradable weapon durability mechanic, my heart sank. I *hope* it’s not a deal breaker when I play it, like motion controls were with Skyward Sword. It’d be a shame to wait so long for a game only to have it fall short.

        Liked by 1 person

      • hungrygoriya says:

        I think I’m in the minority that liked Skyward Sword and its controls, but I know what you mean. Those kinds of shortcomings in the eyes of the player can be really detrimental to the experience. I’m planning to get Breath of the Wild for Wii U, so hopefully it’ll still be a good experience for me.

        Like

      • Skyward Sword just started off agonizingly slow, so it was really tough to get in to for me. I also lived in a tiny apartment with my girlfriend and risked popping her in the jaw while flailing around my sword lol.

        Breath of the Wild looks incredible and I’m sure it’ll be just fine on Wii U. I just pre-ordered my Switch this morning and look forward to playing it on the go… at least for 2-3 hours before the battery dies >.>

        Liked by 1 person

      • hungrygoriya says:

        Haha… yeah, hopefully the battery life is good! I just splurged on a preorder for Breath of the Wild for WiiU. Came to $90 with taxes. I’m trying not to think about the price and rather the experience I will one day get!

        Like

      • I think they estimated 2.5-6.5 hours on a full charge, but the more demanding games will average more around 3. Breath of the Wild was the example they used for that one, so that’s kind of a shame. But it can be plugged in, if you just want to play Switch on the porch or in bed or something.

        I have no doubt that the game will be any less than great.

        Liked by 1 person

    • hungrygoriya says:

      Yeah! And you work so long and hard to get these new awesome weapons, and then they come with some sort of stipulation like breaking. And in Dark Cloud, they don’t just break and stay in your inventory, they break and disappear forever!!! It’s ludicrous!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great finds! Dark Could 2 is a SIGNIFICANT improvement over the original and finding that complete here in the States proved quite the task. My GF and I only had the case, artwork sleeve, and disc for a few years, but could never find the instruction manual. This was about 5 years ago, and back then the manual alone was going for $20 on eBay. Thankfully we found a complete copy at a random GameStop.

    I have some fond memories of Adventures of Lolo. It was a random game I received as a kid, and as a young boy interested in Ninja Turtles, He-man, and horror movies, it wasn’t at all what I wanted to play. I reluctantly popped it in my NES and became instantly hooked. It was such a clever puzzle game that taught me that it was okay to venture outside of my comfort zone of platformers and shooters.

    I know we chatted a bit about this on Twitter already, but Vandal Hearts is really great. It was my introduction to turn-based strategy RPGs. I loved the idea of tactically moving different characters around a battlefield, upgrading their classes, and the stress of knowing that their death would be permanent. Plus the blood spray during a killing blow was so, so rad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hungrygoriya says:

      I’m glad to hear that Dark Cloud 2 is a firm upgrade because the original Dark Cloud pushes my enrage button a lot. I’m glad that you eventually managed to find the whole thing complete. That’s always the best feeling! I rebuy games occasionally when I find them complete at a really good deal, but mostly I buy up manuals. I understand with disc games that you’d want a case, but for older cartridge games, I can take or leave the box personally.
      Lolo is a game that I only first experienced in my mid-twenties. My boyfriend gave me an R4 card for my DS and it was on there, and I spent so long playing the game and have been wanting to own the original for a long while. That game and another game I find a lot on multicarts called Milk & Nuts are probably some of the cutest games I can think of.
      I’m a little nervous about jumping into a tactical RPG, but if Vandal Hearts is as gory and amazing as what you’ve said and what I’ve seen in several online reviews now, I think I’ll enjoy it when I get there. I have a hard time thinking ahead sometimes, so I just worry I’ll be that fumbling person who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

      Like

      • I had a few Genesis carts complete, but I only care about completeness with disc-based games. Nowadays games don’t even come with instructions, just a warranty insert card. Lazy!!

        What’s an R4 cart? I’m… new to this whole thing lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      • hungrygoriya says:

        Don’t even get me started on modern games that don’t have any goodies inside! It’s despicable! I will not buy a game that’s just a code inside. It’s silly.

        An R4 card is DS game-sized, and you can insert a micro SD card into it and emulate a bunch of games on your DS. I have one with much of the NES library and a bunch of SNES games on it. It’s what I take on road trips along with my GBA. It’s a cool device!

        Like

      • Ohhhh, that sounds neat. I’ll need to look in to it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Mr. Panda says:

    Ooh! I was interested in those PS2 games when they first came out. I look forward to hearing what you think! Also, Adventure of Lolo is excellent! Thanks as always for sharing your gaming hauls!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the Lolo series. Lolo 3 was how I learned problem solving skills as a child lol. I laugh, but it’s the truth! I first played it back before the days of the internet when you could look up solutions, so either you figured it out, or you were stuck on that board. It literally forced me to problem solve, and I’ll be forever grateful. I still play it sometimes before I do some writing, because it helps me get into an analytical thinking mood. I didn’t play the prequels until later on in emulator form, but I enjoy 1 and 2, er, too!

    I really add more games to my backlog because of my WP friends 🙂 Two of the “V” games: Vandal Hears and Valkyrie Profile are now part of my (J)RPG library to play, but I really can’t complain since I love that genre so much.

    Omg I’m so happy you said that about Dark Cloud. My brother bought it when it first came out years ago, but he refused to give up on it, because he’d spent like $60 on it, but the weapon breaking and other things were definite downers. Here’s to hoping DC 2 fixed the issues from the first. All in all it looks like you got a great haul!

    Liked by 1 person

    • hungrygoriya says:

      Thank you! I’m pretty happy with the things I found there. I’ll definitely be revisiting that store on a regular basis. It’ll give me a good excuse to visit people too!

      That’s awesome that you grew some solid puzzle-solving skills with video games! I honestly wonder how much gaming from age 4 has shaped my ability to learn and solve problems. I’ve never made a direct connection between those things and gaming before. It’s an interesting thing to think about!

      The RPG genre seems never ending, and the more reviews I read/see, the more I want to buy and play them all. Just today I found out about SaGa Frontier 2, a game that looks so awesome and adorable that I’ve been scratching my head over why I’ve never known about it before now. I know about the earlier games in the series but often forget to think about successors. I was super surprised when I found out about DC2 since I thought the first game was just the worst. I truly hope it’s better than the evil that spawned it.

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. Well spotted. That Dawn of Mana cover girl does resemble Dagger from FF9.

    Hope you enjoy Dark Cloud 2. I loved the game back when I played it. Haven’t played the original, which you didn’t care for, so no idea how it compares to its sequel.

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. Geddy says:

    The first Dark Cloud was not without its problems, but Dark Cloud 2 took everything and made it 1000x better, than added another dozen excellent features for good measure. Only beat it last year for the first time but it shot up into my Top 10 All Time, a place that the first game is not even remotely close to. Did you ever end up playing DK2? Curious what your thoughts are after hating DK1!

    Liked by 1 person

    • hungrygoriya says:

      I am the absolute slowest person when it comes to playing games, so I haven’t gotten to it yet. I’m hyped to try it out though! I’m still trying to get through my Sega Master System RPGs I picked up last year. I’ve been trying to stream them, but streaming for me is on hold while my better half upgrades my setup. Sigh… hopefully I’ll get around to it soon if it’s as amazing as you say!

      Liked by 1 person

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