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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3 Responses to The Generosity of Friends

  1. Terminally Nerdy says:

    That is awesome. And your friends are also awesome ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Phantasy Star Collection on GBA has some severe issues with crashing, particularly during saving. It may actually be a better idea to keep that one sealed as a trophy than to play it.

    Liked by 1 person

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