What better time than the literal year end to wrap up a year of collecting! I have been slowly scooping up some choice games here and there, but only as I’ve managed to come across them. With a couple of small exceptions, the majority of my shopping has happened online. There’s so few opportunities these days to find games out and about, and after my last convention experience back in the spring, I’m still a bit sour on the idea of travelling to those events only to find so little quality for so much cash. We’ll see how I’m feeling next year of course, but for the moment, I’ve been happy to window shop from the warmth of my couch. Here are the remaining games I’ve bought since the last update!
First up are a bunch of NES cartridges. I’ve been noticing that this console in particular, along with other 8-bit generation ones like the Master System and Game Boy, seem to be where I have the most fun in gaming. I’ve been trying to track down more adventure games, and The Lone Ranger came highly recommended to me. It has a few different game modes but importantly has the staples of what I like in adventures: towns with NPCs for hints, interesting combat, and a bit of a story to keep things rolling along. Stanley: The Search for Dr. Livingston was a completely random purchase after I saw it pop up in someone’s collection post in a discord server I’m a part of. I bought both of them from a Canadian website that had some good sales on at the time, though they were still a bit pricier than I usually like to pay for my games. While perusing a flea market one day, I also ran into Wrath of the Black Manta and Cyber Stadium Series: Base Wars. A lot of folks also recommended Wrath of the Black Manta to me as another game that I might enjoy based on my interests in side scrolling adventure games, and I managed to find that one for only a couple of dollars. Cyber Stadium Series – Base Wars was something I’d heard a ton about since I know someone who speedruns it. I’m not usually the biggest sports game fan, but this one was a no-brainer to pick up since it’s not just the usual fare. All in all, these four cartridges are in relatively decent shape with a little bit of label peeling and some glue I need to remove. Otherwise though, I’m happy to have some lesser-discussed titles to dive into in the new year.
I rarely splurge on games and try to wait for good deals, but considering how little I spent on collecting this year overall, I treated myself to two very nice games for the NES: Shadow of the Ninja, and Shatter Hand. Both of them are action platformers with some fairly unique elements to them. I especially love the little robot partners you can conjure up in Shatter Hand, though I only played it for about an hour to test it out. They’re both quite difficult and I do enjoy the challenge they bring. They’re virtually perfect in terms of their condition as well, and I was happy to spend a little more on these two.
In more four-cartridge photo display action, here are more NES games! I’d been searching for Predator and The Adventure of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends for a long time and it’s great to finally own them. I really wanted Rocky & Bullwinkle for its stellar soundtrack (heh) and Predator just because I enjoyed the movie so much. Demon Sword and Sky Shark were spur of the moment buys. They were purchased from the same seller on an auction site, and back then, they had a flat rate shipping for the first item and a small fee for every additional one you bought afterward. It made sense to throw a couple of interesting-looking games into the mix, and all said, everything was quite cheap. Unfortunately the site did away with its good shipping policies so I haven’t been buying much from them anymore. Anyway, all of the cartridges here were in relatively good condition with no label tears or scuffs, with Demon Sword being a bit discoloured. It also turned out that I already had a copy of Sky Shark in my collection and mistook it for something else! I don’t miss the pressure of auctions!
For the last of the NES stuff I’ve picked up lately, I finally got my hands on a copy of Nightmare on Elm Street. I loved the movie franchise growing up and have always wanted an opportunity to play this, but the last convention I went to had it priced for an exorbitant amount. I’m glad I waited because I bought this one at my favourite game store and felt good supporting them since they’ve been struggling since the pandemic. It’s not in the greatest shape with lots of scuffs on the cartridge shell, but I have way uglier games than this one.
Moving on to some Game Boy now, I came across these two in very different ways. The Star Trek 25th Anniversary cartridge was purchased on an online bidding website for a few bucks, and it was mostly a curiosity since my husband’s a big fan of the PC version of the game. He needed to know how it translates to the Game Boy hardware. The second game here, Yogi Bear’s Gold Rush, was a completely unexpected find. A few months ago, I had purchased a random lot of gaming-related stuff from a fellow on our local classifieds site, and while he had a couple of photos of some of the things he was selling, there was an awful lot he hadn’t photographed. I found this game in the bottom of a shoebox with a bunch of manuals (I’ll talk about those below) and while it’s not in the greatest shape, it’s an… interesting addition to the collection. I played it for a little while and was quite taken aback with how unforgiving it is.
If you thought Nightmare on Elm Street was the ugliest game in this post, behold! Operation C was on sale on a website I was shopping on, and while the listing said the game was in “acceptable” condition, I didn’t expect the entire label to be missing. I suppose the price reflected that, but when it arrived, I was actually a little miffed that they hadn’t bothered to indicate that in the details section. At least I got it for a steal, but this will go into my collection as one of the label-less cartridges I have along with the Game Boy Colour Lufia game.
I also picked up two SNES games from my favourite game store: The Legend of the Mystical Ninja and Super Valis IV. I actually thought I already owned Legend of the Mystical Ninja, and when some folks from the streams were drumming up some excitement about it, I realized I’d had it confused with Super Ninja Boy the entire time. Oops! There are far too many ninja games to get mixed up in my mind, but I digress. Super Valis IV was a total surprise to stumble upon. It was one of the games I’d had on my list to look for at the convention earlier this year, but there was only one very expensive copy of it that I passed up. I now own the three Genesis games as well as the one SNES installment, so it’s great to be able to finally take those off my collecting list and play them.
Over a large part of the year, my husband and I watched the entirety of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was my first viewing of the series and quite frankly, I think about that show a lot since we finished viewing it. One day I saw a copy of this SNES game of the same name and decided to pick it up without even looking into what kind of gameplay it might have. I still haven’t really researched it much, but hopefully it’ll be a nice way to revisit the series again in a different form someday down the line.
Back when I was perusing auction sites a little more regularly, I couldn’t help but get totally sucked into some gaming books. This is my second copy of the orange Nintendo Fun one, but the Winning at Nintendo was what I was especially interested in getting. While everyone else had Nintendo Power growing up, all I had was this one little book with a couple of NES games listed inside. I’ve been curious to see what other books existed in this lineup for a long time, and even though there are a couple of doubles, it was a treat looking through this one!
Earlier in this post, I talked about a lot that we bought containing relatively random gaming-related items, and these were the manual spoils. There were a couple for games I don’t even own but also a few I’d been looking for for a little while, like the Game Boy ones in the bottom right corner. Flashback was another I wanted to find, but I actually own the Genesis version (box and game). It’s now as complete as it’s getting with the SNES manual! There were a couple of game cases for titles I don’t own, mostly from PS3/XBox360 titles that I haven’t shown here. There was nothing particularly notable from my perspective.
And last but certainly not least, I found an item I’d been hoping to take home for a long time: Barcode Battler! You may recall that I already own some iterations of this device from way back in this blog, specifically one for the Game Boy and another for the Super Famicom. This one is a different beast altogether and a standalone, completely in English, and it came with its box, many of the cards, and even some homemade ones from the previous owner. If you’re not up to speed on what this is, it’s an RPG-style game where you can scan bar codes of all kinds and it’ll generate monsters or fighters for you, and then you can choose your moves and engage in one on one combat with another person or a CPU character. It’s very rudimentary, but it’s definitely something I’d like to spend some time with for a stream or even just for fun on my own sometime. I’d like to know what kind of monster a box of cookies or cereal might conjure up…
And that just about does it with one final post before we welcome in 2023. I still need to write about the Vectrex(es) that we picked up a couple of months ago, but that will have to wait until the new year.
Thank you all so much for all of your support over the many months and years, and for being patient with updates. I wish that collecting was still as frequent as it used to be for me, but it’s nice to be able to pop in here and chat with folks about the hobby once in a while.
Have a safe and happy new year, everyone! And as always, thanks for reading!
LOVE seeing Base Wars! I used to play that quite a bit as a kid. Easy nostalgia for me! But nothing compares to that ‘Winning at Nintendo’ book. Oh man, I bought that at the Scholastic Book Fair one year and wore out the pages. What I wouldn’t give to see the insides of that one again. Nice haul, friend!
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I need to try out Base Wars one of these days and see what it’s all about! If I ever get a lead on a second copy of Winning at Nintendo or find one, it’s yours! I’ll gladly take photos for you if you like. Thanks for stopping by here!
I would love to see a picture of your entire collection one day! It must be absolutely massive. I also plan to catch more of your streams this year. I miss the chill vibe and could definitely use the stress relief 😀
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I have been wanting to do some kind of collection video one of these days. I’m not sure I could fit it all into one image at this point!
I hope to see some more of you over on Twitch too. It’s always so great when you stop in!
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From everything I’ve seen I can bet!
I know! I’ll catch you again soon. It seems like you’re doing more streams so I’m sure to be in the right place at the right time 😀