The Wicked Console Stack

consoles

 

This is a stack-up of the consoles that I currently have- though that Sega Mega Drive (which wasn’t faulty since I used the packed-in NES power adapter which thankfully didn’t fry it) will be given away as I’ll use a modded Japanese unit which can play games from all over the world. Having a Japanese Mega Drive is awesome too as it sports that reddish look- which coincidentally is the design I thought was here in Europe too but ultimately I was proven wrong. I will keep that awesome box and the controllers that came with it though, and I’ve bought new refurbished controllers for it too. I took this picture right before our move into the house.

As you can see there is a box with Wii U peripherals beneath the Wii U unit- as I couldn’t balance the consoles in a better way and since the two stacks would look off I opted to put that beneath those three consoles to make it look better.

You Snooze, You Lose.

2015-06-30 16.02.35I wanted to share this Nintendo 64 ad from the first Super Play issue of ’97. It basically says that tens and thousands of video game fans have marked 1st of May ’97 in their calendars, and that the interest at the introduction of the system in Japan and the US was overwhelming and that we are to see windling queues in Sweden too. And with that knowledge in our hands the people behind the ad conclude that since there weren’t enough units to meet the demands of the Japanese and Americans we will get the same issue in Sweden (hah!) and they thus recommend us to pre-order our units.

Awesome things about this ad:

  • They’ve plastered those ever-so-present 3D Marios on the ad, as a testament of that era, which is nostalgilicious!
  • They released the N64 1st of March ’97 and expected huge sales… or at least tried to build up the hype.
  • You snooze, you lose! That means Mario is losing! Oh no!
  • Hah! They really miscalculated the popularity of the system- sure, supply was scarce at the beginning, and even though the games were ace, it never sold as great as its arch nemesis, the Sony Playstation. What a revenge you had, Sony, what a great revenge…

 

Video Game Hunting: Stay Away, Angry Sun!

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Image from gamesradar.com

It’s Summer Time, and for most of us this means vacation, and a chance to get to play more video games, if it weren’t for travelling and all those other things one has to do. Ah, I can’t play the stationary consoles outdoors, and the weather is nice so I have to be outdoors. Let’s play on the handhelds then! No, I’m required to enjoy this new and exotic country I’m visiting… That means the new and exotic lands of this game will have to wait…

To sum it up I’d conclude that wintertime is a better time to play video games, but don’t forget the surge of flea markets and the likes, as well as last-minute garage sales to scour in search for more video games. If you don’t have enough already, that is (I do, but I can’t stop myself, it’s pathological). This month’s haul is largely from the last 40% sale on GAME (with 20% off on accessories and consoles) and later on, 50% on all goods, and last, but not least, a Liquidation Sale as they went out of business after filing bankruptcy when all games and accessories were on 70% sale!

This post has been delayed by life and things like that, not to mention by how huge it is! This months haul is a record thus far, and it clearly marks some of my issues as a gamer and a collector.

2015-06-01 12.35.32I had cropped this image and I can’t understand why it was imported this way. And I frankly don’t give a damn, as I’m too lazy to correct this digital mistake. Anyhow, this here video game is Carmageddon 64, a pretty decent port of the PC game called Carmageddon 2. Being a fan of the Carmageddon franchise as a whole I decided to get this copy, and it plays very well. Bar the very low framerate, when compared to it’s PC brother, and the lower resolution, it feels the same. What striked me as odd was the inclusion of both fat and thin green zombies and red blood. Yes, not green as in the censored PC version, but red. That’s not very “Nintendo of the 90’s” at all.

2015-06-01 12.35.55Lumines Plus is another game that I’ve ogled, and for a small price I got this into my collection. It’s actually a fun and odd platformer which tries to look very modern, and it has some kind of contemporary look to it even today. The oddest part of it, besides the gameplay, is the music tracks who range from anything from generic electronic music tracks to actual music tracks with singers. The genres vary greatly in my opinion, but so far I haven’t heard rock and hiphop and the likes. Would I recommend it? Yes, if you’re a puzzle fan. If not you’ll just end up getting annoyed at the innovative gameplay style and especially at the odd choice of music tracks. I guess they tried to much to be an “everybody’s puzzle game”.

2015-06-01 12.37.21What a big blank space there is around the cartidge, what a waste. Thank you, WordPress. Anyhow, Astro Boy is one of the hidden gems on the Game Boy Advance system and I’d heard that it’s a great platformin action game. And boy did it deliver! The graphics, sound effects and the gameplay are all great. The story itself is interesting and light enough to draw me in, and has given me the urge to check out the Astro Boy franchise myself. If you find this one decently priced I’d say pick it up- you won’t be sorry. And if you would dislike this game something would be wrong with you, I think. I wouldn’t be to blame, I’d say. While we’re still talking about Game Boy Advance games… stack the heck away from Shrek Swamp Kart Racing.
2015-06-01 12.35.45Official Nintendo 64 Expansion Packs are way too expensive, man and woman. Good thing they had that sale that made this one unit affordable. This device is inserted into the Nintendo 64 to give it more RAM (4mb if I recall correctly, please correct me if I’m wrong, or don’t, have it your way, gosh). This allows for a few select games to output in higher resolution, of which I only have one (Pokémon Stadium 2). I’ve stayed away from Donkey Kong 64 (which technically shouldn’t didn’t require the Expansion Pack, if it wasn’t for a certain part of the game freezing without it). since it needs one of these.

2015-06-01 12.36.08I got myself another new-in-box SEGA Dreamcast Controller. It’s mint and never used, complete with a plastic bag and the manual. There are many of these around on Ebay and the likes, so getting a mint original Dreamcast controller never is a problem. The prices are decent in Ebay too, but when you can get 20% off that price and save on shipping… why not go for it? Now that I’ve got 4 controllers I can play Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear in Deathmatch Mode with 3 buddies. Too bad no one will want to. I tried that mode with my brother and the maps are way too huge for that small amount of players in Local Play. I’ll have to get other games, like Power Stone or something, instead.

2015-06-09 17.41.26Resident Evil 4… what have I driven myself into. I’m notorious amongst my friends and family for being easily spooked by this genre, so I’m not really sure what made me grab this one. It might be the will to conquer my fears… or so I hope, since the other option would be true insanity. I hope this will bring me many hours of fun and not soiled pants instead…

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Next up is XII Stag, or Twelve Stag (or 12 Stag) if you will which is a vertical shooter. I really love those arcade-style games and they’re one of the reasons why I love the Playstation 2 too; there simply are a great lot of arcade ports for it. And they usually go for cheap too! They’re easy to pick up and play, and usually you get Free Credits too. That’s cheap arcadin’!

2015-06-09 17.43.52This is the definitive version of Monopoly with animations and gameplay that’s limited to 2 players only! I lied when I said that it’s the definitive version though… as you’ve figured out you can only play as 2 players in this game which limits the fun I’d reckon. But being a Monopoly fan I needed to pick this up for cheaps. Fo’ Cheapz! And it has both the classic and World Edition boards.

 

2015-06-09 18.11.05Zombie Revenge is one of those games that go for a higher price on the Dreamcast. This sale made me able to buy it without burning a hole through my wallet and, subsequently, my pocket. And it’s a really fun game! The Bare Knuckle mode is by far the best, and is a mode where you use your fists to defeat all those disgusting monsters and zombies. I still haven’t really understood what the revenge is about though…

2015-06-09 18.10.59This is yet another vertical shooter, Castle Shikigami II: War of the Worlds (not like H.G. Well’s piece, mind you) which Play It has released. I’ve yet to play this one, but when I come over these for the cheaps I have to get them. Chances are really good that they’ll be awesome. This one is also one of the finds during GAME’s Great Final Sale. I’m lucky few people even care to get these Old School-style arcade games; that means I get them instead!

N2015-06-11 17.40.49ext is Metal Gear Solid 3: Substinence, which contains a bonus disc that was pre-order or something like that in the US and Japan. It’s a fleshed out version of Snake Eater, and even though I thought I snagged it for kind of cheap in a thrift store it turned out not to contain the bonus disc.  I got it since you need Substinence to live… at least that’s my excuse. I mean, I’m no Snake Eater, right? The Europeans got the bonus disc either way since they had to wait for it for longer.

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Next in line to present to you is none other than Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. This is my favorite version of GTA thus far simply because it’s based on Miami Vice and since it takes part in the 80’s (which I love) this is the definitive version for me. I love the music selection too and I’ve always liked that the type of car you get predetermines which station it’ll be tuned into. While I’m not much for breaking the law, shooting and driving over innocents and the such, the free roaming world is a very fun thing gameplay-wise, and “borrowing” cars to crash never gets old.

2015-06-24 23.09.00Uncharted: Golden Abyss is a game my wife has wanted to get for a good while now, and during that sale we snagged it. Adventure games like this one always have a tendency to drag me in. I think it has to be the Indiana Jones in me that needs his fix. He’s shackled thight enough not to be able to escape and actually make me embark on real dangerous adventures, thank God, but I’m humane enough to grant him at least this much.

2015-06-24 23.09.49Some Nintendo Entertainment System dust sleeves! These were dirt cheap, and that’s a great thing considering they’re supposed to guard against dust. I took these two since they were the only ones left on the shelf. I asked the clerk if there were any more left. He then asked how many I wanted. I said “all there is.” He then answered that only these two remained. I left that GAME store baffled. I’m still not sure what the point was of asking me if I wanted any more of them if there were none else left than these two.

2015-06-24 23.13.19Microsoft Puzzle Entertainment Pack is something I envision in very much the same way as they’ve portrayed how your mind will become after having played the game on the cover of the box: as a mess. It’s weird that Microsoft ported some of their PC games to the Game Boy Color. It’s weird. It heinous. It’s a testament of madness! And that’s why I got this complete game. It’s too weird to pass on and I actually seem to have low standards when it comes to gaming (I enjoy the NES game Golf a bit too much) so I think I’ll like this one.

2015-06-24 23.10.39This is the only decent Sega Dreamcast game they had left and that I wanted to get: Milennium Soldier: Expendable. This is a top-ish view run and gun game where the tagline tells you what you need to know (something in the lines of “don’t ask, don’t stop, just shoot.”). This is a port of a port of an arcade game (portception) and plays very much like one, with credits, a second player being able to jump in anytime, and bosses and weapon upgrades and such. That sounds awesome!

2015-06-24 23.17.27  I love the Die Hard movies (for sure the first three ones, and even Live Free or Die Hard [but not so much Die Hard 4.0]) and when I saw Die Hard: Vendetta for the Gamecube I bought it. I’m hoping for a decent first person shooter and not something like Die Hard Trilogy for the Playstation. Even though that one is somewhat nostalgic it hasn’t aged well at all.

2015-06-27 16.28.01You’re not hallucinating, folks. I’ve bought a PC game, Command & Conquer: The First Decade. Before older console games became cheap enough my main gaming platform was the PC. Either I got cheap games that looked fun enough (Like good ones like MechCommander and Earth: 2140, or bad ones like Krazy Ivan) or I got them through friends (let’s just call that “lending through charred discs of information”). One of the top picks is the Command & Conquer franchise, with Red Alert being my favorite. This compilation contains everything released during the first decade, or so it claims. I got it at a flea market complete, and I’m eager to try it out.

2015-06-27 16.29.49It may be difficult to see, but this cart actually is Pocket Music for the Gameboy Advance. It’s your standard mixboard which is, to me, a bit difficult to learn due to the limited buttons of the system. Mixing is both easy and difficult; if you know which beats to use you can insert them easily. Knowing which tunes are which is the challenge though… I dig the inclusion of a GBA version if “My Name Is” by Slim Shady. That’s really nice!

2015-06-27 16.32.08Next up is Mercury Meltdown Revolution, a game I’ve heard is a hidden gem. You guide this mercuroid blob throughout stages that are sensitive to the motions of your Wiimote. I say, this blob sure looks like a Flubber! I bet you’d forgotten about that movie, no? This one is certainly darker than its Flubbi bethren and gives off a noble look. Amyhow, if you like motion controls and puzzles, look no further. Stop. No, stop looking further. Come ON!!

2015-06-27 16.33.00  Hunter: The Reckoning Wayward is an action game where you kill zombies and such. It looks great, through I don’t expect the gameplay to be stellar by any means, but it’s supposed to be decent. I’ve yet to play this one so I don’t have too much to say about it other than it looks fun. Playstation 2 games are dirt cheap, which means you can gamble when you get games on the system.

2015-06-30 15.53.57Is this one good? I’ve heard about the Fallout games a whole lot and I’ve yet to try any of them out. I definitely think I have a strong anough PC for this one, so I thought I’d see what the hype is all about in this the 3:rd game in the series. It also came very, very cheap at a thrift store, so yeah. That’s the story of how this one got into my possession. Let’s see how I fare in a post apocalyptic world (not so good. I’d guess)!

 

2015-06-30 15.54.09I got Sly 3: Honor Amongst Thieves! Platformers are my thing, and I won’t say no to good 3D platformer like this one. Also found at a thrift store for CHEAPS and when I got to the cash register they put it in at 50% off so it was even cheaper than I thought. You could even say it was a steal… heh. Man, that be nice, y’arr! Though me not be thinkin’ there be no honour amongst the thievery gentlemen, no, y’arr, they be dishonest like the worst of vermin, see.

2015-06-30 15.53.48I really used to play Diablo II a lot when it was new-ish back then. I never got very far, neither did I ever do that great, but raiding the maps and searching for stronger weapons and cooperating with my brother doing all that was a lot of fun. As with all PC games it’s not that certain a thing that the CD Key will work but I’ll give it a chance. I chose the Necromancer to be able to keep my distance and summon Skeleton Warriors and  Clay Golems to fight for me. Letting others fight my battles fits my game style much better and being a Summoner is more my cup of tea.

2015-06-30 15.55.01I also snagged these older Super Play issues, the first one is from January 1997 I presume and recaps the Game Year of 1996, which is insanely awesome. The other one leads you through the Console War of XBox, Playstation2 and the Nintendo Gamecube. As we all know they’re great on their own (with the Gamecube being the best system in my opinion) but as expected the Gamecube sold much, much less than the other systems.

I’d like to end this post with a few lines about blank spaces. Recognize the song? An E-cookie will be handed out to those giving the right answer:

“Cause we’re nerds and we’re reckless
We’ll collect things way too far 
Don’t buy things that are tasteless,
Games like Shrek riding in his swampy kart
Got a long list of games left
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But these images have too much blank space baby
WordPress is to blame.”

J&L Games, New York City

When in New York I stumbled upon this gaming store called J&L Games, by chance, and decided to check it out since I haven’t entered other areas who had retro game stores. The bigger chains didn’t really have that huge selection of NTSC games that I could play on my systems (which are games for the Gamecube, NES, the Game Boy lineup, Nintendo DS, and PS Vita) and now that they’ve ventured into newer platforms, that unfortunately are region locked, I don’t have that many reasons to enter those stores anymore. There might be the odd Nintendo DS game being clearanced (such as Aliens: Infestation which was a steal at 10 bucks) but now I can’t even seem to find that kind of games either. There only are “Language” games and stuff like “Driving School” and “Stop Smoking” games. That’s nothing to waste my money at. So imagine my glee when seeing this store!

I’ll give you a rough walkthrough, and even though the prices were what you could imagine in a game store with a physical location, with Ebay prices being what they are, I still thought that it was worth entering. Most of the new games were decently priced too.

IMG_5730When entering you can see some Wii U games and peripherals at the left, and they had a nice selection too. That Mario figure at the back was for sale too! As with all the images in this post, you can enlarge the image by clicking it, or by opening it in a new tab (right click and choose to open it in a new tab). The setup was clean and tidy. No dust on the shelves either! I’ve never seen that many Wiimotes with special designs in the same place either. That’s neat.

 

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They also had lots of Amiibo’s for about 15 bucks each. They usually went for close to 20 bucks in the GameStops I visited, so I was impressed that they didn’t charge more for them. Some, like the Villager and other “rare” and elusive ones were priced at about 45 bucks or so, if I recall correctly. I can’t figure out the prices on the tags as they’re invisible in this picture. I didn’t get any, even though they’re signicifantly cheaper when compared to Sweden, since the only one I want is the Wario one, The others aren’t interesting to me at all, though Mega Man and Samus are awesome.

IMG_5733They had this huge Mario (statue?) at the entrance. I took a picture with it but I don’t want to show off my face like this on the Internet, you know, all those things they told you about that kind of stuff when the Internet was still young still affects my mind. Anyhow, this didn’t seem to be for sale, and I can’t really imagine how you’d take this one with you. I’d reckon shipping would be cheaper if you’d just pay for an extra plane seat for it! Not to mention I’d guess something like this would cost between 200-500 dollars. That’s not any money I’d like to pay for a Mario figure. A Wario one is a different story though…

IMG_5734Look at all these Game Boy games!! When getting into retro territory the prices tend to skyrocket, as was the case with these games, and even among those who were decently priced I didn’t find anything I liked too much, or I already had them. The same goes for the Game Boy Advance games. I didn’t get any loose Nintendo DS games, I only ever bought a loose cart since it had the manual before (Sonic Colors) so I stayed away from them. This reminds me, I need 20 more clear Nintendo DS cases… There are some Game Boy games of mine who still need custom boxes, and one “82 in 1″ compilation (Lies!! There are only 10 unique games or so in it!) that needs a custom case design.

IMG_5738Games everywhere! They had games for the following platforms, though I may have missed one or two of them: NES, SNES, GB, GBA, PS, PS2, PS3, PS4, GCN, N64, Genesis, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PS Vita, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, NDS, N3DS… Did I miss something? Yeah, I’m sure I missed something. Anyhow, you get the big idea. The NES games did cost a fair bit, as they pretty much only had quality titles in great condition, and most of the quality GCN titles too, though Wario World had the standard price which is seen both in the US and Europe (around 20 dollars or so). They also had a few boxed NES games too.

IMG_5740The Game Boy systems carried a hefty price tag of around 60-80 dollars, though I’d guess the pro is that you can try them out and feel them before buying them. They also seemed to be in good condition. I eyed that Game Boy Printer but got cold feet as I’m hoping to get one for cheaper. They also had a good few Japanese import titles, something taht isn’t too common I’d believe. I only saw imports in Pink Gorilla, though I’ll admit I didn’t look to carefully for them in other stores either. I have a Yellow Brick Game Boy (follow the Yellow Brick Game Boy, follow the Yellow Brick Game Boy, follow, follow, follow follow, follow the Yellow Brick Game Boy) and would like to get my hands on one with the original colors and the transparent one.

IMG_5741And here you have the Playstation Vita games, who were decently priced. Can you spot The Walking Dead: The Second Season?

I hope you liked this virtual tour of sorts. Make sure to visit the store, the prices may match other physical game stores but the experience was great. I think I’d have bought more games if I hadn’t decided to buy selected titles instead in January.

Game Hunting: Disney’s Magic Complete in Box Mansions

retro games hunt

 

Magical Tetris Challenge:

I’ve been hearing that this is one of the best Tetris games, one that mixes everything up with some special moves that spoils your friend’s gaming experience if performed perfectly. You can control Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Minnie (yes, I’m on a first-name basis with them thank you very much) and meet a few baddies from the franchise, amongst others Pete in a ridiculous suit and top hat. There’s very little 3D elements in this game and you’re going to be graced by the presence of a lot of fluid and gorgeous 2D animation. Got this one from Game complete in box for, what I’d later find out, was a very favorable price. And add to that the fact that it’s a game not found very commonly “in the wild”, and you’ve got yourself a happy MartianOddity.

 

Maniac Mansion:

LucarsArts used to make a lot of fun point and click adventures with a ton of humor and problem solving based on puns, and this is the port of one of the first ones. The NES port is actually not that bad graphics wise, and this particular copy is in Swedish! It plays really well and while it’s tedious at best to use the NES controller for these kinds of games, I figured out that I could use the NES Advantage joystick to emulate that feel, and man did I feel creative and smart.

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While I’m already at it, I implore you to play other LucasArts games in the same vein, like Day of the Tentacle, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, the Monkey Island series etc.

 

Image from:  http://nintendoage.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=7&threadid=76256

Game Hunting: Racing, Flying, Fighting and Memory

This time I got myself a mixed bag: some SNES game sequels for the N64, a little something for the little ‘Boy and another little thingie for the PS Vita.

Let’s get it on!

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F-Zero X and Pilotwings 64:

I remember buying F-Zero X with my brother in a bargain bin, and it was a real bargain! Totally worth the money, so when I saw this one I snagged it. It’s a fast-paced racing game that’s a bit difficult to get used to in the beginning, but as all of us know practice makes near perfect. The music is radical, and the HP system of your ride is awesome! Play your cars right and it’ll be your opponents who explode and not yours! Three! Two! One! Gooo!

Pilotwings 64 I remember getting from my sisters, and it’s a fun game with a lot of replayability. The only drawback is that it’s a single player game, but that’s not a huge one as I can’t imagine how a multiplayer mode would be designed. It’s a game that’s worth adding to your collection.

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Mega Memory and Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale

I got the Mega Memory brand new from my brother, thanks bro! I needed one to use and one mint for my collection. I usually open up the stuff I buy… but something told me to keep one sealed, and I don’t know why. I hardly think there’ll be any collector’s value in this, but what the heck! This one is great for beating certain really difficult platformers for the Gameboy.

Then I found Playstation All-Stars – Battle Royale for the PS Vita. I’ve been looking for this game with hungry eyes and decided to get it when they sold it cheaply. All-Stars is pretty much Smash Bros. for Playstation.

 

 

Comparision Between Composite and S-video

I got my S-video adapter for the Nintendo 64, which means that I can change from standard Composite video to what’s the best thing for the PAL N64 system: S-video. The difference isn’t huge between this and RGB but still noticeable according to most sources.

I quickly noticed that the image got black and white when I connected the Sound output cable into the adapter. This was quickly solved by pulling it out a little bit and presto! I had both sound and a markedly improved image to enjoy.

zelda composite1Standard Composite cable

zelda svideo1S-video cable

zelda svideo3S-video Cable

Unfortunately I forgot to grab a pic with the Composite cable of the gameplay, but the intro screen shows off both the 3D, sprite and texture aspects of the game so I hope that’ll do. I’m pleased with the improvement and I’d say that this is a cheap way to make your older consoles much more visually appealing, it’d cost about 10 dollars per cable and you’d be set to go, even on new flatscreen TV’s.

The reason why the image is still blurry is because the N64 had some kind of blur filter that was meant to make the graphics better. While it looked better on most standard CRT TVs it looks dated when Compared to the modern sharpness of video output. So this is basically what you get if I’m correct.