The Wicked Console Stack

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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.

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Video Game Hunting: So Many Games!

I have a lot to catch up on when it comes to presenting my video game purchases. It’s been so long since my last post, but here goes!

blastworksFirst off is Blast Works, a side scrolling shmup where you add the enemy’s “scrap” to your ship as you’re going. One of the selling points was sharing your own levels and such online, which I doubt is active anymore, but the game itself looks promising, and that retro style cover sold the game for me. Much better than the North American cover, am I right? There’s so much happening on the cover art at once, and that was the prime selling point for me. Click and open in a new tab to enlarge.

jet set radioThis one I got a long time ago (when GAME- stores in Sweden were closing everywhere this year) but forgot to post here. Jet Set Radio is a must have for the Sega Dreamcast, or so I’ve heard, and it has intrigued me ever since I saw footage of it on the British channel Games Network in the heyday of the Dreamcast itself. Then again, they were selling off 10 games for only 39,99, one of which was a Disney-themed racing game… So it might’ve been at the end of the console’s lifespan. Anyhow, rollerskate around, destroy public properties with graffiti… That’s awesome.

smg1I got hold of Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 for a decent price in Alicante, in some damp cellar store with the AC blasting at full effect and dripping water on the floor. It looked nasty! smg2And when they turned it off it lots of water (along with some wet dust bunnies) fell to the floor right where I was just standing.
The games themselves are imaginative and have very cool physics and the controls do take some time to get used to. Yoshi is available in the second game, and both games are known for their superb orchestrated soundtracks.

dbrevengeDragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo is a good adventure game for the Wii owning Dragon Ball fan. This one takes part in one of the darkest parts of the first part of the Dragon Ball series (just before Son Goku grows up) and I like how the back of it says in Spanish: “There was a time when Son Goku was happy.” What?! So do they mean he’s unhappy as an adult? I don’t buy that! He’s perfectly happy as an adult! Except when Chi Chi is berating him… that’s sad, especiallty in Dragon Ball Super…

DesperadosOne of the PC games that have a nostalgic place in my heart is Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive. It’s a strategy game in the same vein as the first three Commando’s games from Eidos (making it awesome by default). I love the Wild West setting where steamboats and wild gunmen share the scene in the wildest of wests. You control the English bounty hunter John Cooper, the gambling Kate O’Hara of Irish-American ancestry and Doc McCoy of Scottish ancestry that smells trouble and death. The character to the farthest left, John Cooper, looks a lot like Bruce Willis, am I right?

Super Mario MakerSuper Mario Maker. Y’alls know about the game already, so I’ll throw in my opinion about it only. I got it at release, and it’s really good. It’s an amalgamation of my favorite Super Mario Bros. games with a level editor of awesomehood. I’ve made a lot of zany levels (only 2 worlds at the moment) but so far I can’t beat the imagination of other’s, like those top ranked ones where you either have to  not touch anything or not touch any mushrooms (though it’s very well possible to beat having taken a mushroom). It’s an immense experience, but since my hard drive has gone into sleep mode all to often I’ll have to disable that feature to be able to play it that much again. You also need a fair amount of time as you’ll get absorbed into the game while playing and when watching time time it might have passed 1-2 hours. This was a birthday present from my wife.

There are several goodies in this picture, the first one to mention is Dragonball Z: Goku Densetsu. It’s a board-like game with battles galore where you use the card-based system of old (the early NES games used this) which gives a sensation of strategy, luck and nostalgia both of NES DB games and Dragonball as a whole. I wouldn’t recommend this to those seeking a fast pick-up-and-play game and not to those with a deficiency in patience either though. Next is Frogger 3D which I wanted to try out, and it also contains the original game. You have to guide a frog across a dangerous highway, and if you don’t proceed with caution and precision, it will turn into road kill. After that it might become part of the roadkill food chain too, but that’s another story and unfortunately this game neglects to explore it any further. Dragon Quest Swords looked really fun when I saw it announced for the first time, and I like the Dragon Quest games (I’m playing Dragon Quest II now on the GBC version since a long time ago) and their spin-offs. You use motion controls to combat various DQ monsters and you can also use a shield if I recall correctly. I got these pixelated Sonic the Hedgehog and Tails “Miles” Prower figurines that look a lot like 3D sprites. They took forever to assemble, being essentially Lego with very small pieces, but the process was fun and the figures themselves look really neat. I’ll post pictures of their assembly in the next post. I got all of these from my brother.

Sonic COmpilationNow that my Sega Mega Drive works (the seller had given me a NES power cord, which gives out AC and might toast the Mega Drive but fortunately it didn’t) but since they’re hard to get for a decent price and I needed one anyways (I thank that bumbling idiot for his mistake) I had to get me some Sonic the Hedgehog games. I saw that they had Sonic Compilation on Ebay UK, which contains Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2 and Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine (essentially a face change of Puyo Pop). I didn’t mind having one cart for all of them, and being able to play them on the original software is so good. I’d forgotten how 2 player split screen Sonic 2 lags when too many things happen on screen though!

Next is another Sonic game, and is none other than Sonic Adventure. A must have in the Sega Dreamcast library and now that I have it the DC really seems like a Sega console to me for the first time. Sonic is his name and speed is his game! This is the first 3D game in the series, and arguably the best one, though I’ve never properly played any of the games past Sonic 3, so I won’t be too quick to judge.

smaI found this boxed Super Mario Advance: Super Mario Bros. 2 for a favorable price. While Super Mario Bros. never had the place that the 3rd game had it still retained that Mario feel to me- not to mention how exotic it was since I seldom got to play it. The GBA version with added voices and such will be really fun to play. It’s a re-skinned Doki Doki Panic- but who’d not love Super Mario re-skins of other games?

smb3 sma4At the same place, at the same day, at the same time… I found Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 boxed! Super Mario Bros. 3 with updated graphics á la Super Mario All Stars and extra features and sounds is just something that makes me warm inside. This means that I now have all games in that quadrilogy- though only two are complete in box and the other two in custom NDS cases. Speaking of which I ordered 20 more boxes as the collection of the Game Boy line still lacks some cases- so expect another post about that!

SF Ex3I found a copy of Street Fighter EX 3. I’ve yet to play a 3D Street Fighter game so this is kind of a gamble for me- but I think I heard a little bird whispering praises for this game. If I Iike this game I’ll leave it at that, but if it turns out to suck balls I’ll have to strangle that little bird, which saddens me to say the least. The mechanics are basically the same as in other SF games, only here you have a gauge that fills up when hitting or blocking so that you can use special attacks. You also battle in a tag team of two fighters (which sounds awesome!) and can switch out as long as it’s not too short of a time in between. The resting character will then slowly fill up it’s vitality gauge.

Another game that we rented a lot as kids, and that I’d forgotten about before finding this game again, was Tetrisphere. It’s basically Tetris on a sphere, and I have a hard time explaining it better as the gameplay is a bit odd. It was cheap and the memories of 2 player dueling were great, so it’s time to find out if it’s as good as I remember.

N64 RPI also found a Nintendo 64 Rumble Pak complete in box for a great price and the inserts and the Rumble Pak itself were in pristine condition. I didn’t have one for my N64, believe it or not, but I used to have a boxed one for our old system as a kid (before we gave it away to relatives, to be able to buy Game Boy Colors with Pokémon Red & Blue).

red steelI found a cheap copy of Red Steel– remember when I found the second installment a while back (also for cheaps)? Now I have them both (duh). I’ve heard that they’re decent and make great use of the Wii controls- so it’ll be fun to try it out. If I’ll be able to get immersed into the game thanks to the controls I’ll be very content.

Miiverse Artwork and Mii Crafting

If there’s one thing I love in MiiVerse (other than the hilarious Mii designs that pop out here and there) it’s the artwork done by the rudimentary drawing application in the system. Somehow people manage to circumvent the limitations to create amazing artwork. While I haven’t yet seen stuff that’s like Van Gogh or Da Vinci in nature, I’ve been able to gawk upon some other amazing drawings instead. Here’s some of the top ones that I just had to forward and share with you.

 

Mario Paint

This one is made by a allegedly bearded and long haired spectacle clad man by the name JB, or No_More_Bamboo. That’s an amazing Luigi homage there, and the attention to detail is amazing. You really have to love ole Weeg’ to be able to make something this awesome.

 

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And this Super Smash Bros. Wii U comment is gold. Hyrule sure could use the ever farting and adrenaline-packed Wario Man, which essentially is a costume clad Wario… with no actual added powers. That is to show that he doesn’t need anymore, he’s awesome enough as is!

wawario

This one here is drawn by me, and is what you’ll see when visiting my profile. 100 points to the one who can name the reference source! If you wonder what’s off it’s that I forgot to draw his sideburns. Woe me.

malleo

And last but not least my best attempt at creating a Mario Mii. There should be better examples out there, show me yours if you have made any!

 

Nintendo World, New York City, April 2015

IMG_5502Here it is, almost two months later! While in New York City I visited Nintendo World (which Nintendo Nut wouldn’t?) at Rockefeller Center and I’m glad I did. While the upper stairs are mostly dedicated to Pokémon stuff (pretty much like the Pokémon Center of past) there are now also monters acting as a museum of sorts and an area where you could try out Mario Party 10. I’ll give you a virtual tour of sorts, though the real experience without a doubt beats this by far. Also, I haven’t photographed each and every nook and cranny in the building, so don’t expect to see everything there is in Nintendo World as I don’t want to ruin the magic for you. Click the images to make them bigger or open them in a new tab.

IMG_5487At the entrance we were greeted by Skull Kid from Majora’s Mask as they were promoting the remake on the 3DS. I was thinking to myself how much I’d like to have this cardboard cutout of one of the easily creepiest antagonists there is in video game history. And I’ve never even played the game! I do have it for the Gamecube in the Legend of Zelda: Collectors Edition, and after having read the Majora’s Mask manga adaptation and watching this revival I feel even more of a desire to play it through. Well played, Nintendo, well played… Marketing Complete. You got my attention, and would’ve got my wallet too if it wasn’t for the fact that I have a version of Majora’s Mask already.

IMG_5489The lower floor was full of merchandise, and you could find everything from the newest video games to collectible figures and figurines and even custom clothing. I got a t-shirt with the cast of Super Mario Bros. on it. Neat! They had Amiibo’s and such and I figured I’d get a Wario one, but I had misread the release date. I thought “Where else to get a newly released Amiibo early than in Nintendo World?” but that actually requires the item to have been released, evidently, as I was a month too early! Anyhow, you could try out a lot of the newer Nintendo Wii U and 3DS titles on this floor too.

IMG_5488The Upper Floor mainly housed Pokémon merchandise, as in the good ole’ Pokémon Center days (there actually is a smaller Pokémon Center in Tokyo still, but now it’s only housed in 1 of it’s original 2 floors, at least it was when I was there in 2010) but there was more this time around, as they’d added a considerably bigger Museum part with one wall dedicated to all things The Legend of Zelda and, as you can see below, a monter with all the released handheld devices thus far. I’ll show you some of the items I found interesting myself.

IMG_5490They begin in chronological order, it seems, and they even have a Nintendo Micro Vs. System. That’s not something you see to often, and I have seen one online in a tattered old box and I believe the game was Ice Hockey or something akin to that. I would’ve gotten it had it not been priced at a whooping 50 Euros… I wonder who got the task to rally these in for Nintendo World, or if they were donated or purchased… Some look to be in very good condition but others looks worse for the wear, just take a look below.

IMG_5493Couldn’t they have found a Game Boy in better condition to showcase? I’m just kidding with y’all, this is the fabled brick Game Boy that survived an explosion during the Gulf War and it still runs Tetris flawlessly. If someone launches a bazooka at you, shield yourself with the closest to you Original Game Boy system. On a more serious note I’d reckon this item is showcased as a testament to the “Nintendo Quality” and also as some sort of item of morbid curiosity. “So that’s what a Game Boy would look like in an explosion… Wicked.” And here is the original Nintendo Power article for you to read, click to enlarge (or open it in a new tab):

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IMG_5495They had a few more or less rare Game Boy systems. The Game Boy Light, which is a Pocket with a frontlight installed to it and, due to popular demand, an LED Power indicator as the original Pocket didn’t have one much to the gamer’s ire. This one to the left is a special edition Astro Boy GB Light, and you’ve just got to love the transparency. Not only does it looks awesome on it’s own, but it really fits Astro Boy well. IMG_5496 Then we have this Pokémon Center Special Edition Game Boy Color which is gold as opposed to the other standard  Special Editions released (of which I have one too).IMG_5497 There was a similar Special Edition released in Japan and you can see it to the left; a Pokémon Center Special Edition Gameboy Advance. This kind of special editions  were IMG_5498normal back in the day but have been replaced by the more commonplace units of modern times (with prints of legendary Pokémon and such) that are released everywhere or exclusively in certain chains. And last but not least we have a Famicom Special Edition Game Boy Advance SP. This is what the Japanese got instead of the Nintendo Entertainment System one we got in the west. I’d love myself the NES themed one, if ever sold for a decent price…

IMG_5499I’d have wet myself if I ever got this Mario Kart Ride-on Vehicle as a kid, and for a price tag of 199,99 USD this can be yours… I mean your kids ride… right. It’s amazing the things you can get… I had no idea this kind of custom items existed as a kid. It might have to do the fact that very little, if any, of these merchandise made their way into our country. Spoiled kids.

IMG_5501And here’s the Demo area for Mario Party 10, and it was also on the upper floor. I never got to play too much of this game since we were about to eat lunch very soon and we were a big party (heh, you see what I did there?). I’ve heard mixed reviews about this game, some say it’s good, especially when in multiplayer, some say it’s a weak entry in the franchise. Myself I’d say, based on what little I actually played the game, that it’s decent nough to buy if you don’t have a Mario party game of preference yet. But if you have one you’re very fond of and that you pick forth every time your friends are over, then chances are you will get dissapointed.

 

Splatoon Global Testfire

The Splatoon Global Testfire was something largely unannounced, and I just so happened to log into the Wii U store at the very same day and managed to download it. I played at the last time slot (British Time) and my experience was mixed. While it was really fun I never got the hang of it and grew frustrated the longer I played the game. I never seemed to figure out how to play it efficiently and was splattered down in no time, constantly respawning. I found the unique mechanics difficult to get used to (like swimming in ink, loading your gun in ink, making sure not to get stuck in enemy ink or you’re instantly killed etc.) and I didn’t fully enjoy the game. I’d need a few hours more with it before I’d be able to tell if I really liked it or if I still were to be frustrated. Though it is an impressive game I think my pitfall was trying to play it like a mainstream FPS, which the game both is and isn’t. For a more comprehensive article, be sure to read SlickGaming’s post. For now, I’ll only present a few sub-par screenshots from my session. If you did test it during the Global Testfire, you’re eligible for a Download Discount!

splatoon1The enemy team spawning.

splatoon4

A Squid mini game, much like those games where you jump up to higher platforms. This kind of Loading- minigames were patented by Namco  in -95 and they recently lost the patent this year, which explains why no one else did these and also why Nintendo were bold enough to create this for our amusement. 

splatoon5

A screen of what the mini game itself looks like.splatoon3Constantly at the bottom of my team.  splatoon2I saw this screen much more often than I’d like to admit.

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.

Video Game Hunting: Are You Lonesome, Tonight

This is the only game I’ve bought during both March and April. IMG_5713What’s nice is that this is a game both my wife and I want to play. I have yet to play the first installment but my wife guarantees that it was amazing. Telltale Games are said to once again have outdone themselves in this comic book to video game adaptation of the comic of the same name; The Walking Dead. I’m a huge fan of everything The Walking Dead (No spoilers please! I’m saving myself for the Bluray Season Set!!). None of the games in this franchise (bar The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct  for the Wii U) were released in hard copy in Europe which is why we’ve bought imports of the first and the second games. The first one we bough in-store here at GAME, and the other one at J&L Game in New York. The Walking Dead: Season Two will be a fright to play in hard copy, and we’re glad to say that we’ve escaped the digital copy jungle once again.

IMG_5629To make sure that this post isn’t too empty I’ll just add another purchase, a four figurine set of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles of the 80’s cartoon. They look really neat on my TV. I’ve removed the clips since they look much nicer this way. Click on the image to enlarge!