June 25, 2015

Kicking Gnomes: Spring 2015

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. I've outdone myself, folks. They call it "spring cleaning," but I clearly didn't get the memo. Instead, I caught the collectors bug, and went on a mad rampage, annihilating eBay and many stores to grow my collection this season. There is actually so much stuff in this haul, I may have missed some things. Regardless, I'm happy and proud to have a lot of these titles back in my possession, and many more acquired for the first time! And, for possibly the first time since I started this series, there's a little bit of everything! Let's get to it, we're gonna be here a while.

The collector's itch meant I really avoided digital additions this Spring. Every time I checked out a PSN sale or the eShop, I found myself discouraged from purchasing anything unless it was something I'd likely never get physically. So my digital pick ups are short this time. I can't remember why or how, but I wound up getting WarioWare Inc. Mega Microgame$ from the eShop. I adore WarioWare games so this is by no means a bad buy, I just can't remember why I bought it digitally. Sale, maybe?
I also finally picked up the Mario Kart 8 DLC, just in time for the other half of it to come out. I haven't been playing much MK8, thus the delay, but I wanted to have it for the rare occurrences in which I do hop online to race my pals.
I finally caved and bought Trine: Enchanted Edition. I loved the little bit of Trine 2 that I played (and immediately bought) but there was some part of me that felt I should play the original first. Nintendo was offering a discount to any who have one half of the set already downloaded, so it was an easy buy.
And lastly, from Nintendo, we finally, finally, FINALLY got a localized release of Mother, retitled Earthbound Beginnings. You know I'm on that. They announced it just before E3 this year, and I wanted to jump on it A.S.A.P. to let Nintendo know that we want Mother 3 as well! If you're a fan of Mother and/or RPGs, go get it!

In the retro department, a few exciting things happened. After playing Metal Gear Solid recently I made a comment on twitter regarding my need to get the NES Metal Gear titles. My buddy JRock the GameRocker pounced into action and found a copy of Snake's Revenge on eBay for a great price, and passed the info onto me. Days later, he found the original Metal Gear in one of his favorite shops and offered to pick it up and send it to me.
My MG collection is nearing completion now! I can't thank you enough, JRock. It's so comforting to be part of such a considerate and generous family.
So, most people won't know this, but a while back my life got pretty busy and my gaming time diminished drastically. At the same time, a friend of mine was moving across the continent to attend university. We've spent countless hours playing N64 together so when he was taking off empty handed, I offered him the opportunity to borrow my N64 and most of my games to keep him busy while he was ignoring school work. The idea was that he'd take it with him, and bring it back when he came home for summertime. Fast forward about 9 years…
Obviously he never came home, and consequently never brought my N64 back. It turns out it's been getting a lot of love over the years, and when he got married recently, his wife got him his very own N64, and sent mine home with his brother so I could finally have it back. Sheesh. I'm off letting people borrow things, man.
Anyway, after reshelving all my N64 titles, I noticed a few key pieces were missing. I'm not sure if my friend lost or stole them, or if I never actually owned them to begin with - it's been a long time since I've seen these babies - so I ran out and picked up Perfect Dark to fill the hole. While I was shopping, I also picked up Quake, partially because it's a good game and partially because it reminded me of a funny memory from my earliest N64 days. You see, my dentist had one of these in his office waiting room, to keep kids entertained while they awaited their appointment. I don't think he counted on me sticking around all the day to sit and beat Quake...

Moving on to GameCube, I've finally claimed one of the best games ever created: Donkey Konga. Played the shit out of this with my buds back in the day, but oddly never managed to actually own it. Until now! I picked up both the original and Donkey Konga 2, as well as two sets of DK Bongos (only one is pictured) so I can relive my GameCube days and get plastered and school everybody in... bongo-ing. I feel like there was something else for this lot but I can't even keep track of my GC collection anymore...

Wii time!
For some reason I picked up Super Smash Bros. Brawl. There was a reason but now I don't remember it. I have noticed it's making the rounds in game shops again, though (sealed copies), no doubt the fault of Smash for WiiU reviving interest in the series. I really don't play Smash much but hell, can't hurt to have it around.
While poking around the used section of a store, my eyes fell upon Super Paper Mario. I know I've played bits and pieces, but never got to tackle the whole thing before. Now I can!
Also picked up Lost in Shadow. I know virtually nothing about this game but I recall someone on twitter raving about it once. Picked up solely on this experience, and the price was right. I'm always looking for great games to fill out my Wii collection so I appreciate any recommendations, especially obscure ones.
In the "totally not obscure" file: I've finally picked up The Last Story. I know, I know, I should have had this ages ago. I fell into one of those awkward phases where I wasn't playing my Wii much so I just couldn't be bothered to get it then. But I wanted it! I have a long-term relationship with Sakaguchi, so I'm always curious to see what he's up to.

Oh, and I guess it goes without saying that I bought Splatoon for the WiiU, too.

Aaaand, for the DS…
One of my hopes for this year was to get back into Disgaea, and what better way to fuel that than to buy Disgaea games. So I picked up Disgaea DS. Disgaea everywhere! How many more time can I say Disgaea. Disgaea disgaea disgaea.
Every now and then I'll pick up a game that I've just never heard of or know anything about. There are a few of those in this blog and one of them is Nostalgia. No idea what I've got here, but my philosophy is "if it has anime people on the cover, it's safe!" Doesn't always pan out but here's hopin'.
Something I have heard of but have never played is Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume. I was looking for something else the day I found this. The little voice in my head told me to check out the DS section and I found it!
I came by all of these titles by chance in store, but this last one, I worked for, man. WarioWare: Touched! is among my favorite Wario games, my favorite DS games, and my favorite games ever. This game helped me survive countless weekends commuting here and there, and I just play it for fun, too. No idea what happened to my first copy, but I've rolled out the red carpet to welcome this baby back. So happy to have this again. Felt empty without it.

I didn't get a ton of new titles for Playstation, but I feel like the few I did get pack a hefty punch.
I acquired Riven as part of lot I bought off a guy in the city I was working in. I don't really remember Riven, so I'll hafta pop it in and see if anything comes back to me.
On the other hand, a game I remember quite vividly is Parasite Eve. Lost track of this famous game back in the day, and decided it was time to bring it home again. I actually won this beautiful copy on eBay, and had to fight like hell for it.
I went on a mad Xeno rampage early this year, and decided to pursue the entire Xeno series, beginning with possibly the rarest and most expensive of the titles: Xenogears. Again, won this beautiful copy on eBay, for a great price. I was so, so happy to close that sale. The Xeno universe is rather unique - if only conceptually - for an RPG, so I'm looking forward to journeying through them all.
Another series I wanted to complete was Grandia. My struggle to find a good copy of this game is well documented on twitter, but I've done it. There it is. Admire it.
To top off the list of random PS1 RPGs I've picked up so far this year: Vagrant Story. I can't actually remember if I've played this in whole or not, but I can do it now!
I also purchased my very first Dreamcast game recently, and of course, it's Grandia 2. I said I'd get them all, didn't I (main releases, that is)?

The bulk of my work this season is seen in my PS2 collection. Some of these I actively sought out, and some were just a bit of a bonus in other sales, trades and lots.
I guess we'll just start with Grandia III, and get that out of the way. I got goosebumps when I popped this disc in to test it.
Some of my ancillary pick ups include Ever Grace, Summoner, Summoner 2 and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. I've never played any of these and I understand some of them are early PS2 titles. Should be fun to check out, anyway.
Continuing the Disgaea parade, I picked up Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories to compliment its predecessor. Pretty sure I just borrowed this from a friend when I played it before, so I'm happy to call it my own now.
For some reason I got Suikoden IV. Perhaps someday, when I get really crazy, I'll shoot for the complete Suikoden set.
For some reason I didn't have Dark Cloud until now. I've definitely played it before, no idea how.
Now that we're done with the Grandia show, we can continue the Xeno rampage, with Xenosaga and Xenosaga 2! These were a chore to acquire. So happy to have them scratched off the list. Just one more to go here, I think?
And just in case you haven't see the word 'saga' enough in these last few sentences, here! Have Unlimited Saga. This is another game I know virtually nothing about, but I am familiar with the SaGa series, so hopefully I'll pick it up easy.

Moving onto PS3, then. My "current gen" pick ups actually make for a pretty short list this time! Just three titles for PS3, and two of them fall into the "random" category, as I don't really know much about them:
Last Rebellion and Heavenly Sword. I've heard some people mumble about Heavenly Sword, and I may or may not have played the demo. Last Rebellion on the other hand… when I saw it, it just rang a bell. The little voice in the back of my head said I was looking for it, but I really don't know why. Guess I'll just had to play it and find out.
My last PS3 pick up has been on the 'to do' list for a while now, mostly due to the glowing recommendation from my fellow Teenage Mutant Ninja Blogger, Brandon. He speaks very highly of Nier, and I remember our little chat well, so I've finally got it and can see what all the fuss is about. Convenient, really, seeing as another Nier title was just announced at this year's E3!

Apparently, I can never NOT add to my Xbox 360 collection. I'm really bad and not buying 360 games. Weird.
Continuing my quest to never play Fable games, I got this sweet copy of Fable II. I had actually picked out another, but the guy came back and said he'd found the collector's edition in the back and gave me that instead. Something about the Fable games just really does it for me. They're fun, not too serious… just a good time!
It's only taken me forfuckingever but I've finally completed the Mass Effect series. Yes, I'm aware you can get them as a set but I had already invested in singles during a time that I really shouldn't have been buying at all, so I'm coveting these. Picked up Mass Effect 3 to finally call it. I'll get back to this series soon.
I can't remember which of these games it was, but I fished it out of a 2/$10 or $20 bin so I had to choose another to get the deal. I picked Asura's Wrath. Another random. Haven't played it, haven't heard anyone talk about it, but it looked decent and different and the sales guy said it was pretty cool. We'll see!
Last but not least, whenever I hear people talk about "must have" Xbox 360 games, someone inevitably mentions Lost Odyssey. Again, another title that's been on my "track down" list for ages, but I finally bit the bullet and bought it. Now I can play it and rub it in Player 2 (Cartridge Bros.)'s face. Muahaha! Also Mistwalker and stuff.

I think that's about it for games! That's all I can remember anyway. Naturally, I didn't end up getting too many goodies, since I blew all my money on games, but I did pick up a couple cool things.
I couldn't resist buying this FFX necklace after it popped up in a recommendations list. I love FFX and the thought of carrying Jecht with me makes me smile and want to get drunk. Win.
I've been in the market for a bluetooth controller for my phone for some time now. I've got some pretty picky particulars and nobody seems to have much experience with these tools so I just went ahead and bought the cheapest one on amazon. This is the ipega wireless bluetooth controller. I got what I paid for. It only works with one game I currently have downloaded, but it happened to be the game that inspired the idea to begin with, so it's not a total loss.
Still looking for recommendations on a better controller though, so if you have or know a great one, please let me know. I'd like one that works with all games, and not just the ones you can download with the app or whatever, I'd like it to override the controls for Golden Axe and whatever other weird games I have on my phone, if that's even possible.

So there you have it. Can someone please add up how much this all costs, and then not tell me? Just marvel at my ability to spend money. I hope this wasn't too long or boring. I tried to keep it short and sweet to avoid that. What do you think of my new additions? Any favorites in there? Cool stories? Fun experiences? Tell me!


  1. Oh yeah .. I totally forgot I had Trine and The Last Story to still play. :P I've been playing Grim Fandango Remastered, Tales of Xillia 2, and Abyss Odyssey myself. I have pretty mixed feelings about Nier, I feel that it doesn't deserve the praises it gets because I found it be rather mediocre. Maybe the game's Japanese version was better, with the main character being an older brother rather than a father that they put in the western versions. And Disgaea? I played that a few years ago, never finished it. Too much grinding for me.

    And you have an N64?! I was recently-ish playing Jet Force Gemini and Ocarina of Time lol. I've been wanting to do a playthrough of Turok 2 :D

    1. I think Trine (one of 'em, anyway) can be played co-op. Maybe that should be our next adventure? Nier seems to be loved or hated by everyone, so I won't know which side I fall on until I just give in and play it. I don't doubt that the Japanese release was better, though. Disgaea is a grind, for sure, but when I think back on it I mostly recall fun memories, rather than the long bouts. I can't believe I'm saying this but maybe I have more patience than you?! Haha!