October 01, 2015

Kicking Gnomes: Summer 2015

I wasn't very busy playing games this summer, but I sure was busy buying them!

Once again I was able to resist digital buys. In fact, because of my busy schedule, I seldom found time to check out the free games on PSN, nevermind the flash sales and such. I'm relatively certain I have no digital buys to report this season, however I did try something else new: I technically bought my first PS4 game when I supported the Shenmue 3 kickstarter. Some of you may recall me mentioning this in the E3 blog, but to recap: I've never had the opportunity to play any of the Shenmue games (and that likelihood is even steeper now that prices have skyrocketed) but I can't help but be impressed by the support of fans and the gaming community in getting this game made. I'm not terribly attracted to kickstarter, but the campaign was doing so well and I felt confident in the investment, so I pledged enough to get me a physical copy for the PS4. Obviously, this won't be coming home to me any time soon (if at all… fingers crossed!) but I'll be in for a pleasant reminder when the time comes.

Meanwhile, in the NES department: I found myself striking a deal with a fellow collector, and was offered an interesting selection. So I decided to fill in some holes in my collection.
Dick Tracy & Who Framed Roger Rabbit aren't games that I can recall playing in the past, but I'm certainly familiar with their movie counterparts. I popped them in for a quick test and they seem like they might be fun!
Friday the 13th has actually been on my mind since my pal Buried on Mars did a video on it a while back and reminded me I didn't have the game. Ironically, we decided the game wasn't very good, and yet that made me want to play it more. Well now I can! Thanks, Marvin!
The Addams Family & Fester's Quest both unearth fond memories from my childhood. Not only did I love the television show, but I was so much better at these ridiculous games than everyone else I knew, and it just made the whole brand that much more special to me. Glad to have them back, even if they won't see much play. I wonder if I'm still any good...
In these messy couple of months I also managed to acquire not one but two copies of Bad Dudes... because I'm a bad enough dude to have doubles. Actually, the second was part of a lot so I couldn't really avoid it, but this game is in and out of my collection all the time anyway, so it won't hurt me none.
In the 'less sucky games' file, I put a couple of key games back into my collection recently and they are Kid Icarus, Back to the Future and Dragon Warrior. I don't even know what happened to my copy of Kid Icarus, but it's been truant for some many years now, so when I found it for a great price I decided there was no decision making necessary. I believe I got BTTF at the same time, since I got a better deal by buying more than one game from the fella. BTTF is just one of the classic movie games that I feel like everyone has. I think I may actually have a digital copy of it, but I much prefer to have it on my shelf anyway. As for Dragon Warrior, let's just say I'm never lending these games to anyone ever again. Ever. I have to rebuild from scratch now, so here I begin.

Just a couple of cool pickups for Game Boy. Got a super cheap, beat up copy of Kirby's Dream Land. I don't think I ever technically owned this, but I played the shit out of a borrowed copy.
Another game I always had to borrow to play is Metroid 2. No more! It is finally mine and I paid next to nothing for it, which makes me happy. I love the early Metroid games so much!
I'm staring at my shelf just now trying to remember which SNES games I picked up recently, but the only ones that look new are Sim City and Lagoon. Sim City has been popping up all over my radar lately - websites, twitter, eBay - and I did need it for my collection. So I finally decided to stop slacking off and get me a copy! I love how therapeutic Sim City games can be. They're fun and challenging but not as novelty as their younger sibling games. I've really been itching to dive into a Sim City game as of late but I just can't decide which one! At least I have this at my beck and call now. As for Lagoon, I just saw it sitting there in it's box and decided now was as good a time as any to add it to my collection. For what I paid it seemed like a good investment, and I've been meaning to check out Lagoon for many, many years now. So here we are!
Capping off my Nintendo game buys is Jet Force Gemini for N64. Just another staple game missing from my recently returned collection. It's a fun title that I'm sure to play again, so it wasn't a painful decision at all.

Moving over to Playstation, my collections there have been getting fat, too! For PS1, I recently made permanent residents of Siphon Filter and its sequel, Siphon Filter 2, but the buy that I'm much more proud of is The Legend of Dragoon. Siphon is a lofty third-person stealth game, I seem to recall enjoying it when I played them back in the day but honestly it's been so long that I can only remember the broad strokes. Dragoon, on the other hand, is a legendary RPG and I'm so stoked to have it for my own.
All of my PS2 purchases this season were totally random and uncalled for. While perusing a flea market with a friend, I came across a nice copy of Beyond Good and Evil. Everyone praises the shit out of this game and even convinced me to pick up a digital copy while it was on sale. Little did I know that I'd find a physical version for the same price some months later. I'm looking forward to giving this my undivided attention someday.
Conversely, a game that pretty much demands divided attention is Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I have many, many fond memories of this particular GTA, including running around town with a former boyfriend and getting "I Ran" stuck in people's heads, and trying to guide one another through the game over MSN messenger. Remember that thing?! I don't know why there isn't already a copy of this in my possession, but whatever. Welcome to the family, again, Vice City.

Please play I Ran by Flock of Seagulls for the remainder of this article.

Anyway, next up is a game I bought after someone posted screen caps of it on twitter and I did that thing where I immediately popped onto eBay to get it and then realized I may already have it and did some epic, ninja, shoulder roll outta bed and ran to my PS2 shelf to see if I'd just wasted a few bucks...
it's okay. I didn't have it. But I do now, and that is: a giant run on sentence! Oh, and Odin Sphere. I think this was one of the games I played a bit here and there once upon a time, but probably never owned it so I never played it beginning-to-end. It's bloody gorgeous though, and I hear it's getting a remake for 2016! Probably a good thing I bought it when I did, since prices like to go up once people get talkin' about it.
Then I bought Jak X Combat Racing because Retr0 J made a video on it. No seriously. I'm not sure if it was the appeal of the game or the magic of his usually displaced hair that made me do it but… here we are. So far it's quite fun! I haven't dove completely into it yet but if you want to know more just watch J's video!

Random shopping syndrome-induced GameStop pickups include Drakengard 3 and Metal Gear Solid 4 for PS3. I remember people going nuts for Drak3 when it came out, but I missed the opportunity to get it for $10 and I've hated myself for it ever since. I guess I've finally gotten over it, 'cause I bought it... Meanwhile, I've been pretty gung-ho on completing my MG(S) collection as of late. You may recall in my last Gnomes article, I got a couple NES titles, with a little help from my friends, and while evaluating my checklist, I realized my copy of MGS4 had gone M.I.A.. So I got this copy for dirt cheap to replace it! My experiences with MGS4 are… well pretty funny, actually. I really haven't given it a proper start-to-finish because I always get sidetracked by my humorous memories and just end up screwing around until I move onto something else. Not the best MGS, not the worst.
And then something cool happened while I was tossing around a grocery store... yes, a grocery store. I was puzzled by this too but I got the following titles out of a clearance bin there, so I'm not complaining.
Darksiders 2 - still haven't really played the first one, but I won't struggle to find someone to take this off my hands if need be.
Metal Gear Rising Revengeance - Surprisingly, lots of people have said they really enjoy this game. I've yet to explore it though.
Castlevania Lords of Shadow - eh, it's Castlevania. Whatcha gonna do?
Lollipop Chainsaw - I think I've written about this, actually. Not my favorite game ever, but it had a lot of spirit. Gimme a 'S'!
Rayman Legends - Why not?
MGS Ground Zeroes - Also missing from my MG collection. I have not played it but I hear it's super, super short. A quick blast may be necessary.
Namco Classic Fighter Collection: Soul Caliber 2, Tekken 4 and Tekken Tag Tournament - This I did not expect. It's rare to see PS2 games being sold outside retro game stores these days, and it just so happened I didn't have any of these titles before now. Cool! (Pictured with PS2 pickups)

I'd be lying if I said I was dying to pick up any of these, but they were so inexpensive and I knew I wouldn't get an opportunity like this again, so I went for it. I also got a copy of Resident Evil Revelations, too, but I shipped it off to my buddy JRock since he was actively hunting for it, and I'm not planning on playing it on 360 anyway. He's already plowed through it, and discussed it in some of his weekly videos, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

Scratch "I Ran," you should now listen to Rock and Hard Place by the Stones...

In the accessories and "fun stuff" department… well, I was busy there too.
In addition to a Classic Control Pro for Wii, 3 Legend of Zelda puzzles, a Metroid (amazing collector's piece. It's slimy and the teeth move.) and a grumpy Pikachu (I'm so in love with it!) I bought not one but TWO replica swords.

Welcome to the family, Buster Sword (Final Fantasy VII) and a long, long, long awaited Gunblade (Final Fantasy VIII). I found a dealer a few towns over that carries these sort of replica weapons (among others) while searching for throwing knives with my friend. I noticed the Buster hanging up behind him and asked if he might have the particular Gunblade I've had eyes for for over a year now (and I've wanted one much longer, since an old friend of mine got one in, like 2004?). He didn't have it there, but said he was certain he could find it for me, and I figured going through him would be safer and cheaper than trying to get it myself (have you ever tried importing a large weapon?) so I told him to go for it and in the meantime, "let me handle that Buster..."
Impulse buy. I couldn't help it. I got a great deal since between the two of us we bought so many weapons so I regret nothing. Anyway, everyone on twitter seemed to enjoy my sword buying escapades.
Yes, they are both full size. The Buster is pretty heavy and the Gunblade actually fires… if you press R1. I'm now on a sword collecting rampage and have plans to add several others to my collection someday. Do any of you have cool replica weapons? Let me hear your stories!

I hope you guys enjoyed these big hauls, 'cause I think my buying is gonna slow down for a while now. But I'm happy, I did some real damage to my "want" list this year and found my passion for collecting again. Who knows what spoilers Autumn and Winter will bring…?

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