May 05, 2016

Kicking Gnomes: Winter 2015

Back in the saddle! Maybe. I'm trying, here, people… go easy on me. I figured I should get y'all up to speed on all the crap I've acquired over the winter months, even though I can't remember them all myself. That's a good sign, right? Lotsa stuff? Ah, who knows.
I have no idea what I've done digitally as of late. I know I perused a fair few PSN sales and perhaps the eShop once or twice, but I don't recall if I bought anything! I've been deliberately trying to avoid digital buys because I find it discourages me from capitalizing on opportunities to buy physical copies, which is what I really want. And I did snag a couple cool things! Have a look:

Fuck you, books are cool.
Fun fact: I'm actually a bit of a bookworm. Books are another thing I try to collect as avidly as games, and in these instances, the two came together! First up is a book Amazon recommended to me after realizing I'm a die hard Bioshock fan. Bioshock and Philosophy is not an official product connected to the game but rather an almost text book-like look at the philosophical themes of the game - which, anyone who's played Bioshock will tell you, there are many.
I first heard of Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America when the author, Jeff Ryan, was on a podcast I listen to discussing the effect of video games on people. I made a little mental note to pick up the book when I got the chance, which I did while purchasing the Bioshock book! So far as I can tell, the book details the history of Nintendo and their rise to popularity in the west.
Amazon is on their game when it comes to stuff I like, so it recommended this Uncharted novel to me, too. I haven't begun it yet, but Uncharted: the Fourth Labyrinth appears to be an official Uncharted story published in novel form. It's author is Christopher Golden. Have any of you read this? Tell me how it is!
Lastly, I finally, finally picked up Console Wars by Blake J. Harris. This book has made quite the splash in the game community, as it explores the Nintendo vs. Sega "war" of the late 80's and 90's. While I'm absolutely a Nintendo fan, fun fact #2: I'm totally team Sega! High five, Sega fans!

I don't even have a Playstation 4 yet (cough cough next week cough cough), but I've already begun my PS4 collection.
Die hard series number 3: Tales of Zestiria was a no brainer for me. The only reason I didn't pick this up sooner was because I felt it made more sense to wait until I could play it on PS4, and I stumbled across a few sales over the holiday season that made me offers I simply couldn't refuse. As a matter of fact, that's how I got all of these... on mad sale. I have yet to pay full price for a PS4 game!
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was another obvious choice for me. I don't think I qualify for "die hard" as a MGS fan, but I definitely love the series and seeing as this is likely the last title Kojima will have a hand in, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens.
While the discussion was short lived, people really seemed to dig Infamous: Second Son in spite of the fact that it branches off from the first two titles. I find the Infamous games to be good fun, but I'm not super attached, so I'm looking forward to seeing what Second Son is like.
When Far Cry 4 was shown at E3… last year?… it was honestly the most outstanding part of the show and convinced me to buy it regardless of my lack of experience with Far Cry games. Well, I held true to my word, and here it is.
Pretty sure I should't have to justify Disgaea 5 to you. Although I have a moderately funny story about picking it up... and by "moderately funny" I mean not interesting or funny in the slightest: while I was checking out, I had a quick peek at my PS4 Wishlist (which I've nearly conquered, by the way) to see if there was anything quick I could tack onto my order, and I mentioned Disgaea to the lady behind the counter. She did a quick tappity-tap on her computer and told me there was no such game in the system. "Curious," I thought, "seeing as it was only released recently..." "This Sky?" she said. My heart sunk. I realize Disgaea isn't the most popular game in the world but I really do expect game shop employees to be at least a little educated on brand new releases... ugh... anyway, it's mine now.
My copy of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is still collecting dust while everyone continues to rave or roar about it. Meanwhile, Canada was practically giving away copies of Dragon Quest Heroes (I think I paid like, $20 CAD for it) so I have a fancy French spine on my shelf now. Sexy.

My "other console" pickups are rather light this season.
One of my goals for this year (or next :/) is to try out a new action series. A lot of people have recommended the Just Cause games to me so I picked up Just Cause 2 for PS3 to get me started. I am on the hunt for the first title but haven't found a reasonably priced one yet.
I also picked up Journey after a few members of my internet family, The Cartridge Club, started a debate over whether the game is worth anyone's time. Not yet confirmed as a game of the month, but if it does make it in there, I'm ready. Go get 'em, P2!
Lastly I got Silent Hill Downpour for PS3, literally only because I needed a second game to get the 2 for $10 deal or whatever it was. I don't think I've played this particular Silent Hill, but I'm a fan of the series, so here's hopin'. Let me know where it falls in the legendary lineup.
I rarely preorder games, but I wasn't going to make the same mistake twice regarding Xenoblade Chronicles X. Turns out I may have been a bit overcautious, 'cause I still see this special edition in stores all the time. No big deal, though! The price was right and I won't have to be screwed over by another Xeno game crisis!
A few months back, I found an Xbox360 Guitar Hero controller in my parents' basement and wanted to check if it worked, so I ran to the store to grab a used copy of Guitar Hero 2. The controller was a bust, but by some miracle I actually found another buried in my own closet which works like a dream! It's been a hot minute since I've played a GH game, so "rusty" would be an understatement, but at least now I'm equipped to practice!
Apparently I didn't have Super Mario Galaxy 2 for the Wii. Consider that rectified. I also found a wonderful copy of Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story for the DS which I had never played, so I'm happy to add that to my collection.
Lastly, I've finally jumped on board the remaster ship for Final Fantasy X. Unless you're new here, you know I've played FFX a zillion times and continue to play it every year. I wasn't all that excited for the HD version when it was announced, but the idea of having it 'to go' on the Vita was slightly appealing, and I guess the price was right. I'm actually playing this right now, and so far, missing the PS2 version… but I will tack any additional thoughts and feelings onto my FFX article once I've explored everything thoroughly!

Possibly the coolest pickup this season:
My first 3DS fell victim to my nephew's tyranny, and I've only just replaced it. I've got a lotttttttttta catching up to do on this system, but at least I'll be doing it in style with the badass Fire Emblem Fates Edition NEW! Nintendo 3DS! I honestly only bought it 'cause it's pretty. And it is. Very me.

And finally in the sweet miscellaneous department…
I can't even remember when the Bioshock Funko collab was announced, but I was immediately sold on the jumbo Big Daddy figure. I regret nothing.
I'm not entirely sure what possessed me to grab the Splatoon Squid Girl Amiibo… I haven't played Splatoon in months. Perhaps I need to fire it up again and see what inky treasures this little figure holds? Speaking of amiibo, I was gifted this Shovel Knight after commenting on it in store with a friend. He's pretty cool, and I'll be playing Shovel Knight with the Cartridge Club later this summer!
Anyone who tuned into my FFX playthrough last year will recall my Dualshock 2 fiasco. All of my D2's decided to kick the bucket at the same time, leaving me rather handicapped while finishing my game. I was forced into emergency action, a.k.a. purchasing a replacement D2 during this time. I didn't want to get caught without a functional one down the road. I've actually secured another since then, so I'm two strong now!
In the back there is the aforementioned functioning Guitar Hero controller, complete with carrying case, as well as a totally boss sweater I bought from one of those "daily t-shirt" sites. I regret that I can't remember which one, but I can tell you that it was a staple piece at the time, and I'll likely never shop on one of those sites again. But I couldn't pass on this sweet FF7 Soldier hoodie. I wear it all the time!

Right! So I'm only about a month late. That's pretty good for me! I'm really hoping to get back into the swing of things here, guys, but my schedule is making it pretty darn difficult for me. I have noticed the my numbers are still going up in spite of my absence and several of you have reached out to see what's going on - I just wanted to thank you for your continued support and caring. This year has been extremely rough for me so far and I hate that I've neglected the one thing that's really made me happy.
Oh, and happy 3 year anniversary! Sorry I wasn't able to plan another cool giveaway celebration, but we are indeed at the three year mark! I swear I sent you flowers and a card. If you didn't get them it's 'cause the postal system and stuff. Totally not my fault. But I still love you!

Okay enough of that. See you next time!


  1. Awesome pick-ups! That 3DS looks amazing! I didn't know they put out an FE edition.

    Glad to see you're back in the saddle and I hope things are going well!

    1. I've got some bones to pick with that 3DS, but that's another story for another day. It's awfully pretty, though! Thanks for stopping by, Ry!

  2. Journey is a timeless classic.
    Silent Hill Downpour is better than most people give it credit for.
    Pretty spiffy New 3DS!

    1. We've got to get Journey on the club, if only so everyone can claw each other's eyes out. I don't even remember hearing much about Downpour, but that was that hazy, no gaming time for me. I'll give it a shot.

  3. I really want to play through FFX again, so I'm glad to see you've been working through it. Do you have other annual gaming traditions?
    I'll echo RyHo and CAPMAX - that 3DS is really sharp looking. If you remember where the SOLDIER sweatshirt came from, let me know - that's totally awesome.

    1. I need to do a better job noting where I buy things from. Do you think Mighty Q Dawg will come work for me?