Pickups! Newly Acquired Video Games and Interesting things! April-June 2020

In my previous post, I said I was going to cover a few different things on this site. One of the new things I’d like to do is post about new games or cool things that I’ve acquired over a period of time. I love looking back at things like that, so this feels like a good use of this site! Being off work because of lockdown this year, I ended up acquiring more games than I’ve actually been able to play. But when I’m perusing eBay more because I’m sat at home instead of being out working, it was bound to happen!

 

Super Star Wars- SNES

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I don’t pick up many SNES games these days, mainly because the titles I want are usually pricey as hell, and I already own most of the games that are considered “must-haves”. But after I sold my NTSC version of Super Star Wars along with a modded Multi-region SNES a while back, it was a title that was missing from my collection. So when I spotted this boxed version for a tenner on Facebook, it seemed like a good deal! The box has some wear, but I’m not fussy about that kinda thing. Super Star Wars is a fun game. Whereas the Star Wars game for the NES and Game Boy was considered by many to be quite difficult, I never found it too challenging. But Super Star Wars on the SNES dials up the action so that there is hardly any point during play where the screen isn’t cluttered with random monsters and other threats trying to cut Luke Skywalker’s life short. It’s a bit of an over-the-top Star Wars game, and feels very ’90s, but it’s deffo worth picking up if you can find it cheap, and certainly worth a tenner if boxed like mine was.

 

Pillars of Eternity- PS4

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After buying, experiencing and loving Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition last year, Pillars of Eternity was a title I wanted to keep an eye out for, as it’s something of a spiritual successor to the Baldur’s Gate series of games. It is one of the many games that I have actually yet to get around to playing. I wish it had a physical version available for the Switch instead of the PS4, but sadly it doesn’t. I don’t think there’s a single title made by Obsidian that I haven’t loved, so I’m very much looking forward to getting around to this game.

 

Final Fantasy VII Remake- PS4

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Of all the games on this list, I don’t think there was any that I was quite looking forward to like I was this game.

Final Fantasy VII was the first FF game that I ever encountered when I was a kid watching my friend play it, and I wasn’t originally a fan. It wasn’t until I picked up Final Fantasy IX off a car boot sale for a fiver in Wales that I became hooked on the series, and VII ended up becoming my second favourite title after IX. Unfortunately, as much as I enjoyed playing through the VII Remake, it didn’t live up to my expectations. I wasn’t overly enthusiastic for VII to be made into multiple games, with this part being the first, and whilst there were plenty of additions that I thoroughly adored, I didn’t like how the game was set to deviate dramatically from the original story. I don’t think Tetsuya Nomura is a good director, with the Kingdom Hearts series being covered in a convoluted web of alternate timelines that he has woven, and part of the beauty of VII was its relative simplicity. Most of the Remake is very similar to the original game, with some very welcome additions, like added missions and greater characterization, but I was less enthralled with the changes. The Resident Evil 2 remake from last year kind of made the original RE2 a little bit obsolete now as it improved upon everything but also knew what was so special about the original, and I found VII to be a little obnoxious with its jarring alterations to the timeline. Many people have said “If you love the original so much, just play the original”. And I have and will do. It would just have been nice to have played the same story with a few nice additions and no alterations, which to me feel like when George Lucas decided to make Greedo shoot at Han Solo first in the 1997 special edition of Star Wars, a decision that drew much ire from Star Wars fans. I guess time will tell where the direction of the Final Fantasy VII world is going, but I am sadly not optimistic going by Nomura’s track record. We shall see!

 

Resident Evil 3- PS4

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The Resident Evil 2 remake was one of the gaming highlights last year. Going back to the original PS1 port of RE2, it’s hard to feel the tension and terror that the game initially delivered. But the remake made you feel it all anew, with a smooth 3rd person perspective instead of the tank-like controls of the original. The new version also delivered some absolutely horrific looking zombies with the most disturbing level of gore I had ever seen in a video game, along with dark and atmospheric lighting that just wrapped up the package in a terrifying little bundle. So I was very excited for the release of the RE3 remake.

Although I was less impressed with this new version of RE3 than I was the RE2 remake, it was probably more to do with the fact I had already been blown away by the visuals and feel of RE2. RE3 was just a bit more of an expansion, but a very enjoyable one at that. Some criticized the short length of the game, but already knowing that the original RE3 was shorter than the original RE2, this didn’t really bother me at all, although it would have been nicer if the price of the game had reflected this. But as someone who has too many games on my backlog, I for one appreciate games that are a little shorter these days. I eagerly await for a RE4 remake now, which is a surprise as I was never very keen on the original!

 

Phantasy Star Collection- Game Boy Advance

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Phantasy Star for the Sega Master System is a game I have wanted for a very long time, but it’s probably not worth selling a kidney for, which is probably the only way I’d be able to afford to get a copy of it. Perusing CEX, I discovered that a GBA port of the first three games existed, and was much more affordable than buying the original games. I had a little money in my PayPal already from previous sales, making the £25 I forked out for this title seem a little less daunting. And one of the years, I hope to actually get around to playing through it!

 

River City Girls- Nintendo Switch

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I was a fan of River City Girls ever since I first saw the original trailer of the game, and when Limited Run Games announced they would be doing a physical version of the game, I didn’t know whether to pick it up for the PS4 or the Switch. Being a lifelong fan of Beat ’em Ups, I already had a River City game on the PS4 as well as Limited Run Game’s release of the quite abysmal Double Dragon IV, so I opted to get it for the PS4. And then I regretted it, when I realized that I actually play the Switch a lot more than the PS4. Luckily I managed to get the Asian version of the game for the Switch, which still has all the English voice acting and everything. The only downside is I had to deal with one of the worst eBay sellers I’ve bought off in the past few years, who refused to combine postage costs for more than one item, even though they confirmed that they would in fact be posting the items together. They blamed this on Covid-19, but could not seem to explain what they meant by this. So I didn’t bother buying two items, as I didn’t want them making money off postage costs.

After I had purchased it, they then told me that they hadn’t charged enough postage, and cancelled the item. So I had to buy it again with revised postage costs, and then it took them a month to post it. Useless bastards. So I wouldn’t rush to buy games from the seller gameofasia anytime soon. Regardless of this, the game is still top notch, with charming retro-aesthetic visuals, amazing synth-pop music and furious and fun 2D side-scrolling combat! Deffo one of my favourite Switch games I know own.

 

Final Fantasy II- PSP, Final Fantasy IV PSP, Final Fantasy IV- Nintendo DS

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Final Fantasy is a series that means enough to me that I will buy different versions of games to get a specific cover of a release. I had only ever owned the yucky orange ‘PSP Essentials’ versions of FF-II and FF-IV for the PSP, which was akin to the  horrible green ‘Greatest Hits’ label on the American version of PS1 games, or the ‘Platinum’ versions here in Europe. So I needed to get the nice original versions for my ongoing Final Fantasy collection. IV was easy enough to find, but II proved quite tricky, so I was glad when I finally managed to find copies of both. I’d also wanted the DS remake of Final Fantasy IV for a while, as playing as Cecil the Dark Knight but in 3D sounded cool as hell. And one of these days I’ll get around to finding out if that’s the case or not, but at the moment it’s on my backlog stack.

 

Star Ocean: Second Evolution- PSP

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Although I haven’t even finished the first game in the series, Star Ocean Second Evolution had been on my eBay “saved search” list for a while, so when it finally came up at a good price, I had to snag it. Although not a particularly rare game, it doesn’t come up all the time either, so I was pleased to finally get a copy of it. Like most of the games on here, it’s on the backlog!

 

Remothered: Tormented Fathers

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After recently watching a playlist of indie game trailers, one really caught my interest-Remothered: Broken Porcelain. Having RE2 and RE3 reignite my love of survival horrors over the past year, I swiftly googled to find out more about it, only to discover that there already existed a Remothered game in the form of Tormented Fathers. I’ve yet to play this (surprise surprise) but I feel that I am somewhat justified in this, as I want to wait until the nights are darker and the weather colder and when the seasonal spookiness has kind of set in a little!

 

Everspace: Stellar Edition- Nintendo Switch

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A game that had been on my list for a while, it always seemed to be quite expensive until I discovered the actual company that published this game selling it on their company  eBay account, with a promotional 20% off as well. So I ended up picking this up for about £17 altogether.

I’m not quite sure it’s everything I was expecting, as I was hoping it would be an experience more akin to Starfox or Star Wars Rogue Squadron/Leader, but it is more of a looter shooter, where you must scavenge materials from enemy ships to upgrade your own. And it’s hard as balls. That said, I’ve had a lot of fun with it so far, and the visuals are really nice in this game. Not sure if I’ll ever finish it, but it’s a fun title to sit down and play for ten/fifteen minutes at a time.

 

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition-  Nintendo Switch

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I had seen the original Nintendo Wii version of this game many times, and always thought it looked interesting, but the Wii never was my favourite console as I always resented having to wave my arms around like a twat in order to make my character do something on screen, one of the reasons I have never played The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. After a long day on my feet at work, I want to sit contentedly in the knowledge that I’m not burning a single calorie whilst I am traversing vast fantasy worlds.  And now I can happily do that with the Switch version of this game. When I finally get around to playing it of course!

 

Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King- Nintendo Switch

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I’m not a fan of games that are exclusively digital, as I have encountered issues with digital only games before, when they stop being supported by whatever platform they are being hosted on. So I will always opt to get physical media that I could sell on one day if so desired, or look nice as part of my collection until then. I’d never heard of Blossom Tales before, until I saw a Limited Run Games advert for it, but it looks like a very nice old-school Zelda clone, complete with retro-style graphics, which I totally dig.

 

 

Blaze’s Evercade ALL-IN Edition

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One of the coolest things released this year was the Evercade. This ALL-IN Edition Evercade was gifted to me by my girlfriend, which comes complete with every available cartridge upon release. Each cartidge contains a multitude of games, varying from arcade ports, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, NES, SNES and more. Although the experience is akin to what you could get with a modded PSP loaded with emulators and ROMs, it is nice getting to put a cartridge in and watch it load up! The Evercade was very much marketed towards those who are fans of cartridge based games, for those who miss being able to play handheld games on the go, which I thought a little strange as one of the most popular consoles on the market right now is the Nintendo Switch, which also features cartridges. But regardless of this, it is a cracking little console, with my only qualm being that the cartridges are an absolute bastard to fit into the slot. Blaze reckon that by the end of the Evercade’s lifespan, they will hopefully have released around fifty cartridges, and I’m gonna be with them every step of the way!

 

 

Japan Exclusive Final Fantasy VII and VIII Pencil Toppers!

 

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After discovering an Aerith pencil topper in a box of clutter at Play Expo a couple of years ago, I’ve perused Japanese auction sites since then to try and complete the set at a decent price. The Final Fantasy VIII pencil toppers are easy to find, but the VII seem to be a bit trickier, but I can finally say that I am a proud owner of a complete set! I totally love them, and they are one of my favourite FF things that I own, primarily because they weren’t hugely expensive but did take some time and patience to track down!

 

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Reactions to the original Sonic trailer were mixed at best, largely due to the look of the titular character which frankly looked terrifying. But following that, the studio redesigned Sonic to make him look more like his original design from the 1991 Sega video game. And because the studio listened to the audience, the movie ending up doing quite well at the box office.

I had intended to pick this up, but it was gifted to me before I could get it myself. And it was a pretty good film, that felt very ’90s, probably because it was a little goofy, featured Jim Carrey and was about a video game character that debuted in 1991. I didn’t think it was a masterpiece by a long stretch, but as video game movies go, it was a lot of fun, and I definitely look forward to a sequel.

 

Well that’s the end of this list for now. I do enjoy looking back on just why it is that I can barely move for clutter, so I shall hopefully do another one of these in September!

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