Friday, October 23, 2015

Another Bloody Reblog: October 2015 Pick-ups and More

Okay, I’ll admit it: it's been me all along! :D

No, not much in the way of rarities here, I’m afraid. This lot's mostly made up of a bundle of Mario-related games I bought a few weeks ago, mostly games I already had in some form, but never on the NES/Famicom. It’s been kind of neat to go back and play Mario 2 and 3 without the Mario All-Stars enhanced graphics for the first time though, and it’s proved to be a great refresher course for Super Mario Maker, even though I didn’t quite plan things out that way.

Also picked up a few Konami classics (the two Wai Wai World games and the Famicom version of Kid Dracula, which is super fun), plus Downtown Special: Kunio-kun no Jidaigeki da yo Zen'in Shūgō, a follow-up to River City Ransom set in old-timey Japan (JiliK: history expert). I was really temped to grab that one up on the Japanese Virtual Console, but there’s far too much text to try and play it in Japanese. Thankfully though there’s a translation patch out there though and with the cart, I can put it to use on my Retron 5.

Picked up a few Super Famicom and Gameboy games too. Puzzle platformers aren’t usually my thing, but I spotted a copy of Mario & Wario going for a few dollars and I couldn’t resist. Mystic Ark was much the same. All I know is that it’s an Enix RPG that involves collecting people that have been turned into dolls, or something. Eh, it was two bucks and there’s a (really well-done so far) translation patch. It’s got to be worth a shot at least.

The other two SFC games I’ve played a fair bit of already. Magical Taruruuto-kun (top left) looked like a pretty neat cartoony platformer in videos. From what I’ve played of it though, the platforming seems super basic, but the game’s also quite frustrating because if you take a single hit, you not only die, you go back to the freaking map screen. Heisei Inu Monogatari Bow: Pop'n Smash (centre left), I’m enjoying a lot though. It’s a wacky tennis meets soccer game, more or less, where both you and the computer have goals sealed off by blocks. The basic aim of the game is to smash the blocks by lobbing a ball off them with your tennis racket and getting it into your opponent’s goal. There’s definitely a bit of jankiness to it, but it’s been pretty fun, frantic action so far.

On the Gameboy side, I also got the portable version of Kid Dracula, as well as Metroid II and Donkey Kong Land, which I've actually been enjoying quite a bit. It’s impressive how much of the SNES game they managed to cram in there, especially in the animation department. Granted it looks kind of like garbage, and it can be tricky to play with the big character and limited view of your surroundings, but it features all-original levels and the Retron’s save states take a lot of the frustration out. I’d say it’s worth a look if you can get it for cheap and preferably Retron/Retrode it up.

Some new additions to the family. That brings me up to 13 amiibos now. I think. :D Definitely still a few out now that I’m thinking of getting. I’d be surprised if I make it to the end of the year without picking up Sonic and Fox, and maybe the Duck Hunt dog. Overall though, I find most of the amiibos they've released so far either fall into the categories of cool-looking figures for characters I have no attachment to (Palutena, Little Mac, Shulk, ROB) or characters I like with figures that I don’t (Gannondorf, Wario, Link). Chibo Robo will be mine though. Oh yes, he will be mine.

Club Nintendooo!!! Having blown most of my remaining points on the Link Between Worlds soundtrack a few months prior, I was just short of getting the MK8 soundtrack when it appeared, of course, at the eleventh hour before the service shut down, leading me to spend..... too much on eBay for a copy once they started going out to other members. But boy, that soundtrack’s awesome.
That’s not the only Club Nintendo soundtrack I picked up in the last while though. I managed to snag the Ocarina of Time, Animal Crossing and Kid Icarus: Uprising all for about €20 each thanks to a saved search I set up. Not bad. Actually bad though: Pokémon 2BA Master. Thanks, Laser Time.

If the Mario Kart 8 soundtrack hit at the eleventh hour of Club Nintendo, the Endings and Credits CD hit at the twelfth. This time though I wasn’t about to spend *cough* *cough* *cough* euros on the damn thing. Instead, I bought a few unused Club Nintendo codes on eBay, enabling me to clear out the last of my stars in style. (Though it really bums me out to think of how many more I'd still have to play around with if I hadn’t spent all my Gamecube era ones on all those terrible wallpapers. Damn it, Nintendo.)

Also grabbed the Mario 30th Anniversary double CD, and, let’s address the elephant in the room: I bought the Data Discs Shenmue soundtrack...

...which is pretty rad, but it’s the thing that finally got me to cave and get a turntable, and I held out for so long. Vinyl is just something I have no attachment to or nostalgia for. Now I have this bulky-ass player and (already) a stack of records that I don’t know where to put, and I'm just ripping everything to MP3 anyway. Couldn’t we have skipped the middle step and you could have just given me downloadable versions of hard to find/non-existent video game soundtracks, Data Discs/iam8bit?

But no, you had to get me out there buying vinyl-exclusive early Now compilations didn’t you, because hey, I might as well. I’m already swimming in a sea of the stuff!

Okay, now back to more sensible pursuits, like buying a lot of weird, used CDs.

I mean a lot. Did I buy that snowboarding compilation in the top left just for Sell Out by Reel Big Fish? No. (Yes. Damn you, Laser Time!)

Speaking of turntables. Do these look like the actions of a man who’s had enough DJ Hero, Activision? :D I mean, sure, Guitar Hero is cool and all, but man, DJ Hero!

I know, Beatmania probably plays quite differently (it’s a real-time dance music game hard and fat), but when I saw this bundle on eBay for about €30 all-in, I couldn’t resist. Haven’t been able to try it out yet though. I’m still too scared to install the modchip in my PS2. (There are like 20 points to solder to, all over the motherboard. 20! All over!)

Boredom and late-night Amazon browsing: a deadly combination. I got some pretty good stuff here though for a grand total of only £21.69: a bunch of PS2 games (finally grabbed a copy of Sega Soccer Slam!), the limited edition of Unreal Championship 2 (which I hoped would have come with more stuff besides just a steelbook, but oh well) and a couple of DS games: 42 All-Time Classics, which I’ve always been kind of intrigued by (Been learning the rules of darts and playing some ludo so far. It’s neat.) and speaking of Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero On Tour with that weird DS guitar grip. For £2, it’ll be fun to mess around with that if nothing else.

A few other random games, most excitingly Bust a Groove 2 (I know, another PS1 import that I can't even test out right now. I'm getting to it!). Also, I’m still somehow buying Gamecube games in 2015. Those aren’t even the only ones. I just got two more yesterday.

And finally, a bunch of Blu-rays. Taking the photo I was hit with the twin revelations that A. I’m mostly just buy comic book movies at this point, and B. the cover pictures for Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 are virtually the same.

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