I recently stumbled upon a game that surprised me with its presentation, cultural flavor, and overall fun. Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble for the Sony PSP was the perfect game to play after finishing Yakuza 5, as there are similarities between the two games, although Kenka Bancho is distinct in many ways. Though there are many entries in this series, this is the only one we've gotten in North America. Let's check it out!
Continue reading Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble
As with most Sony consoles, I purchased my first PSP solely for the purpose of playing the Metal Gear Solid title for the platform. It wasn't Portable Ops though, it was Peace Walker. This means I acquired my PSP pretty late in its life cycle. However, I have played it quite a lot and physical PSP games make up a nice chunk of my overall game collection. I recently added a second PSP to my collection and decided to spend some time with a few games I've never tried before. If I've learned anything from watching MetalJesusRocks on YouTube for years, it's that the PSP is home to many incredible racing games and rpgs. In fact, the first two games here have been mentioned by MJR so many times that once I got back into playing the PSP they were the first games I checked out.
Continue reading PSP Three for One
The Ys name, while notorious for its confusing pronunciation, carries a lot of weight in the JRPG world. Ys has been around since the 8-bit era, and new iterations are still being made today. Most games in the series are critically well-received, and the series as a whole has a large cult following. Despite all of this, I had never played a Ys game until very recently.
My first exposure to the series was the original Ys Books I & II. There are many different versions of the original Ys, sporting many ports and remakes across almost every console, but I played the TurboCD version, which is often considered the definitive release of the game. What I found was a unique "old-school" RPG adventure that I highly enjoyed despite being somewhat primitive and its sometimes awkward combat system. Ever since completing Ys Books I & II, I have wanted to dive into the rest of the series but have been confused about where to start next. Cue Ys: The Oath in Felghana.
Continue reading Ys: The Oath in Felghana
ZAGNORCH PRODUCTIONS INC., LLC
A NEW YEAR'S THRIFTING ODYSSEY
Greetings from Terra!
My adventure began when I saw this notice on the front door of the local Goodwill around mid-December:
Needless to say, my plans to just goof off and kick back on New Year's Day went right out the window. Instead, I embarked on one of my patented cross-county thrift runs. With over a dozen Goodwills within a half-hour drive from home, I figured I'd find more than a few things of interest. When the first day of 2015 was in the books, I'd logged a twelve-hour trip, driven over a hundred miles, and filled eleven blue cases with some pretty awesome swag.
First stop: the Almaden/Foxworthy Goodwill. Although its asking prices for games and hardware are rarely reasonable, it does get in a few interesting things from time to time that I'm willing to pay a little extra for...
...like these CIB Asia-region PSP games (Mobile Suit Gundam Seed: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. Portable, Tenchu 4, and Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G) that set me back
$5.99 $4.43 each.
Then it was on to the Blossom Hill/Snell location. It hadn't had much of... well, anything since it was remodeled a few months back. Today, however, was a different story...
...a not-quite-CIB Piano Discovery System for PC for
$19.99 $9.80. All I need is a connector cable... and DOS Box... and probably a few adapters... and I'll be all set to rockit with John Herbie Hancock! While this pickup isn't all that... miraculous... at least it doesn't need a foot pedal.
BTW it wasn't until I was home that I discovered that it bore another price tag neither I nor the cashier had noticed:
You know what they say: never attempt to correct an error in your favor. Anyhoo, also found at the same location, setting me back
The adventure continued at the Capitol/Silver Creek store, where I found this for
And then I hit the one-oh-one and headed south to the Mecca of Garlic. There was nothing of note at the Gilroy Goodwill, but the Salvation Army store across town was a slightly different story:
An original-release CIB Ratchet Deadlocked for $3.50 to replace my Greatest Hits copy, and...
...a CIB Saitek Kasparov Cougar chess computer for $19.99.
I then drove a few miles up the road and hit the outlet mall, where I found...
...a CIB pair New Balance 510 trail-walker shoes to replace my well-worn 605s. And what better way to break in a pair of trail-walker shoes than to hit the local hiking trails for a couple hours?
Always insist on 100% natural lens flare! J.J. Abrams eat your heart out!
With some daylight to spare, I headed northward, eventually making it to the Cupertino store, where I grabbed:
Then it was the Mountain View Goodwill's turn, which yielded...
I gave the Empire Strikes Back mini lunchbox tin to someone I knew would get a kick out of it:
Oah! Appreciative of this gift I am! Very much thank you! Mmm-hmm-hmm, yes!
Up next was Sunnyvale, the original hometown of Atari, and the first Goodwill store I ever set foot in. This particular stop only yielded...
...a CIB copy of Descent Freespace: Silent Threat for just $1.24? Now we're talkin'. But wait, what's this disclaimer on the package?
Aw, maaaan... it's just an expansion? Well, that totally blows. Eon knows how many long hours I'll have to spend to find the main game that goes with--
Oh wait, there it is; just had to flip the box over is all. Okay, never mind.
The final stop of the day would be the Palo Alto Goodwill. Located in "the birthplace of Silicon Valley," this store has yielded many of my greatest vidya scores over the last few years. This is where I found my first Miracle Piano, my Atari 2600 Jr., my first near-CIB Dreamcast, and countless games and portable consoles. Its constant supply of the good stuff, friendly and helpful staff, and close proximity to my workplace has kept me coming back on a very regular basis. Culminating my New Year's thrifting odyssey here seemed to make all the sense in the world. And yet... it could very well have been the worst time to have come. For one thing, the place had been open for business all day, and the sun had set two hours earlier. If there had been anything there at the start of the day that I would have been interested in, surely it would have long since been sold and out the door? Undaunted, I ventured inside.
A bad omen appeared right away: the electronics showcase couldn't be unlocked because someone had misplaced the key. Inside that case, mocking me in deafening silence, was a CIB copy of Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness. Oh, the horror. What kind of loving God would allow this to happen, I lamented. Adding insult to injury, one of the clerks said he was sure he saw a copy of Twilight Princess for Game Cube somewhere in there. That's when I realized that there is no God.
Theological dilemmas notwithstanding, I looked around the place, hoping to find something worthy of purchase. After several minutes of fruitless searching, I conceded defeat, and headed for the exit. I was just about to open the door when I took a quick look at the front-end display case... and caught a glimpse of something. My curiosity piqued, I took a closer look, and grinned from ear to ear when I realized that I'd discovered...
...a loose limited-edition Fire Emblem Awakening 3DS with Pokemon X card? Aw hellz yeah! Now I know what you're asking yourself right now... and here's the answer:
($11.19 after discount)
If that isn't the greatest capper ever to an amazing thrift crawl, then I don't know what is. And if the first day of 2015 is any indication, it's gonna be
The BEST YEAR EVAR!!!11one1one1!!!1one!1!!!!
I can hardly wait to see what I'll bump into next. And I bet you can hardly wait, either. Worry not, for I'll keep you in he loop.
Until next time...
In this episode, a mainstay of classic gaming: Mega Man. We'll look at it's rereleases on the Sega Genesis, PS2 and the PSP. How do all the ports, remakes and compilations compare to the original?
SEVEN-DAY SCORE CARD:
HARDCORE HANDHELD HARDWARE HAVOC AND THE GREAT RETRO GAMBLE
Week of 4 May to 10 May 2014
No big blustery fanfare this week; let's just get right down to it.
Sunday 4 May & Monday 5 May: I started the week with a meal-break run to my workplace Goodwill, which yielded a crimson DS Lite with charger along with Mario Kart 8, Pokemon SoulSilver, New Super Mario Bros., Nintendogs Lab & Friends, Lego Star Wars, and Lego Batman, for $19.99 all told.
More handheld hardware fell into my... um, hands the following day as I hit the local Savers and grabbed a loose PSP with Lumines UMD for $19.99, along with a Mattel Hockey handheld for $2.99. Also found was a CIB Metroid Prime 3 for $2.99.
But if you think the first two days had impressive handheld hardware scores, just you wait...
Tuesday 6 May:: This was the day for $1.99 CIB PC game pickups, as I grabbed Giants: Citizen Kabuto, KKND X-Treme, and a sealed LucasArts Archives release of Star Wars Force Commander. The latter pickup was especially odd, seeing as how I just got the original version at the same Savers the week before...
I also discovered a sealed Wheel of Fortune TV Games plug-and-play dealie for $3.99. Then there were the four books for $10: strats for Mass Effect 3, Halo Wars, and a limited-edition Final Fantasy XII, along with The Making of DOOM 3.
Wednesday 7 May & Thursday 8 May: After taking a breather on Wednesday, I resumed the hunt and discovered a Special Edition copy of Perfect Dark Zero for $3.95, CIB Borderlands 2 for $1.99, CIB Thunder Strike: Operation Phoenix for $3.99, and a Sega Genesis Super Pad for $4.99.
Friday 9 May: A lunch break trip to my fave Goodwill yielded a black 3DS with charger for $69.99, and a Korean Onyx DS Lite for $13.49. Also included with each handheld was a flash drive card and Micro SD card.
Saturday 10 May: It was back to my fave Goodwill, where I took a big risk on this grab that I teased on Small Scores a few days ago:
At a penny under $70 and non-returnable, it's the biggest thrifting gamble I've made this year.
And now, the full reveal...
...a compact junior-sized Atari 2600 with three joysticks, AV cord, and twelve game carts.
While I felt the asking price was fairly high, I'd just gotten my state tax refund check the day before, and I figured why not treat myself. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that all twelve games in the bundle were not in my collection previously, not even Centipede, Dig Dug, or Ms. Pac-Man. I coulda sworn I had Pole Position, but after checking my collection page before updating it... um, nope. So if nothing else, at least I significantly expanded my personal library of 2600 carts.
Now you probably noticed that this bundle of retro madness was held together with packing tape... which kinda sucked. The tape was so sticky that my initial attempts to remove it from the paper labels on the console and cartridge end labels didn't go over too well:
So I decided to quit before I did more damage, grabbed an X-Acto blade, and carefully cut around the edges of the labels that got taped.
BTW does anybody know if the plastic covering the rainbow part of the console is lamination, or just a protective plastic film to be removed by the user? 'Cuz I've got some major bubbling action goin' on, and it's not very attractive:
And now the million-dollar question minus $999,930.01: does it actually work?
You'll find out soon enough...
NON-VIDYA BONANZA: It's the usual suspects again; I just hope Mr. Nupoile can practice some self-control this week...
- TI-82, TI-83, and TI-83 Plus graphing calculators, $9.00 for all
- HDMI cable, $2.99
- Electronic talking pokedex thingy, $2.49
Well, that's about it for now. But before I go, please note that there will be no Seven-Day Score Card blog next week. Instead, a tribute to one of the greatest masterpieces in cinematic history-- and some of the video games it inspired-- will be presented. Be sure to check it out, and I'll see you again in two weeks with a double-sized episode of
Seven Fourteen-Day Score Card, only on the RFG Network!
If you happened to read my recent blog post about my playthrough of the first Final Fantasy on PSP, then you'd probably know that I was extremely excited to continue on with the second game. Strangely, I got all kinds of warnings from folks. "Just skip that one... trust me" kind of stuff. But I shook it off. I'm the type of gamer that tends to look for what's good in any game I play, and often am able to find enjoyment in plenty of games that others would just rather not waste time on. Surely I could find some fun in Final Fantasy II - especially a great looking remake like this one! Right?
Well I was right about one thing... it does look great. Much like the first remake, Final Fantasy II looks amazing on PSP. These new sprites and backgrounds in widescreen are really breath-taking and I think sort of what we all imagined our SNES RPG's looked like back in the day. Likewise, the re-recorded soundtrack is excellent. Unfortunately that's where most of my kind-words for this game stop.
Many of you are probably already versed in Final Fantasy II and its extremely flawed leveling system. And though I had heard about it beforehand, I don't think I was prepared for how tedious this really made the game. Rather than just leveling up your characters through experience, everything has to be individually leveled. Your weapons, your spells, your Hit Points... everything. You want to be tougher? You need to take a bunch of damage. You want to cast an effective spell? You better cast it a lot.
Of course there's 'workarounds' but they suck. Basically you can do things like constantly beat up your own party on purpose or cast spells and then cancel them before your turn is over. I didn't even bother with any of that. Truth be told, breaking the game truly broke the experience for me altogether. Instead, I attempted to play it straight, and ultimately that just broke my spirit to continue.
After two or three hours of my weak party walking between two towns, I was just about ready to throw in the towel. I figured I'd take a look a guide though. This right here shows the difference between Final Fantasy I and II. For the most part, I never really had issues figuring out how to progress my journey in the first game. But here I was, still in the earliest section of II and was baffled. The guide told me how to get Minwu the White Mage to join my party. So I tried that, and he wouldn't join. I back-read the guide to make sure I had done everything I was supposed to and as far as I could tell I had. I checked another guide, same thing. Tried again and Minwu wasn't having it.
So I shut the game off in disgust. Even if I could figure out what I was doing wrong and got Minwu to join my party at this point, I wouldn't want to. Final Fantasy II seems one of the most poorly executed RPG's I've ever attempted. This coming from a guy who could appreciate the limitations of item-usage in Riviera The Promised Land! I think perhaps if Final Fantasy II could have been remade with a completely re-vamped (and more traditional) leveling-up system, it could be a game worth diving back into. But in its original form it will remain just a curio to me. I think it's time I start looking for Final Fantasy III instead.
I have considered myself a fan of the Final Fantasy series since right around the time that the very first game hit Western shores. Though in my fuzzy memories I can't quite recall if it was Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior that was my first RPG experience, I'm guessing it was the former since that's the series I ultimately felt more connected to over the years. To elaborate, I'd at least call myself more than just a casual fan of the series. I've played nearly every numbered installment - including sequels. I've played many of the spin-off's (Adventure, all three Legend games, Crystal Chronicles, Tactics, Tactics Advanced, Mystic Quest, etc). Hell, in many cases I've even played multiple ports of the same game - for example this first game which I've experienced on NES, GBA and PS1 before picking up this PSP port. And yet here comes the shocker: I've never actually finished a Final Fantasy game. Seriously. Two decades or so of playing these games and I had never watched the credits roll on a single one of them.
Whereas some gamers seem to feel a certain compulsion to beat every game they play, I've never really been that way myself. When I know I've got limited time for gaming to fit within my life, that means that I'll generally play a game for as long as it keeps me enthralled, and it's time to move on to something else when that something else successful grabs my attention away. Never once have I felt cheated though. It's just realistic to realize that in many cases RPG's are just too vast for me to see through to the end. Most recently I picked up Final Fantasy XIII-2, not long after launch and paying less-than, but close to retail. Did I finish the game? Nope. Sadly though that one had to do with losing a bunch of PS3 saves. At any rate, while I never got through XIII-2, I did enjoy the ten or so hours I spent with it. In that case how could I be upset? To me, I felt justified spending $4 per hour for a game that I enjoyed playing for ten hours. At the end of the day isn't a video game supposed to entertain us?
Oh gosh, I've certainly gotten off track here haven't I? Well the point of all this was to say that even though these are my feelings on such things as 'value' and desired game-length and so on, I also realized that while a fifteenth proper numbered installment to the series has been announced, I've still never seen the end of any of them. And maybe it was time to change that. Sure I could cherry pick. Maybe I could finally see what happens after Shinra Tower in VII (I've stopped there three times since the game's release)? Maybe I could finally decide if I really prefer IV to VI? Maybe I could finally give VIII and XII a much fairer chance than I have in the past? Nah. It seemed like the natural thing to do would be to just start back at the beginning.
The original Final Fantasy has been re-released many times over the years. And as stated earlier, I have played many of these different takes on the game. The PSP version seems about as deluxe as you can get. Not only is it easily the prettiest version of the game graphically, but the PSP's wonderful widescreen really accentuates the visuals. Add to this the fact that there were now many impressive cut-scenes to help progress the story as well. Along the same lines the game now has a wonderful CD-quality soundtrack in portable form thanks to the UMD media. Other additions beyond the superficial overhaul include some extra dungeons that I personally spent very little time investigating.
As I started the game up I decided to go with the default roster of classes: a knight, a thief, a white mage and a black mage. Sure customization and strategy is great - but for some strange reason I'm sometimes a fan of just sticking to the default and seeing how a game feels if you don't tinker with a thing. Overall, I found the party sufficient. My knight and thief handled the dirty work physically, the black mage was there to unload some brutal magic on bosses, and the white mage did her best to keep us all alive. In fact the party was so sufficient that I actually had very little problem advancing for the entire twelve hours it took me to get up to the final boss, Chaos. I did very little grinding up to that point. I was mostly only equipping items, weapons and armor that I found in dungeons or won from battles. And really my mages (well, now wizards) had only a handful of magic spells to work with.
The Chaos battle did not go well. And after a half-dozen or so failed attempts I admitted to myself that it was time to backtrack out of Chaos Tower, go back to all the towns and start spending money on hardcore magic and weaponry. And why not? I had maxed out my gil by the end of the game. I told you I was stingey about spending.
As I made my way back up Chaos Tower an hour and a half later, I started thinking back on my quest. Here it was, my first RPG and twenty years later I was finally making a solid effort to see the story come to a close. Oh, how many times over the years had a slain Garland with a level 3 or 5 party and then watched those beautiful opening credits roll? But never once had I seen the end credits. All those years I had gone missing out on so much of the awesome middle game. I hadn't even been aware there were mermaids in this game all those years. But now I was progressing from one floor to the next in Chaos Tower now. My party was all above level 50. We had weapons like the Excalibur and the Marumasa. Heck, even my black mage was killing most enemies in that final dungeon with a single hit.
So once more we faced Chaos with narry a worry in mind. Among us four we had nearly every spell in the game including protection spells, and spells that would make us move faster or hit harder. We had a spell that would not only revive a fallen character, but refill his HP completely. We carried 99 potions, hi-potions, ethers and phoenix downs with us. Chaos didn't stand a chance.
You better believe that the internal speakers in my PSP were tested that night as I blasted the end-score that played over the closing credits. I saved my game and took the UMD out and realized that for the first time a Final Fantasy game to me wasn't just about enjoying the journey while it lasted until my eventual detour. For the first time I stuck with it until I reached my destination. And though that final few hours dealing with Chaos and grinding infuriated me, I realize it was my own stubbornness about spending gil and powering myself up that put me in that position.
And I also realize this: as much as I prefer console gaming, there's no doubt that playing this on a PSP made it far more likely I'd finish. The ability to save anywhere, and pick it up later and continue immediately at the exact spot I left off meant I continued far more often. Any bit of progression could be made with even a spare 20 minutes while half-watching TV. So to that I must conclude that although I've played nearly every version of this game to be released in the US, I'll plan to make my way through II, III and IV via their PSP ports as well.
Hey, you! There's this really tough student that's driving us all nuts! Your gonna go beat him up, right?! Right! Now get to it!
Here we go again! Kenka Bancho 4 is the sequel to Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble for the PSP. This beat'em up is about Yuuta, who transfers to a new school full of tough kids, because he wants to beat up the strongest student there. When he arrives, he learns that he needs to get the student's attention to be able to meet and fight him. To do that, he needs to beat up all 300 students at his new school!
Being the sequel to Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble, the core gameplay remains the same, but with a few differences. You are no longer required to do stuff by a time limit now, for example. You can still customize your character and his fighting moves, so that's cool. Another neat little feature is that you can rename all the students at your school. Odd, but still neat.
Another thing about this game is fighting with honor. For example, you should never just walk up to a student and hit them. To initiate a fight, you should use the Menchi Beam instead. The Menchi Beam is a laser eye beam that signals another student to fight you. Upon using it, you will trade insults via a mini-game where you press a button at the right time. If you win, you get the first strike. If they win, they hit you first. As I mentioned before, you must fight with honor to remain a cool badass. As such, you shouldn't use weapons, just your bodily techniques to fight.
Overall, this is one hell of a game, and a great improvement over Badass Rumble. This is one of those rare cases where the sequel is better than the prequel.
That game is Idolmaster SP: Perfect Sun for the PSP. Released only in Japan, it was fan translated, allowing English-Speakers to enjoy it. It brings with it a unique genre known as the Raising Sim, which you don't see much of here in the US. Where to begin...
The Idolmaster (actually spelled iDOLM@ASTER) series of games are a big hit in Japan, though they are widely unknown in the US, due to none of the games being officially released here. In the games, you take on the role of a Producer whose job is to help girls known as "Idols" become successful. In case you weren't aware, an Idol is a heavily promoted singer or actor, in this case a singer. The only difference with this title in the series is that you only help one girl at a time, as opposed to many at once.
You pick one of three girls to manage, and you have to train her to sing with a rhythm mini-game of sorts, interact with her, and generally manage her day (your day as well). If she becomes successful over the course of 52 weeks (I think it's 52, it's been a while since I've played this one), you win the game.
As mentioned above, this is a Raising Sim, but there's also some Visual Novel elements thrown in, but there's no graphic adult material, so anyone 16 and older should be able to play it.
So why should you play this game? If you live in the US and enjoy Anime, you'll enjoy this, as it's completely fresh and new (at least, it was for me). It's most likely going to be unlike anything you've ever played before.
Today, I'm here to review a great PSP Game called Rockman DASH 2 (Full Title: Rockman DASH Episode 2: The Great Inheritance). Originally released on the PlayStation 1, the PS1 Version has become incredibly rare, commanding a premium price. Today, however, you can buy the PSP Version for around 45 US Dollars on Playasia, a Website that sells Japanese Games. Enough about that though, onto the review!
Gameplay: Action RPG (A-)
Rockman Dash 2 is an Action RPG...kind of. It's actually more Action with RPG Elements. Anyway, you run around in 3D Environments shooting enemies with your Buster Gun (Arm Cannon) and searching for Treasure. While doing this, you'll get "Parts" to upgrade your Buster Gun and Body Parts, making you stronger. Alongside these parts are Items to increase and restore your HP Gauge. You'll also find Zenny (Money) to upgrade the Special Weapons that you get on your Adventure. The are plenty of Side-Quests too, so you can become overpowered if you feel like it. For example, one Side-Quest has you tracking down parts for an Ultra-Powerful Weapon called the Shining Laser, which will decimate any enemy, even bosses, in seconds!
Story: Original For It's Time (B+)
The Story picks up where Rockman DASH 1 left off (or a little bit after it, really...). It begins when your Adoptive Father, Barrel Caskett, gets lost while trying to land on an island called "Forbidden Island". After you rescue him, you learn of 4 Keys that unlock a legendary treasure called The Mother Lode, which is what you are after. From there, your quest begins: Get the 4 Keys and find The Mother Lode. The story has one hell of a Plot Twist, so get ready for a good tale!
Graphics: Old-School 3D (A+)
As mentioned before, this was originally a PS1 Game, so that's what the graphics look like; that of a PS1 Game...sort of. They've been upscaled a little bit, so that it looks a LITTLE like a PSP Game. Anyway, Graphics aren't that important to me.
Content: A LOT!! (S)
This game is absolutely packed with stuff to do! It's practically Non-Linear! One cool feature is that it includes all the Content from a Demo Disc of it back in the PS1 Days. Said Demo Disc featured a Scenario that's not present in the final product, so it's a nice feature.
Final Score: A+
This game is absolutely awesome, and if you buy it, it's worth every penny! If you played the English Version of it on the PS1, Mega Man Legends 2, you'll know exactly what to do, regardless of it being in Japanese. And no, this game, sadly, did not get a US Release.
Special Thanks to:
- bickman2k for helping me track the game down!
- Playasia for just being awesome. (Yes, I have bought products from them before.)
Yikes... I've been working on this off and on for almost a month now. What can I say: the demands of work and other high-priority things kinda slow down the whole blog-writing process.
In any case, I'll now reveal to you my Tuesday finds from May, which was fairly weak right up to the final Tuesday... and then the floodgates opened somethin' fierce.
May 1: I hit a couple places after work and came away with:
- Super NES console $5.00
- Namco Museum 50th Anniversary (Greatest Hits) PS2 $2.99
- Super Mario Ball (AKA Japanese Mario Pinball Land) $1.99
- Super Donkey Kong 2 (AKA Japanese Donkey Kong Country 2) $1.99
Weird thing about the Japanese GBA games: I bought 'em at a place that usually premium-prices imports and rare second-hand games. I was so sure they'd be priced above what I'd be willing to pay, I almost didn't bother to ask the clerk to pull 'em outta the display case. For the first time in a blue moon, going against my better instincts actually paid off...
May 8: I found no games or hardware, just a lotta reading material.
- Fourteen Nintendo Power, GamePro, and EGM back issues, $0.29 each
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 strategy guide, $1.99
- TMNT: Mutant Melee (Xbox) $3.19
- Nintendo 64 12-cartridge cabinet $2.60
I'm actually using the N64 cabinet to store my loose SNES carts in; apparently they were designed to hold either type.
- Official PlayStation Magazine back issue $0.29
- Prima Conker: Live & Reloaded strategy guide $2.00
- BradyGames GTA: San Andreas strategy guide $2.00
May 29: Now, THIS is more like it:
- Four Nintendo Power back issues $0.29 each
- Six Official Xbox Magazine game demo discs with sleeves,
$1.99 $0.99 each
- Joytron Strap Touchpen for DS, $0.79
- Pokemon Battle Revolution Nintendo Power strategy guide $1.50
- Populous (SNES) $1.99
- Namco Museum Remix (Wii) $5.95
- Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness (GC) $0.95
- Guitar Hero (PS2)
- Guitar Hero II (PS2)
- A trio of CIB Master System games for
$2.99 $2.09 each:
- Alien Syndrome
- Missile Defense 3D
- A pair of CIB PSP games for $1.95 each:
- Crisis Core: Final Fantasy
The biggest pick-up of the day, however, was:
- Blaze Twin Shock Home Arcade 2-player controller for PlayStation (and PS2), $11.99.
Finally, then there was this $1.99 grab:
(Don't tell You-Know-Who about this one)
The TL;DR Sidebar
May's biggest non-gaming Tuesday score: I found a boxed Nerf Vortex Praxis disc-shooter for just $5.99.
Like this, only the box wasn't in as good a condition.
I'm pretty sure someone messed up on the pricing at the Goodwill where I picked this up. Now, that is some crack-smoking pricing I can actually get behind! Speaking of which...
May's biggest crack-smoking moment almost went to the Gilroy Goodwill, which was asking $19.99 for a standard-ish GameCube controller. That's right, just the controller; I asked about it, and they confirmed it.
But the Morgan Hill Goodwill claimed victory when I discovered a sealed pack of three Game Boy Advance 3-cartridge cases like these...
Yes, you read that price correctly.
For plain ol' plastic cases.
Without any games in 'em.
Needless to say, they're really hittin' the pipe down in Morgan Hill...
Hey, you! Yeah, you! I'm talking to you, Yankii! Are you a Badass?! I'm a Badass, and I'm gonna teach you how to be the Top Bancho in all of Japan!
......I might be milking this thing a little. Heh.
But seriously, everyone. This is Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble for the PSP, which I've been playing on my newly-acquired PS Vita. (Don't ask. I just thought it would be cooler.)
Anyway, this beat'em up was obviously inspired by River City Ransom, as they share some similarities. The game gives you the "Main Goal" of beating up 46 Banchos from all across Japan, who ALL just happen to be in the fictional prefecture of Kyouto. (Not to be confused with the real prefecture of Kyoto.)
However, there's a lot more to do than just kick ass. You can customize your Character with all kinds of different gear, hairstyles, and so on. You can also try and find Romance if you don't feel like fighting. Still, no matter what you end up doing, your gonna end up fighting SOMEONE. That is, unless you spend the whole week in your Hotel Room. (The only real point being to earn a Title.)
Overall, this is one excellent game, and if your pining for a game like River City Ransom, then this is for you. Give it a try!
So I have not published a post to this blog that was actually on topic since the joint entry by noiseredux and I back in June about the GBA launch , and hopefully I can get back to some more blogging about launch games and end games this year...
One entry I am planning on writing is on the U.S. launch of the PlayStation Vita, which I am excited about and have preordered along with a few games. One phenomenon that hasnt really been explored in the blog, however, is what happens with a systems library when it is about to be replaced. That is the focus of this entry.
The Sony PSP has had an odd life. It has certainly been the most successful handheld of all time that was not made by Nintendo, and it was about as big of a success in its native Japan as it was a flop here in the United States. In the U.S., many pointed to the relative ease of piracy as the undoing of the system, as newly released games could be easily downloaded and played by anyone with minimal know-how and a web connection. It also earned a bad reputation for controls, since the large majority of Western genre games that were promoted in the U.S. traditionally relied on the use of two analog sticks on consoles (one for movement and one for the camera), and thus developers had to create workarounds of varying success on the PSP hardware.
What ended up happening, then, was that the PSP largely failed to reach the core demographic of gamers in the U.S. Instead, it became a haven for niche, older-style games and Japanese ports. It became the platform with definitive versions of games like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Final Fantasy IV. It became the platform with a lot of content-packed special editions by RPG powerhouses like Atlus and NIS, and it became a great place to pick up retro compilations. It catered to an audience that traditionally purchased its games (collectors), and gamers that were just at home with a D-pad as with a pair of analog sticks. So while the PSP had some amazing graphical showcase titles such as the God of War games and Resistance: Retribution, it is the more niche titles like Half Minute Hero and Prinny that make the platform an interesting one for collectors and will give the PSP staying power as a portable worth keeping around and accumulating titles on for years to come.
Which brings me to my central point: right now is the time to build your PSP library. I have spent some time over the holidays collecting titles that I missed out on or had sitting in my want list for several years, and the rock-bottom prices have been quite startling. Recently released games like Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together, Knights in the Nightmare, and Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday can frequently be found for under $10 new at GameStop and Amazon. Complete used copies of games from the first few years of the PSP's life are regularly found from $3-$7 a piece right now (both online and offline), and even the priciest domestic games rarely see price points over $20-$30. In the past few weeks I picked up about 25 PSP games, including three Special Editions of some well-received RPGs, and have spent barely $200 in total. People are dumping their libraries in preparation for the Vita and stores are clearing out UMDs to make more room for better selling titles; as a result this is the prime time for collectors to be picking over the spoils, as PSP games generally didnt sell very well, were produced in limited numbers, and had a small following. If I had to guess, I'd say that most PSP games will be, in general, more expensive in another year or two than they are right now. Strike while the iron is hot!
Greetings from Terra...
Posted on Jun 15th 2011 at 07:00:00 AM by (Zagnorch
Posted under Summer
Between trying to make my temp job permanent, shaping up, sprucing up the Zagnorch Ponderosa, and getting the ol' lemon running properly, I figured I wouldn't be able to get in on the RF Generation summer gaming challenge for lack of time to devote to it.
But then I realized I have a ton of games I'm either part-way through or this close to completing, and I figured I could take care of 'em in my sparse spare time. I know it's something of a cop-out, and a lazy way to go. But, given the situation, it's the best I can do.
And away we go:
Super Mario 64 DS: 134 stars down, 16 to go.
StarFox Command (DS): I'm stuck on that level where you use the stylus to clear away part of the cloud cover to reveal where the enemy is hiding.
Bomberman DS: I've yet to get past the boss on Level 8.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES): It's been so long since I last played this, I've forgotten where I left off...
Tecmo Super Bowl (SNES): All I want to do is get the 49ers to win a Super Bowl on three-year mode. My last three-year deal saw me lose two consecutive NFC championships before getting waxed in the Super Bowl in season three...
...by the Buffalo Bills.
THE FREAKING BILLS!!! WHAT THE #3LL, MAN!!!
CrossworDS: I've been chipping away at this one for the last couple years. While it also includes word search and anagrams, I'm focused on finishing just the crossword puzzles.
Sonic Rush (DS): Forget about the d@mn fourth chaos emerald-- it's the fershlugginer seventh one I'm having a #3lluva a time grabbing...
Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World (GBA): I still haven't gotten past that level where I hafta let Yoshi plunge to his death to save my own sorry @$$. I've killed enough Yoshis and Marios on this level to fill a virtual Grand Canyon. O, the soul-crushing guilt...
Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters (PSP): I've been neglecting my PSP lately, so I figure I should finish up Size Matters before it sics child protective services on me.
Wii Fit Plus: Actually, I haven't started this one yet. Never the less, I figure I'd give it a go to supplement my efforts to shape up this summer. I'm not so sure there's a way to properly beat or finish it, though. I suppose I can consider it "beaten" when I make my goal weight.
And there you have it. For the most part, I'm aiming to complete a buncha fruity handheld platformer-adventure titles I've been procrastinating on, with nary an uber-hardcore title in the lot.
G0d, I am such a chick...
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