Best Buy, Red/Blue States

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I was in Best Buy the other day because I have been looking to buy a PVR that doesn’t require a cable subscription.  We cut our cable over ten years ago and haven’t looked back since!  I do miss watching a Raptor game every now and then, but for the amount of money that this would cost for either a Bell or Rogers account (both are evil entities run by Satan by the way) just isn’t worth it.  I’m satisfied with my over the air antenna which gets 23 channels… most of them reliably in excellent quality.  The three channels that I need are CTV, CTV2, and Fox as these carry the NFL games that I love to watch on Sunday afternoons.  I want a PVR as I am so tired of watching the endless commercials during games.  They are mind numbing!  I figure I’ll start taping the game at 1pm, then start watching around 2:30pm so that I’ll be caught up (sans commercials) by the end of the game.  Genius right, we’ll see… any ways Best buy didn’t carry such a device in their stores, but they did have a new antenna tha

t supposedly had a 115km range.  Even at a pricey $224, I thought this would be a good investment.  I set it up, and literally put it right in front of my $60 antenna.  It was WAY WAY worse!  Even the normally reliable channels would be sketchy.  I didn’t hesitate to take this piece of crap back!

Red Dead

I had some time to kill while I was in the store, so I thought I would mosey over to check out the latest PS4 games and came across Red Dead Redemption 2.  From what I hear, this game is quite good, and I must say I really enjoyed the first chapter on the Xbox 360… at least for a while.  I found the game was a bit repetitive, and didn’t really have much of a finale at the end.  However I’m interested in seeing the sequel as they made a big deal about it on last weeks episode of South Park.   I haven’t seen it yet, but apparently Officer Yates was upset at all the school shootings happening lately, as it took him away from playing Red Dead Redemption 2.  Quite disturbing, but I would expect nothing less from my boys at South Park!

Good and bad states

I found a map of the United States for everyone to help them determine if the State they are travelling to is acceptable or not.  Blue States are good, red states are bad, and green states are neutral.  I’m happy that unsurprisingly New York went blue as it means I can still visit my relatives in Buffalo.  I’m disappointed that Wyoming went red, as I really wanted to go on a cattle drive vacation over there next summer.  Most disappointing however is my beloved Florida.  Why man… WHY?!  I loved you Florida, and this is what you do to me?!

 

I’ve joined a jujitsu club called Silver Back Gorilla in mid Scarborough as a colleague of mine was telling me how much he enjoyed it.  I did the free trial, and got my ass handed to me.  I was sore for the entire next week afterwards with bruises all over my chest and arms.  I was later told by the lead instructor (pictured above) that the reason I got hurt was because I was trying too hard without knowing the techniques properly.  So I tried again last Thursday and he was correct.  I didn’t try to muscle my opponent as much, but rather focused on the technique and it seemed to have better results.  I signed up for the next three months, and the first thing I plan on doing afterwards is choking out the Sega Dude over at Retro Megabit!

 

SEGA Corner: I noticed that there was an $80 price tag on Red Dead Redemption 2.  At first I thought this sounded really high as what kid has this much money to blow on a game… but then I remembered the $90 – $100 the Sega Dude and I paid for Japanese Megadrive games back in the early 1990’s.  I couldn’t have asked my parents for the money as the definitely would have emphatically said “NO!”.  Thus I must have relied on my only source of income… my Toronto Sun paper route which paid about $10/week.  I think I was paid about 30 cents a paper… that’s a lot of deliveries I had to make just for an early copy of Thunder Force 3 and Mickey Mouse!  At least they were both awesome games!

Until next time,

Nintendo Joe

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Voting and Gaming

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Tomorrow is the big day… if you are an American living overseas, then I hope you’ve already voted!  If you are living in the United States and can legally vote, then you really have no excuse… get out there and have your say!  Tomorrow might be the most important election ever!  The world is watching!  I’ve already made it known to my American relatives that I will boycott them if the election doesn’t go well.

Pat the NES punk

Pat the NES Punk

This is my boy Pat, and he’s an NES Punk!  He was one of the first collectors that got me into collecting retro games in his Flea Market Madness series on YouTube.  He seems down to earth and we share a lot of the same views towards other video game collectors.  Pat has been collecting forever, and was lucky enough to complete his NES collection before it became crazy expensive.  I think he has a great TurboGrafx-16 collection as well.  Oh if only I could go back in time and start my collection before it became popular… but then would it have been as fun going on the hunt?  Probably!

Anyways the reason I bring up Pat is that he has a podcast that I occasionally listen to if there is a topic that interests me.  His most recent episode is about the declining prices of rare games… mostly NES which of course is of interest to me.  According to him and his friend Ian, the prices of rare titles such as Little Sampson, Flintstones 2, etc., will be coming down in the next few years.  This is obviously just a prediction, but they make some valid points.  We’ve all seen these games at collector shows… but has anyone actually seen a dude buying the games at the insane prices?!  I did see a guy trade a heap of games for a copy of Flintstones 2, but that was several years ago and felt he gave up WAY too much for this rare, but very lousy game!  I hope Pat is right and that the prices drastically come down for how can I justify paying top dollar for a pretty crappy (though far from the worst) game?!

Pac Man Christmas

I thought this photo was lost forever, but we recently dug out some boxes and it was rediscovered!  This was taken at Christmas 1981 and man did I ever LOVE my present!  I played so much that I remember having trouble sleeping that night due to a throbbing thumb!  Those were the good old days… my mom even let me go to school late one day as I was having a record game… over 58,000 points… not bad for a six year old eh?!  I loved this game and wish I still had it.  I occasionally see it at retro game shows, but I don’t want to spend $100 on it… even if the condition is mint.  Looking at my hair, my mother must have spent a long time blow drying it straight like that… naturally I look more like Ronald MacDonald.  In fact once when my wife and i were walking down the street in Florida one Spring Break, some dude shouted out at my from his car that I looked like a clown.

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I’ve been watching a lot of NFL football these past several weeks and I must say that overall I’ve profited from my favorite team (the Buffalo Bills) losing so much.  They have an abysmal record, but if you have bet against them at Sports Interaction you could have made some sweet coin… actually I’m down about eleven bucks for the year, but I would have been doing much worse had the Buffalo Bills actually started winning!  They are an embarrassment to Western New York, and I must admit that my stress levels have really decreased since I dropped my emotions for the team in pursuit of greater glory.  In my heart, I’ll always be a Bills fan… but it’s just been too hard.  17 years without a playoff appearance, then we make it, score a lousy 3 whole points, and are back in a rebuilding phase?!  How am I supposed to by loyal to a decades long loser!

I’m really excited by the 2018 Kansas City Chiefs!  This Patrick Mahomes has breathed new life into this team and almost beat those bastard New England Patriots!  I REALLY  hope there is a rematch in the play-offs and that they bring Tom Brady down hard!  Seriously though… Mahomes is super good looking… my wife would leave me in a second for a date with this stud, and I can’t really blame her!

NFL teams

I’ve compiled a list of NFL teams of which are okay to support, hate, and no one really cares about (all in order of most to least).  This is for those of you new to American football and are trying to break into the game.  I’m telling you, the New England Patriots are the most evil team in all professional sports… I hate them, but will always watch their games in hopes that they lose… and they usually don’t lose which is yet another reason I’m often upset.  I mean they are in the same division as Buffalo which means we have to play these bastards twice every season.  That being said, as much as I hate Tom Brady, he is the best quarterback to have ever played the game.  He has a Superbowl ring for each finger on his hand!

Sega flashback

SEGA Corner: This a neat looking product is called the Mega Retro HD.  It resembles the original console, and apparently it works very well to play you old Genesis and MegaDrive games on… but if you have the Retron 5 which plays almost everything (besides TurboGrafx-16), I don’t really see the point?!

That’s all for now.  Get out there and vote!

Nintendo Joe

 

 

Another Successful Show!

Two Sundays ago was the semi-annual Durham Game Swap.  I was approached by Flavio and the Sega Dude to sell with them at their table, but I’ve got nothing left that I want to part with except for a few old PS2 and XBox 360 games that no one wants… hell I’d give them away for free if someone can actually make any use out of them!  I actually thought that some of the titles (Rachet & Clank series, etc.) were pretty good, but I can’t even get a song for them!  Anyways I went to the show as a buyer and I’m glad I made the trip.  Here’s my loot:

IMG_0860 The two games on the left, Solomon’s Key, and Championship Pool are nothing special, but Flavio had them, and I didn’t.  The former is actually a decent puzzle game and is the prequel to Fire N’ Ice… a much more expensive game!  Day Dreamin Davey is one that I see a lot, but it is never at a price that I want to pay.  I started talking to the dealer as he had a copy of Chip N, Dale 2 (In a past blog I stated that I owned all the Capcom games…. This was an error that I hope to correct some day) with a great price on it… I picked it up and immediately returned it after seeing the label damage… to me a damaged label means the game is less than worthless!  Anyways when it came to buying the Davey game I offered him $20… he took a long time to come down from the $25 he had marked stating quite emphatically that he “usually” gets full price.  Not from this guy pal!  I’m trying to complete a collection here!  And $20 is market value so big whoop!

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The dealer was also trying to tell me that Aladdin was a USA released game, and that it was his favorite Disney title.  He wasn’t impressed when I told him it never left Europe,  as you can tell by the circular Nintendo Seal of Quality symbol.  Am I wrong?!  If I am then there’s yet again another game I need, and I probably owe the guy an apology for being so matter-of-factually.

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Onto the next booth.  I’ve been on the lookout for these two games but the price was always way too high.  I asked the guy for fun what he would take for the both, and he said $200… I thought this was a pretty good price as the labels are in great shape.  I must have been blind though for as you can see there is some writing on the Tomato cartridge:  Normally I would have passed, but I must have been caught up in all the excitement of the deal!  Does anyone know how to get permanent marker off plastic?  I heard that Mr. Clean Magic Erasers don’t work as they discolour the NES shell??  I hope there is a fix because if there isn’t then I’ll need to buy a replacement/upgrade at some point as I just can’t have a game in this condition in my collection.  Got to love OCD!

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These games were purchased from Peter at P- Market Games in Belleville Ontario who was also had a dealer booth in Oshawa.  He claimed that he was giving me a great deal… and while his prices have come down substantially since I last saw him (he previously had $300 on Sword Master), they were just at market value and while perhaps a deal at a store, I want more from a retro game show.  Then again, as soon as I picked up Sword Master another dude swore under his breath as he was about to pick up the game.  Hey man, I’m glad I have it, but the price tag at $200 for what most people consider a piece of plastic with a sticker on it is still pretty high…

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Home of my NES collection!

… which brings me to my next point.  When I got home and my wife took a look at what I had bought, and I had to promise her that we would pay off the mortgage before buying the top five most expensive NES games (Little Sampson, Flintstones 2, Panic Restaurant, Bonk’s Adventure, and Power Blade 2).  I agreed to this as the mortgage interest rates are going higher, and our money would be better spent meaningfully on our investment.  However what if I’m presented with a deal I can’t refuse?!  This will be hard, but it may blow over if I can convince my wife that we will donate the “savings” to the World Wildlife Federation.  In other words what I’m trying to say is that it will be a couple of years before I can attempt to complete the North American released NES collection.

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Sqoon was actually purchased online from JJgames.com.  They don’t often have any real deals, but for $75 US including shipping this was decent.  Whenever I see it here it sells for around $130CAN which is above market price and thus I’m not sure how many copies sell.  You should check them out from time to time as you may find a good price every year or so.

Well that brings the needed NES games down to a mere 27 (unless I’m wrong about Aladdin).  While it doesn’t happen often anymore as I’m pretty much at the mercy of Flavio, the Retro Game Bros., and game shows for NES titles to add to my collection… there are occasions where it just seems to work out!

On to other business…

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’re aware of Canada legalizing the use of marijuana, and as many of you know I’m not a fan of Doug Ford (Ontario’s Premiere).  The other day it was released what the Provinces rules/laws were around the use of cannabis.  Namely you can’t use it within a certain distance of a school, etc..  I was just wondering if Doug Ford followed his own rules when according to the Globe & Mail newspaper he was allegedly selling it to people in the 1980’s?!  Hmmm.

 

Joe’s Grievances:  Has anyone noticed that the Dallas Cowboys get way too much air time on nationally televised NFL games?!  They are owned by this racist douche bag, Jerry Jones who at one point took a knee in support of his players in protest during the national anthem before a game… then later said that he would fine players for kneeling as it was disrespectful to the country when Trump declared it “unpatriotic” to kneel.  It’s clear what side you are on dude… not mine!  While we are on the topic of the Dallas Cowboys, what do we think of a team whose star running back is a wife beater, and horrible human being in Ezekiel Elliott… or Zeke as fans like to call him?  It’s amazing what people are willing to put up with from a dude who can run a football a few extra yards!

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SEGA Corner:  Well they’ve finally done it!  They have fixed the bug in Phantasy Star Generation 2 (a remake of Phantasy Star II) that made the game unplayable on the Play Station 2.  I can’t wait to get my mitts on this game as this was the chapter that made me fall in love with the series.  That being said it was the first chapter I played on my newly acquired Sega Genesis in the early 1990’s.  Playing the original game on the Master System “Power” Converter was a massive bonus!  Phantasy Star III sucked, but was made up for in part IV!

That’s all for now.  Until next time,

Nintendo Joe

Mega Man 11 Review

 

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Blockman

If you read my last post I purchased a copy of Mega Man 11 for the PS4.  I haven’t played it extensively yet, but rather have only managed to beat one stage… Blockman.  I had no idea where to start so I went with the first choice in the stage select menu.  It was fairly challenging for a novice player… but it wasn’t long before my Mega Man skills of times past kicked in and I was able to beat the stage! I can’t wait to try the level on difficult once I master this!  There is a lot that I like about this game, and very little that I have issue with.  Now, this isn’t really an big deal, but this game (so far anyway) isn’t really a sequel, but rather a series reboot.  Not that there was much of a continuum in past Mega Man games (aside from a few common enemies) but this one completely rewrites the series…

… It ignores my good buddies Gutsman, Iceman, Cutman, and the rest of the robot master fellas from the original game.   While it keeps the same premise in that you beat a robot master, acquire his weapon, and use it as a weakness of another robot master… there is no rhyme or reason to it.  I mean in the original Mega Man, it made sense to start with Bombman, then use his acquired weapon against Gutsman (the strong man miner), then use this weapon against Cutman… it had a rock/paper/scissors feel to it.  This game makes no sense at all, but then I shouldn’t complain too much as there wasn’t much reasoning to the order of robot masters in the original Mega Man sequels.

As I said, this is a minor complaint, and overall I’m really pleased with the game as it brings me back to a better time where as a kid I had no actual responsibilities except B.S. my way through school and have fun!  Go Lancers!

The graphics in Mega Man 11 are great, but then I would expect no less from a PS4 game!  The music has a good beat/rhythm to it, but honestly I thought the 8-bit music was more technical and fun from a musical standpoint.

The controls are pretty tight as would be expected from a Mega Man game and if you die it feels as though you made a mistake as opposed to other games where there is delays, etc..

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I like that the robot master battles are more complex than in the original games.  While I’ve only beaten Blockman,  I liked how there were three stages in the fight so it wasn’t as simple as memorizing one pattern and kicking ass.  The enemy became huge; even rivaling the dragon in the first Wily stage of Mega Man 2!  I think this is great, however another complaint that I have is that you can’t shoot diagonally or up… I thought this would have been a nice touch.

So far however the game is really fun, and I look forward to playing it for a bit each day!

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We’ve been making good progress on Alien Isolation, but unfortunately the wives ruined our sausage party this Friday and we weren’t able to continue.  The game is different, but a lot of fun… and I hear there is a sequel coming out!

We (the Sega Dude and I) are off to the Durham game swap this Sunday October 21st.  I’m really hoping for some great deals on hard to find games!  I think my soul is about the right price for LittleSampson, and if the devil is at the show we just might have a deal!

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Joe’s Grievances:  I’m quite upset about the demise of the VGCC game swap in Waterloo.  From what I hear, the organizers of the show got drunk one night, insulted each other like teenage girls often do, then cancelled the event?!  Has anyone heard differently?  This really sucks as I always looked forward to going to Waterloo twice a year for this event:(  Come on Pete… make amends with Andrew and lets get this great show up and running once again!  You are partly why I regained interest in the retro gaming community!

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Joe’s Plugs:  It appears that some people from Norway have been checking out mynintendodimension.com lately which is fantastic!  In fact I’m hoping that my man Leo Moracchioli is going to be preforming near Oslo this winter break so I can come to your awesome country and watch!  I’m a huge fan!  Check out his metal covers at Frog Leap Studios.

I had a thought the other day… if Dalton McGuinty (Ontario’s former Premiere) married Andy Dalton (the quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals) and took his name… he would be Dalton Dalton!  Awesome!

Until next time,

Nintendo Joe

Mega Man 11 Released!

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Mega Man 11 was released today and I’m super excited!  I’ll definitely pick it up this week as the $40 dollar price tag is fair… and I’ll actually play the thing!  I’ll do a review of it in the weeks to come.  The boss robot masters look great, huge, and intimidating.  I can’t wait to destroy them!  This doesn’t pose as great news for the newly acquired Mighty No. 9 however.  It will go on the back burner, but I WILL play it!

This past Saturday, a few friends came over for our first “Alien Isolation No Gurlz Allowed Sausage Party”.  The wife was out of town, and this was the perfect opportunity to engage a horrific Xenomorph… and terrify me it did!  I’m sure the Sega Dude will be posting an unflattering video of me playing the game and getting cornered by an Alien.  I screamed just before it tore me apart.  It’s been over a decade since I’ve screamed in panic like that and unbeknownst to me it was filmed which I’m sure the Sega Dude will post on his site in the near future.  In my defense however, how can you not scream when you are being hunted by an Alien?!  I can’t remember if we made it to the fifth or sixth mission, but we plan on getting together again this Friday to advance further into the game.

In other news, Nintendo successfully sued a company called MariCAR in Japan that was renting Mario Kart costumes and go-carts to people (mostly tourists).  You can read the article here.  Or not, I pretty much summed it up.

As mentioned in my earlier post, I have a lot of things that are really bugging me lately and even though this is a video game hunting blog, I’m running out of ideas.  There just isn’t really much to find on the cheap in terms of thrift stores, Kijiji, garage sales, and certainly not Ebay.  The days of possibly finding Little Sampson for an awesome deal are long over unfortunately.  As such, I’m opening up a new department on My Nintendo Dimension aptly named “Joe’s Grievances”.  Here is today’s issue:

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I was listening to the morning show on Q107 while driving into work, and one of the hosts (Ryan Parker) said he has been on Tinder app the for a while and is finding it hard to find dates as most women aren’t interested in dudes under 5’9.  I bet he’s right, and I stand at a measly 5’7 with my Doc Martins on, I guess I would still be having a hard time finding a date!  This is even weirder as my parents are both taller than average.  One could argue that my mom got “friendly” with the mail man, but this theory is debunked as besides the hair colour, I look exactly like my old man.  This sucks!  I am happily married to a woman who apparently has a shorty fetish, so it isn’t really an issue, but it’s more the principle of it all.

SEGA Corner:  Sega makes Alien Isolation (see above) so that’s the news for today.

Next week we will be discussing what ever happened to the game swap in Waterloo which was put on by Video Game Collectors Community (VGCC).

Until next time,

Nintendo Joe

Airing of Grievances

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Lets get the video game portion of this blog out of the way first.  The other day when I was visiting the Sega Dude, he gave me a physical copy of the PS4 game Mighty Number 9… thanks man!.  I knew it began as a Kickstarter campaign, and that it is basically an homage to Mega Man.  Same style of game play, etc..  In fact some of the music that I’ve heard could easily have been produced by Capcom.  Now I don’t play many video games anymore, but as this is one I’ve had my eye on for a while now I figured I would give it a try.

This game was poorly reviewed for the graphics/artwork, available useful weaponry, and annoyingly long dialogue scenes.  I must say that I agree with the last complaint… wow are the cut scenes poorly done and annoyingly long… especially in the opening level!  I’ve not played a lot, but I really hope it doesn’t get worse as the game moves forward.  I hear it is a short game… does that mean it could have been really short if you could skip the cut scenes (another shortfall).  I don’t have enough experience to comment on the available weapons, but as for the graphics I don’t really see what people are complaining about.  While perhaps not the best, it is what I would expect from a good 2D platformer.

stage select

Some are complaining about the artwork and how it isn’t realistic.  For example that this dude has legs way too small to support his body.  My response to this; since when has anime ever been realistic?!  No one has eyes THAT big!  Nor do we bleed that much when we are wounded!

Some complain that the “dash” ability is over used, but I mean you get it within the first two minutes of game play so obviously you were meant to have it as a major part of the game.  It’s rather essential… unlike the gravity/platform cannon from the original Mega Man… you didn’t need it, but damn was it ever helpful in an otherwise very difficult game!

A couple of other issues:  What’s with the points?  Who cares how many you get?!  Also there is a bit of lag at times, but you know in a way I don’t mind as it is rather retro of most NES games when there were too many sprites on the screen.  I’m sure this wasn’t the intention though so I get why some might not like it.

Overall I like the game so far, and while some of the complaints are valid, others must be made by crazy people.

As far as a Mega Man clone/ripoff… that’s really what we wanted.  I think a better comparison can be made when Mega Man 11 is released on October 2nd (less than a week from today!)  This is clearly a cash grab, but I’ll happily pay as Mega Man is one of my favorite Nintendo franchises!

Okay, now onto other other thoughts:

Who do you think would win in a fight, Nicky Manaj or Cardi B?  Apparently they are having a war of words on social media!  They’re just crazy nuts!  If your answer as to who would win the fight is “who the hell cares”, then we would be in agreement.  I care for nothing for either of their music, and as with most celebrity’s, REALLY don’t care what their opinion is on absolutely anything… just put the ball through the hoop like you are paid millions for and shut up!  But then what do I know as these dudes have millions of downloads, and views on YouTube.  Rock/Metal is a dying art and you know what, I’m going down with the ship!  Any rock band (even Blur or any other band Cory likes) would eat these two for breakfast!  Metal rules!

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In other news, I had a view the other day from Australia!  Welcome to my world of retro video games.  As your Australian ambassador Paul Hogan once said, “how a’bout we toss another shrimp on the barby?!”  I would love to eat some prawns, have a few beers, and play some Super Metroid… mmmmmmm BEER (Homer Simpson)

That brings me to my next point.  As some of you know I barley earned my B.Sc degree, but that makes me a genuine scientist!  My latest experiment has been to test which light beer tastes has the fewest calories, yet offers maximum taste.

Light beer

There were five contenders:  Coors, Busch, Michelob Ultra, Miller, and But Light.  Which offered the most flavor and fewest calories/carbs, yet cost effective?!  We used the same sized can (473mL), and all had the same alcohol content (4%).  In other words, the only variable was the brand of beer.  This is a mystery that needed to be solved, and thus I put my scientific mind to the task!

Coors Light:  $2.60 per can, 5/10 taste, and kind of felt like a normal beer

Busch Light:  $2.60 per can, 2/10 taste… it was basically water with some alcohol hiding in the corner

Michelob Ultra:  $2.75 per can, 4/10 taste, and brings back memories of Washington D.C.

Miller Lite:  $2.60 per can, 6/10 taste, and kind of felt like a normal beer… plus the Dude in the Big Lebowski drinks this at the bowling alley, so that’s an added plus!

Bud Light:  $2.60 per can, 4/10 taste, even though it is the official beer of the NFL, I can’t help but think this brand just has the most in-your-face advertising.

Winner… Miler Lite.  Best tasting light beer that makes you feel like your a real human-being.

Now all that being said, there are many other cheaper options that are pretty good and available at your local LCBO (Gosser isn’t bad for $2.10 a can… plus it is the name of the evil god in Ghostbusters!), however it is a full on calorie/carb beer.

I have much more to complain about, but we’ll save it for the next blog.

Until next time,

Nintendo Joe

September Update

It’s difficult to write about NES game acquisitions when you only need 37 more for a full North American set… life’s not that bad!  The Durham game swap is coming up in October, and I’ve already reserved one game from my dealer (and fortunately it isn’t expensive at all!)  Other than these shows, there sadly isn’t much in the way to game hunt any more.  Value Village, once a gaming fans dream, is now just awful to shop at.  They’ve forgotten that they are a thrift store, and the possibility of getting a great deal is what lured customers in the first place.  But now as soon as they see Nintendo on an item, they charge ridiculous prices… sometimes even higher prices than at a retail store that specializes in retro games!  Goodwill (if you can even find one anymore) is a bust as they put all their “good” items for an online sale, and charge high prices along with shipping fees.  Everyone thinks their stuff is worth way more than it really is on Kijiji, and Ebay has long been tapped out.  JJgames is now charging for shipping, and with the American/Canadian dollar exchange rate being so terrible, there’s no deals on their either.  Lukie Games doesn’t show pictures of their merchandise (JJgames does!), and neither will do a deal even if you buy in bulk! Well that just makes it feel awesome when you do manage to find a game for a good deal which of course I’m hoping happens in October.

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When I was at the gaming show in Pittsburgh last summer, there was a really cool poster (not for sale) of Mario with a Tetris background in a Russian propaganda theme.  Unfortunately the lighting wasn’t that great and the picture didn’t turn out.  I was really into learning about the Cold War so that only added to my interest.  This was the closest thing I could find to Nintendo propaganda on Google.

In other news, my Africa videos are posted on my YouTube channel if you want to check them out.  They might seem a bit long, but honestly I just couldn’t bring myself to edit all the really cool animals.  Also, the shorter clips took away from how special the experience actually was.

You know what’s really been upsetting me lately… it’s that everyone has tattoos now, that they are no longer cool.  This really sucks because I used to REALLY want one… a big one of Dark Force from Phantasy Star on my back.  I just can’t bring myself to do it though as every douche bag at the beach has tattoos… so much so that it’s more original to NOT have any tattoos.  What’s worse is that I was downtown the other day and saw this old lady (she must have been 75) with a fresh tattoo on her calf.  If the geezers are doing it then something isn’t right!

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Imagine a full back tattoo of this!

I heard a really disturbing thing the other day… apparently kids that are really bad at Fortnite are getting bullied in the playground… and in response, their parents are hiring “coaches” to help them play better.  This is ridiculous!

The only other thing on my mind is that there used to be a YouTube channel called Retro Liberty that I used to watch… then out of no where they stopped making videos, only to reappear in another channel with the same format but re-branded Pixel Game Squad… and for some reason Aaron changed his name to Riff?!?  This doesn’t make sense, and even worse is that his friends on the show don’t seem phased by it?!  I expect more from the NES Complex!

Anyways that’s all for now…. Cup Head rules!

Nintendo Joe

More Than Meets The Eye!

I know this is primarily a Nintendo blog, but recently I’ve had some life changing experiences (African trip) and have finally decided to complete/finish my other “uncompleted” collection.  Believe it or not, my first obsession was not collecting NES games, but rather G1 Transformers from back in the 1980’s.  To be more specific, my collection runs from 1984 – 1987 with a few select figures from the 1988 line.  I am in no way into the Pretenders, Actionmasters, and Micromasters which I believe were introduced in ’88 – ’89 and as it was readily apparent that Hasboro was out of ideas, the series was quickly discontinued.  Thankfully the American Transformers TV show did not include these, however the Japanese series went nuts and included everything with a piece of metal in it!  I own a copy of the Japanese Headmaster series on DVD, but after this it went too far for me.  Don’t even get me started on the live action Transformers movies!!  Thanks to these abominations, director Michael Bay is on my blacklist along with George Lucas for his Star Wars prequels.

Back in 1984 as a kid you basically had two choices.  Were you a GoBots or a Transformers fan?  I had a few of both… however in the beginning, school playground rules stated that Transformer toys were too “powerful” to play with GoBots and were therefore unwelcome in the playing scenarios at recess.  Fortunately we realized very quickly that GoBots were lame, and Transformers were superior!

Soundwave

Before the TV show premiered, there was only a few action figures available, and perhaps by fate I was drawn towards Soundwave who is to this day my favorite Transformer!  As a kid, I obviously had no income other that the $2 a week my parents gave me as an allowance.  Soundwave was $25 at Kresge’s (a long ago vanquished chain of Walmart type stores).  My dad purposed a difficult choice to a 9 year old kid… I can buy the official Soundwave at full price, or I could buy a knockoff version (which was identical minus the Decepticon logo and box art) for $16.  That is one hell of a difference in price when you have very little income.  I had saved $18, so could buy the knockoff out rightly, or I could go into allowance debt for several weeks and get the official action figure.  Duh, of course I chose the official version as I didn’t want to be labelled a loser in the playground!  Soundwave along with his cassette companion Buzzsaw was mine… how cool was I!?!  Then the TV show premiered, and Soundwave had the best voice of all the Transformers.  It was a synthesized voice by the same guy who did Megatron’s (Frank Welker)… and it was AWESOME!  Also the fact that the character was the most loyal Decepticon of them all which was proven in the 1986 movie when he picked up a defeated Megatron from the battlefield and carried him onto a ship to escape the Autobot wrath!

Optimus

Anyways my family wasn’t “first world rich”, so I was only able to acquire a few transformers back in the day (they were actually really expensive even at 1984 prices!).  For my birthday I opened an Optimus Prime, which basically secured my number one position in the playground as; kid most desired to play with!  I was THAT awesome… too bad I peaked in popularity at such an early age:(

Transformers Movie

Fast forward to 1986 with the release of Transformers the Movie.  This was an epic event in my childhood.  I wasn’t allowed to go to the movies by myself yet, so thankfully my friend Sonny and his mother offered to take me to this larger-than-life event.  I was devastated… they killed off my hero Optimus Prime along with 90% of the other Transformers!  It wasn’t until high school that I realized that Hasboro did this only to introduce a new Transformers toy-line as they figured they had already profited as much as they could during the past two years.  In other words, everyone who could afford the Optimus/Megatron figures had already bought them.  But you must understand… losing all these beloved characters was devastating!  Thankfully Galvatron and the Sharkticons were awesome enough to carry on the series for another two years!

man-and-woman-symbols-vector-690752

However by 1988 I had officially decided to put my toys away and pursue my other interest… the opposite sex.  On this topic I had decades of study and research to do!  The Transformers (and GI JOE) were put on hiatus in the attic until years later.

Near the end of high school, and at the beginning of university I had realized how much I had missed my original obsession of Transformers (and GI JOE), so started unofficially collecting again.  Fortunately back in the mid-90’s Transformers weren’t that sought after and I was able to get so many for no more than a song!  For real, some dude sold his whole collection to a store called Eyeball Soup, and for about $200 I was able to pick up over 90 of the now highly sought after toys!  Now the prices are crazy high, and starting a complete collection feels out of reach.

Transformers 2007 Movie

Then came July 2nd, 2007.  The Canadian release of Transformers the movie.  I have so many issues with this movie’s director,  producer, and writers that I don’t even know where to begin other than saying it ruined the franchise.  This will perhaps be another blog entry.

All this being said… I don’t wish to end this on a downer, so I won’t.  G1 Transformers rule!  Here is a list of the G1 action figures I need to have what I consider a “pure” complete collection before they were bastardized by the Pretenders and company.  At the price NES games are going for right now, perhaps my Transformer collection will be complete first!

Needed Transformers (and all accessories)

Roadbuster (Deluxe Vehicle) $75

Power Dashers x 3 (mail order set) $20 each

Seachlight and Wideload (Throtttlebots) $6 each

Misfire (Tagetmaster) $55 – 90

Fizzle, Guzzle, Sizzle (Sparkbots) $10 each

Scoop (Target Master) $25

Hosehead, Siren (Headmaster) $50 each

Joy Ride and Slapdash (Power Masters) $50 each

Cindersaur, Flamefeather, Sparkstalker (Firecons) $10 each

Windsweeper (Triggercon) $12

Needlenose (Targetmaster) $40

Fangry (Headmaster) $35

Darkwing (Powermaster) $65

S.T.A.R.S. Autobot Command Centre $65

Total = $739

 

Until next time,

Nintendo Joe

 

A Seasoned Criminal

A few days ago, my wife and I went down to the United States to go to the National Comedy Center that opened at the beginning of this month (August).  After dropping off our dog at the Doggy Camp that he goes we proceeded down to the border.  From my many border crossings I’ve always felt that the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls is the fastest, however when I looked online at the border crossing times it said that there was no wait at the Lewiston Bridge.  Against all instincts I decided to cross here:(

Well unfortunately the wait time was at least a half hour, and that wasn’t the only bad thing to happen.  When we arrived at the inspections booths, I was “arrested” for a possible felony charge with a A & D (armed and dangerous) designation.  I was asked to turn off my vehicle and get out of the car to spread my hands and feet.  I was briefly patted down (I had nothing on me), then handcuffed for a more thorough search where I became very intimate with one of the guards if you know what I mean!  I was escorted to a holding room where I found myself alone (solitary confinement) where I waited approximately five minutes before someone came in to unhand-cuff me and told me that I wasn’t who they were looking for.  Apparently someone else with the same name had committed a crime and they wanted to be sure it wasn’t me.  I was quickly processed, and we were sent on our way, but honestly after you’ve done some hard time you just don’t come out the same.  In total it held us back about 45 minutes which meant that I had less time to look for retro video games:(

I looked for a secret store in Elmwood (an area near downtown Buffalo) but he either moved or went out of business.  The owner didn’t really advertise at all except for on
Facebook, but unless you knew what to look for it wasn’t that obvious… maybe why he’s not there anymore.

These are two games that I didn’t have in my collection that I found at a place in Eastern Hills Mall in Williamsville called the Niagara Emporium.  Eastern Hills sure isn’t what it used to be… it’s kind of pathetic now and don’t understand how it manages to keep many stores when it seems like a ghost town.  Anyways I met a guy there named Krystian who owns a space called I Got Game and he seemed like a great guy to know… especially if you are into collecting retro video games:)  He’s a bit younger than I am… of course I based this on his appearance and also after talking to him he said his main collection was for N64 games.  This guy had games for most systems, but after I was done purchasing the above two NES games I was out of cash.  NASCAR is a very common game that for whatever reason I haven’t picked up yet, but Wayne’s World is a bit rare, and from what I hear quite difficult to find with a nice label… this copy is perfect and I got a fairly good deal at $100US.  I’m not really into negotiating  so I was delighted when he gave me what I felt was both a fair, and good price.  He asked me about where to go in Toronto for retro games and of course I recommended the Retro Game Bros., and to stay away from A&C Games as they tried to rip me off on a lousy copy of E.T. for the Atari 2600 several years back!

Anyways after we were done visiting family, and saw the National Comedy Center (which was quite well done I must say!) we took off for Erie, PA to check out Presque Isle.  Just before the entrance there is a diner called Sara’s and they serve malt shakes (hard to find these days).  I ordered a peanut butter shake and let me tell you, that alone made the trip to Erie worthwhile.  It was that good!

green-jelly-sugar-coated-killers-35

After we finished our shakes we went off to a place called Basement Transmissions to see a band that I haven’t heard from in over 25 years called Green Jelly.  They had a song called the Three Little Pigs which was what put them on the map in the early ’90s.

The tickets were only $12 and there couldn’t have been more than sixty people in the audience, yet they still rocked some simple to play tunes and were a lot of fun!

SEGA Corner:  If you want a lot good Genesis and Master System games check out Krystian’s store I Got Game.

Until next time,

Nintendo Joe

 

Replay FX 2018

Last Friday, my buddy and I traveled down to Pittsburgh, PA to see the ReplayFX/Pinburgh 2018 at the David Lawrence Center.  This will be my third time going, and while the novelty of it being a cool new thing to do has long worn off, it’s still nice to hang out, play many retro arcade games, and root for your buddy in the Pinball Tournament.  A good friend that we met down there is the President of the Toronto Pinball League, and one of his members actually managed to win the E division grouping which I thought was pretty cool.

Division E Champions with placing from left to right

First to Forth place E Division Champions!

I bought dinner for everyone in my party that night as it isn’t every day you get to dine with a winner!  Of all the E division players, Myles is the World Champion… it must be nice be be best at something!

The main attraction for me actually wasn’t the arcade games, pinball, or merchandise (actually there was not much to buy this year that I was interested in.  There was a copy of Little Sampson, but the guy wanted top dollar for it so obviously I wasn’t interested).  The big lure for me was the bands that played video game music live.

 

The band that I thought drew the best crowd call themselves Bit Brigade from Athens Georgia.  There thing is that have this guy who plays NES games on a large backdrop while the band plays the game’s music live.  They rocked it!  While I’ve seen Bit Brigade do Mega Man 2 before,  this was the first time I’ve seen them do a speed run of Zelda on the NES.  While not a world record, the guy beat the game in under 43 minutes which I thought was very impressive considering to took me months back in the day to complete this game.  I was wondering how they were going to do the music as most of the songs on Zelda are extremely repetitive.  What they did was play not only Zelda music, but also The Adventure of Link, and a Link to the past.  It was a good show and I’m glad I woke up in time to see it!

Overall it was a great time and not to far away distance wise to a boys weekend.

In other news, I saw that movie Wolverine Origins again as I was falling asleep in front of the TV.  I must say that while I enjoyed it much more than when I first saw the movie in the theater, it still contains lots of unrealistic stunts that even when I consider that these are superheroes I still don’t see them surviving.

  1. Dozens of huge logs fall off a truck on Wolverine before he has ademantium bones, and yet he doesn’t get his skull crushed in?!  No way dude… even Wolverine wouldn’t have survived this!
  2. While attacking an enemy stronghold, Deadpool reflects all the AK-47 bullets fired at him with some fancy sword work?!  Give me a break… that isn’t even one of his “powers”!
  3. Sabretooth ripping up the hood of a car with nothing but his claws?!  I get it, they are strong, but this is ridiculous!

Now that I got that off my chest I can breathe easy again.

Sorry but there is no Sega Corner this week.

Until next time,

Nintendo Joe