Highway Robbery!!

It’s summer holidays and my wife and I just got back from a trip to the pacific northwest United States.  We flew into Seattle, Washington and drove to San Francisco where we flew home.  We visited several National Parks, including Yosemite, Olympic Rainforest, Kings Canyon, etc..  We also stopped by in Astoria, Oregon to see all the sites from the 80’s classic movie The Goonies.  All in all it was an awesome trip, but of course that’s not really what this blog is about.  Onto the games that I found on our trip!

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Firstly, there isn’t much to tell for several reasons… the biggest one being that my bag that contained all my loot was stolen from my car.  Some guy broke our back window and stole our passports AND GAMES:(  This was very upsetting as there were two good ones (well, maybe ‘good’ is a word I should reserve for special games).  Nevertheless I was looking forward to adding to my collection.

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The best game that was stolen was Mario’s Time Machine for the NES.  This game was purchased from a store in Portland, Oregon called Video Game Wizards.  The store was difficult to find, and at first glance didn’t look like they had any games that I didn’t already have.  I asked the owner if he had some rare games, and he replied that they only had a copy of Mike Tyson’s Punch Out… a great game, but hardly rare, and was one of the first games I picked up when i decided to collect.  He said I could snoop behind the counter if I wanted as there were some misc titles that haven’t been put out yet, but he warned me that they were all commons so there wasn’t much point.  I did anyways and came up with Mario’s Time Machine.  It is much more uncommon on the NES than it is on the SNES… that being said it isn’t that great a game.  Plus, there was no price tag on it… I hate having to ask for prices as usually the owner will just look it up the inflated prices on Ebay and quote me some nonsense.  But he came back to me with $55.  I offered the guy $50US for the game and he accepted.  I was quite happy with this as according to my app, it sells for around $90CAN.  Even with the American/Canadian exchange rate being so crappy right now, I thought this was a deal.  BUT IT WAS STOLEN… so who cares!

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Another game that I’ve been looking for, and found a decent copy of was Wizards & Warriors 3 for the NES.  It is rare that you find this game with an unsoiled label, but I found a good copy at a store called Blue Shell Gaming & Collectibles near Fresno, California.  The owner of this store was very friendly and we talked for a while about games… disagreed about which games were the best to play, then haggled a bit on the price.  We agreed to $50US for a copy of W&W3 and Ninja Crusaders and again I thought this was a rather good deal…. BUT IT WAS STOLEN… so who cares!

Their were a few other commons that are not even worth mentioning THAT WERE ALSO STOLEN!

So all in all, my trip was awesome, but would have been much better if we hadn’t had our car broken into.  The missing passports cost us an additional $1,200US as we had to reroute our flights to Buffalo, New York as this was the closest the airlines could bring us back to Toronto with out proper identity papers.  Personally I thought United Airlines gouged us in our time of need… not to mention gave us the crappiest seats possible for the flight. I’ll never fly with them again!

A special thanks to CDN for picking us up at the airport in Buffalo.  CDN doesn’t follow this blog though so he’ll never know about this shout out to him:(

Hopefully next time I’ll have more games to talk about that weren’t stolen.

SEGA Corner:  No news this post.

Later,

Nintendo Joe

The Hunt Must Go On!

 

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I remember when I first asked the Sega Dude if he wanted to go game hunting with me, he thought that I wanted kill a deer and eat it.  I was shocked when he told me an emphatic “NO!”, but then later realized what he thought I meant.  Anyways… So I went to the above three events looking for games and I came out with some pretty cool titles.

First the picBlue_Budgie_Gryphon_V1k ups are from Fan Expo.  What’s interesting here is that there was a store represented here called The Blue Gryphon which is a place that I visited in Gatineau, Quebec last year… but at the store their prices seemed a bit high… however at Fan Expo the games were not only at a good price but the owner was also willing to deal with me.  Also I finally acquired a title that I’ve been looking for since I started collecting for the NES… Might & Magic:  Secret of the Inner Sanctum!  I’m a huge fan of the M&M series and as this was the only title on the NES I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to find; I was wrong.  In fact I had only seen the game once before at a store called Buy & Sell Kings but they had it complete with the box and that jacked up the price to over $100+tax… even though it is a cool game, it’s just too much.  Besides as you know I lik to buy my own boxes thanks to the help of the universal game cases, and thecoverprIMG_7965oject.net (which by the way was down for a bit, but is now back up and running business as usually…phew!).  Might & Magic is an RPG that is from a first person POV.  There are many monsters to defeat, and many items to acquire… I can’t wait to get started as I’ve only played the beginning on an NES emulator for my Mac.  So in addition to M&M, I also bought Rollerblade Racer, Rally Bike, Garry Kitchen’s Battle Tank, and Tecmo Baseball, all for $70 cash.

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For whatever reason I just didn’t have Tecmo Baseball in my collection… it is such a common game.  I sifted through several boxes of games and managed to pick out the few I didn’t already have from his common titles.  In his “rare” bin there were a few I needed but just didn’t want to spend the money.  One title that I kind of regret not buying was Nobunaga’s Ambition 2 for the NES.  The price was fair (I can’t remember how much exactly) but as I said, he wasn’t giving it away for a song:(

We went to Fan Expo on Friday night, and hit up the Barrie Game Exchange the following Sunday.  While I didn’t win any of the door prizes (they were actually really terrible prizes) a good time was had.  I met up with a few people I knew who were selling games including the Retro Game Bros., Flavio, Fred (my guy in Lakefield ON), and also had a chance to meet SeeJayAre who does a live garage sale pick ups video on youtube (he was just selling games like other vendors but no one knew who he was except me.  You should actually check out his channel as it is pretty cool… he was one of the pioneers of the hidden camera at garage sales video (at least up here in Canada).  He is actually from a city just outside Toronto… and man does he have lots of luck… but in a way he makes his own luck.  You’ll see what I mean.

Anyways the Barrie Game Exchange was bigger than I thought it would be… at least compared to the July exchange last summer it was fairly big… like 90 tables.  Still though it was no Waterloo Video Game Swap Meet which puts on the best game exchange in the area.  I believe the next one is on May 29th.

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Above are the pick ups from the Barrie Game Exchange, the most notable being Rainbow Islands that I picked up for $30 which was a deal as most other dealers had it up for $50.  At least I didn’t talk myself up in price this time!  Paperboy has been a title that I have wanted, but the price was always too much for the game that it is.  I haven’t played it on the NES, but I have played it on the Commodore 64 and I remember thinking it was pretty good.  But the $20 most vendors wanted just didn’t seem worth it.  I managed to score Paperboy, Paperboy 2, and Jackal for $30 all in.  Not bad eh?!  F-15 Strike Eagle was part of the Rainbow Islands deal… this s a game that isn’t really worth speaking about so I won’t.

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The above carts were traded to me from the Ice Man for the store credit that I had accrued last Christmas.  While the credit wasn’t “free”, it sure didn’t feel like I was spending my cold hard cash.  If you’ll recall, back last Boxing Day I went into the Ice Man’s store in Peterborough ON, and traded in pretty much all the doubles I had collected in a year… usually I sell these at the game exchange, but the Ice Man gives the best trade in value in town… the downside to this is that his games are also fairly expensive, but if you look hard you can find a deal.  The best deal that I found was for a copy of Dusty Diamond All Star Softball which according to RetrowareTV.com is the second most rare sports game on the NES (Stadium Events was not included in this top 10 list but rather as an honourable mention).  This is officially the rarest game in my collection.  The game normally sells for around $70 – $85CAN, but this carried a $65 price tag.  I’ve never seen the game before so jumped at the opportunity to trade for it.  Plus when you trade there is no tax on retro games… that’s another 13% savings:)  The other titles were fairly pricy… too much for my wallet, but not for trade.  To acquire the $450 in store credit, I probably spent about $100… so $4.50 on the dollar isn’t bad and makes these pick ups great as I probably would not have otherwise have gotten them.  Anyways the titles are Conan (obviously cool), Mickey’s Adventure in Numberland, and Nigel Mansell’s World Championship.

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There is absolutely nothing remarkable about the above two games except that I once owned them and they disappeared.  I had the universal game case complete with covers printed, but somehow managed to lose these games.  The Sega Dude swears he didn’t steal them… and I believe him… which means they disappeared into thin air which does happen from time to time around these parts.  Anyways my North American NES black label collection is now complete:)  What is interesting is that this was all I started out collecting.  Then it got out of control, but that is a story for another day.

Until next time,

Nintendo Joe

Waterloo Game Swap 2015

Before we get started on this weeks post, I thought I would direct your attention to this website (click here) which has a very funny video making fun of us video gaming nerds.  We’re so lame!

Anyways this weeks post is about the game swap in Waterloo Ontario that happened on March 29th, 2015.  What is there really to say… it was a good swap.  I sold nearly all my merchandise and made a profit of around $220… which I then spent on more games to add to my collection.  Apparently my prices were “really good” and “the lowest at the show” according to several customers.  Hey man… I was able to add to my collection and that’s what counts to this nerd!

IMG_1161This is a picture of my buddy Flavio and I at the swap.  Between him, the Sega Dude, and I, he really came out on top with a whopping $900 in sales… and he was able to pick up several quality NES titles like Toki and Times of Lore for cheap which I am extremely jealous of.  At least the Sega Dude isn’t lording these games over me!

IMG_5187We managed to score a copy of Xenoblade Chronicles for our friend the Stone Mason.  The price tag says $75 but I negotiated a deal for $70 which doesn’t sound like much but the game goes for much more than that in the stores.  I have no idea what type of game it is, but the Stone Mason really wanted it and thus he now has it.  I would promote his site, but I think he has given up on that:(  So let me know…. what type of game is this?  I know it is an RPG, but is it actually any good?  Maybe I’ll borrow it some day from my friend and defeat it, but until then I’ll have to rely on your comments IMG_5188when deciding if it is any good or not.

I picked also picked up a copy of Mario Party 7 for the Game Cube.  It isn’t anything special, but the Mario Party games are kind of fun.  That being said, I bet they were a lot more fun back in the day.  I wanted this title for no other reason than I didn’t have it in my collection and for some strange reason I’ve started accumulating all the Mario Party games.  I’m missing Mario Party 1, 3, and 9… the latter being for the Wii U which I also do not own yet… I’m close though… ever so close!

IMG_1167This is a picture of me and my buddy Jay Bartlett who is starring in the upcoming movie Nintendo Quest.  Actually the movie used to be called NES Club, but Nintendo Quest is a much better name as the former didn’t make any sense at all.  The movie is basically about him visiting game stores all over the United States and Canada in order to build a complete NES collection.  We don’t know his budget, but we do know he travelled a crazy distance in order to complete the quest.  Was he successful?  I don’t know.  As close as we are (which is like fire and ice apart) he wouldn’t tell me.  I look forward to seeing your video Jay, and good luck.  My prediction is that he failed, but I’m hoping I’m wrong.  The reason I’m so pessimistic is because there are tons of obscure NES games and I can’t see how on earth he would be able to buy them all.  One of the rules is that he is not allowed to buy games online… only in person at the stores.  Unfortunately they don’t say how much he pays for the games which to me is a really important fact.  I mean who cares if you picked up a copy of Mega Man for $80… for crying out loud I could do that!  Fortunately I already own this title:)

IMG_5186Sega Corner:  So I managed to pick up a copy of my beloved Phantasy Star II and a copy of Granada for the Sega Genesis.  These games are both awesome.  If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that Phantasy Star II is my favourite RPG of all time… almost blasphemous coming from a website dedicated to Nintendo I know, but true never the less.  Phantasy Star 1, 2, and 4 are the best RPG’s to me. 3 just sucked! Perhaps I’m a bit nostalgic, but ya… they are better then anything Nintendo has thrown at me.  That being said Super Metroid is over all the best game I have ever played so take that Sega!  Granada is a simple but really fun shooter with great graphics and music.  I remember beating the game for the first time in front of all my friends in the Sega Dude’s basement in the early 90’s.  Crazy as it may sound, no one of the female sex was impressed:(  It did however score me a few high fives from the boys!  Oh Granada… how you tried to best me, but in the end it was I who was victorious!

See you next time.

Nintendo Joe

 

The Last Two Months of Collecting

For the past two months I’ve continued on my quest to obtaining a complete NES collection (I’m 41% there), while picking up some other cool Nintendo (and Sega Genesis now that I have a Retron 5… which after playing it with all the emulated systems can honestly say that it comes exactly as advertised).

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What the $&%# ??? I just tried to insert an image into this blog and all I got were a bunch of numbers and symbols ??? Oh well let me know if you are having any difficulty seeing the images.  This new editor stinks!

The above picture is supposed to show Yoshi, Yoshi’s Cookie, Tecmo Super Bowl, 8 Eyes, Conquest of the Crystal Palace, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project, and Jaws. Of all the Jaws movies they made, Nintendo had to pick part 4 (the absolute worst in the series) to make a game out of? The game is REALLY bad, and the only reason I got it was so that it could rest in peace on my shelf. It will never be played unless I use it as a form of punishment on my dog for his disobedience. The other games seem cool, and I’m rather excited to try out TMNT 3 as even though it is not that uncommon, I’ve never even seen it before.

The next game I was able to pick up was Herzog Zwei, or for those of you who don’t speak German, The Two Dukes… at least that’s what I think it says for I don’t speak German either.  This game was introduced to me by the Sega Dude way back in high school in 1990.  It’s a two player game where you face off against each other by building up your defence to protect your base(s) and and form offensive armies to take over your opponents.  Now honestly it wasn’t really all that fun to play againsIMG_4532t the Sega Dude because he was pretty good at it by the time I came around to try it out (it didn’t hurt that the game was the Mega Drive version and since my Japanese is even worse than my German I really stood no chance of beating him).  Thank goodness the commands you would assign your troops all came with pictures/icons which gave a hint of what it would do.  Alas I was able to borrow this game and actually beat it… a feat that isn’t for the weak minded as it takes forever… you have to beat every level four times (each with progressing difficulty).  The ending was rather cheap too, but who plays a game for the ending?!  This game was nothing short of AWESOME.  It has really good music and the graphics are great for a 16 bit system.  I definitely recommend this game.  It was made by Techno Soft (also the author of the Thunder Force series which are also fantastic games to play).

My interest in Genesis games is basically to try and get back all/most of the old games I used to own back in the day.  I’m missing a few such as Phantasy Star 2 & 3 (apparently the Sega Dude has an extra copy of 3… I offered to pay him for it, but he insisted that I have it… that being said it isn’t in my collection yet.  Other games I’m missing are Whip Rush, Target Earth, Air Diver, Gaires, Grenada, Mystic Defender, Arrow Flash, and Thunder Force 3 (apparently there was a 4th chapter called Lightening Force which I also would like to try out some day… oh, and part 5 is for the PS1 that I would also like to get my hands on).  Other than these, I’ll give the rest of my findings to the Sega Dude for safe keeping.

These next three games were to add to my Zelda collection.  I’m still missing the Master Quest, Oracle of Ages and Seasons on Game Boy, Skyward Sword, and of course the new one on the Wii U whicIMG_4533h I can’t remember what its called… nor have I heard whether it is any good or not.  Anyways, these are all complete (except Minish Cap), and seem like they could be a lot of fun when I actually have the time to sit down and play a Zelda game.  I think the one I’ll try first is Spirit Tracks as it seems to be the most straight forward.  Then again who knows… maybe Four Swords Adventure will prove to be the better game…  or even Minish Cap (which i can now play on my Retron 5:)

As I mentioned in my last post, my Halloween costume this year is goIMG_4536ing to be Link… yes I know it isn’t much of a surprise, but I’m attempting to make the costume myself… except the sword… which isn’t the Master Sword so don’t give me any heat about that!  Anyways I finished the hat today.  I made by sewing together the sleeves of the green fleece that I’ll be wearing.  I also bought a thick brown belt, a brown turtle neck, brown leggings, boots and pointed ears to wear… all from Value Village of course and i think it all came to a grand total of $55.  Not bad, but I still have to make the master shield whicLink_Realh I’m going to attempt at projecting it on a wall then tracing it onto a big sheet of bristol board.

This is the picture that I’m basing the costume on.  I don’t think I’ll be making the arm bracers though as I want people to see my hand with the Triforce painted on it.  The only thing i still have to get is another belt for my sword scabbard… which I also have to make… so much to do with so little time. What’s kind of funny is that when I went to the register to purchase the green fleece and brown belt, the cashier actually guessed what I was going to be… he must follow this blog:)  I’ll take a picture of my complete costume when it is finished.

 

 

Bomberman Land & Spyro

So my two latest Value Village finds were Bomberman Land and Spyro:  A New Beginning… but you probably could have figured that one out if you read the title of this post.IMG_3279  Let’s start with Bomberman Land for the Nintendo Wii.  If you are familiar with the series, you were probably anticipating that this game would be a good multi-player game.  If this is the case you will be greatly disappointed.  Bomberman Land plays better on solo as the multi-player aspect seems like more of an after thought and was not done very well.  This game is basically a lot of mini-games, but don’t let this throw you off.  I realize that there are a ton of mini-games on the Wii that are absolutely horrible so I wasn’t expecting much when I bought this title; in fact the only reason I bought it was that it’s trade value is double the $9 I paid for it.  But surprisingly the min-games are actually quite fun.  I’m not really sure what the game developers were thinking by making us have to have to actually “look” for the games rather than simply having a list to choose from, but this is a minor issue.  Overall, Bomberman Land is pretty good and seeing as how it is all colourful and cute it can be played at a small party without feeling too nerdy.  This is always a plus for me so if you see it for cheap I recommend you pick it up.

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Spyro: A New Beginning while originally a game for the Game Cube, but now on the DS is a decent.  I’ll admit that I’m not really that familiar with the Spyro series as I never had a Play Station back in the day, however this title is rather fun.  The combat feels very similar to that of Zelda, and when you destroy an enemy, crystals pop out that either recharge your health, or power ups like fire breath.  The best part of the game is the voice acting by Gary Oldman.  His small role as the pimp Drexel in the movie True Romance was by far my favourite, and while this falls way short, still adds a lot to the overall story.  Again, as with many games, I picked this up for it’s trade in value.

I’m mostly interested in completing my NES collection (I’m 26% there) and and good SNES games.  Thus I often pick up these other titles with hopes that I can trade for what I am looking for.  However if these titles don’t trade quickly, then I will proudly store them on my shelf with no feelings of shame:)

Heads up 7Up!

Does anyone remember that stupid game back in early elementary school called “Heads up 7up”.  Basically it involved seven students going to the front of the room while all the other students put their heads on the desk face down.  The seven people would then secretly tap one of the face down students and proceed back to the front of the room.  The teacher would then say “heads up seven up” where upon the students who were tapped tried to guess whom it was that had touched them.  If they guessed correctly, they earned the right to trade positions with the person at the front that touched them.  It was such a dumb game, but it was a distraction from doing school work so I happily went along.

ImageAnyways it reminded me of a recent addition to my NES collection called Spot.  Everyone from the late 80’s and early 90’s remembers the 7Up mascot Spot!  He was always so cool and just chillin with a cold tasty 7Up beverage.  They made a few video games with him as the main character.  The SNES and Genesis version of the game is a platformed with very decent graphics and what looked like fairly good gameplay.  So when I was browsing some NES titles to pick up I thought I would give Spot a try… after all I do enjoy a good platformer.  I was very disappointed… right from the start of the game I found out that this was not a platformed, but rather a puzzle game similar to backgammon.  Yuck.  If I wanted to play backgammon I would have dusted off our old board!  After giving it an honest shot, I have to say that the game is not that good and if I had spent top dollar on that title as a kid I would have felt ripped off.  Seeing as how I paid $6 for the game, I don’t feel as cheated.  Still though, very disappointing.

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The next game I tried out was Kirby’s Adventure as this game has been reviewed as being one of the best titles for the NES.  CGR Undertow gives it a big thumbs up for creativity and enjoyment.  Usually I agree whole-heartedly with the CGR boys, but on this game I really feel they missed their mark.  You can’t possibly put kirby up there with Mario, Link, Mega Man, or Samus.  Granted there are not many games out there that could compete with this foursome, but Kirby falls well short of the mark.  Granted, I didn’t play it on my NES… I played it on the Retro Duo, and thus it is possible that it was not emulated well.  That and the Retro Duo controller sucks big time!  Considering CGR Undertow gives the game props, I’ll give the game a second try however this won’t be in the near future.

I was feeling kind of down.  Two games that had a lot of potential and fell short of the mark.  For a second I was rethinking the collection of NES titles in favour of the SNES or N64 games.  However that feeling was short lived after playing a little Mario… though again the emulated music was terrible!  It is just a pain in the butt to take down my NES from the it’s display, hook it up, and blow in the cartridge 50,000 times to get it working.  As music is very important to the video game experience, perhaps I shouldn’t be so lazy.

In the meantime, I’ll just reminisce in my childhood when life was so much simpler where the only responsibility I had was to get home in time to watch the Transformers/GI Joe hour:)