Sunday Roundup: 5/19/13

19 May

New Games (5-19-13)Special thanks go out this week to JJ I met over at Splitkick. He pointed me toward a special 25% off sale at the game store eStarland (who also have a dated looking website to order games).

I went nuts.

On top of that, I picked up a few games off Craigslist that I’ve been looking to purchase for years. Seriously, years! And each of them were fantastic prices. Read on, as there are quite a few games this week to browse.

Viewtiful Joe Red Hot Rumble CoverViewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble
Release Date: March 22nd, 2006
Purchased at: GameStop (San Jose, CA – $3)

It’s strange, the Viewtiful Joe series was originally exclusive to the Gamecube, with the first two games coming out for Nintendo’s console before being ported over years later to the PS2. Red Hot Rumble, a fighting game spin-off for the series, was also exclusive to the GCN and then went to the PSP. Despite the Nintendo influence, I’ve come to own all three games solely on Sony’s hardware.

Harvest Moon Back to Nature CoverHarvest Moon: Back to Nature
Release Date: November 22nd, 2000
Purchased at: Craigslist (Sunnyvale, CA – $20)

My first gaming purchase off Craigslist! I couldn’t be happier with it either! I have been looking for Harvest Moon: Back to Nature on the PS1 for literally years. I scoured eBay only to find the game for upwards of $50, looked helplessly through racks of old PS1 games not to find it, and even saw the game for $120 on Amazon, but all these times I’ve passed (some for obvious reasons). But now thanks to a video game collector turned full-time father, I have the game in my possession. And in decent shape too!

Tales of Vesperia CoverTales of Vesperia
Xbox 360
Release Date: August 26th, 2008
Purchased at: Craigslist (Sunnyvale, CA – $15)

The same vendor sold me this game as well, and for an awesome price! Other outlets list the game for well over $20, if not $30! Though it isn’t multiplayer like other games in the series, I’m happy to have my hands on another Tales game, as I’ve ashamedly only played two games in the series. This one is an Xbox 360 exclusive. As with many RPGs on the Xbox, I wonder if it sold well enough to keep the game out of obscurity.

Beat Down CoverBeat Down: Fists of Vengeance
Release Date: August 23rd, 2005
Purchased at: GameStop (San Jose, CA – $2)

The two reasons are bought this game were the price and developer. Capcom puts out a lot of games, many of which, like this one, were handled by outside development companies. While I expect nothing from this game to blow my mind, I am at least partly intrigued by the plot. You play as a gangster beating up other gangsters as you try to escape from your gangster origins. So if you like gangsters…

Octomania CoverOctomania
Release Date: March 25th, 2008
Purchaed at: eStarland (Online – $4)

The cover caught my eye with this one. The Japanese anime style characters with light colors and a playful demeanor drew me in the moment I saw it. After some research I came to understand the game as a sort of Match-3 style puzzler, but with octopuses are the objects to match instead of the standard gems (or candy). Definitely looking forward to playing this one, if only to check out what it’s all about.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz CoverSuper Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
Release Date: November 19th, 2006
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $3)

A launch title for the Wii, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz isn’t the same game as it was on the Gamecube. I think Banana Blitz is still a fun puzzle game, and it still has aspects of Monkey Ball of yesteryear, but I just don’t like this one as much. I think the lack of worthwhile minigames may be to blame. Arguably the best part of the GCN’s offerings were the minigames, so having those lack here hurts. Oh, and the motion controls kind of suck for the actual puzzle gameplay.

WarTech CoverWarTech
Xbox 360
Release Date: May 29th, 2007
Purchased at:  eStarland (Online – $5)

From what I can tell, WarTech is a giant robot fighting game? I’m really not sure. The cover doesn’t tell the whole story here, but the title is very Japanese. Anime style characters, giant robots, I’m sure at some point the drama will get intense and I’ll be fighting to save humanity. You know, the normal stuff.

Spider-Man 2 CoverSpider-Man 2
Release Date: June 28th, 2004
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $3)

Spider-Man was my favorite superhero growing up. I shouldn’t have to defend that statement: you all know why he’s amazing/spectacular/… ultimate? Anyhow, Activision got the web-head’s moves down, because this game commonly regarded as the best Spider-Man game to date. Quite the accolade for a superhero who has been around since gaming’s earliest days. A large part of the praise went to the web slinging mechanic, as well as the diversity of missions and freedom of gameplay.

Splashdown CoverSplashdown
Release Date: November 5th, 2001
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $2)

Sony’s response to Nintendo’s Wave Race series, Splashdown is a very early PS2 water racing game. I haven’t played the game yet, but if it flat out emulates Wave Race, that wouldn’t be a bad thing. At all. Wave Race is good, solid, racing fun, and very few games have captured that as well as Nintendo’s hardened series. Let’s see how this game stacks up!

Splashdown Rides Gone Wild CoverSplashdown: Rides Gone Wild
Release Date: August 5th, 2003
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $3)

The sequel to Splashdown upped the ridiculous factor by adding crazy levels, additional gameplay elements, and more riders. I was turned on to the game by a fellow collector who praised the game’s arcade influenced gameplay and wacky level design. I’m happy to have found this one, both discovered its existence and bought the game, and I’m looking forward to playing it soon!

AirBlade CoverAirBlade
Release Date: January 28th, 2002
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $3)

So I picked up this game and Evolution Skateboarding because I couldn’t remember which one let you play as Solid Snake from the Metal Gear Solid franchise. After I saw AirBlade was made by Namco and thus not the correct game, I was still thinking I’d give it a try. If not for the price, then because it’s considered a spiritual sequel to the Dreamcast’s Trick Style.

Evolution Skateboarding CoverEvolution Skateboarding
Release Date: October 9th, 2002
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $4)

As stated above, this is the game that lets you play as Solid Snake. The Tony Hawk franchise was the skateboarding game to beat at the time, so dozens of knockoff titles came out. Though Konami is a respectable game company I don’t expect this title to give much. According to Wikipedia, there’s also a Castlevania themed song or character or something to unlock? So that’s there too…

Pryzm CoverPrzym: Chapter 1 – The Dark Unicorn
Release Date: June 11th, 2002
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $3)

A few things about the title:
1. That’s not how you spell “Prism”
2. This is “Chapter 1”, yet there is no chapter beyond the first
3. “The Dark Unicorn” is an absurd subtitle
Despite all this, the game is a generic looking early PS2 RPG that, naturally, is right up my alley.

Enter the Matrix CoverEnter the Matrix
Release Date: May 14th, 2003
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $2)

Enter the Matrix came out the same time (maybe even the same day) as The Matrix: Reloaded film, and acted as a side story to the movie’s plot. All reservations about the Matrix sequels aside, Enter the Matrix was actually a pretty cool idea: a game created especially for the consoles, with a unique storyline, new and returning characters, and a pretty neat hacking feature. The game wasn’t super well received, but some gamers really enjoyed it regardless.

PQ Pratical Intelligence Quotient CoverPQ: Practical Intelligence Quotient
Release Date: January 10th, 2006
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $5)

Argh! I knew the game was a bit on the high end online at $5, but I didn’t expect to find it a few days later to for just $1!! Ugh… Oh well, you can’t always win them all. PQ is a puzzle game with gameplay that will test your intelligence. Or at least that’s what it’s supposed to do.

Platypus CoverPlatypus
Release Date: November 17th, 2006
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $4)

A claymation side-scrolling shooter? Heck yeah I’ll play that. Platypus was originally an indie browser game, I believe. The PSP release caught me entirely off guard because I had no idea what I was looking at. Side scrolling shooters have that innate aspect that makes them instantly fun, and I’m hoping this one keeps that trend going.

Gunpey DS CoverGunpey DS
Release Date: November 17th, 2006
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $4)

I have always seen this game floating around at GameStop but never seemed to pick it up. Interestingly, there is a PSP version that is slightly different than this one. Namely, the PSP version has an altered play mechanic and different skins (or so says Wikipedia). The game wasn’t met with the best of criticisms, but it a rhythm game and I’m a fan of the genre. Plus, for only a few bucks I’d give it a go.

Secret Files Tunguska CoverSecret Files: Tunguska
Release Date: June 30th, 2010
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $6)

While searching online for good games to buy whilst taking advantage of the eStarland sale, I came across a few outlets speaking highly of the DS port of Secret Files: Tunguska. The game is a point-and-click adventure and, like the name suggests, explores the secrets behind the Tunguska explosion in Russia. I’m hoping the game is reminiscent of Hotel Dusk or even Virtue’s Last Reward in gameplay and storytelling.

007 Racing Cover007 Racing
Release Date: November 20th, 2000
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $3)

I originally thought this game was only released as part of the Collector’s Edition of James Bond PS1 titles (which also includes Tomorrow Never Dies and Medal of Honor for some reason). So I was surprised when I found out the game actually got an individual release as well. Regardless, the game is a James Bond themed racer that has some decent voice acting but average overall gameplay.

Tall Infinity CoverTall: Infinity
Release Date: August 20th, 2003
Purchased at: eStarland (Online
– $3)

I never heard of this game before, so I did what I usually do in these situations and researched the title. Tall: Infinity is a puzzle game that has you turning cubes and placing them on a cylindrical tower as you work. The game is supposed to be alright, and I’m always down for a new puzzler to test my wits!

Bombing Islands CoverThe Bombing Islands
Release Date: May 2nd, 2001
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $5)

Released years later on the Nintendo 64 as Charlies Blast’s Territory, The Bombing Islands has you detonating bombs on … well, islands. There are numerous locales to play through, and the challenge ramps up as you go. I actually remember the game, the Nintendo 64 remake at least, sitting on the shelves at the video rental store and thinking, “What a weird name for a video game.” I didn’t know that year’s later I’d come to own it.

You Dont Know Jack Mock 2 CoverYou Don’t Know Jack Mock 2
Release Date: November 1st, 2000
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $4)

I came across the first You Don’t Know Jack on the PlayStation a few months back and was delighted to see it was just as fun today as it was in the 90’s (although the pop culture trivia is no longer relevant to today’s pop culture. Naturally). I found out there was a second one, Mock 2, on the PS1, but this game actually has a different host! I didn’t even know there were multiple hosts, but apparently there are several. Cookie Masterson, the host of the first PS1 game and the Xbox 360/PS3 reboot, doesn’t host this game, so I’m kind of depressed by that. I’ll miss his humorous voice and silly antics.

Missile Command CoverMissile Command
Release Date: December, 1999
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $1)

Continuing my trend of purchasing old Atari games on the PS1, Missile Command came in as an incredibly cheap find. I haven’t played many old video games, Atari or otherwise, and Missile Command is no exception. I do, however, remember the gameplay: you act as, what, an air traffic controller or something, and you have to shoot incoming missiles down from the sky with what I can only assume to be other missiles. It’s strangely addictive, and if there’s an option to play with the vector graphics of the original I’ll be even happier.

Austin Powers Pinball CoverAustin Powers Pinball
Release Date: October 25th, 2002
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $2)

Yeah yeah yeah, I only bought the game because I like the movies and it was cheap. Moving on.

Rise 2 Resurrection CoverRise 2: Resurrection
Release Date:
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $5)

Rise 2 has a very memorable box: that weird bug-thing is looking at you like, “I’m gonna eat your soul!!” Anyhow, I knew nothing about the game besides that, so was happy to find that it’s a fighting game! But most of all, I was happy to find a complete Saturn game for just five bucks! That’s the real deal here.

Max Steel CoverMax Steel: Covert Missions
Release Date: December 5th, 2000
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $5)

I remember the TV show this game is based on: it was about an a kid who fought crime because he was injected with some special serum. You know, I really don’t remember much of the series, but there were a hell of a lot of commercials for it and the action figures it spawned. I never liked the show, and I sure as hell didn’t want to buy the action figures. The only reason I have this game is to add it to the Dreamcast collection and be one step closer to completion.

Tee Off CoverTee Off
Release Date: January 12th, 2000
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $3)

A golf game for the Dreamcast. From looking at the back of the case I feel like this is attempting to by Sega’s answer to Sony’s Hot Shots series of golf games: The characters look identical, and I’m willing to bet the gameplay is similar too. Hey, kind of of Splashdown; if you’re going to copy a game, at least make it a game worth copying!

NFL 2K2 CoverNFL 2K2
Release Date: September 19th, 2001
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $5)

Again, I only picked this one up to further complete the DC collection. I am curious though if I’ve seen this game in the wild before but kept passing it up because I thought I already had all the Dreamcast sports titles.

Frogger 2 Swampys Revenge CoverFrogger 2: Swampy’s Revenge
Release Date: October 10th, 2000
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $5)

Kind of in the same boat as Missile Command, Frogger 2: Swampy’s Revenge is a sequel to the PS1 remake of the original Frogger. This game however is much more of an adventure game, and strays even further from the root material. It will be the upcoming Frogger games in which the amphibian gets anthropomorphic arms and legs, and for all I know starts talking and collecting rings or some sort. Yikes…

Jet Moto CoverJet Moto
Release Date: October 31st, 1996
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $2)

I took a gamble and lost with this one. You can find the first Jet Moto at every other game shop that sells PS1 titles, but I either find it as a Greatest Hits version, in very poor condition, or for a terrible price. I saw this one online, for a great price, but there was no way of knowing whether or not this was going to be a Greatest Hits version. Oh well, it was only two bucks. The hunt somewhat continues! Side note: Great game!

Rascal CoverRascal
Release Date: March 6th, 1998
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $3)

There must have been an aggressive advertising campaign for this game because I remember seeing it in all kinds of gaming mags in the 90s. It appears to be a platforming adventure game, which are a dime a dozen on the PS1. Interestingly, the game is developed by Traveller’s Tales, the company that today works primarily on the LEGO video game series. Take a look at their old logo: pretty badass in my opinion.

Spin Jam CoverSpin Jam
Release Date: July 27th, 2000
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $3)

The cover art sells this game as a budget title, and for all I know it very well could have been. But to me, it’s a match-3 puzzle game that almost blatantly rips off the Bust-A-Move/Puzzle Bobble series. Considering I adore that series, I’m game for playing a clone, even if it isn’t as good.

Monopoly CoverMonopoly
Release Date: January 23rd, 1998
Purchased at: eStarland (Online – $2)

A board game classic! In the words of Bubsy: “What could possibly go wrong?” Monopoly on anything other than a physical board game board loses most all appeal. I haven’t played the PS1 version here, but I have played the version on the NES, as well as Star Wars Monopoly on PC. While both games have their endearing qualities (easily cheating on the NES and Star Wars references on PC), this PS1 version doesn’t look like it’ll provide anything I’d call fun. But it was only two dollars! That’s like what, Baltic Avenue’s rent?



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7 responses to “Sunday Roundup: 5/19/13

  1. Gary Smith

    05/19/2013 at 6:43 pm

    Wow, nice haul man. Real good deal on that Harvest Moon title, and it’s a great game too. I still have Harvest Moon 64 in the box with the manual that I got for Christmas years back when I was a kid (parents had to drive all over the place before they finally found a store that had it; a Toys-R-Us in a neighboring state). Always wish I could’ve found Back to Nature, but never did. Bought it on PSN a couple of years ago, but nothing like owning the physical copy though.

    • jsicktheslick

      05/19/2013 at 9:48 pm

      I agree: there’s something special about owning the actual disc/cartridge for a game. Maybe it also has something to do with the manuals and boxes they come with.

      And I think Back to Nature on the PS1 is pretty much the same game as Harvest Moon 64. The art style looks very similar, and I from what I read I believe the storyline is the same too. That being said, most every Harvest Moon title is the same story :p

  2. Eric @ The Warning Sign

    05/20/2013 at 8:30 pm

    Impressive haul! Lots of games I haven’t even heard of in there, too. I own that Bond Collector’s Edition you mentioned — all three are mediocre games, unfortunately.

    I did some game hunting myself recently. Didn’t have a whole lot of luck but did manage to pick up Brutal Legend, MAG and Rollcage: Stage II for a whopping $6 total. Hooray for cheap games! 🙂

    • jsicktheslick

      05/21/2013 at 1:12 pm

      Sadly I wasn’t expecting much from 007 Racing. Which is sad: it could have been so much better.

      And that is a great deal for those three games! I’ve never heard of Rollcage. What’s that all about?

  3. martianoddity

    05/24/2013 at 11:58 am

    Great haul!!
    Hah, Austin Powers Pinball! That’s awesome! 😀 But stay away from the Gameboy Color games, the one with Austin and the other with Dr. Evil. They stink.

    Monopoly is really cool, and if I’d get a good price I’d buy some too, especially the rudimentary Gameboy and NES versions.

    • jsicktheslick

      05/24/2013 at 1:01 pm

      I have great memories with the NES version of Monopoly. My brothers and I would play it a lot, but we’d always cheat a make the computer players (who were all peculiarly named, by the way) give us all their money and properties. So we’d always win. Haha, man, good times 🙂

      • martianoddity

        05/24/2013 at 1:24 pm

        That sounds like loads of fun! I’d probably do that too as a kid (and now too, most possibly!).


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