Loot of January

Hello!

Time for the first of these for this year, quite a few new items thanks to
Retrogathering which I visited yesterday. I don’t think I have ever spoken to
as many nice people in one day before, the entire day was a real success!

Quite a strange feeling when you can travel 14 minutes from home and find
SFC games for sale, even if it is just twice a year:

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A few Strategy games for my secret strategy corner, hehe.
Really good prices and condition even if I already own a Power Monger.

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Oh yes, the Dreamcast version of Pier Solar! I will make a longer post
about it when I finally get to playing it. I haven’t touched the game
since the original Megadrive/ Genesis release but it is my favorite game
on that system and I am really impressed that they manage to complete
that project. I spoke a lot to one of the developers yesterday,
bought the game from him and even ended up on the same train home, hehe,
a real pleasure!

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Finally bought Ar Nosurge as well, a shame that it took this long
since I really like Ar Toneclio, at least 1 and 2.
High expectations on the soundtrack!

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This is another thing I have been looking for, yet another version of Xenosaga
the Animation, sadly it seems to be really discolored on the back side,
the stickers and other damage is only on the shrink-wrap but I suppose that
I will have to get another copy…

Last but not least we have the Tales of Berseria Collector’s Edition:

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The annoying part about collecting is of course when items arrive
badly packaged or not in as good condition as you expect. Most stores,
especially here in Sweden are terrible when it comes to packaging and sadly
the Berseria box got a bit damaged…
The inside of the box was at least really nice, all the standard items like
mini soundtrack, artbook etc but those mini figures will look cute together
with the rest of the Tales of chibis and the badges also look superb!
A nice bonus is how good the game is (so far), hehe.

Aside from these I actually have a few more expensive games on the way,
aside from limited boxes I don’t buy THAT many expensive games but sometimes
you need to add some of those to spice up the collection! Stay tuned, haha!

Beaten games 2016

Oh yes, it is finally time, I have really looked forward to writing this
list for some reason. Maybe because it has been a quite good gaming year,
in a way the best, I did beat more games 2013 but that list included a lot
of easy and short games for NES and PC, this year have a lot of massive
and long-awaited games.

I didn’t have any specific goals this year but I did beat 71 new games and
reached a total of 778!

I will follow the same setup as last year and try to list some favorites
at the end, just a small text for each game, some of them already have
longer posts and some might get one in the future but feel free to ask
if you want to know more about any of them. I try to avoid spoilers.

Enjoy:

—NES—

Strider
A bit too simple but not a bad game, its hard not to think about Megaman
while playing this Capcom title.

Dragon Fighter
Another too simple game, over before it started as well,
the next NES game will be number 100!

—SNES—

Dragon Quest 2
Ah, this is where the series is truly born and adds a lot of the things
we all know today as typical Dragon Quest. I prefer the first game but
it feels good to finally have visited the roots even if it is a remake.

Earthbound
Already did a post about this one, but yes it is good
and it is crazy that I waited this long to play it etc.

Kero Kero Keroppi
This also got a small post, the RPG for kiddies, one of the shortest
there is, I don’t want to judge it too hard but there is a lot of better
SNES games to play, hehe.

Majuuou
It does have some cool graphics and interesting parts but not a
“hidden gem”, only crazy collectors would buy this.

Energy Breaker
Another game that I wrote a lot about, I have looked forward to play
it for years and it lived up to my expectations!

Mickey to Minnie Magical Adventure 2
Not my type of platformer but I think a lot of people would like it.

Mickey to Donald Magical Adventure 3
Same as the second game, no major differences.

Marvelous
I already wrote about this as well, I thought is was an RPG until I
played it, more of an adventure/point and click game. Still good though!

Melfand Stories
A nice but maybe too simple beat em up, still look forward
to try it in co-op!

Dragon Quest 3
Since I played the SNES version it was easy to forget that it was
originally on the NES, the world feels far too big and well designed
to ever be on NES but the story and some other parts reveal its true form.
I would probably put it above part 1 and 2 at least.

—GBA—

Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland
Again, not my type of platformer, Kirby may be cute and the graphic
quite nice, but the whole concept of stages feels dated and the lack
of challenge doesn’t help.

Sonic Advance
I held right and I won the game… same as Kirby, the concept is not
to my liking these days and I have never understood the terrible
level design in Sonic games. The highlight was the final boss(es).

—DS—

Dragon Quest IX
It started out great but ended up quite weak, not too much to say,
just another Dragon Quest! Only part 5 and 7 left to beat before
11 finally arrives!

Metroid Prime: Hunters
My poor trigger finger! I can’t believe how bad this is, well, playable but the
level design or rather the entire design of the game is just so far away
from what usually makes Metroid games so good…
The worst part is probably where you have to escape the planet with a
timer EVERY time you beat one of the 8 bosses.

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
I want to like it more but sadly I found a broken strategy that ended
all battles in 2 minutes which destroyed the mood of the game a lot.
I might return someday and play it more seriously.

—3DS—

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
The last and by far easiest installment. The more “open” world was a
really nice variation from the other games and it was a good “end” to
the series. Hopefully we will get the “Lady Layton” game soon!

Bravely Second
Sadly it doesn’t do anything new, just the same game as
Bravely Default once more. Not bad, just redundant.

—Wii—

Super Paper Mario
This was a surprisingly good game, not as good as Paper Mario or
Thousand Year Door of course but being able to play as the princess and
use her “float” ability is something I really have missed since Mario 2,
this is more of the direction I would want the Mario games to go in!

Iwy the Kiwi
When I finally understood the simple controls it was quite an enjoyable
“puzzle” game. The end actually got to me, such a plot twist!

Donkey Kong Country Returns
This was exhausting, played most of it in co-op but finished it myself,
Rayman Origins was better in every way. I looked forward to hear some
new arrangements of old songs but when it turned out EVERY song was
reused it just became boring.

—WiiU—

New Super Mario Bros U
These games are always good but I beat them in one sitting and never
look back, it’s just not the same as when I was 6 years old and played
Mario 1-3 over and over…

—Megadrive—

Sub terrania
Somewhat interesting but it was just too hard to finish without
guide/ save states.

Twinkle Tale
A cute and nice shoot em up, every game in the genre that don’t take
place in space gets bonus points from me!

—PS2—

Wild Arms Alter Code F
Love the original, this lacked the amazing tiles and graphic but it was
still nice to revisit the world and the story.

Metal Saga
This already have a long post, one of the games that I will
really remember as special.

Shining Tears
Third time is the charm, finally beat this odd “twin stick action RPG”,
much more fun in co-op but I really wanted this on the list and beat it
myself. A few annoying story triggers but overall a really nice game.

Graffiti Kingdom
A very simple Action RPG that took me back to the days of
PS1 and Brave Fencer Musashi, ahh.

Full Metal Alchemist
This would have been great with a higher budget but now it is quite so-so,
if you like the anime and RPGs you will probably like this a lot!

Full Metal Alchemist 2
Same as the first game, some things are highly improved but some are
actually worse and I probably prefer the first game.

—PSP—

Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
This should get its own post since it or rather the series has some
“masterpiece qualifications”. I will get back to it once I have played
the second chapter. But the characters, story and especially how it is
told is on another level compared to almost every other game! Wow!

—PS3—

South Park stick of truth
I was a bit skeptic as usual when games are based on TV series but this
is a good game for real, not just compared to others like it. If you
like South Park even a little bit you need to play it.
A bit too easy maybe but overall they got it all right!

Final Fantasy 10-2 HD
I haven’t touched this since the original was released but the game was
EXACTLY as I remembered it. Great battles, ridiculously easy to beat but
impossible to do 100%.

Demon’s Souls
This also need a separate post but I am very glad that I gave it a
second chance all these years later. A lot of inspiring environments,
splendid level design and some interesting boss battles, (not as good as
I had expected though). Overall a really solid game, I believe I will prefer
this over the Souls games but I will give them a new chance as well.

Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
I will combine this in my Trails of the Sky text later but for now this is
only a few steps behind that game, this focuses more on the characters and
side events and the main story moves forward very slowly. This ended up as
my third longest game ever (93 hours) and by the end I felt that I really
knew the many playable and NPC characters. I’m usually not to fond of the
whole “school theme” and “bonding events” but in this game it works
extremely well. It does lower the score a bit that the game is quite
predictable in the way that it follows a formula of “class meeting,
side quests, exam, main quest” etc, one of the strong points in
Trails of the Sky was the very unpredictable story developments.

Oh well, a fantastic game that for some reason turns into a cavalcade of
XENOGEARS references in the last hour of the game, minor spoilers ahead
but you do get a gear, it uses the EXACT fighting pose and then they even
quote GRAHF!! It was a really unexpected turn of events and I still can’t
believe they did that in this of all games, I expected a
School simulator RPG and suddenly they are quoting one of my two
favorite characters of all time! I can’t get over that.

—PS4—

Final Fantasy Type Zero
I think I wrote about this before but an okay game with a
fantastic ending, also my first PS4 game.

The Witness
Ah, one of my brother’s top 10 games, I have followed the development
for years and looked forward to play it as well but in the end it will
probably not make my top 100, the biggest flaw is the lack of music
which drives me insane. If you like puzzle games this is of course a must
and it is fantastic in many ways but I will probably never get “100%”.

Dragon Quest Heroes
Already wrote about this too, Healix got to me, I will probably buy the
second game too.

Uncharted 4
Yeah, already covered. This is the definition of AAA and the things
you can only accomplish with money and a big team, it would take a
small indie team 100+ years to make this game which is quite
a crazy thought.

Valkyria Chronicles
Think this is covered? It has aged really well and still feels
like a well needed change of pace in the genre.

Star Ocean 5
probably one of the disappointments of the year, not bad but a much
“smaller” game than I expected, smaller in every aspect.

I am Setsuna
Also covered…? I still feel like this was a success with
the apparent flaws aside.

Hyper Light Drifter
FEZ + Zelda says it all! Or maybe I need to say that it is
overrated and look quite horrible. I often asked myself
“what am I looking at” during the game. But I liked the open world
and the combat was quite good and much more fast-paced
than I thought it would be.

Exist Archive
Amazing that we even got this in english. Odd story but not bad,
it is basically a budget version of Valkyrie Profile and the only
real problems are the repetition in environments (and enemies)
and also the broken skills, the game can be hard as nails or far
too easy depending on how you spend the few “skill points”.
Let’s just keep dreaming about Valkyrie Profile 3!

Axiom Verge
A very overrated metroidvania that looks and sounds terrible,
I had to lower the sound effects to 20% to even be able to play it…
but despite that, I did enjoy it and will probably try
hard mode as well since it was easier than expected.

Final Fantasy XV
Dare I say anything? It will probably get a longer post since it is
such an awaited game. On the other hand everyone else have already
said so much about it. I have never been this torn about a game,
some parts are just amazing and some are utterly terrible.
It has never been this obvious that a game is unfinished and the
“development hell” is really showing… sadly.

My favorite parts are by far:
-the world and just riding around on chocobos, that is amazing.
-Finally a RPG that uses REAL shadows, 10 years later than some
other genres of games… it adds a lot.
-The Armigers, they reminded me of the 12 weapons in FF5,
which I strongly like.
-The pitioss ruins, not for everyone but I enjoyed them more than
the rest of the game combined, also they were a fourth of the game
for me which is sad in many ways.
They will make the list of legendary bonus dungeons!

Parts that will get you worked up that I didn’t like, hehe:
-The story. There was none, well okay, there was but it
will need a longer post.
-It ties in with story but the character development and bonding
with the party didn’t work for me, it really destroys the mood when
they cut their sentences short or repeat the same thing 30+ times.
I liked the characters a lot more in the anime.
-The loading times!! They are not too bad if you just play normally
but if you want to do side quests/ hunts, they are a real problem
and I can’t believe how bad they are.
-okay I will have to make the long version of this after all…

Play the game but be prepared for a mixed bag.

Last Guardian
Hm, I see it as a bad thing that this was EXACTLY what I expected,
I wanted to be surprised but this really is Ico 2, or rather
Ico of the Colossus. The animal is by far the highlight,
it really feels like a real and living creature, as a player it
can get annoying when it doesn’t obey you but I was prepared for
that and never got frustrated. It sometimes shows and feels that
it is originally made for PS3 but there are some really spectacular
sights in there and overall it is great, if it was released 5 years
ago it would probably have gotten a much better reception
and reached the same status as Ico.

—Xbox360—

Vanquish
I, I don’t know what is going on, I somehow beat it and I believe
this is the most ridiculous story I have ever seen.

Gears of War
Wow, this was a really dated game, the genre have come far,
one of the worst final battles ever.

—PC—

You have to win the game
A simple platformer, the lack of music is quite maddening.

Noitu Love 2
So much work on the graphic and yet all you have to do is hold
right to win, a few interesting bosses but they need to be harder.

Adventures of Pip
Did I cover this? A nice platformer where you change between different
resolutions to get different abilities, 8 bit hero can use some
abilities you can’t use in 16 bit etc. Nice but don’t stand out
all that much.

Inexistence
A simple Symphony of the Night “clone” with a rather dark twist.

Momodora 4
Covered before! Wished it lasted longer but a real quality game.

Guacamelee
Think I covered this too, a nice mix of Metroidvania and beat em up!

Dust: an Elysian Tail
Also covered? A rather ambitious indie Action RPG, a bit too
repetitvie fights but I applaud the game never the less.

Ittle Dew
Covered! A very well designed Zelda clone, in Swedish!

Pink Heaven
Barely a game, just a short side story to Keroblaster.

Shantae Risky’s revenge
Did I cover this? I need to keep a list of that too from now on…
The only one I have played so far but I will be happy to return to
the other Shantae games.

1001 Spikes
Gah, quite frustrating but it has it’s charm, well maybe not,
I rather play VVVVVV.

Inside
Covered! One of the stronger releases this year and the most well
polished game ever.

Child of Light
Another covered game, the soundtrack was amazing and I really wish
Ubisoft makes something similar in the future.

AM2R: Samus Returns
Yeah, yeah, covered as well, what a game!
The Metroid game we all deserve!

Evoland 2
Thi-I-what the, words fail me, like I already said before,
this is somewhat my dream game.

Starbound
Never thought I would beat or even play this again but now that there
is a final release and they added a story etc. it actually turned out
to be good. Not Terraria level of course, but good. The highlights are
the boss battles and some of the very strange places you can find among
the billions of actual planets, a faaar better game universe than
No man’s sky have.

La-mulana
This game! Already covered as well but after accidentally beating
this on hard every other “hard” game like Demon’s Souls etc feels like
a joke, in hindsight I am glad about that mistake and it has really
taken me to another level of “power player” or what the kids say!

Undertale
Another overrated game that looks horrible, but yeah,
it was also playable and interesting, loved the crazy final boss.

Owlboy
Just like FFXV and Last Guardian a much anticipated game.
I have always seen this as a platformer but in reality it is a
twin stick shooter with graphic and level design like a platformer…
an odd combo that actually works, throw in godly pixel graphic
and a decent story and we have Owlboy.
The biggest complaint is the lack of challenge.

Evoland
A joke compared to the second game but the same theme of
mixing games, Zelda, FF7, Mario, Diablo, all in one short game!

Transistor
Final game both on the list and for the year!
After Bastion I expected more… This was over in 4 hours and I didn’t
have the time to understand the battles or the story in that time.
It really felt like it was closing in on the end as soon as you hit
“new game”. Odd game.

Puh! That was intense, both the gaming year and writing this.
Let us lastly try to nominate some games of the year:

My favorite games released 2016:

1: AM2R: Samus Returns
2: Final Fantasy XV
3: Inside

My favorite games played 2016:

1: Evoland 2
2: Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky/Cold Steel
3: AM2R: Samus Returns

My worst games played 2016:

1: Metroid Prime: Hunters
2: Gears of War
3: Vanquish

Yeah, Evoland 2 must take the cake for this year!

That’s all but something tells me the next year’s list will also be
quite interesting and MIGHT even change my top ten list for the first
time in 10 years.

The end of 2016

Phew, already closing in on the end of this year, it has gone by very fast but
it also been a very intense year which probably explains why I haven’t made
that many posts.

This will be the short version of my year, first the games, as you will see
when I put up my complete list for the year (around next week) this ended up
as the most gaming intense year of all time, sure I beat more games in 2013
but that included a lot of short and easy NES and PC games, this time the
list has a lot of both massive and long-awaited games that
I never thought I would get to play.

Over all it has been a great year for the collection even though my budget
has been a bit shaky (not to mention the credit card fraud just days before
christmas, huhu). The PS2 collecting has gone far beyond my expectations
and will hopefully be completed early 2017 even if a lot of good games and
limited editions are being released at that time.
As I have mentioned the Xeno items are far apart these days but looking
at the entire year it has still been a few nice additions.
Most of my collecting this year has only been possible thanks to people
trading or buying my duplicates etc.
Many thanks to everyone I have done business with during the year!

As for the non-gaming related year, my sister gave birth to one of those
small creatures that will one day be forced to play RPGs at her uncle’s!
No but seriously, I was quite surprised and not too happy about the sudden
revelation at first but now that the little Freja is about six months old
and starting to learn a few things we all love her and I am surprised how
well my sister is holding up, I know exactly how much you have to offer to
raise a kid and I never saw my sister as someone who would do that.
Luckily she has the best of fiancées supporting her and I really do look
forward to see what kind of person the baby will become!

Only weeks after the birth, our great-grandmother died, nothing surprising
when you are 90 years old of course but still sad.
My brother has also had a minor (well, probably major for him) life crisis,
more or less every close friend and family has moved during the year,
I have met a lot of new people and also a lot of old people who I only had
known through text until now… Phew, just a lot has happened and in the
end I will remember this as a great year!

Let’s end this with the thing you all like, pictures of games!

I was quite surprised to find 4, FOUR RPGs waiting under the
christmas tree for me, I suspected Dragon Quest would be there but this
made me feel like a spoiled kid, haha:

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Combining this with the Steam sale and the upcoming games like
TALES OF BERSERIA and NIER AUTOMATA makes it feel like next year
will be a true gaming year as well.

I also entered one of those secret santa threads and received something nice:

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I would be happy to get anything besides crappy christmas candy but
this was far beyond my expectations!

And lastly, I just want to wish a -Happy New Gaming Year-
and thank all of my readers with this picture:

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Another minor update

It seems like I always make excuses about not making more posts or
more informative ones… I really want to make something like that,
a real analysis of Xenosaga or maybe another of my favorite games or
just decide what I want to do with the SFC-section or even the ever
so secret project, guh.

Anyway, at the moment the thought about beating 1000 games is quite
consuming, I just keep on beating those games and at the moment I
really enjoy it and have spent all free time on that instead of
other projects. This has been a crazy year with a lot of games I
never thought I would see the end of, not to mention that both
Final Fantasy XV AND Last Guardian is just around the corner.
I look forward to write the “beaten games of the year list” that
probably will follow the same formula as last year,
look forward to that!

I have manage to sell a few of my repaired/ cleaned consoles lately
but my storage is still more cramped than ever thanks to a new
mountain of about 5 moving boxes from a friend…
It will take ages to go through it all.

As for the collecting, this is actually the final stretch and
these are some of the last missing games:

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Surprised Jade Cocoon 2 was left until the end and Tsugunai was
quite the pain but it is all coming together. I do have some
trouble finding RPG maker 3 and the limited editions of Persona 3
and Devil Summoner 2, the shipping is usually too high to ship
here or the condition is just too bad. Oh well, they will appear
sooner or later but I had hoped to finish this by the
end of the year.

Well, time to finish up some games and get ready
for the long-awaited FFXV!

My (non Xeno) Posters

Wow, it has been a while since I wrote something, partly because the
collecting still is a bit slow and with all the new games being released
there is not much room to complete the PS2 collection at the moment.
At least a few titles are on the way and it is not that many left in total.

Another reason for the lack of posts is my continued high rate when
it comes to beating games with a few larger games finally finished
including Bravely Second, Dragon Quest III, Demon’s Souls and yesterday
even Exist Archive ended.

I will of course come back to all of them but for today let’s just make
a filler and look at some of the non-Xeno posters in the collection.

Sadly I will never be able to display and frame these posters so I
thought I would at least take pictures of them. A bit sad just having
them rolled up so I am open for offers on most of them but I do have
some favorites that I probably will keep:

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Romancing Saga Minstrel Song, I have yet to play
the game but it is a selling poster!

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Seiken Densetsu 4, I thought rabbites in 3D was enough to make
the best game, sadly I was wrong and the poster is probably
better than the game…

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Tales of Legendia, My favorite of all the Tales of posters, the dark
colors in the background looks amazing and I unlike most people have
almost only good memories with the game.

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Valkyrie Profile, By far the best one, an original promo poster from
the PS1 era and not the PSP version. Both rare and beautiful, also the
only one I really wanted, all of the other were either bought on a
whim or part of other deals.

If you want to see some more (mostly Tales of) you can do it here:

The usual

The collecting has been a bit slow lately but I still managed
to put together a picture of the latest items:

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Some nice stuff, FINALLY a US Xenogears guide in better condition than my
old water damaged copy. Mario was a gift from my sister, the NES games
are 100% for nostalgia, hehe. The PS2 games to the collection of course,
I didn’t plan on getting the Rosenqueen edition of Mana Khemia 2 since I
already have both the “normal” limited US edition and the japanese box
but I got it a nice price and it is really rare to find here in Sweden.
Oh, and I also got a new item to the Xeno collection, the 2 disc version
of the US anime! Not bad after all.

And as usual:

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I finally thought it was time to fix up all my defect PS2 consoles,
I was surprised to find a few more PS1 hiding among them but took
care of those as well, after three days of chaos and cleaning some
of the dustiest machines I have seen 4 out of 4 PS1 is working and
4 out of 7 PS2. As a bonus three PS1 are chipped and play
all regions, wo! After all this I finally mastered how to put
together the somewhat tricky fat PS2 consoles, a real pain if it is
your first time opening one up, I still can’t believe I had the guts
to do it back when I got my first one to put a chip in.

A summer of games 15-20

Usually autumn is the time for games but this has been a real
gaming summer for me, let’s get right to some of the beaten games:

-15 Inside-

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It was a long wait but the end result is one of the most polished games.
Of course, not a game for everyone but this really is the game I had hoped
it to be and all the things Limbo wasn’t. I know a lot of people was
disappointed by especially the ending and most seem to miss the fact that
there is a cool story told through the environments etc.
I would probably have missed a lot too but luckily me and my brother
spent 5 extra hours on analyzing it all after I beat it on his PC.

-16 Child of Light-

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I bought the PC version on release but sadly my computer back then
was too weak. Playing it now was beyond all my expectations back then,
I was sceptical about a “platform” game where you just can fly everywhere
and I was sceptical about all story being written in rhyme but somehow
it actually works and it turned out to be one of the better RPGs
in modern time. The music is of course a big part of that,
Aurora’s theme is a true masterpiece. I regret not choosing the
harder difficulty because the fights was far to easy.
Such a beautiful and gloomy world.

-17 I am Setsuna-

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It hurt my collector heart more than my wallet to buy my first
“digital” game at “full-price” but in this case the RPG heart won
since I really want to support Squareenix when they start a new
studio just to make RPGs like they used to be.
Everyone who has played it seems to agree that the big flaw is in
the variation, both in the music since all tracks are piano only and
in the environments since most of it is snow. Even the few real
dungeons look the same so you can’t blame the snow theme there sadly.
Adding to the low variation is the fact that I found a combo that ended
all but the boss battles instantly… so yeah, the main problem
is variation. Despite that, it did many things right and even if it
can’t live up to the old games it is trying to be it does
make a better job than most other games these days.
I look forward to see what the RPG Factory will do next.

-18 AM2R: Samus Returns-

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A project I have checked in on now and then for many years but never
thought I would be able to play! A really ambitious fan-remake of
Metroid 2, I don’t feel like writing too much about it, it is just
better to play yourself, a true Metroid game and a better remake
than Nintendo could ever hope to make.

-19 Evoland 2-

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What to say about this one, hm. It somehow feels like a dream and not
a game that actually exists,
a game I would have made myself if I could,
a game that is every game combined into an RPG,
a game that mixes resolutions, tiles and 3D and still gets away with it.
Maybe I am blinded since it is partially my dream game come true but I
REALLY enjoyed it.

Mostly the game is a simple action RPG, Zelda-style with levels but as
you play it just gets bigger and bigger, there is 2D platform sections,
Metal Gear style stealth, you get a ship and the game turns into both a
vertical and horizontal shooter, you travel trough time and each time
is represented by different graphic style, future is 3D, past 8bit,
present 16bit. My favorite part is probably when you replace the sword
with bombs and realize that you suddenly are playing a bomberman RPG
with levels etc!
There is so many references and sections from other games in here
that it is ridiculous. Usually I don’t like this kind of pointless
references about cakes of lies but in the end the game manages to
combine every game made into something truly unique, it even has the
best card mini game I have seen. Like I said, I may be blinded but this
was THE game for me, when you enter a factory, the battles turns into
ATB from Chrono Trigger and you find a tube with a Metroid in it,
it is just priceless.

-20 La-Mulana-

lm-screen

Rumored as one of the hardest and most cryptic of games I have been
saving this and I probably like the thought of the game more than the
game itself. I always wanted to see for myself how hard it could be
and try to beat it without a guide.
After about 30 minutes of playing I was sure I had seen everything
and looked everywhere…
I did end up using a guide for a lot of things, my will was not
strong enough.
The rumors where true and it is a very overwhelming game.
Even with a guide it not an easy task to beat this.

About halfway in the bosses became a real problem and a
guide couldn’t help me with that, luckily my patience is near infinite
and fighting the same boss for 3-4 hours and 50+ tries is not
a problem that will make me give up.
This more or less became routine when finding a boss but after 42 hours
I FINALLY beat the game of mystery and hardship.

I later found out that I had accidentally activated HARD 1/3 into the
game and made more enemies appear, the bosses had faster movement and
sometimes made 5 times the damage… also, there is no way to deactivate
hard once activated…
Oh well, beating one of the harder games on hard feels like a good
accomplishment and I strangely miss the game already.
Quite the hate-love situation.

The PS2 collection is coming along

It has been so long since I made a post about the PS2 collection that you
probably have forgotten that is what I am collecting at the moment…

I thought this would be an easy project compared to the SFC collection but
thanks to the high shipping costs from the US and the
“global shipping program” it has been a bit of a pain finding some titles,
if a seller wants $30 for a game the shipping and import charges end up at
$40 for a total of $70 which of course is too much
to pay for a used PS2 game.

Also, many sellers have a different view of “good” condition so a few
titles needs to be replaced later.

Oh well, overall the collection is coming along nicely and
these are the latest additions:

SMT
I saved the Shin Megami titles for later but now it is later and here are
half of them, I had hoped to have the Devil Summoner 2 box by now but
sadly the seller decided not to send it to me… I finally have
the Digital Devil box at least, I always wanted that one!

FFX!
A pile of Final Fantasy XI, I already had the Chains of Promathia Expansion
but there seems to be a jungle of editions of the main game?
The outer sleeve on this copy is damaged and needs to be replaced.

GrDiDu
FINALLY, Dual Hearts have been a cursed game for me. Both me and a
friend have been looking for it daily for months before a complete,
nice copy with a reasonable price appeared.
Grandia Xtreme has also been a high priority… for years.

PS2 overview
Not as nice as the SFC setup but this is how the main part of the
PS2 collection looks at the moment. NTSC RPGs at the top and PAL
ones below, I will of course take pictures of it all once
the collection is complete!

Top 10 SFC Box art

I can’t believe it took over a year before I finally made this post!
Of course the blog needs one of these.

It took some time but I finally added separate pictures of all the SFC games
so feel free to scroll trough them all in the SFC section. At least this gave
me a better picture of which ones needs an upgrade in the future and also
reminded me to do this list.

Of course I only include RPGs, and this is my personal list, feel free to
write your own favorites as well!

We begin with number ten:

10. Milandra
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The art itself is not that great but the white frame and
the colors make it a really nice box.

9. Ancient Magic
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This one is just amazing, look at that looming death,
the tastefully clad characters and symmetry!

8. Verne World
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Again, what colors! The more realistic art style and that really cool
structure in the background (no, not the totem).

7. YS V
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This is mostly based on nostalgia mayhap since that statue really
symbolize RPGs for me, more on that another time…

6. Seiken Densetsu 2
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There it is! I suspect it wouldn’t be list without it. I always feel a bit
annoyed when people praise the US cover of the game that shows one-third
of the picture and puts a black frame around…
and some unnecessary text… and extra logos.
Oh well, a good example of why I collect the japanese versions.

5. Tenchi Souzou
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What to say, one of the ten best games also got
one of the ten best boxes, glory!

4. Estpolis II
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Feel free to look up the box for Estpolis (Lufia) 1 and compare it to
this, the funny thing is that the same difference is true for the
actual games as well, haha.

3. Gaia Gensouki
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Mmmm, hard to capture the golden letters in the picture but the
gold and blue just goes so well together, I also love how the box
is a giant spoiler, haha. But very symbolic for the game and
nice in every way.

2. Rudra no Hihou
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That is one ominous box! Compared to Chrono Trigger or the old
FF games where they just showed the characters on a white
background this is truly a masterpiece. I especially like the logo
since it feels like it has become a part of the picture and not just
been put there in a simple font afterwards.

1. Tales of Phantasia
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Who could have guessed! The box art that made me pay four times the value
of the game all those years ago. I don’t regret anything, still my favorite
and somewhat a symbol of all the good games we never got.

Sorry Final Fantasies, Star Ocean, Romancing Sagas etc!

Xenosaga III , the 10th anniversary!

Believe it or not, somehow ten years have passed since Xenosaga III was
released in Japan on the sixth day of the seventh month 2006.
Of course it would take another 14 days before I actually got the game,
or god materialized as I called it back then.
It was actually my first japanese game and a relative helped me to
import it through Playasia. I am eternally grateful.
The US version had not gotten a release date yet by then and seeing
how most RPGs took 6-12 months to get an english version on the PS2
it was a huge surprise that we only had to wait two months
with Xenosaga III. Still, I couldn’t help but to play the
japanese version, at least try it for a bit, I still can’t believe
how magical that one moment was and still is to this day.

Part of the story is of course that I still lived with my parents,
had my first job and spent all the money earned on preparation for Xeno,
I remodeled my room to be worthy of this godly game, I hid away
everything unnecessary and distracting behind black cloth, in fact I
covered every inch of the room in black, all that was left in the end
was the newly bought bed, newly bought receiver and speakers,
and of course the newly bought projector and screen!
Everything had to be perfect and working, I also bought an extra PS2,
extra copy of the game, isolated the room from sound, and when it was
time for the actual US release, I also bought food supplies for a week and
isolated myself completely. Yes all of this was of course extreme,
in the room next door my brother also played the game on his ordinary CRT
and without isolating himself and spending thousands of dollars on
the one game… At least it gives some hint at my passion or maybe
madness when it comes to Episode III.

While I wish that I had some big announcement, have found some
spectacular rare item or finally written something deeper about
the game, I have not. I had ten years to prepare for this day
but all I can say is happy anniversary!

I will at least enjoy it in the very same fashion as ten years ago, well maybe
not as extreme but I still use most of the equipment from back then:

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KOS-MOS lurking in the corner, hehe.

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Once again, in the same place. It has begun.

(And of course there will be cake.)