I Bought Some Stuff! 8/3/2013: Time for some catch up.

Man, when’s the last time I did an entry on the stuff I bought? Back in January, to be exact. I thought a video would be an interesting way to document them, but then I lost motivation and it took me months to finally sit down and make said video. I’m more of a writer, and making those videos, even for something like these, felt like a lot of work, so this will be the second and final one.

There’s a lot of stuff I’ve gotten in the months in-between. A bunch of PlayStation games, cheap magazines, games from across the ocean, and undeniably some of the most interesting stuff I’ve found yet.

2021 Note: I eventually went back through the video and transcribed most of the video to make this post here in text form. You can see the original video here if you’re curious, but I don’t think it’s really worth watching.

Free! – Katamari Damacy (PS2)

One of the rare things I didn’t buy but felt like highlighting here. An old friend, Veronica, who draws the cool webcomic Bittersweet Candy Bowl, was doing a bit of a spring cleaning and was offering some games to give away, and I requested for this, since I had heard of the Katamari series of games, but never played any of them.

It even came in a fancy packaging envelope showing Veronica’s absolutely awesome art. As for the game itself, maybe I’ll get around to playing it someday and seeing what all the fuss is about.

You should check out Bittersweet Candy Bowl alongside the Sonic the Hedgehog fancomic series Not Enough Rings, as they’re really good art. Just wanted to give a shoutout.

The disc was initially in pretty bad shape, I had to go to my usual mom’n’pop game shop Video Game Wizards to get it resurfaced, and it works good as new.

$20: God of War Saga (PS3)

$10: Injustice: Gods Among Us (PS3)

$5: Band Hero (360)

$5: Guitar Hero II (360)

$7: Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure (Wii)

A bunch of fairly current-gen stuff that I got for deep discount. With the exception of Guitar Hero II, all of these were snagged at various GameStops, which is surprising considering how many horror stories I’ve heard from others.

I couldn’t pass up five God of War titles on PS3 for $20. Unfortunately two of them — Chains of Olympus and Ghosts of Sparta — were digital download only codes that I found out only when I removed the plastic wrap, and the code had expired. Thus I have three God of War games instead of five. Oh well, God of War: Origins Collection, which is the PS3 remasters of those PSP titles, is probably worth the $10 or so asking price.

I may not be into DC Comics or fighting games, but a fighting game by the Mortal Kombat people at $10 was a pretty good steal. (2021 note: They eventually gave this game away for free on Steam. While the PC port has poorer netcode, I realized I no longer need this game on the PS3. I probably will get less than half of what I paid for it if I trade it in anywhere, but that’s the way game trading goes sometimes.)

With Band Hero and Guitar Hero II, I now own every game in the Guitar Hero franchise that was released on the Xbox 360. When it comes to rival Rock Band, I still got a ways to go. Plus I’m still asking myself: do I really need stuff like Green Day: Rock Band? At least Lego Rock Band has bangers on it like “Ghostbusters.”

Zack and Wiki is one of those Capcom games on the Wii that I’ve heard is one of those underrated gems. Seeing as how I barely use my Wii, I’d love to try something that’s not a schlocky shooter like Red Steel or The Conduit.

– $2: KISS Pinball (PS1)

– $2: Wheel of Fortune (PS1)

– $3: Golden Nugget (PS1)

– $3: 007: Racing (PS1)

– $4: Air Combat (PS1)

– $2: Snowboarding (PS1)

I was a big Nintendo kid throughout most of the 90s. I had eventually got a PSone in the early 2000s — the smaller PlayStation they released around 2000 or so — but never had many games for it. This was me trying to change that.

Air Combat is the first title in the long-standing Ace Combat franchise. While it probably doesn’t hold up as well as the later installments, I thought that getting a game from that famous franchise would be a decent get.

Wheel of Fortune is obvious: I’m a game show nut, and at $2 I couldn’t say no. I seem to own most of the Wheel of Fortune video games, so might as well keep going. (2021 note: Nowadays there’s several Wheel games I don’t have, so my video’s statement of “owning every Wheel game” is just as inaccurate now as it was then.)

KISS Pinball and 007: Racing were pure garbage game buys. The former’s probably a passable digital pinball game featuring that ridiculous glam rock band, and the latter is a bad action-racing game by the future makers of Ride to Hell: Retribution. I have a penchant for liking trash, and I couldn’t resist either. I feel bad for PlayStation-only owners as they never seemed to get an amazing James Bond game, just two average ones and one garbage one.

I know it probably seems weird that I got a game simply called Snowboarding, but it isn’t when you realize why I got it. For a brief period in the 2000s, A1 Games was publishing a handful of D3 Publisher’s Simple Series of budget video games. This one is a localized version of Simple Series 27: The Snowboard. Presumably A1 did some basic level English localization to the title to bring it to the US. This was made by developer Atelier Double, the ones who ported The Bard’s Tale to Famicom and NES in the late 1980s. They’ve done a lot of other stuff, mostly in Japan. You can check out the Game Developer Research Institute article on them if you’re curious.

– $2: Cybermage: Darklight Awakening (DOS)

– $2: Terrorist Takedown (PC)

– $4: CTU Marine Sharpshooter (PC)

– $3: ESPN’s 2-Minute Drill (PC)

These were all gotten on separate trips, but I figure it would be smarter to group these together since the rest of the things I got are grouped.

Cybermage: Darklight Awakening intrigued me. A first-person shooter published by Origin Systems before they got absorbed into the monster that is Electronic Arts? Color me surprised. The Rob Liefeld-esque cover art also seemed appealing in a disgusting way. I wonder how it plays. It was made post-Doom, but pre-3D stuff like Quake. So probably poorly no matter what. Maybe EA can give this a remaster, provided they own the rights to it.

If you haven’t noticed, I like particularly junky bargain-bin shooters. I’ve been snatching up whatever ones I can find so I can use them as potential blog fodder, and these two I couldn’t pass up.

Terrorist Takedown is a shooter developed by City Interactive, a publisher/developer who’d later carve a niche with the modestly popular Sniper: Ghost Warrior franchise. At the time they had no major presence outside of their native Poland, so the game was published by budget label Merscom here in the States. There was a sequel, made during that phase where City Interactive kept pumping out bargain-bin military shooters made on Lithtech Jupiter EX — the engine that ran F.E.A.R. — and I’ve been keeping an eye out for that one.

As for CTU Marine Sharpshooter, this was a shooter made by Jarhead Games, a budget developer that I think was made from Pirahna Games, the developers of games like Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza. I’ve never played a game as a sniper that was any good, and I can’t imagine this being good either. (2021 edit: And sure enough, it wasn’t! I wrote about this in 2015, and you can read about that here.)

2-Minute Drill was a sports-themed hard quiz show that aired on ESPN that was modestly popular here. It’s an Americanization of the British game show Mastermind, but with more sports questions.

I honestly didn’t know there was a video game based on it. I bet it’s an alright adaptation. Here’s hoping it comes with host Kenny Mayne and a bunch of random sports personalities reading questions as if they’re bored to tears.

$2.03 – Nintendo Power Issue 17: Final Fantasy Strategy Guide, Nintendo Strategies Hint book, Game Informer issues 203, 207, 212, 213 and 233.

Always check the magazine sections in thrift stores. Sometimes you’ll find surprises like this. Most of the time you’ll be paying peanuts like I did, a whopping two bucks!

With Nintendo Power going defunct in late 2012, I have a feeling that a lot of the older issues are gonna probably start skyrocketing in value, so I had to grab this, despite I don’t own Final Fantasy on the NES. Sadly the copy I got is a bit worn with some of the pages stuck together, which I eventually tried to correct and probably damaged the resale value.

The Nintendo Strategies book is interesting. It’s made by Publications International, ltd, a company that usually sells cheap-form puzzle books and cookbooks. Matthew White is the credited editor, and I don’t know if these were made from a sister publication or something Publications International made for themselves. Either way, this was likely made to snag some sweet money from people wanting Nintendo tip books. I’ve never seen this in the wild before, and as far as I know I don’t know anybody else who has this. Maybe I should get in contact with one of those video game archivists like Frank Cifaldi and see if they want to add this to their collection.

As for the Game Informer issues, they were merely a bonus to the other two things I got. The covers are, in order: L.A. Noire, Bulletstorm, inFamous 2, “The 30 Characters Who Defined a Decade,” the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, and Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel. I’m not a big Game Informer person — I’m only familiar with it because of the Replay series of videos — but I bet there’s some decent content within. At worst it’s just promotion for games you can buy at your local GameStop.

I got lucky on the “30 Characters Who Defined a Decade” cover as they are three cover variants, of which I have the first one. It has a good sampling of characters on it: Master Chief from Halo, the male Shepard from Mass Effect, Alyx Vance from Half-Life 2, Razputin from Psychonauts, Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright.

$2: Madden NFL 95 (Genesis)

My friends at Hardcore Gaming 101 do a monthly event called Game Club 199X, where members of the community are given a game and basically play along to it. For some reason, Madden NFL 95 for the Genesis and SNES was chosen. For the record, despite the community being full of gamers with varying levels of genre expertise, I can say with authority that we suck at sports games. You can read the thread about us playing along here.

It’s the second Madden game I actually own besides John Madden Football ’92 — that’s the one with the ambulance driving onto the field when a player gets injured — and it seems alright from what I played. A friend of mine played against me through an online service, and beat me in overtime. Haven’t really touched it much after that, but it seemed like a Madden game.

$7: Music from the Xbox Video Game NHL Rivals 2004, Hang On / Safari Hunt (SMS), Marksman Shooting / Trap Shooting (SMS), Choplifter! (SMS), After Burner (SMS)

I wasn’t expecting to find a music CD, especially for the hockey game NHL Rivals 2004, that brief time where Microsoft flirted with doing sports games to rival 2K and EA’s markets and failed. I should probably write about this one. (Update: I eventually did! You can read about it here.)

The Master System games were the bigger surprise. I honestly thought that if the games were there that the system was also there, sadly it was nowhere to be found. At least now I have a Master System collection despite no Master System. Downside is that a few of these games require the Light Phaser, which won’t work on modern televisions.

$20: All for Sega Genesis/Mega Drive: Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Flashback: the Quest for Identity, Prince of Persia, Roadblasters, Saturday Night Slam Masters, Desert Strike, NHL 96, Mutant League Football, Road Rash II, Dragon’s Fury, Dragon’s Revenge, McDonald’s Treasureland Adventure, The Lost Vikings

So I know a friend who knows a friend who likes to dumpster dive. He found a Sega Genesis and a lot of games. I stopped by the dude’s place and gave them a whirl, while also doing a metric ton of contact cleaning with rubbing alcohol to get the games to work. I eventually took a modest stack of the games for a flat fee, with us looking at eBay for price references for the rest. (This was before we knew pricecharting.com existed.)

I ended up passing up a few of the titles, and in hindsight were probably the biggest mistakes I ever made. One was Hellfire, a shmup from Toaplan, makers of the infamous Zero Wing; Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, an adaptation of the arcade game ported by Sega themselves; and Contra: Hard Corps, the brutally hard Contra title for the system. A couple were because I couldn’t get them to work after multiple attempts at cleaning, but in the case of Contra I didn’t want to lowball the guy. In hindsight, I should’ve grabbed it anyway as it goes for $30 for just the cartridge. (2021 edit: As of 2013, anyway. Nowadays the cartridge goes for about $45-50 on average, with complete-in-box copies going for over $120. Again, severe regret on my part.)

I’m not gonna cover each and every individual game, but this definitely boosted my Genesis collection considerably. Again, was a Nintendo kid until the 2000s, and while I had a Genesis, it was strictly the Sonic 2 and Toejam & Earl machine in my house.

I got a lot of stuff out of all this. I’ll try my best not to space these too far apart in the future. And I’ll likely stick to writing about these, I don’t think I’m cut out for video. See y’all again when I show that I bought some stuff.

(Updated on 3/30/2021: Converted the originally sparse list and video link, to a more comprehensive list with pictures.)

B.J. Brown

I'm the creator and writer of You Found a Secret Area. Fascinated by obscure pop culture and wanting a place to write about curated stuff, I created the blog in 2012 and have been running it ever since. Also on Twitter. (Pronouns: she/her, they/them)

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1 Response

  1. April 16, 2021

    […] if you’re morbidly curious. If I knew how much of a hot mess this game was gonna be when I bought it back in 2013, I would’ve left it on the CD rack of the thrift store I bought it […]

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