I don’t go to thrift stores all that often anymore. I’ve bought too many things over the years that I should write about, but haven’t gotten the time to. It also doesn’t help that thrift store hunting is an adventure in and of itself, so I think I can’t just hit one. But I did just hit one, and it was good to me.
I’ve mentioned Deseret Industries down in Portland before. It’s where I found a bunch of old demo discs from the 90s and 2000s for real cheap. I’ve found PC games I’d never expect to find, even stuff like a cardboard long box copy of NFL Gameday fairly recently. For some reason, this store tends to give me the best luck in finding stuff I wouldn’t expect to find otherwise, whereas I could go to the same Goodwill and be lucky to find a single thing I want, let alone several.
But enough about that, what’d I get?
Well, that’s an unexpected spread of games.
Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold (PC)
Mad Dog II is the sequel to Mad Dog McCree, the fairly popular laserdisc-based light gun game. It’s probably American Laser Games’ most iconic game, next to maybe Crime Patrol or Who Shot Johnny Rock. The sequel is however mostly forgotten, however it didn’t stop American Laser Games from porting it to every system known to man after its arcade run had finished.
I honestly bought this more as a lark. These games are fairly simple, easy to memorize, and beatable within 10-30 minutes. It’s just a novelty, through and through. Continue reading…
Hey, y’all. I’m really sorry about the dearth of updates as of late. For the past few months, I’ve been down in the doldrums. No drive to write, to make videos, to stream. Sometimes, something comes around that seems pretty neat and I’ll write about it. I haven’t missed a single month in the blog’s 5+ year history, and I’m not breaking the chain any time soon, so I felt it was time to write again.
Having a yearly tradition on this site helps a lot too.
Oh hey, it’s that logo again.
2017’s Portland Retro Gaming Expo happened last weekend, and it’s always a hoot to go. The cool deals, the amazing art, walking around the show floor and accidentally bumping into people like MetalJesusRocks and Bob Mackey of Retronauts among other notable people in the gaming internetosphere, the works.
Of course, as you can tell by the subject, I bought a few things.
Admittedly, at this stage in my collection career, I’ve slowed down in my collecting quest considerably. Most of the iconic games or systems that I’d want are just way out of my price range, especially for someone with fairly low income like myself. Though, seeing someone sell stuff like a JVC X’eye – a Genesis/Sega CD hybrid – or even visual novels entirely in Japanese is at least worth a look even if I can’t pony up the cash to own them.
However, I did walk away with a few things of interest, at least to me. Let’s go!
$2 – Soldier of Fortune: Gold Edition (PS2)
Soldier of Fortune is one of those underrated gems. While on the surface it’s a boilerplate action game with a clunky inventory system, the appeal was the occasionally mentioned GHOUL system, where you could literally blow limbs off with a shotgun.
Cranking the violence factor to 11 was literally the game’s appeal, as the first level gives you the shotgun real early to show off this GHOUL technology. Otherwise it’s an action movie game with some military leanings that existed in a pre-Call of Duty: Modern Warfare world.
Sadly, it may never get re-released digitally, because Activision often doesn’t care about their older franchises, plus the costs of relicensing the Soldier of Fortune name from the magazine of the same name probably wouldn’t recuperate costs to do it, even with frequent GOG and Steam sales. A shame, really.
2020 Update: Soldier of Fortune Gold, SOF II: Double Helix and the oft-maligned Payback are now available on GOG. I’d say the first two are worth playing. The third one I never played, though it’s by famous developer Cauldron, of which I talked about one of their previous games, Chaser, a few years back, so it’s probably some passable eastern-european jank. Get these while you can!
I own the original on PC – albeit it’s the later Platinum Edition release; and a Dreamcast release oddly published by Crave Entertainment. I didn’t know a PS2 version existed. Surprisingly, this was also not published by Activision, but rather published by a pre-Advent Rising Majesco.
They also touted four player split-screen multiplayer, as well as USB mouse and keyboard support, which puts it in the rare league of PS2 games that support mouse and keyboard for something besides text chat. Other games that use this include the ports of Half-Life and Unreal Tournament, and according to my friend weasel, Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, oddly.
Hey hi hello. It’s been a while since I posted, and it’s been rather rough for me lately to really get that drive to actually post stuff here. So this will be a fairly quick one.
I went to the Portland Retro Gaming Expo last weekend, as is custom for me. I’ve been writing about it almost every year, and it’s great as always. Nice blend of retro stuff from the Atari/NES days to even an Xbox system link section where games from Outrun 2006: Coast to Coast and Halo 2 were being played throughout the weekend.
Most of the time we were perusing and finding interesting things here and there with not a lot of purchases,at least for me. Despite that, we both saw cool stuff. I posted some of my pictures to the Secret Area Facebook page, deciding to not leave that place dormant. You should go to the Facebook page and give it a like and a share, btw. It helps a lot.
Before, I wrote blogs about the stuff I bought under the relatively boring “Game finds” title. I wanted something more punchy, more exciting. Then the name came to me. It’s sillier, but I like it better than the old one. So, re-introducing a semi-regular feature on the blog: I Bought Stuff!
This one will be all the stuff I got at this year’s Portland Retro Gaming Expo. I could go into great lengths about the PGRE itself, but I don’t think it’s necessary. I did get to enjoy classics like Outrun and Crazy Taxi, I saw some pro-level Tetris being played, I saw people play multiplayer Star Wars Battlefront 2 over Xbox System Link, and I met the guys who made Game Sack. This was a good year as always, and I anticipate the next year being bigger and better.
I will publicly admit that all but 2 of the things I bought were recent 360/Wii/PS2 stuff, mostly shooters. You could call me a “fake retro gamer” if you want, but I’ve gotten to the point where either I have everything I want, or the things I want are ridiculously expensive to me. For example, I totally want the Spyro the Dragon trilogy, but I ain’t paying $20-25 for each game, especially when I bought the entire trilogy on the PlayStation Network for a buck a piece. I am not one who can throw hundreds on Turbografx-16s, Steel Battallion controllers or even a complete copy of Panic Restaurant (though I give Chris Kohler guts for even offering $800 for it). So instead I go for the cheaper stuff, and that’s usually games from a generation or two back.
It’s probably the best time as any to start grabbing Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 stuff. As people are now full steam ahead on the more newer PS4 and Xbox One, some older games are gonna get harder and harder to get. So I got a fair share of stuff and junk. Let’s see what stuff I bought.
So much military stuff. What’s wrong with me?
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (Xbox 360)
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (Xbox 360)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Xbox 360)
Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360)
Call of Duty 3 (Wii)
So one of the booths, Another Castle based out of Edmonds, WA, was doing a ridiculous fire sale on Sunday. One of the aisles had 2 games for $5, or 5 for $10. Most of them were shooters or sports games, and I thought I’d grab some of the few that I missed out on for a good bargain.
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and GRAW 2 were pretty solid third-person shooters for their time. I don’t expect them to have aged gracefully, but the first one was the big action game people were playing on their 360s ’til Gears of War came along later in 2006. Since I had gotten Future Soldier earlier in the year, I thought I might as well grab all the remaining Ghost Recon games on the 360.
Funny enough, the only Gears of War game I owned at this point was the first. Heard that Gears 2 was a superior sequel, and I even heard good things about the later ones. I bet this would be a blast to play in co-op.
I always wanted to try Wii versions of popular 360/PS3 games, like Call of Duty 3. It felt like it was built for the Wii first, considering the ridiculous quick-time events involving fighting enemy soldiers. Here’s hoping I can get used to waggle motions, as I had difficulty playing through Medal of Honor Heroes II with it’s weird first-person shooter/light gun hybrid control scheme.
I had beaten Modern Warfare 3 in the past, back when I had a Gamefly subscription. Hell, I even wrote a blog on the shoddy PC port after dabbling in it on a Steam free weekend. I only got this because it the fifth game of the “5 for $10” deal. It was either this or EA’s Medal of Honor reboot from 2010, and I decided to go with the ridiculously over-the-top shooter as opposed to the copycat. (Update: In 2018, I would later play that Medal of Honor reboot from 2010 on the PC, and it turns out to be just as bad as I was expecting! You can read about that here.)
So this past weekend, I went to the Portland Retro Gaming Expo. It’s my fourth time to the con, and I remember when it was wedged into a small conference area in the DoubleTree Hilton near Lloyd Center to it’s current home at the Oregon Convention Center.
Last year I had recorded video footage from the event, but didn’t use any of it and didn’t write anything about it. This year, I promised myself I’d actually blog about it this time. Especially since the people that run the Expo actually linked to my entry from 2012, where I had gotten a bunch of stuff, talked to “Gamesmaster” Howard Phillips, and had David Crane sign a copy of Pitfall I found at the same expo. I have to thank the expo for even giving my podunk blog a few extra views every now and then. 🙂
This is more of a “what I saw” post. I didn’t spend much at the con itself, but I did find a bunch of really, really interesting gaming stuff. Join me as we look at some of the things these vendors had to offer.
See if you can spot all the references and crossovers at this booth.
One of the things I saw early on was a booth by Level Up Studios, one of those “gaming/nerd culture” sort of places that covers the gamut of common stuff. There were shirts based on current trends, including several based on Guardians of the Galaxy. I guess people really liked Rocket Raccoon and Groot.
Well, at least he’s going back to his roots…
But one thing really caught my eye: This shirt. It’s Sonic eating onion rings. Somebody must of have played a lot of that Sonic 2 XL Romhack that was popular around the web a few years ago. It also reminded me of one of those old Sonic communities I was a part of when I was a teenager.
Unfortunately I’m not big on wearing t-shirts that have designs on them. Even the many shirts I’ve gotten over the many years I went to PAX go mostly unused. So, sadly, I didn’t buy a shirt with fat Sonic on it.