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Only one game for December. In the process of home buying so I got to cut back on collecting for now. Will try to trickle in more games next year once I settle down.

Zanac x Zanac (Playstation)

A man with his head screwed on right—salut!

Great pick up, by the by.

Thanks! I've collected a fair amount of STGs this year, with Zanac x Zanax being on my wish list for a while. Figured it would be a good game to end the year on.

Going into next year I want to diversify and collect more on other systems besides the PSX and Saturn. Japanese N64 and PS2 games in general seem well priced compared to the rest of the market, will likely start there.

Only one game for December. In the process of home buying so I got to cut back on collecting for now. Will try to trickle in more games next year once I settle down.

Zanac x Zanac (Playstation)

General / Re: Good Retro Gaming Youtube Channels
« on: November 09, 2023, 08:19:46 pm »
Game Sack is a great retro gaming channel with humor similar to AVGN but nowhere near as vulgar. Their videos are well edited and cover a wide range of topics across the retro gaming spectrum, with my favorites being their console-specific videos. Couldn't recommend them enough.

Avalanche Reviews isn't bad if you're into Resident Evil or horror games in general. He'll occasionally deviate and talk about non-horror games although his claim to fame is unquestionably his Resident Evil Retrospective videos.

Sean Season has a colossal collection of PSX game reviews done in an interesting format. Recently burned through his Japan Only Games and Obscure Games playlist and discovered a ton of hidden gems for the console.

SegaLordX uploads frequently and consistently delivers on the Sega content, mixed in with non-Sega content to cleanse the palate.

I'm leaving out a lot of other channels due to how niche/genre-specific they are, but I'll make an addendum to this if anyone's interested.

Saturn and Playstation collecting continues at a slower pace. Trying to fill in gaps in my collection for consoles I own less than 10 games for. Playstation 2 and Japanese Nintendo 64 games are fairly cheap so my focus has shifted slightly.

New this month:
Cotton Boomerang: Magical Night Dreams (Sega Saturn)
Night Raid (Playstation)
Pocket Fighter (Sega Saturn)
Kaizō Chōjin Shubibinman 3: Ikai no Princess (PCE CD)
Contra: Hard Corps (Sega Mega Drive)
Dynamite Deka (Sega Saturn)
Zombie Revenge (JP Sega Dreamcast)
Battle Garegga (Sega Saturn)
Rocket Knight Adventures (Sega Mega Drive)
Gradius III (Super Famicom)
Keio Yuugekitai Katsugekihen (Sega Saturn)

General / Re: How do you feel about Store Exclusive CE's?
« on: October 05, 2023, 03:06:33 pm »
The last CE of any game I remember buying was Mortal Kombat 9 for Xbox 360 and Gear of War 3 before that, well over a decade ago when I was heavily into both series. The extras that came with them were cool initially. As the years went by I slowly started resenting having these extras as my taste and opinions with gaming changed. They simply took up space I wanted to use for other things and weren't conducive to my enjoyment of the game they were attached to. Once I was over the 360 I sold them off with everything else 360-related, haven't bought a CE for any game since. I don't see that changing anytime soon given I seldom buy modern games nowadays, let alone in physical form.

The Saturn and PCE collecting carries on:

Clockwork Knight: Pepperouchou no Daibouken Gekkan (Sega Saturn)
Clockwork Knight: Pepperouchou no Daibouken Joukan (Sega Saturn)
Darius Gaiden (Sega Saturn)
Spriggan Mark 2: Re-Terraform Project (PCE CD)
Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou for (PCE CD)
1943 Kai (PCE HuCard)
Parodius da! Shinwa kara Owarai he (SFC)
Game Tengoku ~The Game Paradise!~ (Sega Saturn)
Gungage (Playstation)
iS: Internal Section (Playstation)

Caught pneumonia at the beginning of August which derailed my collecting and gaming plans. Now that I’m approaching a full recovery it’s getting back on track, albeit slowly. So here’s what I’ve got since then:

Akumajou Dracula X: Chi no Rondo (PCE CD)
Darius Plus (PCE HuCard)
R-Type II (PCE HuCard)
Final Fantasy Tactics (Playstation)
Sengoku Blade: Samurai Ace Episode II (Sega Saturn)
Strikers 1945 (Sega Saturn)
Strikers 1945 II (Sega Saturn)

Right now PCE and Saturn games have been my focus, eventually I’ll start tackling other parts of my collection that aren’t as fleshed out.

General / Re: Would you replace a Greatest Hits/Reprint game?
« on: September 11, 2023, 06:30:26 pm »
I've had a few reprint versions Gamecube and Playstation games over the years, as a kid it didn't bother me much because I valued owning the game more than what version it was. Once I took collecting seriously I decided to obtain original, complete copies of every game I own. Sold all my reprints and used the funds to help fuel said collection habit. When I view my collection and know all my games nearly resemble being "off the shelf" its very cathartic, if that makes any sense.

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« on: July 16, 2023, 07:17:31 pm »
It's been a while. Managed to get a few more games under my belt. Not sure how close I'll be by the end year of the year, but I'll keep trekking on.

#8 Resident Evil 4 Remake (Steam)
Prior to release I was skeptical in Capcom’s ability to remake RE4 in good faith, a game that was never in a state to justify a remake in the first place. Despite my pre-launch doubt, Capcom did not drop the ball and delivered an experience that complements OG RE4. The injection of more lore and detail about the game's story and world is a welcomed change. As is the darker approach the game embraces both thematically and aesthetically. RE Engine is a superb engine and runs silky smooth with very little hiccups, if any. My main gripe is in the gameplay with the lack of staggering with consecutive shots. Compared to the original its seems completely random, one Grenado will stagger with a single pistol shot while another ignores my shots entirely. I also felt the Remake’s pacing wasn’t as fine tuned. It goes by way too fast, primarily from the Castle onwards. Neither of these nitpicks are game-breakers though. After completing five playthroughs I feel RE4R can stand on its own as a competently made game. OG RE4 will still be my go to whenever I have the RE4 itch, but RE4R is a great substitute if you’ve played the original to death.

#9 Amid Evil (Steam)
A great Quake-like FPS that’s been in my Steam library for a while, played it sporadically but never completed it. Buckled down and went for a 100% secrets run recently and man, what a ride. The graphics are eye-melting with the appropriate chunkiness you’d expect. Weapons cover the whole gambit of Area FPS. You got your staples like the rocket launcher and lighting gun, but designed in a mystically medieval way. In this case, the rocket launcher is a magical staff that hurls planets as projectiles while the lighting gun is a literal trident. All the weapons can be enhanced through the Soul Power mechanic. Popping this off then clearing an enemy-filled room is an adrenaline rush that never gets old. Additional levels are coming with The Black Labyrinth DLC, which will be a day one purchase for me. Its just a well designed, looking, and paced game that should be in any old school FPS player’s library.

#10 Graze Counter GM (Steam)
The enhanced version of the original Graze Counter. Its the same game, just improved in every way. GM is $5 more in comparison at $15 but completely worth it. Everything I said about the original Graze Counter can be applied here; a great beginner STG with added challenge if you’re up for it. Got the 1CC on Normal and will likely return to it at some point to tackle the next highest difficulty. Cannot recommend it enough.

#11 Warhammer 40,000:Boltgun (Steam)
For a few weeks the online discourse of this game was constant. Anyone aware of the current retro/boomer shooter renaissance we’re living in now would not stop talking about it. I gave into the hype and threw down the dough. Mind you, my only interaction with the 40K series is through its video games and not the seemingly bottomless pit of lore and merchandise behind it. I’m going in expecting a core retro FPS experience with lore sprinkled on top, which is exactly what I got. I’m also a sucker for good pixel art, which is present both in-game and in-cutscenes. On the flipside, the game feels way too easy outside of bosses, even at the highest difficulty. Hardcore 40K fans might pass on it, but retro shooter fans should give it a try. It plays safe and doesn’t tread too far off course, compared to other retro shooters you could play much worse.

I got a couple more games coming my way, but I got my hands on a few in the meantime:

Gradius Deluxe Pack (Sega Saturn)
Salamander Deluxe Pack (Sega Saturn)
Shadow Hearts (Playstation 2)
Final Soldier (PCE HuCard)
Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius (Super Famicom)

Here are the remaining games for this month, as promised:

Super Star Soldier (PCE HuCard)
Sin & Punishment (JP Nintendo 64)
Yuke Yuke!! Trouble Makers (JP Nintendo 64)
Paro Wars (JP Playstation)
R-Type Delta (JP Playstation)
TwinBee: Rainbow Bell Adventure (Super Famicom)

General / Re: Best Video Game Rental Memories
« on: June 19, 2023, 07:45:44 am »
In my hometown, at one time, there use to be two video rental stores to choose from. I forget the name of the first one, but I distinctly remember browsing their shelves as a kid creeping out over the box art of Clock Tower on PS1. Being ~5 years old at the time it really stuck out to me. The second store was called Movie Gallery which had a small chain of stores outside my local area; no idea if they were nationwide though. They weren't around till my early teenage years. Their selection of games was mostly shovelware, as one might expect, although I did rent and enjoy a copy of Battalion Wars at one point. I was clocking a ton of hours on my Gamecube back then.

Each store had their own building, which still exist today. The first was repurposed as a thrift store while the other became a venue for churchgoers. I even managed to snag a copy of Clock Tower as one of my first games as a collector. It all comes full circle.

Scored a few more games for my PC Engine collection:

R-Type I (HuCard)
Gunhed (HuCard)
Hellfire S (PCE CD)
Star Parodia (PCE CD)

These remaining few were on my radar for a while:
R-Type III: The Third Lightning (SFC)
Gokujou Parodius (SFC)
Shadow Hearts (PS2)

Besides Gokujou Parodius, Star Parodia and Shadow Hearts I bought the remaining games through It was a great experience overall as it wasn't too difficult to navigate through the language barrier or setup shipping. Thanks to their option to consolidate multiple packages into one shipping wasn't expensive and it arrived fast and well-packaged. Highly recommend them for anyone looking for another avenue to score Japan imports. If Castlemania keeps to their word my gscart switches should ship this month and if I'm lucky I should see my Turbo Everdrive Pro arrive as well. Even if I don't score anymore games this month should shape up nicely.

Slowly stacking up more PC Engine games:

Image Fight
The NewZealand Story
Rabio Lepus Special
Solider Blade

I also scored a NTSC-J copy of Raiden Project for PSX and Gigawing for the Sega Dreamcast.

With the laser on my PC Engine Turbo Duo-R giving up the ghost I've put more of an emphasis on HuCard games. Plan to sell and replace it with a PI-TG001 model. I won't need a CD drive or interface unit to play CD games once I get my hands on a Turbo Everdrive Pro. Castlemania finally reached out to me regarding my gscart switches; they'll be shipped within the coming weeks. Ebay has been my main source for games, but with the recent discovery of that might change. If I decide to buy anything off there I'll make a note of it for next month.

I've been gaming on CRT all of my life. Mostly on an average consumer CRT with composite, as most people have. It wasn't until a few years ago I made the jump to RGB on a PVM. Seeing it for myself effectively killed any desire to go back to composite. Before I jumped to RGB I studied up on topics like the operation and maintenance of CRTs, different forms of analog video, and what console mods would be necessary. I enjoyed the process, but this was a serious commitment, both in time and finances. For most people buying an upscaler and feeding it analog is more than acceptable and likely cheaper in the long run. Although, if you have the means and desire to go pure analog RGB I'd recommend it 100%. Its something that once you see it, you can never go back.

As for my setup, I try to keep it as raw as possible. Until my gscart switches from Castlemania arrive there's nothing between my consoles and PVM expect a SCART to BNC breakout adapter.

I can relate to lacking on both money and time. I did manage to score a few games in March:

Cotton: Fantastic Night Dreams (PC Engine CD)
Cotton 2: Magical Night Dreams (SS)
Pop'n Twinbee (SFC)

Pop'n Twinbee is on the way from Australia at a good price, should get it within a week or two. With Krikzz finally releasing the Turbo Everdrive PRO I got some save some coin for that; need to replace my Duo with a PC Engine model that's compatible with it. Not sure what I'll have by May. My focus has shifted to collect more PC Engine and Saturn games, but I'll grab anything that looks like a good deal in my book.

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