Hi there and Happy New Year!! Are you ready for another collection haul? I sure hope so! This one is all over the place, not just one specific theme. Well, I suppose that’s not entirely true. The games in this batch were the start of my attempt to get all the sequels of games I wanted and try to complete a few series pieces. Otherwise, I just bought some different stuff. I tend to flip-flop how I approach the game side of my collection, as you have probably noticed. I was going to try and have this out before Christmas, as I’m going to be doing another haul special for the holidays, but I have failed, both Christmas and New Years. I hope you can find it within your cotton candy flavored heart to forgive me. Anyway, let’s get to it!
These here are some coins I got. Besides all the games and anime and stuff that I follow, I also like to collect coins. They can range from special edition coins or even arcade tokens. Once I saw those Mario ones, I knew I had to buy them! It was otherwise just a regular trip to Target, I don’t even remember why I went in the first place. They’ve got some cool stuff there, like that hour glass you can get, which I did at some point. Anywho, the two coins I got were Luigi and Toad. I wanted Mario, but I’ll make due. As I’m writing this, I’m reminded that Donkey Kong was an option too and that makes me want to go back and try to get him. Apparently there’s some battle game you can play with using the coins, or I at least assume so, given the numbers and shapes on the outer ring of the face on the coin. Has anyone tried playing any sort of game using these coins? It might be fun. You should try it.
I also got a booster pack of Pokemon cards for the same reason: I wanted the coin. Unfortunately, it was just some plastic crap. I was disappointed beyond that of a Super Saiyan Disappointment. Well, okay, maybe not that bad, but I was still pretty disappointed. As for the cards, nothing stood out to me. While I do collect cards as well, I’m not a big card game kind of guy in general. I just like the way the cards look.
This is that sequel batch I was talking about. As you can see, it’s pretty much all sequels to other games. The first in the top corner is the first of the Legacy of Kain series, titled Blood Omen, on the PS1. It’s an isometric action game where you play as Kain, a freshly made vampire trying to do vampire things like killing people (you can tell I’m not only very early in the game but I also haven’t played in months.) Graphically, it looks cool, but the game is very dark and hard to see. I’ve actually run into this same issue on emulation and in the “PS Classics” version on my PSP and PS3. I don’t know if this is a problem in the PC version, but it does hinder my enjoyment a little bit. I love hearing the narration voice over, both by NPCs and by Kain, who is played by an actor named Simon Templeman. The Legacy of Kain series is well known for having a strong story and lore, both being present fantastically here. I’d recommend it, despite the dark visuals making it hard to see.
Under it is Rampage Through Time, the third in the series, on PS1. This was the last new Rampage game for a while until Rampage: Total Destruction came out on the PS2 and GameCube and such. This game is exactly what you would expect from the series, though there are plenty more characters and all the levels take place in different time periods. I only ever rented it once or twice as a kid, but I won’t say no to more Rampage!
Let’s go back to vampires for a bit so I can talk about the game in the middle, Soul Reaver 2 on PS2. It’s a sequel to the first Soul Reaver on PS1, as you probably could guess. It’s part of the Legacy of Kain universe, except this time you follow Raziel, an undead wraith thing who was betrayed and killed by Kain from Blood Omen. I haven’t gotten far enough in the game to be able to save, so all I’ve seen so far is the opening part, in which Raziel gets to Kain and they fight a little while Kain monologues for a bit. The gameplay is the same as the first Soul Reaver, with a focus on using your environment and other people’s weapons to kill them. Raziel is voiced by Michael Bell, one of my favorite voice actors of all time, and his performance here is just as stellar as always. Finding a good copy of this game took a little extra work, and by work I mean a couple extra pages from eBay listings, but I finally snagged a copy, completing my Legacy of Kain collection. I took a picture of my entire Legacy of Kain collection and posted it on Instagram, so if you want to see then go look there. It’s a great series and I would love to see a new game in the future. I believe Square Enix would own the license at this point, since they own Eidos and Crystal Dynamics, who published and developed the game respectively. Here’s hoping!
On the top right is Rampage 2: Universal Tour on PS1. This is the second game in the series and the first to introduce more characters besides Lizzie, George, and Ralph. Granted, the way they introduce them is by taking away the core trio and making them unlockable. As a kid, I wasn’t pleased. I usually played as the rhino guy, he was pretty cool. Another thing I noticed when I first played the game as a kid was that the punch animation changed. Instead of a vertical punch, we get a more realistic horizontal punch. I don’t know why that’s important, but I assure you that it is. I originally played the N64 version, but the PS1 version apparently came first so I want to get a copy for myself. I do plan on getting the N64 version as well.
Finishing off the right row on the bottom is Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro for the PS1, the sequel to… Spider-Man on PS1! Growing up, what stood out to me with this game is the open city players could explore, and this was before Spider-Man 2 on PS2. It plays the same as the first one, with some minor additions. I never finished it, but I hope to in the future, now that I have a copy. It was also fun running around as “Spider-Man in a hurry” where he is Spider-Man but wearing a jacket and jeans as if he’s being Peter Parker and the one costume where he has a brown paper bag over his face. Fun times.
This next batch of things comes from a trip to Barnes & Noble (hence the title of the post.) It’s a mix of books and DVDs, the first being Tales of Zestiria volume 1, the manga adaptation of the video game. Regrettably, I had completely forgotten that a manga adaptation of the game had been released in English, something that has only happened once with the Asch the Bloody comics that tied into Tales of the Abyss. Once I saw it, I knew I had to buy it. In total, there are apparently four volumes, which seems pretty short to me, though if it simply adapts the story of the game then I suppose it’s understandable. I haven’t read it yet, but now that I know there’s an English translated Tales manga I can read, with another on the way, I better get them all so I can read it real fast. Like, Dezel fast. Maybe.
Right under it is Dragon Ball Super volume 1. I’m hesitant to call it an adaptation of the anime, especially now that we’re skipping ahead to a new arc after the Broly movie. Maybe tie-in? The manga came out first, though the anime was announced first. Either way, we’re getting more Dragon Ball and I’m loving it! This first volume tackles the Battle of Gods arc where Lord Beerus is introduced. It then skips the Resurrection F arc (likely because a manga adaptation of the movie came out prior) and goes into what the dub calls “The Tournament of Destroyers” arc. There are slight differences, but the overall story is the same. The basis of the story was written by series creator Akira Toriyama, though the art and everything else was done by someone going by “Toyotaro.” In this instance, I think doing the credits on the front as “Story: Akira Toriyama, Manga: Toyotaro” would make more sense. Of course, like I said in my review of Dragon Ball Super episode #83, I could and am open to being wrong: this is simply my opinion based on what I know. Overall, the manga is good. My only concern looking back (saying this because we’re up to volume 4 that’s coming out soon in English, in Japanese it’s a bit further ahead) is that Goku seems to be slightly out of character. He acts like he’s more thoughtful and aware than I would prefer. I’m not one of those “Goku needs to be brain dead” kind of fans, but I do think his ignorance of things outside of martial arts is important to maintain. Other than that, the manga is a fun read.
Starting the middle row is The Legend of Korra complete series on DVD. It’s a sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender, a modern classic in American animation that takes plenty of influence from Asian film and even some anime. So far, I’ve only seen the first season back when you could watch the show on Nickelodeon’s web site. I enjoyed the plot and drama involving Amon as well as Korra’s character development. Tenzin’s development was also great and was written perfectly, with how he starts to loosen up. I can’t much without going into spoilers, so all I’ll say is that so far it’s a great follow-up to The Last Airbender. Well, okay, I’ll say this: Aang shows up in a flashback and he’s an adult so that’s pretty cool.
Right under it is Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, my favorite of the Scooby-Doo films from the early 2000’s. The premise involves the gang going to a college to see a video game based on them, developed by a couple computer science students. Scooby and his pals get sucked into the game and have to use their wit to survive and try to escape. It’s a fun watch and I found the twist on who the bad guy is to be interesting. It’s Scooby-Doo, so it’s very creative and classic. I don’t think there are many extras on the DVD, but I highly recommend watching the movie if you haven’t already.
Lastly, we have Legends of the Samurai, a collection of different historical pieces from the Sengoku period, translated by Hiroaki Sato. I saw it and wanted to buy it because it had an academic feel to it, like something a teacher would assign readings from. Most of it is letters and small accounts on things, though I’m pretty sure I remember seeing Mitsunari Ishida mentioned, which would be one of the few names I recognize. I haven’t had a chance to read it all yet, but I plan to soon. Like I say with everything else I do.
Aaaaaaand, that’s a wrap! This one was a bit different, so I hope you liked it! I’m going to try and work through my backlog of haul pictures, so it’ll be haul posts back-to-back for a good while. Next is going to be the Christmas one, so it’ll be more than three pictures. I might do the 2018 birthday special after and try to catch up with those, so that all of the 2018 specials will be done.
Thanks for reading! See ya next time!