Collection Haul #5 – Lots of Anime

Greetings again! Are you ready to look at my stuff? I hope so, because I do indeed have stuff!

It was around the time of when these pictures were taken that I decided to dip into my anime collection, as there were a few holes I wanted to fill. I also wanted to try and “complete” some of the game collection, which for me means getting all the games I want for that specific console. Because of that, for at least the next few haul posts, you’ll see a fair amount of games in bulk for one console. As far as the anime collection goes, it’s at a standstill currently, but I have my eye on a few other ones that are coming out soon-ish. But enough planning, let’s get to the action!

This is one of two small game additions for this haul, which is a mix of both new and old games. The first one is Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada for the PS4. Honestly, this game was great. The action was fast paced and the story, surprisingly, drew me in, which is something I don’t usually expect from any main Warriors game. There was also plenty of historical information on the characters and background of the era and wars. I could go on and on, but luckily for me, I’ve already reviewed the game in video form. I’ll just let that do the talking. Definitely a recommendation from me, especially if you aren’t into the typical Warriors games.

In the middle is Sword of Vermillion, an old action RPG for the Sega Genesis. While not necessarily on my main list of games to collect, I had it on the Wii Virtual Console so I wanted to get a physical copy as well. My cosplayer friend Celine Jules was selling off part of her collection and I saw she was selling Sword of Vermillion complete in the box, so I hit her up and bought it. This is my second experience buying retro games off of Facebook and so far it’s worked out very well. The game worked and was in good condition. The trick is to ask plenty of questions and ask for pictures of the condition, if they don’t give it to you already. As a fellow gaming enthusiast, I knew Celine had been taking good care of her games. As for the game itself, I haven’t played much, but the gameplay is fun and unique i my opinion. I like how you explore the fields in first person and then go into an isometric view for combat. I’d love to play more in the future. Thanks again, Celine!

Thirdly (Oh wow that’s actually a word? Thanks WordPress), I got Dynasty Warriors 6 for the PS3. This was the second Warriors game I ever played and the one that got me into the series completely. It hasn’t aged too well, but it still plays decently, though not as well as DW7 onward. Probably the biggest foul this game made was taking away Xiahou Dun’s sword and replaced it with a long mace thing, which would end up being Pang De’s weapon for his return in Dynasty Warriors 7 Xtreme Legends and the games that followed. I’m aware that the game was released on PS2 with some updated content (because that makes a lot of sense), but I only played the PS3 version and since I also own Dynasty Warriors 6 Empires, which included everything the PS2 version had, I think it would be interesting to see how certain features and characters were in this original version. I dunno if I’ll ever play through it to completion, but I’d like to play more and unlock Cao Cao or something.

Here’s where the title of this post comes into play. In this batch, I bought a butt-load of anime. Most of them came from eBay, as specific sets were rarer than others. The first one is the first Tiger & Bunny film, The Beginning, on DVD. From what I understand, it’s part of a retelling of the first season and part original story. Tiger & Bunny is one of my favorite anime from the last decade and I’d recommend it highly, both in sub or dub; you really can’t go wrong. I haven’t watched it yet, but I plan to soon. I also have the second movie, for those who are wondering.

Next is the Dragon Ball Z specials Bardock: The Father of Goku and History of Trunks double feature on DVD. I already owned the two specials individually, but I wanted to get the double feature version because it includes the “U.S. Broadcast” music score and, since it’s a double feature, it’s just one package so it helps me save space on my Dragon Ball shelf. Both of them are good watches and they give more depth to the lore of the series, especially History of Trunks, considering it was in the manga. This double feature set is difficult to come by at a good price, likely because they were released again as individual DVDs and there was also a Blu-ray version, though it was back when all Blu-ray was for Dragon Ball was a plain upscale without any additions (say what you will about the current season sets, but they do look a bit cleaner and are at least nicer looking than the “orange bricks.”) Besides the fact that in includes two movies in one thing, the other benefit is the cool steelbook case, though it’s a bit scuffed up, as you can see.

After that, I got the Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood OVA Collection, which is a DVD/Blu-ray comb pack. This is a collection of short original animations about Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. I haven’t watched it yet, mainly because I haven’t watched all of Brotherhood yet. Like the DBZ special double feature, the set is rare, but primarily because FUNimation gave up the license to all of Fullmetal Alchemist, so the set is out of print, meaning they aren’t making anymore. So if you’re a fan of the series, I’d say pick this up just on the grounds that if you find it for a good price, it’s likely the only chance you’ll have.

At the end of the top column, we have Fate/Zero season 2 on DVD. Fellow anime collectors know that all of Aniplex’s DVDs cost more than other company’s releases. Even though this is an older set, the price was still the same, at around $60 or so. This set, along with its season 1 counterpart, features both the original Japanese audio and the English dub. The show itself is great with plenty of action, drama, and tension. Being animated by Ufotable, the visuals are also beautiful. If you like the Fate series, you’ll definitely like this one.

Let’s go back to FMA for a bit, because the next anime-related thing I got was the Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood movie, The Sacred Star of Milos, on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. I remember FUNimation hyping up this movie while it was being worked on, but I don’t think it got any theatrical releases, besides convention showings. I plan to watch it in the future, probably after I finish Brotherhood, which I also have on DVD.

Speaking of movies, next up is the InuYasha movie collection on Blu-ray. This is a relatively newer set that collects the four movies in one package on two Blu-ray discs. I assume they are upscaled rather than remastered, though. There was also a DVD version, but it was more expensive and it was one of those thin flip-out sets, similar to the “orange bricks” of DBZ, and the old InuYasha sets, as a matter of fact. I’ve only seen two out of the four movies, but I hope to watch the rest soon (you’ll be hearing this a lot… And not just in this post regarding anime.) What stood out to me was how different the animation looked in comparison to the regular show. I don’t remember much of the story, but I will probably re-watch the two I watched as a kid so I’ll get a refresher then.

Finally, we have Code Geass R2, the second season of Code Geass, on DVD, specifically Bandai’s “Anime Legends” version, which is out of print. The reason why I got this one and not FUNimation’s recent release is because I had Bandai’s version of the first season and I wanted to get the same version of the second so they would match. I was watching the first few episodes to see if I liked it enough to get the second season. I’m not normally one for giant robot shows, but there are exceptions, Code Geass being one of them. For me, it was mainly hype that got me into it when the show aired on Adult Swim back in the day. The character designs by CLAMP are unique and fun to look at. Story-wise, it doesn’t do too much for my tastes, but it’s decent for what it is. I’ve only seen the first episode of R2, so it will be fun to see how it turns out, especially with a third season coming soon.

No we get back to games. All but one in this batch were purchased from my local Wal-mart, for what it’s worth. This image is about two total trips, I think. No, not in the same day, before anyone asks.

Firstly, we have Dragon Quest Heroes II for the PS4, which is the only one I got that’s not from Wal-mart. Gameplay is more or less the same as the first one, but there is now an open world that can be explored. It makes the game feel more like an RPG with a Dynasty Warriors battle system. The first game did this as well, but it’s to a whole new level in this sequel. I haven’t played much yet, but I’ve enjoyed what I have so far. I picked Lazarel as my main, due to his double swords. He’s very fast and fun to play. I believe Lucius and his crew from the first game were also unlocked for me, since I had completed save data of the first game, so hopefully I’ll be able to play as them soon.

Next is Yooka-Laylee for PS4, the first of the Wal-mart games. This game is special in that it is developed by former members of Rare, specifically the ones who made Banjo-Kazooie. They made a Kickstarter fundraiser and developed the game using donations. Te game has been out for a some time, and while reviewers weren’t too fond of the game, I think it’s decent. I think fans of the 3D platforming genre would be better off with Super Mario Odyssey (which will be coming up in a later post), but it’s a fun game for those who miss the old Banjo-Kazooie days.

I also got Kingdom Hearts 2.8 HD Final Chapter Prologue on PS4. My local Wal-mart had the limited edition, which came with a neat little pin, so I got that version. I haven’t touched it yet, but the main draw for me was the special prologue to Kingdom Hearts III, in which you play as Aqua from Birth by Sleep, in what is likely a prototype engine for the upcoming KH3. Also included is an HD version of Dream Drop Distance, a game originally released for the 3DS. So I guess by buying this version, I was able to get one of the games that was one my 3DS list. That is, before the HD one was announced. It’ll be a good appetizer for Kingdom Hearts III in probably 5-10 years.

Making it to the second row, we have Nintendo Land for the Wii U. A digital version came with my Wii U, but I wanted to get a physical version to not only free up space but also be able to still have a copy, should something ever happen to the digital version. The game itself is a collection of Nintendo themed mini-games. My favorite is probably the Zelda one, because i can pretend to be a cool guy with a sword and do cool sword guy things, such as slashing and trying to do the samurai-sword-sheath motion like a true warrior. I don’t play it much, but if I ever do jump back in, that mini-game will more than likely be the one I will play.

Last but not least, I got Super Mario 3D World, also for the Wii U. Like Nintendo Land, this game came with my Wii U as a digital one, but I wanted a physical copy for the space and whatnot. Gameplay-wise, it’s like an expanded version of 3D Land with more characters and levels. If I could compare it to other Mario games, I’d say it’s like Mario 64 meets Mario 3, meaning that it’s a 3D environment with a point A to point B level structure. I enjoy the game a lot and even streamed it on Twitch (though this link is of the YouTube archive) so I would recommend it if you want a 3D Mario game but something a little more focused.

Aaaaaaaand… We’re done! Like I said before, I still have plenty of haul posts to come for the future. The next post will actually be another haul post, but Christmas themed, as we’ll have been a few days past it by the time this post goes live, though it’s taken me almost the entire month to write it. The one after that will be Tales related, so I hope you will enjoy it as well!

Until net time!

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Random Episode Review – Dragon Ball Super #83

As you’ll likely find out as I post more, Dragon Ball is my ultimate fandom. I love the series with all my soul and it was even what inspired me to become a writer in the first place. I’ve been watching Dragon Ball Super, the latest series, and keeping up with it weekly. It’s literally the only show I’ve been keeping up with besides Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I’ve been doing reviews by the arc on my YouTube channel, but I figured it would be fun to write a review for this little bloggy-blog. This is going to be the first in a series of reviews of random episodes of things I watch. They won’t always be current or even of a whole season, it will just be what I feel like. In fact, if you’ve also been following Super, you’ll know what we are on episode #89, with #90 coming in just a few days. The reason why I’m choosing to do #83 instead is because it doesn’t have much fighting in it, so I can focus on the characters a little more. This episode I’ve also watched more than once anyway. I’ve also already taken all the screenshots and such, so… Too much effort, haha! Speaking of which, I will note here that all screenshots I took were from the Crunchyroll app on the PS4, where I have been watching Super lately. Anyway, let’s get started!

Let’s begin with a brief plot summary. After taking part in Zen-Oh’s Exhibition Match, Goku, and Gohan, along with Beerus, Whis, Majin Buu, the Supreme Kai of Universe 7 (the one fans of the series will know relatively well, only mentioning which Universe I’m talking about because this arc features a lot of Supreme Kais), and Mr. Satan/Hercule return back to Earth to discuss and decide on who to choose for their team. They need ten warriors to take part in the “Tournament of Power” that Zen-Oh (and arguably Goku) decided to hold. They discuss who to invite and set up a rough plan, the first step being to recruit Vegeta. Goku attempts to invite him, but Vegeta shoots him down, saying that he needs to be here for Bulma, who is pregnant with their newborn. Whis take matters into his own hands by using his angel powers to bring out Bulma’s new baby without all the pains and groans of modern childbirth. Bulma names her new daughter “Bulla,” the same one from the ending of Dragon Ball Z. Vegeta now being able to participate, Goku and Gohan go off to recruit the rest of their team.

The first thing viewers, including myself, seemed to notice with this arc is the sudden animation style change. It’s minor, but there is some apparent saturation. It almost looks like the animators were trying to replicate film grain to make it look more like Dragon Ball Z. Admittedly, it does look a little like Z, which I’m not against. The show looks more unique and stylized because of it. The new opening is also awesome. The animation is fast paced and I love the new song, “Limit breakthrough x Survivor” sung by Kiyoshi Hikawa. Hikawa’s vocals sound similar to Takayoshi Tanimoto, the guy who did the themes for both Dragon Ball Z Kai and The Final Chapters, so he fits right in, if you ask me. Presentation-wise, this new arc is going well.

There isn’t much action in this episode, but the interactions between all the characters has always been something I love about the series, especially at this particular point. Goku and his friends have such a long history with each other that any longtime fan will feel like they are at a family reunion when watching these kind of episodes. Even Beerus and Whis, who are new to the story, feel right at home and seeing them feels like seeing old friends. How the gang treats Beerus now versus during the show’s first couple arcs is vastly different; no one seems to care that he could destroy the entire planet at the slightest provocation. In all honesty, he likely wouldn’t, at this point, or at least it would take a lot more effort to provoke him into doing it. I feel that Beerus actually likes Goku and his friends (and their food) and it’s been implied that Goku is getting closer to Beerus’ level of strength, if not already being at it, based on his reactions to Super Saiyan Blue, both with and without Kaioken. Or maybe it’s because they know Whis can fix it doing his rewind thing, if needed? Probably a bit of both.

Vegeta stood out to me this episode. Being known in the anime fandom for his ruthlessness and pride, one would think that he would easily agree to taking part in the “Tournament of Power.” However, the fact that he originally chose to decline didn’t surprise me either. Over the course of the three big arcs of Z, Vegeta changed as a man. The once bitter prince who sought to best Goku for the sake of his own pride as the Saiyan prince grew and became a bit of a family man (as much as a father who ignores his family to train can be) while retaining his fighting spirit and drive to surpass Goku, though now as a friendly rival rather than an enemy. Vegeta feeling the need to be with his wife while she is pregnant shows how much he has changed since he first came to Earth.

The above line in particular says a lot about Vegeta as he is now. On the surface, Vegeta seemed to be reacting to Goku’s lack of presense when Goten was born, but I believe there’s more to it than just the parallels between Vegeta and Goku as fathers. I take it to mean that Vegeta may be annoyed with Goku for indirectly causing Whis to use his powers in order to bring Bulla out of Bulma, from an obstacle standpoint. Based on this line, Vegeta may feel that Goku’s request for his participation in the “Tournament of Power” prompted Whis to do what he did. I suspect that Vegeta may have wanted to see Bulla being born naturally, likely because he wasn’t there for Trunks. If this is true, then it further shows how much of a better man Vegeta has become, by showing his desire to be loyal to his family. This is also shown in Vegeta putting legitimate effort into deciding a name for his new child. One can imagine the old Vegeta wouldn’t have cared so much about family affairs (we see a little of this during the Cell arc of Z, particularly with the Androids) but he’s not the same as he was before. Vegeta has found a new form of pride, pride in his family. It’s moments like these that show why Vegeta is one of the most layered and developed characters of the story.

Lastly, I want to bring up Yamcha, who shows up near the end of the episode. There is a humorous scene with him thinking about how he will handle being invited to the tournament, although he likely won’t be asked. To be frank, Yamcha isn’t very strong anymore. Out of all the other human characters who fight, Yamcha has kept up with his training the least. Regardless of where you stand in the “Krillin vs. Tien” argument, there’s no denying that Yamcha isn’t even part of the equation anymore. While it’s definitely funny to watch Yamcha try to plan out his reaction to a hypothetical invitation, it also made me wonder if the gang will need to have some backup fighters, in case something happens to them before the tournament. If you happen to follow a certain someone on Twitter, you may already have an answer for that, but it still raises the question as to how much will the gang have to prepare, beyond having ten fighters. Maybe Yamcha will end up fighting? Who knows. I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to it.

Overall, it was a good episode. I liked the interactions will the characters and getting to see more of Vegeta’s soft side. It may not mean much coming from me, but I would definitely recommend this episode. Really, I recommend the entire series of Super. I can’t think of any negatives, even a little action was present. I’d give it probably a nine out of ten.

And that’s the review! Thanks for reading it, if you did. Let me know if you want me to talk about more episodes. Again, I don’t plan on doing reviews episode by episode, especially since I’ll be doing an arc video video on my YouTube channel, but that’s still a ways off. We can play it by ear. See ya!!

Collection Haul #2 – I think I got too much…

Er, wow! It’s been a fair amount of time since the last haul post and I have many more pieces to talk about. To put it simply, I bought a lot of stuff. Most of it was planned, though there was a small section that I bought due to an impulse trip to Barnes & Noble, as well as a couple trips to the Walmart near my Alma mater. As I took all the pictures for this post, I realized that it’s probably better to focus on medium size chunks of my collection progress instead of doing everything and anything at once, haha! I’ve already gotten more stuff that won’t be shown in this haul post, though they will be in the next. For this batch, it’s a mix of video games, books, comics, and anime. But enough build up, let’s get to the good stuff!

This batch of games was the first for this section. Starting at the top is The Sims 2, a game I am more involved with than I’d like to admit. You might be wondering why I got the PS2 version over the PC version, which is understandable. The benefit to the PS2 version, and I believe the PSP verison as well, of this game is that you can directly control your character instead of pointing and clicking to make them move. I first played the PS2 version in a demo that came with the latest version of Official US PlayStation Magazine. I loved how I could control my character directly as if it was a different game, which I liked. It’s a shame the console ports of later Sims games, besides the Wii version of Sims 3, don’t use this control scheme anymore.

Directly under it is Sonic Gems Collection for the GameCube, a game that I wanted to get back then but didn’t, for whatever reason. I got the GameCube version because I had Sonic Mega Collection for the GameCube as well, so I wanted to follow suit with Gems. I think all of the games included in it, at least the main three, are available digitally now, but I still wanted to get this version for my collection, plus I have a physical version of all the games included, even if they aren’t the direct original.

On the right side of the top, there’s Digimon Battle Spirits 2 for the Game Boy Advance. I wanted this game because I enjoyed the first one and “Frontier” is, unapologetically and unironically, my favorite season of Digimon, which is the focus of this game. The game play seems to be more or less the same as the first one, so I look forward to playing more in the future. Unfortunately, because it’s a cartridge game, there is a save file built into the game, but it’s not too big of a deal, as I probably won’t play the game to completion anyway, at least not for the time being.

Next you will see Mystical Ninja for the N64. I played this game back when I was a kid so I’m pretty nostalgic for it. The Japanese setting and style of the story and world intrigued me and I loved the opening theme, it being the first Hironobu Kageyama song I ever heard. The gameplay is different from what most Mystical Ninja fans will expect, it’s a 3D platformer instead of a 2D sidescroller. It doesn’t bother me, due to this one being the first in the series that I played. It’s probably my favorite, out of the few that I’ve played. I’m aware that there are some games in the series that never came out in English as well. I may try to get some of them in the future.

Under it is Sword of the Berserk: Guts’ Rage for the Dreamcast. This one is the second Dreamcast game I’ve gotten so far, the first being Shenmue. I had heard that this game was not very popular, and I can certainly see why. The controls are clunky and the voice cast isn’t the same as the anime ones, so it does feel different. I don’t think it’s a bad game necessarily, though, especially since Guts can jump in this one. I like jumping in games. Not much else to say, as I’m not far in the game at all, but this was the start of what is part of a larger Berserk haul. You’ve been warned.

Finally, there’s Rampage World Tour for the PS1. I personally have more memories playing it on the N64, but I got the PS1 version for the sake of having the original, as I believe the N64 version is a port, though I do plan on getting that version too for my collection. I always played as Lizzie, due to my affinity for Godzilla. Other times, I picked Ralph. It’s pretty fun going around and destroying cities, in a very arcade-action way. It’s definitely a time-wasting action game, though I’ve heard that the bat character you can play as in mini-games is also a secret, fully playable character. That small secret alone makes me want to play through the game, as well as the fact that I never finished it, as the game was always a rental for me back in the day.

Should I just get all the Berserk stuff out of the way, since I’ve already mentioned it? Yeah, I think I should, and so I will.

Part of my goal for this entire batch was to catch up with my other, non-gaming collection, including comics. With each section, I added on 1-2 volumes of the Berserk manga. As of the writing and publishing of this post, I have all the volumes, except for the upcoming volume 38. I’m currently reading volume 32. Without giving away too many spoilers, I’ll just say that Guts and the gang are trying to get on a boat. To where? I’m not telling, this is all you get. I always enjoy going back to a series I enjoy after an extended break. I imagine I’m caught up in terms of what the second season of the new anime will cover. Normally, one Berserk volume takes me a while to read but lately I’ve been going through them within, like, a couple days per volume. Currently, I’ve been taking on volume 32 at what feels like a typical duration. There’s a fair amount of dialogue, but there is also plenty of action as well. I recommend the series, if you’re looking for a good dark fantasy story.

The only other non-manga piece of Berserk that I got is the latest game, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk. It’s a Dynasty Warriors spin-off set in the world of Berserk. I’m not very far, but I enjoy it, unlike the Dreamcast game, Guts can’t jump, so that’s a bit disheartening, but the gameplay is fun. As for the blue pouch in the corner, that’s my wallet. It holds my money and such.

Like I said before, by the time this goes up, I’ll have up through volume 37. Volume 38 is supposed to come out in July (for North America anyway, I’m not sure who releases the series in Europe) so I’ll try to get it as soon as it comes out. That’s it for this haul’s Berserk section. Now we can go back to a more colorful (literally, because the Berserk manga is printed in black and white. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA get it?) batch.

Here’s something different. All of these I bought at a local Barnes & Noble, one of my favorite stores in our known universe. Starting at the top, that’s the “Shodo” Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta figure. I think it was marketed as a Resurrection ‘f’ toy, rather than for Super. It’s pretty small, but decently articulated. I currently have him standing next to my Obi-wan figure, shooting a Big Bang Attack.

Speaking of which, the next item to the bottom left is a novel, simply titled Kenobi, written by John Jackson Miller. I’ve had my eye on this book for a while, as Obi-wan is my favorite Star Wars character. I think this copy in particular is a reprint, though I’m not sure and I don’t think it matters. According to the review text on the back of the book, the story is like a mix of Star Wars and a typical cowboy Western. I haven’t read it yet, but I hope to soon.

Right next to it, in the center, is the latest Future Trunks figure by Bandai’s “S. H. Figuarts” line. It’s an awesome figure, very pose-able and nicely detailed. It’s a bit different from the previous Dragon Ball “S. H. Figuarts” and, in my opinion, is the best one I’ve gotten so far. The sculpt of the legs in particular are much better than the previous ones on my other figures in this line, specifically both regular and Super Saiyan Goku. The figure also comes with a snazzy “crossed arms” accessory, in which you can take off both his arms and put it on to have an action figure cross his armsĀ  and have it look real for once in our lives. The only issue I have with this figure is that it’s standard face has Trunks looking off to the side, as you see in the picture. This makes posing him with a neutral face and looking forward difficult, and by “difficult” I mean “impossible.”

Next to Trunks is the first “S. H. Figuarts” Dragon Ball figure, Piccolo. Because of this fact, you can assume that it’s not perfect unlike Cell. The shirt sleeves on the figure are prone to come off at every movement on his shoulders. This is minor, but I also don’t like how his leg articulation causes his legs to pop out from his hips, making him look weird. Both Gokus and my other Future Trunks figure (the one with the sword and jacket) have this problem as well. His cape and hat were also a pain to get on him and pose with his “crossed arms” thing. I eventually went for a “hand in fist” kind of pose. Other than that, it’s an okay figure. I’m still nostalgic for my old Irwin Toys Piccolo figure, though.

This next batch is a mix of Barnes & Noble as well as Amazon. Firstly, I bought the Super Mario Adventures graphic novel from B&A. I heard that this was originally published in Nintendo Power back in the day. I’ve never read it before, but I enjoy the world of Mario so I think this will be a fun read. The color pages will be a nice change from typical manga, I think.

Right under it to the left is the classic Warcraft novel, Lord of the Clans, written by Christie Gold, the same novel that was based on that unfinished adventure game. It’s a recent reprint that I believe has been resized. As you can see, I’ve already said a little of it, but just the prologue. The text is pretty easy to read, size wise, though the writing style feels a bit dated; a few sentences and phrases didn’t read very well to me. I’ve been enjoying it so far, though. I might pick it up again soon.

Next to it is Inuyasha The Final Act on DVD, the complete series. I was a fanĀ  of the original series and wanted to have the final chapter on DVD like I do the rest of the series. I haven’t watched it yet, but I plan to in the future.

This batch is the last big chunk for this post. The first game is Onimusha 3: Demon Siege for the PS2. This game’s big claim to fame is that it stars Jean Reno as the French guy, Jacques, though I’m pretty sure this is only when he speaks French and also only his likeness. I had a magazine that included a strategy guide, so I once played through a fair amount of the game. I say once, because I’ve since lost the file so I have to start over. I think I might have deleted it because I got stuck at a certain point (I wasn’t entirely a smart kid.) I’m pretty sure I had a save data carry-over thing as well from Onimusha Blade Warriors. I think I got it again when I made a new file, but I haven’t made the same amount of progress. It’s a fun game, though I don’t know if I’d call it my favorite. I don’t really have a favorite Onimusha game. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of the first two games, due to the controls, but Onimusha 3: Demon Siege and Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams are more fun to me.

And the game next to it… Dream Carnival. Friggin’ Dream Carnival. I only bought it because my friends wanted me to for a video project and it was so cheap on eBay that I felt like not buying it would be pointless. We recorded my first time playing it, for those who want to know what I think and why I jokingly hate it so. Don’t let the title of the video fool you, it MOST CERTAINLY IS NOT FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST 3!

Ahem, anyway, next is Ys I & II Chronicles for the PSP. It’s a remake of the first two Ys games, that was originally on the PC, ported to the PSP. The gameplay reminds me of those old RPGs where you run into enemies to kill them, like Hydlide, that game the AVGN reviewed that one time. But don’t let that AVGN hyperlink give you a bad impression, the gameplay is pretty good. I’m not very far into it, but I spend a fair amount of my time grinding levels and money. My only complaint is that, like many old J-RPGs, there is little to no direction so you just have to wander to figure out where you have to go. Other than that, I enjoy it.

The first game on the bottom section may look weird because it’s open, but the reason why is because the thing I bought is not the game itself, but the case. When my original PS3 died on me, I replaced it with the red special edition that came with the God of War Saga collection and God of War Ascension as loose discs. Being a picky collector, also my lack of understanding what came in the package, I sought out and found a seller on eBay who was selling the case itself, without the game. There used to be a website that sold game cases and stuff, but they discontinued the listings, so I had to search elsewhere. I’d like to get the original cases for all my loose disc games, but it will be hard to find them all (especially my imported copy of Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22 from Japan.)

In the middle is Donkey Kong Country 3 for the SNES, a game I wanted but never got. Growing up, I had the first two games but never played the third. I don’t think I ever rented it either, nor did I ever think to save up money and bought it or ask for it for Christmas or something. I played a little of it and enjoyed it. The game plays like the other Donkey Kong Country games. Not much else to say about it, though I still can’t tell if it’s a reproduction or not. Do people even make repros for this game?

Lastly, there is Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom for the PS3. It was an early PS3 game, so the loading times may be a bit long, depending on what model PS3 you play on. With my old PS3, it took a long time, though my newer PS3 didn’t take as long. Truth be told, I don’t like this game very much. I only bought it for the sake of collecting. I also hadn’t played it in years, in all fairness. The Untold Legends games were Sony Online Entertainment’s attempt at rekindling the magic of Champions of Norrath, though this particular one feel more like Gauntlet. There is little to no character customization, besides having a unique weapon and a specific, player-chosen color. The gameplay feels more like a typical third person hack-and-slash rather than anything like Champions of Norrath or Gauntlet. The playable classes are limited to just three, all gender and physique locked, basically meaning you can’t edit anything. It’s a shame that this series had to end with such a mediocre game. I enjoyed the first one and the second one, as shown in my previous collection haul post, is decent as well. Dark Kingdom is where the series dropped the ball, in my opinion.

When I first heard about these figures from MissDBZBabe’s video, I knew I had to get a couple figures. I bought them both at the Walmart near my university. As you can see… Both of them were Frieza… Damn.

I did get a Goku, though! I’m officially satisfied now.

This was an impulse buy for sure. I was shopping at a local Publix with my mom and saw the comic in the stand. After we got home, I drove back and bought it, haha! I haven’t kept up with the Sonic the Hedgehog comics in a long time. I used to have a subscription, but stopped it after issue 142. I don’t remember why, I enjoyed the story line well enough. I don’t know if I will subscribe again or if I even can. I’ve been trying to collect all the Knuckles the Echidna comics as well, specifically the Sonic Archives version. I haven’t read this issue yet, but I plan to soon. Maybe after I finish all that Berserk I bought? It would be a nice change of pace!

And that’s all! Like I said before, I’ve already gotten more stuff, but I’ll save that for another haul post. Going forward, I’m going to try to post these with less stuff so that they aren’t a mountain to read. If you read this far, thanks a lot! You’ll also be happy to know that my next post will be an anime episode review, though it’s an older episode of a current show. I’ll likely need to watch it a third time (once as a regular viewer, second to get screenshots.) I hope you stick around for it! Either way, thanks for reading!

See you next time!

Collection Haul #1 – Game Beginnings and a Blu-ray

Howdy! As I said in my last post, one of my goals for 2017 is to complete my personal game collection, or at least get close to completing it. Early this January, I started making some progress with a few games, both new and old. As such, I am going to share with you all what I got. What I’ve been doing is using a portion of my paycheck from work to buy 2-3 games per week. Due to a couple new games that came this month, it’s more one the 3 side of things, the total being 6 games, including the two new ones. In terms of the old games, I’m working on the smaller lists, currently Xbox 360, Dreamcast, and PSP among others, and getting them out of the way while also bringing down the bigger ones, which at this point are PS1, PS2, and N64. I also got a little figurine and a Blu-ray, but I’ll go into more detail about them as we continue. Let’s get started!

This is the first batch of stuff that I got. I wanted to start off my 2017 collection adventure with a game I played through but never bought, Spyro 3, formally known as Spyro: Year of the Dragon! I first played this game back in the day when I rented it from Blockbuster the same year it came out. My best friend and another childhood friend played through the whole game with me. I say “played with me,” but they truthfully did most of the work. I had played a small chunk of the game before we started playing together and I vaguely remember demanding that I was the one who would fight all the bosses. I was quite the annoying kid, haha! We only got the first ending, not to true ending, which I believe involves a second fight with the main bad guy. Perhaps a more complete play-through is in order? Well, I’m not going to replay the whole game from point zero, but I’m pretty sure you have to beat the game 100%, meaning all collectibles and objectives, in order to get the true final boss. Either way, it’s a fun and nostalgic game for me.

Jade Empire, the game to the right, was a bit of a new discovery for me. I rented it from GameFly a few years ago and enjoyed it. As a martial arts story game, it was definitely up my alley. I like the combat and how BioWare opted for a more action oriented battle system. Upon picking up where I left off, I learned that I suck with the long sword style. Currently, I’m using the bear claws and probably will stick with them for a while. The game doesn’t have much character customization, from what I remembered, but I do feel like my character is my own. Unfortunately, although the game was apparently popular during its heyday, it’s a bit of an hidden gem these days. There is also word of a sequel, but it probably won’t be made for a long time.

The figurine at the top of the pic is of Cat suit Mario from Super Mario 3D World. I saw it while out grocery shopping with my mom and decided that I needed to come back and buy the thing before the day was over. It’s a nice little figure, not a lot of articulation but still a nice addition to what feels like the constantly growing needs of my action figure collection. Seriously! Like, the Marvel Legends line keeps getting more and more figures announced and then I have to plan to buy them, because they happen to be making all my favorite characters. Though, they haven’t made a new figure of The Thing from Fantastic Four in a while. I wonder why that is? Quick, someone email Hasbro!

This second batch is more diverse, featuring two modern games and a blu-ray. With the exception of those three, the general structure of what I bought stayed the same, one game from a smaller list and one game from one of my larger lists. But enough of that, let’s get to the details.

Fate/Extella, the game on the left, is one of the two modern games I got in this entire spree. It’s a Dynasty Warriors clone developed by Marvelous Inc., based on the Fate series. The game is a sequel to the PSP game Fate/Extra, though I don’t know how far apart the stories are. I only played it for a little bit, as another game that you will just have to read on to find out was coming out the following week, but it was pretty fun. The structure of the levels is more like the PSP Warriors games, where the map is divided into sections that you have to take over. These sections act as the bases for the opposing force. Although the level itself wasn’t hard, I noticed a lot of my team mates were either dying or dead, and we were close to losing, even though I was seemingly doing fine. I picked the normal difficulty setting and it didn’t seem that hard, but the AI seemingly thought it was. In terms of the gameplay itself, it’s what you’d expect, a fast-paced action hack-and-slash game where you fight a bunch of enemies, which is right up my alley. I’ll probably play it to completion after I finish the other modern game I got.

That middle game you see there is no joke. I legitimately bought Dead or Alive Xtreme 2. I had some interest in the game during the early days of my GameFly subscription, though I feel like I become all the more interested when I saw the Game Grumps’ playthrough of it, which I will link the first episode here. Honestly, the game ain’t half bad. Many will likely say it’s a perverted or sexist game, though I don’t agree. It is quite heavy on the fan service, there is absolutely no getting around it, but to say it’s even remotely close to being borderline porn is definitely exaggerating. I mean, sure, there’s a fair amount of sex appeal within the game’s context, but that context’s focus is a bunch of girls having fun at the beach. The series is typically a fighting game; this particular game is meant to be a break from all the action and more of a relax game, from the perspective of the characters. It’s not the highest level of art or anything, but it’s just a fun little game to make you happy.

Next is Untold Legends: The Warriors Code, sequel to the PSP launch title Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade. The Untold Legends series was Sony Online Entertainment’s attempt to recreate the same buzz that Champions of Norrath had back in the day (I say “back in the day,” but there was only a little over a year gap between the two series.) This sequel is more cinematic than the first, featuring a few in-game cutscenes to tell the story. The classes are gender-locked, like in the first game, but they are more stylized. For example, the Guardian is a big burly warrior man while the Scout is a little girl. Each of the characters are stylized with unique personalities, as shown in their emotes that won’t likely matter anymore because I don’t think you can go online in the game anymore. I was always more of a fan of the first game, though The Warriors Code doesn’t have as long of load times as Brotherhood of the Blade. I do like the game, though. Unfortunately, the series shifts from a Champions of Norrath successor and more like a Gauntlet clone in the third game, so it never lasted long.

The other non-gaming thing I got was season 1 of Yu Yu Hakusho on Blu-ray. This one was a Christmas gift, though the case was damaged so I had to email FUNimation about a replacement case, which they kindly sent. What makes the Blu-ray different than the DVD is that not only is the footage remastered and looking crispy clean, but FUNimation also redubbed sections of the series in order to improve their quality (Justin Cook made a vlog about this back then, where he goes into details about what is changed, including changing “Suzuka” back to “Suzuki.”) I’m a big fan of the series and first watched it back in the day when it came out on Adult Swim (and it’s short run on Toonami) and, as a collector, I wanted to own the series again in nice quality. I was also interested in the redubbed content, though I haven’t been able to notice the differences so far. I suppose that means they’ve done a good job! If you’ve never seen Yu Yu Hakusho before, I would recommend getting this Blu-ray. The characters are great and the fights in the show are brilliantly done. The story draws you in; hell, when watching the DVDs during the Dark Tournament arc, even though I knew what was going to happen in the end, I got tense wondering if the good guys would be okay or not. If you like shonen anime, Yu Yu Hakusho will be right up your alley.

Now THIS is the big one. Tales of Berseria finally came out in English. When I got Fate/Extella, I knew I wouldn’t be able to play it long. This is all because of good ole’ Tales of Berseria on PS4. As you can see, I got the Collector’s Edition, which I also did an unboxing video for on the collab channel that I help run. All I’ll say about the game for now (because I’ll be doing a video on my channel and discussion on the podcast in the near future), is that the game is pretty dang good. It’s a different take on the typical Tales formula and feels refreshing, though it does have some of what most Tales fans would expect as well. I enjoy the battle system as well, even if it is a bit different than previous Tales games. I’m about 40 hours in and I’ve been enjoying the story very much. That’s all I’m going to say for now. If you want to know more… You’re just going to have to wait!

And that’s all! As I’m writing this post, I’ve already bought some other stuff as well. There will likely be another haul post sooner than later, though I’m not planning to post it immediately. It’s probably better to space this stuff out anyway. Perhaps I’ll post something different in between? I’m not sure, but if there’s something you’d like me to write about, feel free to let me know. Until next time! See ya!!