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!!