Level 7: How complete is complete enough?

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With Christmas just a day away, I’m already looking forward to spending some xmas money on of course…more NES games! This got me looking at my collection and pondering over what titles I’ll be adding, but also got me thinking about how much the collection has grown lately. My fiancee asked me “How many do you actually need?” and it got me thinking about how complete of a collection I really plan on putting together.

Every collector has a goal with their stuff, maybe it’s specific games or accessories they need or maybe they just will never be happy until they’ve hunted down every piece of merchandise they can find. We all have an idea of what we’d like to do and how feasible it is to do it. Money and availability are always a factor, as there’s a lot of titles I see on different youtube shows that are far out of my budget but if I don’t have them my collection won’t be complete.

This gets me thinking about how complete is complete enough? At the end of the day it’s really just for MY own enjoyment so am I really going to be concerned if I dont have a little samson, stadium events, ducktales 2 or power blade 2? I’ve talked before about whether rare games are even worth the considerable cost when many aren’t even that great of a game to begin with.

I find its easy to get wrapped up in the hype and as you see the collections of these various youtube guys it gets you excited to complete yours but unless you got in early it can be costly. I was personally excited with my own collection when I reached the point of having all the games I had/liked as a kid, everything else is really just gravy so I dont stress much about what I don’t have. That being said though, I keep adding to it because it’s a passion and I’d like as complete of a collection as I can reasonably put together.

So in the end it’s really only you who needs to be impressed with your collection and as long as your happy with it and not going hungry to build it up, then it’s all good. It’s up to you to decide how complete, complete needs to be.

Have a great holidays and happy game chasing in the new year!

This was my xmas score 😀

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#8bitliving
#retroredneck

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1 Up! Favourite games…we all have em!

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Everyone has “the list”, those games you love and can play over and over again. Maybe it was that first game you ever got for your system, that rental you checked out every weekend until you finally got a copy, or the one where you’d always hang out with that weird kid at school because even though he was weird, he had some cool games.

However you discovered them one thing is consistent…they were awesome! You could just plop down in front of the tv and play all weekend. There’s a lot of top lists for vintage games and there’s some titles that always appear: Super Mario 3, Mike Tyson’s punch out, Metroid, Double Dragon, Castlevania etc. Sure these a great games but there were a lot of games out there and sometimes you just found something you couldn’t put down, here are a few of mine:

1.  Crystalis.

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This is one I rented as a kid and as we all remember almost no rental games ever came with manuals or maps unless you were the first person who rented it. This led to a lot of wandering around to figure things out, and the longer I played it the more I dug it. Sure it’s no Final Fantasy but it still had a decent story and with a little grinding and trial and error you could make your way through it.
PRO: Solid RPG, decent gameplay and story.
CON: Constantly having to switch elemental weapons every few mins to fight the various enemies who are only hurt by that element.

2. Code Name: Viper.

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This was a game I recieved as a birthday gift, the box art and screenshots looked good and after dropping it in my NES was not let down. You’re on a mission to topple a terrorist organization as you plow through side scrolling, rapid firing action. The game offered a variety of victories and cheap deaths but not enough of one or the other to make it too easy or too boring. It was in the same vein as the many other side scrolling shooters of the day like Rolling Thunder but Codename: Viper really stood out to me.
PRO: Get guns, shoot guns, save the day!
CON: You get knocked backward when you get hit and that leads to so many cheap, annoying deaths.

3. Guerilla War.

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This one was a rental, was hanging out with my buddy and it was one of two 2 player games that looked cool at the video store that night. Guerilla War is a run and gun much like Ikari Warriors, you have your trusty machine gun and unlimited grenades and plentiful upgrades for your weapons. You fight your way through the jungles, cities, bases and finally the capital city to take out the big boss of the revolution. This was a great buddy game, you just blast your way to victory leaving the charred countryside in your wake.
PRO: Tons of weapon powerups and unlimited continues.
CON: Other than a few levels it’s incredibly repetitive and you’re constantly dying. Bringing a buddy along adds to the fun especially as it’s not a long game.

4. The Lone Ranger.

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I came across this as a rental as well, I knew of the Lone Ranger from having heard the classic radio show on cassette from the library. So when I ran across this and saw it was a Konami game, I gave it a go. You’re the Lone Ranger out to do some revenging on behalf of your slain Texas ranger brothers who have been ambushed and killed by outlaws. With the help of Tonto and Silver your trusty steed you tour the old west handing out justice. There’s a good variety of levels from side scrolling to first person 3d that keep things interesting. PRO: Solid gameplay, good story and some decent weapons for taming the wild west.
CON: DAMN THIS GAME IS FRUSTRATING!! This is not a simple game,  and will take a lot of trial and error to avoid cheap deaths. When you die you need to start entire scenario over which gets repetitive as you’ll die frequently at the start.

5. River City Ransom.

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This was the first game I ever bought with my own money as a kid and it was $99.99 well spent. You’re brothers Alex and Ryan and your girl has been kidnapped by some clowns and is being held hostage in the school gym so Alex and Ryan must punch and kick their way through River City. This game has great character sprites which appear in many of Technos’ other games.
It also adds a nice RPG element to the standard beat em up. As you travel along you have the ability to use food, items and books to build up your stats.
PRO: Challenging but very solid game, great controls and a ton of fun with a buddy along.
CON: Can get motononous clobbering somewhat generic enemies over and over again.

6. Bonus entry: The Little Mermaid.

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This was just laying around one day, you know “that day”, the “I have nothing I haven’t played” day. I was actually shocked to find out it was actually a solid game, the controls were tight despite the entire game basically being a water level. Capcom did a great job on all their Disney games and although this wasn’t a long game it wasn’t the easy walkthrough you’d think it would be, there’s puzzles to solve, ways to power up, and some challenging boss battles that require some pattern memorization. The controls are great so cheap deaths aren’t common and are usually your own fault. Overall
PRO: Solid gameplay. Capcom quality.
CON: Tougher than a kid oriented game should be.

So those are just a few of my faves.

#8bitliving
#retroredneck

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Level 6: Loose, boxed or sealed?

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Every collector has to make the decision at some point…how do I want to collect?

Some collectors like myself just collect the cartridges, some want a complete in box and some will only settle for factory sealed. Now obviously there’s collectors across the spectrum, as for myself there’s only one game I want to have complete in the box but I am however picky about the condition of my labels as all my games are on display and a poor label ruins the optics in my opinion.

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Only $20 you say? You swear that’s Lone Ranger? 

Understandably, the box crowd feels the same about how their display looks and will track down the best boxes no matter the price but hey, at the end of the day you spend a lot on your hobby so you want it to look good.

The factory sealed crowd are really the OCD part of the collector family tree, hunting down games in their rarest form…factory sealed…and these collectors get real specific: checking seams, stickers that came on some packaging, etc but that’s their thing.

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Only $29.99 you say? Not bad for a boxed stadium events.

So why does it matter? It doesn’t beyond how you choose to collect, sure a sealed game has a higher value but can’t be opened and played without jeopardizing that value. Loose carts don’t often come with manuals, maps or other add ins that a boxed or sealed game will but are accessible to play anytime. Boxes don’t always come in the shape you’d like or may still not have a pristine cart despite coming boxed.

I personally prefer collecting loose and concerning myself with the shape of the labels for a few reasons:
1. Pricing: Prices are more reasonable on loose carts.
2. Boxes/manuals have no value to me: Even as a kid I never kept the boxes and usually lost the manuals so they’ve never been part of the nostalgia for me.
3. Appearance: I like the way the loose carts look stacked on my shelf.
4: Accessability: I find a lot more loose games than boxed games so collecting loose has helped me find a lot more variety. (Although the opposite is something I run into as well where a game I want is only available in a box but not worth the price for a box I don’t need).

These are just the reasons I have for why I collect the way I do, everyone has their own tastes and that comes out in their collections. At the end of the day all that matters is your own satisfaction with your collection and how your game room looks whether its full of loose, boxed, sealed or a combination of all 3…it’s all about the games.

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And R.O.B. even though he only plays 2 games….poorly..at least he played them unlike my next level post….

Until then keep on chasing!
#8bitliving
#retroredneck

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