Sunday, 23 April 2017

Yu-Gi-Oh: Legendary Collection 3 Yugi's World Box Opening x2

I've been wanting to grab a few of these cool boxes for a while now after seeing the awesome cards that you can potentially pull inside. Each box comes with a hard game board (basically a play mat), a pack of promotional cards and 5x 'Mega Packs". The best thing about these packs is that each one is guaranteed to contain a Rare, Super Rare, Ultra Rare and Secret Rare card and with this being a MASSIVE set, there are so many reprints worth pulling in the higher rarities.

These boxes are getting harder to find now and so each one set me back just shy of £30. If you consider the potential resale value of any good stuff you pull then it's still a good price though. Certainly nowhere near as risky as buying a classic booster box. As you can see above, I had 10 packs in total to open and I think that I got some great pulls...

Monday, 17 April 2017

Nintendo Discontinuing the NES Mini + A Random Nintendo Rant

Well, I'm here again with another topic that has already been covered to death across the interwebs but I'm struggling with ideas for gaming-related posts at the moment so ripping into Nintendo for something they've done seems like a reasonable way to fill a void with some content...if you can call it "content" (which even I wouldn't to be fair).

ANYWAY, Nintendo recently announced their decision to discontinue production of the NES Classic Edition/NES Mini/That Thing That Was Never In Stock, a press release that was met with a universal "buh?" from the gaming community. The puzzled reaction was hardly a surprise either for this thing has been selling like crazy since its release and - to my knowledge - has never not been a hot product, always out of stock and being sold by shameless scalping re-sellers for way over the standard RRP. People still want one and yet, with the stock shortages still not resolved, Nintendo have pulled the plug.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Yu-Gi-Oh - Duelist Saga Case Opening

I don't generally like newer Yu-Gi-Oh sets, preferring to collect the classic stuff instead but sometimes a new product comes along that is difficult to resist. Such a thing happened very recently with the brand-new Duelist Saga set. Duelist Saga contains a load of reprints of some truly awesome cards but also, a lot of brand-new cards that had previously only existed within the anime. After seeing the full set list, I opted to order a whole case of the set. A single retail mini-box contains three packs, each of which contains five cards. The display case comes with five of these boxes for an overall total of 75 cards (North America's cases seem to be bigger, coming with eight mini-boxes) so I thought I'd get a number of cool pulls if I picked up a case. Furthermore, every card is Ultra Rare with a pretty new parallel kind of foil effect which I quite like. From the set list, there were seven cards in particular that I wanted to get:
  • Dark Magician
  • Blue-Eyes White Dragon
  • Raviel, Lord of Phantasms
  • Uria, Lord of Searing Flames
  • Hamon, Lord of Striking Thunder
  • Armityle the Chaos Phantom
  • Chaos Scepter Blast
Yes, none of those are from the pool of exciting new cards that will work really well in competitive play but I'm a collector anyway. Oddly enough, I've not once owned any of the 'Sacred Beasts' cards since my return to collecting despite buying loads of single cards and joblots in that time so I was pretty pleased to see them all reprinted in Duelist Saga along with their insane fusion form too. So how did I fare in the end?

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Great Moments in Gaming #3 - Spyro 2's Big Glide

It's been a while since I did one of these but a recent replay of Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer (or Ripto's Rage as it is known in North America) gave me chance to revisit one of my favourite "wow" moments in gaming. Despite featuring a lot of gliding and big gaps to cross, the Spyro series rarely throws something daunting or overly challenging at the player in terms of glides. In fact, I get sick of Hunter's jumping/gliding tutorials in the second and third games! But then while in the Autumn Plains castle, you charge a cracked wall down and two whirlwinds later find yourself at the very highest point of the castle, atop a turret with the sound of the wind gusting all around. But what do you do once up here? Surely not glide to that extremely distant, tiny platform? Well...yes!

I just love this glide for the semi-secret nature of getting up to the roof in the first place, the sound of the wind blowing all around and the glide itself with Autumn Plains' beautiful soundtrack in the background. It doesn't seem that impressive by today's standards but back then, this was a bit of an exciting moment for me.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Top Five Favourite Pokemon

It's been a while since I've compiled a Top 5 and since I've recently dug out my Pokemon Diamond Version cartridge to do some levelling-up and Battle Tower runs, I thought it might be time to decide once and for all what my five favourite monsters are. Now there will be a certain amount of old-school bias here since I stopped playing after the fourth generation (Diamond/Pearl) and from what I have seen of the newer titles, it is my personal opinion that the designers are running out of ideas in a big way for new Pokemon. Compare the classics with the frankly bizarre monsters of the latest generations (there's one based on a bin bag for f***s sake) and there's a gaping difference. Without any further controversy-stirring however, I'll get on with my Top Five...

1. Houndoom

That's right, we're really kicking it old-school here with some utterly gorgeous Ken Sugimori watercolour artwork. What I find fascinating about Houndoom is that it doesn't really fit into the mould of a kid-friendly series of games given how the thing looks like the Devil's pet pooch. Houndoom looks evil and absolutely bad-ass and I'm not sure we'll see such a dark design for a Pokemon again.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Why I didn't enjoy (and sold) Fire Emblem Fates

If you've been reading this blog for a while (and I thank you for doing so - seriously), you may remember that I was once-upon-a-time quite angry about the Fire Emblem Fates Limited Edition being snapped up by scalpers. I was subsequently angry with Nintendo not printing more copies or even simply releasing the all-in-one cartridge outside of the LE for gamers not interested in the extra physical bonuses to get hold of. I made a few posts devoted to my disappointment in fact.

But then there was a light at the end of the dark tunnel for earlier this year, I finally managed to snag a copy of this illusive set for the sum of £100 (still expensive but way better than the previous ebay scalper prices). I was stoked to finally have it in my possession and couldn't wait to get stuck in rather than leaving it on the shelf for months/years as is so often is the case with my videogame purchases. This I did and to my severe disappointment, I actually found that I couldn't be bothered with the game any more after 30 hours of desperately trying to love it. Coming off the back of being thoroughly and dangerously addicted to Fire Emblem Awakening, I was shocked at my apathy towards that game's successor(s). How could I adore one game so much then feel nothing for a sequel which wasn't really that much of a departure?

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Yu-Gi-Oh: Magic Ruler (MRL) Box Opening

A while back I decided that it would be fun to acquire some older Yu-Gi-Oh booster boxes to do openings on. Financially, it's pretty much not worth it because even if you manage to pull the very best cards in a set, you would never get back the money a sealed box cost by selling off all the cards. Sometimes it's not about the money though and I've found it to be very nostalgic and enjoyable to open up some old-school packs. These were the packs that I struggled to afford as a kid but now - as an adult with the aid of the internet - I can buy the entire retail display boxes! Is it a bit greedy? Perhaps but it sure is fun in any case.

The first box I bought and opened was a Magician's Force 36-pack box but unfortunately, I didn't catalogue this with any photographs. Magician's Force (MFC) is one of the very best of the original Yu-Gi-Oh sets and was also short-printed so to get hold of a sealed box in 2017 was pretty special, even if it was the less desirable 36-pack version. Just to quickly explain, Konami used to do 24-pack boxes and 36-pack boxes, one for general retail stores and the other for specialised hobby shops. The major difference (other than the pack count) was that only one of the two 'Secret Rare' cards in a set was available depending on which version you had. The 24-pack MFC box is a lot more desirable as it potentially contains the original secret-rare copy of 'Dark Magician Girl', a fan favourite card. The 36-pack box that I opened has 'Diffusion Wave Motion' instead, a spell card that nobody really cares about and is virtually worthless. Fortunately I already have the secret-rare Dark Magician Girl card so I was happy just to have a greater quantity of packs to open. The box cost me £240 if I remember rightly which is expensive but given its age, short-printed nature and the classic cards in the set, it was worth it for me on a personal level (though I'd struggle to recommend boxes of this value to others in general). In the end, I pulled the dreaded Diffusion Wave Motion (a Secret is a Secret after all I suppose...) but snagging 'Breaker The Magical Warrior' and the awesome 'Dark Paladin' really made the box.

But I'm getting way off-topic here. Aren't I supposed to be discussing Magic Ruler? Let's get to it then.