This is a continued story from The Biggest Haul – The Story (1/5)
My first consoles were the SNES and Game Boy at the age of six, but in my young adolescent years I grew out to be a little Sony fanboy, this due to lack of money to invest in multiple consoles. I was blown away by the Sony Playstation as it offered me mature games and graphics I had never seen before. The system had an even stronger follow up in the Playstation 2 which never failed me. A lot of games, backwards compatibility and a huge step forward from the previous generation. It was evident that I would start off the 7th generation with the PS3, where I have to agree that the starting line-up wasn’t strong, but the system eventually grew out to be a killer machine – in a good way. I can’t believe all the strong titles it delivered and some still to come.
To build up the retro tension I’d like to start with the newest games in the haul, ending wtih the PS1-era in the end, where I was able to add a lot of critically acclaimed video games to my collection. In the blog I will feature five games in detail, while the video contains all the games I picked up and some extras for the collection. If you’ve got time and are interested in everything that was in The Biggest Haul, then please first check out the video. Warning: (J)RPG-alert!
The PS3, still my current number one gaming platform, wile waiting for a PS4. I’m not only a retro gamer and still enjoy new releases, although time isn’t always on my side to play a lot. GTA V’s stuck at a mere 20%, Ni No Kuni went ‘on hold’ after 30 hours, I’ve picked up The Last of Us again and plan to finally go for Beyond 2 Souls in the near future. So what did we find in the loot for the PS3? Not that many special stuff to be honest. I’m glad I could add a lot of Ratchet & Clank-installments, as I love the originals on the PS2. There was also a Tales of Xillia Day One edition to be found somewhere in there, as was a special edition of Final Fantasy X-2 which I will add to the collection while continuing the search for that beautiful Crystal Edition. On a sidenote, I’m pretty disappointed in the latest Final Fantasy-installments and the way the series is evolving. Although I love Lightning as a character in XIII – I bought the figurine –, I can’t play the game longer than 7/8 hours and retried twice!
That’s why I wanted to point out Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. The game has known an EXTREMELY bad start, but in the end and after a lot of rework, Square Enix finally delivered a Final Fantasy game worth playing. The haul contained a normal copy of the game and because I have the collector’s edition I decided to keep this one too. The game is an MMORPG, not that classic FF-RPG, but still… it’s full of Final Fantasy secrets and hints, which makes playing even more addictive. I started off on the PS3, but went for the PC-version after finding a cheap old copy of the game. It was pretty hard to pinpoint enemy’s or foes on the console version and as a healer it’s important to heal the right characters. I haven’t extended my subscription after the first 30 days due to a lack of time but I hope to pick it up again in the future or maybe play the PS4-version of the game.
And here we found a lot more loot, a full box of PS2 games. There were also 2 boxed PS2 consoles, unfortunately, both slim versions, so my search for the fat console boxed is still on. Anyone in for a trade? From the pile of games I was pretty surprised to find all these games I didn’t have or didn’t even know existed. This is where you can see that the previous owner was a real JRPG-lover. Because of the low prices for PS2 games at the moment and the massive amount of games to be found everywhere I didn’t expect to add 28 new titles to the collection. Check out the Youtube-video to see them all as I’m sure you will find some surprising games you may have missed out on. Of course all Final Fantasy’s for the PS2 were in there, as was .Hack // Infection Part 1, the most common one of the series. These landed on the trade pile due to duplicates already in the collection. While most PS2 prices are low I’d like to pick out 2 titles which are retailing slightly high at approximately 30 and 40 euros at the moment: Dark Cloud and Shadow Hearts.
Dark Cloud was supposed to be a PS2 launch title, but got delayed and released in late 2000 in Japan. We had to wait almost a year for the game to release in Europe in September 2001. The game did pretty well and more than a million copies were sold globally. Still a lot of people have missed this classic RPG due to the great amount of choice for the system, including me. The game was received very well, but always stayed in the shadow of Final Fantasy and Zelda and was called a good clone. Gameplay-wise it’s pretty classic with dungeons and quests where you had to defeat the same enemies over and over again to gather loot and experience points. Still, for the hardcore JRPG-fans, this seems to be a must-buy, surely because current gen hasn’t brought many good material to the JRPG-table. The game got a sequel two years later in the form of Dark Chronicle, which was also in the lot.
A game released around the same time of Dark Cloud was Shadow Hearts. The game is a sequel to Koudelka, which many gamers tend to forget, and is the first installment in a series of games. The RPG sets down a pretty realistic story, starting just before World War I where the main character, Yuri Hyoga, has to save the woman he loves. The reception for the game was mixed, going from very high to bottom low scores. While some praised the game for originality and being innovative, others claimed the opposite. The story is pretty linear and, as you expected from RPG’s in that era, battles were random and turn-based. But all in all, another PS2-gem that RPG-lovers should try to crack.
And after all that pretty recent stuff, we go back more than 15 years ago. In my humble opinion already 100% retro, the precious PS1- or PSX-console. This system really boosts my nostalgic feelings up high with games like Final Fantasy IX, The Legend of Dragoon, Crash Bandicoot, Tomb Raider, Medievil, … the list seems endless. The box full of PS1 titles was one of the main reasons I know I had to have the whole lot. I immediately spotted some very wanted games for playing and collection purposes. Once again, check out the video for all the ones I picked out for my collection. Featured here are two – technically three – games I learned about after starting collecting…
One of the very first games that caught my eye when looking for the rarest and most valuable PS1 titles was the platformer Tombi! (known as Tomba! in the US) and it’s sequel Tombi! 2. I didn’t know anything about the games, can’t even remember ever crossing them in retail stores or the rental section, but the artwork looks stunning. Both covers scream to be picked up and played. The platform-titles were one of the first games to use the Dualshock feature of the PSX-controller and won over the hearts of gamers because of its colorful graphics and ditto gameplay. Especially the first installment is very sought after in the EU-region and retails for around 80 euros, while the second still ends up at a decent 30 euros. From the moment I started collecting, I’ve never came across the game in the wild, so I’m very glad to be able to add these two to the collection.
Another hit series I completely missed out on was Suikoden. A very wanted RPG that still retails around 40 euros and doesn’t pop up that often on second hand sites like craiglist. The series has five main installments and most of them stories play in the same world, but in another time or from another viewpoints, which is pretty unique for a game series. I hope to ever find the time to go through the series and learn more about the story. But first I will need to find them all. Besides the first installment now, I only have Suikoden IV on the PS2. You can’t have it all at once of course!
To be continued
I am already very pleased with the Playstation-finds that were in the lot. You can see that the previous owner had a pretty specific taste. You won’t see any Tekken-games in there for example, other good games like Abe’s Oddysee are also nowhere to be found. Of course, if you’re a fanatic RPG- or JRPG-player, you have to put an enormous amount of time in them to even complete the main story, not even talking about all the possible side quests.
It’s pretty hard to choose a maximum of five games in such a bunch of great titles, but I hope I raised your interest in one or more of them. If you’re intruiged by one of these games and you would like an indept review or blogpost, please hit me up through one of our many social media-channels. I’ll do my best to fulfill your request! But first we will continue the story off The Biggest Haul in the next coming weeks with Nintendo and Sega still to come. Especially the Nintendo-part will contain tons of rare and highly wanted games. Until then, please like and subscribe to our social media channels! It really helps us go forward and reach out to more people.