So I've not done one of these posts in a while it seems...the last one was many months ago, in August last year. I wouldn't say I buy a lot of games, compared to some collectors and youtubers I know online, but probably compared to the average dude, I buy quite a fair few. Anyway, this post is a little about some of the games I picked up recently, whether it be presents, games I've bought for myself or whatever. In some of the Recent Purchases, I've talked about the gaming merchandise I've picked up, for example video game artbooks (something I semi-collect outside of games) and at the end of this post I'll talk a little bit about one of the anime I've been watching. I quite like the idea of talking about some non-gaming stuff briefly in these posts. Apologies for the blurry photo...my Blackberry playbook can't take brilliant photos, and then the lighting in my room was really crappy.
Anyway, on with the post! Hopefully it doesn't look like I'm trying to brag about the games I've been picking up! I don't get that many and I know myself I have smaller collections than many others, but what I like to go for are games that I've been really wanting. You won't normally see me pick up copies of Madden 06 or Fifa 99 just because I can get them for 20p, for example. A lot of the games I pick up are titles I've heard very good things about, or are in certain sub-genres that are appealing to me at any one time. For example, sometimes I go through 1st person dungeon crawler RPG kicks, or times where I'm really into focussing on my Strategy RPGs. A good example of a game like this where I've had a massive interest in the game for ages would be Radiant Historia (DS). I live in Europe and unfortunately we never saw a release for this game. It has had such amazing hype and praise from critics for the most part, and only the price had kept me from picking this one up. Importing through Ebay is fairly pricey, with a copy normally running between £30 and 40. So Christmas this year and I tried to pick my brain for games that were in this ballpark...games I'd really wanted to try and were a bit outside my price range. In a toss up between Radiant Historia and Skies of Arcadia, I settled for this one, ordered it and was reimbursed by my parents. Definitely looking forward to playing this really beautiful looking RPG with an interesting looking combat system and story concept. Time travel in RPGs is quite often good-Chrono Trigger anyone? Then again...FFXIII-2 was a bit of a mess..
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PS3) - This one was a bit of a surprise to me. My birthday was back in October and on the last day of term (December) one of my friends gave me this for my birthday. They'd apparently been trying to pick the game up on ebay for a while, with no luck from one seller on two occasions. Maybe it got lost in the post, or maybe he didn't send it. Either way, they ended up getting screwed out of a lot more money than they should have spent on me, for sure. Definitely looking forward to trying this game out. RA Salvatore is one of my favourite fantasy authors that I grew up reading, and he worked on the world design, or script, or some aspect of this game. The only thing that makes me a little wary is some of the design from Todd McFarlane (the Spawn guy) It looks a weird mishmash of styles in this game.
Zone of the Enders HD Collection (PS3) - This, along with Radiant Historia was the other game I had asked for over Christmas, and was really happy that I got it. My uncle had gone to a lot of trouble to get it, as it was really hard to find in shops it turns out :o I missed out on a lot of PS2 games as I never got the console until way afterwards, so in a way, these HD collections are perfect for gamers like me, who want an affordable and sensible way to pick up entire series, or trilogies. I've played the first Zone of the Enders for an hour or two so far, and I actually got stuck by the odd design and lack of direction. I'm at a bit where I need to knock out 2 forcefields, one on either side of something? Its pretty early on, but it kind of put me off because I was just backtracking to find passwords. I'll get back into this once I have access to my PS3 at some point soon. Currently I'm through at uni with only my DS, PSP and PS2.
Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City (DS) - I played the first Etrian Odyssey a couple years back and it took me a long time of on/off playing to get through, but I really enjoyed it overall. I originally purchased EO1 and EO2 from ebay (we only got the first game released in Europe...damn yous!) and I've really had the urge to play through more 1st person dungeon crawler RPGs recently, so picked up the reprint of the third game when I saw a fairly good price (preorder) on ebay. So this one will hopefully be with me soon. I suppose that means I have to play through Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard first though. Way too many games for my own good...
Solatorobo: Red the Hunter (DS) - I picked this one, and Magna Carta 2 (Xbox 360) up recently when I was away up to Perth for a dental appointment (yeah, my Dentist is away up North many miles away from where I stay: see my previous escapade) I was trying to burn some time and thought I'd have a look in Gamestation in Perth. Well...Game and Gamestation (the same company essentially) had some problems last year and had to go into administration, and closed a lot of branches. The Gamestation in Perth was one that had closed apparantely, and I hadn't realised that because I hadn;t been up there in months. So I thought, theres a Game branch over in the shopping centre, and from what I'd seen of the stores that remained open, the majority seemed to be in malls or shopping centre complexes. Well anyway, they were still open so I went in to check out the games they had. Turns out they had a lot of games I'd been after, for fairly cheap (either preowned or in the sale.) Some of the ones I saw that looked interesting were (with some rough prices): Dragon Age: Origins Awakening (£5, Xbox 360), Infinite Space (£10, DS) and Aliens Infestation (£5, DS). I didn't pick them up, but regret not getting Infinite Space...that game is really hard to find online... So far I've not played either of Solatorobo or Magna Carta 2 yet unfortunately.
Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360) - I can't remember if I talked about this one on the blog just yet. But I held off on this one for absolutely ages to try and get it cheaper. It turns out that probably wasn't a good idea, as I heard all the hype and then rage about the story ending. I have somehow managed to remain spoiler free, and picked this one up after christmas in a sale in Game for £15. Really interested to see how the story will finish up. I liked the first two games, but I've been slowly losing interest in the franchise... a couple hundred too many DLC packs and stupid things like the Cerberus network. EA ruined Dragon Age and Mass Effect, which is so unfortunate...they had such good prospects..
Inazuma Eleven (DS) - this was a game I picked up right after Christmas. I received a gift token for HMV and decided to go for this one with it. It was a toss up between this and Ar Tonelico Qoga on the PS3 when I was in the store, and I'm definitely glad I went for this one. I havent played any of either series before this, and from what I saw of Ar Tonelico on the back of the box, I'm definitely happy with Inazuma. Its such an over the top game. Its like a good mix of anime like Beyblades, Yu-Gi-Oh and films like Shaolin Soccer. The only low point was some of the time it seemed to drag a bit at times(where you're just tracking across the map from area to area) and also...the horrendous English opening theme. But the game itself is really engaging and addictive once you get into it and realise how to control it best. The tutorials don't do a very good job so I ended up taking about 7 hours to master the systems (more or less.)
Eden of the East (Anime DVD) - This was a bit of a random pick up for me. I like to buy the odd anime movie or series when they release in the UK (but only at decent prices) We saw this one in a second hand shop "CEX" that has quite a lot of branches all across the UK. They do really well because they give cash for tradeins, and take anything from ipods, phones, computer components, games, dvds, and a lot more. Anyway, it was only a fiver. The synopsis sounded interesting, and I had heard good things. So, after a wee check of animenewsnetwork on my girlfriend's smartphone (I refuse to own one...FOR NOW! Gimme a break! lol) I picked this up. We've watched half of it so far, and its getting really interesting =) It has a dark edge, but its a lot more than just a dark, gritty anime. It has it's funny moments, it has a quite nice romance theme to it as well.