The Catch-Up Post: SMS Badass Edition

May 24, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

SMS BadassWell, it’s been a couple of months since I posted, and I mentioned that I’d be instating a moratorium on classic game purchases after the Midwest Gaming Classic.  Did I stick to it?  In fact, I did!  I went the month of April without making any classic gaming purchases.  My wallet thanks me!  (Though I did have to pick up Mario Kart on the Wii because, I mean, c’mon… It’s Mario Kart.  It’s not a classic game, anyway, so I win on a technicality.)

But since I only had a one-month moratorium and I haven’t posted in two months, that means I have about a month’s worth of catching up to do.  Let’s start off with the Midwest Gaming Classic.  For those that didn’t attend (probably most of you), I really highly recommend this show!  I had a ton of fun.  I got to see all kinds of cool games and had a chance to play around in the museum with some interesting systems I’d never experienced before (like the FM Towns Marty and Nuon).  On top of that, there was a nice lineup of speakers.  I had a chance to hear a bunch of cool talks from people like Walter Day of Twin Galaxies/The King of Kong fame, Sushi-X and Trickman Terry of EGM fame, and Ben Heckendorn of “can turn any system into a portable” fame.  And, best of all was the vendor area, where I amassed the following:

  • Dracula X: Rondo of Blood (PC Engine CD): Probably the crown jewel of the show for me.  I picked up the best “traditional” Castlevania game ever, and at a pretty good price.  I’d never played it before, but it totally lived up to the hype.
  • Rotary Controller (Jaguar): A fantastic hand-made rotary controller for the Jaguar.  It breathed all new life into Tempest 2000.  I will never use the D-pad again!
  • Sega Master System (Hardware) and games: I was always curious about the Master System, so I bit the bullet and finally picked one up.  Hooray, new hardware!  It’s always exciting to have a new library of games to explore.  I started off with Alex Kidd in Miracle World and Alex Kidd: High-Tech World.
  • Rad Racer II (NES): Man, I loved Rad Racer on the NES.  I had vague memories of playing Rad Racer II once, but always wanted to pick it up and give it a real playthrough.  Honestly, it’s kinda disappointing.  It didn’t quite live up to the original, but oh well.  At least it was cheap.
  • The Need for Speed (3DO): There was a small showing of 3DO games at MGC, and this mint copy of The Need for Speed is my first true complete 3DO game.  It even has the advertising inserts!  I gotta say, those longboxes are total overkill.  They’re oddly appealing, though.
  • Instruction Manuals (NES): I’ve had a barebones copy of the original Mario Bros. (the arcade game, not SMB) for the NES since I was something like 10 and finally got a manual to go along with it.  I also picked one up for R.C. Pro-Am, since I got a cart-only copy of that not too long ago.

Okay, so that covers it for MGC.  I will definitely be returning next year.  There was so much cool stuff that I wanted…  But enough of that, I also made a few other purchases, the biggest of which was:

  • Sega Master System Lot (hardware and games): After getting a Master System at MGC, I went home and hit up eBay to expand my collection.  I found a nice deal on a big lot of stuff, which included another system, a couple extra controllers, a light gun, a bunch of games, and (most importantly) a pair of the SMS 3D glasses.  Games in the lot were After Burner, Black Belt, Choplifter, Enduro Racer, Ghost House, Hang On/Safari Hunt, Maze Hunter 3-D, Sports Pad Football, and Zaxxon 3-D.  My favorites of the bunch were probably Maze Hunter 3-D and Ghost House with honorable mentions for Enduro Racer and Zaxxon 3-D.  The rest are pretty mediocre, quite frankly.  I think the SMS is going to take some digging to get to the truly good stuff.

And, finally, I hit up old reliable, Pre-Played, for a few random additions to the collection:

  • Missile Defense 3-D (SMS): This is a neat lightgun game that makes use of the 3D glasses.  It’s a pretty cool effect, shooting at 3D missiles that are popping out of the screen at me.  Not to mention I look like a badass with both the glasses and phazer in tow! (See the picture above).
  • Blaster Master (NES): This game really deserves more praise but never really gained the public awareness to become a favored classic.  It’s something of an underdog, which is probably part of why I like it so much!  For those not aware, it’s a fantastic shooter where you split your time between side-scrolling and overhead sections.  Commandeer a tank in the side-scrolling sections, or hop out at any time to head out on foot.  Enter caves to switch to an overhead view.  The game has a nice, quirky, light-hearted feel to it, too.  I mean, the story involves chasing after your pet frog after it’s grown to humongous size after being exposed to radioactive waste…
  • Golgo-13: Top Secret Episode (NES): This is a unique game that mixes all kinds of different play mechanics like side-scrolling action, horizontal shoot-em-up, FPS, and “sniper modes” and wraps them all up in a spy/espionage plot.  Very interesting overall, but the controls in the side-scrolling sections suck.  Not bad for 99 cents, though!

And, most recently, I grabbed a new NES 72-pin adapter off eBay to resolve the damn blinking problem that every NES ever has.  I should have done this years ago, it works beautifully!

Whew, okay, that about does it for now.  But as you can see, I’ve added a ton of games to my collection without actually writing any new reviews.  I’ve become resigned to the fact that I’ll probably never review all of them at my current pace.  So, don’t be surprised to see a slight format change soon that will allow me to get reviews up much faster and more frequently.

About Tim
My name is Tim. I live in Madison, WI. I'm a retro gamer.

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